Everybody knows about the various Buddhist temples in Ladakh but fewer people know that there are multiple Hindu temples too. The Tibetan influence in the cuisines, cultures, festivals, and worship places is quite dominant here. But on the other hand, being a part of India, Ladakh is home to multiple Hindu temples too.
If you want to visit one such place on your trip to this wonderful place, then we have formed a list of temples that can be visited. They are intuitive, accessible, and offer a lot of peace to the visitors. So, put these amazing Hindu and Buddhist temples in Leh Ladakh in your itinerary.
Famous temples in Ladakh you would not want to miss out on
1. Alchi Chos Khor Temple
The Alchi Chos Khor Temple is a magnificent Buddhist temple famous for its stunning murals and carvings, which date back to the 11th century.
- This is not a single monument but a group of temples covering a complete complex.
- It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Leh Ladakh and was founded by Rinchen Sangpo.
- The temple is located in the Alchi region of Leh Ladakh.
- While you visit this temple, you can see the images of Bodhisattva, Gandharva, Buddha, and Apsara.
- This temple also houses the Buddhism art elements that date back to the 10th century. And this is the only place to do that throughout the country.
- The temple also houses paintings that were completed by Buddhist craftsmen.
- There are six temples in the complex that can be visited and their names are Lotsawa Lhakhang, Lhakhang Soma, Sumstek, Vairocana temple, Manjushree Lhakhang, and Kangyur temple.
2. Paldan Lumo Temple
The Paldan Lumo Temple is a picturesque monastery located in Leh. It is known for its stunning architecture and intricate wall paintings. The temple houses a statue of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains.
- Paldan Lumo Temple is located near the Indus river on a hilltop.
- It is also one of the temples situated at a high altitude offering a breathtaking view of the surroundings.
- The temple is constructed inside the complex of Spituk Monastery.
- It is located approximately 7 km from the city of Leh.
- This is an important temple in Ladakh and is devoted to Vajrabhairava.
- Every January, there is a festival that is celebrated at the temple and that’s the time when the monks unveil the face of the lord.
- There are multiple things that are kept in the temple including strange-looking images, Tantrik worship, arms, and antiques.
- There is also a shield kept in the temple that is forged out of a cane.
3. Red Maitreya Temple
The Red Maitreya Temple is a striking monastery of Leh that is famous for its enormous statue of Maitreya Buddha. The statue stands tall at 20 meters. The temple’s vibrant colors, intricate carvings, and peaceful surroundings make it a must-visit destination for travelers.
- The Red Maitreya Temple is situated in Leh city.
- It is one of the most famous temples of Leh Ladakh and sees a lot of visitors every year.
- The temple’s main attraction is the huge Maitreya Buddha statue and people love exploring the divider paintings on the premises.
- The temple was built by Tragspa Bumde and is one of the best places if you want to revisit the religious past of Ladakh.
- The temple was harmed during the Dogra invasion but reconstructed in the 1950s by Anca Nicolaescu.
4. Lamokhang Temple
The Lamokhang Temple is a peaceful Buddhist temple situated in the heart of Leh. It is known for its serene ambiance, colorful prayer flags, and statue of Buddha.
- Listed amongst the best monasteries in Leh, Lamokhang Temple is an important attraction of Leh Ladakh.
- It is situated in the Thiksey region of Ladakh on the Leh Manali Highway.
- This temple is located on the top floor of the well-known Thiksey Monastery.
- Lamokhang Temple is also home to Tengyur and Kangyur scriptures.
- Only men are allowed to enter this temple whereas females can offer their prayers from a distance.
- The other interesting things to witness here are the big stupas, Mani Walls, and temple pillars having the imprint of Buddha’s teachings.
5. Tara Temple
The Tara Temple is a charming Buddhist temple featuring a beautiful statue of the goddess Tara, surrounded by colorful prayer flags and stunning mountain views.
- This is another popular temple of Leh Ladakh and is named Tara Temple.
- The temple is also located in the Thiksey monastery which is dedicated to Goddess Tara.
- There are 21 images of the goddess that are placed in the temple.
- The courtyard of the temple is dictated to other divine entities.
- The wall painting of the temple depicts Tsong Khapa, Buddha, Mahakal, Padmasambhāva, and Palden Lhamo.
6. Vajra Bhairav Shrine
The Vajra Bhairav Shrine is a serene Buddhist shrine located in Leh Ladakh, featuring a stunning statue of the fierce deity Vajra Bhairav and adorned with colorful prayer flags and offerings.
- The Vajra Bhairav Shrine is located in the Spituk region of Leh Ladakh in the Indus river valley.
- The temple is amongst the most important Hindu temples in Leh Ladakh.
- Vajra Bhairav Shrine has located approximately 10 km from Leh city.
- This shrine is from the Gelugpa sect and is one of the most visited Shiv Mandirs of Ladakh.
- Although the deity is kept in a chamber and is believed to have supernatural powers. But it is unveiled to the local public once a year.
- The temple is adorned with 600 years old paints that mesmerize the visitors a lot.
7. Matho Temple
The Matho Temple is a historic Buddhist temple known for its vibrant wall paintings and ancient artifacts, making it a popular tourist attraction.
- The Matho temple is located in the Matho Monastery itself and is an interesting place to visit.
- Matho monastery itself is an important Budha temple in Ladakh and that increases the importance of the Matho Temple.
- This temple is approximately 26 km from Leh city and is known to be home to the monastery founded by Lama Dugpa Dorje.
- The temple is believed to be as old as 500 years but it has been constantly repaired over the years.
- There is an annual festival that is celebrated here every 14th and 15th day of the first month according to the Tibetan Calendar.
8. Serzang Temple
The Serzang Temple is another stunning Buddhist temple in Ladakh. The temple is very popular for its intricate wall paintings, ancient manuscripts, and magnificent statue of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.
- The Serzang Temple is located in the Basgo village near the Royal Quarters in Leh.
- Serzang Temple is considered to be the top temple of Leh Ladakh and a must-visit place too.
- The temple is located approximately 40 km away from Leh airport.
- The temple is built with Gold and Copper and that can be seen in the structure.
- Serzang Temple also flaunts a 30 ft high Maitreya Buddha statue that is also made out of copper gilt.
- One can explore the temple premises to see the amazing mural paintings, Buddha figures, and manuscripts.
9. Sun Temple
Sun Temple is a beautiful Hindu temple in Leh. It is popular for its intricate carvings, vibrant colors, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, making it a popular tourist destination.
- Sun Temple is located on the Surya Mandir Road in Anantnag.
- The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and the only one dedicated to him that increases its importance.
- There are an astonishing 84 columns that were used to build the building.
10. Kali Mata Mandir
Kali Mata Mandir is a revered Hindu temple in Leh, Ladakh, dedicated to the goddess Kali. It features beautiful carvings, amazing color patterns, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
- The temple is adorned with intricate carvings and colorful decorations.
- It offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan mountains.
- The temple is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus in Ladakh.
- Devotees believe that offering prayers and seeking blessings from the goddess Kali brings good luck and prosperity.
- The temple hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, attracting a large number of visitors and devotees.
- It is located in the heart of Leh and is easily accessible by road.
- The temple is a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Ladakh, and its history and significance are revered by locals and tourists alike.
People visit Ladakh for the adventure it has to offer, to ride their bikes on the high-altitude and daunting passes. But if you want to enjoy the union territory in its entirety then do not miss out on the temple in Ladakh. We have listed the best temples that you should not miss out on. As already discussed, the beauty of Ladakh is unfathomable. The monasteries of this union territory are quite intriguing but I bet you didn’t know there were such beautiful temples too. If you knew a few of these, not all of them.
So, if and when you head to Ladakh on your next visit, make sure you pay a visit here and offer your prayers to the lord.