Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alchi Tourism , Village in the Leh district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir : Introduction, How to Reach, Best Time to Visit, Alchi Monastery & other attractions

Alchi  Tourism , Village in the Leh district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir : Introduction, How to Reach, Best Time to Visit, Alchi Monastery & other attractions

Alchi is a village that is located in the Leh district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir at an altitude of around 3,500 m above sea level.This is located on the banks of the River Indus. It is situated in the heart of the Himalayan region and is a popular tourist place. The village has a few places for overnight stay as well.

The village is mainly popular for the old monastery that can be seen here. The building is said to have been built during the 11th century and the architecture of the place is also excellent. There are many wall paintings that can be seen in the monastery and these have been done in Indian style. The paintings are very well preserved and are a treat to witness. There is a big statue that is present in the monastery as well and the paintings near the statue have bright colors.

How to Reach

By Air: Leh (67 km) is the nearest airport, which is well connected to almost all the major cities of India.
By Rail: The closest railhead lies at Jammu Tawi which is around 680 km away from Alchi.

Best Time To Visit

Alchi has an extreme climate with icy winters and normal summers. In summer, the maximum temperature can rise to 25°C and go down to a minimum of around 12°C. Protection against sunburn is necessary in this time of the year. In winters, the maximum temperature hovers around 15°C and minimum temperature can drop to -30°C. The best season to visit this place is from May to September.

Alchi Monastery

The monastery complex, managed by the monks of Likir Monastery, houses two main temples: Alchi Du-khang and the Sum-tsek, and a few smaller structures including the Temple of Manjushri, Lotsawa Lha-khang, Lha-khang Soma and 3 Ka-ka-ni (entrance) chortens.

Alchi Du-khang is the main temple, and the largest and oldest preserved structure of the complex. This main area is utilized by monks for ceremonies. Along with the huge 'Wheel of Life', it comprises of several murals. The Sum-tsek is the second important temple of the monastery complex, housing three enormous figures of four armed Bodhisattvas.
The Temple of Manjushri is a free standing structure built around the four central image of Manjushri. Besides, Lotsawa Lha-khang is adorned with an image of Buddha in bhumisparshamudra as its central image. Alchi monastery is visited for its earliest murals and beautiful frescoes of deities, which are considered as the finest surviving examples of Buddhist art.

Tourist Attractions of Alchi


The oldest temple in Alchi, Du-khang was founded by the Kal-dan Shes-rab of Tibetan descent, in the 11th century. The temple is popular for its wall engravings, carved images of Bodhisattvas and the plaster image of Vairocana, the Resplendent Buddha. The temple is designed in a special geometric way, which seems to be a visualisation of the universe.


This huge temple has a distinctive architectural pattern. The fabulous paintings and murals, carved wooden facade and huge pillars with carved brackets depict the typical Buddhist art.

Lotsawa Lha-khang and Manjushri Lha-khang

These are two small adjoining shrines. Large central columns, plaster images of the Bodhisattva, murals based on the theme of the Thousand Buddhas, and images of other goddesses and guardians are the major features of the temples. The Lotsawa Lha-khang is dedicated to Rinchen Zangpo.

Lha-khang Soma
This is a modern structure, known for a chorten or votive stupa. The columns are beautifully engraved with lion faces. The western wall has three painted mandalas, the northern has the image of Vairochana, and the eastern wall has the image of the Buddha.

Hemis Festival
This three day festival is celebrated annually in the month of June. One can have a glimpse of the Ladakhi culture, art forms and traditions at this festival.

Where To Stay

Alchi has a few option for accommodation. J&K TDC Tourist Bungalow at Saspol is a good place to stay.

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1 comment:

Tourism Ladakh India said...

You have provided a good information on Ladakh Alchi village. Alchi village is a good place to visit and explore. Alchi monastery is the most ancient and biggest monastery in Ladakh.

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