There are several Buddhist temples in Malaga, some more remote and others on the coast that we can visit for free, as everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to be inspired by this ancient culture based on compassion and marvel at the unique structures, peace and magic that surrounds them.
Buddhist temples in Malaga
All centres derive from Tibetan Buddhism. While some follow the line of the ancient teaching transmitted by the historical Buddha Sakyamuni and his highest representative the Dalai Lama, others have adapted these teachings to modern times.
What is a Stupa?
In some of the centres there are Stupas. These beautiful monoliths, usually topped by a golden spike, are like acupuncture needles of the earth, usually erected in places of special energy and endowed with a special intention, such as universal peace.
In Malaga we have two very special Stupas, the Stupa of Enlightenment in Benalmádena and the Stupa Kalachakra, symbolising Universal Peace, in Vélez Málaga.
Below, we tell you a lot of interesting things about them and we are sure you won’t be able to resist visiting them.
Kadampa Meditation Centre in Alhaurín el Grande
Modern Kadampa Buddhism preserves the meaning and intention of the original teachings of the Buddha; people of all nationalities, age and gender can easily understand and practice them.
The centre is situated in beautiful natural surroundings on the outskirts of Alhaurín el Grande, about 40 minutes from the Costa del Sol.
Currently (February 2022) work is underway on the 6th Kadampa Temple for World Peace, which will be the largest in Europe.
Its opening is on June 10th 2022 with a big festival-ceremony, all are welcome.
More information about the festival: https://kadampafestivals.org/es/primavera
If you want to be informed about the construction of the temple: https://kadampa.org/es/2020/11/templewatch-malaga-la-historia-hasta-ahora
How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/fwTeHgPchnmNzZs99
Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmádena
The Benalmádena Stupa stands out for many reasons.
Built in 2002, it is the largest Buddhist monument in the West. The building is standing 33 metres high with an impressive golden spike that can be seen from many points along the coast.
As mentioned before, the Stupas are normally closed monoliths, while the Enlightenment Stupa houses a meditation hall with beautiful Tibetan paintings. They offer introductory lectures on different topics of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. The lectures are given by Western and Tibetan Buddhist masters and everyone is welcome.
On Sundays at 6 pm are held guided meditations, admission is free.
In the grounds of the Stupa there is a gift shop where you can buy Buddhist literature and traditional items from the Himalayan countries.
The Stupa is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 6.30 pm.
How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/Aceuj6d4DUJnTrby6
Surroundings of the Stupa
In the Retamar Park, where the Stupa de la Iluminación is located, there are several places worth visiting.
Next to the Stupa is the Mirador from where we can enjoy wonderful views of the coast. The viewpoint has a car park, where you can leave your car parked and explore the surrounding area on foot.
Grotto of the Virgin of Lourdes
Very hidden and unknown to most people, a few metres from the Stupa there is an ancient grotto carved in the rock. This is a particular and hidden place between trees and pines that offers beautiful views of Benalmádena coast.
How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/ZC8kF3hrWEN929YF7
With a simply spectacular exterior in the style of a Thai temple, this building catches our attention a few metres before reaching the Stupa.
Inside it houses thousands of butterflies in a tropical microclimate, which we can observe from close up in all stages of their cycle.
And if you are lucky, a blue butterfly will land on your hand.
Accessible for the disabled. Small dogs are allowed in the arms of their owners.
Open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6.30 pm.
How to get there: https://g.page/mariposarioes?share
Diamond Way Buddhist Centre Malaga
In the centre of Malaga we can visit this small centre of Tibetan Buddhism according to the teachings of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni.
The centre specialises in the practice of meditation, applied to Western life and to the present day. They offer an introduction to Buddhism on Mondays at 8 pm.
Mondays: 8 pm Introduction to Buddhism – 8.30 pm Meditation
Wednesdays and Fridays: 8:30 pm. Meditation
How to get there: https://g.page/budismo-malaga?share
Karma Guen Buddhist Centre in Vélez-Málaga
The Karma Guen Buddhist Centre is in the middle of nature halfway between Velez-Malaga and the Viñuela reservoir.
It is one of the first Buddhist centres in the south of Spain and dates back to 1987. It has a Kalachakra Stupa, of which there are only 4 in the whole world, symbolising Universal Peace and the union of all peoples.
The centre has a meditation hall for up to 2000 people and offers the possibility of group and personal retreats and has its own mini village of Buddhist residents.
The setting of the Karma Guen centre is simply spectacular with views of the sea and the Sierra Tejeda and Almijara mountains, with its peak Maroma at 2,069 metres altitude.
Every day at 8 pm.
Visitor day on Sundays at 11 am with prior notice.
Buddhist Centres in Granada
O Sel Ing Buddhist Centre
Although outside the province of Malaga, we would like to mention this unique retreat centre founded in 1980, situated at 1,600 metres above sea level on the southern slopes of Sierra Nevada, the Alpujarra.
The location of the place is unique and it doesn’t take much imagination to imagine yourself in Tibet. O Sel Ling follows the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism under the inspiration of the Dalai Lama.
O Sel Ling means “place of clear light” and was the name given to the place by the Dalai Lama on his visit in 1982.
The centre has simple cottages for solitary retreats, isolated and located in different parts of the mountain, each cottage has a different charm and has everything you need for an individual retreat.
The visit to O Sel Ling is free of charge, always within the established visiting hours.
Please note that this is not a place to get up there up on a Sunday for a picnic, as it is a retreat centre.
It is important to bear in mind that, until you reach this secluded spot, you have to go along a forest track that is in poor condition in some parts. We drove there many times, even in a small Fiat 500. There is a small car park before reaching in the centre.
People who prefer to walk up the last stretch to connect more with the energy of the place, can park their car further down the road. Water and sun protection are essential.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.
Summer: June to 18 October: from 5 pm to 7.30 pm.
Winter: From 19 October to May (included): from 3.30 pm to 6 pm.
The curious history of O Sel Ing
And how did a Buddhist centre come to be built in the high Alpujarra mountains in the eighties?
Osel Hita Torres was born in Bubión (Alpujarra Granada) in the 1980s. His mother was a follower of Thubten Yeshe, a charismatic and outgoing Tibetan lama who travelled extensively in the West in the 1970s. Yeshe was no ordinary lama, he visited Disneyland and was half in love with Western culture.
Upon the death of the lama and a few months after Osel’s birth, the suggestion arose that he might be the tulku (reincarnation) of Yeshe. Fourteen months later, after certain traditional tests, the Dalai Lama formally recognised him as such.
The boy was raised in a Buddhist monastery in India; he left the monastic life at the age of 18 after reading Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. Today he is Tulko of Yeshe and a filmmaker, very close to this lama.
Read more about the curious story in this BBC article.
Interactive Map of Buddhist Temples in Malaga
In this interactive map you can see and consult all the sites we have mentioned, with photos and opinions of other users.