Ladakh, the land of high passes, is the most exotic region in the northernmost Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It has been a much sought after destination for adventure enthusiasts because of its stunning landscapes, mountainous terrains, lofty mountains and beautiful valleys. It is also popular among tourists because of magnificent Buddhist monasteries also called gompas. Majority of Buddhist monasteries (gompas) of Ladakh are located in and around Leh which is the main town in the region. When you explore gompas you will have a great opportunity to witness the brilliant architecture of Buddhism and at the same time you will also come to know Buddhism and its culture & traditions. Have a look at some of the most popular Buddhist monuments of the region.Sankar Gompa:
Sankar Gompa is a big attraction to see in Ladakh. It is a subsidiary of Spituk Gompa. It is known for its stunning architecture which is a pretty modern, attractive cluster of beautiful buildings. Spituk Gompa:
Spituk Gompa is a famous 11th Century Buddhist monastery. It is located at the distance of only 8 km from the main town of Leh. 100 monks live at this monastery. It is also a place for annually held Gustor Festival. Hemis Monastery:
Located at the distance of 45 km from Leh town, Hemis Monastery is one of the most sought after Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. It was re-established in the year 1672 AD by the Ladakhi king Senge Nampar Gyalva. Mural painting inside the gompa is also beautiful. The Gompa is mainly popular among tourists because of annually held festival in the honor or Padmasambhava. During this festival you will have a great opportunity to witness the Buddhist tradition and Mask Dance of Ladakh.
Shey Gompa is a monastery located at the distance of 15 km from Leh. Shey is also famous for Shey Palace Complex and beautiful valleys. The gompa is famous for 12 meter Shakyamuni Buddha statue. It is said to be the second largest such statue in the entire region of Ladakh.
Thiksey Monastery is one of the most popular Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. It is located at the distance of 19 km from Leh. The structure of this magnificent gompa appears like the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Thiksey Gompa complex has 12 floors and houses many items of Buddhist art such as Stupas, wall paintings, swords, statues and thangkas. The gompa is said to as the largest gompa in central Ladakh. Maitreya (future Buddha) Temple is one of the main points of interest here.
Aforementioned monasteries are very popular during Leh Ladakh tours in India. There are some other popular monasteries which can be visited during Ladakh tours.