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Tourist attractions in Leh Ladakh » Spitok Sightseeing

Spitok Sightseeing

Spitok Monastery was founded in 11th century by Lotsava Rinchen Sangpo. It is situated at a distance of 6 Km from Leh. On a visit to Spitok Monastery visitors can come across various places of interest. Some of the places that worth a visit on a sightseeing trip from Spitok are as given below:-

Paldan Lumo Chapel/Temple:- Among the three chapels of Gompa, Paldan Lumo Chapel (Kali Mandir)is the highest and most revered chapel. The temple of Gonk Hang is about thousand years old. The main complex is a blend of dirty and dimly lit prayer halls and vivid modern shrine rooms. Probably it is aimed for Hindu Army members of Indian Army posted in Leh. A sigh outside warns the visitors not to deliberately mistake the Gon-Khang for Kali Temple.

A Built in Du-Khang:- From Paldan Lumo temple a small path leads past to red Latho to the monastery . The built in Du- Khang is worthy of a visit. The area is well illuminated and is surrounded by wall paintings, thankas, prayer flags and book shelves. Near the Du- Khang there are several chapels. At a new chapel Chokhang, the funeral ceremonies can be witnessed. It has many small and old prayer rooms, head Lama Room, rooms of monks which are adorned with paintings, silver chortens, Buddha figures and statues of other deities. Visit to these rooms are strictly prohibited.

The Spitok Gostor Festival:- From the level of Dukhang 19 steps lead the visitors to the inner courtyard with a flagpole around which the famous festival of Spitok is celebrated on 28th , 29th day of 11th month according to the Tibetan Calendar. It is celebrated with its famous mask dances. The monastery has a statue of Goddess Kali whose face is shown once in a year.

Shrine of Vajra Bhairava:- Vajra Bhairva is a Tantric guardian deity of Gelug- Pa order. Lit by flickering butter lamps , the messy and cobwebbed chamber houses a row of veiled guardian deities whose brutal faces are only unveiled once in a year. After waving incense smoke before them and muttering few mantras the key keeper pass around the handful of sweets newly infused with protective powers. If you are lucky enough then in the flashlights you can check out the 600 year old paintings on the walls of Spitok’s oldest building.

How to reach Spitok :- Spitok Gompa makes a good half day expedition from Leh. It is about 10 Km up the north side of the Indus Valley. The easiest way to reach Spitok Gompa is to stroll down to the crossroads above the GPO and J&KTDC’s tourist reception center and then get the bus which is heading west along the main Srinagar Highway.