is fascinating, proved again, by the beauty of another monastic village
called Alchi, in the lower parts of Ladakh. The place is again a hilly
terrain, with beautiful temples scattered in the midst of the hills,
colorful flags waved off by the winds blowing haphazardly, and amidst all
these interesting features, the simple and hard working people of Alchi,
makes the place an intoxication for the vulnerable minded.
The landscape is more beautiful than can be expressed in words and
literally makes everyone spell bound, especially if the person has a soft
corner for the hills. It makes an elegant appeal through the Chos-Khor
monastery, an inseparable part of Tibetan Buddhist culture. The clay art and
the exotic paintings describing the life of Buddha is really worth a human
notice, more so if one wants to experience the exuberance of the cold, high
Alchi is located 70 kms from Leh district of Ladakh, situated in the
northern part of India, in Jammu and Kashmir.
The monastic complex, also called Dukhang is special for the huge main hall
inside it, the Dukhand walls are painted with many paintings, different
mandalas of the Vajraadhatu, Buddhas four headed sculpture and goddesses and
the donors sculptures.
At the back of the temple Buddhas four-headed sculpture flanked by four
goddesses is a very interesting culpture to investigate the Buddhist art and
The three storeyed Sumsteg, is also a definite destination for art lovers,
due to the clay Bodhsattva, one of Maitreya, flanked by Avlokiteswara and
Manjushree in the back wall of the temple. These Bodhisattvas are
beautifully decorated and adorned with exotic dresses which makes them more
The gallery of the life of Buddha, referring to the Maitreya's Dhoti is
also beautiful presentation of art and evokes religious devotion.
The Manjushree temple is attached to the translator's temple and the four
Manjushree images seated on a common platform, surronded by images of gods
and other animals.
Nearest airport is in Leh, at a distance of 70 km,
and connected to all major cities of India.
Depending on the railways is not the best option
for Ladakh visit. The Jammu station is far from the main city, Leh, from
where to commute is easier than from Alchi.
There are good, exciting roads. Alchi is nearly
540 km from Manali, of Himachal Pradesh and 364 Km from Srinagar, the
capital of Jammu and Kashmir.