Best Tourist Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh
Best Places to visit in Leh ladakh - Tourist Places in Leh and Ladakh
It is a dream of every hill station loving traveler to visit this awesome place at least once in a lifetime. Ladakh carries a reputation in the world of adventure travelling. Ladakh is a district in Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir; which covers nearly half of the area of eastern Jammu & Kashmir. Word Ladakh means “Land of high passes”; this northern most state of India extends from Great Himalayas to Kunlun mountain range.
List of Best Places to visit in Leh and ladakh
Ladakh has world’s highest motorable road known as Khardongla Pass. There are two routes to reach Ladakh, one is Srinagar-Leh highway & other is Manali-Leh highway, most of the tourists visiting here opts Manali-Leh highway route. Both of the highways are known for their scenic views & adventurous roads, every year thousands of bikers, adventure enthusiasts come to feel the tranquility hidden in thump of this challenging terrain. Since centuries Ladakh has been home for monks who are in process to find peace & solace. There are many monasteries in Ladakh, some of them are centuries old; these monasteries are of great historical & spiritual importance. Major monasteries are listed below:
Phyang Gompa: Phyang Gompa(monastery in local language) is a Buddhist monastery built more than 500 years ago. Phyang Gompa is often called as Gouon Gompa in local language which means “Blue Peak”. This beautiful monastery built over a hilltop in Chiwwang village is counted in the oldest monasteries in the area & center of sacred shrines. It is believed that it was built by King Lkra-Shis Namgyal(Founder of Namgyal dynasty) after winning war against Lha-Chen king. This monastery is one of two belonging to Drikung Kagyu(one of the 8 schools following the teachings of Phakmadrupa Dorjee Gyelpo). This monastery following the Red Hat sect of Tibetian Buddhism is home of more than 100 lama (Buddhist Monks). It is situated in Fiang town in Leh district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is nearly 20 Km from Leh town; local taxis are abundantly available.
Zongkhul Monastery: Zongkhul or Dzongkhul Monastery is located in Stod valley of Zanskar tehsil of Kargil district in Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. This monastery is believed to be founded by a Tibetian Buddhist mystical monk Naropa also known as Yogi Naropa from the Indian state of Bihar around 1000 years ago; he also lectured at legendary ancient universities of Nalanda & Vikramshila in India. Zongkhul Monastery became the center of Kagyu meditation center under the regime of Zanskari monk Ngawang Tsering.
This Gompa is built around the 2 caves which are said to be the meditating place of Monk Naropa. Around 300 years ago painter scholar Zhadpa Dorjee painted some beautiful, divine paintings of Lord Buddha; fresco paintings in the monastery is the proof of blessed brush of Zhadpa Dorjee; ancient ivory images, crystal stupa & Naropa’s foot print on the rock in one of the cave attracts tourists. One more thing which attracts tourists here is the annual festival known as Huchot Festival celebrated on 16th & 17th day of 4th month of Tibetian calander. No public transport options are available to reach here, private taxis or vehicle is an option to reach this magnificent monastery.
Alchi Choskar Monastery: Alchi Choskar Monastery is in town named Alchi which is comparatively a populous place with prosperity. These monastery witness tourists from all parts of world especially tourists from eastern countries come to Alchi for the pilgrimage. Unlike other monasteries, this monastery has composed of many chapels; scattered at small distance. Alchi Chosakr Monastery was said to be built around 1000 years by Tibetian noble Kal-dan Shes-rab. This monastery is a home of oldest paintings in Ladakh; these paintings reveal important historical facts about the kings who have ruled the region.
Shey Monastery: Shey Monastery is situated inside the Shey Palace which was the summer home for kings of Namgyal dynasty. It was built in 1655 by the king Deldan Namgyal in the memory of his father Singay Namgyal. Initially, it was used as the summer home but after the invasion of Dogras, this palace was converted into a permanent residence of Royals. This monastery has the second largest statue of Buddha in the region which is made of copper with gilded gold. This monastery is situated 15 km from Leh town.
Rizong Gompa: Rizong Gompa is also known as Yellow Hat monastery or Changchublin Monastery in the local area. It was built by Lama Tusltim Lima in 1831 on the orders of Gelug( Tibetian school of Buddhism). This monastery is famous for its strict discipline. The caves nearby this gompa are of religious importance as it is believed that Lama used these caves for isolating them from rest of the world for the purpose of meditation.
Spituk Gompa: Spituk Gompa often called as Pethup Gompa is situated on the height of 10850 feet, 8 Km from Leh district in Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir state. Spituk Gompa was built in 11th century by Od-de; it is a center of the monastic community. Nearly 100 monks live here spreading the message of love, harmony & peace. Initially, this gompa was under the Red Hat institution but later in the 15th century, it came under the influence of Yellow hat school of Tibetian Buddhism. There is a statue of Goddess Kali which is unveiled during the annual festival known as Gustor Festival which is celebrated from 27th to 29th day of 11th month Tibetian Calendar.
Thiksey Gompa: Thiskey Gompa is a Buddhist monastery situated on the hilltop of Thiksey village, 19 km from Leh. This gompa is believed to resemble the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It was built in 15th century with the objective of spreading the teachings of the then new sect called as Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery is considered as the important because of the direct affiliation of Je Tsongkhapa( founder of Yellow Hat/Gelug sect). One more point of interest of this monastery is the temple erected for commemorating the visit of 14th Dalai Lama in 1970; this temple has a statue of Maitreya(Future Buddha). Every year from 17th to 19th day of the 9th month in Tibetian calendar is celebrated as Gustor Ritual Festival; sacred masked dance is performed by the local people this is the time when it becomes the center of attraction tourist visiting Leh-Ladakh region.
Likhir Gompa: Likhir Gompa is believed to be the oldest monastery in the region. It is located in Likhir village, 52 km from Leh in west direction. Likhir village is famous as one of the oldest village in India with roots linked to Indus valley civilization; it is situated in the Indus valley. Likhir Gompa was built around 1000 years ago by King Lhachen Gyalpo. In local language Likhir means “ The Naga Encircled” which derives from the belief of protecting Likhir Gompa by 2 Naag Raja(divine serpents) namely Nanda & Takako. It also a folklore in the area that even before the King ordered to erect the monastery there was a temple at this site, hence King has just elobrated the compound although only some theories approve this thing; till date no concrete proves have been discovered by anyone to prove this fact. Beautiful paintings, breathtaking scenic views of Indus valley, oldest techniques of meditation are some things which attract tourists from across the globe to this Monastery.
Diskit Monastery: Dikshit Monastery is largest & one of the oldest monastery in the region of Nubra valley in Ladakh. It is monastery which follows the Gelugpa sect or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetian Buddhism. It was built in 14th century by Tsong Khapa( Founder of Gelupa Sect). Besides the important center of Gelugpa sect, this monastery is also famous for the 105 feet high statue ofMaitreya(Future Buddha). The monastery can be reached by driving through Khardung La pass (Highest motorable road in the world); riding through this adventurous road to reach this Gompa adds enthusiasm of next level in the tourist reaching here.
Phugtal Monastery: Phugtal Monastery is built around a cave in Zanskar region of Ladakh; this cave has acted as a home for many popular & wise monks & teachers who chose to meditate here in search of divine truth. This monastery is among of those very few monasteries where walking on foot are only option to reach. Phugtal Monastery is built around a natural cave around 2500 years; according to followers the very first 16 followers of Buddha referred as 16 Arhats lived in this cave. Images of various important people & historical incidents are carved on the walls of cave & monastery. The legendary scholars Dangsone, Pun & Sum having supernatural powers lived here & preached dharma to people.
Ragdum Gompa: Ragdum Gompa is situated on a hilltop near Julidok village; 25 Km from Pensi La pass leading to Zanskar. This monastery is very famous for the mesmerizing view of Suru Valley from here. Ragdum Gompa was built around 200 years ago by Gelek Yashy Thapa during the regime of King Tsewang Mangyul.
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