Mulbekh Monastery: Both Drukpa and Gelugpa gompas can be found at Mulbekh Monastery, and they are closely linked to the palace of Rajah Kalon of Mulbekh. The famous nine metre tall statue of Maitreyi Buddha carved inside a rock is the star attraction here, and is located 45 kilometres east of Kargil. In addition to this, the monastery is also home to relics, inscriptions and paintings dating back to the 14th century. Plan your visit to Mulbekh Monastery during the summer months (June to September) as it remains covered in snow the rest of the year.The monastery is open daily in the summer months from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Today our journey began to Leh via NH1. We were slowly moving to the other side of The Himalayas. Here the scenic beauty adjacent to road was changed- it was no more the long green trees, rather a bit deserted mountain with different colors of sands and stones. On our way, we visited Mulbekh Chamba and Lamayuru monastery. Mulbekh Chamba is famous for the Buddha statue erected in stone. This Buddha is dressed in ornaments indicating the myth that in future Budhha will be coming back when everywhere happiness and wealth prevails. After crossing Kargil, slowly the impact of Buddhist religion became more prominent. Till Kargil, it is more Islamic faith whereas post Kargil, it is more Buddhist faith is dominating.
The Mulbekh monastery was not one we could visit, after a local women told us that the monk was away. Even though I knew that the monastery had a spectacular stone carved Buddha, I consoled myself reasoning that it was a tough climb and we still had a lot to do on the day.
Back on the road on our way to Kargil continuously being impressed by ladakh and its natural wonders around us, a surprise was awaiting us at Mulbekh village where we stopped for lunch. The small monastery in Mulbekh was celebrating its annual festival on that particular day which they called as Mentok Stano (Flower mela). The monastery pictures an enormous figure of standing Maitreya Buddha (The Buddha-to-come) carved on a rock facing the road. Maitreyas are also known as Chamba so Mulbekh Monastery is popularly known as Mulbekh Chamba. The monastery festival is a way to build social companionship among people residing in villages situated far off in the Ladakh and Zanskar valley. The people celebrate victory of good over evil with colors, flowers, dance, music and masks.