Monasteries In Ladakh: The Lifestyle Culture of Buddhism

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Ladakh is predominantly inhabited by folks of  Tibetan descent, resulting in a really wealthy Buddhist culture. There so many lovely monasteries that dot this excessive altitude desert that you just can not however go to them to be awed by their structure and historical past. These monasteries in Ladakh are really a residing heritage of the Buddha and positively warrant a go to.

Hemis Monastery

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The Hemis Monastery is the biggest Buddhist monastery on this area, belonging to the Drukpa or Dragon order. It stands on the western banks of the Indus River, about 50 kilometres southeast of Leh on the Leh-Manali freeway. The monastery was based in 1630 by the primary incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso when he was invited by the then King of Ladakh, Singey Namgail and supplied a spiritual property. Stunning statues and mural work adorn the monastery halls. It has a fantastic assortment of sacred thangkas and different artefacts in its 900-yr-outdated museum. A very powerful competition right here is the Hemis Pageant the place you possibly can witness the enchanting sacred masks dance. It’s held on the 9th and 10th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar.

Spituk Monastery

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Constructed on the aspect of a hill, the Spituk Monastery often known as the Spituk Gompa was based within the eleventh century by Od-lde as a monastic neighborhood. Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo, the good translator of Sanskrit Buddhist texts into Tibetan, gave the monastery its current title, which means exemplary, as he felt an exemplary non secular neighborhood would come up right here. The previous gompa has been restored, whereas a brand new one has additionally been constructed inside the monastery advanced. The biggest constructing, the Dukhang Corridor, has seating alongside the wall with a throne on the far finish. Miniature stupas and sculptures adorn the altar. A little bit increased up the hill is the temple of Goddess Vajrabhairva. The statue of the goddess is stored coated and is unveiled solely as soon as throughout the Spituk Competition.

100 monks reside within the monastery and in the course of the annual two day Spituk Competition held within the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar, the monks carry out masked dances representing good over evil and tales depicting the lifetime of Buddha.

Situated simply seven kilometres south-west of Leh, it isn’t a really tough climb as much as the monastery. The views of the airport and city under are spectacular, as are the sunrises and the sunsets seen from right here.

Thiksey Monastery

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That is undoubtedly probably the most stunning of all monasteries within the area. A fantastic instance of Ladakhi structure, the Thiksey Monastery is positioned 17 kilometres south of Leh. It’s a smaller model of the Potala Palace of Lhasa in Tibet. First constructed by Sherab ZangpoIt in Stakmo, it was later established on a hilltop by his nephew Paldan Sherab, the place it stands now. The monastery belongs to Gelukspa or the Yellow Hat order.

There are 10 temples on this 12 storied monastery with the principle prayer corridor housing a forty-foot statue of Buddha seated on a lotus. Many treasured and uncommon statues, mini stupas and swords are on show contained in the monastery. There’s additionally a temple devoted to Goddess Tara right here.

The Thiksey Gustor Pageant is held right here throughout the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar when the sacred masks or Cham dances are carried out by resident monks and nuns as part of a ritual.

Alchi Monastery

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The Alchi Monastery, constructed within the 12th century, is the oldest Buddhist studying centre in Ladakh. Situated 70 kilometres west of Leh on the banks of the Indus River, it’s also the most important and most well-known of the gompas constructed by Lotsaya Rinchen Zangpo. With the shortage of a monarchy, he appointed 4 households to take care of the monastery until the 15th century when it was taken over by the Lekir Monastery.

Completely different from different monasteries, this one is constructed on flat floor as a substitute of on a hill prime. It has three predominant buildings. The Du-khang is the meeting corridor and the most important half; the Sum-tsek is a 3-storied construction with a 4 armed statue of the Bodhisattva occupying two storeys with figures of Maitreya Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri on the bottom ground; the third construction is Jampe Lhakhang, a temple of Manjushri. This temple additionally has a sculpture and portray of Rinchen Tsangpo.

Right here’s some film trivia – elements of Bollywood hits like Dil Se and Tashan have been shot at Alchi.

Stok Gompa and Palace

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Situated simply 15 kilometers south of Leh, this gompa is the residence of the Royal Household of Ladakh. It was based within the 14th century by Lama Lhawang. The library on the monastery has 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings. The doorway veranda has lovely mural work of the guardians of the 4 instructions. The principle meeting corridor is adorned with thangkas and banners. The partitions have photos of Vajrapani (the deity with the thunderbolt), Sukyamuni (Buddha as a sage) and Avalokitesvara (the 4-armed deity). The Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of the Avalokitesvara.

The Palace has a museum with a group of the king’s crown, the queens head gear with 108 turquoise items, royal clothes, jewelry, outdated forex, the wood palanquin during which the queen arrived right here when she acquired married and numerous different private objects of the Royal household.

Early June sees a ritual masks dance being carried out close to the monastery. The 2-day Stok Guru Tsechu Pageant is held right here yearly in February. The fascinating factor about this pageant is that the prayers aren’t provided by a priest however by a standard man, who is chosen by the lamas after which groomed for the event.

Shey Gompa and Palace

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En path to the Hemis Monastery, 15 kilometres from Leh is the Shey Gompa. Shey was initially the capital of Ladakh and Lhachen Spalgigon, the primary king, constructed this hilltop fortress. In 1655, King Deldan Namgyal constructed the Shey Palace. There are a whole bunch of stupas and the Dresthang Gompa constructed across the palace. At the moment, the palace is a monastery with the biggest Buddha statue fabricated from gilded copper, masking three flooring of the constructing. Stunning work and murals adorn the partitions and the sculptures are marvellous. The decrease chapel has a library with the most important assortment of thangkas in Ladakh. Under the palace, alongside the roadside, are 5 Buddhas carved out of rock. Near this monastery is the Druk Padma Karpo Institute, now renamed Rancho College. This was the college featured within the Hindi film three Idiots.

There are two festivals held at this monastery yearly – Shey Srubla on the 30th day of the 1st month and Shey Rul-lo on the tenth day of the 7th month.

Phyang Monastery

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Seventeen kilometres west of Leh, on high of a hill is the Phyang Monastery. It is without doubt one of the two monasteries that belong to the Dri-gung-pa sect of Buddhism. Legend has it that Denma Kunga Drakpa laid the muse stone of this monastery. He pitched his tent on high of the hill and through meditation, noticed the protector Achi using her blue horse. He took this as an indication and constructed the monastery there. The monastery has a 900-yr-outdated museum housing an unlimited assortment of idols, firearms and weapons, outdated thangkas, wall work and murals of Mahakala. The previous temple of Mahakala (the Gomkhang) was constructed on the time of the inspiration of monastery.

Phyang Monastery is house to a faculty, which imparts trendy training together with Buddhist research to its college students. The Phyang Tseruk Competition held on the twond and threerd of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar attracts a lot of vacationers. The spectacular Cham dance is the spotlight of the occasion.

When reserving your journey to Ladakh, be certain that these monasteries characteristic in your itinerary. Drop us a line whenever you do. It might even be nice to listen to all about your experiences.