My brother-in-law Atul, his wife Jayshri their kids are on a brief trip from California, USA via Dubai. They had a brief stay of three days in Dubai which they enjoyed very much though it was quite hot there. They particularly enjoyed trip to Dessert Safari and Al-Jumereih, Gold Souk and Malls. They landed in Mumbai on the night of June 22 and are leaving for a trip to Leh Ladakh on June 29. Their kids are super excited about their trip to Ladakh whereas my daughter Tanya is super disappointed as she is not able to accompany them.
My curiosity grew in the place and I noted that Leh – Ladakh is not only famous for splendid Himalayas, Lakes, Treks, Palaces and breathtakingly beautiful and bountiful nature but also for monasteries, quite a few of them being there. In fact, Leh Ladakh is the land of monasteries, gompas and stupas. No matter where you go in Leh Ladakh there would be at least one monastery worth a visit. Some well-known monasteries in Leh town include a trip to Shey Palace, Thiksey monastery, Hemis monastery and Stakna Monastery. Whereas Shanti Stupa built by ‘The Japanese for World Peace’, within the Leh town is probably one of the most visited spots in Leh city.
The entire valley of Leh is dotted with monasteries and is amongst the prime attractions of Leh. The monasteries in Leh houses rich collections of Buddhist relics like thankas, murals, sculptures and scriptures. Generally located in isolated locations atop hills overlooking the settlements, monasteries of Leh lend an air of tranquility and calm to the beautiful valleys of Leh. Most of the monasteries in Leh are also located in the most beautiful locations making a visit to the monastery even more attractive to travelers.
Shey monastery and palace is located 15 kilometers from Leh town on the Leh – Manali road. Shey palace and the monastery were built in the sixteenth century AD. The monastery enshrines the Du Khang with an almost 10 meter high gilder copper statue of Lord Buddha. Two festivals are celebrated in Shey monastery and palace – Metuka festival in July and Shey Shublas festival in August.
Located just above the flood plains of the Shyok River in Diskit village Diskit Gompa was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Located on the main Kargil Leh highway between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che on a steep rock mountain, Lamayuru of Red-Hat sect of Buddhism is amongst the oldest monasteries in Leh Ladakh. Lamayuru is about 125 kms from Leh town and can be visited on the way to Leh from Srinagar.
Tiksey Monastery about 20 kms from Leh is an imposing monastery and one of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. The 12 – storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha’s teachings. The main prayer hall has a 15 mt high seated Buddha figure. The successive reincarnation of the Skyabje Khampo Ringpoche act as incharge of the monastery. Thiksey festival is held from 17th to 19th day of the 12th month.
Of the Drukpa Lineage Korzok monastery is located on the western banks of Tso Moriri atop a hill. Korzok monastery at an altitude of 4,595 metres houses a Shakyamuni Buddha statue. Gu-stor festival is held at the monastery and attracts many visitors.
The best place for shopping is Leh main baazar where you can have finest of cuisines and shop for variety of accessories, woollens and other memorabilia. Leh main bazaar is the busiest place in Leh Ladakh.
Worth a trip…in a way I too look forward to their trip…obviously for real life pictures for my blog for my readers!