Likir Monastery is located in Likir village, Ladakh district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. This monastery is also known as Likir Gompa and Klu-kkhyil gompa. This belongs to Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Duwang Chosje founded this monastery in 1065. He founded this Gompa under the command of Lhachen Gyalop, 5th king of Ladakh.
What to see in Likir Monastery: Major attraction of this Gompa is 75feet statue of Buddha. This was built like fort. So, during the war period this was this place offered sanctuary to local inhabitants. At the base of the monastery fields are located. Above the fields monk’s residency is located. Above the monk’s residence assembly hall and temples are located. In this gompa, more than 120 monks reside.
It is not only an oldest monastery but also wealthier monastery. Statues made up of copper, silver and Gold can also see here. Other attractions of this monastery are art works, murals and rare thangkas. Two assembly halls of this gompa are worth seeing. These halls are known as Dukhang. Walls of Dukhang are full of paintings. Paintings which are most impressive are Marme Zat (Past Buddha), Maitreya (Future Buddha), Sakyamuni (Present Buddha), Amitabha (Buddha of the west), and Bodhisattva (Lord of All He Surveys). Likir Festival celebrates annually. This festival can be enjoyed by the visitors if they come between 27th to 29th of 12th month of Tibetan calendar. Lamas Cham dances are most attractive during this period.
What to see around Likir Monastery:
Gurudwara Pathar Sahib: This was built in 15717AD. It is believed that a Demon was defeated by Guru Nanak at this place. Later he became the disciple of Guru Nanak.
Leh Palace: This is the major attraction of this place. In 17th century this was acted as royal residence. Victory on the top of the Namgyal hill is another attraction. This tower was built as a mark of victory over Ballti Kashmir armies.
Alchi Gompa: It is one of the largest gompa in Leh which is situated on the banks of river Indus. Best collection of paintings can be seen here.
Shanti Stupa: It has white domed monument with backdrop of brown mountains.
Zorawar Fort: It is above the Leh Palace and the Namgyal Tsemo Gompa stands the imposing Zorawar Fort overlooking the valley of Leh. Other name of this fort is Riasi Fort.
War Museum: Other name is wall of fame. This museum showcases the war effort and Sacrifice of the Indian Army in its war against Pakistan.
Sankar Gompa: This place is famous for the statue of Avalokiteshwara Padmahari or Chenresig. This statue has thousands of heads and arms.
Chamba Temple: Maitreya is worshipped here. Statue of Maitreya is 14meters height.
Getting to Likir Monastery: Only way to reach this place is through road way. This place can be reached either from Srinagar or from Leh. Both routes are mountain routes. Sometimes these routes will be blocked due to landslides. Nearest railway station is located at Jammu. This monastery can also be reached from Kalka. Buses and Taxis are available to reach Leh from Manali. From Leh, visitors can reach Likir by catching taxi or bus. Nearest railway station is located at Leh which is 70kms away from Likir.
Getting around Likir Monastery: Monastery can be explored on foot. Nearest place can be seen by using taxi or buses facilities.
Best time to visit Likir Monastery: Best time to visit this place is between June to September.
Where to stay in Likir Monastery: Limited hotels and guest houses are available to stay near Likir Monastery. These are located 3kms away from the monastery.
Where to eat in Likir Monastery: Guest houses and hotels serve food to the guests. Tibetan and Indian foods are available.