Monasteries in Ladakh - The Rich Cultural and Social Heritage of India

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Ladakh the land of high passes is a region of Jammu and Kashmir State which is visited by scores of tourists from several parts of the globe.
It is located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the Great Himalayas to the south which gifted this with some majestic and scenic landscapes which never fail to impress tourists.
Apart from the Himalayan panorama it is also known for its monasteries called Gompas.
It is the place where Buddhist monks and nuns live, study and practice their religion.
Monasteries in Ladakh are known for their scenic locations on mountains and rich collections of Buddhist Thangka paintings, art and artifacts.
These monasteries are important attractions of Ladakh Tour because of beautiful crafting, design, and bright colored decorations throughout the complex.
The entire valley of Ladakh is dotted with monasteries of all kinds, belonging to various orders or schools of Buddhism.
Some of the most famous Ladakh Monasteries are: Alchi Gompa This is the only monastery in Ladakh which is built on flat ground around 69 km west of Leh.
It was built by the Translator Rinchen Zangpo in the year 1000 AD.
This monastery is famous for three sacred temples which have three images as high as three floors of the building.
These temples are made of clay and painted with different colors.
There are thousands of mini-pictures of the Buddha on the walls of the third temple which showcases various teachings and philosophies of Buddha.
Rizong Monastery This monastery is also called 'the paradise for meditation' and noted for its extremely strict rules and standards.
It is located 73 km from Leh and was founded about 138 years ago by the great Lama Tsultim Nima.
This monastery is situated at the top of a rocky valley on the north side of the river Indus which adds extra charm to its scenic location.
A number of shrines are located within the premises which have rich collection of scriptures, texts and biographies of great Lamas.
Thiksey Monastery Thiksey Gompa of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 18 km from Leh.
It is one of the most beautiful monasteries of this region which belongs to the Gelukpa Order of Buddhism.
This monastery is a wonderful example of Ladakhi architecture located at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level in the Indus valley.
The monastery has 12 storied complexes which house several items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords.
The architecture of the monastery resembles the architecture of the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet which designated it with the title of 'Mini Potala'.
Inside the premises one can see the wall pillar carved with Buddha's ideas and preachings.
Some of the other well known monasteries of Ladakh are Hemis, Phyang, Lekir and Lamayuru.
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