Kardang Monastery – Former capital of Lahaul and Spiti

Kardang Monastery


Kardang Monastery is situated in the village of Kardang on the bank of Bhaga river. It is 900 year old Monastery. It lies between 32°34′6″N and 78°58′9″E.


Kardang Monastery is former capital of Lahaul and Spiti. Kardang Monastery is renovate in 1912 by Lama Norbu. Before renovate Kardang Monastery was in ruins. The monastery has a huge white building bedecked with prayer flags.

Kardang Monastery
Kardang Gompa


The monastery is believed to have been built in the 12th century and houses a large library of Buddhist literature, including theKangyur and Tangyur scriptures in the Bhotia or Sherpa language. There is also a good collection of fine thankas, musical instruments such as lutes, drums, horns, as well as old weapons. There are colourful frescoes and murals. Source: Wikipedia.

Archeitecture of the Kardang Monastery

The large golden Buddha statue,library and ancient wall painting is main attraction of Kardang Monastery. The first room of Kardang Monastery has the chorten preserving the remains of Lama Norbu. We can also find the statue of padmasambhava and Tara Devi. The next room is the main prayer hall containting the beautiful statue of Avalokitesvara. The third room contains the belongings of Lama Norbu. There are around 30 monks and Buddhidt live in the Kardang Monastery. The monks and nuns have equal rights. The monks have permission to marry. The monks spend the summer with their families working on their fields. In the winter season the monk return to the monastery. There is a huge prayer drum in the Kardang Monastery. The scared six-syllable mantra om mani padme hun written million times on strips of paper.


The major Buddhist festivals are celebrated here in the monastery by the Lamas.


The monks and nuns in the monastery follow a daily worship routine in the early morning with mantra chanting and meditation. All the visitors and villagers are allowed to join the worship sessions in the monastery. A huge sized prayer wheel is positioned in the monastery.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the monastery is between June to October.

Places of Interests

Shashur Monastery

Shashur Monastery is situated 37 km from Manali. The Shashur Monastery is lies between 32°34′45″N and 77°1′32″E. The meaning of Sha-shur is blue pines in the local language. The Shashur monastery was built in the 17th century by Lama Deva Gyatsho.

Shashur Monastery
Shashur Monastery

The Shashur monastery has large Thangka paintings. The height of these painting is fifteen feet. In the month of June or July Chham is performed in the monastery. A statue of Namgyal is also present in the gompa. As we make our way to the monastery through difficult track chortens and a beautiful mani wall will catch our attention. In the stones engraved the sacred Buddhist ritual mantra Om mani padme hum.

Tayul Monastery

Tayul Monastery is situated 6 km from Keylong above the village of Satingri. The Monastery is lies between 32°33′42″N and 77°4′23″E. The Tayul monastery is a Buddhidt monastery in the Bhaga valley of Lahaul and Spiti. The meaning of Tayul is chosen place.

Tayul Monastery
Tayul Monastery

An interesting legend associates with the construction and naming of the monastery. In the 17th century Lama Serzang Rinchen of khan region of Tibet while performing his circumambulation of the sacred peak Drilburi, noticed a small glade in the juniper forest above Kyor and Tashikyang villages on the opposite side of the valley. The Lama Serzang Rinchen pointed his fellow pilgrims that the site was blessed for the construction of monastery.

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