Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inside the Tsuglagkhang Temple

Considering the importance of the temple and the ornateness of the one at Norbulingka, I was a bit surprised to see that it was such a simple hall. With a light yellow exterior and no carved rainbow-colored doorways, the outside was particularly unpretentious. A sign next to the shoe rack by the open entrance to the temple warned people to “make sure your shoes are not stolen by someone.” Dropping off our shoes but not quite sure how we were to watch our shoes while inside the temple, we proceeded to enter. Sunlight from the upper windows fell onto the warm colored, wooden floor of the temple. The larger back portion of the temple was void of any items, except for the painted Thangka banners hanging across the periphery. In the front directly at the center was a large seated statue of Buddha. In the altar in front of the golden statue, boxes of cookies were piled neatly next to apples and other offering items. Directly in front of the large Buddha statue was an elevated seat draped with gold-colored silk fabric. Normally this would be occupied by the Dalai Lama.

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