Address: Tayul Gompa, Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh, India
Built by: Dogpa Lama, Serzang Richen of Kham region of Tibet in 17th century
Best time to visit: June to November
Tayul monastery namely Tayul Gompa is assumed as the oldest monastery in the Northern region. The monastery is standing tall in the midst the mighty mountains. It is located at an elevation of 3900 m above the sea level in the Bhaga Valley of Lahaul and Spiti. Satingri village is home to the Tayul Gompa that can be reached by a steep footpath from Upper Keylong.
Interesting fables are associated behind the founding of the monastery. Once, Lama Serzang Rinchen of Khan Region in Tibet spotted this monastery when he was walking on and around the sacred Drilburi Peak. While walking on the peak, he spotted a small glade in the juniper forest. He showed the same to his pilgrimages, later he concluded that the place is an auspicious site to build a monastery and decided to name it as 'Tayul' which in Tibetan language means chosen place. Built in 17th century, the monastery is home to the Drugpa or Red Hat Sect of Buddhist monks.
In the 18th century, the monastery was renovated by a Ladakhi, Tulku Tashi Tanphel who belonged to the Tagna monastery. He also decorated the monastery with murals. The most vulnerable possession of the monastery is the 12 ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava, besides the famous manifestation of Singhmukha and Vajravahi. There are 108 main wheels as well in the monastery, which keeps on self-turning on auspicious occasions. All the many wheels have an impression of "Aum Mani Padme Hunch." Last time the wheel self rotated was in 1986.
There is an enormous collection of 101 Buddhist scriptures, of the "Kangyur" (Buddha's own teachings in their Tibetan translation) in the library of Tayul monastery. The library also has "Thangkas" which depicts about the life of Buddha. Multiples things are there to explore in Tayul Monastery. Embark on a short trip to Tayul monastery and catch the slice of finest Buddhist sculpts and art-works.