spituk monastery

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spituk monastery overview

#13 of 53 Places To Visit in Leh
spituk monastery
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18 km from Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, 194101, India
entry fee
per person
All days of the week
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
visit duration
2 to 3 hours

how to reach spituk monastery

Spituk monastery is located in Spituk village. It is situated 3.4 km from Leh Airport. Head in the direction of the Hall of Fame/War Memorial on NH1D and about 2.8 km ahead lies Spituk monastery.

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about spituk monastery

On the Leh-Srinagar road, atop a hillock lies the Monastero Spituk or Spituk Monastery, founded somewhere between 1040-1050 by monarch Ol-de of Guge, belonging to the Kadampa Buddhist tradition, a Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist school. However, gradually, the order lost its cultural stronghold and eventually the Gelugpa order was introduced in the 15th century, possibly around 1430, and ever since then the Yellow Hat sect has continued in the monastery. 

While the huge statue of Kali, situated in the Paldon Lamo temple on the highest level, draws visitors to the highest level of Spituk Monastery, it is the incredible sight of Leh's landscape stretching for eternity with river Indus rolling by that meets them there as a  pleasant  surprise. Inside the assembly hall of the monastery there is a statue of Buddha, 10 feet high, in addition to the images of Avalokiteshvara and Atisha, while frescoes of different Buddhist deities adorn the walls. Given the wavy and uneven nature of the hill on which the monastery is built, the temples and courtyard of the monastery appear disjointed having been built at different levels and varying dimensions. 

There are a number of smaller temples within the monastery complex and in one of them Samvara, Vajra-Bhairava and Guhyasamaja, the tantric divinites, are housed. Official seat of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, one of the sixteen Arhats (Buddhist saints who have attained freedom from the cycle of rebirth and suffering and achieved nirvana), right at the top of the flight of stairs that lead to the dukhang an exquisite prayer wheel is situated, and on one of the walls is suspended a board with His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama's inspirational thoughts expressed in simple language that are bound to strike an immediate chord with anyone in those sacred surroundings.

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