Thikse Monastery | Thiksey Monastery

Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir





Thiksay Gompa or Thiksay Monastery is a gompa (monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey village, approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Leh in Ladakh, India. It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh, notably containing a separate set of buildings for female renunciates that has been the source of significant recent building and reorganisation.

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.

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.


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