Bhubaneswar: While Odisha is a home to rich culture and heritage, it also embodies a hint of Tibetan culture, “Odisha’s Little Tibet”, known as Jirang.
Jirang, is a 5-hour drive from Bhubaneswar and nearly 80-85 km from the town of Berhampur.
The Padmasambhava Mahavihara Monastery also known as Thupten Mindrolling Monastery located at Chandragiri, Gajapati district, in the state of Odisha is the main monastery belonging to the Ripa Lineage. It is said to be the largest Buddhist monastery in Eastern India. It was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in January 2010.
Odisha’s Little Tibet offered the Tibetan settler’s a home nevertheless after China invaded Tibet in 1959. Chandragiri was designated as camp no.4 for the settlement of Tibetans.
The first batch of Tibetan’s arrived in Chandragiri on 1st May 1963. Since arriving they have not only made Chandragiri and the adjoining camps at Labarasingh, Mahendragadh, Tankilipadar (all located at a radius of 4-5 KM around Chandragiri) their home but through their enterprise and demeanor added colour to the picturesque mountains of the Eastern Ghats in this part of Odisha.
The Avalokiteswara statue in a sitting position at Mahedragad is another attraction along with the Monastery at Labarasingh. Don’t miss the peace pagoda at the entrance of Camp No. 4.
Even the road leading to Jirang is replete with lushness & one can find colorful flags as a sign of Buddhist welcome on both sides of the road. It is nothing less than a pleasure to explore this relaxed abode which has the perfect ingredient of nature’s bounty & peaceful enlightenment for every visitor.
The monastery is complete with the main temple complex, residential buildings, a canteen, and lush gardens, and has got some imposing sights from every corner. Vibrant and colourful Buddhist prayer flags can be seen all around, the colors of which expresses the significant life values.
The Monastery complex houses a canteen where the Momos are a must-try.
Hence the reason for Tibetan refugees who used to stay here to call this heavenly abode of theirs as Phuntsokling, which in Tibetan translates to Land of Happiness and Plenty.
Apart from the monastery itself, Jirang is even quite well known for its seasonal fruits, woolen garments, and dogs of various breeds. Also, the varied and large scale horticulture plantations and cultural activities of the Tibetan refugees make this place all the more colourful and attractive.