Thiksey Monastery is the largest monastery in central Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated 18 km from Leh in the Indus valley. The Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism is located at the top of hill. The monastery is famous for its architecture and its location. The 12 storey monastery has 10 temples, an assembly hall, and is home to 120 monks and nunnery.
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The monastery buildings are structured in hierarchal order. The monastery is referred as ‘Mini Potala’ of India as it resembles Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. There is one big statue of Maitreya (future Buddha) which covers almost two floor of the monastery that is 40 feet in height. Tara temple of Goddess Tara is another major attraction for the visitors. Apart from visiting monastery one can also find some rare and precious stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords in the monastery. Due to its proximity to Leh the morning prayer at the monastery attracts huge crowds. The monastery offers clear view of the Indus Valley and some monastery like Shey, Stok and Matho can also be seen from here. Festivals celebration is another major attraction for the tourists, locals and Buddhists in Thiksey Monastery.
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There is a very interesting story behind how Thiksey monastery got its name and how the place where it stands today was finalised. Jangsem Sherab Zangpo and his disciple Palden Sherab were offering prayer services with a ritual cake about three kilometer from where the Thiksey monastery is. A crow flew away with the cake. When they searched, they found the ritual cake in perfect order at the top of the hillock. They believed it be an auspicious sign to build a monastery at this place. The monastery got the name Thiksey (meaning in perfect order) because the cake was placed in perfect order by the crow. Accommodation is available in the monastery with excellent services at nominal rate. There are luxurious hotels at the base of the hill with modern facilities. The monastery serves vegetarian food. Hotels at the base provide Indian and Tibetan food. The best time to visit Thiksey monastery is between May and September, as routes are closed after November due to heavy snowfall.
Photograph courtesy: Prabhu B Doss/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT LADAKH
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ladakh is as given below. The best time to visit Ladakh is also specified.
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