Ancient Monasteries Tour in Ladakh!

The Buddhist religion has a vital impact on tradition and cultures of Ladakh. Almost everyone in this beautiful place on earth is connected with a Buddhist group. And as a result, there are scores of monasteries all around. Most of these are world famous and apart from being culturally wise, they're an architectural delight too. In most of them, there are ancient Tibetan manuscripts, exquisitely carved wood work and icons of silver and gold. These monasteries are a rare site and must visit over Ladakh tour. "As we all know, Ladakh is popular for its incredible and beautiful monasteries! These monasteries tell us about the rich culture of Ladakh through their architecture, ancient text paintings etc."

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  • Ancient Monasteries Tour (Detailed Itinerary)

  • Day 1: ARRIVAL IN LEH
  • Upon arrival at Leh Airport you will met by Ladakh Yeti Travels representative and Welcome in traditional Ladakhi style and transfer to our pre-arranged hotel, rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight stay at hotel Evening we visit Shanti Stupa A magnificent white-domed structure, The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights. A large number of tourists come to Ladakh every year to visit this amazing stupa.


  • Day 2: Leh
  • AM: Excursion Spituk & Hall of Fame
    PM: Excursion to Sankar Gompa
    Post breakfast we depart for AM Sightseeing tour to Spituk

    Spituk monastery was built in 15th century during the reign of Grags ‘bum-lde, these new Gelug-pa monastery was built like fortress on the summit of crags. Spituk lies some 5 kms south of Leh. Nesting at the foot of the crags are the flat-topped houses which go to form the village of Spituk.And also visit Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defence personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during Kargil war and belongings of enemy soldiers found at war site. Another section of this building is entirely dedicated to Siachen and its heroes. On display are attires, multi layered shoes to keep their feet from frost bites, their daily instruments, their day to day food mainly frozen and packed, which is heated by lighting small balls of Hexamycin tablets, as fire is difficult to ignite at a temperature dipping -30 deg to -50 deg centigrade. It is mentioned on a board that 97% of the casualties in Siachen are due to cold and terrain. Later we drive back to hotel on time for lunch. Later in the afternoon, guided sightseeing tour visiting Sankar Gompa, located at a distance of approximately 3 km from the town of Leh. A subsidiary of the Spituk Gompa, it belongs to the Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat Sect. The monastery also serves as the official residence of the Ladakh’s head of Gelukpa Sect, known as The Kushok Bakul. There are time restrictions for visiting the Sankar Monastery of Leh Ladakh. You can also go either between 7:00 am and 10:00 am, or between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. These restrictions have been placed because a few of the monks, of the yellow-hat sect, attached to the monastery reside here permanently. Overnight stay at the hotel.


  • Day 3: Leh – ALCHI
  • Enroute visiting: Phyang, Likir, Basgo

    After breakfast we drive to Phyang, located 6 kms away from the Srinagar-Leh highway and 17 km from Leh. It was built during the reign of King Jamyang Namgyal in late 15th century by lama Kunga Dragspa. Phiyang belongs to Dri-pung kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. The man Assembly Hall which is now under conservation contains as main image Vairocana accompanied by Shakyamuni and various Kagyu lamas, and the walls are painted pleasingly with murals of Vajradhara and Five Dhyani Buddhas.

    And we drive further to Likir, Likir gompa situated atop a windy cliff top overlooking the beautiful village of Likir, This Monastery is headed by the younger brother of Dalai Lama. According to tradition the foundation of Likir monastery goes back 11th century when it was a Bon center. But the real foundation seems to be not earlier than 15th century. On the top on roof they have newly setup a museum which contains some very old thankas brought from Tibet and the armory, coins, seals etc.

    Basgo is certainly the most impressive of Ladakhi citadels despite its ruined state. Amidst the ruines of the fort there are two large temples and adjoining one of there is a small shrine. They all contains images of Maitreya in due proportion to their size. The most beautiful one is the higer one, which is known as the Chamba Lha-khang (Maitreya Temple) and which was built by Tsewang Namgyal, son of Tashi Namgyal, about the middle of 16th century.

    Then we drive and cross the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh’s most loved monastery. Over a century old, its wall paintings are very similar to those of the Tabo gompa in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Unlike other monasteries, which are usually on a cliff top or cling to a mountainside, Alchi is at ground level and is nestled in the shade of a garden.

    After visiting the Alchi Monastery we check in at our Camp / Guest House for Overnight stay.


  • Day 4: ALCHI – LAMAYURU
  • Enroute visiting Lamayuru, Ridzong
    After breakfast start early morning drive to Lamayuru, and Ridzong back to Leh.

    Lamayuru is around further towards Kargil. Lamayuru monastery belongs to Dripung Kagyu (Red Hat) like Phiyang. The oldest structure in Lamayuru is the Singey Lhakhang built by the founder of Alchi Lotsava Rinchen bzangpo in 11th century. Lamayuru lower Ladakh, it’s also called as sham.

    After visit at lamayuru Gonpa the drive to Ridzong Gompa: Rizong Gompa is known as the paradise for Meditation. Guru Padma Sambhava is believed to meditated here for years. One can still find the small caves where Lamas used to meditate for years cutting themselves from the rest of the world except for a one feet square outlet window from where they accept the one time meal of the day.

    Rid-zong is the most recent of the Gelug-pa foundation in Ladakh. The monastery has been built picturesquely at the head of a gorge reached by a side-valley running north from the Indus near a village Uletokpo. Rid-zong is best known as best disciplined monastery of the whole of Ladakh.

    After Ridzong visit we drive back to Leh and check in at our hotel for overnight stay


  • Day 5: LEH - Excursion to Matho, Stakna & Stok
  • Post breakfast we take an excursion to few more interesting monasteries of leh and start with Matho, lies 26 Kms south-east of Leh on the opposite bank of the Indus river. The monastery was founded by Lama Dugpa Dorjay in 16th century. Matho is the only Sakya-pa establishment in Ladakh.

    Matho monastery is renowned mainly for its yearly festival, which takes place on the 14th and 15th of the first Tibetan month thus in late March or early April. It is known as Nag-hrang after the name of the local god (sa-bdag). Following drive to Stakna

    Stakna is a small monastery, comprising the private apartment, all newly decorated in good Tibetan style, a Du-khang and the rooms of monks and attendants. The Du-khang contains a silver gilt stupa, some seven feet high, set up by the present Head Lama Stakna Rinpoche. Other items of interest were the images of three Drug-pa lamas, Padma Karpo, Ngag-dbang rNam-rgyal, the stone man of Bhutan in 17th century, and of Ngag-dbang rGyal-mtshan.

    After covering above two monasteries we drive back to leh and visit Stok Palace on the way, Stok lies south south of leh on the opposite side of the singe Tsangspo River. The castle was built on a hill at the end of village in about the year 1825 by king Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. In Stok there is also the sacred monastery of Gurphug, a branch of Spituk Monastery. On the 9th and 10th days of the first Tibetan month of the festival called the “Guru Tshechu” is held during which the monks of Spituk Monastery come to perform the sacred dances. At that time two gods make their appearance.


  • Leh - Excursion to Hemis, Takthok, Chemdey
  • Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour.

    We start with a visit to famous Hemis Gompa, This is the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Most of the other Drukpa monasteries are the branch monasteries of Hemis. It was built during early 17th century with the blessing of Lama Stagtsang Raspa (Shambunatha), by famous Namgyal dynasty king Singee Namgyal.

    The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading Buddhism in the Tibetan world.

    Tak-thok Monastery is situated in Sakti Village, at a distance of approximately 46 km from the town of Leh. The site where the monastery is now situated, once served as the meditation cave of Mahasidhas “Kunga Phuntsog”. The name Takthok literally means ‘rock-roof’. The monastery was so named, as both its roof as well as walls are made up of rock. Tak Thok belongs to the Nying-ma-pa sect of Buddhism, also known as the Old Order, and serves as the residence of approximately 55 lamas.

    Chemday, The other monastery closely associated with Hemis is Chemday, which occupies an imposing position just to the south of Sakti village. The Du-khang contains images of stag-tshang Raspa, founder of the Hemis monastery and Chemday, and the last but one head-lama in this series of reincarnations. Behind the images are murals of Shakyamuni flanked by his two chief disciples amd bu mandalas of Kalachakra of Akshobhya. After finishing the sightseeing tour we drive back to hotel for overnight stay.


  • Day 7: Leh- Shey Palace, Thiksey and Mahabodhi Meditation Center.
  • Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour With Mahabodhi Meditation Centre. We start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue, built in the memory of King Singee Namgyal by his son Deldan Namgyal in 1633 A.D. It is the only kind of statue made of Gold, Gilt and copper in entire Ladakh.

    Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha; the Buddha of the future is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh.

    Drive return to Leh on the way visiting Mahabodhi, Mahabodhi is the only centre in Ladakh to conduct Dhamma talks and meditation programs. Situated in the center of Leh city (which is away from the main bazaar and not too noisy) daily meditation courses are conducted for the benefit and happiness of the people those who come from within and outside India. At this centre, Mahabodhi conducts yoga and meditation classes (Monday through to Saturday) throughout the summer months. Overnight stay at the hotel


  • Day 8: Leh – Saboo Oracle
  • Early morning visit Sabu oracle for Prophecy Namgyal peak – Crowned by the now ruined fortress, houses Buddha’s deity Maitreya. It was here that the bodies of the defeated Mughals were offered to deities in the medieval era.

    Rest of the day at leisure to explore the beauty of ladakh on your own and time for last day shopping.

  • Day 9: DEPART LEH
  • Tour concludes. Ladakh Yeti Travels thank you for your patronage and ensure a punctual transfer to Domestic Airport to catch the flight for your onward Destination

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Magical Monasteries

  • "As we all know, Ladakh is popular for its incredible and beautiful monasteries! These monasteries tell us about the rich culture of Ladakh through their architecture, ancient text paintings etc."

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    Think Ladakh and the first thought that will come to mind will be the Alchi, Lamayuru, Thiksey, Hemis and Diskit Monastery. These famous attractions of Ladakh contain many stupas, articles, lovely Thangkas and copper gilt Lord Buddha’s statue. Enveloped by lofty hills, the monasteries allure the tourists from all over the world with its architecture designs, peaceful environment, and the lovely Buddha statues. Along with all these, Likir Monastery, Chemrey Monastery, Phyang Gompa, Matho Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Sankar Monastery, Shey Monastery and more monastery should be included in Ladakh tour travel itinerary.


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