About the Thiksey Monastery
Ladakh has many different monasteries and all of them have a lot of importance amongst the visitors. Another reason why people often visit here is due to its resemblance with the Potala Palace that’s located in Tibet. Another thing that makes it a bit more important than the others in the region is its magnificent architecture. Thiksey Monastery is known to be the largest gompa in central Ladakh. One of the major attractions of the monastery is the Maitreya Temple that’s situated at the premises. This was constructed in 1970 to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama at Thiksey Monastery.
The monastery belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhists and it is an amusing place for a lot of different reasons. Be it the view from the monastery, the intriguing architecture, or the collection of artifacts- the place is top-notch from all points. If you are planning on visiting the monastery make sure you have read the entire blog.
History of Thiksey Monastery
According to the relics and manuscripts found in the Thiksey monastery, it comes out that the gompa was built somewhere in the 15th century. Back in 1433, the disciple of Tsongkhapa named Jangsem Sherab Zangpo founded a small village and built a small gompa near the Indus river and named it Lhakhang Serpo which means the Yellow Temple.
Later in the 15th century, Palden Zangpo build another gompa a bit further away from the Indus River. The gompa was built on a sacred hill and it is currently known as the Thiksey Monastery.
Structure and Inside Architecture of the Thiksey Monastery
As we have already mentioned that Thiksey Monastery closely resembles the Tibet Potala Palace, so if you have already visited here- there are a lot of similarities amongst both of these. All the rooms in the gompa are well-constructed and maintained.
They are well-spaced and have been arranged in the ascending order of their importance. On the lower region of the building, there are dwelling units, places where monks reside. Whereas when you go to the upper floor you will find the Potang of Lama Chief. On top of all of these is the stupa with a prayer hall.
Highlights of Thiksey Monastery
While you visit the Thiksey Gompa in Leh Ladakh, there are multiple notable things. While most people love to watch the beauty from the top, there are a few more things that might interest you too. Given-below is some highlights of the monastery:
- Assembly Hall
- 15 m Maitreya Buddha Statue
- Gustor Festival
- Tara Temple
- Lamokhang Temple
Best Time to visit Thiksey Monastery
The best time to visit Thiksey Monastery is between June and September. October is also a pretty good time to visit here because of the Gustor Festival. There are multiple rituals followed by the monks and Lamas. The tourists can be a part of the enjoyment and celebration at the monastery.
While visiting the monastery, you can also witness the Cham Dance (which is an integral part of any festival or celebration here.) All the travelers find it absolutely amazing, refreshing, and amusing to become a part of such a dance.
How to reach the Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey Monastery is a few kilometers away from Stagmo on a sacred hilltop. The gompa is approximately 19 km away from Leh city and can be reached easily by road. You can take a car, rented bike, hired taxi, or a cab to the monastery.
Festivals of Thiksey Monastery
Losar Festival and Gustor Festival are two of the most important occasions that are celebrated at the monastery. Where Losar is the new year for these people according to their Tibetan Calendar- Gustor is celebrated in October/ November.
Thiksey Monastery entry fee
There is a small entry fee to enter the monastery and that’s 20 INR. This fee remains the same for Indians as well as foreign tourists. Additionally, you will not have to give any fee for carrying your camera inside the monastery.
Opening and Closing timings of Thiksey Monastery
The monastery remains open from 7 am to 7 pm every day a week between May and September/ October. After that, the gompa remains closed for the rest of the months which is October/ November to April.
You don’t have to think much because 1 hour is more than enough for you to visit and explore this place.Thiksey Monastery has a charm of its own and when you visit here make sure you click pictures of the surroundings. For any clicks you do in the vicinity; it is important to take advice from the monks and other officials of the monastery.
Important things travelers must know before visiting Thiksey Monastery
- Women are not allowed to enter the premises according to the rules of the monastery.
- Keeping silent in and around the monastery premises is advised and demanded. Therefore, one should obey it.
- People who wish to visit here should not be under any drug. Consumption of alcohol, cigarette, or any other drug. Doing so or someone caught under the effect of such a thing would have to bear the consequences.
- It is advised to follow all the rules and regulations that are on the bulletin board of the monastery. Abiding by them will be helpful and important for your overall experience.
- Visitors can savor delicious meals and energy drinks at the gompa’s premises because there are 2 cafes inside.
- You can plan a complete trip to Thiksey monastery with Stakna, Matho, and Hemis Monastery as well as Shey Palace.
- You can explore the artifacts while taking a trip inside the gompa.
There are a number of attractions in Leh-Ladakh but some of them are very important because of some or the other reason. To your surprise, Thiksey Monastery is one of them. We would suggest that you should not miss out on visiting this beautiful attraction of this newly made union territory for any reason. You don’t have to take our a lot of time for this attraction because approximately 30 minutes are going to be enough here.