Gyuto Monastery, Dharamshala – A Complete Guide. Nothing beats the pressure of daily monotonous life as travelling. It not only gives your soul wings to fly but also boosts you with immense positive energy.
Spending some quiet time by yourself or meditating lets you connect with your inner self and gain inner peace. Gyuto Monastery is ideal for tourists seeking peace.
About Gyuto Monstery
Nested in the laps of the snowcapped Dhauladhar Mountains, Gyuto Monastery is considered one of the most important and supreme institutions for Buddhist pilgrims. The leader or head of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Karmapa, resides here. He carries out all the activities of Buddha.
The monastery is very popular among tourists. It houses a gigantic statue of Lord Buddha. Passing the rituals and teachings to the generations for nearly 500 years, more than 200 monks live in this monastery and practice the Tantric meditations. One of the most ancient monasteries of India, Gyuto provides a serene yet peaceful environment for the tourists.
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History of Gyuto Monastery
Located within a distance of 8 km from the Dharamshala town, the Gyuto Monastery is considered to be one of the most famous and religious monasteries for Tantric meditation and Buddhism.
Established in Tibet in 1474 by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup, the famous disciple of the first Dalai Lama, the monastery had to be re-established again in India after the Chinese Invasion of Tibet.
The monastery was built-in Dharamshala, and since then it has been an important site for research and studies on Tantric and Buddhist philosophies.
Gyuto Monastery Timings
The monastery remains one of the prime attractions of Dharamshala and thus attracts thousands of visitors every year to witness its beauty. It remains open from 7 am to 7 pm, for all the seven days of the week.
Gyuto Monastery Entry Fee
As numerous pilgrims and monks visit the monastery with regular travellers every day, the monastery charges no entry fee. It grants free entry for all visitors.
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Best Time to Visit Gyuto Monastery
The beauty of the rough mountains attracts numerous visitors and trekkers to witness the magnificent view that the monastery offers. The mountains remain piled up with snow during winter and thus the cold months of November to March are ideal for visiting the monastery as well as explore the scenic beauty.
However, during the months of May to June, on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the monastery is decorated majestically. Various cultural events and colourful shows take place. You can also try rich Tibetian delicacies while enjoying the shows.
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How to Reach Gyuto Monastery
If you are travelling to Dharamshala by air, then you can board on any flight flying to the Gaggal Airport, which is located at a distance of 13 km from Dharamshala. After you reach the Gaggal airport, you can hire a taxi to reach the monastery. You can also fly to Chandigarh and take a taxi from there.
Pathankot is the nearest railway station to Dharamshala and is located at a distance of 85 km only. It is well connected with the major stations of the country. You can reach the station and take a taxi from there.
Dharamshala is well connected to other parts of the country by road and buses from the northern states make regular journeys to Dharamshala. You can take a deluxe or semi-deluxe bus and reach the bus terminal, after which you can board a taxi and reach the monastery.
Restaurants Near Gyuto Monastery
There are numerous eating places near the Gyuto Monastery. With Buddhist culture flourishing in the area and numerous tourists visiting this place from the Buddhist culture, the nearby restaurants provide delicious food. The Willow tree, The Cliff. Cafe Indique, Joyful Cafe are some of the popular places to eat nearby.
Places to Visit Near Gyuto Monastery
One of the popular attractions in Dharamshala, the Bhagsunag Waterfalls is an enchanting and mesmerizing waterfall located in McLeodganj. It has a long trail that leads to the waterfall which falls into a rocky pool. It is a fun place to visit with your family. Trekking to this place is common.
Located at a distance of about 20 km from the town of Dharamshala, the Kangra Fort is a famous tourist spot. It was built by the Royal Rajput family of the Kangra state, descendants from the Trigarta Kingdom of the Mahabharata epic. It is the oldest fort in India and was built from Granite stones.
Located in the pine forests of Dharamshala, the War Memorial was built to honour the lives of the soldiers who lost their lives while fighting bravely for our country. The nature walk through the dense woods offers an experience worth a lifetime. The GPG college was built during the British era and is a prime attraction spot.
Chamunda Devi Temple
Considered to be one of the holy temples in the locality, the Chamunda Devi Temple has a famous myth attached to it. It is said that a priest and the King of Kangra district prayed to the Goddess seeking permission to relocate the temple to a more easily accessible area.
The Goddess granted permission, and soon the temple was relocated, but the idol of Ma Chamunda could not be moved. Then the Goddess came to the dream of the priest and told him to take a bath and respectfully relocate the idol. He did so and was easily able to move the idol.
Today, the temple is one of the prime attractions of the town with numerous carvings and drawings from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
This temple is one of the most important tourist attractions of Dharamshala. Legends say it was in this temple where Lord Shiva himself lived for some time and thus, is a holy place for the Hindu pilgrims.
With unique architecture and history, this temple is a must-visit place if you are in Dharamshala.
St. John in the Wilderness
Built-in the year 1852, in between the deodar forest, the St. John in the Wilderness is a church built in neo-Gothic architecture. It has beautiful Belgian glasses and has a graveyard of Lord Elgin. Located in the lush green forest, it is a wonderful place to spend the evening.
Located within a distance of 2.5 km from Dharamshala, the Nechung Monastery is a part of the Tsuglagkhang complex. It houses the State Oracle and protects the deity of Dalai Lama.
The original monastery had 115 monks in Lhasa, but in 1959, it was broken during the revolution, and only six monks escaped and fled to India and built this monastery. It is flooded by Buddhist visitors throughout the year.
Famous for its colossal architecture, the Sherabling Monastery is a famous Buddhist site. It gained its popularity as it was the house of Tai Siti Rimpoche, one of the preachers of Buddhism.
It is located amidst the mountains and houses a giant Buddha statue. You can visit there anytime but the prime time is between 2 to 4 pm when the head priest blesses the visitors.