Photographer's Note

Sakya Tenggyu Monastery of Kaza :

Newly built in 2009, the Kaza Monastery wows tourists through crisp Buddhist architecture. Vibrant paint highlights the painstaking detail throughout the polished construction. And stamped decorative brass door hinges are just a sample of the ornate finishes which amaze and inspire those who visit.

Kaza Gompa (Monastery) is one of the two Sa-kya-pa Buddhist sect monasteries in Spiti. In fact its a part of the other monastery located at Komik.

Little information can be ascertained about the history or relevance of Sakya Tenggyu Monastery (Aka. Sakya Tangyud, Sayka Kaza Monastery, Kaza Tenggyu, or Sakya Monastery) other than it is believed to be one of 108 temples and monasteries built by the renowned Buddhist scholar-translator Lochen Rinchen Sangpo. Further proof surfaced in artifacts and fragments of statues of four Buddhist Guardian Deities found as the former monastery was cleared and a base for the new monastery was dug. They are identical to the statues of Tabo Monastery, which is also believed to have been founded by Lochen Rinchen Sangpo around the year 996.

The newer building which greets visitors today stands where the former monastery, known as Tenggyud Lhundrup Choekhor Ling, existed for 35 years. And just as its predecessor, Sayka Kaza Monastery remains connected to the old monastery building above. His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated the new Sakya Tenggyu monastery on July 9, 2009.

Inside the monastery – a low rhythmic hum as the monks & novices read their prayers. Two monks sat in the corner with Dung Chens (dung chen is a long collapsible metal Tibetan horn usually played in pairs) The burst of low deep throated nose from the two Dung Chens seemed to break the rhythmic hum & call out for a fresh set of prayers. Interesting as I understood, the dungchens always appear in pairs as their low, roaring call is supposed to resemble the sound of dragons mating.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7852 W: 324 N: 16061] (56760)
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