Sakya Tenggyu Monastery of Kaza, marks the halfway point for travelers exploring the Buddhist Monastery Tribal Circuit tour of Himachal Pradesh. It’s location in the hill station of Kaza town, high up in the Kunzum range of India’s fabled Himalayan mountains, is a recommended base for visitors to overnight. Newly built in 2009, the Kaza Monastery wows tourists through crisp Buddhist architecture. Vibrant paint highlights the painstaking detail throughout the polished construction. And stamped decorative brass door hinges are just a sample of the ornate finishes which amaze and inspire those who visit.
Little information can be ascertained about the history or relevance of Sakya Tenggyu Monastery (A.K.A. Sakya Tangyud, Sayka Kaza Monastery, Kaza Tenggyu, or Sakya Monastery) other than it is believed to be one of 108 temples and monasteries built by the renowned Buddhist scholar-translator Lochen Rinchen Sangpo. Further proof surfaced in artifacts and fragments of statues of four Buddhist Guardian Deities found as the former monastery was cleared and a base for the new monastery was dug. They are identical to the statues of Tabo Monastery, which is also believed to have been founded by Lochen Rinchen Sangpo around the year 996.
The newer building which greets visitors today stands where the former monastery, known as Tenggyud Lhundrup Choekhor Ling, existed for 35 years. And just as its predecessor, Sayka Kaza Monastery remains connected to the old monastery building above. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated the new Sakya Tenggyu monastery on July 9, 2009.
Time: Plan on a minimum of 1 hour to comfortably view the monastery and surrounding buildings.
Reach: Kaza is accessible via road. Daily HRTC bus service runs through town.
Stay: Kaza offers the best choices in terms of accommodations, food, and supplies compared to the surrounding smaller towns on the Buddhist Circuit.
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