The state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India is a place where pilgrimage and nature both co-exist in perfect harmony. There is a sizeable Buddhist population in Himachal Pradesh, resulting in the establishment of several Buddhist Monasteries in the state. The Guru Ghantal Monastery is one of the most revered Buddhist monasteries in Himachal Pradesh.
Located at the confluence of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga, Guru Ghantal Monastery lies atop a hill above the Tupchiling village. The 'gompa' stands at an altitude of about 3,020 meters. Guru Ghantal Monastery was constructed in 1200 AD by Padmasambhava - the great Indian teacher and Tantric`, who was instrumental in the spread of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet.
One of the most renowned Buddhist pilgrim destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Guru Ghantal Monastery is visited and revered by people of all religions. An excellent architectural specimen, Guru Ghantal boasts of exquisite workmanship exhibited within its premises - something considered superior to that found in all other Monasteries in the region.
The most remarkable feature of the Guru Ghantal Monastery is the wooden idols it houses. All the other monasteries within the state enshrine clay idols. The Guru Ghantal white marble head was installed by its founder, but now it is kept under lock and key for security reasons.
Within the Gutru Ghantal Monastery, there are idols of Guru Padma Sambhava, Brijeshwari Devi and numerous other lamas. There is a black stone image of Goddess Kali within the innermost chamber of the gompa. This provides evidence to the speculation that the monastery was once a Hindu temple.