Nagi Gompa nunnery formally known as Tsungon Nangkyi Gompa lies on a mountainside high above the Kathmandu Valley and is also associated with Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Kathmandu. The gompa located in the Shivapuri National Park is the home to more than 100 nuns. Nuns from all over the Himalayan region come to Nagi Gompa to study, practice and meditate in the tranquil and peaceful surroundings.Nagi Gompa also provides the opportunity to these female practitioners which were generally not available in the previous time. The nuns of Nagi Gompa are trained in classical Buddhist Philosophy along with the ritual arts and meditation practices. The nuns here are well-known for their performance of chod (chod is a ritualized dance form of Tibetan meditation) which they have performed throughout the world.
The serene ambiance of the Nagi Gompa Monastery makes it the ideal destination for travelers. This is the perfect respite from the busy day to day city life in Kathmandu. The captivating atmosphere, cool breeze and zen vibes in Nagi Gompa rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Many of the visitors who come for Shivapuri Hiking stops at this place to release their stress, to learn about Buddhist tradition and to enjoy the beauty of Nagi Gompa.
History related to Nagi Gompa
Nagi Gompa was built by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and the gompa is almost fifty years old. Actually Nagi Gompa was established in 1962 by the 16 Karmapa. At that time there were no roads that lead to Shivapuri, so for the opening ceremony, he reached there by Helicopter. From the opening, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche led the Nagi Gompa until 1996. The construction of the main bigger temple had just been finished, at the time of his parinirvana in 1996. There are three statues in the temple which was made by the Urgyen Rinpoche himself. Rinpoche made the three large statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje which can be found in the main Temple. His teachings are honored and preserved in the nunnery. The hall within the gompa consists of a graceful representation of Urgyen blessing everyone.
During the devastating earthquakes in April 2015, the main temple of Nagi Gompa was damaged.
The attraction of Nagi Gompa
The location of Nagi Gompa itself is the major source of attraction for the visitors which fulfills the short and easy hiking dream of many hiking enthusiasts. You can enjoy your hike from the entrance of Shivapuri National Park up to the hilltop of Shivapuri. Before reaching the hilltop of Shivapuri there is Nagi Gompa Monastery from where you can have the panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley. Further, you also get the wonderful opportunity to have a close view of the birds, animals, vibrant and colorful Rhododendron forest and many other natural beauty inside the park.
Apart from the location, the architecture of Nagi Gompa is really mesmerizing. Nagi Gompa consists of the hall which is high-ceilinged and impressive from inside. Every inch is covered in traditional Tibetian religious art which are painted in the bright colors providing the monastery a striking and alluring look. The hall is lined with mats. A small bell, a bajra, praying beads and the prayer book written in Tibet are placed in front of each mat. The large statues of Karunamaya(the goddess of generosity), Sakyamuni along with two of his incarnates and paintings of all the avatars of Buddha look down benevolently from the walls of Gumba. There are two huge gongs at the doorway, which are played during the chanting and singing sessions.
The warm hospitality, humble words, beautiful smile and the traditional performance of the nuns in the Nagi Gompa compels most of the people to visit there. Nuns living in Nagi Gompa not only pray for themselves but for the salvation of all the souls. A glimpse of a simple life lived here by the nuns who are in the service of the monastery and the visitors of the monastery is gratifying.
The thing to know before visiting the Nagi Gompa Monastery
Nagi Gompa Monastery is located inside the Shivapuri National Park. So, before entering the National park entrance point you have to pay the fee and have to register in the logbook at the entrance.
How to get to Nagi Gompa?
One of the easiest ways to reach Nagi Gompa Monastery is to hire a taxi from Kathmandu to Shivapuri National Park entrance gate. Within around half-hour travel from Kathmandu you reach to the entrance of Shivapuri National Park. From there within a few hours of hiking, you will reach the Nagi Gompa.
What is the best time to visit here?
You can visit this place at any time of the year. However, if you wish to have a fascinating view of Kathmandu Valley and some mountain ranges then autumn(October-November) is the best season.