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India: Jammu and Kashmir: Hunder, Leh, Pangong Lake, Thiksey
Thiksey, Ladakh, India: Levels to enlighten
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Built some 600 years ago, Thiksey monastery consists of 12 levels ascending a hillside, culminating in an incarnate lama’s private abode at the summit. The Gonpa contains 10 temples, below the monastery itself is chapels and houses of monks stretching down the hillside. There are about 100 monks of the yellow- hat sect of Buddhism.
Within the monastery there’s a new temple containing a large Buddha statue. H.H. Dalai Lama constructed this Buddha, 15 meters tall, in 1980 to commemorate a visit to Thiksey. The statue was made under the guidance, supervision and direction of Kushok Nawang Chamba Stanzin, the present head Lama of Thiksey monastery.
The statue is the largest Buddha figure in Ladakh which took four years to construct and is made of clay and covered with gold paint. The statue houses the sacred Kangyur and Stangyur texts. The statue was made entirely by the local craftsmen and represents Maitreya (compassion in Sanskrit) - the Buddha of future. The prophecy made of the future Buddha is that the world will be undergoing such chaos that the future Buddha will teach compassion to the people. Located directly above this temple is a small narrow room used as school room for the local boys. Here the Lamas instruct the children and some are later selected to become lamas. Traditionally, Ladakhi families donated one son to become lamas, although this practice is gradually disappearing.
We had the opportunity to visit the Thiksey Monastery on our way to Pangong Lake. The monastery is about 18 kms, from Leh.
Thiksey Image Gallery Photo viewer
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