Complementing the spectacular view of the Indus
Valley at the base is the Buddhist Monastery in Leh – Spituk Monastery, or
Spituk Gompa. The Gompa is 18 km from the capital of Ladakh, Leh. The place has
also been named one of the most magnificent monasteries in Northern India. It
is home to almost 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali that is also considered
as one of the biggest attractions of this Gompa. This place is perfect as a
visit for historians and followers of Buddhism.
In the local language, the Spituk monastery is
known as the Pethup Gompa. The founder of this monument was Od-de, elder
brother to Lha Changchub Od. He founded Pethup in the 11th century on arriving
at Maryul. Blessings to the site were given by Arhat Nyimagung. Lotsewa Rinchen
Zangpo (Translator) arrived at the place and predicted the rise of a great
spiritual and religious community. Hence, the monastery was called Spituk. The
Spituk Monastery witnesses tourism from all parts of the world. This is owing
to its immense beauty next to the great Indus Valley. The main tourist
attractions are the Buddha idol and the 5 Thangka paintings.
of Spituk Monastery
A giant statue of Kali and 100 monks reside in
the magnificent Spituk monastery. The collection of Buddhist objects of antique
arms, icon, ancient masks and the many gloriously colourful Thanka paintings
are of great importance. The colourful aura and the architecture make Spituk
one of the most famous and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. The site of the
monastery heavily influences its inner decor. The monks can sit on the benches
in the meditation hall in the centre of the monasteries to offer their prayers.
Festival of Spituk Monastery
The 27th to 29th days of the eleventh month of
the Buddhist calendar witness the Gustor Festival being celebrated at Spituk
every year. The monks perform the signature mask dance as a sign of annual
tradition. The festival fills everyone with eccentrics. The two-day dance
festival then marks for the seven-day long prayers. The burning of an effigy
marks the end of the festival as a symbol of defeating evil.
Arhat Nyimagung blessed the land of Spituk.
Od-de, elder brother of Lha Lama ChangChub Od, founded this monastery when he
visited Maryul in the 11th century. The religious and spiritual communities
were introduced by him. Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo predicted the rise of an
“exemplary” religious and spiritual establishment at the site and that is how
the monastery came to be known as Spituk, which is translated to “exemplary”.
Lama Lhawang Lodos restored the monastery at
Spituk during the reign of Dharma Raja Gragspa Bum-Ide. The stainless order of
Tsonkhapa, which remains till date at the site, was introduced by him. Although
it was originally established as a part of the Red Hat Institution, Spituk was
eventually taken over by the Yellow Hat sect in the 15th century.
Visiting Spituk Monastery
Visiting the monastery will give you a glimpse of
the history and culture of the place. Try to coincide your vacation with the
festival. It is a lovely time to visit Spituk.
Spituk is located at a distance of 8 km from Leh.
You can hire local cabs from Leh to get to the place.