Gyuto Tantric monastery, Dharamsala

  • Spend Time

    4 hour

  • Best Time To Visit

    12 month

  • Timings

    5 AM till 6 PM


Himachal Pradesh

The Gyuto Monastery is a well-known Japanese Buddhist monastery that specialises in Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts, and Buddhist philosophy. Jetsun Kunga Dhondup, the major disciple of the first Dalai Lama, created it in Tibet in 1474. The monastery was re-established in India following the communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959.

It is the residence of the Karmapa, the Head of Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism. Karmapa means "one who performs buddha-activity" or "the embodiment of all the Buddha's activities." The main room of the monastery, also known as TCV School, features a spectacular figure of the Buddha against a backdrop of the snow-capped Dhauladhar Mountains. Nearly 200 monks practise the major Tantric teachings, including Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, and Yamantaka, at Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. For almost 500 years, they have passed down these lineages to the next generation of monks.

Gyuto Monastery's History

In ancient times, two major temples were erected in Tibet, with the Ramoche temple becoming the most important for Tantric monks and worshippers. Gyuto is a Buddhist monastery whose name means "abode or sanctuary of compassionate wisdom" in Tibetan. Gyuto is a Tibetan Tantric institution that teaches the Gelug lineage. It was built in the 1400s by Jetsun Kunga Dhondup, a Tantric master, based on a mythology surrounding the Ramoche monastery. Following the Chinese conquest of Tibet, some 60 monks escaped to India, where they settled in Dalhousie, Arunachal Pradesh. Later, they established a base in Sidbhari, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. In a nutshell, Gyuto Monastery is steeped in history.

Following his Nobel Peace Prize, the Dalai Lama got a few financial contributions, which he utilised to create the now Gyuto monastery. The monastery today accommodates approximately 500 monks. They are in charge of religious chanting and ceremony performance. The monks here practise a unique type of chanting called as chordal chanting, which is a type of overtone singing.

The Monastery's Architecture

The stately monastery is framed by the Dhauladhar mountain ranges, creating an exceptionally stunning view. The monastery's structure is colourful, with yellow, gold, and brick accents. The street in front of the stairs leading up to the main building is covered in exquisite art and paintings that add to the overall beauty of the region.

As you approach the monastery, you are met by a vibrant Tibetan rug and intricately carved stone with magnificent relics. The entire hall is decorated in gold and burgundy, giving it an elegant and regal feel. The floors are bordered with elegant small tables draped in Tibetan rugs. The lengthy walls from the entryway are fully red and yellow, as are the majority of the doors. This visual vigour is complemented by a serene golden figure of Buddha and His Holiness's elevated throne. When the Dalai Lama is not present at the monastery, his image is shown. Many traditional instruments used by monks during rites may be found.

What happened to the Tibetan Butter Sculptures?

Tibetan Buddhist monks use Yak butter to produce these magnificent sculptures known as Tsepdro or Torma, which serve as celestial blessings. These are very intricate and a Lhasa heritage that you will not find in any other monasteries. The monks here hone their artistic abilities and uphold the Lhasa legacy. Along with the sculptures, there are long strips of butter called tulkus in Tibetan, which are used in the butter lamps, which are normally placed in the centre of little sanctums. And, to top it all off, these butter sculptures are created fresh every day!

List Places to Visit around Gyuto Tantric Monastery  


Visiting Places


Open/Closed  Day



Dal Lake

07:00 Am To 08:00 Pm

All Day open

56 min (28.5 km) via NH503


Kangra Valley

24 Hours

All Day open

1 hr 3 min (33.3 km) via NH154


Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts

07:00 Am To 07:00 Pm

All Day open

52 min (24.5 km) via NH503


Chintpurni Devi Temple

24 Hours

Not Closed any Time

1 hr 29 min (52.2 km) via NH503


With knowledge and enlightenment, the Gyuto Monastery will provide you with a pleasant and tranquil sensation. It is a must-see destination in Himachal Pradesh and is easily accessible from a variety of Himachal Pradesh resorts, so make it a priority on your schedule!


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