Lotsawalha Khang Home > Jammu And Kashmir > Attractions > Buddhist Centers > Lotsawalha Khang

Lotsawalha Khang

  • State: Jammu and Kashmir
  • District: Leh
  • Famous for: Pilgrim
  • Languages: Urdu, Hindi, Ladakhi, English
  • Best Season: May to September
  • Altitude: 3,500 metres above sea level
  • Pin code: 194xxx (vary)
  • STD code: 01982

One among the world’s highly rated magnificent Buddhist monuments stands in the extremely cold desert area of Ladakh. This area is surrounded in the part of western Himalaya which delivers a severe climatic condition and barren landscape. This region possesses the rarest and very expensive examples of art from the Buddhist culture. There are high-spirited painted holy shrines located in Alchi, which are known to be designed during the late eleventh century. Once upon a time, this area played a major role on the concept of trade and cultural establishments. But the entry of the Islamic rule into our subcontinent resulted in the destruction of all the Buddhist idol sand monuments. Islam culture totally disagreeswith the worship of idol and according to them; the word “idol” refers to “Buddha”. Thus the hand of iconoclasm leads to unlawful destruction of most of the Buddhist monasteries and monuments.

The region of Alchi, located at the centre of the barren canyon of desolate mountains along the river Indus, escaped itself from the devastation and possesses some of the valuable old murals and paintings that are 900 years old. The art is well preserved during all these years and they look to be very fresh as if they were done yesterday. The religious enclave called the Choskar at Alchi own five of their temples together with Chortens (which are votive stupas) along with residential complexes for the accommodating Buddhist monks. Du-Khang, or the temple designed for the Mahayana images is located at the centre of this complex. Adjacent to this temple, lying in the eastern direction is the Sum-Tsek which is well recognized for its glory of the sculptures, unique and invaluable architectural features and paintings. The holy places namely LotsawaLha-khang and the ManjushriLha-khangare situated further east of the Sum-Tsek and North-west of Du-Khang.

Lotsawa La-Khang, the famous Buddhist holy shrine situated in Alchi village of the Leh district is one among the holy temple fully dedicated to the great Buddhist translator RinchenZangpo. This temple holds the images of the popular Shakyamuni, the sage came from Sakya clan and situated to its right is a small size droopy image of the RinchenZangpo. The walls of this temple are beautifully decorated with the paintings of Shakyamuni.

LotsawaLha-Khang and ManjushriLha-Khang

There are two small shrines adjoined together with a same plan. The square shaped temple has four central columns which hold on the raised roof. Within these temples of Manjushri, there are four plaster made larger images of Bodhisattva, of no great relic. The mural of the temple is as per the theme of thousand Buddha’s whereas guardians and goddesses are widely present all over the wall space.

The LotsawaLha-khang is one among the few holy shrines which were wholeheartedly dedicated to the famous RinchenZang-po, the most venerated and well known translator from Buddhist tradition.

Lha-khang Soma

This Lha-khang Soma structure dated back to several years older than the other holy temples at Alchi. Located within a small square shape room, is a votive or chorten stupa. Columns that were constructed to support the roof are beautifully designed with amazingly carved brackets of lion faces. Whereas the western wall of the shrine comprises of three large beautifully painted mandalas,  on the northern portion is the image of famous Vairochana and on the eastern region is the image of the Lord Buddha enveloped by guardian figures and Bodhisattvas. The doorway to this temple is greatly protected and decorated with the usual image of the Mahakala.


Ladakh seems to possess various stunning and impressive monasteries that were witnessed to grow in spite of the rugged escarpments and rough mountain ridges. There are monasteries at Thikse, Shey and Hemis which are closely located to Leh and hold up an enormous wealth of the Buddhist images, carvings and murals. There is also a small museum at Stok.

How to Get There

Leh, the capital region of Ladakh is inserted into the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,440 meters, resting on the valley of the River Indus besides an ancient trade route. There are regular flights from Delhi all through the year. During seasonal climate, there are flights from Srinagar which go through Chandigarh and Jammu. Leh is a well constructed place with many hotels catering to the needs of wide range of tourists. Right from Leh, a half an hour ride on the road destines to Alchi. There are also road routes available from Srinagar covering a distance of approximately 434 kilometers and it roughly takes two days. One can also reach Alchi from Manali(situated in Himachal Pradesh) through roadways by taking up a distance of 477 kilometer journey in three days. Both the roadways are possible only during the short summer season when the passes are free from snow.
The extreme cold climate prevents easy entry into the Leh region. The ideal season is during the months of May to September. A trip to Alchi in the month of June during the three-day Hemis festival delivers a demonstration of the culture of Ladakh and their living traditions.

Best Time to Visit Alchi

The region of Alchi in Leh possesses extreme climatic conditions which are highly variable during different seasons. During summer season, the days are mild whereas temperature may fall during the night time. Winters are extremely harsh with the level of mercury falling steeply during the peak winter days. The ideal time to tour this Alchi region is from June to September.

The summer season would be pleasant for most of the places with the minimum temperature of 12 degree C and it can go up to a maximum temperature of 25 degree C. One has to prevent themselves from the sun at this high altitude with the help of good sunscreen lotions. The summer season arrives between the months of April to June. The region receives moderate rainfall throughout the year and one can experience good volume of rainfall especially during the monsoon season. The monsoon season extends from the month of July till September. The August month is known to receive maximum rainfall.

The winter season is extremely harsh with the extreme temperatures of around -20 degree c. The maximum temperature that one can witness during the entire winter season is around 7 degree C. The winter season falls between the months of December, January and also February.

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