Tawang monastery holds the distinction of being one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries in India and the second largest in Asia. It is the proud birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. Sometimes identified with the name of Galden Namgyal, this monastery is located in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, 180 km away from Bomdilla. From a distance the monastery looks like a fort and has the ability to house about 700 monks. In the present time though, it comprises of about 300 monks.
Foundation of Tawang Monastery :
The Tawang monastery which dates back to the year 1860-61 stands on a hill at 10,000 feet and comprises of ravines in the west and south, a thin narrow ridge on the north side and a gradual slope on the east. It was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso and belongs to the Gelukpa sect. This monastery in Arunanchal Pradesh speaks volumes about the Buddhist architecture and structural design which is beautiful and magnificent and is also known as the epitome of Buddhist architecture.
Infrastructure of Tawang Monastery :
At the entrance of this Buddhist pilgrimage site lays a pond called Dung Gyur Mani and this is the source of water for this monastery. This is a site which comprises of ancient treasures from the time gone by. It has a rich brilliant collection of priceless manuscripts, thankas which illustrate Lord Buddha and other deities in different poses and books. The chief attraction here though remains the big gilded statue of Lord Buddha.The whole compound covers an area of 135 square kilometers and a range of exotic and striking paintings beautify the entry gate called kakaling and the ceiling. Dukhang, the assembly hall is also superbly done up with silver caskets and thankas mostly of Goddess Sri Devi. This Buddhist monastery in North India houses 65 residential buildings and 10 additional structures. It also comprises of a library which contains old scriptures and documents.