5 Most Beautiful Buddhist Monasteries In Asia

The monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer. Monasteries are not just religious place, they are also extremely beautiful architectural masterpieces. While all monasteries are beautiful and mysterious in their own way, these are some most beautiful monasteries in Asia.

5. Popa Taungkalat  Shrine, Myanmar

Popa Taungkalat Shrine

The Popa Taungkalat Shrine is home to 37 Mahagiri Nats, or spirits. Statues depicting the Nats are at the base of the Shrine. As you ascend the 777 steps to the summit, you will be asked to remove your socks and shoes. You will also be greeted by hungry monkeys along the way, so bring something to feed them or keep your belongings close to you, so they don’t run off with your lunch.

4. Phugtal Gompa, India

Hidden away in the remote southeastern Zanskar region, high in the Himalayas, lies Phugtal Gompa, chiseled out of the cliff face of a massive gorge some 3,800 meters (12,500 ft) up. Home to some 70 monks, the extraordinary structure was established in the 12th century by Lama Gangsem Sherap Sampo. Rather amazingly, though the structure is made of mud bricks, stones, and wood, it has survived hundreds of years.

3. Buddhist Monastery Of Ki, India

The Monastery of Ki (also spelled “Ki,” “Kye,” or “Kee”) is located in Ki Village, in the Himalayas. The Tibetan Buddhist monastery is on top of a hill at an altitude of 4,166 meters (13,670 ft) above sea level overlooking the Spiti Valley. It is a religious training center for Lamas and has seen multiple attacks by the Mongols and other armies.

2. Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

“The Tiger’s Nest” Buddhist Monastery hangs precariously off the side of a 3,000-meter (9,800-ft) cliff in Paro Valley, Bhutan in the Himalayas. The legend says that Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, arrived on the cliff on the back of a great tigress, before hopping off his unusual mount and toddling off to find a cave to meditate in; a cave that can now be found within the monastery walls. Built in 1692 and renovated in 1998, the monastery is a strictly practicing, Buddhist-only retreat—and the only way to get there is by foot or mule. No tourists are allowed in.

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1. Thiksey Monastery, India

As well as being the second most prominent monastery in Ladakh, Thiksey monastery also has a remarkable setting covering one side of a hill. Its numerous buildings are arranged in ascending order of importance. Some people liken it to a small white-washed town, with a slightly fairytale look. The monastery is a favorite with tourists, many of whom consider it to be the best monastery in the region. One of the highlights there is the Maitreya Temple, which contains a towering 15 meter (49 foot) high statue of Maitreya Buddha. It was built to commemorate visit of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1970, and took four years to complete. There’s a souvenir shop and cafe on the premises, and an inexpensive hotel on the main road.

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