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Time Required : 1 - 2 hours

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Spituk Monastery, Leh Ladakh Overview

Spituk Monastery also called as Spituk Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery in Leh district, having an enchanting view of the Indus Valley below. Located about 18 kms from Leh, Spituk is one of the most dazzling monasteries in Northern India. The monastery currently houses 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali, which is one of the major highlights of this transfixing edifice. Spituk Monastery is considered to be a must-visit site for the followers of Buddhism and also the history buffs.

Known as Pethup Gompa among the locals, the grand monastery was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od when he came to Maryul in the 11th Century. The site was blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung. When Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo (Translator) came to that place he said that an exemplary religious community would arise there and so the monastery was called Spituk. Spituk Monastery, with its commanding view of the Indus Valley and the surrounding beauty, is often visited by tourists from all across the globe, who come here to see the different idols of Buddha, along with the 5 spectacular Thangka paintings. 

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Architecture of Spituk Monastery

The bewitching monastery houses 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali. It is famous for its collection of Buddhist objects of antique arms, icon, ancient masks and numerous Thanka paintings, all done in best colours. Spituk monastery is the oldest and famous monastery in the Ladakh famous for its colour and architecture. The interior design of this monastery is highly influenced by the area where it is built. It has a hall in the centre for meditation and benches for the monks to sit and perform their prayers and meditation.

Gustor Festival at Spituk Monastery

Every year, the Gustor Festival is held at Spituk from the 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar. The mask dance is the hallmark of this Spituk which is performed by the monks. The festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. After finishing the two-day dance, the prayers start for seven days. The festival ends with the burning of an effigy and the symbolic termination of evils.

History of Spituk Monastery

The site of Spituk was blessed by Arhat Nyimagung. It was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od when he came to Maryul in the 11th Century. He introduced the monastic community. When Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo visited the place he said that an exemplary religious community would arise there and so the monastery was called Spituk (exemplary).
During the time of Dharma Raja Gragspa Bum-Ide, the monastery was restored by Lama Lhawang Lodos and the stainless order of Tsonkhapa was introduced and it has remained intact till present. Founded as a Red Hat institution, the Spituk monastery was taken over by the Yellow Hat sect in the 15th century.

Tips for Visiting Spituk Monastery

Do visit the place if you are interested in knowing other culture and traditions. Don't miss the Spituk festival which is a lovely experience giving the glimpse of their local customs.

How To Reach Spituk Monastery

It is situated at 8km from Leh. The easiest way of reaching Spituk Monastery is to hire a local taxi from Leh or Ladakh.

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