The Tibetans call it Phunt-sokling, which literally trans-lates to -“Land of Happiness and Plenty” and a road trip to this land truly brought nothing but happiness to me. Jirang, referred to as the Mini Tibet or Little Ti-bet of Odisha houses the largest Buddhist monastery in eastern India. Inaugurated by The Dalai Lama in 2010, it is known as the Padmasambhava Mahavihara monastery. Nyingma School of Buddhism in Tibet also claim that Guru Padmasambhava, also known as second Buddha, was born and brought up in Odis-ha before he left for Tibet. I had heard from my friends about the beauty of the monastery and how it not only wowed you with its architecture but also brought peace to your body and mind. I conveyed the same to my fiancé and on the very next weekend we started on this amazing roadtrip from Bhubaneswar. Passing through the Eastern Ghats, the road to Jirang via
Taptapani on the NH 326 is a symbol of a classic road trip – scenic. Beautifully constructed smooth road with rocky hills lin-ing on one side and forest on the other, it was an insta worthy road trip to remember. Driving through this road was like en-tering into a scenery. Along the way to the monastery, we saw monks in traditional maroon robes carrying their cotton bags and riding scooters. The resi-dential area here will give a vibe of Tibetan culture in Odisha. The monastery is surrounded by a large lake. It has a statue of the Padmasambhava sitting inside a lotus. This lake sits right in front of the monastery complex. There is a cafeteria by the lake serving Tibetan food, momo and deli-cious coffee. Soaking in the pic-turesque atmosphere, we had our snacks.
Going inside the monastery we were amazed by the decorative walls which had beautiful paint-ings depicting nature, various
stages of Buddha’s life and dif-ferent animals. Art and folk tales of Tibetan Buddhism whispered from every corner of the monu-ment. There are colorful paint-ings of Tibetan art and different mandalas that signify transfor-mation of the soul. We saw paint-ings of the phoenix and dragon as well which symbolize the yin and yang forces in the universe. The walls are filled with bright color murals of Buddha and Bo-dhisattvas, mandalas and Tibet-an art. Most paintings are accen-tuated by a golden hue, making the paintings pop out of the wall. A carpet runs in the center of the room from the door to the stat-ue of Lord Buddha. After admir-ing the handiwork of the artists inside, we took a stroll outside which has a manicured lawn. We sat outside to gaze at beau-ty of the monastery, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere to our heart’s content.
Mamta Sahoo is a Civil Engineer. Her love for travel has put her on a journey to become a Travel Blogger
By Mamta Sahoo
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