The Likir Monastery sits atop a hill at an altitude of 3700 meters and offers breathtaking views of the natural landscape. The monastery was built by Lama Duwang Chosje under the rule of King Lha-Chen Gyal-Po and belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. A large number of tourists who visit Ladakh often visit Likir as part of their sightseeing tours from Leh, which is located about 56 km away.
Likir has had a lot of history attached to it, as many of its inscriptions can be found in the monastery's walls in black ink. In the Ladakhi chronicles, it is mentioned that Likir was established in the 11th century by King Lha-Chen Gyal-Po. Still, later the Lamas were converted to Gelugpa doctrines by Duwang Chosje, an advocate of meditation. Thus, Likir was re-established in the 15th century by Chosje. It's said to belong to the Kadampa order of Tibetan Buddhism before being converted to Gelugpa principles. The Gompa that stands today is not the original structure constructed in the 11th century, as it was ruined by fire once and had to be renovated in the 18th century.
The Buddhist festival known as Dosmochey is celebrated at the monastery each year on November 29th. The day is marked by colorful, rhythmic dance and a multitude of traditional offerings. The festivities take place on the northern side of the monastery and also include a number of statues and murals that depict Buddhist figures.
You can reach Likir Monastery from Leh by taking a diversion road from the Srinagar Leh Highway, about 5 km before Saspul Bridge. If you're traveling by car, you can take your private vehicle to Likir Monastery (about 9 km) or hitchhike about 6 km on the same route to get there.
Traveling to Ladakh can be difficult during the winter months due to snow. Traveling by air is the only option during this time, and you won't have any other choices from November to May as the roads are closed.
A good time to visit Likir monastery is during the celebration of the annual festival of Dosmochey which is celebrated in the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar and involves music, ritualistic dances, food, traditional sports, and much more. To plan a trip in the wintertime, travel via Manali or Srinagar but be prepared for cold weather before traveling.