Spiritual Ladakh – A Journey to the Sacred Monasteries in Ladakh

Ladakh is thronged by visitors from all the walks of life! While some of these visitors come here to revel in its enchanting beauty, some visits this place to pump up their adrenalines! Some yearns to fill in their lives with tenderly emotions, some of them swarms Ladakh to seek blessings from the Gods and purify theirsouls!

If you are also planning for a Ladakh tour to attain peace of mind by seeking blessings from the Gods, you can visit the numerous monasteries in Ladakh and make your dream come true! Here are some of the most pious and devotional monasteries in Ladakh that will help you relax and cleanse your mind and soul while on a Ladakh tour:

 1. Hemis Monastery

While searching for the monasteries in Ladakh, this sacred monastery of the Brokpa sect of Buddhists will be the first one to attract you! Located around 45km from the city limits of Leh, Hemis Monastery is the largest and one of the highest visited monasteries across the Land of High Passes.

Built in 1630, Hemis Monastery boasts of its appealing architecture, religious essence, ancient collection, and the serenity that exists in its every corner. Visit this pious monastery during the months of June to July, and you can be a part of the most renowned Hemis Festival, which in itself is a riot of colours, festivity and religious display!

 2. Lamayuru Monastery

Fondly called the ‘Place of Freedom’, the holy Lamayuru Monastery is also one of the highest visited and admired monasteries in Ladakh. A home to around 150 monks, it belongs to the Red-Hat Buddhists and is a profound place where Buddhism is practiced not only as a religion, but also as a way of life and freedom.

Legends have it that the location of Lamayuru Monasrey was predicted by Bodhisattva Madhyantak and the construction was completed by MadasiddhacharyaNaropa in the 11th century. Upon the completion of all the buildings of this sacred monastery, the then ruler of Ladakh declared this religious enclave as a ‘no-arrest zone’, and thus it got the name ‘Place of Freedom’.

 3. Alchi Monastery

If you are searching for a monastery where you can also learn Buddhism in the most profound ways, your search will end at the Alchi Monastery. Nestled amidst the evergreen vistas of the Alchi hamlet in Ladakh, this holy learning centre dates back to the 12th century and is considered as an architectural masterpiece of the bygone era!

In addition to its architectural grandeurs, its location besides the poised Indus River makes it one of the most stunning monasteries to visit in Ladakh. Also, unlike most of the Buddhists establishments in Ladakh, Alchi Monastery is the only one that is being seated on a flat land

 4. Thiksey Monastery

Located only 9km from the heart of Leh city, Thiksey Monastery is revered as a highest order monastery in Ladakh. Located atop a scenic hill in the Thiksey village, this pious site resembles much to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

On a visit to the Thiksey Monastery, you can easily feel and experience the devotion that exists within its premises. A Maitreya Temple, collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures, art pieces, thangkas, paintings, and several other antiques make Thiksey Monastery a must visit monastery in Ladakh.

 5. Phugtal Monastery

If your Ladakh tour takes you to the picturesque Zanskar Valley, you should not miss out the opportunity to visit the magnificent Lungnak Valley. Located in this valley is the sacred Phugtal Monastery which is also called the ‘Cave of Liberation’ due to the peace and serenity that exits here.

Adorned with numerous caverns, this religious site of the Buddhists is an ideal meditating ground among the lamas and other religious preachers. Students throng this monastery to gain knowledge about religion, life and much more. It is also the only monastery in Ladakh that can be reached on foot.

 6. Spituk Monastery

An 11th century monastery in Ladakh, Spituk Monastery boasts of being the home to the highest collection of thangkas, Buddhist masks, scriptures, paintings, artefacts, and other belongings of the past. Visiting this sacred monastery will not only help you seek mental peace or to cleanse your soul, but will also get you acquainted with the life and teachings of Lord Gautam Buddha.

Located at a close distance to Leh, Spituk Monastery hosts an annual New Year Festival that is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by the locals. During the festival, the entire of this holy monastery turns into a melting point of colours and religious faiths while displaying the renowned ‘Chham Dance’ or the ‘Mask Dance’ of Ladakh.

 7. Rangdum Monastery

Tucked away amidst scenic hills and snow-clad peaks, this pious monastery sits atop a conical hill and is revered as a highest order religious establishments among the Gelugpa Buddhists. Built in the late 18th century, it serves as an abode to around 40 monks and can be easily reached from Ladakh tourist destinations like Sankoo, Panikar and Parachik.

Be it the history or the serenity that exists in the Rangdum Monastery, you can always expect a blissful experience while visiting this holy monastery in Ladakh! It is also known for its astounding architecture and breath-taking location.

 8. Samstanling Monastery

The Samstanling Monastery in Ladakh is in fact one such monastery that highlights the preaching of Lord Buddha in the most promising ways! Adorned with detailed paintings, colourful murals, ancient scriptures, and other ancient collections, it was founded by Lama TsultimNima around 140 years ago.

Acclaimed as one of the remotest monasteries in Ladakh, the Samstanling Monastery is also the home to the reincarnated form of Lord Buddha.

 9. Likir Monastery

Likir Monastery is more than a religious learning centre! It is one such religious enclave where history unfolds itself and sanctifies the visitors with its spiritual essence and aura!

Located in a gorgeous hamlet called Likir, this monastery was built in 1065AD by Lama DuwangChosje, and has a vast collection of ancient scriptures, thangkas, and manuscripts of Buddhism.

 10. Shey Monastery

On your quest to attain mental solace and purification of soul, you can always visit the Shey Monastery located within the historic Shey Palace in Ladakh. Only 15km from the fringes of Leh city; off the Leh-Manali Highway, this pious monastery was built by King DeldamNamgyal in 1655.

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Home to the largest golden statue of Lord Buddha and the second largest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, Shey Monastery houses several other remarkable artefacts from the past. Enchanted with lively frescos, murals and Lord Buddha’s sculptures, it is a must visit monastery in Ladakh.

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