Thiksey Monastery is one of the important and largest monasteries in the central Ladakh. Approximately 18 km away from Leh town, the monastery is built on the hill top and is home to around 120 monks. With its iconic and amazing architecture, Thiksey is a twelve storied monastery and boasts of 10 shrines and an assembly hall.
Thiksey monastery in Leh belongs to Gelugpa order (yellow hat sect) and is referred as ‘Mini Potala’ of India; as it resembles like Potala Palace (World Heritage Site) in Lhasa (Tibet). The Tibetan monastery houses many stuffs of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, swords, thangka paintings. In-addition, there is also a nunnery in the monastery complex.
The monastery features one big 15m statue of Maitreya and Tara temple of Goddess Tara. The Morning Prayer at the monastery attracts huge crowds. Further, placed on the hill top, the monastery presents an amazing view of Indus valley and other monasteries. Gustor festival is the famous festival celebrated with great excitement and interests in Thiksey monastery in Ladakh. Locals enjoy the event with sacred mask dance and music. One can also visit Lakhang Nyerma, a beautiful shrine within the monastery.
Some precautions to be observed while visiting a monastery:
- Visitors are required to take off their shoes before entering a prayer area
- Do not disturb Monks at prayer, and always ask permission before taking photographs
- Do not touch religious artifacts
- Do not drink, smoke, take drugs or spit in the monastery premises
- Avoid talking loudly or disturbing the peaceful atmosphere
- In many Gompa’s, you are expected to walk around the premises only in a clockwise direction
- Women may not be allowed to enter the inner prayer rooms of some monasteries