From Leh, Ladakh Region, J&K
Nestled amid the shimmering poplar coppices and terraced fields of barley
that extend up the valley behind Leh , Sankar Gompa, 3-km north of the town
centre, is among the most accessible monasteries in central Ladakh - hence
its restricted visiting hours for tourists.
About The Monastery & Its Attractions
The monastery, a small under Gompa of Spitok, is staffed by twenty monks,
and is the official residence of the Kushok Bakul, Ladakh's head of the
Gelug-pa sect. Appropriately for such a high-ranking 'Rinpoche', his
glass-fronted penthouse enjoys pride of
lace on top of the main building,
crowned with a golden spire and a "Dharma Chakra" flanked by two deer,
symbolizing the Buddha's first sermon in Sarnath.
Beyond the lords of the four quarters and wheel of life Mandala that adorn
the verandah, one enters a high ceilinged hall whose walls writhe with
lustrous multicoloured murals. Those on either side of the doorway are the
most amazing: many armed pot bellied bovine monsters drink blood from skull
cups, while the copulating "Yab-Yum" couples to the right are garlanded with
severed heads and engulfed in swirling red and yellow flames.
Above the Du Khang stands the Gompa's principal deity, Tara, in her
triumphant, 1,000 armed form as "Dukkar", or "Lady of the White Parasol",
presiding over a light, airy shrine room whose walls are adorned with a
Tibetan calendar and tableaux depicting "dos and don'ts" for monks - some
very arcane indeed. Another flight of steps leads to the Gompa library and,
eventually, a roof terrace with fine views towards the north side of Namgyal
Tsemo hill and the valley to the south.
Places of Interest (Visit
Leh is nested in a side valley just to the north of the Indus Valley.
Until 1947 it had close trading relations with Central Asia yak trains would
set off from the Leh Bazaar to complete the stages over the Kaakoam Pass to
Yarkand and Kashgar.
Administering the Valleys of Suru , Drass, Wakha and Bodkarbu, Kargil
lies midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir and the fertile reaches of
the Indus Valley and ladakh
Thak Thok gompa
shelters a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated
during his epic eight-century journey to Tibet.
Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh,
around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar,
Walled in by the Great Himalayan Divide, Zanskar, literally " Land of
White Copper" has for decades exrted the allure of Shangri La on visitours
Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum Strongdey Zangla Karsha
Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar.
The Suru Valley
Diving two of the world's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru
Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La the main entry point
the Nubra valley - nubra means green used to be on the trading route
connection Tibet with Turkistan, Also Now as the Valley of Flowers
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from
Pangong Tso, 15km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest
saltwater lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh
east into Tibet.
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is Famous for the large herds of
king, or wild ass, which graze on its shores, the lake of Tso Moriri.