Diskit Monastery, Ladakh

Diskit moastery or Diskit Gompa is the oldest monastery in the Nubra Valley. With more than hundred monks inside, this monastery is a living place to enjoy the culture and religion of the land.

Famous For : God Lovers, Nature Lovers

Visiting Time : 7am-1pm & 2-7pm

Duration of Visit : Around 1 hour

Diskit Monastery

The Nubra Valley lies north of Leh and is accessible over the Khardung la (18,500 feet/5,600 m), one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The Valley was on the caravan route from Leh to Kashgar via the Sasir and Karakoram passes. Apart from unparrelled trekking opportunities, the valley houses several Buddhist monasteries such as Sumur and the 350 year-old Diskit gompa, famous for its murals.

Diskit monastery to witness the morning prayer ceremony. It takes about 45 minutes through a long row of scattered chortens to reach the gompa which is set on the highest point near the village. Belonging to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect, parts of the gompa, which houses 120 resident monks, are about 760 years old. The Dukhang has many statues, one of which holds the head and left arm of a Turkish invader believed to be 500 years old.

Hundar gompa. This is a small gompa belonging to the Gelug-pa sect, set amidst innumerable chortens and has a huge impressive statue of Chamba in the main prayer hall. The gompa was built at the time King Jamgyal Namgyal came here with his wife Gyal Khatun. Explore the village which has some beautiful old houses.

Drive down towards the Shyok river across an extremely rough and rocky stretch of flat ground. Cross the river over a bridge and arrive at the first village of Tirith. The road from here is extremely bad all the way up to Panamik. The scenery however, is spectacular, with the snow capped Karakoram mountains in the background. The weather being much warmer in Nubra in comparison to the Indus valley, the vegetation is thicker, with a variety of trees and flowers. Nubra is also known for its two humped Bactrian camel which is found in these parts. The camels are left to graze in the jungle during the summer months and are brought back only during the winter months when they are used as beasts of burden and for their wool.

Visit the 150 years old Samsthanling gompa at Sumur. It is a big complex of 7 temples including the Rimpoche's room. Walk half an hour from the gompa to Tegar village where there is another small gompa. Walk through the village and explore its beautiful surroundings near the jungle and a small lake. Overnight in camp.

Things to do at Diskit Monastery :

The Maitrayi Buddha statue of 106 feet height facing the Shyok river impresses the tourist across the globe and is considered as the key attraction of Diskit monastery. The construction of this very statue was started in the year 2006 and was consecrated by the well-known holy priest Dalai Lama in the year 2010 on 25th July. If you are planning to Diskit monastery they do not forget to visit the river below the monastery. Else you are advised to visit the amazing gompa of the Hundar village just nearby the Diskit monastery. The village is also very famous among the tourists for spectacular sceneries.

There is a popular festival takes place at the Diskit monastery called Dosmoche. This festival is celebrated during the winter season. The word ‘Dosmoche’ stands for “Festival of the Scapegoat”. The local residents, village people participate in the festival. Dosmoche normally takes place during the month of January. Try to attain this festival to experience a different taste of rituals.

How to Reach Diskit Monastery :

The easiest way to get in the Diskit monastery is to board a local bus or hire a taxi from Sumur or Leh. Most of the transports from Leh depart via the Khardung La Pass. After you reach Nubra you are advised to rent a local taxi to visit different tourist attractions near Nubra Valley. The monastery is located at a very high altitude. To reach there the travelers are needed to walk along the chortens.

Best Time to Visit Diskit Monastery :

Are you packing your bags to visit Diskit monastery? If yes then make sure that you have booked your tickets during the months from July to September as this is considered the best time period to visit Nubra valley. The roads remain clear during these months. If you want to experience the cultural festival Dosmoche at the Diskit monastery then you have to visit the place during the months of December and January. But to know the exact date of the festival you are required to research a bit on the internet before booking your tickets. Remember, during the winter season the roads of Leh remains closed due to heavy snowfall.

Culture of Diskit Monastery :

If you are visiting in February, you ought to take part in the festival of scapegoat (Dosmoche). This festival brings all the locals together. The number of tourists during this festival is very low due to the extreme cold climate and dangerous routes. This festival is famous for the masked dance of the monks.