TOUR :  

MONASTERIES IN LEH LADAKH

THIKSEY MONASTERY:

About 2 0Km south of Leh. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and part of Gelukpa order. the disciple of Jangon Tsongkhapa, Sherab Zangpo of stod, first built the temple of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of the Thiksey valley. Then Paldan Sherab nephew of Sherb Zangpo, founded Thiksey monastery. There are sacred shrines and a many precious objects to be seen. The successive reincarnation of the Skyabje Khampo Ringpoche act as incharge of the monastery. Thiksey gustor (festival) held from 17th to 19th day of the 12th month. There are chance to see prayer in the early morning.

STAKNA MONASTERY:

Built nearly 1580 by great scholar saint chosje Jamyang Palkar during the reign of king Jamyang Namgyal. The Stakna monastery is 45 Km south of Leh, founded on a hill shaped Stakna (Tiger nose). Easily accessible from Leh town.

TAKTHOK MONASTERY:

Around 46 Km from Leh, Takthok monastery was a meditation cave of mahasidhas "Kunga Phuntsog". Later, it started calling Takthok (rock roof) monastery. The festival of Takthok held on the 28th and 29th days of the 9th month.

HEMIS MONASTERY:

Hemis monastery is one of the most famous and largest of all monasteries in Ladakh, 45 Kms south of Leh founded in 17th century belongs to the Drukpa order. the monastery was founded by Stagsang Raschegn who was invited to Ladakh by king Singee Namgyal. The king offered him religious estates and attended him as his principal guru. Hemis Tsechu (festival) assemble annually from 9th to 11th day of the 5th Tibetan month. The Gompa has well preserved Thankas and copper gilt statue of the lord Buddha, various stupas made of gold and silver and many auspicious objects. The largest thanka in Ladakh over 12 Mtrs. Long is at Hemis.

MATHO MONASTERY:

Gompa is 26 Kms south of Leh on the opposite bank of Indus river, belongs to saskya order, founded about five hundred year ago by Lama Dunpa Dorjey. The festival called " Matho Nagrang" takes place every year on the 14th and 15th days of the 1st Tibetan month.

SPITUK MONASTERY:

Gompa is on the hill top near Indus, around 18 Kms from Leh. Which was founded in 11th century by Od-De the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub-od, the Gompa named Spituk (exemplary) when Rinchen Zangpo translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially it belonged to the Kadampa school then during the life time of king Gragspa Bumide made it Gayluk Pa order. the Spituk festival held every year from 17th to 19th days of the 11th month.

PHYANG MONASTERY:

Phyang is 17 Kms west of Leh on the blue hill, belongs to Dingung order, founded in 15th century by Chosje Danma Kunja Dragpa in the time of king Jamjang Namgyal. Phyang monastery is also called Tashi Chosang, which mark the first established of the Dingung to teachings in Ladakh. The festival of Gang-Sgnon Tsedub are held every year from 17th to 19th of the 1st month.

LEKIR MONASTERY:

Located around 52 Kms from Leh, know as Klu-Kkhjil (water spirits) founded in the 14th century by Lama Dhwang Chosje a great champion of meditation. The site of the monastery was encircled by the bodies of two great spent spirits. Therefore, name became widely renowned as Lekir. In the 15th century the disciple of Khasdubje know a lhawang Lodos Sangphu caused the monastery to flourish. This monastery also belongs to Gaylukpa school. Every year from the 17th to 19th of the 12th month the Lekir festival is held.

ALCHI MONASTERY:

Alchi Choskor is the only monastery in the Ladakh on flat ground, around 69 Kms west of Leh. Largest and most famous of all of the temples and built by the great translator Ringchem Zangpo. The temple was founded in 11th century which accounts for the Indian and particularly Kashmiri influences.

RIZONG MONASTERY:

Rizong is also known as Yuma Changchubling about 73 Kms from Leh and around 6 Kms from main road, founded about 138 years ago by the great Lama Tsultim Nima. Gompa belong to Gelukpa order. Dress and food provisions are provided for all member of the community by the Governing body of the monastery. The monastery is sited in a most solitary positions and there is a nunnery place called chulichan down the monastery. The work of spinning wool, milking, extracting oil for the temple lamps has to be performed by all the nuns.

LAMAYURU MONASTERY:

The oldest and spectacularly set Lamayuru monastery is about 125 kms. West of Leh, founded in the 10th century in 11th century the Mahasiddha Naropa came to this place. Then Rinchen Zangpo translator came and built many temples and stupas and then teaching of the Kadampa school came to flourish. Later Jamyang Namgyal offered it to Chosje Danma and Digung Kargyut school were introduced and named Yungdrung Therpalling. The Yundrung Kabgyad festival is held on the 28th and 29th days of the 2nd Tibetan month.

BARDAN MONASTERY:

The monastery of Bardan can be reached from Padum by trekking four hours down stream. Built on a rock, it towers high above the Tserap Lingti Chu. The monastery belongs to the Drukpa Kagyupa order, the abbot is Stakna Rinpoche. The monastery was founded in the 16th century. Its most important room is the Dukhang, which lies on the ground floor. The shrine on the first floor is dedicated to Maitreya, the Buddha of future ages.

KARSHA MONASTERY:

The monastery of Karsha lies to the left of the river Doda. From the Tungri bridge, it takes four hours of trekking and three hours by the raft on the doda, to reach it. The monks quarters and temples of this biggest monastery of Zanskar can be seen crawling picturesquely up on a steep mountain slope. The monastery of Karsha belongs to the Gelugpa order and is looked after by Likir. Like in Like, the abbot is a brother of the Dalai Lama. The Chamba Ling temple, which one encounters on the way to the monastery, dates back to the 11th century whereas, the monastery itself was built in the 15th century.

PHUKTAL MONASTERY:

Hiking from Padum via Bardan, Mune and Char through the right side valley of the Tserap Lingti Chu, one reaches, after about three days, the magnificently situated monastery of Phuktal, part of which is hidden in a cave. Phuktal founded in the middle of the 15th century belongs to the reformed Gelygpa and is, at present the home of about 60 Yellow Hat Monks. Below the large cave lies the monks, village with the Nyingpa Lakhang. The cave contains the chorten with the relics of Shesreb Zangpo which is covered by several layers of lime paint

RANGDUM MONASTERY:

Rangdum is the first Buddhist monastery one encounters on the way from Kargil to Panikar and Parkutse. From Kargil one can reach it in a seven to eight hours drive by Jeep. The monastery stands on a hill in a mountain valley, which in that area is rather wide. Rangdum was founded by the Gelugpa as in the early 16th century at present, over 40 monks live there under their abbot Ngari Rinpoche.

SANI MONASTERY:

It takes one day drive from Kargi via Rangdum to reach the monastery and village of Sani, which lies about 10 Km before Padum. The Sani Monastery belongs to the southern branch of the Drukpa Kagyupa school. This sanctuary is, however for Buddhist of such high importance that even other sects worship it deeply. According to a legend, the chorten, standing in the oldest part of Sani monastery dates back to the 2nd century A.D. The Dukhang which forms the center of the later built monastery part, was erected in the early 17th century. A few meters to the north west of the monastery, outside the wall, lies one of the eight most important cremation grounds of Tibetan Buddhists.

TONDE MONASTERY:

The village of Tonde can be reached from Padum in a four to five hours hiking tour through a bare, desert like plateau. The monastery Marpa Ling stands high above the village on the way to the Ronde Pass. The originally Red Hat Monastery was reformed in time and belongs now to the Gelugpa school. Over 50 monks of this sect are working in Tonde.

ZANGLA MONASTERY:

After a five hours walk from Tonde, along the right bank of the river Zanskar one arrives at Zangla the main village of the small principality bearing the same name. The castle of Zangla towering on a mountain ridge above the village is almost entirely destroyed. The Raja of Zangla lives, now a days in the village amongst the common people.