Alchi Monastery

A MONASTIC JEWEL OF LADAKH ON THE BANKS OF THE INDUS RIVER

ALCHI MONASTERY

Alchi Monastery or Alchi Gompa (monastery and temple complex) lies about 65 km from Leh on the banks of the Indus River. Alchi is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist centres in Ladakh and also as one of the monastic jewels of Ladakh. The Alchi Monastery dates back to nearly one thousand years and so the effect of the Tibetan influence can be seen in the local culture. There are five shrines in the Choskor Temple Complex which has some splendid wall paintings. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer an active religious centre, it is looked after by monks from the Likir Monastery. Since the last 500 years, religion is not practiced in the Alchi Monastery. Over a period of time the Yellow Hat sect (Gelugpa) shifted their religious activities to another place which is 30 kms away, known as Likir. The surroundings of Alchi Gompa offers a very friendly atmosphere for visitors as there are small restaurants, tea stalls and souvenir shops welcoming tourists.

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