It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh. Since it is located close to Leh city, its best suited to visit here early in the morning, to experience prayers with the monks.
The Hemis Monastery is a twelve storey complex and is also home to the Maitreya Buddha statue that took fours years to complete. Hemis Monastery is a Himalayan Buddhist monastery, situated in Hemis, about 45 kms from Leh city. Famous for being the venue of the Hemis Festival that takes place sometime in June annually.
This Monastery is also known as Deskit Gompa and is the oldest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh. Belonging to the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is home to a huge 100 feet statue of Lord Buddha, that was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama. Fabulous views of Nubra Valley await you, once you have climbed to the top of the Diskit hill.
Towering over Leh from a vantage point over a ridge, this huge Stupa was built by Japanese monks to promote world peace. The views over Leh are stunning and this spot is truly a photographer’s delight, specially at sunset. The base of the Stupa contains some relics of the Buddha, enshrined by the Dalai Lama.
Lamayuru is popular for its ‘lunar’ landscape and tourists refer to it as ‘moonscape’, for its odd and unusual land formations. The Monastery is still home to over a hundred monks who frequent the little village dotted with cafes and tiny shops. Great for people watching, observing the ‘crater’ like landscape and thinking about the life of the monks.
Alchi Monastery or Alchi Gompa
Dates back to nearly a thousand years ago. Now, no longer an active religious centre, it is looked after by the Likir monks. On some of its walls, there are miniature paintings of the Buddha, fast fading due to the passage of time. Photography inside the complex is strictly forbidden.
It is famous for the 25-foot-tall gold-covered Buddha statue. Primarily a fort monastery, it has a certain hierarchy – the top of the hill has the main monastery and the residence of the head lama, followed by mid hill residences of other monks. The village quarters housing the locals are at the foothill.