This renowned Buddhist monastery is located at a hilltop and is also known as Spituk Monastery. It is situated in Leh district, Ladakh, India. The monastery is a popular tourist destination among visitors who visit Ladakh. Spituk Monastery is surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere and a calm landscape that will make you forget the city life in the first glance.
The monastery was founded by the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od who was known as Od-De in the 11th century. The monastery was named by a translator Rinchen Zangpo. For an indefinite initial period, the monastery was run by a gompa who belonged to the Kadampa school of thought (Red Hat Sect) and later it was administered by Gelugpa school of thought (Yellow Hat Sect) somewhere around the 15th century. Situated at an altitude of 3000 meters, the monastery is a sacred place for Buddhist followers and a great tourist destination for others.
The upper part of the monastery is where the statue of Goddess Kali is placed which only gets uncovered during the annual Gustor festival. Locals also claim that the monastery was visited and blessed by Arhat Nyimagung. Spituk Gompa and Pethup Gompa are the other two popular names of this monastery.
The monastery also features several unique icons of Gautama Buddha and the 5 popular thangkas (paintings). Besides the Buddhist paintings, the monastery is also home to many icons, ancient masks, antique accessories, arms and a lot more. Spituk Monastery also has a separate hall where monks gather to meditate or for prayer.
This place is a hub of monasteries that include monasteries like Lamayuru, Hemis Gompa, Stakna, Alchi, Deskit, Thiksey and many more. A great place to extend your wisdom about Buddhism and closely witness the culture of Ladakh. The presence of many monasteries belonging to different sects of Buddhism at one place gave rise to the name Monastery Circuit.
The museum is located within the palace in Stock village. It consists of antique pieces of jewelry and antique pieces like stamps, locks, paintings, arrows, guns, relics, artifacts, coins and more. It is believed that the articles displayed in the museum belong to the old monarchs of Ladakh.
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is situated at the top of the hill which comes on the way to Magnetic Hill. The gurudwara is believed to have been built in the 16th century. The Gurudwara is visited by Hindu, Sikhs, and Tibetans alike and all bow down and offer prayers for the well being of everyone. The Gurudwara is set amidst beautiful surroundings that grant it calming vibes.
Tourists who visit Ladakh, mostly have this one thing common in their ‘To-do List’ and that is trekking. After visiting the Spituk Monastery, you can head for the ultimate experience of trekking. Here, you can hire expeditions authorized by several groups who provide trekking facilities.
Gustor is an annual festival which is marked by mask dance performances by the monks. The festival is celebrated for 3 days in the 11th month of the Tibetan calendar. The festival is concluded by prayers and the burning of an effigy that symbolizes the destruction of the evil.
You can plan your trip to Spituk Monastery during July-September. During this time, the roads are opened and the weather is pleasant to wander and explore the place to the fullest. If you want to enjoy the cold weather of Leh-Ladakh, then you may plan a visit in the month of February when you can also witness snowfall.
By Air. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport of Leh is well-connected with all of the regions in India. Flights from all the major airports and major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad arrive at the airport. From the airport, one is required to cover another 5 km to reach the monastery.
By Road. Tourists who are planning to visit Spituk in Leh have to cover nearly 1000, 2400, 2500, and 3100km from Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. Another way to travel to Ladakh is via public or private tourist buses to Ladakh, they are cheaper and also offer you the opportunity to witness the scenic beauty along the highways on the way to Ladakh.
By Rail. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. After deboarding the train at the station, one can take a bus or taxi to reach Spituk Monastery. The railway station receives regular trains from all metropolitan cities of the country.
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