Places of Attraction:
Ladakh, Leh, Kargil

Ladakh, situated on the banks of the Indus River, is a noted tourist spot in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known as 'the last Shangri La', 'Little Tibet', 'the Moon Land', or 'The Broken Moon'. Apart from the capital city, Leh, some of the prominent spots in proximity to the region are Alchi, Nubra Valley, Hemis, Lamayuru, Zanskar Valley, Kargil, Pangong Tso, and Tso Kar & Tso Moriri.

Ladakh rests at an altitude of 3500 m above sea level, between two of the world's prominent mountain ranges, the Karakoram and the Himalayas. Additionally, parallel ranges of Zanskar and Ladakh surround the valley of Ladakh. Festivals like the Galdan Namchot, Buddha Purnima, Dosmoche, and Losar are celebrated with great pomp throughout Ladakh and many tourists flock to the region during this time. The Dosmoche Festival, wherein monks perform dances, offer prayers, and perform rituals to keep away ill fortune and evil spirits from the region, extends over two days.

One of the most important festivals of Tibetan Buddhists is the Saka Dawa which celebrates Gautama Buddha’s birth, Buddhahood, and the death of his mortal body. It is celebrated in the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, usually May or June, and festivities generally last for the whole month.Tourists can hire taxis or rent bikes to explore the region. People visiting the place generally travel in their own vehicles as it is more convenient.

Places in Ladakh

Hemis Monestry

hemisHemis Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage, located in Hemis, Ladakh, India. Situated 45 km from Leh, the monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. The annual Hemis festival honoring Padmasambhava is held here in early June. The most esoteric of festivities are the mystic mask dances. The Mask Dances of Ladakh are referred collectively as chams Performance. Chams performance is essentially a part of Tantric tradition, performed only in those gompas which follow the Tantric Vajrayana teachings and the monks perform tantric worship.




Sankar Gompa:

snkar gompaSankar Monastery, or Sankar Gompa is a Buddhist monastery within an easy half-hour walk from Leh in Ladakh, northern India. It is a daughter-establishment of Spituk Monastery and the residence of the Abbot of Spituk, the Venerable Kushok Bakula, who is the senior incarnate lama of Ladakh due to his ancient lineage and personal authority.Only 20 monks at most live here, and only a few permanently, so visiting hours are limited to early morning and evening. The place is well lit, so an evening visit is worthwhile. Climbing the steps one reaches the double doors leading into the dukang ('du khang) or assembly hall. Three green drums are on the right of the door under which is the place of the Gyeskos. The wall and entry door are richly painted. Upstairs is the Dukar Lhakang ("residence of the deity") or inner sanctuary.

A lama from Sankar Monastery visits the mid-sixteenth century fort built by Tashi Namgyal at Namgyal Tsemo, the peak above Leh every morning and evening to maintain the temples associated with the fort and light the butter-lamps.

Matho Monestry

mathoMatho Monastery, or Matho Gonpa or Mangtro Monastery or Mangtro Gonpa, from the Tibetan "mang" that means "many" and "tro" that means "happyness", is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located 26 kilometres southeast of Leh in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, northern India, on the banks of the Indus River. The village of Matho is located at the mouth of a deep gorge running out of the Zanskar Range and across the Indus. It is directly opposite Thikse Monastery.

Matho is the only example in Ladakh of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Because it does not lie on the main highway from Leh, it sees fewer visitors than Hemis, Thiske or Shey. However, it is known to outsiders for its annual Oracle Matho Nagrang Festival, held on the 14th and 15th days of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. The annual festival of the two Rongtsan oracles takes place around the Buddhist new year, usually in the first half of March. One lamas is chosen by lots every two years for four years. They purify themselves with months of fasting and meditation to make themselves suitable receptacles for receiving the oracles spirits. When possessed they are said to be able to perform many astounding feats such as cutting themselves with knives and walking around the ramparts of the top storey blindfolded with no fear of falling down the precipice below.

Shey Gompa:

sheygompaThe Shey Monastery or Gompa and the Shey Palace complex are structures located on a hillock in Shey, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the south of Leh in Ladakh, northern India on the Leh-Manali road. Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past.

The palace, mostly in ruins now, was built first in 1655, near Shey village, by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal, also known as Lhachen Palgyigon. It was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh.

The Shey Monastery was also built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldon Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is so named since Buddha was the sage (muni) of the Sakya people who resided in the Himalayan foothills and their capital was Kapilvastu. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh.

Spituk Monestry:

spitukSpituk Monastery, also better as Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery in Leh district, Ladakh, northern India,The site of Spituk was blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung. 8 kilometres from Leh.[1] It was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od when he came to Maryul in the 11th Century. He introduced the monastic community.When Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo (Translator) came to that place he said that an exemplary religious community would arise there and so the monastery was called spituk (exemplary).During the time of Dharma raja Gragspa Bum-Ide the monastery was restored by Lama Lhawang Lodos and the stainless order of Tsonkhapa was introduced and it has remained intactas such till present. Founded as a Red Hat institution, the monastery was taken over by the Yellow Hat sect in the 15th century.

The monastery contains 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali (unveiled during the annual Spitok festival). Horn players in Spituk during the Gustor Festival.

Every year the Gustor Festival is held at Spituk from the 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar.

Stanka Monestry:

stakna monasteryStakna Gompa or Stakna Monastery is a buddhist bonastery located approximately 45 km from Leh. Enshrined by Chose Jamyang, a Bhutanese saint and scholar who established the monastery in the second half of the 16th century, this gompa is a visual display of the religious and cultural heritage of India and Buddhism.

As it is erected on a hill looking like a tiger’s nose, Stanka Monastery derives its name from the same hill. The monastery inside has the image of Arya Avaloketesvara from Kamrup (Assam). The Stakna Gompa belongs to the Dugpa sect of Buddhism and is the residence of about 30 Monks.

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