Top 18 Ladakh Monastery Gompas Trek to visit this Year

Ladakh monastery Gompas trek

The Ladakh monasteries tour is a splendid voyage for a time-memorial experience of peace and calmness within you.  Explore the ancient monasteries as you journey through the famous Ladakh monastery trek.


Capital of Ladakh, Leh is the center of the Snow-laden peaks of the Himalayas while numerous monasteries picturesquely binds it. Roadside restaurants, cafés, and local shops selling curios are alluring enough to pick some as souvenirs. Several trekking and rafting options makes Leh a perfect holiday destination. In fact Leh is often occupied as a base for exploring the rest of the areas. An important trading center, Leh is an explicit market exquisite thing across boundaries of Ladakh. Carpets, rugs and pashmina shawls from Kashmir, Persian motif, jewellery from Tibet made of semi precious stone. Thangka paintings, prayer wheels, music bowls are other curios you can take back as a souvenirs.

Glimpses of ruins of ancient castles are worth capturing in your cameras. A simple yet pleasing and comfortable stay at a local hotel will keep you geared-up for your trek to Ladakh Palace and climb many stairs to Shanti Stupa.

Ladakhi Home

A visit to traditional Ladakhi home and to add thought for food relish the barley beer- chang, and stable food tsampa with the famous butter tea. A stopover at two gompas (monasteries) Spituk and Phyang will allow you to experience the calmness and spirituality among the monks and discover your inner self.

Witness an exotic evening with a sheer display of Ladakhi traditional dress and dance at a cultural show organized especially for you. Indulge for some individual activities. Some people may choose to go for an optional rafting trip, others may want to visit the Tibetan Refugee village in Choglamsor, and some may just want to explore the bazaar for interesting trinkets.

Open from: Summer – 8.00 am-8.00 pm;
Entry fee: Non-Indians – Rs 100 (Approx)

1)Namgyal Tsemo Gompa

The king of Ladakh Tashi Namgyal built the monastery of Namgyal Tsemo in 1430. The uphill locations of the monastery behind the Leh palace allow having a picturesque view of the town.

The splendid antiquity of this Gompa lie in the ancient manuscript and wall paintings that has survived since 15 century and are carefully preserved in the monastery. The gold statues of famous Laughing Buddha also called, as the Matrieya Buddha is present here. Nearby fort ruins are worth giving a glance while you walk through the ancient past. .

Open from: 7.00 am-9.00 am from prayers;

2)Jami Masjid

This masjid was build in Leh after a compromise was drawn between the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and the Ladakh ruler Deldan Namgyal as per which the Emperor agreed to help the Ladakhi king against the Tibetan only if he built a mosque in Leh and himself get converted into Islam. This green and white mosque exhibits an outstanding combination of Turko-Iranian architecture. Jami Masjid was built in the 17th-century and does not permit any Muslim or non- Muslim women enter the mosque.

3)Hemis Gompa

the largest monastery in Ladakh, the Gompa of Hemis is located 45 km from Leh. The Red Hat sect of Buddhism built it. The walls are adorned with beautiful frescoes and the largest Thangka painting in the world depicting Guru Padmasambhava is preserved here. It also the abode of the Sakyamuni Buddha statue made of precious stones. Lamas rejoicing the birth of Guru Padmasambhava perform chaams or masked dances at the famous Hemis Festival. The festival also includes a vibrant bazaar where craftsmen sell handcrafted items.

Open from: 7.00 am-7.00 pm

4)Shanti Stupa

The Shanti Stupa is considered as a symbol of peace, which was founded by a Japanese Buddhist organisation in 1985 called the Japanese for world peace. The Stupa was built on the occasion to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and was inaugurated by his holiness Dalai Lama. The pristine beauty of the Stupa is magnificent during the night when it gets illuminated in the moonlight.

Open from: 5.00 am-9.00 pm;

5)Sankar Gompa

The Sankar Gompa is the house of the monks of the Gelukpa or Yellow Hat sect. 2 km north of the city centre. It has a grand image of Avalokiteshvara (the Buddhist deity of compassion) created in turquoise, and depicted with 1000 arms and 11 heads. The wheel-of-life, is placed inside the Gompa held by Yama and paintings of various Buddha with guardian divinities.

Open from: 7.00 am-10.00 am; 5.00 pm-7.00 pm;

6)Stok Palace

The astounding beauty spreads around this palace, which speaks the history of the bygone past. The Stok Palace is the official residence of the royal family. Out of the 77-rooms in the palace, only one wing has been made open to the public as a museum. On display are collections of Buddhist art, weapons, jewellery, artifacts and thangkas painted with colours from crushed precious stones. Also watch the ceremonial headdresses or peraks of the earlier rules of Ladakh, decorated with turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral and gold.

Open from: 7.00 am-7.00 pm

7)Lamayuru Monastery

The Lamayuru Monasteries is the largest and the oldest Gompa in Ladakh. Mahasiddhachaya Naropa founded it in 11th century. The masked dance festival held annually is a major attraction. The Gompa is situated in the steep rock mountains, 127 km west from Leh and belongs to the Red Hat sect of Buddhism. The monastery has a rich collection of Thangka and wall paintings. There are several legends associated with this monastery that you get to know as you explore around the Monastery.

8)Shey Monastery

King Deldon Namyal- the ruler of Ladakh constructed Shey Gompa in 1655. The Monastery was dedicated to his father. The statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in Shey monastery is the biggest metal statue and second largest Buddha statue in Ladakh. A large bowl of wax is placed in frond of the idol of lord Buddha as a symbol of divinity and purity that burns for a whole year until it is replaced by another one.

The lower section of the Gompa has a library, which is decked with Buddha’s murals in different gestures.

9)Thiksey Monastery

This monastery is located a little away from Shey Monastery and has several statues of Buddha, a pillar inscribed with Buddhist teachings, a 15 m high seated Maitreya Buddha in the main prayer hall and a vast collection of Buddhist art. Its annual festival is held from the 17th to 19th day of the 12th month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar.

Open from: 7.00 am-7.00 pm

10)Alchi Gompa

This spectacular gimp located on the bank of River Indus, 67 km from Leh is the masterpiece of Rinchen Zangpa. The monastery was built using the talent of thirty- two sculptors and woodcarvers from Kashmir. This Gompa clearly depicts great Indian architectural style. The monastery has within it beautiful images of Buddha and remarkable murals. Photography is not permitted within the Alchi Monastery. Carry a flashlight to explore the interiors, since electric lights are not permitted, for fear of damaging the paintings.

Open from: 7.00 am-7.00 pm

11)Likir Monastery

The fifth king of Ladakh, Lama Duwang Chosje in 11th century built the Likri Gompa. This monastery belongs to the yellow Hat sect whose founder was Tsong-kha-pa. The monastery is named Likri which means “The Nagas – Encircled” and because it was surrounded by the two great serpent spirits, the Nagas Rajas- Nanda and Taksakro. A resident site for 120 monks, this Gompa is also a school for approx 30 students. The monastery has a rich collection of paintings, robes and artifacts.

12)Spituk Monastery

Approximately 8Km from Leh, the Spituk Gompa belongs to the Gelukpa order. Od-de founded this Gompa in 11th century. According to Rinchen Zangpo, Spitul means exemplary, denoting the belief that an exemplary religious community shall develop here.

The monastery displays the image of lord Buddha along the image of Amitayas. The Dukhang that is the main temple has a high throne reserved for Dalai Lama. Gustor is the main festival of Spituk Monastery which is celebrated every 27th- 29th days of the eleventh month as per the Tibetan calendar.

13)Chamba Temple

The district Chamba is situated in the wholly mountainous tract of the Himalayas, 100 meters above the River Ravi. The region is truly blessed by goddess of nature. Chamba was the capital of the ancient kingdom founded in 920 AD by Raja Sahil Varma.

Besides the personified beauty and magnificent landscapes, chamba is famous for temples. The famous temples of Chamba include the Lakshminarayana temple, Hari Rai Temple and Chamunda Devi.

14)Leh Fort

Built by Zorawar Singh, the Zorawar Fort contains three temples but is not open for public since it is located in the military camp area.

15)The Ecology Centre

The Ladakh Ecological Development Group initiated the Ecological Centre with the aim to counter the negative impacts of western culture on our economy and culture. There is open-air exhibition of solar gadgets; hydraulic pumps and other resourceful energy saving devices that are implement across Ladakh to sustain its natural beauty from external pollution mode. Browsing through the handicraft library is ideal for window-shopping.

Open from:10.00 am – 5.00 pm (Monday-Saturday)

16)Khardung La Pass & Nubra Valley

The Nubra Valley is situated over the highest road route of the world upto the Khardongla pass at 5550 meters will leave you with Goosebumps! Cherishing the eye candy view we shall precede down to Nubra valley. Situated on the old caravan (silk) route; Nubra is often called the ‘valley of flowers’. Two main rivers, the Shyok and the Nubra, divide it. With a pleasing climate and swarming with sweet apricot orchards, many consider Nubra the most beautiful valley in Ladakh. Nubra, bazaar consists of a single line of shops.

The Diskit Gompa perched on a rocky spur above the village with a commanding view of the entire valley. . Here there is small population of Bacterian camels (camel with two humps), which in ancient regime, were used as pack animals on the Central Asian trade routes. In Hunder enjoy the camel ride out into the sand dunes to get a feel of the life on the silk route of earlier times

17)Zanskar Valley

The isolated valley of trans Himalayan is adorned by alpine lake and snow covered peaks. The Zanskar valley is a vast stretch of ancient forts whose ruins lay on the ridge of the valley.

As you pass by the riverbank a look around will find you rock carving belonging to the primitive era. Karsha is among the largest monastery in the Zanskar region with a rich collection of Himalayan art and frescoes that are 500 years old. Other monasteries to visit are the Stongdey and Burdan monasteries, which have several clay, bronze, copper, and wood idols. Phugtal and Zongkhul are other caves worth exploring.

18)Tso Moriri Lake

This is a saltwater lake located at about 13,000 feet. Bounded by mountains, Tso Moriri is a salt-water lake famous for its profusion of wildlife including migratory birds, marmots and Tibetan wolves.

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