Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The remote region of Ladakh has a GEAT Buddhist tradition with about 13 major monasteries. The most important of these is the Hemis, considered the Gompa of Gompas 45 Km from Leh, the administrative capital of Ladakh the Hemis Gompa has well preserved frescoes, good Buddha figures, the largest Thangka in ladakh and an excellent library. It is also the venue of the famous Hemis Festival in June.

Within Leh itself is the Namgyl Tsemo Gompa, the Soma Gompa and the Sankar Gompa. The Shanti Stupa here is truly imnpressive, especially when it is illuminated at night. About 8 km from Leh is the 15th century Spituk Gumpa, perched on a hilltop above the Indus River. The Thiksey Gompa, 17 km south of Leh is situated on a hilltop amidst picturesque surroundings. One of the largest monasteries in the region. Thiksey has rooms full of statues, stupas and Tankahs- religious paintings of all kinds.

Alchi. A little village about 70 km from Leh, is known as a jewel among the religious sites in Ladakh. Abandoned centuries ago, this monastery has been lovingly maintained by the monks at Likhir, the nearest functioning Gompa. It is popularly known as Chose-kor (religious enclave) and comprises five temples.

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