Where is the Manang Monastery?
Mate Pani, Pokhara, in Nepal. About 30 mins drive from the tourist resort of Lakeside. It’s right on the back of the Pokhara valley, raised on the outer ridge with stunning views across of the city on one side and the Himalayas on the other.
What’s it all about?
70 monks live in the Buddhist monastery, from 7 to 25 years old and come from different families and races. A lot of the children are from poor families with non-educated parents.
The monastery provides them clothes, food, accommodation, medical care and education. All these needs are met by the donations of many different people.
Sometimes local people come to the monastery to pray and donate, some prayers are especially dedicated for big sponsors who ask the monastery to pray for their health, their family or their career. Sometimes the monks receive donations when they are also invited into local houses to hold puja there, read sutra and pray.
They are educated in Tibetan, Nepali, English, philosophy and also learn practical things like turma or simply help in the kitchen or in the garden.
On Saturday the monks have holiday and most of the time they go to play football together. The monks live unsolicited in the monastery and can leave at any time.
So far the monastery has brought up more than 300 children who have already taken their own ways. Some of them went to India to study the Dharma, some of them went back to their villages to care for their parents and some others have become Lamas who travel around the world spreading the Dharma.
A day in the life of a monk
For us monks the day starts at 5.30am with the morning puja which takes about two to three hours. It belongs to the prayer if we eat our breakfast inside of the temple or after the prayer in the dining room.
After breakfast we either have a Tibetan lesson where we learn reading and writing or as older monks we can also have some different practical work to do in the monastery.
At 11.30am we eat our lunch all together. After that we have free time until the next puja starts at one o’clock. The duration is variable and can take about one and a half until three hours.
After this puja we have tea break. Half an hour later we can either have Tibetan or learn to make turma, which plays a very important role in our monastery. That is why the little monks also practice it from an early age.
Before we go to take dinner at 7pm we have a little free time most of the days. After dinner we are taught in English and Nepali for about one and a half hour before we finally go to bed.
Inspiring – well worth a visit!
I recommend a good few hours here to let the place and the people get under your skin. Plan your visit during one of the daily pujas to witness or take part in the kind work that monks and volunteers from the community do.
Most people are very friendly, speak English and are willing to chat.
Make a small donation of 1000 rupees and receive a blessing and a cup of delicious butter tea!
Taking photos is perfectly fine and I encourage you to do so.
Below the main monastery building is a beautiful garden to take a walk in.
Organise a visit
You can organise a visit to Manang Monastery as a side trip to your stay in Pokhara on one of our authentic Nepal holidays. Contact us for more details or to ask any questions about a spiritually rewarding holiday to Nepal.