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Famous Monasteries in Leh

Ladakh is not famous for only shimmering rivers, snowy glaciers, and stunning lakes but it is also famous for different monasteries which represent Buddhist cultures.Here we make a List of Best Monasteries In Ladakh

List of Top Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh are:

Hemis Monastery:

Hemis Monastery,

Hemis Monastery (Pic : Michael Day/Flickr)

It is one of the largest and famous monasteries in Ladakh, belonging to the Drukpa order. It was founded by the first incarnation Staging Raspa Nawang Gyatso.  In 1630, king Singge Namgyal invited him to offer religious estate throughout the Ladakh. The youngest son, Nawang Namgail, became a monk and changed his name to Zamling Drags. The Monastery was named Changchub Samling. The monastic festival ‘Hemis’ held in the month of June.

Spituk Monastery:

Spituk Monastery in Ladakh

Spituk Monastery (Pic

It was founded by Od-Ide, in the 11th century AD. It was introduced by monastic community. Meanwhile, Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo (the great translator) visited this monastery. In those days the Gonpa belonged to the Kadampa School but Gelukpa order was introduced during the reign of King Drag Spa Bum-Lde, when Lama Lhawang Lotus restored the monastery. The “Spituk Gustor” takes place in the courtyard of the monastery, on the 18th and 19th of the 11th month of Tibetan Calendar.

Stakna Monastery:

Stakna Monastery

Stakna Monastery (Pic : Koshy Koshy/Flickr)

It is a small monastery in Ladakh as comprising of few Dukhangs, which was founded during the reign of king Jamyang Namgyal, in 1580, by saint Chose Jamyang Palkar. The most important statue in the monastery is said to be of Arya Avalokiteshvara. The other branches of this monastery are Sani, Bardan and Starimo, which are in Zanskar.

Takthok Monastery:

Takthok Monastery in Ladakh

Takthok Monastery (Pic :

It is the only monastery in Ladakh that belonging to the Nyingmapa School of order. In the 8th century, this monastery came into existence when Guru Padmasambhava visited this place. The monastic festival “Takthok” held in the month of July or August.

Phyang Monastery:

Phyang Monastery in Ladakh

Phyang Monastery (Pic :

This monastery belongs to the Degungpa Order. It was the first monastery, which introduced the Degung teaching of ‘Skyorb Jigsten Gombo’ in Ladakh. It was founded by Chosje Danma Kunga, during 16th Century A.D. It has about 50 monks in residence. The monastic festival called ‘Phyang Tsaruk’ on the 2nd & 3rd of the 6th month of Tibetan Calendar.

Sumda Chun Monastery:

Sumda Chun Monastery in Ladakh

Sumda Chun Monastery (Pic :

It is around 65kms to the southwest of Leh. The route is well connected by a motorable road, up to Sumdo. This monastery was founded during the period of Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo with Alchi Choskor and Mangu Monastery. The monastery comprises of three temples. The assembly hall has the image of four headed Vairocana, as the central or main image which is nicely decorated. The wall has murals of four Buddhas i.e. Ratnasambhava, Akshobhya, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi and Vairocana.

Rizong Monastery:

Rizong Monastery in Ladakh

Rizong Monastery (Pic :

It is located around 73kms west of Leh, and north of the Indus River from Uletokpo village. It was founded 137 years ago by Lama Tsultim Nima. Later on, he also founded Gonpa and monastic community which follow strict rules and regulations. Food and clothes are provided by monastery to the monks.

Mangu Monastery:

Mangu Village comes to sight, picturesquely standing on the foothills, above the ravine. The Mangu Monastery is also constructed on flat land like Alchi and Tabo Monasteries. The great translator Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo probably founded this monastery during the same period as the Alchi Choskor. The monastery comprises of four temples. The smaller temples, on either side of the main temple, have a statue of Avalokitesvara and Maitreya in the standing posture. The right side temple has a statue of a four-headed Vairocana, as the main image. The wall has murals of Mandala.

Lamayuru Monastery:

Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh

Lamayuru Monastery (Pic :

It is located on the Leh-Srinagar highway. The history of the monastery begins with the visit of Arahat Nimagung to this place when there was merely a lake here. It is said that Arahat made a prediction that “a monastery will come up at this spot” and he made offerings (prayer with grains of corn) to the Nagaserpent spirits. The corns mixed with the earth and formed in the shape of Swastika (Yungdrung), later it came to be known as Yungdrung Monastery. The Great Translator Rinchen Zangpo constructed a temple here in the eleventh century. Naropa also visited here for meditation. The monastic festival called ‘Yuru Kabgyat’, takes place On 17th and 18th of 5th month according to Tibetan Calendar.

Diskit Monastery:

Diskit Monastery

Diskit Monastery (Pic :

It was founded by Lama Sherab Zangpo of Stod in 1420 AD during the reign of king Drag Spa. It has about 100 monks in residence. This monastery is a branch of Thiksey Monastery. The monastic festival called Gustor take place on the 20th and 29th of the 12th month of Tibetan Calendar.

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