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Alchi
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Alchi Monastery and village is situated 70 kilometers Northwest of Leh, a few kilometers off the road to Kargil. This important Buddhist monastery is famous for 11th century murals of Indo-Tibetan style. Unlike most of the monasteries in Ladakh situated atop hills, Alchi is situated on the plains. This interesting monastery was founded by the kings of Ladakh, Lhachen Takpa and Lhachen Changchub Sempsa along with the famous translator Rinchen Zangpo. In the years between 1020 and 1035, they invited some of the best artists from other monasteries in the proximity, mostly from Tibet and the areas of Kashmir, to adorn the walls of Alchi with the fascinating pieces of art that can still be watched and admired here.

 

On your way from Leh to Kargil, or vice a versa, you can stop by at Alchi. Even an hour’s visit should suffice, two if you decide to have a meal at the interesting cafes and eateries here. As you enter the monastic complex of Alchi, afoot, you pass through an interesting market that does attract you with some intriguing articles including peculiar masks, statues of Buddhist as well as Hindu deities and other metal and handmade items. If you are planning to take home some souvenirs from Ladakh, Alchi will surely offer some interesting options.

 

In a dissimilar fashion to other monasteries, Alchi Monastery is a complex of stupas and small temples, known as Chhoskhor Temples, spread around in proximity. Narrow, paved footways sided by modest gardens lead you from temple to temple. These temples house some precious murals and statues of historical importance. Important of these temples are Vairochana, Sumrtsek, Lotsa and Manjushri. Apart from the exceptional murals of Buddhist deities housed in these temples, the large, Wooden statues of Maitreya, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri are admirable. The large mandalas in the Vairochana temple are especially popular.

 

Though you can click pictures inside the complex, photography is banned inside the temples. The temples require an entry ticket, though the charge is nominal. The village of Alchi also offers staying facilities.

 


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Situated 70 kilometers towards the Northeast of Leh, Alchi monastery is an important Buddhist monastery. It is famous for 11th century murals of Indo Tibetan style. This monastery was founded by kings of Ladakh, Lhachen Takpa and Lhachen Changchub Sempsa. The Alchi monastery is a complex of stupas and small temples known as Chhoskhor temples. They house some precious murals and statues of historical importance. Entry in the temples requires a nominally charged entry ticket. Photography is banned inside the temples. The Alchi village also offers lodging facilities.

 

Destination Grade: C (What is this?)
Rating: 6/10
Population: 400 to 500
Airport: Leh
Railway station: Pathankot
Nearest Major City(s): Leh
How to reach: Alchi is well connected to Leh by bus. Taxis are also available on hire to reach Alchi
Major Tourist Attraction: Historical Monuments
Speciality(Famous for): Historical Monuments
Food speciality: Likir monestry has a decent restaurant in front of the Chos-Khor, it serves regional and Chinese cuisine
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Rating:
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Reviews by users : (2)
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Alchi - A Wonderful Settlement - by Namit Arora  Dated : 2011-03-16
To visit Ladakh, the best time is from June to October. During winters, Ladakh gets totally isolated from rest of the Indian mainland. You can fly to Leh, but somehow it is less beneficial as you cannot get acclimatized to the thin air in Ladakh, road travelers have that advantage.

We set off from our hotel at around 8 in the morning, and drove towards Alchi. Alchi lies just 67 kilometers from Leh and so the journey from Leh to Alchi was not a tiring one. On our way we stopped to explore the Maitreya fort in the Bosgo village. It was a quick stop over. As we resumed our journey, I and my friend Mahesh were totally awed by the spectacular landscapes around. Ladakh has contrasting landscapes, snow capped mountains and valleys dotted with trees on an end and desert dry terrain on the other end. The color of the sky is absolute blue, but there is a lot of UV radiation, better to apply sun block.

We soon arrived at Alchi. The Alchi village has four different settlements and every settlement has monuments dating to different periods. The Alchi monastery is said to be the most famous and the oldest of the four. It exhibits exquisite Indo Tibetan art of India, houses huge statues of Buddha, wood carvings and art work. There are beautiful Thangka murals inside the temple; some of them were faded due to ageing. Conservation projects are being carried to protect this work of art. Also there are wooden statues of Avalokiteshwara, Maitreya and Manjushri. Some of the most prominent temples in this monastery are Vairochana, Sumrtsek, Lotsa and Manjushri.

After an easing visit to the monastery we were invited by a monk to have our morning tea, we drank the butter masala chai( made of tea leaves, yak butter and salt) and were also offered biscuits. Later we left to get back to our accommodation, it was a fabulous day, we took a lot of photographs at Alchi and the trip to Alchi was a memorable one.
Alchi Monastery - by Sudhir Babu  Dated : 2011-03-10
Alchi Monastery is located near Leh and is one of the important places for the Buddhists. It is on the way to Srinagar. This is a small but historically important place. There is a nice market outside Alchi. Alchi town is also there, named after the monastery. You have to park the vehicle well outside the monastery.

You require tickets to visit the inner parts of the monastery and camera is not allowed everywhere. I met a monk here who was rude and disrespectful in asking for the ticket. I did not meet a Buddhist monk anywhere who was like him. I was a little surprised at that behavior. But apart from that it was a good experience to see this monastery. There are some very nice paintings and statues here. There is a big board outside the monastery which tells about the history of the place and can be very interesting.

Those who like visiting monasteries for religious as well as the purpose of personal interest will like to visit this place.