Religious Places

Ladakh Buddhist Vihara

Twenty rupees. That’ll take you from the Kashmiri gate metro station to Little Tibet. This place is also very close to the ISBT bus stand, making it high accessible for the common man. Easy to get to but difficult to spot. Located behind the wall of a flyover, the entry is an obscure tunnel that opens into a market. Turning left will lead you into a place of peace and tranquility. It will lead you to the Ladakh Buddhist Vihara. This monastery doesn’t seem like much when compared to the majestic ones in Dharamshala but it still has its own beauty. In the compound, just outside the main building is a butter lamp shrine, and statues stand at the courtyard. One of them is of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was instrumental in the construction of this place.

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There is also a statue of KushokGyalsrasBakula, who was an important religious and political figure. The walls of the monastery are lined up with prayer wheels, just like most monasteries. Visitors can spin them clockwise as they walk to generate good “Karma”. Walking in, we see a massive statue of Buddha the dominates the hall. The walls have intricate paintings of his life’s adventures. There are usually monks in prayer and other visitors who come to meditate or join in prayer. It is best not to speak when inside so as to not disturb them. Also, photography is allowed but one should not use flash as it would be an irritant to the worshippers. No footwear is the norm as most places of worship.

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The prayer flags that adorn the area give it a surreal feel, and you’d be quick to forget that you are in the heart of a metropolitan city. As the wind blows, it carries the prayers swiftly to the skies, and the heavens beyond them. The place to go when you need an escape, to calm your wrecked nerves, to quieten the noise in your head. Also, after you get hungry, there are quite a few restaurants serving traditional Tibetan eatables such as momo and thukpa. Soul searching does make us hungry. Mostly.

Address: Ladakh Buddhist Vihara, Civil Lines, New Delhi – 54.

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