Tsuglagkhang Main Temple Room

Mcleod Ganj

Spiritually (if certainly not architecturally) the Tsuglagkhang's 1969 central temple room is the exiles’ concrete equivalent of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. Behind the Dalai Lama's teaching throne is a softly gilded statue of the historical Buddha flanked by sacred texts.

To the left is a bearded wooden 'starving Buddha' representing his six years of ascetic meditation at Bodhgaya. Behind that are Padmasambhava, the Indian sage believed to have helped spread Buddhism in 8th-century Tibet, and Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig in Tibetan), a replica of the 7th-century image from the Jokhang temple that was destroyed by the Chinese in 1966 during the Cultural Revolution. It contains relics rescued from the destruction and smuggled out of Tibet. On the right-hand wall, paintings depict the 33rd, 38th and 40th Tibetan kings, credited with bringing Buddhism to their country.

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