Diskit Monastery – a major attraction for tourists
Diskit Monastery is considered a major tourist attraction in the Nubra Valley, not just for its incredible location but also for the 106 feet Maitreya Buddha sculpture which is located just below the monastery. It Diskit Monastery is in Nubra Valley, which is situated at a high altitude of 10,308 feet, 15 kms to the north-west off the route to Khalsar-Panakil, which is right at the edge of the desert in the Nubra Valley. It stands on the top of hill at the edge of a road, which links Partharpur & Those.
Inside the Monastery
The storeroom of the Diskit monastery is a treasure trove of Tibetan culture. You can also explore various memorials, and Mongolian and Tibetan religious documents which are preserved here. It has an interesting story connected with it. Diskit Monastery has some Mongolian influence as well, the story says, once there was an evil and anti-Buddhist demon who lived near the monastery. The demon was killed in the same monastery but was resurrected many times even after his destruction. The demon’s wrinkled head and hand are said to be there in one of the temples of the monastery even till date.
The Diskit Monastery’s interior are as beautiful as its exteriors, as they are adorned with intricate frescoes & wall paintings. The prayer hall of the monastery, called as Dukhang, is home of enormous drums and delightful pictures of the Buddhist guardian deities. The storehouse of the monastery preserves numerous Mongolian & Tibetan religious texts apart from several shrines.
Exactly above the monastery stands the Lachung Temple, which is famous for the large idol of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the Nubra Valley. The Diskit Monastery also offers lovely views of the Diskit Village and the surrounding landscape.
Best time to visit
The quickest way to reach Diskit Monastery is by a car or a bus from Leh or Sumur via the Khardung La Pass. The best time to visit the monastery is between July to September or during the Desmochhey festival in February. Highlight of the festival is the Chham Dance, which is more famously known among the tourists as masked dances. These are performed by the Lamas of the monastery, who believe that performing them wards off any ill fortune. Images made from dough are also thrown out to prevent the occurrence of any disaster, and welcome peace and prosperity everywhere. The clothes, which cover the deities, are removed during the festival. Further the monastery is open on all days of the week from sunrise till sunset and entry fee of INR 30 per person. It is a small monastery, so you only need an hour to check out the monuments.
As the construction of the mighty Maitreya Buddha statue, the Diskit monastery has seen a multifold increase in the footfall. Visit here for the night sky, awe-striking imagery of the landscapes, panoramic views of the cold desert etc. and most importantly, it is for the inner peace that this ancient monastery imbibes.