Monasteries in Ladakh are much more than religious centers these famous monasteries are purifying havens where one can find inner peace. Include them in the itinerary as you plan a trip to Leh Ladakh to enjoy the splendid and spectacular topographical medley comprising snow-capped mountains, sprawling cold deserts, sparkling lakes, surreal glaciers, and serene mountain passes.
Built during the rule of the King Singge Namgyal, Hemis is one of the largest and most popular monasteries in Ladakh. This is also one of the wealthiest Buddhist monasteries in Leh and Tibet and shares its origin with Naropa- an Indian Buddhist who attained enlightenment here.
This is one of the most charming Buddhist monasteries in Leh Ladakh, managed and run by the Drukpa sect of Buddhism. It boasts of a spectacular copper statue of Buddha and beautiful paintings, Stupas, articles, and amazing Thangkas depicting various aspects of Buddhist culture.
Resembling the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, Thiksey is one of the beautiful Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. Snuggled at an altitude of 11,800 feet, this monastery is looked after by the people of Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect. It comprises a 12-storey building complex and houses more than 500 monks. Thiksey has a large and precious collection of Buddhist books, journals, statues, scripts, stupas, swords and Thangka paintings. Also if you are interested in staying in monasteries in Ladakh, Thiksey lets you realize your dream.
Located in the beautiful Nubra Valley- Diskit is one of the most beautiful and the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh, founded in 14th century by Changzem Tsera Zangpo. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism and has various Buddha statues, images of other guardian Gods, and a huge drum. Owing to the breathtaking location, this one of the famous monasteries in Ladakh offers solemn serenity and inner peace.
Likir Monastery, popular as Likir Gompa was founded by Lama Duwang Chosje in the 14th century. According to Buddhist mythology, this is the first construction by the Tibetan monks. The museum located inside the monastery showcases a wide array of Tibetan artifacts and relics.
Spituk Monastery was founded by Od-Ide in the 11th century. Today it is home to a hundred monks. Spituk has three-chapels namely Stok, Sankar and Saboo and consists of ancient memorials, idols, frescoes, statues and religious scriptures.
Stakna- locally known as Tiger’s Nose is a small and serene monastery, founded during the reign of King Jamyang Namgyal in 1580. Located on the left bank of Indus River and perched on a hill, Stakna monastery in Leh Ladakh offers amazing and jaw dropping views of the Indus valley.
It also houses numerous paintings, idols, and Buddhist scriptures, and has many sister monasteries like in Zanskar-Bardan, Stakrimo, and Sani.
Alchi Choskor Monastery is a branch of Likir raised by Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo. It is one of the largest and most reputed monasteries of Ladakh. Its complex comprises of three sections- Dukhang, Sum-tsek, and the temple of Manjushri.
Unlike others, Alchi is located on a plain land and boasts of ancient sculptures, books, paintings, and figurines.
Phyang Gompa belongs to the red hat sect of Buddhism and is perhaps the most impressive monastery in Leh Ladakh. It is located on a hilltop and thus offers stunning views of the surrounding.
This white and ochre colored structure is one of the must visit monasteries in Ladakh and is an important hub of Digung teachings. The wall paintings at Phyang Gompa depict Buddhist culture and heritage.
Located in Ladakh’s Sakti Village- Takthok is the only monastery of the Nyingmapa tradition. It is one of the most famous monasteries in Ladakh and houses close to 55 lamas. It possesses an amazing architectural style with rocky walls and roofs, central courtyard, assembly hall, beautiful frescos, murals, and the holy throne of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The 108 volumes of Kandshur teachings of Buddha are preserved here.
10. Sumda Chun Monastery
Again, one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh – Sumda Chun Monastery was founded by Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo. This vintage construction comprises of three temples and a huge assembly hall.