Leh Travel Guide
Leh Travel Guide: Leh is the last outpost of civilization in India .Covered with snow most of the year, It has very few vegetation and is almost a cold desert. What makes it standout is the Buddhist efflorescence .Thousands of llamas or monks of Tibetan Buddhists have made it their home. A profusion of monasteries, stupas and inimitable paintings populate the place. The aesthetically pleasing, architecturally interesting monasteries are the focus of the faith of the Buddhists here. Used as the places of worship, isolated meditation and religious instruction for the young, innumerable monasteries celebrate their annual festivals marked by mask dances. Monasteries also hide within a wealth of artifacts .Wonder at the sheer grandeur of Lamayuru, the oldest religious centre. Gaze admiringly at Alchi’s exquisite masterpieces in terms of uniqueness of wood carving, statues and frescoes. .Be sure to stop by at Hemis. It’s wealth of its possession and its annual summer festival makes it the most popular.
Places to visit in Leh
Karcha Monastery – Zanskar
Karcha is the largest of all monasteries in the region with more than 100 monks in residence. Apart from shrines there are exquisite wall paintings executed by the Lama Dzadpa Dorje. Dorje Rinchen’s Bone relics are also kept here. There are also two temples built by Rinchen Zangpo. During the Gustor festival, the sacred dance performed is a sight to behold.
Nearby in the village of Karcha there are the monasteries of Khagsar, of Purang in the village of Langmi, of Phagspa in the village of Nangbaphal and a nunnery called Dorjezong at the top of the valley.
Founded by the great mahasiddha Naropa, it stands on the place where he struck his ritual dagger into the rock. There are diverse sacred shrines including the holy objects made by mahasiddha including an ivory image of Samvara, a crystal stupa and the texts containing the spiritual songs and biographies composed by the successive mahasiddha. Panchen Naropa’s footprint is also embedded in the rock and his sacred spring.
Located on the side of the Longneck River, its principal image is an Andhra statue of the Buddha Maitreya, 2 feet in high, which is said to have once spoken. The ruins of a monastery and a stupa can still be seen on top of the mountain called Ha-Ha.
About 60 monks reside here and every year sacred dance is performed the festival of Gustor There are many kinds of exquisite shrines and wall paintings displayed here.
The Castle of Sani
It is considered particularly sacred place as it was supposed to have been visited and blessed by Padmasambhava of Oddhiyana. A cemetery ground can be seen here with cemetery trees and cemetery springs and also a footprint of Guru Nima Odzer. A meditation cave and a footprint are visible in the centre of the rock face on the opposite side of the River. Within the castle there can be seen the numerous peerless paintings executed by Zadpa Dorje.
The Castle of Leh and the Temple of Namgial Tsemo
Leh was the first of all the capital of King Takspa Bum-lde who built the ‘Red Chapel’ containing the statue of the Buddha Maitreya, three storeys in height with the statue of Avalokitesvara & Manjusri on either side, each one storey in height. He had the Sungbum Chenmo and many other sacred texts written out in gold & silver as speech-supports. As a mind- support he built, the stupa of Ti’u-Tashis Od-phro containing 108 temples inside. The ruin of the stupa can be seen to this day and is known to everyone as Tisuru.
The Leh Palace, known as “ Lhachen Palkhar ‘ was built in 1600 and has 9 storeys. In the Leh valley, there is Sankar monastery, a yellow stupa called the “ Mani Sermo’ and in the centre there is the “ New monastery’ with a sacred image of the Buddha Shakya
The architecturally striking Leh Mosque, in the main Bazaar is a Sunni Muslim Mosque
How to reach Leh
By Air: All through the year, there is air service from Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar.
By Road: The main overland road is from the Kashmir valley via the 434-km. Srinagar-Leh road,