Matho Monastery Overview

Visit the enchanting Matho Monastery, just 26 km from Leh, near the tranquil banks of the Indus River & must be part of your Ladakh tour. Established in 1410 by Lama Dugpa Dorje, it's a treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhist heritage. Here, you can marvel at ancient Thangkas dating back 400 years. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Matho Nagrang Festival, featuring mesmerizing ritual dances. Moreover, you can partake in the annual festival of oracles during the Buddhist New Year in March.

Immerse yourself in the magical charm of Matho Monastery, nestled in the majestic Himalayas. It was built by Lama Tugpa Dorjay in the 1600s and is 26 km southeast of Leh. Since it is the only temple of the Sakyapa sect in Ladakh, it is a peaceful place to get away from the busy roads.

With thangkas that are over 600 years old, it's a treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhist history. Its main attraction is the colourful Matho Nagrang festival, which honours the visit of two Gods (Rongtsan). It is held on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar and treats you to captivating ritual dances. During the Matho Rang Nag Festival, you also get to enjoy the captivating Chaam (Mask Dance) within the assembly hall.

The monastery comes alive in the first part of March every year during the Buddhist New Year with the annual festival of oracles. Thus, you can witness the growing number of resident monks within their meeting hall ornamented with paintings of the Lords of Quarters. Here, you can view the museum with 16th-century Tibetan-imported Thangka paintings. Moreover, you can also see the tiny chapel on top of the structure that holds a picture of Sakya Pandit and other holy lamas.


• Explore the serene Matho Monastery, which was founded by Lama Dugpa Dorje in 1410 and is situated at the base of the Himalayas.
• Admire the 600-year-old thangkas of Matho Monastery, which display exquisite Tibetan Buddhist artwork.
• Enjoy the colourful ceremonies and performances as you immerse yourself in the lively celebrations of the annual Matho Rang Nag Festival.
• Visit the assembly hall to observe a mural of Sakya Pandits and lamas and a Shakyamuni Buddha statue that illustrates Tibetan Buddhism.
• Witness the heroic deeds of devoted monks during the Matho Rang Nag Festival as they display unfaltering bravery and altruism.

How To Reach

1. By Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Leh. The 26-kilometer journey to Matho Monastery by taxi takes approximately 45 minutes.

2. By Bus: Public buses operate from Leh to Matho village, about 26 kilometres away. The journey takes around 1 hour to reach the monastery.

3. By Car: Renting a car in Leh is a convenient option. The 26-kilometer drive to Matho Monastery via the Leh-Manali Highway takes about 40 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

The spiritual ambience and cultural richness of Matho Monastery make it a timeless gem that greets you all year round.

1. Best Day of the Week: Weekdays, especially Tuesday to Thursday, are recommended for a visit to Matho Monastery. On these days, there are usually fewer tourists, so you may enjoy the monastery's peaceful surroundings to yourself.

2. Best Time of the Day: Early mornings provide the optimal time to visit Matho Monastery. The soft morning light and calm atmosphere make it a great place to meditate and reflect in the spiritual atmosphere of the monastery.

Other Essential Information

  • Do not disturb monks who are praying, and always get approval before taking pictures.
  • Keep your hands off sacred objects.
  • Carry sufficient warm clothing, especially if visiting in winter.
  • Respect monastery customs and dress modestly.
  • Plan your visit during weekdays for fewer crowds.
  • Bring cash, as ATM facilities may be limited.
  • Be quiet and respectful of the tranquil environment.
  • Move in a clockwise direction when moving about the premises of numerous gompas.
  • Some temples might not let women into the prayer rooms inside.
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Point of Interest for Matho Monastery
Explore the Monastery’s Assembly Hall

Explore the Monastery’s Assembly Hall

As soon as you enter the main assembly hall of the monastery, the imposing figure of the Buddha will astound you. The statue is made of solid gold and is decorated with precious stones that give it a divine sense of peace and beauty. It is a place to meditate and think, with butter lamps flickering and sweet incense burning around it.

Explore the Rich Collection of the Monastery’s Manuscripts

Explore the Rich Collection of the Monastery’s Manuscripts

The Matho Monastery has a remarkable assortment of old scriptures and manuscripts that the monks have maintained for ages. With books from the very beginning of the tradition, the monastery library offers you an insight into the rich literary legacy of Tibetan Buddhism.

Partake in the Matho Nagrang Festival

Partake in the Matho Nagrang Festival

Indulge in the captivating Matho Nagrang festival, which takes place in the calm splendour of Matho Monastery in Ladakh. People from all over the world come to this two-day extravaganza in the winter because it promises ancient prophecies and lively cultural acts. See the mesmerising Cham Dance, in which dancers in masks move to the beat of traditional music, taking you to a magical world. The real highlight, though, is when the oracles show up after two months of meditation alone to give predictions. Come along and ask the locals for wisdom and blessings for the road ahead.

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