The oldest and largest monastery of the Nubra valley is the Diskit or Deskit Gompa. The monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Gelupgpa is the youngest Tibetan sect.
The founder of Gelukpa was Tsong Khapa and his disciple, Changzeb Tserab Zaongpo, was the founder of the Diskit monastery. Entering the monastery through the rocky staircase to the hilltop leads towards the prayer hall. This hall houses the statue of Maitreya Buddha and huge drums along with several images of fierce guardian deities. Diskit is also known as “the orchard of Ladakh”. This is because the area is covered with green hilly areas and rich vegetation fruiting from the river Shyok. The monastery is complemented by a school. The school is run by the monastery in an association with The Tibet Support Group – an NGO that works for providing humanitarian and educational support to Tibetan refugees. The school is equipped with computer and science facilities and uses English as the primary teaching language. Make sure you plan your visit to Diskit in accordance with its famous scapegoat festival, also known as “Dosmoche”. The festival is a delineation of the triumph of good over evil. During this time, you can find monks wearing masks to perform the holy dance that is said to repel bad luck. Other rituals include throwing out of pictures made out of dough to ward off evil and changing the clothes of idols. The festival takes place in February and the heavy snowfall makes it difficult for tourists to attend it, hence, it is usually just the locals. If you want to get closer to Buddhism, visit the nearby temple of Lachung that houses a large idol of Tsong Khapa. The temple is the oldest in Nubra valley. Near the main road by the bridge is located another monastery, the Hundur Monastery.