Diskit Monasteries in Ladakh

Diskit Monastery

The Nubra Valley lies north of Leh and is accessible over the Khardung la (18,500 feet/5,600 m), one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The Valley was on the caravan route from Leh to Kashgar via the Sasir and Karakoram passes. Apart from unparrelled trekking opportunities, the valley houses several Buddhist monasteries such as Sumur and the 350 year-old Diskit gompa, famous for its murals.

Diskit monastery to witness the morning prayer ceremony. It takes about 45 minutes through a long row of scattered chortens to reach the gompa which is set on the highest point near the village. Belonging to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect, parts of the gompa, which houses 120 resident monks, are about 760 years old. The Dukhang has many statues, one of which holds the head and left arm of a Turkish invader believed to be 500 years old.

Hundar gompa. This is a small gompa belonging to the Gelug-pa sect, set amidst innumerable chortens and has a huge impressive statue of Chamba in the main prayer hall. The gompa was built at the time King Jamgyal Namgyal came here with his wife Gyal Khatun. Explore the village which has some beautiful old houses.

Drive down towards the Shyok river across an extremely rough and rocky stretch of flat ground. Cross the river over a bridge and arrive at the first village of Tirith. The road from here is extremely bad all the way up to Panamik. The scenery however, is spectacular, with the snow capped Karakoram mountains in the background. The weather being much warmer in Nubra in comparison to the Indus valley, the vegetation is thicker, with a variety of trees and flowers. Nubra is also known for its two humped Bactrian camel which is found in these parts. The camels are left to graze in the jungle during the summer months and are brought back only during the winter months when they are used as beasts of burden and for their wool.

Visit the 150 years old Samsthanling gompa at Sumur. It is a big complex of 7 temples including the Rimpoche's room. Walk half an hour from the gompa to Tegar village where there is another small gompa. Walk through the village and explore its beautiful surroundings near the jungle and a small lake. Overnight in camp.

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