The name means tiger’s den, but it is a Buddhist monastery located in the high altitude of the Eastern Himalayas in Western Arunachal Pradesh. Everything about it is peaceful. The place is so quiet that the only sound you can hear is that of the wind blowing and your heat beating.
It is believed that this Buddhist monastery was hallowed by the visit of Guru Padma Sambhava in the 8th century. Legend has it that the guru meditated here in a cave for sometime.
Today, this place is such that you feel like meditating literally anywhere in its campus. The bitter cold winds coming by the nearby mountains make you cringe, but in spite of it you feel a warmth in this place. When I was exploring this place, I only found a monk who was so busy meditating that he hardly noticed my presence. His meditation had a lot of power in it and tons of passion too. I was so moved by him that I think I will definitely go back to him and be his disciple. May be, I will learn something from him.
The Tak-Tsang Gompa (Gonpa) or T Gompa is located close to Sangetsar Lake (also known as Madhuri Jheel) and is located at an altitude of about 12,500 to 13,000 feet. As with most Buddhist monasteries, the T Gompa is also situated on the top of a hillock and by a cliff.
It is about 40 kilometers from the town of Tawang and takes about 2 hours to drive to T Gompa from Tawang. The route is fairly simple. From Tawang, one heads on the road to Bumla pass. At Y junction, a road to the left leads to Sangetsar Lake and from Sangetsar lake, it is a steep uphill climb for about 15 minutes.
I have had a fair share of Buddhist monasteries in India across Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh and I have to say that this place is definitely very different. There is something special about it.
May be, it is the Himalayan remoteness. May be, it is the feeling of true peace. I really don’t know and I will definitely one day return to this place to find out more.