the north of the main Leh -Srinagar highway, shortly before
the village of Saspol, the large and wealthy Gompa of Likkir,
home to around one hundred monks, is renowned for its huge
yellow statue of the Buddha to come which towers above the
terraced fields and village below. It is also known as Lu-khyil
("water spirit circled"), a reference to Naga spirits who are
said to have once lived here.
About Likkir Gompa
Founded in 1065 by Lama Duwang Chosje who was given the land
by Lachen Gyalpo, the fifth king of Ladakh , the Gompa
originally belonged to the Khadampa sect. In 1470 the Gompa
was converted by Lawang Lotos, a monk from central Tibet, into
the Gelug-pa monastery that is still here today.
The Gompa was extensively renovated in the 18th century and
there is little sign of the antiquity related to the site. The
impressive Du-khang is devoted to the three Buddhas - "Marme
Zat" (past), "Shakyamuni" (present) and "Maitreya" (Future),
while the Gon-khang, decorated with lavish murals of "Yamantaka"
and "Mahakala" contains the statue of the wrathful protector,
Most visitors to Likkir continue on an excellent two-day hike
from here to Temisgang via Rhidzong, which provides a good and
comparatively gentle introduction to trekking in Ladakh. For
those with less time on their hands, a short acclimatizing
three to four hour walk from the Gompa leads to the top of the
ridge west of Likkur, providing great views of the Indus
Road: A single bus links Likkir to Leh , leaving Leh in
the afternoon and returning the next morning.
rooms are available at the school below the gompa, and at a
couple of basic guesthouses including the welcoming Norbu in
Likkir village, which also serves meals.