Kalachakra temple in Dharamshala

The Kalachakra mandala

The Kalachakra temple is located inside the Thekchen Chöling temple complex in Mcleodganj in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh in India. The temple complex also houses the Namgyal monastery, the private chambers of his Holiness the Dalai Lama and the famous Tsuglakhang temple. Opened in the year 1992, the Kalachakra temple is a symbol of the concept in Buddhist religion known popularly as ‘The wheel of time’.

Kalachakra is a combination of two Sanskrit words Kāla (meaning: time) and Chakra (meaning: wheel). Kalachakra is a notion that Buddhist philosophies and even the Hindu religion strongly believe in. According to this notion, Time is considered to be a cyclical concept whereby the timeline of the world is divided into certain ages or epochs and they repeat after one another in a circular pattern.

In the Buddhist tradition, there are important rituals associated with Kalachakra. At the temple, monks perform Kalachakra empowerment procedures that they believe would enhance the spirituality of the environment and further the cause of peace and harmony among human beings. Apart from being the site for Buddhist rites and rituals, the Kalachakra temple is also a regular venue for public meetings and discourses conducted by his holiness the Dalai Lama.

Tsuglakhang temple

The temple is perhaps one of the best examples of Kalachakra-based architectural style. A huge mural adorns the wall and at the centre of the wall, the principal god of Buddhism – Shakayamuni Buddha is portrayed in a Kalachakra avatar. Surrounding the image of Shakayamuni are the frescos of seven hundred and twenty two deities. The Kalachakra consists of four aspects namely wisdom, body, mind and speech. The image of the Buddha at the centre represents wisdom while the deities surrounding him represent body, mind and speech. It is reported that the Dalai Lama himself personally monitored the progress of the mural painting right from the start to finish.

The adjacent walls features the portraits of the 14th Dalai Lama and thirty two Shamblala kings of whom the first seven are called Maharajas (Great kings) and the rest are known as Kalkis. Images of Tibetan deities such as Guru Padma Sambhava, Milarepa, Palden Lhamo, Yamantaka, Atisha and Tsongkhapa can also be seen in this temple.

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