Monastery had its origin in an early church in Egypt, where Hermits (The Monks) came together to live their lives together in peace and work under the directions of an Abbot (Father). Monasteries are the religious communities of Men and Women, living aloof from secular society. In order to stay apart from the society and city life, most of the monasteries were built in far off places. In order to find peace, people went great lengths to search for remote places, in the mountains and hilly terrains. Some of the monasteries are at so much isolated places, that they are almost inaccessible. Here is the list of top 10 most incredibly isolated monasteries in the world.
10 The Monastery of Ostrog, Montenegro
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Established in 17th century, The Monastery of Ostrog, is one of the most visited pilgrimage in Montenegro, Serbia. It was built by Vasilije, the metropolitan bishop of Herzegovina. His body is still placed in a reliquary in the cave-church of the monastery. The monastery was renovated during the years 1923-1926, after an incident of fire, which turned most of the part of monastery into ashes. The church could be discovered high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda. It is a belief that praying the body helps the cure the illnesses and lessens the hardships in the worshiper’s life.
9 Metéora Monastery, Greece
What brings this monastery on our list of most incredible monasteries is that, Metéora is established on the top of the rock towers. Metéora means “Suspended in the air” or “Middle of the Sky”. Metéora is one of the largest complexes of eastern orthodox monasteries of Greece. It is also included in the UNESCO world heritage site. According to a tale, St. Athanasius, the founder of the monastery, was carried by an Eagle at the top of the sandstone pillar. It was later that hundreds of steps were carved to make it easily accessible.
8 Buddhist Monastery of Ki, India
The magnificent Monastery of Ki, is located at the height of 4116 meter above sea level, nearby Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley located in Himalayas. Also known as Key Gompa, it is also a training center for Lamas. It was established in the 11th century and presently accommodates many Monks and Nuns. The walls of the monastery are covered with paintings and ancient murals. It also enshrines the Idols and Images of Lord Budhha.
7 Kozheozersky Monastery, Russia
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Located on a foreland in Lake Kozheozero, Kozheozersky Monastery was founded in 1550s. It is a Russian Orthodox Monastery which was founded by Niphont of Kozheozero and Serapion Kozheozero. It is one of the most distant and isolated Monastery in Russia with no road leading to Monastery. In order to visit monastery, one must walk 32 Kilometers by foot. After reaching lake, Visitors must light a fire and wait for the monks from the monastery to notice the visitors, at the other end of the Lake, to send boats.
6 Phugtal Gompa Monastery, India
Founded in the 11th century by Lama Gangsem Sherap Sampo, the Phugtal Gompa rests upon base of twigs and mud at a height of 3,800 meters. It is situated on a cliff face in the Ladakh Himalaya in Zansar, in northern India. It is a sacred place for buddhists and place of learning inhabited by monks and nuns. It is home to 70 monks, the monastery is carved out of a cliff in the mountain range.
5 Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
Paro Taktsang Monastery is a well known Monastery of Himalayan Buddhists. The monastery is located in the cliff side of the upper Paro valley of Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche arrived at the present location of Monastery, on the back of a tigress. Here, he meditated in one of the caves and since, then the place became holy. Critically hanging on the cliff of the mountain at 3,000 Meters, this place is also known to be as “The Tiger’s Nest”. Unfortunately, No tourists are allowed to visit the Holy place.
4 Xuan Kong Si Monastery, China
“The Hanging Temple” of China is built on a cliff facing Mount Heng in Shanxi province. The temple is more than 1400 years old, but at first look it seems like a windstorm will bring down the whole of temple. The temple in actual is a great work of architecture; crossbeams were half-inserted into the bedrocks as the foundation, as the main supportive structure. The temple is also the combination of three Chinese religions, namely, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
3 Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Dedicated to Virgin Mary, Sümela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox Monastery, which was founded in 386 AD. Overlooking the Altindere Valley, it is nestled in a steep precipice at the height of 1200 meters at Macka region, Turkey. It is said that an icon of Virgin Mary was found in a cave in the mountain by two priests, who undertook its creation. The Monastery was abandoned in 1923 and became a museum. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its breath taking location and structure.
2 Popa Taungkalat Monastery, Myanmar
Along with being one of the most isolated monastery, Popa Taungkalat Monastery is also the most dangerous. It is situated on the top of a volcano, 737 meter above sea level. It is a home of 37 Nats Spirits (Spirits of those who met violent ends). One need to climb 777 steps in order to reach the monastery, where it seems one is walking within the clouds.
1 St. George Monastery, Israel
Built in6th century St. George Monastery is located in Wadi Qelt, in the eastern west bank. The monastery is inhabited by Greek Orthodox Monks and has ancient gardens and Chapel. The cliff hanging complex is considered to be of great spiritual significance. Soon after the Monastery was built, the monastery was destroyed by Persians, who killed 14 monks residing there. Even today, their bones are found in hallowed wall of the monastery.