15 Nov, 2022

Alchi Monastery Ladakh - History & Architecture



One of the most impressive monasteries in Ladakh, India, is the Alchi monastery. Known as the oldest monastery in Ladakh, Alchi Monastery is a monastic complex situated in Alchi Village in Leh District. It has four separate settlements with monuments dating back to different times. The paintings in Alchi Monastery are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh. Alchi is also part of the three villages that constitute the ‘Alchi group of monuments.’ The other two villages it belongs to are Mangyu and Sumda Chun. The monuments in all these three villages are reckoned to be of unique style and workmanship.


History of Alchi Monastery


There’s a lot of conflicting history in Alchi Monastery, but one thing is certain: its founder was the famous translator Rinchen Zangpo. The monuments that remain a state that its founder was a Tibetan noble in the 11th century.


The architecture of Alchi Monastery


It is a Tibetan-style complex that houses a huge statue of Buddha and lavish wood carvings with baroque details. The monastery has three major shrines, the Dukhang (Assembly Hall), the Sumtsek, and Temple of Manjushri, while other chortens are also present. Wooden wall paintings are the most popular attractions here as they depict both Buddhist-styled and Kashmiri-styled art.


Best Time to Visit


If you want to visit This Monastery, the best time to do so is during the festivals held in the monastery called Chotrul Duchen, Dajyur, Galdan Namchot, Losar, Monlam, and Sho Dun.


How to Reach?


If you want to reach Alchi Monastery, you can take a taxi from Leh, Alchi Monastery is about 70 kilometers away from Leh.