When it comes to religion there is always a place for worship. Be it a temple, mosque, church or monasteries. This worship places re-combined with beauty and peace.
The monasteries also have the beautiful architectural structure and art which mesmerised the worshippers. It not only spreads peace by its ambience but its looks.
Take a look at the most beautiful monasteries in the world
Ki Gompa, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Ki Gompa located on the top of a hill at an altitude of 4,166 metres. It is a thousand-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monastery. This is the largest monastery in the Spiti Valley. It is said that the Ki village is the highest village in India. This Gompa has been attacked many times by the Mongol and others. It also suffered the rage of the natural disaster.
The monastery looks like a fort; the temples are built on top of another. Around 300 monks live here. The ceremonial masks are brought out every year for the Ki Chaam festival which held in June-July and Losar.
Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
Tiger’s Nest is located on the edge of an altitude of 9,000 metres on the Paro Valley. The legend says this was the start of Buddhism in Bhutan with the Guru Rinpoche flying across the Himalayas from Tibet on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave. The first monastery was constructed after 1692. This is open to tourists if only they have a guide who has obtained a special permit for them.
Hanging Monastery, China
The Hanging Monastery is a wonderful architectural example in China. The breathtaking monastery is 75 metres above the ground and all 40 rooms are linked to each other by mid-air corridors and walkways. This monastery was built in the 5th century and has been hanging here for 1500 years.
Yumbulagang Monastery, Tibet
The name means “Palace of Mother and Son”. According to the legend, it was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo. The walls are painted with beautiful murals which depict the early history of Tibet. During the reign of 5th Dalai Lama, the palace became a monastery of the Gelugpa School. Unfortunately, during the Cultural Revolution, it was heavily damaged and only a single building has survived. But in 1983, the monastery was reconstructed.
Thikse Monastery, Ladakh
The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres. The view is amazing with a glimpse of Indus Valley and other monasteries in the area. This 12-story monastery has 10 temples, an assembly hall, a residence for 120 monks and a nunnery. It has many items of Buddhist art like statues, stupas and wall paintings. One of the remarkable sites is the Maitreya Temple which is built to honour the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1970 to the Thikse monastery.
Sanctuary of Truth, Thailand
This beautiful sanctuary is an all-wood building features sculptures based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs. The top of the building is 105 metres high. It features contemporary Visionary art based on traditional religious themes. It is still under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2050.
Punakha Dzong, Bhutan
Punakha Dzong or Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong which means “the palace of great happiness and bliss” is the administrative centre of Punakha district. A dzong is a combination of both fortress and monastery. It was constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche in the 17th century. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the Southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism including the Rangjung Kasarpani and the remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the tertön Pema Lingpa.
Taung Kalat, Burma
This monastery is one of the most astounding sites in Burma. Taung Kalat stands on the top of the extinct volcano Mount Popa which created this volcanic plug. A visitor has to climb 777 steps to reach the monastery. From the top of the monastery, one can experience the ancient city of Bagan and the massive solitary conical peak of Mount Popa.
Mont Saint-Michel Normandy, France
In France, there is a small beautiful island where this monastery is located. The island is less than a mile away from land. The monastery is one of the France’s most recognisable landmarks. Each year more than 3 million people visit this place. Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Cave Monasteries of Cappadocia, Turkey
The natural rock citadel of Uҫhisar is the highest peak in Cappadocia. This site is the most popular tourist attraction in the region. The ancient honeycombed dwellings were used as monasteries, churches and other buildings carved into the soft pillars between the 4th and 13th centuries.
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri was made from a magma plug of an extinct volcano. This monastery has an elliptical shape and sloping top. There are several types of gardens. One has water features, boulders and terraced gardens. According to the folklore, King Kasyapa (477-495 CE) selected this place for his new capital. He built the palace on the top of this rock and decorated the sites with colourful frescoes. He also built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion and it has a staircase along the rock that leads up to the frescoes which are decorated Ajanta style paintings. After the king’s death, the palace was abandoned. It was used as a Buddhist monastery till the 14th century. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Ukraine
This monastery is also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves and it stands as the Eastern Orthodox Christian centre with underground caves and the Great Lavra Belltower. The amazing feature of the monastery is its beautiful golden domes topped with crosses. Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1051, it has been a centre of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. It is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.