via Outlook Traveller, 06 March 2021: A feature on the temples at Namsai, in India’s Arunachal Pradesh that borders Myanmar, and unsurprisingly, Theravada Buddhism found there is very close to the type found in Mainland Southeast Asia.
The warm and hospitable populace of Namsai practice the Theravada sect of Buddhism. Translated as ‘the way of elders’, it’s the oldest surviving form of Buddhism in the world and uses ancient and original Pali scriptures from the Buddha’s time. Eastern Arunachal’s Theravada Buddhists are ethnically, culturally and linguistically closer to the Buddhists of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
The Tai Khamptis and Singphos of Namsai district have a thriving Theravada Buddhist culture, which is evident in their daily lives as well as in the grand monasteries and temples they have built over the years. These monasteries are locally known as chongs or kyongs. Most chongs around Namsai have been renovated or rebuilt and stand as fine specimens of Tai Burmese style of temple architecture today.