Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ladakh - Day 7 - Likir

It was only 3 04 4 in the noon but because of the clouds, there wasn’t much light and we had 3 more places to cover... so we were on our way to Likir.

From the approach road this is what Likir looked like. Can you see the open air Buddha statue? Looks so tiny from this distance. But this statue is what made me look forward to visiting this place.

The colossal open air Maitreya sets the Likir Gompa apart; no other Ladakhi monastery has an outdoor statue so huge and impressive. The 75 feet high future Buddha, seated on a beautifully painted pedestal was completed only in 1999; it is the Gompa’s newest, if most spectacular addition.

Likir is a rich and influential gompa controlling the great Alchi monastery; its abbot is a cousin of Dalai Lama. Among Ladakh’s oldest monasteries, it dates back to the late 11th century when King of Ladakh invited sage Lawang Chosje to build a monastery on the sacred hillock near Likir village. The hillock was long thought to be the resting place of the snake gods, the belief bearing conviction because of its apparent coil like shape. The name Likir in fact is a corruption of the word Lu-Khi, meaning snake coil or snake encircled. The present buildings were erected in 18th century after the earlier structures were gutted by fire.

Some really beautiful murals... Colourful, bright, interesting...

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