Home to a 30-feet-tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the Mulbekh Monastery is one of the most popular monasteries in the Ladakh region. Offering stunning views of the Srinagar-Leh Highway, this monastery must be part of your Ladakh tours which boasts of beautiful ancient relics and frescoes, along with a huge prayer wheel, which adds to the serene ambiance of this place.
Located at a distance of 45 kilometres from Kargil, and around 260 kilometres from the city of Leh, the Mulbekh Monastery is in the Ladakh region. Known predominantly for its 30 feet tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha that has been carved on an enormous limestone slab, the Mulbekh Monastery is also home to two gompas. These include the Serdung Gompa of the Drukpa sect, and the Rgaldanse Gompa of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. Furthermore, the monastery is believed to be almost 800 years old.
The Mulbekh Monastery is situated atop a ridge, over 650 feet above the road, and is accessible by a steep footpath. It is also believed that the monastery has an elevation of almost 11,495 feet, from where one can enjoy some of the most panoramic vistas of the Leh-Kargil Highway.
While the statue of the Buddha of the Future reflects a beautiful blend of the Buddhist and Shaivite influences, one can also find ancient inscriptions located close to the statue. Additionally, upon exploring the gompa, you can also witness age-old edicts inscribed on the mountain in the Kharosthi script.
• Pay a visit to the stunning Mulbekh Monastery, which boasts of a 9-metre-tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha, which has been carved from a majestic limestone rock, and is popularly known as the Buddha of the Future
• Learn about the age-old history of the gompa and the statue, which dates back to as early as the 8th century
• Witness the many valuable paintings and other relics from times gone by within the monastery premises
• Take a short detour to visit the two stunning gompas of the Drukpa and Gelugpa sects of Buddhism within the monastery
• Don’t forget to indulge in a hike around the steep footpath behind the building, which may lead you all the way to the palace of Rajah Kalon of Mulbekh
The best way to reach Mulbekh Monastery from the city of Leh is by availing yourself of a rental car or jeep, or by driving your own vehicle. You can drive on the Srinagar-Leh Highway to get to the monastery, which is located around 216 kilometres from Leh, and takes around 4.5 to 5 hours to get there.
Alternatively, you can also avail yourself of a ride on the state buses that fly to Mulbekh from Leh.
The best time to visit the Mulbekh Monastery is in the early hours of the day, between 07:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This is when the weather is cool and pleasant here, and you can also get a chance to witness the monks offering their prayers inside the monastery.
In addition, you can also visit Mulbekh Monastery between the months of May to October. While there can be a little bit of rainfall, Mulbekh tends to experience rather cooler summer and autumn months, with verdant greenery, gushing rivers and streams, and overall comfortable weather.
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