This renowned Buddhist monastery is located at a hilltop in Leh district, Ladakh, India. A very famous tourist destination, it also goes by the names Spituk Gompa and Pethup Gompa.
Surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere and a calm landscape, the vibes of this place will make you forget the hustle of city life in no time.
For spiritual seekers, this place is no less than an opportunity to reflect and contemplate the deepest meanings of life. And if you are one of those seekers, then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't plan a trip to this enchanting monastery.
Nestled amid magnificent mountains and under the vast sky, this monastery is every Buddhist’s dream. The feel of this place is also such that it will inspire you in many ways to approach life in different manners.
Moreover, the Spituk Monastery houses some very special and intriguing statues. As you enter its premises, you get to see a golden yellowish statue of a Chinese man vaguely looking at something. You are free to wonder what he might be thinking in that pose!
The upper part of the monastery is where the statue of Goddess Kali is placed which only gets uncovered during the annual Gustor Festival. Spituk Monastery also has a separate hall where monks gather to meditate or for prayer. Locals also claim that the monastery was visited and blessed by Arhat Nyimagung, a great scholar of earlier times.
The monastery also features several unique icons of Gautama Buddha and the 5 popular thangkas (paintings). Besides the Buddhist paintings, the monastery is home to many icons, ancient masks, antique accessories, arms and a lot more as well.
If you’re planning your trip to Spituk Monastery, you should do so during July-September, as during this time, the roads are open and the Ladakh temperature is fairly pleasant to wander and explore around 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.
The monastery was founded by the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od who was known as Od-De in the 11th century. The holy place was named by a translator Rinchen Zangpo.
Initially, for a very long time, 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) in the 15th century.
Situated at an altitude of 3,000 meters, the monastery is a sacred place for Buddhist followers and a great tourist destination for others.
1. Monastery Circuit. This place is a hub of spiritual centres that include monasteries like Lamayuru, Hemis Gompa, Stakna, Alchi, Deskit, Thiksey and many more. It is a great place to expand your knowledge about Buddhism and closely witness the culture of Ladakh. The presence of many monasteries belonging to different sects of Buddhism at one place gave this place the name of Monastery Circuit.
2. Stok Palace Museum. The museum is located within the palace in Stock village. It consists of antique pieces of jewellery and items like stamps, locks, paintings, arrows, guns, relics, artefacts, coins and more. It is believed that the articles displayed in the museum belong to the old monarchs of Ladakh.
3. Gurdwara Pathar Sahib. It is situated at the top of the hill, which comes on the way to Magnetic Hill. Believed to have been built in the 16th century, the Gurudwara is visited by Hindus, Sikhs, and Tibetans alike and all bow down and offer prayers for the well-being of their loved ones. The Gurudwara is set amidst beautiful surroundings that grant it calming vibes. No doubt, it is one of the best places to visit in Leh Ladakh.
4. Trekking. Tourists who visit Ladakh, mostly have this one thing common on 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. Truly, it is one of the best things about Ladakh tourism.
Spituk Monastery is a beautiful monastery situated in Jammu and Kashmir. It is nearly 1,000, 2,400, 2,500, and 3,100 km far away from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can reach the monastery.
By Air. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh is well-connected with all the major regions in India. Flights from all the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad arrive at this airport. From the airport, one is required to cover another 5 km to reach the monastery.
By Rail. The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. After deboarding 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.
By Road. Another way to travel to Ladakh is via public or private tourist buses. They are cheaper and also offer you the opportunity to witness the scenic beauty along the highways on the way to Ladakh.
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