Found in Ladakh, India, Basgo Monastery stands as a revered and age-old Buddhist sanctuary of historical importance. Perched atop a hill, it affords awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding terrain. The monastery's detailed architecture, vivid murals, and prized relics offer visitors a window into the region's deep cultural and religious legacy. Explore this ancient site as part of your Ladakh travel packages for an enriching cultural experience.
The Basgo Monastery, also known as Basgo Gompa or Basgo Castle, is a historical and spiritual gem nestled in the Ladakh region of India. Perched on a rocky hill, this centuries-old Buddhist monastery showcases stunning architecture and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Founded in the 15th century, Basgo Monastery served as a fortress and religious center during the reign of Ladakh's Namgyal rulers. The complex comprises three main temples: Serzang Temple, Chamba Temple, and Maitreya Temple, each adorned with exquisite murals, intricate woodwork, and ancient scriptures. Basgo Monastery holds significant religious importance, housing sacred relics and artifacts. It remains an active place of worship, attracting both devotees and curious travelers seeking to witness the richness of Ladakhi culture and spirituality.
The ancient walls of the monastery echo with tales of the region's vibrant history, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike. Its remote location adds to its allure, as visitors can relish a serene and meditative experience while exploring the hidden gems of Basgo Monastery.
• Trek all the way up to the Basgo Monastery, marveling at the lovely vistas of the mountains that you come across
• Take a tour across the temples that comprise the monastery complex; namely the Chamchung, Chamba Lhakhang, and Serzang temples
• Marvel at the colossal statue of the Maitreya Buddha, perched on the monastery atop the hill
• Admire the beautiful artwork, murals and sculptures that are decorating the compounds of this stunning monastery
To explore the imperial wonders of Leh, take the different modes of transport at the ready. Due to restrictions, tourists are allowed to travel by their own vehicle or via bus.
By Bus – To reach Basgo Monastery, you can take a bus from the Friendship Gate of Leh. There is no direct bus available but you can take a bus to Ney which will go via Basgo.
By Cab/By bike – You can book a cab to reach Basgo Monastery. Private cabs are available at Leh. Or, you can take bikes to the monastery too.
Click Here to Book Now: 6 Days Premium Leh Ladakh Sightseeing Tour
April to June – The best time to visit Basgo Monastery is from April to June. The climate is pleasant and appropriate for travelling. The roads will be clear and the temperature would be bearable for exploring the monastery. Visitors usually prefer to stop by the monastery around 9 am to 11 am.
July to September – During these months, you will come across crystal clear water and exotic picturesque. Also, you can visit the monasteries and celebrate the local festivals like Dakthok, Korzok, Sachukul, and much more.
October to March – As October approaches, you can observe snow settling on the enormous mountains. The temperature drops by -15 degrees Celsius and it’s absolutely freezing. But the real beauty of this place lit up during this time. Visitors usually head trekking and visit the frozen Zanskar River.
Also Checkout and Book: Ladakh Tour Package with Flight
Basgo Monastery traces its history back to 1680. The edifice was built under the reign of Namgyal rulers to protect the premises of Basgo from the invaders. It was an important political and cultural part of ancient Ladakh. The political significance of Basgo raised to the occasion in the 15th century. The ancient culture of Basgo Monastery resides in the libraries, mural paintings, etc. Also, its significance of sandstone rocks and dark red base of the spur dates back to the reign of Namgyal rulers.
The history of Basgo was deep-rooted in the Maitreya temples with mesmerizing paintings, animal stables, uniquely built chortens or stupas, etc. The largest temple, Chamba Lhakhang, is situated at the highest point. The restoration work was done in the early 1980s by removing the ancillary chambers and roof. Whereas the Cham Chung temple has a conical roof and the Chamba Serzang temple was restricted for the royal family exclusively.
The development of art has also taken place magnificently. In 1979, it adapted the Central Tibetan style of painting for the first time. The painting in the Cham Chung and the Serzang temples followed the same elements and style. Although, religious developments majorly preferred tantric Buddhist tradition.
If you are looking forward to renting a bike after reaching Leh, Checkout.: Leh Ladakh Bike Rentals
Basgo Monastery is an epitome of beauty and spirituality. To explore this holy place without any hassles, get acquainted with several tips before visiting.
1. Basgo Monastery follows the Buddhist norms which believes in prayers and silence. Maintain the decorum and pay respect towards the surroundings.
2. Dress conservatively and cover your head with a scarf or something
3. Basgo Monastery is situated on top of cliffs. Be ready to climb at high altitudes as many people suffer through acute mountain sickness.
4. Wear robust and comfortable shoes for a convenient hike. Also, you can easily explore the monastery.
5. There will be hardly any shops or restaurants around the monastery, so pack some snacks and drinks with you. But make sure you don’t take any food inside the monastery.
Recommended Read: Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Basgo Monastery is also popularly known as Basgo or Bazgo Gompa. This historical site is nestled in an agrarian village which comprises approximately 150 households. In the early days, Basgo Monastery was strategically located on the trade route along with the Silk Road and Kashmir.
The monastery houses the Chamchung, Chamba Lhakhang, and Serzang temples, which pays devotion to the Maitreya Buddha.
By Bus – There is no direct bus available to Basgo Monastery from Leh. But you can take a bus to Ney which will pass via Basgo. From there you can walk or hail for any local transport.
By Bike – Many travellers prefer to explore the lush landscapes of Leh by bike, you can ride a bike and reach the monastery. It is almost 40 km away from Leh.
By Cab – For convenient and comfortable travelling, people also book a private cab. You can find them at Leh and drive up to the Basgo Monastery.
The Basgo Monastery is famed for its historical importance during the 15th-17th century. The tales of the monastery's spiritual significance dates back to Maitreya temples, Chamba Lhakhang, Cham Chung, and Chamba Serzang.
The grandiose architectural style can be observed in the Maitreya (Chambha)’s enormous idol, wooden purlin roof, and painted wooden slats. Apart from the beauty of the monastery, the location of the edifice is equally astonishing. Nestled on the cliffs, the serene viewpoints of Leh compliments the spiritual vibes of the Basgo Monastery.
It would require almost 2 hours to explore the Basgo Monastery. The monastery has three temples, Chamba Lhakhang on a hilltop where the Maitreya statue is established, Serzang Lhakhang midway from the hill which has a small temple with a library, and Chan Chung at the foot of the hill. It would take some time to climb and also explore all these spots.
There is no entry fee required to visit the Basgo Monastery. The monastery is devoted to Buddhism and there are no particular rules for entering into the premises. Also, parking is free and sufficient space is provided.