Location: 5-km South of Tawang Town, Arunachal Pradesh
Significance: Tsangyang Gyatso, The Sixth Dalai Lama Was Born Here
Best Time to Travel : October to April.
Location: Urgelling monastery stands about 5 km to the south of
Tawang Township in Arunachal Pradesh India.
Know Urgelling monastery in Arunachal Pradesh
Urgelling monastery stands about 5 km to the south of Tawang Township in
Arunachal Pradesh India. Urgelling Monastery of Arunachal Pradesh was first
of the three monasteries built by Urgen Sangpo, the youngest brother of
Terton Pempalingpa, the famous Treasure-Revealer. Urgelling Monastery was
built sometime before the year 1489 AD. This was the place were in 1683 AD
Tsangyang Gyatso, the Sixth Dalai Lama was born.
Tsangyang Gyatso was the son of Lama Tashi Tenzin of Urgelling, a
descendant of Terton Pempalingpa. His mother was Tsewang Lhamo, a Monpa girl
hailing from a royal family of Bekhar Village. Royal mother experienced a
few miracles before the birth of the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyamtso. One
day in the first month of her pregnancy she was husking paddy in the stone
mortar and to her surprise water started gathering in the mortar. On another
occasion, when she drank water at a near by place, milk started pouring out
in place of water. Since then, this stream came to known as "Oma-Tsikang"
the due course of time, she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Sangey
Tenzin by his grandfather and Nawang Norbu by his father. It is said he
would not drink his mother's milk for these day after the birth. One day
when his face began to swell with an infection and he could hardly open his
eye, two local diviners were summoned. They prescribed purifactory rite and
said his name should be changed to Ngawang Gyamtso.
His recovery was credited by the regent to the intervention of the Dalai
Lama's own guardian deity, Dorjee Dakpa. The grandfather dreamt that the
child was constantly being protected by heavenly beings. The mother dreamt,
as she took a rest from her weaving, that a great company had arrived to
take him off. His parental grandmother dreamt of two suns shining in the
It is also said that when the party from Tibet came to take him to Tibet,
after establishing that he is the incarnation of the Dalai Lama, the boy was
playing with his playmates at a place about a kilometer east of Urgelling
Gompa. When he heard his mother shouting for his immediate return he with
his finger wrote on a stone slab the words "Lama Kheno" (God
Knows). These words got miraculously inscribed on the slab and are still
standing on the slab.
After his enthronement, Desi Sangye Gyamtso, the regent entrusted Chong-gye
Gonpo Rabten with the work of restoring and enlargement of the monastery in
the year 1699. The new structure included a double storied main temple, and
eight pillared assembly hall, a four pillared altar room, a two-pillared
chapel of protective deities, a residential quarters for the sixth Dalai
Lama, a Ka-gyur house, a chapel for the practice of new Tantra, a big
courtyard with twenty pillars and twenty rooms for monks' quarters.
Destructed Through Invasion
Unfortunately Lajang Khan deposed the sixth Dalai Lama in 1706 ad in 1714
one of the Lajang Khan's forces sent against Bhutan invaded from the
direction of Tawang.
During this campaign, they destroyed the Dalai Lama's restored and enlarged
monastery at Urgelling as an attempt to obliterate his memory.
Another version has it that the destruction of all Nyingnapa Gompas
including Urgelling was carried out by Sokpa Jomkhar, a Mongolian warrior
who was averse to non-Gelugpa sect. Whatever the reason may be for its
destruction, all valued possession of Urgelling monastery like scriptures,
statues and other objects were made to
It was during this time that the Ka-gyur written out in gold and silver was
received by Tawang
monastery. Today there is only a modest temple present at the site.
Journey to the Urgelling Manastery
There is no airport or railhead in
Tawang. Road is the only
way out of the Tawang.
Road Transport : The only way out of the
Tawang town leads back
over the Sela Pass and down to Bomdila. Arunachal State Transport runs buses
to Bomdila on
Wednesday. Friday And Saturday (8hr). Private buses also run daily via
Tezpur , departing round about
noontime and arriving Tawang early in the morning of the following day.
Jeeps also leave daily for Tezpur
early in the morning from Tawang City Gate, 200m downhill from the bus
Staying Near the Urgelling Manastery
Accommodation is not a problem here. You will find several accommodations
to stay here. You may not find accommodations in the luxury category.
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