Location: 72-km West Of Leh,
Ladakh Region, J&K
Main Attraction: The Rhidzong Gompa
Dates Back To: 17th Century
Blocking the head of a rocky ravine, the towering
monastery of Rhidzong remains hidden off the main highway 72-km
west of Leh . A wealthy monastery, presided over by Shas
Rinpoche and linked to Sumur in the Nubra, the atmospheric
Rhidzong is a relatively new Gompa dating from the 17th century.
The Du-Khang Enclosure
Inside the Du-khang, draped with Thangkas and exquisite but
smoky murals, stands the central image of Shakyamuni flanked by
Amitaus, the Buddha of long life, and by Avalokiteshvara,
otherwise known as Chenrazig - the Buddha of compassion. The
struggle up to the Gompa is further rewarded by the hospitality
of the monks who are likely to offer one tea, and if one is
lucky, one may get an invitation to their informal prayer
meetings. With shafts of light filtering through darkened rooms
and the throb of chanted prayers, a visit to Rhidzong takes you
to the heart of Buddhist Ladakh .
HOW TO GET THERE
Road: If one doesn't have their own transport, coming from Leh
one will need to get off any Khalsi bound bus at the appropriate
junction and walk the rest of the way. Getting there is half the
challenge as there is no public transport along the 5-km road
leading up from the highway between Khalsi and Saspol.
WHERE TO STAY
Very basic accommodation is available at the Gompa, but strictly
speaking, Rhidzong remains a day trip.