Diskit Monastery, the Nubra Valley’s oldest and largest Buddhist monastery, is situated at an altitude of 10,300 feet in the freezing desert of Ladakh. It was formed in the 14th century by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a pupil of Tsong Khapa, and belongs to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) Tibetan Buddhist sect. It is part of the Thiksey Monastery’s sub-gompa. Visit this beautiful monastery by staying at our luxury hotel in Ladakh.
The Nubra Valley’s Diskit Monastery
Diskit has become one of Ladakh’s most renowned tourist destinations, owing to the 106-foot-tall Maitreya Buddha monument. This gold and red Buddha statue, located just below the monastery on the crest of a hill, faces the Shyok River, which flows into Pakistan. The Dalai Lama consecrated the statue in 2010. It is supposed to represent and support three core ideas: the protection of Diskit Village, the prevention of additional war with Pakistan, and the promotion of world peace.
The milky white Diskit Gompa is perched atop a high hill on the edge of a road that connects Parthapur and Those. You must trek up to the monastery, passing through the beautiful white Chortens.
Interior of the Monastery Complex
The Gompa is a visual and spiritual joy, with beautiful frescoes and wall paintings. Huge drums and images of Buddhist guardian deities may be found inside Dukhang, the prayer hall. The Diskit Monastery also boasts an elevated cupola (top dome) with a wall mural depicting Tibet’s Tashilhunpo Monastery.
Diskit Monastery also has a Mongolian connection. There are various shrines and Mongolian and Tibetan holy manuscripts in the monastery’s storage. There was once a demon near the monastery, a wicked anti-Buddhist entity; he was killed at the monastery but is supposed to have been revived several times since his death.
The Lachung Temple, which sits just above the monastery, is one of the Nubra region’s oldest temples. Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect, is worshipped here with a big idol. With the support of an NGO named The Tibet Support Group, the monastery also maintains a school on its grounds that teaches Tibetan children.
Nubra Valley – Diskit Village
Diskit hamlet is located in the Nubra Valley. The Nubra Valley is most known for the double-humped Bactrian camel, the night sky, the desert, and stunning vistas. On the northern edge of the Ladakh Range, the Nubra River is a tributary of the Shyok River, which flows parallel to the Indus River. Because of its lower elevation, the valley offers a perfect temperature for lush green vegetation, earning it the nickname “Orchard of Ladakh.”
If you’re visiting Diskit, stop by the river below for some breathtaking views. You should also visit Hunder village, which is close by. Hunder is known for its silver sands, camel rides on double-humped Bactrian camels, and attractive towns. The distance between Diskit and Hunder Village is only 8 kilometres.
How do you get to Diskit?
Diskit Monastery is located 116 kilometres from the town of Leh, beyond the snow-capped Khardung La, in the Nubra desert valley. The best method to go to Diskit from Leh is to hire a taxi or cab. You can also travel by bicycle or in your own car. The following is a general route from Leh to Diskit Monastery:
By road – The quickest way to get to Leh by road is to take the Manali – Leh Highway from Manali or the Srinagar Highway from Srinagar (J & K). It is critical to be aware that state-run buses and local taxis operate extensively across the Ladakh region during the summer months. However, highways may be closed throughout the winter due to excessive snowfall.
The road from Leh to Diskit in the Nubra Valley travels through South Pullu (an army camp), continues to Khardung La, descends to North Pullu, continues to Khardung hamlet, and descends to Khalsar village at the valley level, and then splits in two. The left section descends to Diskit and Hunder villages from Khalsar village, while the right part leads to Diskit and Hunder villages from Khalsar village.
By air – Leh Airport is the closest airport, and it is well connected to some of India’s main airports, including New Delhi. Taxis can be hired from the airport to get to the hotel in Leh, and then you can take a two-day tour from Leh to Nubra Valley to visit Diskit Village and Hunder Village.
By train — Jammu Tawi is the nearest major railway station to Leh, located 812 kilometres away. Taxis may be hired at the train station to travel to Leh via the Srinagar-Leh Highway, which takes three days and includes overnight stops at Srinagar and Kargil. You can travel to Diskit after arriving in Leh, as described in the preceding article.
When is the best time to visit Diskit?
May through September are ideal for visiting Diskit Monastery since the weather is at its best. The weather is excellent, and the routes to Ladakh are open.
Diskit celebrates a significant event named ‘Dosmoche,’ or the scapegoat festival, with many festivities generally in January or February. So, if you’re ready to brave the cold winter months to see Ladakh’s snowy splendour, visiting Diskit during the Dosmoche festival is an excellent option.
Due to excessive snowfall, the highways connecting Srinagar and Manali to Ladakh are closed from November to May. As a result, flying to Leh and then to the Diskit monastery in Ladakh is the only way to get there during the winter.
As a result, the greatest time to visit Diskit monastery is also the best time to visit Leh Ladakh. That is, from May to September/October, when the highways between Srinagar and Manali to Leh Ladakh are open.