A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...
Situated 67km away from Leh, the village of Alchi is famous for its isolation and significant Himalayan heritage. It is home to the Alchi Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh dating back to the 11th century. Thirty-two Kashmiri wood carvers and sculptors helped to build the structure and it is particularly famous for its painted murals and frescoes that display an Indian touch in terms of style and design. These paintings display the five families of Buddha and other deities.
Alchi also has a number of other monasteries of interest, including Dukhang, the oldest temple in town and famed for its engravings and carved images of Bodhisattvas. The temple was designed in the image of the universe and employs a special geometric design. Sum-tsek temple is typical of Buddhist art with a carved wooden facade and huge pillars. Lhakhang Soma is a modern structure with elegant columns featuring engraved lion faces.
Summer is the best time to visit Alchi when the temperatures are pleasant and in June the town plays host to the Hemis Festival, a three day event that offers a glimpse of the Ladakhi culture and traditions.