The Oldest Surviving Religious Structures Dedicated to Future Buddha (MaitreyaBuddha) at Basgo Buddhist Monastery

Basgo monastery or Basgo gompa  is situated near to Ladakh district, Jammu & Kashmir state,India. This Buddhist monastery  is situated  on the Himalayas. This monastery was established by  Namgyal dynasty rulers in 1680.
Basgo Buddhist Monastery or Basgo GompaBasgo Buddhist Monastery or Basgo Gompa

Basgo gompa was the cultural and political center of the Namgyals. This place is rich in culture and heritage. It is one of the unexplored gems of Ladakh. The monastery overlooks the ruins of an ancient city. View of sunset from the monastery is stunning. You can see the basking Himalayan mountains.

Basgo Buddhist monastery is famous for the Buddha statue and murals paintings. There are three Temples Chamchung, Chamba Lakhang and Serzang; dedicated to Maitreya Buddha  inside the monastery. These temples were built during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, using mud bricks.  14 meter tall Maitreya Buddha statue is the tallest one among the statues here. The interior walls of these temples have mural paintings, depicting the life of Lord Buddha and others helped in building these temples.

These temples are the oldest surviving religious structures dedicated to Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the future).

The monastery  and the temples were damaged due to old age. The mural paintings, statues and the floors were damaged. Repair works were carried out in the last decade. These temples are now almost back to its original state. Boundary walls were also constructed for the temples.

Hemis National Park and Hemis monastery are situated close to the the  Basgo Monastery. The nearby monasteries like Hemis Monastery and local people are also dedicated to the cause of preservation of the temples inside Basgo gompa.

How Do I Go to the Buddhist Monastery, Basgo Gompa?

Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, is at around  650 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is at Jammu.

Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, is at around 380 kilometers away. This road passes through Kargil, the site of the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999, known as Kargil war or Operation Vijay.

Basgo gompa is at around 42 kilometers from Leh, the largest city and administrative headquarters of  Ladakh district.

Manali is at around 500 kilometers away from the monastery.

Sherabling Monastery or Palpung Monastery in Himachal Pradesh

Sherabling Monastery alias Palpung Monastery is Buddhist Monastery situated near Bir in Himachal Pradesh state of India. Palpung Monastery was founded by the 8th Kenting Tai Situpa, Chokyi Jugne, in 1727.

Image taken during the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Sherabling Monastery
Image taken during the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Sherabling Monastery in March 2015. Image Courtesy – Central Tibetan Administration website.

Palpung Monastery is the seat of study for Buddhists and a place for practice of monk-hood. Surrounded by pine forests, the monastery gives any visitor an unparalleled sense of peace.

The lineage of the Kenting Tai situpas, the heads of Sherabling Monastery, is traced to Bodhisattva Maitreya, main disciple of Goutama Buddha. The Monastery is currently headed by the twelfth Kenting Tai Situpa, Pema Donyo Nyingche Wangpo.

The Sherabling Monastery has one of India’s largest indoor Maitreya Buddha statue, having a height of 42 feet or 12.8 meters. The entrance of the Monastery has some of the best Thangka paintings, a form of Buddhist paintings on cotton or silk.

The Monastery is also called Palpung Monastery, as it was originally established in 1727 at Palpung, a city in Tibet. The Monastery was established at its current site in 1975. Sherabling Monastery is located not far from Baijnath Temple, one of the Twelve Jyotirlingas.

How Do I Go to Sherabling Monastery?

Sherabling Monastery is accessible from Bir city, famous for paragliding. There are bus services from major cites of Himachal Pradesh and Also from New Delhi to Baijnath, a town at around 30 kilometers distance from Bir town.