Sankar Gompa Overview

Sankar Monastery is famed for its splendid architectural design and captivating artwork, housing a diverse collection of religious sculptures and paintings. Serving as a branch of the renowned Spituk Monastery, Sankar Gompa holds significant religious significance in Leh. Located merely 6 kilometers from the city center, this monastery is easily accessible on foot, adding to its prominence among Ladakh packages.

Located just half an hour’s walk out of central Leh, the Sankar Gompa is one of the most significant monasteries in the Ladakh region. In a sense, it is the ‘daughter’ monastery of the larger Spituk Gompa, and both are governed by the Abbot of Ladakh. Apart from the head Lama, who visits occasionally, Sankar Gompa currently serves as the permanent residence of the monks subscribing to the yellow-hat sect.

Walking along the Gompa courtyard, one comes across the monastery gates with the imposing painting of the Guardians of the Four Directions. To the right is another captivating painting of the Wheel of Life, guarded by “Yamraj”, or the God of Death. The architectural and artistic labor that contributed to the monastery’s formation is made further evident through the statue of the Alokiteshvara and the Shakyamani Buddha on the Gompa premises.

The Dukar Lha Kang, or the Temple of Dukar, is the main shrine at the Sankar Gompa. The hall at the temple is dominated by the imposing figure of the eponymous deity, with his thousand arms, thousand heads, and a hundred thousand eyes. The temple leads back to the porch that flanks the temple, where one comes across the ‘Kandshur’ or the 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings, preserved in writing.

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• Admire the stunning traditional architecture of the Sankar Gompa, replete with its murals, paintings and sculptures
• Pay a visit to the temple of Dukar, holding the imposing figure of the 1000-headed deity
• Explore the main Dukhang, or the Assembly Hall, which holds the throne of the head lama
• Watch the Gompa get lit up with a thousand butter lamps by the monks as the sun begins to set

How To Reach

By Air: The Leh airport connects the city to most major destinations around the country. From the airport, one can either hire a taxi or rent a cab to reach the monastery in under 15-20 minutes.

By Road: The Sankar Gompa is located just 6 kilometers outside Leh. One can easily avail themselves of a taxi to reach there. Alternatively, if one is interested in trekking, walking to the Sankar Gompa can be an interesting and fun way to travel as well.

Recommended Read: Best Places to Visit near Leh

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit would be during the early evening hours when the sun shines golden light over this beautiful monastery. The position of the Gompa on a hillock commands an excellent view of the Namgyal Tsemo Hills as well, so watching the sunset from here can be quite beautiful as well.

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