The Gontse Gaden Rabgyel Lling monastery, popular as the GRL monastery, houses Buddhist lamas and monks at Bomdila which is 8,500 feet above sea level and known for its scenic landscape with apple orchards.
It is one of the major centres of the lamaistic faith of Mahayana Buddhism.
The GRL monastery is situated in the Western Kameng district of Arunachal and was built by the 12th reincarnate of Tsona Gontse Rinpoche in 1965-66.
The main gompa has three divisions — the lower gompa, the middle gompa and the upper gompa. The upper gompa is considered to be the main monastery.
While the lower gompa is situated at the end of the main market area, depicting the richness of Tibetan architecture, the middle gompa can be found at about 2 km from the main market. There is a vast prayer hall inside the lower gompa. Popular belief says that ringing the bell of the gompa fulfils one’s wishes.
At the middle gompa, there is the Blue Medicine Buddha which is also known as the Lord of Medications, as this deity is believed to cure diseases, by the locals.
People perform prayers and meditation to undergo healing. The middle gompa is the oldest of all three gompas. The upper gompa, the main part of the monastery, houses a school for the monk’s children, along with a prayer hall and a Buddha temple.
The upper gompa is a major tourist attraction for its peaceful Buddhist preaching.