Leh Gompa (Nagmyal Tsemo)
The Gompa is situated above the Leh Palace and was built in 1430. It contains a 13.7 meters high statue of the Buddha which the Ladakhi call Chamba. According to the Lamas this splendid statue is the future of Buddha. A butter lamp is burning day and night in front of this statue. There are fantastic views from there all over Leh.
Shanti Stupa in Leh
Visible from most of the town, this new stupa was officially opend in 1985 by the Dalai Lama. The stupa was built by a Japanese order extending a message of a global peace. It is a strenuous climb to the Shanti Stupa, but you’re rewarded with spectacular views especially at sunset or sunrise.
If you go from the center of the town to the Shanti Stupa you will pass our office. Don’t hesitate to visit us.
Just 3 km from Leh is this monastery that has a formidable collection of miniature of pure gold and a number of exciting paintings. It is well lit and may be visited in the evening as well.
This is the biggest and most important monastery in Ladakh. It is situated 49 km south of Leh a little off the main Leh-Manali road. The monastery was built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family. Hemis is the head quarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries through out Ladakh are administered by it. It also trains Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo.
In the 19th century it faced a siege by General Zorawar Singh. The Gompa was saved to the skilful handing of the situation by the head Lama. In 1956 the head Lama Hemis Gompa disappeared and was never to be seen again. A 12 years old boy was brought from Dalhousie. In 1976 he was to be appointed as the head Lama. He will assume authority after his training period is complete. The monastery contains quite a few gold statue and Stupas decorated with precious stone. It has a super collection of tankhas, including one which is supposed to be the largest in existence and is exhibited only once every 11 years. The monastery has an annual festival which falls in June, July and is a big tourist attraction. Masked dance are held on that days.
On route to Hemis Gompa the Thiksey monastery is a very imposing structure providing a panoramic view of the green Indus valley from its vantage a top a hill. It has chambers full of Statues and Tankhas. There is a puja every morning.
Shey Palace and Monastery
Also on the way to Hemis Gompa and 15 km from Leh is the summer palace of the erstwhile, Raja of Leh set upon a hill sitting Buddha wrought whit copper and gold that leaves one lama before hand. Many Chortens can be seen to the east of the monastery.
Just before Leh on the Srinagar-Leh road on the hilltop overlooking the Indus, the Spituk monastery boasts not only of some prized tankha, but also a chamber with an enormous statue of kali, whose faces are unveiled but once a year. The chamber contains an ancient collection of face masks too. It is recommended that you visit the monastery on the Puja day. It is 10 km from Leh and houses 135 yellow capped monks.
Alchi and Likir Monasteries
These two monasteries are located near Saspol on the Srinagar-Leh road. They house many gigantic clay statue of Buddha in various forms. The primary attraction of these monasteries is, however, their 1000 years old wall painting which make a visit more than worthwhile.