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Gelug sect in Tibetan Buddhism is a famous part and Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh is a significant symbol of the pride and glory of Gelug Sect. In Thiksey Village, on a hill top, this monastery is located, around 19 kms east of Leh. The Potala Palace in Lhasa has a wide resemblance with Thiksey Monastery and that is one of the reasons for the fame the monastery is carrying with it for centuries now. The 3600 meters of elevation where Thiksey gompa is perched on gives a chance to the visitor to enjoy the panoramic view of the splendors of Indus Valley down. A twelve story complex is this monastery which incorporates many things display Buddhist art such as stupas, thangkas, wall paintings and swords.
In the mid-15th century, Palden Zangpo, the disciple of Sherab Zangpo who established a monastery for the Gelug sect as per the advice of the then king in 1433 and named it as Lhakhang Serpo has built the larger Thiksey Monastery.
Structure of the monastery
Since it is perched on a hill top, the buildings have a special arrangements such as they have kept in ascending order of importance and the architecture is mind blowing. Since it looks similar to Potala Palace in Lhasa, it has the name Mini Potala as well. The courtyard in the foot opens a flight of steps that leads to the main monastery. The temple which has a height of a 12 storied building is one of the main attractions here. The red, white and ochre painted walls of the monastery add brightness to the entire location. It houses 60 lamas also inside. The attached nunnery is also important to have a look at. There is another attraction in the monastery which is the splendid Maitreya Buddha Temple built to commemorate the arrival of 14th Dalai Lama in the year of 1970.
Location: It is located in Thiksey Village, which is at a distance of around 19 km east of Leh.
Timings: The monastery is open on all days from 07:00 am to 07:00 pm.
Entry fee: For Indians and foreigners: INR 20 per person
Highlight: Cham dance or Mask dance held in relation with the annual festival during the month of October or November is one of the reasons for tourists to visit this monastery.
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