Monpas, Tawang Monastery and Tibetan Buddhism: Ethno-Religious Links

  • Tsetan NamgyalEmail author


The Tawang Monastery that is the centre of ethno-religious and sociopolitical edifice of the kingdom of ‘Mon’ that was incorporated into Tibet during the late seventeenth century by the Lhasa Tibetan Government is today an integral part of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas. The available Tibetan sources referred it as the seat of ethno-political authority of the ‘Mon’ a distinct ethnic group inhabiting that region known as ‘Monyul’. The historical cross cultural interface that Mon and Tawang Monastery cropped up with Tibet was spiritual interaction but as far as with other Trans Himalayan Buddhist kingdoms such as Bhutan, Ladakh, Spiti, Gilgit Baltistan and Mustang are concerned it was largely undertaken through a sort of forced migration. Today, the Mon and Monpas and their traditional religious culture are withhold by the Tawang Monastery, which is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the entire Trans-Himalayan belt. This chapter examines the Tibetan cultural and religious influence of Monpas and the centrality of Tawang Monastery.


Tawang monastery Monpa Monyul Southern Tibet Arunachal Pradesh Ethnicity Religious Identity 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Inner Asian StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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