Buddhist Monasteries of Ladakh
Ladakh is literally teeming with Buddhist monasteries of all shapes and sizes. It is worth visiting one or two during your time in Ladakh, or more if you have a particular interest in Buddhism or architecture. We can often arrange a private meeting with the head Lama, and show you how the monks live. It is certainly worth seeing the monks in action, chanting their daily prayers. The experience is certainly enchanting. The two most striking monasteries are at Stok and Thiksey. Stok dates from the 14th century and is 15kms south of Leh, and nearby is the interesting Stok Palace, dating from 1820 and the summer home of the Ladakhi royal family. Thiksey Monastery is affiliated to the Gelug sect and is dramatically located on top of a hill to the east of Leh. It has twelve levels, with the Lama’s residence at the top. Hemis Monastery was constructed in 1630 and is Ladakh’s largest monastery, with a superb festival held in Hemis in June or July. To the west of Leh you find Phyang Monastery, again hugging the side of the hillside and established in 1515. Alchi Monastery is the only one built on flat land, with a temple dating from the 11th century. Lekir Monastery was founded in the 14th century by Lama Dhwang Chosje, and belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect.