Sonam Gyatso, the third Dalai Lama, founded Namgyal Monastery in the year 1575. During that time, it was situated at the Potala Palace in Tibet. Its purpose was to assist the Dalai Lama in his spiritual duties and public religious activities. It was from here that he used to perform religious and ritual prayer ceremonies for the Tibetan Government and for the welfare of Tibet. However, it was later shifted and presently, it is situated in the Dharamsala town in Himachal Pradesh.
It is also known as 'Namgyal Dratsang', which means 'Victorious
Monastery'. The monastery is unique in itself, as Namgyal monks practice
all types of prayers and rituals, including the diverse forms practiced
by the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Namgyal monastery is situated
next to the Central Cathedral and houses more than 180 monks at present.
Young monks come here to study and master the major texts of Buddhist
Sutra and Tantra.
Namgyal is a renowned center of learning and meditation on Buddhist
treatises and teachings. It is a nonsectarian monastery and the rituals
and teachings of four major sects of Tibetan Buddhism are followed as
well as taught here. One can see young monks playing badminton on the
way to the monastery and practicing debates in the courtyard of His
Holiness's residence. You can also visit its cafe, bookshop and
guesthouse, situated next to the Tsuglag Khang.