Saturday, 9 July 2011

Must visit monasteries in Leh

Leh is one place that has numerous monasteries from various periods and following different orders of Buddhism, but every monastery also has something unique. With colorful prayer flags fluttering on rooftops, lofty mountains walling the city, rustic mud brick houses and a silence broken only occasionally by somber ritualistic chants – Leh is your earthly ground for a cosmic experience. 
We bring to you the monasteries you must visit when in Leh. 

Shey, Thiksey & Hemis Monasteries

Located in the upper Indus Valley, the Shey Palace was built by King Deldan Namgyal (aka Lhachen Palgyigon) in 1655 to serve as a summer retreat for the Ladakhi kings. He added the Shey Monastery within the palace complex in the same year to honor his departed father, Singay Namgyal.

Situated about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away from Shey Monastery, the Thiksey Monastery is a fort monastery that’s built in the likeness of the Potala Palace of Lhasa, Tibet and houses about 60 monks. This is the most important monastery in Ladakh and governs ten more monasteries under it.

About 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Leh at a height of 3,657 meters (12,000 feet), the Hemis Gompa is one of the highest monasteries of the world. Portraying a unique Tibetan architecture through hitherto found construction techniques and treatment, this monastic complex is clearly one of the most important in its league.

Spituk, Phyang

Located about 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) away from Leh, the very first feeling that will overcome you when you behold the Spituk Monastery is an overwhelming calmness that you had longed for all your life. And that’s because monastic life here is an example for others to follow if only to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Phyang Gompa was built in the year 1515 over the hill of Phyang. The most interesting thing about this monastery is a 900 year old museum within the complex, which is a vast storehouse of enormous-sized thangkas, firearms and weapons from China, Mongolia and Tibet, idols of various deities and Kashmiri bronze artifacts.

Chemrey and Takthok Monasteries

The Chemrey Monastery, situated about 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) east of Leh sits serenely over a rocky mound with a towering mountain as its backdrop. The unevenly, jutting out structures flanking the monastery unmistakably provides the typical landscape of a Tibetan settlement.

Takthok Monastery, variably known as Thag Thog and even Thak Thak, is a mid-16th century monastery. About 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) west of Leh in Sakti village, Takthok Monastery stands as an iconic structure in Buddhist history, characterized by the preservation of 108 volumes of the Kanjur of the Buddha’s teachings, among other important relics like the statues of Sakyamuni.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

Popular Posts