Kardang monastery, (near) Keylong, Himachal Pradesh, IN

Raw data

"Kardang Gompa : It is situated in the village Kardang at 15,000 feet high 'Rangch peak' in Lahaul. It was erected around 900 AD. Kardang is the largest Gompa popular throughout the region. It was in ruins uptil 1912 when 'Lama Norbu' of Kardang renovated it. With colorful frescoes and murals, it has an enormous prayer drum containing strips of paper upon which the sacred mantra 'Om Mani Padme Hum' is inscribed a million times. The liberary here contains largest collection of 'Kangyur' and 'Tangyur'. Nuns and Lamas enjoy equality. Lamas can marry and generally they stay with their families during summer and work in fields only to return in winter. The store here has large collection of musical instruments, dresses, tankhas and other articles."

"Kardang Monastery or Gompa is a famous Drukpa Lineage monastery, and is the most important monastery the Lahaul valley, India. The associated village of Kardang was once the capital of Lahaul.
The monastery is a huge white building bedecked with prayer flags. It is situated on a ridge below the 15,000 foot (4,572 metres) Rangcha peak, at an altitude of 3,500m on the left bank of the Bhaga River, facing the town of Keylong, about 8 km away."

Lahaul & Spiti Valleys area - http://hplahaulspiti.nic.in/Maps/Map-LS-Tourist.jpg

"KARDANG - Village Kardang which was once the capital of Lahaul has the most popular and the biggest monastery of the area. The monastery is situated on the left bank of the river Bhaga just above the village of Kardang. This was founded about 900 years ago and stood in ruins uptill 1912 when Lama Norbu of Kardang renovated it. This gompa is located against the backdrop of the bare mountains of the Rangcha massif which "rises above the valley like a giant cobra standing on its tail with hood outspread, ready to strike". The monastery is perched on a ridge below the 15000 feet high Rangcha peak. The valley is so placed that Kardang gets maximum sunshine in winters.
This monastery houses the largest number of lamas and chomos. The library of the gompa is one of the biggest containing full volumes of Kangyur and Tangyur. […] In the vicinity of the monastery is a silver coated Chhorten. The walls of the gompa are decorated with colourful wall paintings. The influence of Lama Gozzangwa is easily perceptible in the monastery as one can see a number of tantrik paintings and statues depicting a male and a female engaged in ecstatic union. The bhandar has a large store of musical instruments, dresses, thankas and other such articles.
Its founder Lama Norbu died in 1952 and his mortal remains as also his silver Chaitya/stupa are preserved in the gompa.
In the Kardang village one can visit another small gompa of Lama Gozzangwa and outside the gompa can see rock carvings and two big Chhortens."
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 6, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 14 Jul 2012

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Kardang monastery, IN.

General location of the Kardang monastery, IN.
Lat 32.5630 Long 77.0233
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India: Himachal Pradesh

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx.. Lat 32.5630 Long 77.0233 - based on the visual identification of the site in mas and satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 6 Apr 2012.
  • NOTE: Coordinates Lat 32.568333 Long 78.969167 published on 6 Apr 2012 by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki Kardang_Monastery are incorrect - tmc]

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0867-99p 0900-32p - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013
0867-99p 0900-32p 0933-66p 0967-99p 1000-32p 1033-66p 1067-99p 1100-32p 1133-66p 1167-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 0933-66p 0967-99p 1000-32p 1033-66p 1067-99p 1100-32p 1133-66p 1167-99p - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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