Sanjauli- The Buddhist Haven – Friends-Holiday 2023

Going according to the Buddhist beliefs, Sanjauli, about 3 km away from the hill station of Shimla, is generously blessed. Thousands of colorful flags with printed Buddhist prayers and images of the mystical wind farm, flutter at the top of the hill overlooking this city.

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Tradition of prayer flags

The flags have been there since 1962 when Lama Jinpa, a prominent Tibetan refugee monk established Jonang Monastery on top of Sanjauli Hill. According to Tibetan tradition, the monks and other hundred foreign Tibetans who live nearby tie long rows of printed prayer flags on the highest point of this hill. The flags come in vibrant shades of blue, white, red, green and yellow. Devotees supplement these flags from time to time as a token of gratitude on various occasions – be it in the memory of a loved one, or on an auspicious day like Losar (New Year) or simply as a routine offering to the gods.

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Early one morning during my recent stay at the monastery, I walked up to the hill to see the prayer flags hanging between the two adjacent cliffs. From here, most parts of the town of Sanjauli can be seen in the distance below. Strong winds made the flags look like a colorful fleet of pelicans flying in perfect arch formations. Over the years, a large sized prayer panel, surrounded by a row of Tibetan prayer wheels on one side and a mini pine forest on the other, has emerged to give company to the series of prayer flags.

Tibetan prayer wheels

Tibetan prayer wheels are colorful cylindrical drums that contain rolls of paper with prayers written on them. Normally these drums stand vertically at waist height on a stationary shaft so that a passing enthusiast can turn the drums.

Every rotation of a drum is believed to bring the benefits of these prayers in favor of the devotee. Some of the wheels are on a much higher level and have wind motors attached to them to make sure they keep turning automatically through the passing wind.

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How to reach Sanjauli

Sanjauli used to be a twin city of Shimla. But thanks to the ever-expanding Shimla, it is now part of the city. By train, one can reach Shimla by a combination of Kalka Mail and the Himalayan Queen toy train, one of the most scenic train journeys in India.


Once in Shimla , you can take a taxi or a local bus to the footsteps of the famous Dhingu Mata Mandir . Walk about two kilometers to the monastery which is located near the temple.

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