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Spituk Monastery Leh

Likir Monastery

52 km from Leh, it was founded in the 11th century by a sect known as Klu-Kkhjil (water spirits) and was rededicated to another monastic order (the yellow sect) in the 15th century. The original Gompa was destroyed in a fire and the present-day Gompa was rebuilt in the 18th century. It is home to huge clay images of Lord Buddha, several old manuscripts, a rich collection of Thankas, old religious and domestic costumes, implements and other such things. It is said to flourish in the 15th century under lhawang Lodos Sangphu. Today, the monastery also belongs to Gaylukpa School. An annual festival is held from the 17th to 19th of the twelth month, known as Likir festival.

 

Spituk Monastery

18 km from Leh, Spituk Gompa is on the hilltop near River Indus. Od-De founded the Gompa in 11th century and was called Spituk (exemplary) by Rinchen Zangpo, a translator that visited the place. Initially it belonged to the Kadampa School but during the reign of King Gragspa Bumide, he transferred it to Gayluk Pa order. The monastery has a rich collection of ancient masks, antique arms, icons and numerous Thankas. An annual festival, known as the Spituk festival, is held here from 17th to 19th days of the eleventh month. There is another shrine, higher up the hill, known as the Mahakal Temple, dedicated to the deity of Vajrabhairava. It has a frightening face, which is unveiled only during the annual festival in January.

 

Alchi Gompa

Situated on the shores of the River Indus, Alchi Gompa is more than thousand years old. One of the walls of the monastery features thousands of miniature paintings of the Buddha along with three large sized images that are made of clay and have been painted brightly to be the highlights of the place. However, this place does not serve as active religious center anymore and monks only look after it from the Likir.