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Famous India >Monasteries in India > Tabo Monastery
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Tabo Monastery

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Tabo MonasteryTabo is the popular Buddhists Monastery situated in the Spiti Valley of India. It stands perched at the average height of 3050 m and falls between the Indian -Tibetan border. Tabo is regarded as one amongst the most significant and most consecrated monasteries of Himachal Pradesh. The monastery was founded in 996 AD by the great Indian scholar Guru Ratnabhadra or Rinchen Sangpo. The ancient monastery is more than 1000 years old and is known for its well preserved frescos. It is populary referred as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas'. The Gompa has over sixty monks. It is the most important tourists center,visited in greater numbers than any other Gompa in Himachal Pradesh.

The Nine Temples of Tabo Monastery
The Temple of Enlightened Gods (Tug-Lha-khang) : This is the Assembly hall or du-khang of the monastery complex, which houses the four fold figure of Vairocana as its major attraction. In Vajrayana Buddhism Vairocana is regarded as one of the five spiritual sons of the Adibuddha, who was the self created primordial Buddha. He is represented here in a sitting posture spinning the 'wheel of law'. Than there are life size stucco images of what are commonly regarded as Vajradhatu Mandala that are placed on the brackets along the walls. One can even see the beautiful paintings depicting the various phrases of the life of Lord Buddha. These paintings are the creation of a artists who came to this place from Kashmir. There is also a sanctum just behind the assembly hall and house five Bodhisattvas of Good Age.

The Golden Temple (Ser-khang) : It has been named as the Golden Temple as it was once layered with gold. However during the 16th century, lot of renovation work was done in the temple at the command of Sengye Namgyal, the ruler of Ladakh. The major highlights in the temple are the walls and ceilings covered with murals.

The Mystic Mandala Temple (dKyil-kHor- khang) : The Mystic Mandala Temple is adorned with the massive painting of Vairocana who is surrounded by the eight Bodhisattvas. The other areas or parts of the temple are adorned by the Mystic Mandalas. The temple holds the distinction for being the same place where monkhood was initiated.

The Bodhisattva Maitreya Temple (Byams-Pa Chen-po Lha-khang) : This temple is sequestered into a hall, vestibule and sanctum. The temple is embellished with the six feet high image of Bodhisattva Maitreya. The array of murals are an added attraction, specially the ones depicting the monastery of Tashi-Chunpo and Lhasa's Potala palace.

The Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha khang) : The Temple of Dromton is built on the northern edge of the complex, that has been founded by the Dromton (1008-1064 AD), an ardent disciple of Atisha. The doorway and the interiors covered by the beautiful murals are simply marvelous.

The Chamber of Picture Treasures (Z'al-ma) : The Chamber of Picture Treasures is attached to the Enlightened Temple of God that houses the murals o Buddha, his disciples and protective deities in the pure Tibetan style.

The Large Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha khang) : Covering the total area of 70 sq km, this is the second largest temple of the monastery. Than there is an additional area of 42 q km occupied by the portico and niche. Its front wall is adorned with the image of Sakymuni with Sariputra and Maha Maugdalayana on his side. The other walls depict the eight Medicine Buddhas and Guardian Kings.

The Mahakala Vajra Bhairava Temple (Gon-khang) : This temple enshrines the protective deity of Geluk-pa sect. It is also known as the temple of horror.

The White Temple (Kar-abyum Lha-Khang) : The walls of this shrine are also intricately adorned leaving a low dado for the monks and nuns to lean against

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