Seeped in history and bearing unbelievable architecture, Ladakh is a treasure trove of ancient Buddhist Monasteries, which are called Gompa in the local language. Situated in the scenic locations between hills and mountains, these monasteries are home to Buddhist monks and nuns and rich Buddhist paintings, arts and artifacts. If you want a mind awakening and exotic trip to a whole different world than your usual day to day life, then Ladakh is the place for you.
With its peaks covered in snow and situated in the laps of the Great Himalayas, the scenic beauty of Ladakh will amaze you. On those hills are some beautiful remote villages and fascinating, rich in history and culture, gompas. A trek to these monasteries crosses numerous paths and will require minimum fitness as it does not rise above 4500m. The trekkers get a chance to visit these historically rich shrines while passing through lofty mountains and walking by sparkling lakes and witness the lifestyle of the Indo-Tibetans and the Zanskari culture.
Some Famous Monasteries of Ladakh
Thiksey Monastery: Situated in the north of the Indus River, this monastery is truly tghe most famousand beautiful out of all the others. It is home to around 80 monks and also has the famous statue of Buddha which is the largest one Ladakh and is 15 meters tall. This monastery also holds the Thiskey festival in the month of October and November.
Mulbek Gompa: Adorned by various frescoes and statues, Mulbekh has an impressive 8 meters high Chamba statue which is cut into the rock and dates back to about 700 AD.
Phyang Gompa: Emerging from a secluded side-valley in the Ladakh Range, this monastery has hundreds of Buddha icons kept on wooden shelves. It houses a community of about fifty lamas and also a ferocious veiled protector deity. It also has an amazing collection of weapons.
Sumur Monastery: Home to hundreds of monks, this is the most important monastery of the Nubra valley of Ladakh region.
Alchi Gompa: One of the most beautiful and explored monasteries of the region, it is the only gompa in Ladakh which is located on flat ground.
Shanti Stupa: Inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985, this was built by the Japanese for World Peace at Changspa, on the hilltop. Summer, in Mid June- Mid October, is the best time to go for trekking to these monasteries amidst clear view of mountains. These monasteries are and have always been the centre of religious, social, economic as well as political functions.