Gyuto Tantric monastery, Dharamshala

Gyuto Tantric Monastery, sometimes referred to as Gyuto Order or simply Gyuto Monastery is one of the must visit spots in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

I had visited Gyuto back in 2010 but had not blogged about it and memories had faded. Recently got to visit again in January 2020, along with Hyatt Regency Dharamshala tour. So this time, managed to put things together and draft this post, appraising you about this beautiful monastery in the backdrop of himalalays.

As we got off the vehicle the majestic view of the Gyuto Monastery was beckoning. The red and yellow exterior look, lots of red steps and the mountain backdrop was  nice. It looked like the Gyuto monastery got some fresh paint not so long ago, so it was looking bright. With no one else in the frame, got some clean shots of the main building also.


Gyuto monastery campus has a school, the temple (main building), mess and residential quarters. As we headed to public restroom in a corner, I was drawn towards the view of white snowy himalaya right beside the Gyuto Monastery main building. Do not miss to go closer and get a good view. You will get this view from several points in Dharamshala.
The Gyuto monastery campus is very photogenic, if you have the time, patience and interest.

The main temple at Gyuto Monastery has a large statue of Lord Buddha, seatings for hundreds of devotees and other artefacts and prayer related provisions. Here's a panoramic view of how the inside of Gyuto Tantric monastery looks as you enter from main door.


The secondary gods

I was drawn to these flower like lights- tastefully made.
The wooden 3D mandala:
3D mandala was a delight to watch. Mandala is an imaginary palace visualized during meditation. While most mandalas we see are 2D art works, this 3D Mandala crafted from a single piece of wood with extensive carvings and detailing is a visual treat. Do watch the video.
Kind of reminds Bahubali set in miniature but unlike animation, we need to give it to the artist who carved this out of a large tree trunk, without any mistakes.

The butter sculptures
 Prayer instruments
History of Gyuto Monastery:
Gyuto monastery was setup in 1474, about 550 years ago by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup, one of the main disciples of his holiness Sri Dalai Lama. Monks reside here and study Buddhism principles, tantrik texts and other religious topics.

One of the main principles I could see in Buddhism campuses are contempt and peace. Pupils there are not in a race with each other or outside world for Number 1 rank. They learn adequate skills to make a living, spend lots of time volunteering and help the community and live their life without selfishness found in mainstream community (that I should make more money, my family should be better than others, I need to show off I am better than others and so on). This simplicity, contempt and a nature of dedication sets them apart from us regulars while we might be thinking why are they wasting their time in a confined environment.

The Gyuto Monastery visitor information you should know:

  • Entry fee: None.
  • Timings: 5 AM till 6 PM
  • Time to spend: About an hour.
  • Facilities available: restrooms, parking
  • Location: Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh (use google maps to navigate)
  • How to reach: 8 kms from Dharamshala city- hire auto/taxi to reach Gyuto Monastery. Alternatively visit while entering or leaving Dharamshala as the monastery is just off the Mandi-Dharamshala highway.

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