Namgyal Tsemo Monastery Overview

Perched atop a mountain, the 15th-century Namgyal Tsemo Monastery in Leh is a sight to behold. Built by King Tashi Namgyal, it houses a stunning three-storey-high golden Maitreya Buddha statue. The monastery offers breathtaking views of the Indus River and snow-draped Zanskar mountains. Inside, you can find ancient manuscripts, frescoes and exquisite statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. Discover the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh by exploring Ladakh tour packages, which often include visits to this historic monastery.

Perched on a hilltop behind the Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, is a significant landmark of Ladakh's spiritual landscape. Also known as Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, it was founded in the early 15th century by King Tashi Namgyal. During the early years, it was established as a royal chapel to protect the dynasty and the region from evil influences. This monastery is renowned for its towering three-storey-high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, symbolizing hope and the future of Buddhism.

The Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is also known for its stunning architectural beauty and strategic location. It offers unparalleled views of the surrounding Indus Valley and the Zanskar ranges. The monastery houses an impressive collection of ancient manuscripts, frescoes, and paintings depicting the teachings of Buddha. Additionally, you can find statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri here, enhancing its cultural and historical importance. It remains a place of prayer for monks from the nearby Shankar Gompa, maintaining a deep spiritual connection within the community.

Visitors to the monastery can immerse themselves in the serene and sacred atmosphere while enjoying the breathtaking scenery that surrounds this spiritual retreat. Whether you are drawn by faith, history, or the beauty of Ladakh, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery offers a unique glimpse into the region's rich Buddhist heritage.


• Head over to the 15th century Namgyal Tsemo Monastery in Ladakh, and enjoy witnessing the three-storey-high statue of Maitreya Buddha plated with solid gold here
• Learn about the monastery and the region’s history by viewing the many ancient manuscripts and wall paintings inside the monastery
• Don’t forget to the visit the Assembly Hall here, where you can find several statues of Buddha, paintings and temple frescoes
• Make sure to appreciate the one-storey-high statues of Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri located within the monastery premises
• Capture stunning pictures of the low-lying towns and surrounding mountains in your lens when you pay a visit to the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery
• Soak in views of the gushing waters of the Indus River, and the surrounding ice-capped peaks of the Zanskar Mountain Ranges from the mountaintop where the monastery is situated

How To Reach

By Bus: Regular bus services are available to the Monastery from Leh. This journey will take around 30 minutes.

By Car/Bike: You can also drive your rented or private vehicle and bike to the Monastery from Leh. Depending on the road and weather conditions, you can reach Namgyal Monastery in under 30 minutes. 

On Foot: For those looking for a short adventure, it is possible to hike to Namgyal Tsemo Monastery. The hike starts from Leh's main market and takes about 45 minutes to an hour. The path is steep but rewarding, with panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding mountains.

Read MoreRoad Trip to Leh Ladakh

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Namgyal Monastery is from May to September, when the region experiences clear weather conditions. The roads leading to the monastery remain covered in snow and therefore, are cut off from the rest of the region during the rest of the year.   

You can also visit the monastery in the early hours of the morning or evening, when the monks perform the spiritual ceremonies here. 

Click Here to Book NowThrilling Manali to Leh Bike Tour 

Other Essential Information


The monastery dates back to as early as 1430, and therefore, has a very rich history associated with it. On your visit, you can learn how the monastery was founded by the then king Tashi Namgyal as his way of paying respect to Buddhism. 


Built in the traditional Buddhist style of architecture, the Namgyal Monastery boasts of an assembly hall or dukhang, along with a beautiful temple. Within the temple premises, you can find several beautiful paintings from times gone by, huge frescoes, as well as quite a few statues of Lord Buddha in different positions. 

Places to Stay Near the Namgyal Monastery:

1. Hotel Druk Ladakh: Those looking for a luxurious stay near Namgyal Monastery must stay at the famous Druk Ladakh hotel. Complete with 45 amazing rooms and a wide range of amenities, the hotel also boasts of a rare fine dining experience here. 

2. Hotel Antelope: From good service and helpful staff, to unmatched views of the surrounding mountains, this hotel has it all. One will find the opulent rooms at Hotel Antelope quite convenient; it also features modern amenities like a terrace lounge, garden and in-house restaurant. Apart from all these, it is also one of the most affordable hotels to stay near the Namgyal Monastery. 

3. The Bodhi Tree Hotel: Famed as one of the finest hotels in the Namgyal Monastery area, The Bodhi Tree Hotel has spacious rooms with elegant designs and all the necessary amenities required for a comfortable stay. Besides that, the hotel also boasts of facilities like a fine dining restaurant and a garden.

Also Checkout and Book: Leh Ladakh Bike Tours

Things that you can shop for near the Namgyal Monastery:

1. Butter lamps: Considered to be an important symbol of faith in Buddhist Monasteries and temples, butter lamps are the Ladakhi version of the traditional Hindu lamps or diyas. Butter lamps also often use yak clarified butter instead of oil or ghee. 

2. Buddhist masks: Often worn by Buddhists and Tibetan Buddhists, these masks are believed to embody the deities of Tibetan Buddhism. They are worn during festivals or kept as decoration in houses, as a means to drive away the forces of evil, in addition to bringing peace and tranquility to the home. 

3. Thangkas: A thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting that is typically done on silk, cotton or applique. Thangkas usually depict a Buddhist scene, deity or even in some cases, mandala. 

You can buy these things, along with local handicrafts and other souvenirs from the Main Market in Leh, located around 4.6 kilometres away.

Places to visit near Namgyal Monastery:

1. Leh Royal Palace: Formerly known as Kachen Palkar Palace, the royal palace of Leh was the former residence of the region’s royal family. The palace was constructed in the 17th century and offers some of the most scenic views of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. The Leh Royal Palace is also home to a museum where you can catch sights of royal jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns, along with Tibetan thangkas, among other things. 

2. Khardung La: Khardung La is one of the highest motorable roads and mountain passes in the world. It is also often called the Gateway to Shyok and Nubra Valleys. Tucked amidst the Ladakh Range, Khardung La is also one of the best places for an adventurous bike ride. 

3. Nubra Valley: Home to the meeting point of the Shyok and Siachen Rivers, Nubra Valley is one of the most scenic landscapes in Ladakh. Furthermore, the Nubra Valley separates Ladakh from the Karakoram Ranges and the Siachen Glacier. It is also a great place to enjoy trekking and adventure biking, and boasts of a stark landscape, complete with rocky terrains, majestic mountains and high-altitude waterfalls. 

4. Namgyal Tsemo Palace Also known as Tsemo Castle, or Leh Fort Complex, the Namgyal Tsemo Palace is one of the most important religious and historical spots near the Namgyal Gompa. It dates back to the 16th century and is located at one of the highest points of Leh. 

Click Here to Book NowLadakh Trip Packages from Mumbai

Read More
Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours

Tourism Board Alliances

Namgyal Tsemo Monastery FAQs

What can you do at the Namgyal monastery?

Besides offering your prayers and meditating inside the Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, you can also enjoy mesmerising views of the surrounding mountains and towns,

or explore the different attractions around the gompa. You can also visit the Monastery during the prayer times in the day, and learn how the monks worship Buddha and light butter lamps here as a part of their daily rituals. 

How much time is required to explore Namgyal Monastery?

You require at least 2 to 3 hours to fully explore the Namgyal Monastery and its major attractions, including the statue of Maitreya Buddha, Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara, exploring the magnificent Assembly Hall here and viewing the many age-old manuscripts, among other things.

Also Read: Manali Leh Srinagar Bike Trip

Popular Related Destinations

Why Choose Thrillophilia