Culture

The Lalung Monastery

I am inside the #Lalung Monastery now, and it’s … simple and peaceful and feels really old. It’s not quite like the other monasteries we have visited so far (at #Rarang, #Nako, and #Tabo), where you could see and knew it was a religious place because there was a lot of buzz and activity, and the complexes were fairly extensive.

Lalung Monastery 01

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung Monastery 02

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung Monastery 03

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung is secluded and serene and at this point it has two little temples remaining (you can sort of make out there were others from the remnants). Standing here and looking all around, I am wondering why would anyone establish a monastery in a village that’s not leading any further nor is it on a route to somewhere else. The little Spiti that kept us company all the way here, is the Lingti River and yes, it does flow into the Spiti further downstream (and of course even further downstream at Dhankhar, the Pin also flows into the Spiti).

Lalung Monastery 04

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung Monastery 05

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung Monastery 06

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung Monastery 07

Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

Lalung village is inside and high up in the Lingti Valley, and at some point the Lalung monastery was fairly large with several temples. The monastery is said to have been established by Rinchen Sangpo more than 1100 years ago. In fact, according to Lama Tenzin (who is in charge of Lalung Monastery), the Monastery is 1015 years old while the Tree is 1016 years old. The ‘Tree’ is an ancient and huge and sprawling willow tree.

At one end of the monastery complex there is an ancient temple and a somewhat battered staying quarters. The Sherkhang or Golden Temple is in the main monastery complex, near the willow tree.

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