Monasteries in Ladakh

Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru monastery is about 125 kms. west of Leh. As the legend goes, Lamayuru was a lake. It was blessed by a Lama after which the water of the lake receded up to the mountains leaving place for the monastery to be built. Now mostly in ruins, only the main hall exists today and houses numerous tankhyas. The Yundrung Kabgyad festival is held during summer on the 28th and 29th days of the 2nd Tibetan month. Lamayuru has fascinating caves carved out of the mountainside. Also known as Yung Drung (Swastika) it is sited on a high promonotory overlooking the village and valley.   more >>

Alchi Monastery
The small village of Alchi holds a significant place in the culture of Himalayas. The village comprises four separate hamlet and a number of historic structures apart from the main monastic complex. Though small, the village has sufficient facilities to make an overnight stay comfortable for tourists. Tourists can also shop a bit in Alchi. The major items for buy include pashmina and other wool products. The best time to visit the place is from June to September.   more >>

Diskit Monastery
Diskit Monastery, also known as Deskit monastery is not only the oldest but also the largest Buddhist Gompa in the Nubra Valley, Ladakh. The prayer hall of the monastery consists of a statue of Maitreya Buddha, various images of other guardian gods as well as huge drum. This monastery is of the Gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, during the 14th century. The monastery’s cupola is same as the Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet.  more >>

 Hemis Monastery
The monastery of Hemis is situated on a green hill, surrounded by spectacular mountains. Hemis is situated around 45 kms in the south of Leh on the west banks of the Indus river. The Hemis monastery is the biggest and very richly endowed monastery of Ladakh. The Hemis monastery was built in 1630 and it belongs to the red sect, Brokpa. It is not visible from the road as it is located in a side valley. Impressive and intriguing, Hemis is different from the other important monasteries of Ladakh. The monastery is decorated on all the four sides by the colourful prayer flags which flutter in the breeze and send the prayers to Lord Buddha.  more >>

 Shey Monastery
Situated on a hillock 15 km south of Leh, was once the residence of the royal family & it was constructed by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tidetan kings. Around 12 Ft. Shakyamuni Buddha's statue made by copper guilt is the largest in the region, built by Deldan Namgyal in 1633 is a funerary memorial to his father, king Singee Namgyal. There is another statue of the Buddha three stories in height.Stone carving and many chortens are scattered around the Dresthang Gompa. On the 30th day of the 1st Tibetan month celebrates shey rul-lo and on the 10th day of the 7th Tibetan month the festival of Shey Surb-lo is held.  more >>

 Thiksey Monastery
About 20 kms from Leh, Thiksey is an imposing monastery and one of the finest example of Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. Paldan Sherab nephew of Sherb Zangpo, founded Thiksey monastery.  more >>

Spituk Monastery
Spituk Gompa is on the hill top near Indus, around 18 Kms from Leh. The Gompa was founded in 11th century by Od-De The Gompa was named Spituk (exemplary) by Rinchen Zangpo, a translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially it belonged to the Kadampa school then during the life time of king Gragspa Bumide made it Gayluk Pa order. .  more >>

 Zongkhul Monastery
The spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar, Zongkhul, falls on the Padum-Kishtwar trekking trail, just before the ascent of Omasi-la Pass begins. Situated like a Swallow's nest on the rock face of the Ating George, the monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian Yogi, Naropa, who lectured in the Nalanda and Vikramsila Universities. The two caves present in the monastery are said to have been used by the famous Yogi for the solitary meditation.  more >>

Stok Palace

Visible in the distance, at the top of a huge moraine of pebbles swept down from the mountains, the elegant four-storey Stok Palace stands above barley terraces studded with threshing circles and whitewashed farmhouses. Built early in the nineteenth century by the last ruler of independent Ladakh, it has been the official residence of the Ladakhi royal family since they were ousted from Leh and Shey two hundred years ago. 

A former member of parliament, still lives here during the summer. One of the room is converted into Museum. The fascinating collection comprises some of the family's most precious heirlooms, including antique ritual objects, ceremonial tea paraphernalia, and exquisite sixteenth-century thangkas illuminated with paint made from crushed rubies, emeralds and sapphires. The pieces de resistance, however, are the Gyalmo's peraks.   Still worn on important occasions, the ancient headdresses, thought to have originated in Tibet, are encrusted with slabs of flawless turquoise, polished coral, lapis lazuli and nuggets of pure gold. Also of interest are a couple of swords whose blades were allegedly tied in knots as a demonstration of strength by king Tashi Namgyal Phugtal Gompa.


Sankar gompa

The Sankar gompa is located a couple of kilometers north of the town center. The gompa belongs to the Gelukpa order and has an impressive impression of the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshwara Padmahari or Chenresig, with 1,000 arms and an equal number of heads. 
 

Phugtal Gompa

The Phugthal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge c Phugtal Gompa in Ladakhave high up in the sheer mountain face of a lateral gorge through which a major tributary of the southern Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River flows. Perhaps, the most isolated monastic establishment of Zanskar, its foundation date back to the early 12th century ; at least one old chappel, among the several several of which it is composed, has frescos and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and iconographic influence. Phugthal is accessible from the Padum-Manali trekking route through a 7 km long trail that branches off from the Purney Bridge on the main trail. This unique monastic establishment is inhabited by a resident community of about 40 monks. 

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