Mindrolling Monastery, Uttarakhand, India

The Nyingmapa or Nyingma School has six main monasteries of learning and practice. Of the six, Mindrolling was one of the largest and most important practice and study centers in Central Tibet.

The region around Dehra Dun is home to a thriving Tibetan Buddhist community, mainly focused on this monastery, about 10km south of the centre in Clement Town. Everything here is on a grand scale: at over 60m tall its Great Stupa is believed to be the world’s tallest stupa and contains a series of shrine rooms displaying relics, murals and Tibetan art. Presiding over the monastery is the impressive 35m-high gold Sakyamuni Buddha Statue, dedicated to the Dalai Lama.

The streets around the monastery are lined with Tibetan cafes. Unfortunately, due to new government regulations, foreigners are no longer allowed to stay overnight in Clement Town – but the manager of the Devaloka House hotel on the monastery grounds is willing to bend the rules. Simple rooms cost ₹350; the bed sheets have seen better days. Take vikram 5 from the city centre (₹10). An autorickshaw costs about ₹150. 

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