Alchi Monastery : Understanding Ladakh Better
Situated in the village of Saspol, the scenic Alchi monastery is considered to be built in 11th century and is one of the oldest monasteries. The monastery has the Temple of Manjushri, Sumtseg and Dukhang which were built in the 12th and 13th century. Another important part of the complex is Chortens and other two temples are the Lakhang Soma’ and ‘Lotsabha Lakhang’ (Translator’s temple) is a later addition. The Manjushri temple has preserved the wooden carvings on the pillars and doors while having an exquisite hand painted ceiling. Embellished with murals and wall paintings, the entrance of the chortens is hollow.
The Lotsabha Lakhang’s central image is bhumisparshamudra or the image of Buddha while the temple has painting and sculpture of Rinchen Tsangpo. On the other side is the Avalokitesgvara sculpture, making the Alchi Monastery is sought after destination. While the New Temple or Lakhang Soma has numerous murals which are different from the older monasteries.