The Sani Monastery, also spelled as Sanee Monastery, is close to the Sani Village. This monastery was constructed by Kanishka, the famous Kushan Emperor, during 1st century. The shrine belongs to Drukpa Kargyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Out of the 108 chortens constructed by King Kanishka in the region, this monastery was established for housing an ancient 6 m high idol. This Gompa is counted amongst the eight holy Buddhist sites in the world.
Built in the form of a castle, this monastery stands on a flat land and has the KanikaChorten in the backyard. The 10 standing stones, with engravings of deities in the pre-Tibetan style, can be seen near the KanikaChorten. There is a stupa in the backyard of its walled complex.The prayer room is impressive, with plenty of Budhist statues and tangkas. The walls are adorned with stucco murals (wall paintings), based on the life of Padmasambhava. There is also a large sculpted image of Maitreya Buddha on a rock near the gompa. The famous NaroNasjal festival is celebrated at the Sani monastery every year.
Some precautions to be observed while visiting a monastery:
- Visitors are required to take off their shoes before entering a prayer area
- Do not disturb Monks at prayer, and always ask permission before taking photographs
- Do not touch religious artifacts
- Do not drink, smoke, take drugs or spit in the monastery premises
- Avoid talking loudly or disturbing the peaceful atmosphere
- In many Gompa’s, you are expected to walk around the premises only in a clockwise direction
- Women may not be allowed to enter the inner prayer rooms of some monasteries