Sankar & Karcha Monastery

Sankar Gompa

chazLocated at a distance of approximately 3 km from the town of Leh, the Sankar Gompa of Ladakh is a subsidiary of the Spituk Gompa. Belonging to Gelukpa Sect, it is also the official residence of The Kushok Bakul, Ladakh’s head of this sect. Ladakh Sankar Gompa has specific timings for the public, since, out of the 25 monks of the yellow-hat sect attached to it, a few reside here permanently. The entrance of the Dukhang is adorned with the paintings of the Guardian of the Four Directions, on either sides of the door.
There is also a “Wheel of Life”, held by Yama, on the left wall of the entrance verandah. Inside the Dukhang, the walls are splashed with new paintings of various Buddhas, along with guardian divinities. Also present is a throne reserved for the head lama of the monastery. To the right of the throne is an image of Avalokitesvara (Lord of All He Surveys) with 1000 arms and 11 heads. The central image in the Sankar Monastery of Leh Ladakh is that of Tsong-kha-pa, founder of the yellow-hat sect of Buddhism, along with his two chief disciples.
Other images include those of Sakyamuni (the Historical Buddha), White Guardian and Amchi (the Buddha of Medicine). The Sankar Monastery of Ladakh also houses a temple, devoted to the deity Dukar. The main image inside the temple is of Dukar, inset with turquoise and shown with 1,000 arms, 1,000feet, 1,000heads, and 100,000 eyes. The monastery also boasts of Kandshur, the 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings and images of the Three Buddhas – Sakyamuni (the Post Buddha), the Present Buddha and Maitreya (the Future Buddha).

Karcha Monastery Zanskar

Karcha is the largest of all monasteries in ZanskarKarcha Chamspaling to give its full name was first established by Phagspa Shesrab, the translator of Zanskar.The Teacher Dorje Shesrab who caused it to flourish built the present monastery. Shesrab Zangpo of Stod introduced the order of Tsongkhapa there. More than 100 monks are in residence. There are shrines and in particular, the wall paintings executed by the Lama Dzadpa Dorje. The Bone relics of Dorje Rinchen are also to be seen. Every year on the 28th & 29th days of the 6th Tibetan month the tradition of sacred dance is observed in association with the Gustor festival. In that place there are also two temples built by Rinchen Zangpo, the translator known as the Thugsjechhenpoi Lhakhang and the Lhakhang Karpo.Close by the village of Karcha there are the monasteries of Khagsar, of Purang in the village of Langmi, of Phagspa in the village of Nangbaphal and a nunnery called Dorjezong at the top of the valley.