Kungri Gompa is located in the Pin Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is around 10 km from Attargo, at the intersection point of the Spiti River. Spiti lies at a distance of 12 km from Kungri Gompa. This 14th century masterpiece is the second oldest gompa in the Lahaul and Spiti region. It also has the distinction of being the only monastery from the Nyingmapa order of Buddhism in this valley. The Nyingmapa order is the most ancient form of Tibetan Buddhism. The interiors of this monastery have silk paintings and huge statues reflecting the Tantric cult of a bygone era. It also houses idols and the images of Buddhist deities, religious texts and ancient armories.
Built in 1330, this monastery in the Spiti Valley is the only functional monastery of the Nyingmapa order, making it a unique place to visit. It is a popular destination for Buddhist scholars, pilgrims and tourists from across the world and India. The primary purpose is to explore the treasure trove of ancient Tibetan Buddhist art, culture and traditions.
The use and practice of weapons is unique to the Nyingmapa lineage. This splendid gompa is also a repository of around 300 volumes of sacred Buddhist texts of the Kenjur and Tenjur, kept well preserved in white muslin cloth. They are among the top attractions of the Kungri Gompa. The devil dance performed in the month of July every year brings in crowds of tourists. You will enjoy the sword dance, which is an integral part of the traditions of the Nyingmapa sect.
The architecture of this gompa is different from many others in the Lahaul and Spiti region. It does not have a pagoda style, typical of the monasteries in the valley. The entire monastery complex consists of three rectangular blocks facing east. Its interiors chambers are dimly lit with exquisite wall frescoes.
Around the Kungri Gompa
The trans-Himalayan region of the Spiti Valley has many other monasteries worth visiting during your India travel:
Tabo Monastery - Popular as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas', this monastery is the pride of the valley. With its extraordinary architecture and collections, it is more than a place of Buddhist worship.
Key Monastery - This is undoubtedly the most visited gompa in the Lahaul and Spiti region. The rare collection of Thangkas and Buddhist paintings are the main attractions here.