Leh and Ladakh area is the domain of Buddhist religion,If you are travelling to Leh Ladakh then you can be a testimony to these finest expressions of Buddhist art and culture. In this blog we have compiled a list of most famous monasteries of Leh Ladakh.
1. Hemis Monastery
The most famous festival held at Hemis is the annual Tsechu in June, which is also known as the Hemis Festival. The monks decorate the walls of the monastery with paintings, while the main halls are decorated with thangkas. The most esoteric part of the festival is the mystical mask dance performed by the monks. This is only possible in a tantric gompa.
The Hemis Monastery is an important religious center in Ladakh, and belongs to the Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located just a few kilometers from Leh town. The monks at Hemis Monastery participate in the annual Hemis festival, which draws thousands of tourists every year. Besides its religious importance, Hemis Monastery also offers comfortable accommodations for tourists.
If you love Tibetan Buddhism, you’ll find the Hemis Monastery to be one of the best in Leh-Ladakh. Founded in 1655, the monastery was originally the summer capital of Ladakh. The shrines here contain a 39-foot statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. A visit to the monastery requires special permission.
2. Diskit Monastery
When you travel to Ladakh, you can’t miss the chance to see one of the many Buddhist monasteries. One of the most popular is the Diskit monastery, it attracts travelers from all over the world. .
Diskit monastery, is around 50 kilometers from Leh, is dedicated to the enlightened master Naropa. Inside, you’ll find many prayer flags and murals of the Four Guardians of the Four Directions. Those who wish to explore the interior of this beautiful monastery may also take a walk through the nearby Gotsang Hermitage.
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3. Thiksey Monastery
The first monastery in Leh-Ladakh was the Thiksey Monastery. It resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The monastery was founded by a Tibetan monk, Changsem Shesrab Zangpo, who was appointed Pontiff by the Galwa Tsongkhapa in 1647. His successor, the great Lama Tenzin Gyatse, constructed the monastery under his guidance.
The monastery is home to several collections of Tibetan literature and art. The Gustor Festival takes place in late October or early November. There are a variety of other festivals held in the area. If you’re visiting Ladakh during one of these times, you can also take advantage of the many cultural activities and events held during the event. The Gustor Festival is held at the monastery on the seventeenth and nineteenth days of the ninth Tibetan month.
If you’re seeking solitude, the Thiksey Monastery is located 17 km away from Leh. There is frequent bus service between Leh and the monastery during festivals. If you’re looking for more spiritual inspiration, you can also visit Diskit Monastery in the Nubra Valley. This Buddhist monastery belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect and is home to over 500 monks. It is an impressive sight to witness and is also home to a wealth of Buddhist books and Thangka paintings.
4. Stakna Monastery
The Stakna Gompa, also known as Stakna Monastery, is part of the Drugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is located in the town of Stake, on the left bank of the Indus River in Leh-Ladakh, northern India. It is about twenty-one to twenty-five kilometres from the town of Leh.
This magnificent monastery has a seven-foot-tall silver chorten, paintings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and many Buddhist texts. The walls of the main assembly hall have three statues of Buddhas, images of Bodhisattvas and Tshong-san-gompo. Upon entering the monastery, one will find a thron, which is the seat of the head lama.
5. Likir Monastery
A visit to the famous Likir Monastery in Ladakh, Northern India, it is sure to leave you spellbound. The monastery is located at an elevation of 3700 metres, approximately 52 kilometres west of Leh. While you are in this area, you may want to check out the nearby monastery of Changthang, a renowned pilgrimage site. But if you want to experience something different, try a hike up the mountain.
If you’re planning a trip to Likir, you’ll want to visit it during the summer months. The monastery is closed in the winter months, and the snow can make the roads impassable. However, if you’re visiting during this time, the weather will be pleasant. You can spend at least two hours at the monastery. To get the full experience of the monastery, make sure you reach Leh before sunset. Otherwise, you can spend the evening at the monastery village.
The complex contains a main temple, an assembly hall, monk’s quarters, and a chapel where religious ceremonies are held. Though the complex has undergone some changes over the years, the overall look suggests a monastery that was well-fortified. A notable thangka collection, old costumes, and earthen pots are on display. Another highlight of the monastery is the 75-foot statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha.
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6. Spituk Monastery
The Spituk Monastery, also called the Pethup Gompa, is located in the town of Spituk, Ladakh. It is located about 8 kilometers away from the city of Leh. Arhat Nyimagung is the patron saint of Spituk, and it is also one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the region. Founded in 1680, the monastery is an important pilgrimage site, and you can see it blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist monk.
The Spituk Monastery was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Changchub Od. It was blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung and Lotewa Rinchen Zangpo. The monastery also houses an enormous statue of Goddess Kali. The monastery was built by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od, who wanted a monastery that was an exemplary religious community.
7. Lamayuru Monastery
Located 12 miles from Leh, Lamayuru monastery is home to several devoted monks and is considered one of the best places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. The temple, also known as the tharpa ling, dates back to the 10th century. The monastery complex was completed in the 16th century under King Namgyal. Although heavily damaged during the Dogra invasion of Ladakh, the monastery has been fully restored since then.
The road from Leh to Lamayuru is well connected. Lamayuru is also known as Yuru gompa and Yuru monastery and is best visited during the summer. The Lamayuru Gompa, located 15 kilometers south of Leh, is the royal residence of the Ladakhi royal family. The library houses 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings. The entrance veranda features mural paintings depicting guardians of the four directions. The main assembly hall is decorated with thangkas and banners depicting Buddhist themes. It is said that the Dalai Lama, the current Dalai Lama, is a reincarnation of Avalokitesvara.
8. Akhi Monastery
The Akhi Monastery is considered to be one of the best monasteries in Ledakh. It is located near the town of Leh. The monastery is a must-see for any traveler who is looking for a spiritual experience. There are many different options to visit Leh. The city is famous for its beautiful landscape, a high altitude plateau and the friendly people. If you’re traveling on your own, consider traveling with a small group, and do your best to check for Covid-19 measures.
Buddhist monasteries are the most popular in Ladakh. The architecture of these monasteries is a mix of Tibetan and Buddhist styles, and many of the monasteries have beautiful collections of Buddha relics. The monasteries are often located in secluded locations, which lend themselves to tranquility. You will be immersed in the peace and quiet of these places, and leave feeling inspired and rejuvenated.
Zangla Monastery Zangla Monastery is another monastery worth visiting. The wall paintings are magnificent. The Drukpa order of lamas resides at this monastery. A Hungarian scholar once visited this monastery in 1823-1824. The monastery has two 15th-century temples below the ruins of Tsemo. The monastery is located three kilometers from the polo ground and a 600-metre dead-end spur on the Nubra Road. It is dedicated to an eight-m tall gold-faced Maitreya and other deities that protect the area.