Overlooking the immensely beautiful and pristine Indus, Spituk Monastery was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od during his visit to Maryul in the 11th Century. Rinchen Zangpo, a translator, was the one who gave the name to the monastery. In the initial face, the gompa used to run on the principals of the Kadampa school (Red Hat sect) but it later came into the fold of Gelugpa order (Yellow Hat sect). The monastery currently is home to about 100 monks.The most iconic feature of the monastery are the icons of Buddha and 5 thangkas sharing space with sculptures and miniature chortens. Unmissable part of the monastery are the collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and fine thangkas. The monastery is quite old but it was recently restored with a series of tiers, courtyards, and steps. The upper section of the monastery is Mahakal Temple, containing the statue of Vajrabhairava, which most of the time remains covered and is unveiled only during the festival.
Spituk Monastery is located at an altitude of 3,307 meters (10,852 feet), approximately 18 kilometers from Leh on the Srinagar road. To reach the monastery, tourists can hire a taxi from Leh.
When on a visit to the Spituk Monastery, visit the nearby attractions like Thikse Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace and Stok Palace.
July to September is the only time tourists can plan a visit to the Spituk Monastery as the roads remain open. Else, Gustor Festival, also known as Spituk Festival, will be a good time to plan, especially when the purpose of the visit is to experience altogether different cultures. During the festival celebration. one can see lamas performing dance form while wearing the masks of religious deities narrating the mythological stories of good over evil.Also during the festival, tourists can see the giant statue of Kali, which is unveiled only during this time.