Monasteries are almost always known as "Gompas". But its a misinterpretation. Gompa literally means "a place of solitude" or a religious escape where monks are trained in the finer aspects of Buddhism. Genrally Gompas are in solitary places since isolation has always been a important for Buddhist learning; not as an act of self-punishment, but as discipline or an escape from mundane temptations. Generally the door of the assembly room and temple preferably face eastwards. South-east is the second choice and then south. A rivulet or stream draining the site is considered inauspicious as monks believe that this would drain away all the virtue of the place. If such a location is unavoidable, then the main door is made to face another direction. A waterfall, is, however, considered a good omen and if one is visible from the monastery, then the door is made to face that direction. The monastic buildings cluster around the main building which is also used as the Assembly Hall or du - khang. Lining the approaches to the monastery are rows of prayer flags and chortens.
Mani Lakhangs - These are only temples and do not house a schools like gompas. Normally situated near villages, these normally have only a few monks ministering to the religious needs of the villagers.
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