Pilgrimage in Ladakh

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About Pilgrimage Tourism in Ladakh

Home to hundreds of Buddhist monasteries, Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in India. Centuries old monasteries are nestled in the lofty mountains of Ladakh. There are pilgrimage destinations situated not only at the popular places to visit in Ladakh but in the remote corners as well. Amongst the top pilgrimage places in Ladakh is its acclaimed Shanti Stupa in Leh City.

Even though the devotees can pay obeisance throughout the year at the Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh, planning a pilgrimage tour around the religious festivals is deemed an ideal plan. Amongst the most important religious places in Ladakh are Hemis Monastery where the Hemis Festival takes place; Lamayuru Monastery where Yuru Kabgyat is celebrated; and Phyang Monastery where Phyang Tsedup takes place. Thiksey, Spituk, Karsha, Likir, and Diskit monasteries, all have an annual festival that can be planned to be witnessed on your spiritual tour in Ladakh.

Popular Pilgrimage Attractions in Ladakh

  • Hemis Monastery : Re-established in the 17th century, Hemis Monastery is reckoned to be the richest monastery in Ladakh. The monastery is home to a library of Tibetan books and an impressive collection of Thangkas, gold statues and Stupas embedded with precious stones.
  • Lamayuru Monastery : One of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh, Lamayuru Monastery is one of the top attractions. It is in fact considered the first Bon Gompa that could once accommodate 400 monks.
  • Shanti Stupa : Built in 1991by Japanese Bhikshu, Shanti Stupa was erected in Leh as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The stupa has the relic of Buddha at its base. It is amongst the top places to see in Leh city.
  • Thiksay Monastery : Resembling the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, Thiksay Monastery is the largest gompa of central Ladakh. It is a 12 storey building and is known for housing a 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest statue in Ladakh.
  • Alchi Monastery : Reckoned to be the oldest and most famous monastery in Ladakh, Alchi is basically a monastic complex that is situated in Alchi Village. The temple complex has three major shrines - the Dukhang, the Sumtsek and the Temple of Manjushri built between the 12th and early 13th centuries.
  • Diskit Monastery : The oldest and largest monastery in Nubra Valley Region, Diskit Monastery belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Opposite the monastery sits a 32-meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha.
  • Phyang Monastery : Known for its 900-year-old museum, Phyang Monastery is a 16th century gompa in Ladakh. It is also famous for its religious festival of Gang-Sngon Tsedup.
  • Chemrey Monastery : Notable for its high Padmasambhava statue, Chemrey Monastery belongs to the Drugpa monastic order. It is also known for its 29 volume scripture written in silver and golden letters.
  • Stok Monastery : A 14th century monastery, Stok is known for its library that has a collection of 108 volumes of the Kangyur. Close to the monastery is the statue of a 22 m tall Gautam Buddha.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which pilgrimage places are the most popular in Ladakh?

Hemis Monastery, Thiksay Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, and Shanti Stupa are some of the most popular pilgrimage places in Ladakh.

Q. When is the best time to visit Ladakh for a pilgrimage tour?

One can visit any time of the year for a pilgrimage tour, however, visiting during the religious festivals is considered an ideal plan.

Q. Which is the must-see religious festival in Ladakh?

Hemis Festival that is held in the month of June/July every year, is a must-see in Ladakh.

Popular Travel Destinations in Ladakh