Alchi Monastery Ladakh

Alchi Monastery Ladakh


There are a few important elements that complete the picture of Ladakh and one of them is the monasteries. Amongst all the others that are present in the Union Territory of Ladakh, Alchi Monastery is one of the oldest.

Alchi Monastery in Ladakh is one of the most visited attractions owing to its wonderful locations and beautiful architecture. From meditating in the calm and peaceful environment to spinning the prayer wheel while asking for any wish, travelers enjoy and love their time at the peaceful Alchi Village.

According to history, it is believed that the monastery was built by the great translator Guru Rinchen Zangpo somewhere in the 10th Century. However, inscriptions in the monastery state that it was established in the 11th century. Today it is being monitored by Likir Monastery. Alchi monastery receives a huge footfall throughout the year because people visit here anytime in the year. The accessibility will never be an issue for you because regular buses do ply between Leh and this village.

Here is the detailed information about Alchi Monastery Ladakh

History of Alchi Monastery

According to the history of the Alchi Monastery, we can understand that it is a part of a group that sprawls across two villages namely- Sumda Chun and Mangyu. Apart from these two villages, the main monument which is the monastery itself is situated in the Alchi village. They showcase the true craftsmanship of the architects and builders.

The Alchi Monastery of Ladakh was established by a popular translator and scholar “Rinchen Zangpo” in the 10th century. But the inscriptions speak differently as it showcases that the monument came into existence somewhere in the 11th century by Kal-dan Shes-rab who was a Tibetan Noble. This disruption has been there forever at this monastery. You will also find a lot of intriguing paintings on the premises of the monastery which makes it even better.

Architecture Alchi Monastery

Alchi monastery boasts Tibetan Style architecture and the Alchi monastic complex stands out amongst the rest of the attractions in the three villages. This monastery is actually a complex of temples consisting of 4 separate portions that have monuments built at different times.

The main complex has three temples- gTsug-lag-Khang (main temple), 'Jam-dpal lHa-Khang (Manjushri temple), and Dukhang (assembly hall). Intricately carved paintings adorn all these structures and are believed to be the oldest surviving in Ladakh.

The wall paintings depicting the details of Hindu kings as well as the teaching of Buddhism adorn the site. There is also a huge Buddha statue in the complex which is also a famous tourist attraction in Alchi Monastery.

Timings and Charges Alchi Monastery


  • 10 am to 1 pm
  • 2 pm to 6 pm
  • And the monastery is open for visitors 7 days a week.


  • Indian visitors have to pay 25 INR
  • Foreign visitors have to pay 50 INR

Highlights of Alchi Monastery

  • Chortens
  • Dukhang which is the assembly hall
  • Frescoes or Wall Paintings
  • Sumtseg
  • Jampe Lhakhang which is also called as Manjushri Temple

Best time to visit Alchi Monastery

Ladakh is accessible during the summer season by road and that’s the best time to visit Alchi Monastery as well. This is between May and August. All the roads are cleared of snow and the climate is also pleasant making it easier and better for the travelers to enjoy their time at various places of Ladakh.

How to reach Alchi Monastery

Although the best way to read Alchi is to divert towards Sasapol from NH1 while coming from Kargil. But people visit it while heading back, which is also a fine way. If you are traveling in a public vehicle you can visit Alchi Monastery by hiring a cab or private taxi. How to reach Alchi Monastery can be a question for those visiting Leh Ladakh from Manali but then they have to take the NH1 route back to their home.

Where to stay in Alchi

Owing to the number of people visiting Alchi Monastery each year, the people of Alchi have rigorously worked to make the availability of staying options a task for themselves. The locals have built several staying options in the village to house people visiting the place. Usually, people prefer visiting the monastery and other places in Alchi during the second half of the day and spend a night here. The best-staying options in Alchi include:

  • TIH Hotel jeevanam villa
  • The Indus Valley Resort
  • The Land Resort
  • Cho Palace
  • The Silk Route Ladakh
  • The Grand Ladakh

From homestays to guesthouses to multi-star hotels, there has always been an extensive number of options for people of Ladakh. Some of the hotels of Alchi do take pre-booking or online booking but most function the traditional way. Also, even in the peak season, finding a room at Alchi won’t be a difficult task.

Where to eat

Another very important thing while staying at someplace is the availability of things to eat. Places to eat in Alchi are also abundant. From good restaurants to small stalls of local cuisines, travelers do enjoy their time in this village. Some of the best places to eat in Alchi include:

  • Alchi Kitchen
  • Mughlai Central
  • Cafe Pirates
  • Tequila Reef
  • Golden Oriole German Bakery

Other Important Tips

  • Keep in mind that Alchi Monastery is about 65 km from the city of Leh. So while planning your visit here make sure you have sufficient time and food in your bag. Although it's the NH1 that leads to the monastery and it takes 2 hours to reach here but once you reach you would surely want some time to spend here.
  • Entering the monastery is chargeable. You will have to pay just 25 INR and the amount is the same for foreign tourists as well.
  • Keep all your documents in your bag while traveling to the Alchi monastery because it is important and can be asked for at any point in time.
  • You are traveling to a high altitude and it is better to slip into comfortable clothes for extra comfort. Wearing comforting clothes will allow your body to breathe throughout the trail.
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen before leaving the city as the sunlight is direct here and can burn your skin.
  • Keep your body covered in layers of warm clothes because the temperature fluctuation in Ladakh is very abrupt and unpredictable. Wearing layers of warm clothes can allow you to take them off when it becomes hot and put them on when cold.
  • Make sure you spend a good 2-3 hours at the monastery. There are a lot of things to do and you surely are going to like it there. If not anything else, sit with the monks and hear about the history and some good things about Buddhism and Alchi Monastery.
  • Monks meditate around the Alchi Monastery inside the place as well. So try to be as quiet as you can because disturbing them would be rude. While reaching the place you will see a lot of banners telling you to talk softly and that’s because the people here want to keep it a rejuvenating place for all.
  • Like most of the monasteries in Ladakh, Alchi is also a secretive one. No photography is allowed here for their own reasons. So, it will be highly appreciated if you respect their things at all cost.
  • All the intoxicating items including cigarettes, alcohol, and even food items are not allowed inside. The only thing a person can carry is a water bottle. So do remember to either keep it aside before entering to leave it back in your hotel.


FAQs about the Alchi Monastery

Ans: No, there is no special event or festival that is celebrated in Alchi Monastery. Although the entire place is given a complete makeover during the festivals that are celebrated all over Ladakh including Monlam, Chotrul Duchen, Galdan Namchot, Sho Dun, Losar, and Dajyur.

Ans: There is still confusion about its establishment because according to the history of Alchi Monastery, it was created in the 10th Century. Whereas the inscriptions that are preserved inside the monument state its creation to be in the 11th Century.

Ans: Approximately 66 km away from each other. And the monastery is quite accessible by road.

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