(Last Updated on : 11/12/2014)
Kungri monastery is one of the oldest Buddhist monastic establishments in the Himachal Pradesh state of India
. Built around 14th Century, Kungri is Spiti's second oldest monastery. It belongs to the red-headed division, 'Nyingmapa' (Old School), launched by Padmasambhava, the benefactor saint
of the Buddhists. He had established the Mahayana Tantric Buddhism
here. Every year, Buddhist scholars, pilgrims and tourists from across the world visit this monastery to explore the treasure trove of ancient Tibetan Buddhist art, culture and traditions.
Location of Kungri Monastery
It is located in the Pin Valley of Lahul and Spiti district
in Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is approximately 10 km from Attargo, at the intersection point of the Spiti River
. Spiti is nestled at a distance of 12 km from Kungri monastery.
Attractions of Kungri Monastery
The gompa is home to idols and the images of Buddhist deities, religious texts and ancient armories. It houses a repository of around 300 volumes of sacred Buddhist texts of the Kenjur and Tenjur, kept well preserved in white muslin cloth. The interiors of this monastery are also worth watching which exhibit silk paintings
and huge statues reflecting the Tantric cult of a bygone era. The entire complex comprises of three rectangular blocks facing east. It has recently received large foreign donations for its renovation.
Another attraction of this historic monastery is the traditional dances
. The devil dance performed in the month of July every year is quite popular among both the locals and tourists. The sword dance is also an integral part of the traditions of the Nyingmapa sect.
Nearby Attractions of Kungri Monastery
, Attargo monastery, Kye monastery
, Kibber monastery, Sichling and Dhankar monastery are the nearby tourist destinations. Tabo monastery is popularly called as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas
'. It is known for its architecture
and is regarded as the pride of the valley. Key monastery is famous for housing rare collection of Thangkas and Buddhist paintings. This monastery is also visited by a large number of tourists.
Connectivity of Kungri Monastery
The nearest railheads to Gungri monastery are Joginder Nagar
and Shimla Railway
Stations. The monastery can be accessed by bus, available from Kaza.