Ladakh, a region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is a sparsely populated area but one of the most visited destinations in the country. Also known as the land of high passes, this place is surrounded by the mighty Himalayas and Kunlun mountain range. This place is best known for its scenic beauty, high mountains and hilly terrains. Mostly inhabited by the people of the Tibetan descent, this region boasts of numerous Buddhist monasteries and one amongst them is the Shey Monastery or Shey Gompa. This monastery is situated at a distance of about 15 km from Leh in a place called Shey. At one point in time, Shey served as the summer capital of Ladakh region. If you are on a Ladakh tour, then do not miss out on visiting this majestic Buddhist gompa.
Situated atop a hillock in Shey, this monastery lies inside the Shey Palace complex. This gompa was constructed in the year 1655 by then the Ladakh king, Deldan Namgyal in memory of his deceased father, Singay Namgyal. The Shey palace is in ruins now; however, the monastery remains intact. This gompa is known to house a giant seated statue of Lord Buddha that is made of copper with gilded gold. This statue, which is the second biggest statue in this region, is called as Shakyamuni Buddha. It has been named so because Lord Buddha was the sage (muni) for the people (sakya), who resided at the foothills of Himalayas. The wall behind this statue has been painted with the images of two disciples of Lord Buddha, Maudgalyayana and Sariputra. On the sidewalls, there are images of 16 saints (arhats), who achieved Nirvana.
If you are planning a trip to this picturesque region, then you could go for a Ladakh tour package. In case, this monastery is not a part of your tour itinerary, then you can ask your tour operator to include a visit to this glorious Buddhist monastery in your package.