Dali Monastery in Darjeeling

Dali Monastery is a massive monastic community that sits about 5 kilometers from Darjeeling. Perched atop a hill with a sprawling view, Dali Monastery (also known as DrukSangagCholing Monastery, houses some 200 monks and monks-to-be. It is one of my personal favorite spots in all of Darjeeling for a number of reasons. After stepping through the gate and climbing up the stairs, you immediately feel a sense of peace come over you. You must experience this for yourself.  Become enchanted by the elaborate Tibetan architecture, characterized by rich symbolism and natural pigments of red, green, blue and green. Have a bite to eat at the Dali Monastery Coffee Shop where they serve delicious momo’s, potato chips, coffee, tea, etc. It’s a great place to hang out and read a book, and maybe make friends with a lama. At 4:30, head inside the temple for prayer time, when the monks hit drums (damaru), play the horns, and sing beautiful incantations. Meanwhile, younger monks deliver hot pots of tea for you to sip on. If you come to Dali Monastery, arriving during prayer time is a must!