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| Last Updated:: 13/09/2023

Takthok monastery





Takthok monastery is the only monastery in Ladakh which belongs to Nying-ma-pa sect or Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Known as the ‘old order’ monastery, it is located in Shakti village about 46 km from Leh in Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir in north India.


The monastery was founded in 16th century during the reign of King Tshewang Namgyal. All the rooms in the monastery were either carved out of the mountain or existing caves made into rooms. Carved into the mountain, walls and roof of the monastery are made up of rocks. Hence, the locals call the monastery Takthok which means ‘rock roof’.






The monastery has temple, Dukhang and caves. Caves are believed to have been used for meditation by Padmasambhava in eighth century. Dukhang is the assembly hall and has statues of Maitreya (future Buddha), Padmasambhava and Dorje Takposal.


The cave called Duphug ( Tu-Phuk) Lhakhang is a popular pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. Buddhists visit it to be blessed by dubchu (which involves being blessed by holy water).


The monastery is also famous as it houses the Kandshur, the sacred book of Buddha’s teachings in 108 volumes. The monastery is famous for another set of Buddhist volumes written by Lamas to protect against evil spirits, curses and epidemics.


Festivals at the Takthok monastery attract a lot of locals as well as tourists. Dance especially cham dance by the Lamas is very popular.