Basgo monastery, based on Buddhist tradition and culture in the terrain of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, is perched on the top of a hill. The monastery was a fortress and the seat of authority of the Namgyal kingdom. It was the cultural-political centre of the kingdom. This place is rich in culture and heritage and yet one of the unexplored gems of Ladakh. It boasts of stunning sunset views as the citadel is bathed in the rusty hue of the setting sun.Entry fee: ₹30 per personOpening hours: Dawn to duskBest time to visit: March – July and October – November.Nearest railway station: Jammu is the closest railway station to the Basgo nearly 734 km away. One would need to take a bus or a private cab, passing Shimla and Manali and reach Leh from where Basgo is only 40km away.
About 80 kms. west of Leh, Basgo was the capital of lower Ladakh before the kingdom was united at Leh. Until recently, this fascinating World Heritage Site was crumbling into dust, but UNESCO and the Basgo Welfare Committee have joined forces to restore the ancient citadel compound. Today, Basgo's Chamba Gompa is one of the highlights of the Indus Valley. The mural work inside has been pectacularly restored using traditional colours and techniques, images of Bodhisattvas and celestial beings even cover the ceiling. The main building contains a two-storey statue of Maitreya and there is a second gompa just downhill with another outsized Maitreya statue. The ruins of the citadel are scattered across the surrounding hill. Basgo has no place to eat or sleep but there are roadhouses for meals in nearby Nimmu, 2 kms. back towards Leh near the confluence of the green Indus and the murky brown Zanskar river. A road is slowly being built from here to Padum in Zanskar.