Your Ladakh trip will comprise of a never ending list of to-do things. But, because most of us have our return tickets already booked (sadly), it is not possible to travel places at random.
For the same reason, I planned an itinerary that covers most of the beautiful paces in Ladakh, if not all. Thiksey Monastery is one of those places that should be ticked in your bucket list.
I thought all the monasteries are just the same. After all, what will be so different in cave houses or stone houses, popularly known as Gompa in Ladakh. But, all the monasteries have one or the other distinctive characteristic that sets them apart.
Thiskey is an eighteen storied Gompa that is blessed with ancient murals and is a progressive one, as far as the architecture is concerned. There are majorly three kinds of monasteries in Ladakh.
- Progressive Architecture – Where the houses are built in a progressive manner, which is from bottom to top e.g. Thiksey, Diskit, Shey
- Flat Architecture – Where the houses and the whole monastery is built on a relatively flat land.
- Cave Architecture – Where the monastery is built in a cave of a mountain, mostly leading to a gorge. If not fully built inside a cave, they include the major part of the cave in their architecture e.g. Phutkal Gompa
Thiksey monastery was constructed thousands of years ago. It was re-built in 1480 A.D. and how!
I stood by, watching this spectacle, and took a moment to pinch myself to realise, this is the same planet where I have lived for so many years. If you are an aesthete, this place is sure to steal your breath.
The colours and resplendence of this place also made me collect fashion inspirations in no time. I find the people of Ladakh, quite fashionable, and now I know, where does it all trickle down from!
How to Reach Thiksey
Thiksey Monastery is just 20 Kms from Leh. It will take you around an hour to reach here, from Leh. You can hire a bike and drive down to Thiksey, or rent a car for one full day and complete Thiksey, Shey, and Rancho School (The one featured in 3 idiots movie) on the way.
Bike rentals for a day – Rs.300 with 1 litre petrol
Car rentals for one day – Rs.1200 (depends on what all places you cover)
You can take the car, bike, and bicycles on rent from the Leh market or just ask the host of your homestay or guesthouse.
Entry Fee to Thiksey Monastery
Entry inside the temple area at the top, is Rs.30. This does not include anything else. There is a restaurant near the entry gate of this monastery that serves delicious food.
Staying at Thiksey Monastery
You can opt for a homestay here, if you manage to speak with people and they agree. And, if you have the undying urge to spend your night in this beautiful architecture, there is a hotel on the other side of the entry road.
Mind you, it costs somewhere around Rs.40000 to Rs.100000 per night, per room, here. So you may chose to please yourself if it suits.
Best Time of the Day to Visit Thiksey
The best time to visit any monastery is anywhere between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. because after 5, it will start getting darker and you won’t be able to admire the beauty. Plus, driving on the roads in Ladakh is extremely risky, in the dark.
You can check my other posts about Ladakh, for more information. If you like reading this one, please do share it with others and leave your thoughts or queries below, in the comments.