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Photographer's Note

Diskit Monastery or Deskit Gompa or Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley in Ladakh. It is situated on the hill, just above the flood plains of the Shyok River.

An impressive 32 metre (106 foot) statue of Jampa (Maitreya) Buddha on top of a hill below the monastery, faces down the Shyok River completes a picture post card and an unforgettable experience.

According to Mr. Tsering Nophel, chairman of the committee which organised it, most of the money came from local donations. The Head of the Gelugpa, Ganden Thipa (the reincarnation of Tsongkhapa), and Abbott of Rizu Monastery, gave 8 kg of gold for its decoration. It is the first time a Ladakhi monk has been the head of the Gelugpa sect.

The statue's construction was started in April 2006 and it was consecrated by H.H. the Dalai Lama on 25 July 2010. Mr. Nophel says the statue was built with three main functions in mind - protection of Diskit Village, prevention of further war with Pakistan, and to promote world peace.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7852 W: 324 N: 16061] (56760)
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