Alchi Gompa & Shey Place

Alchi Gompa

alicThe Alchi Gompa of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 67 km to the west of the town of Leh. Built by Translator, Rinchen Zangpo, it dates back to the year 1000 AD. Alchi Gompa in Ladakh comprises of a number of blessed temples, including the main one of Rinchen Lhakhang at Lotsa Lhakhang. The other temples are the Jamyang Lhakhang (Manjusri temple) and the Sumtsag Lhakhang. Alchi Monastery of Leh Ladakh reflects an Indian touch, especially in its paintings.
Infact, Rinchen Zangpo has even mentioned in his biographies that he brought thirty-two sculptors and wood carvers from Kashmir, for the purpose of this monastery. The main image inside the Alchi Monastery of Ladakh is that of Vairocana. Apart from that, the other images include those of the five Buddha Families, along with their attendant deities.

Shy Place & Monastory

King Deldon Namgyal got the two-story Shey Gompa constructed in the year 1655, in the memory of his father. One of the highlights of the monastery is a two-story high image of the seated Buddha. The image is worked out of copper sheets, gilded with gold, and is the biggest metal statue and the second largest Buddha statue in Ladakh. It also contains sacrificial offerings such as grain, jewels, holy signs and mantras inside it. The upper story of the Shey Gompa is adorned with a number of beautiful wall paintings.
The walls on both the sides of Buddha display the 16 Arhats (Worthy Ones who have achieved Nirvana), 8 on each side. And the wall behind the statue has the images of Buddha’s two chief disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. Like this, almost every wall around the Buddha statue is painted with some image or the other. In the front of the Buddha is a large bowl of wax with a central flame, symbolic of divinity and purity, which burns for one year before being replaced. The lower story of the Shey Monastery of Leh Ladakh has a large library and is decked with murals of Buddha figures with hand gestures of various types.