Monastero Likir Home > Jammu And Kashmir > Attractions > Monasteries > Monastero Likir

Monastero Likir

Monastero Likir is located nearly 52 km away from Leh and a little away from Leh-Srinagar highway close to Saspul village. The Monastery was built in 1065 AD under the rule of King Lahchen Gyalpo, under the direction of Lama Duwang Chosje of the Gelugpa sect which is of Tibetan Buddhism. To the Monastery, new additions were made in 1999 which is a 23 meter (75 ft) giant statue made from glittering gold of the Buddha, Maitreya. The statue is in sitting position on the roof. This is one of the finest reserved Monasteries in Ladakh.

The name Likir stands for ‘The Naga – Encircled’, which represents the two mammoth serpent spirits’ bodies, the Naga-Rajas, Taksako and Nanda. This Monastery originally belongs to the former Kadampaorder of the Tibetan Buddhism, student of Tsongkhapa, Lama Lha-dbang-chosrje, who transformed the lamas to the changed doctrines of Gelugpa order in the 15th century. Likir Monastery is also known as “Klu-kkhyil”, meaning water spirits. It is said that the Monastery is the foremost in Ladakh to have been erected by the Tibetan monks.

The monastery is situated on the hilltop. On the foot of hill, there are thriving green agricultural fields. The Monastery was stretched by Lhawang Lodos Sangphu in 15th century. Monasteries that thrived during this era evolved their compounds as small citadel situated on tactical height, utilizing the region and toughening it with broad peripheral walls. This Monastery is a typical example of a citadel Monastery, chief temple at the uppermost point which leads to monk’s residence and below them are the village houses and after are broad peripheral walls and narrow free spaces as the paths to move.

There are approximate 100 students and monks who reside here. They are taught Hindi, English and Sanskrit under the direction of Central Institute of Buddhist Studies. This institute is also a place of the younger brother of Dalai Lama, Ngari Rinpoche.


The Likir Monastery was established by Lhachen Gyalpo 1065 AD. There were many damages over the centuries and many rulers from the Tibetan terrain, re-constructed these structures. Presently, the Monastero Likir is renowned for the huge frescos and the beautiful images of different lamas. Inside the Monastery, at the moment, there are 120 Buddhists residing, whereas 30 Buddhism students are taking education in the school in the Monastery. Central Institute of Buddhist Studies runs the school. At present, an illustrious festival is organized where offerings and dance are common and it is known as Dosmochey, which is organized specially in the 12th month from 27th to the 29th day of the Tibetan calendar.


The monastery includes two assembly halls; older one is positioned on the right of the main patio with seats of six rows for the lamas and a beautiful throne for the chief Lama of Likir.  Inside the hall, there are various gilded statues of Amitabha, Bodhisattva, huge statues of Sakyamuni, Tsongkhapa and Maitrey. Tsongkhapa was the initiator of the yellow-hat sect. The second hall which is about 200 years old includes an idol of Avalokitesvara having 11 heads and 1000 arms. The left wall has exquisite paintings of 35 Confessional Buddha’s, whereas the right wall has a lovely figure of Sakyamuni with his two chiefs standing by his side. It has a fine collection of ancient manuscripts, notable Thangkas, earthen pots and ancient costumes. The topmost floor has figures of Lamas and 21 emergence of the White Tara, the companion of Avalokitesvara.

In the patio, a large Jupiter tree is there, which is a unique one. The ancient Thangkas and paintings decorate the walls of the patio and there are also finished glass fronted book racks with various religious scriptures. On getting the patio, one can see the chief Lama’s room and the room of Gonkhang, where the protector divinities are there. In addition to the Monastery’s architecture, there are also other structures such as kitchen, residential quarters etc. There have been many restorations over the years, in the monasteries, giving a current location for a prepared structure. Monastero Likir is more like a fortress, as from the period of 15th century, many fights were there for the control of land and tactical locations by the nearby areas. To give guard from the attacks, these were changed into citadel like structures, with the real Monastery buildings constructed in the fortress.

Reaching There

The Likir Monastery is situated in Ladakh, which is nearly 52 km away from Leh, to the western side. It is around 9.5 km away from village of Saspol. From the Srinagar-Leh Highway, it is reachable to the north. As roads are mainly the common means of transport, visitors can get there in Monastero Likir by private jeeps and cars. The nearest airport to Leh airport is Srinagar airport. Cabs and Taxis are available outside the Leh airport to reach Monastero Likir.

Related Image

Related Topics


The Cultures and Topography of the state of Jammu and Kashmir divide the and into three major parts. Ladakh is also....

Forts & Monuments

Dating back to almost 700 decades, India's rich and glorified culture need no introduction. This tenure of existence....


Kishtwar is situated 238kms from Jammu...

Srinagar Hill Station

Srinagar is also known as the city of...