Leh Ladakh - The Monastery Circuit

Tripoto
21st Oct 2014
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The Leh Monastery circuit had been on my bucket list for a while now. Just the idea of Buddhist flags,majestic Buddha statues and monasteries perched on top of mountains fascinated me like anything.The experience was everything that I expected and so much more.I simply cannot forget the "at peace" atmosphere created by the chants and the drum beats that I experienced at the Shanti Stupa meditation center.

Architecturally ,most of them are same with the exception of Shanti stupa which has a hint of Japanese architecture . But,what will enchant you the most is the scenic beauty around each one of them and the silent smiling monks quietly flitting around the space and doing their own thing . Shanti Stupa was the most famous tourist site around Leh Town. It boasts of a great view of the Changspa Village and Leh town. It also offers a great view of the Namgyal Tsemo in the distant mountains.We were lucky enough to witness the scenic view on a extremely clear day. The second level of Shanti Stupa has reliefs depicting the "birth" of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha "defeating the devils" while meditating. The Shanti Stupa features the photograph of the current Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base.The stupa is built as a two-level structure. The first level features the central relief of Dharmachakra with deer on each side. A central golden Buddha image sits on a platform depicting the "turning wheel of Dharma" (Dharmacakra). The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism.It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.The stupa lights up beautifully at night and is accessible till 9 PM .This can be included in your one day trip from Leh as it is only a few kilometres from Leh.

Photo of Shanti Stupa, Leh by Travel Factive

I especially loved the colorful art on the walls.This gompa can also be included in your one day trip from Leh as it is only a few kilometres from Leh.

Photo of Leh Ladakh - The Monastery Circuit by Travel Factive

This place was my second favorite.The views are as amazing as from the Shanti stupa.The towering Maitreya statue is a delight to the eyes . The statue is perched on the top of the monastery which is again on the top of the hill.It is majestic and colorful and serene . Visit to this monastery has to be the part of the Leh - Diskit - Hunder - Leh part of your itinerary as it is 118 kms from Leh

Photo of Leh Ladakh - The Monastery Circuit by Travel Factive

This monastery is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibetgompa in central Ladakh.A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two storeys of the building is deified in the monastery.

Photo of Diskit Gompa, Diskit by Travel Factive

The buddha statue here is the largest buddha statue housed by three storeys and is 39 feet high but is more serene in nature. Shey Palace, the erstwhile royal residence of the Laddakh monarchs, is the main attraction of Shey. The palace offers views of vast expanse of the surrounding valleys.A statue of Padmasambhava, with Dogzang Guru Limbune on either side, stands on the right side of Buddha. Right infront of Buddha a large bowl of wax with a central flame, representive of divinity and purity, continues to burn for complete one year before being replaced by another one. To the right side is the a statue of a blue horseman, Paldan Lamo and to the left is a statue of the red horseman of Chakmen, representing the king of Ladakh The Murals on the walls depict the 16 Arhats (Worthy Ones who have achieved Nirvana), 8 on each side; two famous disciples of Buddha and Tsong-kha-pa, founder of the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism.

Photo of Leh Ladakh - The Monastery Circuit by Travel Factive
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