Namgyal Monastery was founded in either 1564 or 1565 as Phende
Lekshe Ling by the Third Dalai Lama Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso, Namgyal
Monastery was renamed in honour of the female long-life deity
Namgyälma in 1571.Since the completion of construction on the
Potala Palace (begun by the Fifth Dalai Lama), Namgyal was
traditionally housed in the red section at the top of that
Following the Tibetan uprising of 1959, Namgyal Monastery moved
to Dharamshala, India, where it continues, active, to this day.
Namgyal (Dharamshala) has about 200 monks (up from 55 in 1959),
representing all four main Tibetan monastic lineages.
In 1992, on the advice of the present Dalai Lama, Namgyal
founded an American branch in Ithaca, New York, including within
it the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. On
February 8 of 1996, the monks of Namgyal Monastery's Institute
of Buddhist Studies offered their first "Blessing of Cyberspace"
as part of the "Twenty-four Hours in Cyberspace" event.
In 1998, Namgyal includes a Tibetan monastery in Bodhgaya,
India, called Gendhen Phelgyeling. That monastery is now known
as Namgyal (Bodhgaya), and has 45 monks.
Namgyal (Dharamsala) also manages a temple in Kushinagar (since
1967), and an elderly home in Simla (since 1992).
Namgyal Monastery is situated in McLeod Ganj which is a part of
Dharamshala region. McLeod Ganj is a haven for tourists and
backpackers who flock here for the pleasant summer temperatures
and the Tibetan community, plus the opportunity to participate
in any number of courses which are either provided by the
Tibetans Indian or foreigners who set up shop teaching
everything from meditation, yoga and reiki, to cooking, Tibetan
language and Buddhist Philosophy.
McLeod Ganj is a charming town full of great cafes and
restaurants, shops selling everything from music and DVDs to
Buddhist prayer flags and Tibetan handicrafts to clothes and
Indian handicrafts. However if you’re not into shopping, and
want to get out and about in the hills, there are some fabulous
short, half day and full day walks to be had up into the hills
surrounding the town.