Rato Monastery alias Rato Dratsan or Mundgod Tibetan Monastery

Rato Monastery or Rato Dratsang is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated at Mundgod in Karnataka state, India. This Monastery or monastic university follows the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” tradition. Rato Monastery was a major Monastery in Tibet and was reestablished at Mundgod, a Tibetan Settlement in Karnataka after the Tibetan uprising in 1959.

Tibetan monks in Rato Monastery seen outside the Mundgod Tibetan temple called Rato temple, in Karnataka, India.

Rato Monastery was established in the 14th century on the outskirts of Lhasa in Tibet. Fifth Dalai Lama called Rato Monastery as the “Tiger Nest”. This Monastery had 500 monks studying in Tibet in 1959. Rato Monastery alias Rato Dratsan was re-established at Mundgod in 1983 as part of Drepung Loseling monastery. (Drepung Loseling monastery is another Buddhist monastery re-established at Mundgod after the Tibetan uprising in 1959.) In the late 80’s, this monastery became an independent monastery or monastic university. Tenzin Gyatso, the current and the 14th Dalai Lama, has appointed Geshe Thupten Lhundup (Nicholas Vreeland), as the abbot (head of monastery) in 2012. (That was the first instance of any foreigner being appointed as the abbot of any Tibetan monastery.) Rato Monastery’s abbot is addressed as Khen Rinpoche. Khen means abbot and rinpoche is used to address lamas and abbots.

How Do I Go To Rato Monastery alias Mundgod Tibetan Monastery?

Rato Monastery alias Mundgod Tibetan Monastery is at Mundgod in Uttara Kannada district, on your way to Hubli from Sirsi. Mundgod town is at a distance of 132 kilometers from Karwar, the district head quarters.

Nearby Tourist Places to Mundgod

Attiveri Bird Sanctuary is a nearby tourist place at around 15 kilometers from Mundgod town. Bachanaki Dam is at around 6 kilometers from Mundgod town on your way to Attiveri Bird Sanctuary. There is a Chalukyan temple at the nearby Bedsgav Village.