Monasteries in Ladakh

With a large Buddhist population and a vast history, Ladakh is an important Buddhist centre. There are several monasteries in Ladakh that don’t just help you find your inner peace and spirituality, but they are also architectural wonders. Most monasteries are situated atop high mountains and are unique in their own way of preaching and promoting the Buddhist culture. Several of these date back to the 11th century and house ancient Tibetan manuscripts, stupas, silver and gold statues, ancient thangkas as well as beautiful paintings.So if you’re planning a tour to Ladakh, don’t forget to visit these incredible monasteries while you are there to truly soak in the local experience.

Most popular monasteries in Ladakh

The most popular monasteries in Ladakh include Hemis, Thiksey, Alchi, Namgyal Tsemo, Stakna, Matho, Spituk, Shey, Diskit and Samstanling. Some of the monasteries also allow visitors to stay and have a first-hand experience of their ancient culture and traditions.

Built between 958 and 1055, Alchi Monastery is the oldest Buddhist learning centre in the Ladakh region.

The Spituk monastery built in the 11th century is popular for its music and dance festivals, as well as its proximity to Leh.One of the biggest and most famous monasteries in Ladakh is the Thiksey monastery, which now allows tourists to stay. There are rooms with basic amenities where you can stay, meditate, observe the monks, and research the culture at their well-stocked library.

The Hemis monastery is the oldest and richest monastery, which also allows tourists to stay and it truly comes to life during the annual Hemis festival.

To cover all the monasteries in Ladakh, it is best to plan a 10-day trip or book a 10-day Ladakh tour package.

Ladakh monastery tour on a bike

A Ladakh tour with a bike is an unparalleled experience that you definitely shouldn’t miss out.Riding your bike through the treacherous and unpaved roads, steep curves, high terrains and erratic weathers is totally worth it as you will catch a glimpse of some of the most surreal views in India. In fact, touring the monasteries and valleys of Ladakh on a bike is the ultimate stairway to heaven. For an ideal Ladakh tour with a bike, it is recommended to plan a trip or book a tour package spanning 10 days or more, as you’ll need adequate rest and time to acclimatize to the high altitudes. Depending on your budget and requirements, you could either get your own bike or rent one.

Best time to visit the monasteries in Ladakh

The ideal time to visit these monasteries in Ladakh is during their festivals, based on the Tibetan calendar, as the monks celebrate each festival with sacred dances, rituals, and feasts. Locals as well tourists take part in these celebrations with great enthusiasm. Though, the monasteries look just as beautiful during other days of the year.

If you’re planning on going on a bike tour of Ladakh, then the best time is from mid-May to October. 

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