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LAKES & MOUNTAINS - JAMMU & KASHMIR
Leh - Ladakh is the largest province within the North
Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, covering approximately 60,000 square
miles (100,000 sq. km). It is surrounded and bisected by some of the
highest mountain ranges in the world. Running in a generally northwest to
southeast direction through Ladakh, the great Himalayan Range separates
the Vale of Kashmir from Ladakh. We have various Tour Packages for your
ready reference, though we believe on Tailor Made Itineraries for your
scheduled trip to Ladakh and kashmir.
is located to the north of the Indus River at an elevation of 3600m above
the sea level. The town is dominated by the Namgyal Tsemo (victory peak)
built by King Tashi Namgyal in 16th century, as a royal residence and the
nine-storey Namgyal Palace built by King Sengge Namgyal on his victory in
reunification of the Upper and Lower Ladakh in 17 century. Leh became the
capital of Stod (upper Ladakh) during the reign of King Graspa Bum- Lde,
who ruled Ladakh from 1400 to 1430 AD. In the later period, Leh became an
important center for trade in Central Asia, along the Indus Valley between
Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and ultimately between India and
Famous Monasteries in Leh Ladakh
The Shanti Stupa is white-colored domed-shaped structure, located in
Chandspa which looks extremely beautiful during night when it is
illuminated. This peace pillar was built a 'peace sect' of Japanese
Buddhist organization to celebrate the completion of 2500 years of
Buddhism and for the promotion of world peace. It was inaugurated by His
Holiness, the Dalai Lama in 1985. This pillar is known for its gilt panels
depicting the life stories of Lord Buddha. It is just 5 kms away from the
main city of Leh and is surrounded the traditionally built houses of the
locals and snow-covered mountains. Take the steep slights to reach the
Stupa that offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views.
Leh Palace known as the 'Lhachen Palkhar' is a former royal palace of the
Leh Kingdom. Located in Leh city. It is one of the biggest tourist
attraction of Leh city. The 17th century Palace, Leh Palace is also one of
the tallest buildings of its time with nine story's. The palace provides
spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain range as well as
town and surroundings
Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery perched at an altitude of 11520
ft., the monastery is one of the fascinating places to visit in Ladakh.
The oldest gompa is also one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh famed as
Tharpa Ling which means the 'place of freedom'. Nearly 150 monks belong to
the monastery and 30-40 still reside at the gompa belonging to the
Red-Sect of Buddhism. The monastery lures spirituality learners and
tourists who wish to spend some time at a beautiful location amidst the
sacred aura. The gompa also serves as the meditation center. Tranquil
ambiance and scenic location of the monastery is mesmerizing.
Lamayuru is the oldest and one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh. As
per legends, Lamayuru's valley was a clear lake at the time of the
Sakyamuni. The lake was the dwelling place of the holy serpents. The
Bodhisattva Madhyantaka made a prediction that the lake will be emptied
and a monastery will be built here. Naropa, a Buddhist scholar visited
Ladakh in 11th century and spent many years meditating in a cave. Naropa
then caused a split in the surrounding hillside and due to this the lake
emptied. Thereafter, Naropa found a dead lion covered by the waters of the
lake. Naropa built the first temple on this spot and named it as the
Singhe Ghang (Lion Mound).
Alchi monastery, located in the Alchi village in Leh, was built by the
great translator Guru Rinchen Zangpo between 958 and 1055. Today it is
being monitored by Likir Monastery. This monastery is actually a complex
of temples consisting of 4 separate portions that has monuments built at
different times. The main complex has three temples- gTsug-lag-Khang (main
temple), 'Jam-dpal lHa-Khang (Manjushri temple) and Dukhang (assembly
Alchi monastery is one of the most well-known ones. The walls of the site
are adorned with paintings depicting the details of Hinu kings as well as
the teaching of Buddhism.
Hemis Monastery is a Tibetan monastery belonging to the Drukpa Lineage.
Counted as one of the iconic monasteries in Ladakh, Hemis is perched on a
mountain along the west bank of Indus River. People eagerly await to
marvel at the numerous paintings or Thangkas that are carefully preserved
here and are displayed on the famous Hemis Festival. A visit to the Hemis
Monastery is one of the highlights of planning holidays in Ladakh.
The ancient Hemis monastery is said to be have existed before the 11th
century. Naropa, the teacher of the translator Marpa and the pupil of the
yogi Tilopa, are regarded as the founding fathers of the Kagyu-lineage of
Buddhism, with, Hemis is its main seat. The first incarnation of Stagsang
Raspa Nawang Gyatso founded the monastery in 1630 when he was invited to
Ladakh by the King Singay Namgyal.
Matho Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery built under the Saskya
Monastic Establishment. It was constructed around 500 years ago. It was
established by Lama Dugpa Dorje in 1410, who belongs to Sakya order. It
houses a marvelous collection of ancient Thangas and known for its Matho
Nagrang Festival. It is an annual festival which takes place in the first
half of March. It is a nice place where you can understand Buddhist
teachings and philosophies. The nearby attraction of this place is Stakna
Rangdum Gompa is situated halfway between Kargil and Padum. It was founded
by Losang Geleg Yeshe Drogpa in the 18th century. It rises above a
centrally ascending mountain, established around the diverged route of a
mountain stream. It appears like an ancient fortification, which stands as
a guardian of a mystical mountain valley. It is located alongside Julidok
village and around 25 kilometers from the Pensi La pass which leads to
Zanskar. This monastery is home to around 30 monks and monasteries.
Rizong Gompa, also known as Rhizong monastery belongs to Gelugpa or Yellow
Hat sect of Buddhism is situated on the hilltop of a rocky valley to the
north of river Indus. It is also known as the Yuma Changchubling in Ladakh
region. Established at Ri-rdzong in 1831 by Lama Tsultim Nima under the
Gelukpa order, today it has around 40 monks who have to abide by very
strict rules and regulations. It is also famous as 'the Paradise For
Sankar Gompa, or monastery, is yet another beautiful monastery in Ladakh
located at a distance of around 3km from the main town of Leh. You should
visit this monastery during your tour to Ladakh, not just for its
incredible architecture but also because it's a treasure-trove of history
and art. Sankar Monastery is believed to be a subsidiary of Spituk
Monastery, with the same Lama presiding over it.
Diskit Monastery, also known as Deskit monastery is not only the oldest
but also the largest Buddhist Gompa in the Nubra Valley, Ladakh. The
prayer hall of the monastery consists of a statue of Maitreya Buddha,
various images of other guardian gods as well as huge drum. This monastery
is of the Gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by
Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa,
during the 14th century. The monastery's cupola is same as the Tashilhunpo
Monastery of Tibet.
Shey Monastery is reckoned as one of the popular monasteries in Leh
Ladakh. Also known as Shey Palace or Shey Gompa, the monastery is famous
for housing a 3-storeyed huge copper with gilded gold idol of seated
Shakyamuni Buddha. The statue is counted as the second largest idol in
Shey Gompa enjoys a perfect geographical location and offers breathtaking
views of the nearby surroundings of Matho, Thiksey, Stok, Stakna and Leh
as well. Almost in its ruins now, the palace is also home to several
butter-lit lamps with an eternal flame which burns continuously for the
entire year. They are replaced annually to continue the flame without any
hindrance. This is done in order to signify the purity and divinity of the
sanctum sanctorum. 4-km of trekking, makes the way to this must-visit
destination an intriguing one. Special permit is required to visit the
Shey Monastery as only one Lama dwells here and the inner shrine remains
Stakna Monastery, located about 25km from the main city of Leh, is also
known as "Tiger's Nose Monastery". This is because the rock on which the
monastery is located resembles a tiger leaping up to the sky. Stakna
Monastery displays the cultural and religious heritage of Buddhism. The
monastery houses almost 30 monks belonging to the Dugpa order. Visiting
the monastery lets you explore the cultural heritage of Buddhism and also
enjoy the panoramic views of the surroundings from the monastery.
Phyang Gompa belongs to the red hat sect of Buddhism. White and ochre
colored monastery lies on a hill top and seems to be overlooking the
surrounding village. The site where today the Gompa finds its footing was
a small part of various monastic properties that were received as a gift
by Chosje Damma Kunga, given by Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial. Phyang Hills
was the place of Tasi Chozong Gompa, which was founded way back in the
year 1515. This monastery was offered to a monastic community that paved
way for the foundation of Digung teachings in Ladakh that were started by
Skyoba Jigsten Gonbo. On the other hand, it is believed that it was
established by King Tashi Namgyal, during the third quarter of the 16th
How to Reach?
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport has flights to Delhi at least daily on
Jet Airways/Air India which also provides twice weekly services to Jammu
and a weekly flight to Srinagar. Connect in Delhi for other destinations.
Go Air operates Delhi to Leh daily flights during peak time.
Leh is connected to the rest of India by two high-altitude roads both of
which are subject to landslides and neither of which are passable in
winter when covered by deep snows. The National Highway 1D from Srinagar
via Kargil is generally open longer. The Leh-Manali Highway can be
troublesome due to very high passes and plateaus, and the lower but
landslide-prone Rohtang Pass near Manali.
The overland approach to Ladakh from the Kashmir valley via the 434-km.
Srinagar-Leh road typically remains open for traffic from June to
October/November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the
ascent up the 3,505 m (11,500 ft.) high Zoji-la, a tortuous pass in the
Great Himalayan Wall.
Leh - Manali Highway :
Since 1989, the 473-km Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second land
approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from June to late October, this high
road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupshu whose altitude ranges
from 3,660 m to 4,570 m. There are a number of high passes en route among
which the highest one, known as Tanglang La, is sometimes (but
incorrectly) claimed to be the world's second highest motorable pass at an
altitude of 5,325 m. (17,469 feet).