Ladakh is a true depiction and a treasure trove of Buddhist culture and its unique traditions. One of the best things that they proudly talk about is their monasteries. Boasting the intricately built monasteries; Ladakh exhibits the cultural heritage of the bygone era. Monasteries in Ladakh offer all the tourists an opportunity to explore the enchanting and intriguingly designed monuments. Because most of these have a museum with artifacts and manuscripts on display.
The most popular Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh are Shey Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Diskit Gompa, Spituk Monastery, Phugtal Gompa, Likir Monastery, Stakna Monastery, and Rangdum Monastery. Most of the monasteries in Ladakh are situated on the hilltop. Their architecture is a perfect blend of Buddhist and Tibetan shills. To get a better insight into the monasteries in Ladakh, you can opt for a tour package as it allows ease while visiting here.
A brief history about the Ladakh monasteries
During the long course of its history, Ladakh was ruled by several dynasties who brought their culture, religion, and traditions to this region, giving it a unique feature. As far as religion is concerned, Buddhism is followed here by the majority of the population. Irrespective of the rugged terrain and remote inaccessible areas, monks and preachers passed through them and built monasteries that have now become the best places to visit in Ladakh.
There are innumerable monasteries in Ladakh, some in ruins while others are still inhabited, running as educational and religious centers. It is no exaggeration that these gompas are a cultural and architectural delight that soothe the eyes of every visitor.
Diskit Monastery Ladakh
One of the finest monasteries in Ladakh that’s situated in Nubra Valley and is a top-notch attraction of Ladakh. The monastery is popular for Maitreya Buddha and Dosmoche festival. The monastery was established during the 1400s by Changzeb Tserab Zangpo.
- Timings of the monastery- 7 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 7 pm
- Entry Fee- 30 INR
- Distance between Diskit Monastery and Leh- 116 km (approximately)
Hemis Monastery Ladakh
The Hemis Monastery was built during the reign of King Singge Namgyal and it is one of the largest in all of Ladakh. With the monastery being home to a king, it is also amongst the wealthiest monasteries of Ladakh and Tibet. The monastery is located in Leh itself.
- Timings of the monastery- 8 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm
- Entry Fee- None
- Distance between Hemis and Leh- 40 km (approximately)
Thiksey Monastery Ladakh
Thiksey is a Tibetan Style monastery located south of Leh on the Leh- Manali highway. It is a fabulously designed 12-story monastery that is located on a hilltop. The visitors can enjoy a great view of the surroundings and offer their prayers to the lord. Women are not allowed in the Lamokhang Temple complex of the monastery. Moreover, there are 2 cafes in the complex itself allowing the visitors to fill their tummy.
- Timings of the monastery- May to November (7 am to 7 pm) The monastery remains closed between November and April
- Entry Fee- 30 INR
- Distance between Thiksey and Leh- 18 km (approximately)
Alchi Monastery Ladakh
The history of Alchi Monastery dates back to somewhere between 958 and 1055. The monastery was established by Guru Rinchen Zangpo. You cannot click pictures inside the monastery and shoes are also not allowed inside.
- Timings of the monastery- 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm
- Entry Fee- 25 INR for Indians and 50 INR for International
- Distance between Alchi and Leh- 66 km (approximately)
Spituk Monastery Ladakh
Spituk Monastery is amongst the best and most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh. Its cliff-top location makes the view from the top absolutely stunning. The monastery was built by Od-de who was the brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. The huge monastery houses approximately 100 monks and the key attraction here is the giant Kali statue. Gustor Festival is held here every year, and that’s when the statue, as well as multiple collections of objects, are displayed.
- Timings of the monastery- 8 am to 1 pm
- Entry Fee- 20 INR
- Distance between Spituk Monastery and Leh- 8 km (approximately)
Rules and Regulation to follow in Ladakh Monasteries
There are certain rules and regulations that you will have to follow while visiting any of the monasteries in Ladakh. Here are some common things that need to be followed:
- You will have to obey all the rules and regulations that are related to a specific monastery.
- Make sure that you are not under any influence of alcohol while visiting any monastery. That will be disrespectful.
- One should not smoke in or around the monastery because this is highly prohibited.
- Clicking pictures of monks in the monastery is also prohibited and considered disrespectful. Take permission from the monks before you click their pictures.
- Videography and photography in certain areas like prayer halls and meditating rooms. So, do follow the instructions so that you don’t get any inconvenience.
- There are certain timings that one needs to follow that differ from monastery to monastery.
FAQs about the Ladakh Monastery
Ans:There are roughly 108 monasteries in all of Ladakh. The popular amongst them are a few and some amongst these are in ruins due to the ancient wars that this place has witnessed.
Ans: Hemis Monastery is the largest and the richest amongst all the 108 monasteries of Ladakh. It was founded in the 1630s and has been a key attraction for people visiting the place.
Ans: Yes, you can! There are a few monasteries in Ladakh where one can stay and one of those places is Thiksey Monastery.
Ans: Yes, you can stay at the Phugtal Monastery but for that, you will have to request the monks to give you a room. It completely depends on the occasion and the monks.
List of Monasteries in Leh ladakh
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