The most important Buddhist monastery in the Lahul sub-division is
that of Kardang on the left side of the Bhaga River opposite Keylong. This is a
remarkable monastery with a large number of images, paintings, thankas, prayer-wheels etc.
The monastery was built in the 12th century and re-built by one Norbu Lama at the
beginning of the current century. Norbu Lama, a man of Kardang village toured a lot and
acquired a deep knowledge of Buddhist scriptures.On return herenovated the monastery and
devoted himself to the spread of Buddhism.
The valuable paintings of various types,
weapons, musical instruments, masks, images of Buddha and other divinities, the library of
Buddhist scriptures should offer a rich field for research. For the average visitor the
following description will be of interest :-
"A narrow path, shaded by willow
trees, and then a steep ascent leads to the monastery. The flat roofed, three storeyed
houses are massed together, in two blocks, so as to enable flow of under communications in
winter. In the vicinity of the monastery is silver coated chorten. In the portico is a tow
of prayer cylinders. There are four chapels in the monastery one of, which contains the
ashes of Lama Narbhu Rimpoche, who established the monastery. The walls are decorated with
colorful paintings without any affinity with Basohli paintings.
A tantric painting depicting two figures, a
male and a female engaged in ecstatic union, decorates the wall. Brass images are ranged
on shelves on one side of the altar and on the other stands a book-case full of sacred
books. Cylindrical prayer wheels, which spin round at a slight touch of the finger, are
placed on each side of the altar. In the centre of another chapel is an image of Triloki
Nath, with eleven heads and one thousand hands.