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Jammu & Kashmir >> Buddhist Heritage Tours >> Pilgrimage Tours

Spitok


By cspitokontrast, the 15th century monastery, which tumbles down the sides of a steep knoll to a tight cluster of farmhouses and well-watered fields, is altogether more picturesque. Approached by road from the north, or from the south along a footpath that winds through Spitok village, its spacious rooftops command superb views.

There is the grave of a very high reincarnation at the Gompa and the Spitok head Lama is also the head Lama of the Sankar Gompa in Leh. He also represents Ladakh as a member of the Indian Parliament. Gurphug in Stok and Pashi Gephel in Sabu are also under monasteries of Spitok.

About Paldan Lumo Chapel/Temple
The Gompa has three chapels of which the highest, the Paldan Lumo temple (Kali Mater), is the most impressive. The temple Gonkhang is approximately a thousand years old.

The main complex, a typical mixture of dusty, dimly lit old prayer halls and vivid modern shrine rooms, is of less interest than the Paldan Lumo chapel, perched on a ridge above. Probably aimed at the mostly Hindu members of the Indian army posted at Leh, a sign outside warns visitors not to "deliberately mistake" the Gon-khang for a Kali temple. Offerings made to the black faced and bloodthirsty Hindu Goddess of death and destruction are, it insists, "not acceptable".

A Built In Du-Khang
From Paldan Lumo temple, on the peak of the mountain, a small path leads past a red Latho to the monastery proper. The built in Dukhang is well worth seeing.

The area around the wall paintings, with its Thankas, prayer flags, bookshelves and books, is well illuminated. Near the Dukhang there are several other chapels of which the new Chokhang is above some stairs. Here funeral ceremonies can be witnessed. Many of the small, old prayer rooms, the head Lama's room, and the rooms of the monk are, unfortunately, no longer shown to foreigners. They contain some wonderful wall paintings, Thankas, silver Chortens, Buddha figures, statues of other deities and hundreds of books but some thoughtless tourist took objects as souvenirs.

The Spitok Gostor Festival
From the level of the Dukhang 19 steps lead up to the inner courtyard with a flagpole around which, on the 28th and 29th days of the 11th month of the Tibetan calendar, the Spitok Gostor is celebrated with mask dances. At this festival the 'Jelbagh' dance masks, like those hanging on the walls of the monastery, are no longer used but rather true to life representations. The monastery has a statue of Kali whose face is only shown once a year.

Shrine Of Vajra Bhairava
The shrine to Vajra Bhairava, a Tantric guardian deity of the Gelug-pa order, is distinctly spooky. Lit by flickering butter lamps, the cluttered and cobwebbed chamber houses a row of veiled guardian deities whose ferocious faces are only unveiled once a year. After waving incense smoke before them and muttering a few mantras, the key keeper lama will pass around handfuls of sweets newly infused with protective power. If one has a flashlight, check out the 600 year old paintings on the rear wall of the chapel, which is spitok's oldest building.

HOW TO GET THERE

Road: Spitok Gompa, rising incongruously from the end of the airport runway, makes a good half-day foray from Leh, 10-km up the north side of the Indus valley. The easiest way to get there is to stroll down to the crossroads above the GPO and J&KTDC's tourist reception centre, and then flag down any of the buses heading west along the main Srinagar highway


Buddhist Monasteries In Leh

Delhi to Srinagar Tour Packages

Duration: 7 days
Destinations: Leh

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Buddhist Heritage of Jammu and Kashmir
 
-|- 
Alchi   -|-   Namgyal Tsemo Gompa   -|-  Spitok   -|-   Chemrey Gompa   -|-   Pugthal/Phugtal   -|-  Stok   -|-   Diskit & Hundur   -|-  Rangdum
  -|- 
Stongdey/ Stongde Monastery   -|-   Hemis   -|-  Rhidzong   -|-  Sumur   -|-   Lamayuru   -|-  Sani   -|-  Thak Thok Gompa   -|-   Likkir
  -|-  Sankar Gompa
The Shanti Stupa   -|-   Matho   -|-  Shey   -|-  Tikse

Cities of Jammu and Kashmir
Drass  -|- Padum / Padam  -|- Spitok  -|-  Gulmarg  -|- Pahalgam -|- Sani  -|-  Jammu -|- Patnitop  -|- Srinagar  -|-  Kishtwar  -|- Rangdum  -|- Stondey  -|-  Kargil
 -|- Rupshu -|- Zangla -|-  Leh -|- Rhidzong -|- Zanskar  -|-  Ladakh -|- Sonamarg -|- Zongkhul

HOTELS IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Hotels in Jammu
Hotel Asia Jammu Tawi  -|-   K.C Residency  -|-   Hotel Jammu Ahok
Hotels in Katra
Hotel Asia Shripati (3 Star), Katra
Hotels in Srinagar
 -|- Hotel Grand Palace   -|- Hotel centaur  -|- Hotel Broadway -|-
Hotels in Gulmarg
-|- Hotel Hill top  -|-   Hotel highland Park. -|-
Hotels in Pahalgam
-|- Hotel Pahalgham -|- Hotel Heavan -|- Hotel wood stock -|-
Hotels in Leh Ladakh
 -|-  Hotel Rafica  -|-  Hotel Dargan  -|-  Hotel K-Star Palace  -|-  Hotel Shambha-la  -|-  Ga-Ldan Continental -|- 

Hill Stations of Jammu & Kashmir
 -|-  Aru  -|-  Dah & Hanu  -|-  Kishtwar  -|-  Patnitop  -|-  Sonamarg  -|- 

Pilgrimage of Jammu & Kashmir
 -|-  Alchi  -|-  Amarnath  -|-  Padum  -|-  Stongdey Monastery -|-  Vaishno Devi  -|- 

Trekking in Jammu & Kashmir

 -|-  Indus Valley Trek  -|-   Pahalgam To Amarnath Cave -|-   Spiti To Ladakh  -|-   Srinagar-Daksum-Kishtwar  -|-   The Nubra Valley Trek -|-  And More Heritage...

Lake of Jammu & Kashmir
 -|-  Dal Lake  -|-  Manasbal Lake -|-  Mansar Lake -|-  Nagin Lake  -|-  Wular Lake  -|- 

Wildlife of Jammu & Kashmir
 -|-  Dachigam National Park  -|-  Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve -|-  Hemis High Altitude Wildlife Sanctuary -|-  Kishtwar High Altitude National Park -|- 
 -|-  Overa National Park  -|- 

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DELHI TO KASHMIR TOUR PACKAGES
 -|-  DELHI SRINAGAR TOURS(Durations 2Nights/3Days)   -|-  DELHI TO SRINAGAR TOURS(Durations 10Nights/11Days -|-
 -|-  DELHI/ JAMMU/ SRINAGAR(Durations 7Nights/8Days  -|- NORTH INDIA TOURS(Durations 17Nights/18Days  -|-
 -|- KASHMIR VALLEY TREK TOURS (Durations 10Nights/11Days) -|-

LADAKH TOUR PACKAGES
 -|-  LADAKH PANORAMA TREKS(Durations 8Nights/9Days)   -|- TSOMORIRI LAKE TREKS(Durations 7Nights/8Days)  -|-
 -|-  LADAKH MONASTERY TREKS(Durations 15Nights/16Days)  -|-  CLASSIC MARKHA VALLEY TREKS(Durations 16Nights/17Days)  -|-
 -|-  MANALI TO LADAKH TREKS (Durations 22Nights/23Days)  -|-


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