Sherabling Monastery, Bhattu, Himachal Pradesh

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1 Reviews on “Sherabling Monastery, Bhattu, Himachal Pradesh”

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  • Sherabling Monastery, often referred to as Bhattu Monastery by the locals, is truly a hidden gem in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. Surprisingly, despite its proximity to popular destinations like Bir-Billing, Baijnath, and Palampur, it has remained relatively unknown to many. The journey to the monastery itself is mesmerizing, with the winding roads and scenic beauty making for an unforgettable hypnotic experience.

    How was our experience at Sherabling Monastery?
    Enchanting Drive: The drive to Sherabling Monastery is an adventure in itself. The narrow, winding roads lined with pine, rubber, and other towering trees, flowing rivers, prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, and glimpses of village life in Bhattu make for a magical drive. The views of mountains, farms, and plant nurseries add to the charm.

    Majestic Complex: The larger monastery complex is a bit off the main road. If you’re coming from the Bir-Billing side, it will be the first landmark you encounter. The complex is expansive, resembling a small township. The vibrant colours of the buildings, the enormous curtains, the intricately designed prayer hall with colorful murals and statues of deities, and the beautiful thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings) are simply awe-inspiring. It’s a feast for the eyes that’s hard to capture fully in photos.

    Spiritual Atmosphere: We were fortunate to participate in the prayers and exams taking place in the main hall. The sound of chimes and gongs, the chanting, the fragrance of incense, and the serene atmosphere together create an instantly meditative experience.

    Tibetan Delicacies: We enjoyed delicious Tibetan food at the monastery canteen, which offers reasonably priced meals. There is also a café in the complex serving good coffee and bakery items, though it’s a bit pricier than the canteen.

    Smaller Complex: The entrance to the smaller complex is on the main road. If you’re visiting from Palampur or Baijnath, this will be the first part of the monastery you see. It’s quieter, and often the main temple, which also serves as a classroom, is closed unless a session is in progress. However, the student monks are usually accommodating if you request a visit. There are some perfect photo spots, like the gigantic wall with Tibetan inscriptions and the scenic sunset views near the Stupas.

    Souvenirs: Next to the smaller complex, there are a few souvenir shops where you can buy colourful Tibetan-style mugs, crockery, traditional as well as handwoven woolen clothing, Himachali shawls, stone jewelry, and more.

    Bonus Tips for Visiting Sherabling Monastery
    Travel by Car: The best way to reach Palpung Sherabling or Bhattu Monastery is by car. If you’re driving yourself and are not familiar with the area, be cautious. The roads are narrow and steep, but you can also rent a cab for convenience.

    Photography: Photography inside the temples and buildings may be restricted. Look for notices and seek permission before clicking pictures to avoid any issues.

    Exploring on Foot or Bicycle: Many visitors choose to walk or hire bicycles, or scooties to reach Bhattu from Bir. Be mindful of the many turns and blind spots along the way and stay alert.

    Accommodation Options: If you want to extend your visit beyond a day trip, consider staying at one of the nearby campsites or guesthouses. If you’re staying in Bir-Billing, the monastery is just a short trip away. You can also choose to stay at Dharohar Cottages for a more traditional farm stay experience.

    Comprehensive Visit: There are two main complexes (not really close to each other) and a row of stupas between them. To fully experience everything the monastery has to offer, plan to spend at least half a day exploring.

    Eating Options: Apart from the canteens / cafe inside the monastery, the nearby Stupa Guest House has a fully functional multi-cuisine restaurant. Also, there are a few small dhabas located conveniently near the monastery.

    Our Verdict
    Definitely a YES! If you typically think of the McLeod Ganj monastery in Dharamshala when considering Tibetan monasteries in Himachal, Sherabling Monastery should be on your list for your next trip near Palampur, Baijnath, or Bir-Billing. A visit to Sherabling Monastery will leave you feeling calm, serene, and reflective.

    Swing by and share your review. We would love to hear about your experience!

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