Photographer's Note

This is the quintessential photo of the Thicksey Monastery in Ladakh, India. Monastery is at the top of the hillock and you can also see white structures called "Chorten" that are used to store the ashes of the high profile monks.

Situated at an altitude of 3600 m above sea level, the monastery of Thiksey is situated about 20 km far from the town of Leh (capital of Ladakh) and ranks among the most important monasteries in Ladakh. It is the seat of Tiksey Rinpoche, the main leader of the Gelug School in Ladakh.

HISTORY: It is believed that in the early 15th century, Tsongkhapa, the founder of the reformed Gelug School, sent six of his disciples to remote regions of Tibet to spread the teachings of the new school. Palden Sangpo, Sherab's disciple founded the Thiksey monastery a few kms away from Stagmo near the River Indus on a sacred hill above a village of the same name.

About a hundred monks live here. Ngawang Champa Tenzin, born in 1943, places a great emphasis on preservation of the traditional ways of running the monastery and continues to teach both monks and lay villagers. A former member of Indian Parliament, he has helped greatly towards establishing the village school called Lamsang, which is one of the prestigious Ladakhi Lamdon schools. Thiksey is one of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. The 12-storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings apart from the sacred shrines and other precious objects to be seen.

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Additional Photos by Sarju Sooch (sarju) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1045 W: 50 N: 1260] (5324)
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