This a guest post from my friend Roshan who after many long years decided to head back to his roots in the picturesque state of Himachal Pradesh in the Northern regions of India. One of the principal towns of HP is Dharamsala (or Dharmamshala) a seat of Buddhist spirituality.

Thanks for the share Roshan🙂

Snow peak

Hi folks one of the highlights of our tour to Himachal Pradesh in Nov 2013 was our visit to Dharamsala. Nestled among the mighty ranges of lower Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala  is the abode of faith, peace and knowledge. This is a hill station lying on the spur of the Dhauladhar range.

snow peak range

The snowline is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamsala than from any other hill town and just a day’s trek away. This hill town is wooded with oak and conifer trees and snow capped mountains enfold three sides of the town while the valley stretches in front.

OLD   HANOGI TEMPLE   ACROSS  THE  LAKE

The pictures here were taken at the Tibetian Monastery (Karmapa Sect)at Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh). The atmosphere & surroundings distinctly serene and picturesque. This Monastery is located literally in the lap of monks praying 1Himalayas on the base of Dhouladhar Range, at Dharamsala.

Inside the monastery a large congregation of Buddhist monks were reverentially conducting their prayers. While the proceedings were on, we

Monks Chanting

Monks Chanting

noticed the lamas (teachers) and student monks deeply engrossed in chanting in their booming voices unmindful of the surroundings & activities around them. Chanting as you may be aware is the traditional means of preparing the mind for meditation.

Having quietly entered the hall we walked closer to their idols, admired the tastefully crafted & painted deities and took pictures. It was so peaceful that we squatted cross legged on the floor for a while trying to soak in the powerful vibrations in the surcharged ambiance before tiptoeing out of the hall. All this while, the gathering of monks continued their practice totally unmindful of our presence – as if we did not exist. You can imagine their concentration & single mindedness.

When we finally left the monastery the rhythmic deep chants continued to resonate in our minds for a long time. The whole experience was out of the world and deeply transformational and we came away with a feeling of belonging and peace. Such is the power of their prayer.

A few beautiful pictures of the Buddha statues appear below:

The Buddha

The Buddha

The Buddha

The Buddha

We’ll end this post with a few words of the Buddha’s wisdom. “Holding on to anger is grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” ~ Buddha

About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

43 responses »

  1. Kashpals says:

    Lovely photos. I have been to Bir in Himachal Pradesh and have a blog post on my site. Do read it ‘Inspiring and rejuvenating experience’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. iku2e says:

    lovely pictures

    Like

  3. Subhan Zein says:

    Beautiful post, thank you for sharing, Dilip and Roshan. Blessings and love to you both ♥

    Like

  4. jjspina says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog. You have some lovely photos here of beautiful places. They look so serene. Best wishes.

    Like

  5. When thinking of religion in India, Hinduism readily comes to mind. However, Tibetan Buddhism is also thriving, especially in the mountains of northern India close to the Tibetan border. Many monasteries were established in remote Jammu and Kashmir (particularly the Ladakh and Zanskar regions), Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim after the Indian government allowed Tibetan Buddhist exiles to settle in India in 1959.

    Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), stupas, and temples (Chaitya grihas).
    Viharas initially were only temporary shelters used by wandering monks during the rainy season, but later were developed to accommodate the growing and increasingly formalised Buddhist monasticism. An existing example is at Nalanda (Bihar). A distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas are dzongs.
    The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of the Buddha. The earliest surviving example of a stupa is in Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh).
    In accordance with changes in religious practice, stupas were gradually incorporated into chaitya-grihas (temple halls). These reached their high point in the 1st century BC, exemplified by the cave complexes of Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra). The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar is another well known example.
    The Pagoda is an evolution of the Indian stupa.

    regards.
    Supriya

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Oh wow that’s an interesting piece of information on Tibetan Buddhism and of the types of architecture. In my Army days I had the opportunity to visit quite a few of the monasteries and was fascinated by the peoples devotion and of the power in their chanting.

      Many thanks Supriya and be very well.
      Cheers and regards🙂

      Like

  6. I so enjoyed that Roshan and thank you Dilip. Loved the post and the amazing photo’s of the monastery… The mountain views were breath-taking… what a wonderful place… no wonder Roshan headed back to his roots…. What a place!🙂 ….
    Blessings Sue xxx

    Like

  7. Wise quotes. I’d love to visit these marvelous places. It must be a real soul blessing to walk among these stones.

    Like

  8. Madhu says:

    Thank you Dilip and Roshan for the enlightening tour. I hope I get to visit Dharamsala soon.

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      You’re welcome Madhu. Wow for a traveler of your eminence this will be a child’s play🙂 I’d love to wait and enjoy your post on Dharamsala when you do visit. All the best.

      Like

  9. Heta Gala says:

    Wonderful pictures dilip … Truly heaven like place.! Places like Himachal or manali or Kashmir are close to switzerland of India😉

    Like

  10. This is one place I wish to visit… Thanks for the lovely pictures! have a great week :-)c

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Thank you Claudine for your gracious visit. Having come to know of your interest in some of our traditional Indian natural sciences I am sure you would enjoy a visit to Dharmasala and nearby.

      Many good wishes coming your way from India.

      Like

  11. shellymona says:

    Informative as well as inspirational….I loved reading this post…thanks for sharing

    Like

  12. SUHAS says:

    Had left a longish comment of appreciation and my experience in Sikkim in a similar environment. But it has been rejected as it appears. It is difficult to rewrite the same.
    But let me quote about anger from BG:-
    “Anger causes confusion
    Confusion causes loss of memory
    Loss of memory causes destruction of the intellect
    Loss of intellect leads to total disaster.”

    Sikkim experience added below:
    Your (our) friend has taken me down the memory lane.We visited similar spots in Sikkim and have enjoyed the view of rising sun from a vantage point. Having 3 sisters view in front it was simply thrilling-not to mention the early arrival at the point out of sheer enthusiasm.
    Most impressive in the monetary was the arrangement of footwear in a large square of 8*8 as if it was a marching column on Rajpath.
    Would like to visit again and see children playing with snakes coiled up (due to cold ).

    Kudos to the author and of course to my friend DN.

    Like

  13. YellowCable says:

    That seems like a fantastic visit physically and spiritually.

    Like

  14. Hi Dilip,

    Your post is inspirational. I have never been to Dharamsala but your pictures and words have now made it a “must see” place. What is the best time to go there? Both in terms of weather and less tourist crowds?

    Shakti

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Gracious of you to appreciate Shakti. I’ve checked on your query with Roshan who is a ‘son-of-the soil’ from Himachal. Both the conditions are met between Md March and Md April. Also the flowers and the fruits are in bloom🙂

      So wish you a very enjoyable trip whenever it happens.

      Like

  15. Binky says:

    That was a nice tour of Dharamsala. It looks as if it’s a very beautiful place, and the monastery was very lavishly adorned.

    Like

  16. randomrose says:

    Lovely photos and the accompanying writing makes one feel the presence of the chant.

    Like

  17. seeker says:

    I can imagine feeling that deep voice of chanting of the monks. The chant does penetrate our beings. Thank you for sharing your travels at Dharamsala. This is one of the places I wanted to visit. Namaste.

    Like

  18. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you my friend, I am proud to be able to read the writing on your article!

    Like

  19. Dilip,
    You have done a great job in producing this finished & polished blog; from the raw material i sent. It inspires me. Thanks for the credits. RLS

    Like

    • dilipnaidu says:

      Aww Roshan all my thanks to you for this ‘Guest Post’. Your visit to your home-town after years must’ve been so enriching and nostalgic too.

      Kind regards and cheers🙂

      Like

  20. renu says:

    Beautiful pictures..its a lovely place

    Like

  21. Bindu says:

    The Himalayas have always lured me through the magnificent photos and mysterious stories. Someday I must visit the magical place. These are lovely shots. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s