Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey Monastery in Leh Ladakh

Ladakh is known as the land of monasteries and is home to numerous monasteries that people for Buddhist belief or not visit every year. Thiksey Monastery is one of them. Located in the eastern part of Leh, this monastery is one of the most stunning Tibetan Buddhist-style monasteries in India. It is located at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the cold deserts of Leh Ladakh.

Thiksey Monastery is so massive that it is known to be Ladakh’s largest Tibetan Monastery. Inside this 12 storey structure, you can witness many stupas, statues, and Buddhist artifacts. Also, there are many sections into which the monastery is divided and each one has a unique style of architecture.

The monastery is painted in colors that perfectly blend with Ladakh's surroundings. This is a major highlight that attracts tourists from all around the globe. Another unique feature of the Thiksey Monastery is that there is a separate building for female renouncers.

The highlight of Thiksey Monastery

The statue of Maitreya Buddha is placed in this monastery. It was built to commemorate the 14th visit of the Dalai Lama to this monastery. You will witness a blend of natural beauty and craftsmanship at this place where various Buddhist sects intermingle, the striking architecture, and the serene environment. 

History of Thiksey Monastery

There is a legend behind the Thiksey Monastery. It says that Sherab Zangpo and Palden Zangpo wanted to construct a Tibetan Monastery. And while they were performing rituals, two crows came and flew away with the Torma offerings. When they started to search for the same, they reached Thiksey where they found the Torma being carried by the crows. They place it on a stone precisely, which they considered a divine command, and start to build Thiksey Monastery at the spot.

The Architecture of Thiksey Monastery

Being the largest Tibetan Monastery in Ladakh, Thiksey Monastery has 12 storeys each of which has its own significance. At the foot of the mountain, you will find a statue of a Tibetan deity and a stupa at the tip. Each building is painted in red, white, and ochre color, which resembles the Potala Palace in Tibet. This is why Thiksey Monastery is also called Mini Potala.

There are various Buddhist statues and paintings inside the monastery plus 60 lamas who reside at the top of the hill. The interior also has the Maitreya Buddha statue, the Tara Temple, the Lamokhang Temple, and an assembly hall.

Festivals of Thiksey Monastery

For the best experience at Thiksey Monastery, visit during the time of festivals. Luckily, it hosts many festivals all around the year. Among them, the most famous Tibetan festival is the Gustor ritual celebrated during October or November. The date for this ritual is calculated as per the Tibetan calendar and usually falls between the 17th to the 15th of the nine-month. 

You can attend the trade fairs at the base of the hill to connect with the locals and other tourists visiting Ladakh. Buy arts and crafts made by the locals.

Best Time to Visit Thiksey Monastery

The best time to visit this monastery is October and November. After this, the monastery closes and reopens the next year in May.

To get the best experience, make sure to visit the monastery as early as possible. This will let you see the rituals performed at the monastery and listen to the morning prayers while enjoying surreal views.

Timings and Entry Fees 

You can visit Thiksey Monastery anytime between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm throughout the week. The entry fee for the monastery is INR 20 for both Indians as well as foreign nationals.

How to Reach Thiksey Monastery

You can hire buses to reach Thiksey Monastery from Choglamsar in Leh. Buses are frequently available that leave for Thiksey every 15 minutes. It is a half an hour drive to Thiksey Monastery. Cabs are also available from the nearest airports in Leh or Manali. 

Things to Know Before Visiting Thiksey Monastery

Here are some things you must remember while visiting Thiksey Monastery - 

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