Ladakh is the religious centre that houses a number of monasteries amidst the beauty of snow peaked mountains and the rugged valleys. Planning a Ladakh tour with the monasteries means experiencing the pristine beauty of the region. The Indo Tibetan culture and the captivating landscape with cold deserted region, lakes and the crystalline glaciers are all that fascinates the travellers.
It’s the beauty of monasteries that makes Ladakh a mini Tibet where you can experience the blissful and calm aura. The Buddhist heritage here dates back to the 11th century spreading the religious values and the monastic believes. Standing over the cliffs or embedded in a cave structure, enclosed with the surreal landscape, these monasteries are the major altercation making the Ladakh trip best for vacation.
There are number best monasteries that one can explore in the serene Himalayan region. The Gompas or the monasteries are the next beautiful thing in Ladakh beside the topography. While there is adventure and leisure defining the stay at Ladakh, monasteries add more to the vacation with the hint of culture and a scenic gateway. Here come the best monasteries for your Leh Ladakh tour, picked from the oldest to the wealthiest, the largest and the biggest that you can add on.
Nestled at a distance of 45 km from the city of Leh, Hemis Monastery is the largest and the best known in Ladakh. Founded in 1630, the monastery organizes a Hemis festival, dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava every year for the tourists. With the gold and silver stupas, the old aged idol of Lord Buddha and the collection of antique statues and thangkas, the Hemis is the wealthiest monastery you can visit for your best Leh Ladakh tour. The 12m long Thanka is largest in Ladakh that is the major attraction there. The monastery attracts a number of travellers to explore the adjacent beauty, the fertile region of Indus River and the relics preserved there. The Hemis monastery originates with the Naropa who was an Indian Buddhist attaining the enlightenment in this spiritual spot.
At a distance of 150 km away from Leh, head towards the magnificent Kharladunga pass to visit the oldest and the beautiful monastery of Ladakh. With the deserted beauty or Nubra, the Diskit Monastery is one of the major attractions for your Ladakh tour package. High at an altitude of 3142 meters, the monastery was founded by Changzem Sherab Zangpo in the 14th century. The milky white monastery is built in a Tibetan style that is the oldest in Ladakh with the beautiful frescos and gompas. Each morning the monastery is blessed with the chanting and the soothing prayers. The statue of Cho Rinpoche is situated in the prayer hall with a number of Buddha idols, images of other ditties that are enhancing and energizing the saintly vibes.
The summer capital city Shey is famous for the Buddhist monastery that was built in 1655 in honour of Singay Namgyal. The Shey Monastery with its beautiful gold-plated copper idol of Shakyamuni Buddha is one of the beautiful Gompa of Ladakh. The Buddha statue placed there is known to be the biggest that covers almost three floors. The large bowl of wax with a flame is burning there since years that hold the significance of being spiritual. There are beautiful paintings and murals embedded on the wall enhancing the beauty. The entire route to the monasteries has beautifully craved Buddhist statues along the path making the amazing Ladakh holidays more pristine and saintly. What makes this monastery world famous is the Rancho school from 3 idiot movie that is near from Shey Monastery.
Built in the 11th century, the Spituk Monastery is was founded by Lha Lama Changchub Od. With the throne of Dalai Lama, the monastery is home to more than 100 monks and the incredible idol of Kali Goddess and images of Tsong-Kha-pa and his disciples. The large statue of Buddha and the sculptures and chortens are the major attraction with a unique collection of some antique and ancient masks, arms and thangkas. The three chapels here are named as Stok, Sankar and Saboo that consist of the memorials, frescoes, idols, statues and scriptures. You can enjoy the Spituk festival organized yearly by planning the Leh Ladakh tour packages during the season. The festival falls on the 11th month of Tibetan calendar where the tales and life story of Buddha with mask dance.
At a distance of 52 km from the Leh city, the Likir Monastery lies on the Leh-Srinagar Highway. Call it the Klu-Kkhyil gompa, the monastery is basically a house of peace for the Naga community. The monastery is believed to derive its name from the Nanda and the Taksako serpents whose metaphor is bounding the monastery. The clay images of monks, ancient manuscripts, the relics and the thangkas are preserved there as a tressure. The mythology says that this is the first Gompa built by the monks from Tibet that exhibits the articrafts and the relics from Tibetan culture. You can surely visit the Likir monastery with your Ladakh and Kashmir tour, especially during the annual festival organized every 12th month of Tibetan calendar.
Covering up 127 km from Leh you will reach one of the oldest and largest monasteries of Ladakh, the Lamayuru Monastery. Nestled in between the Bodh Kharbu and Kha-La-Che, the Lamayuru village is a home for 150 Buddhist monks in Kargil. The Gompa was built in the 11th century by the Mahasiddha Acharya Naropa on a dried lake according to the mythology. He built around five building where the first was of Singhe Ghang, built for a lion that died on the lake. Today only one building exists as the Gompa with thangkas, scriptures murals and statues of Buddha and deities. Well-known as ‘Tharpa Ling’ or ‘place of freedom’ the monastery in Kargil can be easily explored with Leh Ladakh Biking Tour.
Built-in 1580 on the left edge on Indus river bank, the Stakna Monastery is a beautifully adorned serene spiritual site of Ladakh. With the various paintings and the Buddhist idol, scriptures, the monastery was founded by the Bhutanese saint and scholar Chose Jamyang. The Dukhang or the prayer hall consists of an amazing painting collection of Tsepha Kmad, Sakyamuni and Amchi, the Bodhisattva, Padmasambhava and Tshong-san-Gompo. The name Stakna means Tiger nose that also resembles the shape of the hill on which this small yet beautiful monastery of Ladakh is situated. The seven feet tall statue of Buddha as silver chorten and prayer notes are standing at the courtyard, making it one of the cultural and religious heritages to explore with Ladakh trip in India.
Not just a famous but Alchi is one of the largest Monastery in Ladakh that is located at a distance of 70 km from Leh. Built in the 12th century by the Rinchen Zangpo, Alchi is different from the rest of the monasteries built un Ladakh, while the rest of the Gompas are nestled on the hilltop, Alchi rests on flat land. A sculpture of Rinchen Zangpo is also placed inside the shrine. The architecture is beautifully designed with various statues of Buddha with intricate carvings and vibrant colours. There are three sections that divide the entire premises named as Dukhang, the Sum-tsek and the Manjushri temple. Go through the religious books, paintings, ancient sculptures, and figurines that are kept here, during your Ladakh tour.
Standing at a height of 11,800 feet, the Thiksey monastery is a beautifully built Buddhist shrine of Ladakh. The monastery is home to 500 monks that is built with 12 story complexes and preserves a large collection of religious books, the scripts, swords and the Thangka paintings. The monastery houses 10 temples, one of which is the famous Lakhang Nyerma, devoted to the Goddess Dorje Chenmo. The prayer hall houses a statue of Maitreya Buddha, with a height of 40 foot that is seated over a lotus rising up to two floors. There are many statues and stupas inside the monastery spreading the saintly vibes all around. The tranquil and serene atmosphere of the monastery makes it the best place to seek peace and tranquillity to your best Leh Ladakh tour packages.
The remote monastery of Ladakh, Phugtal lies on the hilltop with a mesmerizing view. This is the only monastery that is built on a cliff with a natural cave where many scholars and sagas have meditated. Built in the early 12th century by Gangsem Sherap Sampo, the monastery lies close to the Lungnak River with lush green surrounding where you can trek to reach. The prayer room and the library, the monastery is home to 70 monks in that isolated yet serene location. Enclosed with the rugged mountain chain, the route appears as a honeycomb that you are passing through. As the place is isolated, trekking during your Ladakh Adventure Tour is the only possible way to reach Phugtal Monastery.