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Takthok Monastery

Takthok Monastery is also widely referred to as Thak Thak or Thag Thog by Buddhist people. This is a famous Buddhist monastery that is situated in Ladakh’s Sakti village belonging to the northern India. This monastery is almost at a distance of 46 km from Leh. The monastery has got its name Takthok which in English means ‘rock – roof’. Actually the walls along with the roof of this monastery are built of rocks only and that is why it got its name Takthok. This infamous monastery belongs to Tibetan Buddhism’s Nyingma tradition. A total of 55 lamas are currently residing inside this monastery. This monastery is one & the only monastery in Leh belonging to Nyingma tradition. This makes it highly popular and unique among the other monasteries.

It is supposed that this monastery came into its existence in the mid of 16th century. The monastery was crafted under the ruling of ‘Tshewang Namgyal’. It is built around a cave on a mountain side. According to the legend, the great Padmasambhava did his meditation in this cave in the early 8th century. This cave is termed as Duphug (Tu-Phuk) Lhakhang. This cave is a famous pilgrimage for all the Tibetan Buddhists around the world.

The famous Takthok festival takes place here on every 9th as well as 10th of every sixth month according to Tibetan calendar. The major attraction of this festival is the sacred dance which takes place here every year. This monastery belongs to the ancient ‘Nying-ma-pa sect’ of Buddhism. 


The history of Takthok Monastery belongs to era of 16th century. It is believed, according to legends, that this monastery was crafted under the monarchy of king ‘Tshewang Namgyal’. The monastery was built around the cave on a mountainside at that time with a reason. According to the legend, the great Padmasambhava did his meditation in this cave (around which monastery is built) in the early 8th century.

The famous Takthok festival takes place here on every 9th as well as 10th of every sixth month according to Tibetan calendar to celebrate it.


The Takthok Monastery is an amazing and remarkable piece of architecture. The name Takthok basically means “Rock Roof”. The roofs and walls of the monastery are made up of rock only and that is why it got this name. This monastery, in its left, incorporates a central courtyard which is the cave chapel. To the opposite of the chapel, there are some images of Avalokitesvara along with Padme Sambhava. There is also a very small cave which is behind all these images. It is believed, according to legends, that Padme Sambhava lived in this cave while meditating to attain Moksha (the ultimate peace). Padme Sambhava stayed & meditated in this small cave for almost 3 years. The main temple of the monastery is quite dark as well as gloomy.

To the right side of the monastery’s central courtyard, there is the main assembly hall, referred to as Dukhang. The entrance of the Dukhang, verandah basically, is beautified with several Murals that belong to guardian divinities and are very adorning. Now these Murals are at display only during festivals. There is also a beautiful holy throne which is inside Dukhang but that is reserved only for great Dalai Lama.

The monastery also has some incredibly embellished statues belonging to Maitreya, referred to as Future Buddha along with Padmasambhava and his holy appearance, Dorje Takposal. The 108 volumes, Kandshur, of teachings of Buddha are also in this monastery. The monastery is the house of 55 lamas currently.

A new temple was built & sanctified in 1980 by H.H. (14th Dalai Lama). This temple is just below the complex of main Gompa.

Reaching There

Takthok Monastery is at a distance of almost 46 km from Leh. So the best way to reach there is to reach Leh first. So if you are planning for air transportation then Leh airport is the closest one and from there one can opt for a bus service or a cab service.

If the mode of transportation is railways them nearest railway station is Jammu’s railway station – Jammu Tawi. Again one has to take a cab or bus service from here to reach Takthok Monastery.

 If you are looking for road transportation then two ways are there – you can either opt for buses or you can take private cabs or taxis which are easily available there. This area gets snow covered in winter so transportation becomes difficult. One has to be conscious of this factor. The best season to visit this monastery is between April to September as in winter days the roads get blocked due to heavy snowfall.

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