NAMGYAL MONASTERY

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Location: Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Also Known as: Namgyal Dratsang
Founded In: 1575
Founded By: Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama

Mask Dance, Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala, Himachal PradeshIn 1575 Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, officially founded a monastery, which later came to be known as Namgyal Dratsang (Victorious Monastery). Since its inception, the monastery has assisted the Dalai Lamas in their public religious activities and performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet.

From the beginning, the monastery has been a center of learning, contemplation and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treatises. Namgyal monastery is nonsectarian and maintains ritual practices and teachings of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

In Tibet, the 175 Namgyal monks and their monastery were located in the Potala Palace, performing spiritual duties and religious ceremonies for both the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government.

A distinctive feature of this monastery is its diversity of practices i.e. prayers and rituals of all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism are performed by Namgyal monks. At present, the monastery has more than 180 monks, of which the younger monks study the major texts of Buddhist Sutra and Tantra.

The monastery is now situated next to the Central Cathedral. On the path along the monastery, young monks can often be seen playing badminton and in the afternoon and evening practicing debate in the courtyard leading to His Holiness' residence.

Namgyal Monastery has also a cafe, bookshop and guesthouse adjacent to the Tsuglag Khang.



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