The white colour buildings modified by the presence of red roof are a scintillating view from a distance and Likir Monastery is the subject of discussion here. One of the oldest and well maintained monasteries in Jammu and Kashmir, Likir Monastery is in Likir village which had been in existence from the 11th century onward. What makes Likir so special is the serenity is shows from the height and a 75 feet tall statue of Buddha.
Likir Monastery was known as or its original name is Klu-kkhyil gompa. The word Likir means Naga encircled. There is a belief that two serpents, Nanda and Taksako have guarded the monastery. Being the oldest and most visited monasteries, Likir gompa has numerous stories of its origin and existence. The Yellow Hat Sect or the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism is the guardians of Likir gompa and it is scripted that Tsongkhapa was the founder of this monastery in 15th century.
Structure of the monastery
Flanked by the wall paintings, stone relics, murals and art crafts, Likir monastery is a perfect display of Buddhist heritage, the principles and culture. Inside the monastery, there is a school as well. It is run by the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies and also a library open to the public where visitors can read old manuscripts and details of Buddhism. The gompa has two assembly halls, a central courtyard with six rows of seats for the lamas and a throne for the head Lama. There is a Gonkhang room that is dedicated to the divinities guarded the monastery.
Location: The monastery is located 6 km north of Leh-Srinagar highway before the village of Saspol. From Leh, the distance is 62 km to the west of the town.
Timings: It is open on all days from 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm
Entry fee: INR 5-10 per person
Highlights: The annual event Dosmochey is held in the monastery from the 27th to 29th day of 12th month of Tibetan Calendar.