Best Places for Monasteries and Temple Tours in Northeast India
There is end to a spiritual journey in Northeast India and there are limitless corners where you are bound to find beautiful shrines of different religion and faith. And if you are looking for a holistic journey then there should be no time to waste to meet the destination that has been your dream for a spiritual soujourn. Take a detour from the regular journey purpose and consider a devout journey to some holy grounds of Northeast. Here, let us help you on a Northeastern map to find some of the most holy places in Northeast Indian states.
Rumtek Monastery is the largest and the most visited monastery in eastern Sikkim. It is marked as an important education and spiritual centre for learners. The design and the architecture of Rumtek Monastery follow a traditional Buddhist impression and ever since inception many other Indian Buddhist monasteries follow the same template. Rumtek Monastery contains a shrine-temple, retreat centre, monastic college, nun’s hostel, monastery, stupas and many other community administration centres. The Monastery also has other religious institutions and it also contains a Golden Stupa which carries the relics of the 16th Karmapa. In addition, Rumtek Monastery is one of the most important centres of Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, after Tibet. Gangtok has many other monasteries to visit like Enchey Monastery, Tsuglakhang Monastery & Temple to name a few.
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Gorkha Singha Devi:
Serving as a central place for worship in Kohima, Gorkha Singha Devi has been catching the attention of believers for centuries. Dating back to 1800’s the Gorkha Singha Devi Mandir at Chandmari, Kohima is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Nagaland. It so happens that, after the death of Maa Sati, it is believed that her dorsalpart of her body fell on the spot where now a temple is erected named as Singha Devi. Built by the Gorkha’s of Northeast, this beautiful structure sits amidst the mega-mountains and slopes of the capital city of Kohima. This temple also outlines the history of early Gorkha settlement. In addition, it is considered that whosoever bows their head before the temple with belief, loyalty, and modesty they will be blessed.
An important Kagyupa Sect Monastery in Phodong district, Phodang Monastery was founded by the fourth King Gyurmed Namgyal. However, after his death, the Monastery was completed in 1740 A.D. Due to an earthquake, the original Monastery was damaged but was soon rebuilt by the Lamas in 1977. The Phodang Monastery now is bigger than the older Monastery. This colourful Monastery is located about 38 kilometres from the capital Gangtok and nearby attractions around it are Labrang Monastery, which is unique in its architectural style; and Phensang Monastery that sits gently with a breathtaking view of the region.
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Located on the bank of Gomati at Udaipur, Bhuvaneswari Temple is one of the most famous travel attractions in the Northeastern state of Tripura. This temple has a unique architecture and it is constructed on a 3 feet high paved terrace with roof styled as a typical four-chaala with stupas. Bhuvaneswari Temple is a famous Hindu temple that has been immortalised in two of Rabindranath Tagore’s plays, namely Rajarshi and Bisharjan. This temple is also located near the Royal palace . Other landmarks to visit near Bhuvaneswari Temple in Udaipurare Tripura Sundari Temple, Jagannath Dighi, Sagar, Amar Sagar, Mahadev Dighi and Kalyan Sagar.
Pemayangtse Monastery is noted to be one of the oldest monasteries in Pelling, Sikkim. The Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lhatsun Chempo who was one of the three lamas in Yuksom. This ancient and traditional monastery is 300 years old where monks belonging to Bhutia family still live . Pemayangtse Monastery is further divided into three parts; the interiors are beautifully placed with sculptures and ancient scroll paintings of Padmasambhava’s eight incarnations. It is a perfect soul seeking destination in Pelling where you can see the traces of Rabdentse from the monastery which is the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim. Some other significant monasteries in Pelling to visit are Sanga Choeling Monastery and Dubdi Monastery.
Laxminarayan Bari Mandir:
Dedicated to the Hindu God Lakshminarayan, this temple is located in the capital of Tripura, Agartala. This famous temple is located within the Ujjayanta Palace ground. This white colour temple is an important pilgrimage site and is a must visit not only for its significance but for its grand architecture. Agartala Laxminarayan Bari Mandir has rituals to look out for; you can certainly be a part of it in the month of September for grand celebration in Janmashtami, including other rituals like Nitya Puja. Agartala also has many other temples to visit like ISKCON Temple, Jagannath Bari, Ummaneshwar Temple, Durga Bari to name a few.
Undoubtedly, a visit to Assam is incomplete with a run uphill to Kamakhya Temple. This holy ground located atop a hill inGuwahati is one of the holiest and greatest temples in India. Inside the complex, you will find six temples dedicated to different idols. In Kamakhya Temple millions of devotees from across the world come to get a darshan of the goddess. Just like a dorsalthat fell on Singha Devi Mandir in Kohima, a Yoni of Maa Sati fell in this place after the incident of Daksha Yagna where Kamakhya was formed. Besides, the temple is a great example of medieval Assamese architecture and it certainly will leave you awestruck by its beauty. Thus, this is a beautiful place for special relevance for Hindus.
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One of the most sacred places in Sikkim, Solophok Chardham is located in Namchi, Sikkim. This holy ground is spread over an area of 7 acres and the complex houses various shrines like Sai Baba Temple, Kirateshwar statue beside the Nandi bull, Sai Dwar, Sai Temple, Kirat Dwar, Kirateshwar Statue, Shiv Dwar and Musical fountain. The temple is built on top of the Solophok Hill and has87 feet long statue of Lord Shiva. This mega tower statue is the first sight you see as soon as you get near the Solophok Chardham. The best feature about this holy ground is that you can take a spiritual tour around where one can learn about the cultureand, religious discourses, indulge in nature study and passive recreation .Other major attractions to see in Namchi are Ngadak Monastery, Serdup Choling Monastery and Samdruptse.
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Established in Sangaiporou, Imphal, the majestic ISKCON Temple draws millions of devotees from around Northeast every year. The worshippers come to adore Sri Radha Krishna Chandra and to seek unity and stability. The best time to visit the temple is during the celebration of Rath Jatra and also during Janmashtami. As you enter the gates of ISKCON you may be captivated by the holy chants of Hare Rama, Hare Krishna that will leave you high spirited all day. ISKCON Temple in Imphal has a natural lighting system that provides a clear view of the Sankirtan area, this area of the temple has a collection of precious stones imported from France.
Umananda Temple is a Shiva Temple placed at the Peacock Island in the middle of River Brahmaputra. This island is one of the smallest islands in the world, it was once identified as Umananda Island which was renamed as Peacock Island by the British. Resting in the middle of River Brahmaputra, the only way to reach the island and Umananda Temple is via ferry ride. You can hire a ferry from Sukleshwar Ghat or Fancy Bazaar Ghat. As per the Hindu belief, this island was created by Lord Shiva for his wife and it is also said that Lord Shiva resided in Umananda in the form of Bhayananda. Hence, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great zeal in Umananda.
Sarvajanik Gorkha Temple:
Sarvajanik Gorkha Temple is a popular Hindu (Nepali) temple in Mokokchung. Locally known as Nepali Mandir, you will find an immense presence of unity amongst the worshippers. Inside the premises, you will find a Shiva temple and Durga temple, but if you are in for a festival, undoubtedly, Sarvajanik Gorkha Temple will take you on a cultural tour as all joyous holy festivals are widely celebrated here. Durga Puja, Kal Ratri, and even Buddha Jayanti are actively celebrated, where dance, songs, and kirtan are undertaken. But the significance of the temple is not only to bring unity amongst Gorkha but you will also find a mild mixture of Biharis, Bengalis, Marwaris and so on.
Dedicated to the great Bajrang Bali, Mahabali Temple is set in the middle of dense Mahabali Jungle of Imphal. This forest area has a large number of monkeys scattered everywhere hence, this temple suitably has Hanuman as its deity. Like any Hindu temples, even before you step in the premises of the temple, you will notice rows of flower sellers at the gate. A visit to Mahabali Temple will certainly leave you awestruck and you shall certainly feel that the temple is truly blessed by Lord Hanuman himself.
The temple has an enormous 138 feet statue dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava and is also known to be the biggest in the world. Samdruptse Temple is a must visit abode which was built 1,200 years ago. This temple lies close to Namchi in south Sikkim and the foundation stone of the temple was laid by Dalai Lama in the year 1997. It took approximately three years to complete the construction of the statue. This holy ground also has a statue of Lord Shiva as a version of Char Dham. Apart from the temple exploration, you can also visit a Rock Garden if you feel picnic fiesta with your family and friends is a good idea. And get a spectacular view of the Grand Kanchenjunga.
Nartiang Durga Temple:
This temple is one of the sacred sites for followers of the Shakti sect of Hinduism. Most importantly it is another site where a part of Maa Sati’s body part fell. Nartiang Durga Temple is located in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya and it is a 500-year-old Temple. This shrine is quite unique and does not perform the conventional way like other temples, in fact, this temple has a blend of Hindu and ancient Khasi tradition forming a mix cultural experience for the devotees . As a sacrifice during the early practice, a human was offered at the temple, nowadays, however, the practice still exists but only animals are sacrificed. But the most interesting thing about this practice is, the animal (goat) are made to wear human masks and then sacrificed.
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Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh:
Standing on the topof a hill about 10,000 feet above sea level, Tawang Monastery is the second largest monastery in Asia after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The three stories high monastery is enclosed by 925 feet long compound wall. And within the complex, there are about 65 residential buildings. This peaceful and colourful monastery belongs to the Gelug school of Mahayana Buddhism and here resides more than 450 monks . If you wish to see its wonders then the best time to visit will be during the festival of Torgya. This festival takes place annually that is celebrated to extract any kind of outside invasion and to protect from natural disasters.
These captivating temples in Northeast are bound to catch your imagination. So, wait no more and head out for a temple run to some precious gems that will leave you high spirited and light hearted throughout your holy journey in Northeast India. And you can start your ultimate temple tour with Tour My India; you can contact us at +91-9212553106/07 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about our offers.