The paintings are in stone colors. The main idols represent Lord Buddha,
Nawang Namgial and Padmasambhava, the last is held in great esteem and his biggest statue
is in Tayul monastery. The monastery owns land in several kothis of Lahul. The Collector
appoints the Kardar of the monastery. All the landholders of Lahul used to pay a fee to
this monastery but it is no longer being paid. With the decline of religious influence,
the importance of this monastery has also gone down. The Pattanites who were the main
visitors, now seldom go there and as for the people of Chandra and Bhaga valleys they have
their own monasteries.
The monasteries at Shashur Gonpa above
Keylong the district headquarters was founded in 17th century A.D. by Lama Deva Gyatshao
of Ladakh whose idol is still kept there. The Lamas perform a sort of miracle play when a
fair is held in the month of June. The acting consists of pantomime and dancing with
occasional chorus. There is provision for a clown to regale the audience with jokes. This
dance originated in the 10th century A.D. and has run since.
Kye monastery, another ancient one has also
an annual mask dance and music. The masked lamas play the demons and show a display of
"While on the subject of monasteries
it may be worthwhile to write something on the institution of buzhens. Every son of a lama
or monk becomes a buzhen, which is the name given to a low order of strolling monks or
friars. Sometimes the younger son of landholder becomes a buzhen in preference to going
into the monastery. The Pin buzhens are a curious set of people. They dress much like
othermonks, but instead of shaving their heads, wear their hair in long straight twists,
which gives them a very wild appearance.