Thiksey Monastery -

Thiksey Monastery: Understanding Ladakh Better


Established about 600 years ago, there are 12 levels and 10 temples while below the gompa there are homes for monks and chapels. It houses the largest Buddha statue and the hollow insides are filled with Buddhist canonical texts and represent the Buddhist avatar of Maitreya. The new temple has the 15m tall statue of Buddha representing Maitreya in 1970 as a mark of respect to Dalai Lama’s visit to the monastery. Made of clay it is gilded with gold paint and filled with volumes of Buddhist religious texts including Tandshur and Kandshur. With traditional murals depicting ‘Wheel of Life’ along with Yama and   racks of canonical books along the wall which are hand painted and written by hand, it is a rare sight.


Other editions have been hand-pressed by block printing and are slightly older than the handwritten books. There are images of Buddha including Sakyamuni and Bodhisattva along with the 11 headed statue of Avalokitesvara. Around the main monastery are numerous temples for many Buddhist guardian divinities. Near the summit of the monastery is a Maitreya temple while on the wall there are images of small lamas with thankhas behind them.

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