The monasteries of Leh Ladakh are the preserver of Ladakhi culture. With yearly festivals, congregations of monks and spiritual centres, monasteries show the true face of Ladakh and the glory of its architectural prowess. Such one monastery is the Spituk Gompa lying at a distance of 8 km from Leh.
It is located in the Spituk village near Leh, a less visited but promising destination with a challenging landscape. If you are planning a trip to Leh Ladakh, take some time out to visit the Spituk monastery and witness the Ladakhi culture at its closest. Let’s explore the Spituk Monastery and find out why you should explore the Spituk monastery in Leh Ladakh.
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About Spituk Monastery
A few kilometres away from the town of Leh, a glorious white and yellow monastery perched upon a hill, belonging to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism is seen. The Gompa is over 900 years old, situated in the 11th century decorated with mural paintings and centuries-old statues, including the grand veiled idol of goddess Kali which is unveiled at the Gustor festival.
The walls of the assembly hall of the Gompa are adorned with Silk paintings of Lord Buddha and statues of guarding deities. In the premises of the monastery lies the Chokhang Temple with walls decorated with mural paintings and the Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha standing in the centre of the hall. Home to 100 monks, Spituk Monastery is a cultural hub with various Buddhist texts, masks and Thangka paintings.
How to Reach
Spituk monastery is located at a distance of over 8 km from Leh. If you are wondering how to reach Spituk Monastery, here are a few ways.
- By air
The nearest airport to is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport in Leh at a distance of around 8 km from the monastery. You can either hire a cab from the airport or hike from the airport to the monastery.
- By road
After reaching Leh, you can either take a cab or rent a bike from the area to travel to the monastery. If you are driving your own vehicle, take the Srinagar-Leh highway and you will reach the monastery.
- On foot
Hiking to the monastery from Leh is also a popular activity. You will see picturesque spots on your way with parallelly flowing Indus.
Distance from Leh
Leh to Spituk Monastery distance from the main Leh town is around 8 km. The Monastery is situated on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Tourists often hike to the monastery from Leh though renting a cab or a bike is also a popular means to travel to the area.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Spituk Monastery is the time when the Gustor Festival is celebrated in the monastery. It is a mask festival with a lot of colours and Cham dancing. The idol of the goddess Kali is displayed to the public and the festival is celebrated with much rigour.
If you are not up for braving the cold of Ladakhi weather in February then you might pick summer months of May to September as your preferred time of travel. Leh Ladakh in summer is blooming and beautiful. All roads are open and the weather is clear.
The monastery stays open all days of the week for tourists. The monastery opens up at 7 AM for tourist visits and closes off at 6:30 PM. However, it takes a one-hour break at 1 PM and opens again at 2 PM. So, the timings for Spituk Monastery are from 7 AM to 6:30 PM.
Do we Need Tickets to visit Spituk/Entry ?
Entry to the Spituk Gompa is charged 20 Rs per tourist. So Rs 20 is the entry fee for Spituk Monaster. You would require 2-3 hours to explore the monastery completely. You can choose either the morning slot or the evening slot for your visit. So yes, we do need tickets to visit Spituk.
Spituk Village is one of the most beautiful villages of Leh Ladakh situated in the Leh District. The village is famous for its breathtaking trekking trails, heartwarming landscape and its lamplit houses after sunset. The village is dotted with a number of monasteries as Buddhism is the chief religion practised in the area.
The temperature in the village always touches a cooler side, even in summer. The village, not frequented by tourists, has a hospitable atmosphere with inviting locals. If you are planning to visit some off-beat destinations in Leh-Ladakh, Spituk village should be a part of your itinerary with its challenging trekking trails and its unexplored monasteries.