Located in the lower parts of Ladakh, Alchi is a very beautiful village comprising of many wonderful monuments which date back to ancient times. And the Alchi monastery present in this village is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries. Built between 958 and 1055 AD by the guru Rinchen Zanpo some of the major buildings of the monastery are Dukhang, Main Temple, and Manjushri Temple.
Alchi Monastery lies in a monastic complex that has multiple temples. The monastery is known for its finest wall paintings that depict the Hindu culture and Buddhists teachings. Apart from the wall paintings, there is also a Buddhist sculpture that attracts eyeballs of the tourists.
Best Time to Visit Alchi Monastery
If you are planning to visit Alchi Monastery then the best time to visit would be between May to September. This is the best time for sightseeing and exploring the place to the fullest. The climate during this time is quite pleasant.
History of Alchi Monastery
Alchi has always been a Buddhist pilgrim site. And besides being a pilgrim centre it was also a Buddhist study centre for many Buddhist monks. According to the local folk tales, it is believed that during the Mughal rule in India, the monasteries and the Alchi complex was invaded and destroyed.
Major Attractions in and Around Alchi Monastery
The Dukhang is the place where one enters the Manjushri temple and it is here that the monks perform their worship and ceremonies as well. Here, you will get to explore the classic architecture of this temple which is made of an original wooden door frame.
One of the most amazing features of the Alchi monastery's complex is that it is made of loam and natural stone. Moreover, the vintage woodwork of the paintings which are in the interior parts of the monastery has been made by the Kashmiri artists.
3. Manjushri Temple
This is an ancient temple which dates back to 1225 AD. The paintings that you will find here are unrefined and raw and that is the beauty of this place.
4. Likir Monastery
Located at a height of 3700 meters, this place carries a very significant spiritual vibe. And here you will be able to see some of the most unforgettable picturesque views of nature.
5. Spituk Monastery
The Spituk Monastery is also known as the Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa. And it is interesting to know that this place was also blessed by the Arhat Nyimangung. For the people who are carrying a spiritual inclination this place is quite amazing to explore.
6. Phyang Monastery
This is a Buddhist monastery which is located in the Fiang village. It attracts a great number of devotees who visit here while on their trip to Alchi monastery. The Phyang Monastery was established in 1515.
How to Reach Alchi Monastery
Travelling by road to any destination is a lot of fun as you get to witness the natural beauty and enjoy the drive on the national highways. In case you are travelling by a tourist bus or by your personal vehicle you have to cover s distance of nearly 1100km and 2500km from Delhi and Mumbai respectively. From Kolkata and Bengaluru you have to travel 2600km and 3300km respectively.
Jammu Tawi railway station which is 640km away from the monastery is the nearest. From the station, one has to take a taxi or a bus to reach Alchi Monastery. Travelling by railways is a pocket-friendly way to travel to the main city, Leh. The Jammu Tawi station receives trains from all metro cities of the country.
If you prefer to reach the monastery by air then you are required to board your flight from Delhi to Leh. Leh Airport is the nearest to Ladakh. Make sure that you are travelling between May to September as during the rest of the months the roads remain closed due to snowfall.