(Last Updated on : 19/05/2014)
Urgelling monastery has been the celebrated birthplace of His Holy Highness the sixth Dalai Lama. The sacred Urgelling monastery lies about five kilometres to the south of the serene Tawang
town in the north eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh
. It is surrounded by the graceful Himalayas
and the picturesque Tawang-Chu valley.
History of Urgelling Monastery
The Urgelling monastery was built in 15th century CE, 1489. It was established by Urgen Sangpo as a Buddhist spiritual centre in 1489.
Urgelling monastry has been the residence of the Buddhist monks and Lamas following the Lamaistic Mahayana school of thought. This monastery is considered as one of the sacred monasteries particularly after the birth of the sixth Dalai Lama Ngawang Gyamtso in 1683 CE. Restored and enlarged, this monastery was rebuilt in 1699 by Desi Sangye Gyamtso.
Architecture of Urgelling Monastery
With the modern day architecture, the place has a double storied main temple
, an assembly hall with eight pillars, an altar room with four pillars, a deity with two pillars, a residential quarter for His Holy Highness the sixth Dalai Lama, a chapel to practice the Tantrik methods
, Ka-Gyur house and a courtyard with twenty rooms that was built as the residential quarters of the monks and the Lamas.
Urgelling monastery however stopped functioning since 1706 when the sixth Dalai Lama was deposed by Lajang Khan. The monastery was then invaded by the army of Lajang Khan. The Monastery was finally disserted and all its treasured possessions - scriptures, statues and other holy objects were placed in Tawang monastery. After all its invasions, Urgelling monastery is mainly known for providing shelter for the monks who stay in the monastery.
Festivals of Urgelling Monastery
The monastery organises various festivals among which Losar
holds prominence. The Losar festival is celebrated in the month of January. It marks the beginning of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. The festival lasts for 15 days. And Torgya is celebrated by the Lamas of the monastery. It is celebrated for three days while starting from the 28th day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar.
Connectivity of Urgelling Monastery
Urgelling monastery can be easily accessed by road, air, and rail. Arunachal State Transport operates bus service to Bomdila
on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Private buses also ply daily via Bomdila up to Tezpur
. One can also avail Jeep services. The nearest airport is at Tezpur in Assam
which is directly connected to Kolkata
. The nearest railhead is at Guwahati
in Assam, which is connected to the major cities like Delhi
, Kolkata and Mumbai