India : Tsuglagkhang Complex

As i promised to you all, here is the Special Report for Tsuglagkhang Complex. :’)

My friends and I spent 4 days and 3 nights in McLeod Ganj. First day was to look around and revive from a long flight. On the second, third, and forth day, we visited Tsuglagkhang Complex with different experience on each day.

On 1959, Tibetans led by His Holiness Dalai Lama 14th fled from Lhasa to McLeod Ganj. Welcomed by Indians, they rebuild their home, including Dalai Lama’s home, Tsuglagkhang Complex.

Before entering the complex, we need to deposit ALL our electronics in the front gate, such as mobile phone, camera, tablets, video recorder, AND power bank. Full body search and bag were conducted before we entered the main complex. This is basically the same degree as you walk in the airport.

In the second morning, there was not much going on in the complex. Many tourist came in, especially domestic tourist since it was school holiday period. Outside the main halls, there was people praying and performing Tibetan Namaskara. If you been in any Tibetan Monastery before in Indonesia, the altar is similar with main high seating for The Lamas in the centre. I will publish the photo to help all of us visualise it. :’)

After the main halls, the route will lead you to The Wheel of Pray. This golden round wheel has prayer (mantra) carved in the surface of the wheel. The concept is we recite the mantra by spinning the wheel. One round means one point.

Main halls and His Holiness Dalai Lama’s home is separated by a park. Its a beautiful park with trees covering the sun.  If you are tired, you can certainly sit on the benches available in this park. We also found Bodhi trees live here.

Whats different in the third day? There was mantra reciting event in the main hall. Inside the main hall, was full with Tibetan monks. Outside the main hall, the place was having  Tibetans, and tourists. They provided books of mantra, however, its written in Tibet language. Therefore, my friend and I decided to follow the event by meditating with the crowd during the recital.

I think this event start about 09.00 AM in the morning till around noon with only one agenda, reciting mantra. There was breaks in between. During the break, the volunteer gave out glasses and then  came with the jar of milk and breads. The milk taste is quite unique, its a bit salty and sweet. At the end of the pray, the volunteer gave out dana (offerings) to the Tibetan monks in a form of money. Its pretty unusual for me, but i keep reminding myself thats this is a different place and different culture. I interpret this as an ecosystem, where each of community support each other.

And whats interesting in forth day? There was a teaching from His Holiness Dalai Lama for Tibetans inside His home. For this occasion, Tibetans dressed up in their traditional Tibetan clothing which not their usual clothing, but more formal one with bright colour. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo for this since all my electronic was on the main gate.

Based on the schedule in front of the gate, the lecture for all people (not only for Tibetans) was held on the next day in the main hall. Its recommended not to bring anything (just you) because of the big number of expected people coming, and there will be no deposit counter on the day. Its also stated that the event is prioritise for the people who haven’t attend previous lecture before. This is to give other people  the chance to meet His Holiness Dalai Lama.

Unfortunately, we missed this date because we need to fly out on the forth day. From the schedule, we noticed that this event is held once a month if His Holiness Dalai Lama is in McLeod Ganj. His Holiness Dalai Lama also give lecture regularly (at least every year) inside India and abroad. For the rest of the year and next year, His Holiness will give teaching in USA and Canada. You can find the schedule in the website (

Of course the trip will be extremely awesome if we had meet His Holiness Dalai Lama in His Home, Tsuglagkhang Complex. However, from my traveling experience this kind of thing works in different way. We can only plan, and choose to enjoy the ride.

In this case, we chose to enjoy all the things in the journey. When i look back, what i find in my heart is a very good feeling.  :’)

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