Buddhism prevails in Ladakh, and this can be felt easily when you visit monasteries in Ladakh. Tourism is a multifarious industry in Ladakh and offers the best of attractions signifying adventure – mostly because of high altitude mountain passes and snow-capped peaks perfect for trekking. But the Gompas (monasteries) in Ladakh are seriously amazing, most of which offer bewitching views that a restless soul would fall in love with. With many ancient Buddist monasteries scattered across the Ladakh, we decided to make your task easier by mapping down 4 stunning monasteries in Ladakhevery religious and spiritual soul should explore, so keep on reading, folks!
Learn About the Best Time to Visit Ladakh Monasteries
The best time to visit Ladakh monasteriesis none! We mean, you can arouse spiritual awakening all the year round in Ladakh. There is no particular time to explore Gompas in Ladakh. From the bliss of summers (April-June) to the fascinating monsoon and chill of winters, feel the spiritual connection in Ladakh all year round.
Reasons to Visit Monasteries in Ladakh
Fascinating stories of Ladakh history, legends, kings, and dynasties await you if you tour the Gompas in Ladakh. All the monasteries are surrounded by breath-taking snow-capped peaks and lush greenery. Inside the monasteries, you will find beautiful paintings that will transport you to the different world. Most of them often look like fortresses and provide enchanting sunrise from the cliffs.
1. Alchi Monastery
Why visit: To unlock the Bollywood connection and find inner peace.
Visiting hours: 10 AM to 6 PM
Entry price: INR 25 (approx.) for Indians, and INR 50 (approx.) for Foreigners
You will find a couple of lamas sitting under the apricot groves exchanging verbal vows of life in the Alchi village lying down the Indus Valley on a plain. This is where Alchi Monastery is situated 70 kilometers (approx.) from Leh town. If you are swarming here and there for internal peace, bookmark the Alchi Monastery tour on your Ladakh tour package. You will find mesmerizing carvings on the walls of Gompa, followed by the oldest wall paintings of Ladakh.
To promote tourism in Ladakh, several souvenir shops and tea stalls are dotted around Alchi Monastery. You would be amazed to know that several Bollywood movies are shot at Alchi Monastery, including Tashan and Dil Se. The AlchiMonastery complex was built in the 10th century when the Guru Rinchen Zangpo was inspired by the Kashmir tradition.
2. Thiksey Monastery
Why visit: This monastery has a striking resemblance with Mini Potala in Tibet.
Visiting hours: 7 AM to 7 PM
Entry price: 20 INR for Indians (approx.), and 50 INR for foreigners (approx.)
If you want to see the different forms of Buddha in Ladakh, visit Thiksey Monastery. Yes! There are many forms of Buddha at different monasteries, including Sakyamuni, Avalokiteshwara, Maitreya. Delve into Buddhists’ iconography and get amazed with the 50 ft tall Maitreya Buddha statue at Thiksey Monastery. You will meet warm lamas that will give you knowledge about its two-story statue, which is eaten in a position of lotus. There are colorful murals behind the back of the statue, which lamas believe are the future Buddha.
3. Hemis Monastery
Why visit: It is the biggest monastery in the region with astounding architecture.
Visiting hours: 8 AM to 1 PM, and 2 PM to 6 PM
Entry price: INR 50 (approx.) for all
Located barely 40 kilometers from Leh town, Hemis Monastery is one of the most visited monasteries in Ladakh. This Gompa is known to tourists for the summer festival held annually. The monastery host Hemis Festival acts as a tourist magnet. Inside the monastery, around 1000 monks reside from whom you can learn the techniques of mindfulness. It was the 17th century when Hemis Monastery came into existence. If you are going to Leh from Manali on the bike tour, you must stop at Hemis Monastery to seek blessings.
4. Diskit Monastery
Diskit Monastery is located in the beautiful Nubra Valley and is one of the important tourist attractions in Ladakh. It is the same monastery that runs a school with the aid of a Non-Government Organization. The Tibetan local students learn Science subjects in English. Diskit Monastery dates back to the 14th century and is located beautifully on a hilltop. You can gaze at the surrounding valley views and mountain terrains. Get amazed as you will be surrounded by the Karakoram Range and the pristine Shyok River flows beside you!
Why visit: To unfold the strong bond that is often linked with Tibetan myth.
Visiting hours: 7 AM to 1 PM, and 2 PM to 7 PM
Entry price: INR 30 (approx.) for all
From shutterbugs to new age wanderlusts, Ladakh is sure to bewitch your mind with its ample things to do other than trekking and mountain biking.