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WITNESSING LIVING HERITAGE OF BUDDHISM IN LADAKH

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TheEcstasy of Leh-Ladakh (THE ECSTASY OF LEH-LADAKH: AN OFFBEAT VACATION) defines itself and presents a unique facet of humanism on its holy lands. Often known as ‘Mini-Tibet’, the land of Ladakh offers homage to the Buddhist culture and splendid monasteries at high altitudes where anyone can visit. The architecture and historic value of these monasteries become the major reason for the largest tourist’s attraction.

Here, we’ll take a glimpse into the history and artifacts of the monasteries prevalent in Ladakh that have become a living heritage site of the Buddha.

Hemis-MonasteryHemis Monastery: Largest monastery of its region, the Hemis Monastery grants its name under the Drukpa or Dragon order. Standing on the western banks of Indus River, this monastery is located on the Leh-Manali highway. This 900 years old ancient monument stands as an epitome of the incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. The monastery has kept beautiful statues and mural paintings along with sacred thangkas and other artefacts in store. Hemis Festival is the most important festival celebrated here, where you can participate in the enchanting sacred mask dance.

 Spituk-Monastery Spituk Monastery: The Spituk Gompa, also the Spituk Monastery stands still since the 11th century on the side of a hill. It is abode to more than 100 monks currently who at the time of the Spituk Festival perform mask dance and demonstrate the winning of good over evil. While now, there is an old gompa which has been restored as the new one is getting reconstructed within the monastery premises. On your visit, you’ll witness small stupas and sculptures adorning the altar.

Thiksey-MonasteryThiksey Monastery: Depicting the architecture of Ladakh to its best, the Thiksey Monastery is lulled at about 17 kilometers from the South Leh. Here, there are ten temples built in this twelve-storey monastery, including the prayer hall with the statue of Buddha sitting on a lotus, having 40-foot height. Plan your visit during the Thiksey Gustor Festival, which takes place in the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar along with the sacred mask dance occurrence.

Alchi-MonasteryAlchi Monastery: Having a rich Buddhist culture, Ladakh supports the Alchi Monastery since the 12th century. It is the oldest Buddhist learning centre in Ladakh. This ancient monument stands still on the banks of Indus River, approximately 70 kilometers west of Leh. When you visit here, you’ll see the difference among the Alchi Monastery and rest all other monasteries. This temple has a sculpture and painting of Rinchen Tsangpo.

Phyang-MonasteryPhyang Monastery: Resting on the top of a hill, lies the Phyang Monastery located 17 kilometers west of Leh. On a record, it’s believed that Denma Kunga Drakpa laid the foundation stone of this monastery. Owning to its 900-years-old history, this monastery is now a museum which adores a vast collection of idols, firearms and weapons, old thangkas, wall paintings and murals of Mahakala. Along with the ancient education, the Phyang Monastery hosts modern education to its students. You can enjoy the Phyang Tseruk Festival that takes place on the 2nd and 3rd of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar.

When you book for your trip to Ladakh, so make sure that you get to witness all the most prominent festivals of these monasteries.

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