Alchi gompa

69 km from Leh the only monastery built on flat ground. Also known as the choskor or religious enclave. About 1000 years back(11th century), This gompa was built by the great translator Ringchen Zangpo. This is very famous for its painting and architecture which has an Indian and Kashmiri influence in them.

The village of Saspol is situated on the right side of the Indus river and across this, on the left bank of the river, is Alchi. Between Saspol & Alchi there is no bridge. A bridge has been built about 2-3 kms down the river which is negotiable by vehicles. The main temple of Alchi is comparitively small.

The central pavillion is 3 m long, 3 m wide & 6 m high. Few clay images have been placed on three walls. On one of its walls thousands of mini-pictures of the Buddha have been painted. Wooden statues have been placed at the gate. On the right side stands the statue of Avalokiteshwar, which has a thousand arms. The head of an ibex with four horns, instead of the usual two hangs here. The ibex was shot by a soldier & presented to the gompa.

The Alchi temple has three images as high as three floors of the building & they stand in a very narrow space. They are made of clay & painted with different colours. There are thousands of mini-pictures of the Buddha on the walls of the third temple.In .A.D. 985, the king of Ladakh brought 32 painters from Kashmir to paint these wall-paintings. During the reign of Langtarma, the Buddhist religion was banned in this region.

Lotsav Rinchen Zangpo, the head priest of the then king established Buddhism again in the region. He arranged from Kashmiri expertize to be used in building 108 Buddhist temples & decorating them during the reign of King Yeshe. Out of these, three gompas were later turned into universities of Buddhist learning. The biggest of them was Nirma Chhoskor, which has become extinct. It was situated near Thikse, about 14 kms away from Leh.
This age old gompa is in bad shape now. The walls have been disfigured by rain water seeping through cracks in the roof and many wall paintings have been spoilt. The gompa has no resources to maintain itself.

Ladakh Monasteries » Alchi Gompa
» Cave Monastery
» Leh Palace
» Lamayuru Monastery
» Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
» Phugtal Gompa
» Likir Monastery
» Sankar Gompa
» Shanti Stupa
» Spituk Monastery
» Stok Palace
» Shey Monastery
» Thiksey Monastery
» Zongkhul Monastery

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