Guru Ghantal Monastery
An 800 year old Buddhist monastery known as “Guru Ghantal” is located in Himachal Pradesh. Also known as the “Trilokinath Temple” this monastery is situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district, and was established by Guru Padmasambhava. In addition, this monastery is made up of wood and lies at the confluence of the Chandra and Bagha rivers. Furthermore, apart from the idol of Guru Padmasambhava this monastery comprises of idols such as Brijeshwari Devi and many other lamas. Also, seen in a chamber in the monastery (surprisingly) is an idol of Goddess Kali.
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a. Best time to visit the Guru Ghantal Monastery
The best time to visit this sacred monastery is during the summer from June to October with the temperature ranging from a maximum of 30 degree Celsius to a minimum of 15 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach the Guru Ghantal Monastery
Guru Ghantal Monastery Map
1. By train:
The nearest railway station to Shimla is in Kalka. The Kalka station is very well connected to major cities in the country like Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata etc.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this monastery the ideal starting points would be New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Amritsar.
- Via New Delhi:
There are two routes from New Delhi to this monastery, and they are via NH44 and via NH9.
- Via Chandigarh:
There are two routes from Chandigarh to this monastery, and they are via 205 and NH3, via NH3, and via NH154 and NH3.
- Via Ludhiana:
There are two routes from Ludhiana to this monastery, and they are via NH3 and via Una-Hamirpur Road and NH3.
- Via Jalandhar:
There are two routes from Jalandhar to this monastery, and they are via NH3 and via 205 and NH3.
- Via Amritsar:
There are three routes from Amritsar to this monastery, and they are via NH3, via Una-Hamirpur Road and NH3, and via NH54 and NH3.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this monastery is located in Bhuntar. The Kullu-Manali Airport is well connected to major cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh etc.
c. Religious significance of the Guru Ghantal Monastery
According to a popular legend, this monastery was established by Guru Rinpoche/Padmasambhava during the 8th century BC. It is said to also be associated to the Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Furthermore, this monastery possesses an idol of “Boddhisatva Avalokiteshwara” made up of marble that has been enshrined by Guru Rinpoche himself. In addition, there is also an idol of Goddess Kali located in an inner chamber in this monastery clearly indicating that there existed a temple at the spot on which this monastery was eventually built. It is also said that a famous translator of Sanskrit Buddhist texts, Rinchen Zangpo has also installed an idol of Lord Buddha at this monastery.