Soon after passing Khalsar, the road crosses the confluence of the
Shyok and Nubra to a patch of green sloping from the river to the
base of precipitous mountains. Sumur is home to the Nubbra
valley's most important monastery, Samstem Ling Gompa, forty
minutes' walk behind the village.
1841, the Gompa is home to over a hundred Gelugpa monks, aged
between seven and seventy. Action centres on the large Du-khang,
which is hung with Thangkas and dominated by a huge gilded statue
of Shakyamuni, accompanied by Maitreya and the protector deity
Across the courtyard, the long, low Gon-Khang is guarded by
statues of fierce protector deities strung wit wide-eyed skulls
and figurines of the 84 Mahasiddhas, venerated Tantric saints.
Samstem ling is linked to the Gompa of Rhizdong in the Indus
valley west of Leh .
HOW TO GET
Buses leave from the prayer wheel on the main road in Sumur
for Leh, Panamic (Monday & Wednesday; 1-2 hr), and for Diskit
(Thursday & Sunday; 3-4 hr).
the morning or evening pujas at the Gompa, one will have to stay
in Sumur. Tsering Yangchun, a local schoolteacher in the village,
has a couple of simple rooms 1 in the family house, with an earth
toilet and sparse washing facilities, and serves home cooked food.
The camping ground around the corner is owned by the same family
house, with an earth toilet and sparse washing facilities, and
serves family. On the main road, Tsewang Jorgais has basic rooms 2
while Tashi's Khangsar 3 is a bit more pleasant and also has
camping facilities. For more comfort, head up the Panamic road for
1-km towards the road to the Gompa, to the Yarab Tso at Teggar.