Leh Ladakh Diaries: Monasteries to Visit during the Tour

The dream destination of many, Ladakh is known to be among the highest inhabited places throughout the world. It’s the land that exhibits the diverse religious and cultural influences from India, Tibet and Central Asia. If you are lucky enough to get a chance of visit this amazing destination of India, make sure you come back with tons of those OMG moments!!

In this first series of Leh Ladkah diaries, I have listed some of the must-visit monasteries during your tour to this wonderland. Here it goes:

Shey Gompa Ladakh 

Shey Gompa Monastery in Ladakh

Shey that once used to be the summer capital of Ladakh is home to the renowned Shey Monastery of Gompa. Established in the remembrance of Singay Namgyal, it is famous for the big copper statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is known to be the largest statue in the entire Ladakh and should be in your check-out-list of Leh Ladakh tour.

Phyang Monastery

Festival Celebrations at the popular Phyang monastery of Ladakh

For people seeking peace, beauty and solace altogether, Phyang Monastery is the right place to visit. This awe-inspiring monastery is strategically located at a short distance of around 15-16/40 kms to the west of Leh in the Ladakh region. The monastery was built in the year 1515 and is known to be major center of the Djung teachings in the area. The place also houses a 900 year old museum that is packed with huge collections of idols and Mongolian, Chinese and Tibetan weapons.

Diskit Gompa

Panoramic view of Diskit Gompa

Situated in Ladakh’s Nubra Valley, Diskit Gompa is known to be the ancient and largest monasteries here. It is reckoned as the sub-gompa of the Thikese Gompa and was founded in the 14th century by Changzem Tserab Zangpo. Home to a giant solemn Maitreya statue, this monastery is a must-visit place during your Leh Ladakh tour.

Spituk Gompa

Interiors of Spituk Gompa Monastery in Ladakh

Dating back its root to the 11th century, the Spituk Gompa is a consequence of the envision of Od-de the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. The Dukhang or the main temple of this three chapel monastery has a seat reserved for the Dalai Lama. And the Gustor Festival celebrated here is two-day spiritual delight for pilgrims and travelers.

Points to Ponder when Planning for a tour of Ladakh

Closely situated within the Trans-Himalayan region, Ladakh is one of the topmost destinations for nature lovers and adventure spirits. For years, travelers from all across the globe have been fascinated to this stunning landscape for exploring what all it has in store for them. Besides its natural treasures, Ladakh is also reckoned for being home to many Tibetan Buddhists.

Trekkers covering routes in Ladakh

Trekking in Ladakh would leave you with vivid and phenomenal experiences. But for a successful trekking expedition, it’s always better to plan beforehand. If you have been to any such high altitude mountain earlier, you definitely must be aware of the weather conditions. But for novice trekkers, you need to plan your trip in a good way and here’s how you can do it:

  • It is advisable to stay at Leh for the first two days of your Ladakh trekking expedition in order to get familiar with the high altitude conditions. As there are high chances for you to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), make sure that you are in the best of your physical state while undertaking a trekking expedition.

Trekkers having rest in between their route

  • As Leh is a low atmospheric region, take 24-36 hours of rest when you reach there. Increase your altitude gradually and take rests at various points of the expedition. For people with heart issues like blood pressure and asthma, it is strictly recommended not to go for Ladakh trekking tours.
  • Drinking lots of water is advisable in order to avoid dehydration, however make sure you don’t overdo it. Dehydration is not always necessary to cause AMS.

Trekker moving ahead in Zanskar , Ladakh

  • Carry warm clothes with you and keep your head covered. And yes, it is necessary that the warm clothes you are wearing are not just warm, but comfortable as well. Keeping safety in mind, control your excitement level and don’t start exploring new routes without any experienced trekker.
  • Higher the altitudes you reach, lower is the level of oxygen. This can led to shortness of breath, dizziness, headache and nausea, immediately descend down in case you are at a high level. You can carry medicines for such sickness after consulting a professional medical expert.