Top 10 Famous Buddhist Temples & Monasteries in India

Top 10 Famous Buddhist Temples & Monasteries in India

  • Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya
  • Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar
  • Ramabhar Stupa Temple, Kushinagar
  • Namgyal Monastery, Dharmashala
  • Wat Thai Temple, Kushinagar
  • Namdroling  Monastery, Mysore
  • Thawang Monastery, Tawang
  • Ghum Monastery, Darjeeling
  • Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok
  • Hemis Monastery, Ladakh

Here is the list of Top 10 Famous Buddhist Temples & Monasteries in India. Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Siddhartha Gauthama was the founder of Buddhism. He realised that wealth and luxury do not guarantee happiness. So he explored different teaching aspects of religions. After that he spent rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism called the Dhamma, or Truth. He and his followers established so many Buddhist monasteries in India. The Buddhist temples are designed to symbolize 5 elements: Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Wisdom.

1. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya

Mahabodhi is a Buddhist temple located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. It is most sacred site in Buddhism. Bodh Gaya is a renowned place where Lord Buddha is enlightened. Siddhartha Gauthama was attained enlightenment or perfect insight when he was meditating under the Bodhi tree. In 2002, UNESCO declared the Mahabodhi Temple a World Heritage Site.

2. Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar

Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar

Mahaparinirvana temple is situated in Kushinagar, Uttarpradesh.  This temple has a 6 m long reclining nirvana statue of Lord Buddha. This statue is made of monolith red sandstone. Mahaparinirvana temple is said to be the death place of the founder of Buddhism Siddhartha Gauthama. Parinirvana stupa was largely expanded and Parinirvana Temple was reconstructed along with huge reclining Buddha statue.

3. Ramabhar Stupa Temple, Kushinagar

Ramabhar Stupa Temple, Kushinagar

Ramabhar Stupa marks sacred palce where the fonder of Buddhism Siddhartha Gauthama was cremated and got mahaparinirvana.  In the ancient Buddhist texts this Stupa has been referred to as Mukut-Bandhan Vihar.  The statue is 6.1 m long and rests on a stone couch. The present temple was built by the Indian Government in 1956 as part of the commemoration of the 2,500th year of the Mahaparinivana.

4. Namgyal Monastery, Dharmashala


Nmagyal Monastery is Buddhist complex located in Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh. This was originally founded by 16th centuary by 2nd Dalai Lama. The Namgyal Monastery was first established by the 3rd Dalai Lama in 1575 in Tibet and was relocated to Dharamshala following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. It is often referred as Dalai Lama’s home.

5. Wat Thai Temple, Kushinagar

Wat Thai Temple, Kushinagar

The Wat Thai temple is a huge temple complex in Kushinagar, which has been constructed in the traditional Thai-Buddhist architectural style. This Temple is a unique temple, built to celebrate the victory of King Bhumibol’s. King Bhumibol was the king from Thailand. This beautiful Temple was designed in order to serve as a Forest-Monastery. It is centrally located in Kushinagar.

6. Namdroling  Monastery, Mysore


Namdroling Monastery is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world .The monastery’s full name is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling, called “Namdrolling or Namdroling” for short. Namdroling monastery is located in Mysore in Karnataka.

7. Thawang Monastery, Tawang

Thawang Monastery, Tawang

Thawang Monastery is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is situated in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh in the valley of Thawang river. Tawang Monastery is known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to “celestial paradise in a clear night”.

8. Ghum Monastery, Darjeeling

Ghum Monastery, Darjeeling

Ghum Monastery is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Darjeeling area built in the year 1850. This statue was created with clay that was all brought from Tibet. In front of the Buddha’s statue there are two huge oil lamps that keep burning all the time and all through the year. One of the key attractions inside the monastery is the 15-foot model of the Lord Buddha

9. Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

Rumtek monastery is located in Gangtok in the district of Sikkim. It is also known as Dharmachakkra Centre. It was built by Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960s, who was the 16th Karmapa of the monastery. Karmapa is the head of a monastery. It is the largest monastery of Buddhism in Sikkim.

10. Hemis Monastery, Ladakh 

Hemis Monastery, Ladakh 

Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ladakh. This monastery was built in 1630. Hemis Monastery is unique and represents a distinct style of architecture from the other important monasteries of Ladakh. It is  popularly known as Hemis Gompa, which was built during the reign of King Sengge Namgyal

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