July 25, 2016

The Land of Monasteries

You may think of Tibet, but there is another place which is easier to get in, i.e. Ladakh. Ladakh is a region in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, lying in the Himalayas mountain range. It is one of the most populated regions with the culture quite related to that of Tibet. Out of those wow landscapes, this post is about the holy attraction: The Monasteries.

Ladakh has countless of Buddhist monasteries situated in the hilltop. Most of them are centers of educational and religious learning. The architecture of them is a perfect blend of Buddhist and Tibetan shills.

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa is situated at a height of 4,267 meters overlooking the Leh city. It gives a panoramic view of surrounding snowcapped mountains. 

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was founded in the early 15th century. One of the most treasured possessions of the monastery is a three-story high solid gold idol of Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha, also known as the laughing Buddha).

Tsemo Gompa can be viewed from everywhere in Leh thanks to its location.

Alchi Monastery

The Alchi Monastery is about one thousand years old but now it is no longer an active religious center.

The village of Alchi differentiate itself from other villages of Ladakh by being so lush green as it is located on the left bank of the Indus river.

Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru Monastery is one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. It is said to have been built around the same time as Alchi monastery in the 11th century.

The monastery features a rich collection of wall paintings.

Likir Gompa

Likir Gompa is around 60 km from Leh and was built in 1065. The monastery is of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhist teachings and the three basic Pratimoksa disciplines are preached in this monastery.

Diskit Gompa

Diskit 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.

The 100 foot high Maitreya statue faces the Shyok River.

Hemis Monastery

Hemis Monastery is the most well-known monastery in Ladakh for its rich collection of ancient remnants like the statue of Buddha made of copper, stupas made of gold and silver, sacred Thangkas, murals and various artifacts.

Shey Monastery

The building complex of Shey Monastery located on the hilltop of Shey (the summer capital of the Leh city).

This monastery is also called Shey Palace which was once the residence of the royal family which was got constructed by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon.

Stakna Monastery

Stakna means “tiger's nose” and this name was given to the monastery because it was built on a hill shaped like a tiger's nose. Stakna Monastery is a visual display of the religious and cultural heritage of India and Buddhism.


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