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Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery (also transliterated from Ladakhi as Tiksey, Thiksey or Thiksay) is a gompa (Tibetan-style monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Leh in Ladakh


Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery (also transliterated from Ladakhi as Tiksey, Thiksey or Thiksay) is a gompa (Tibetan-style monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Leh in Ladakh, India.[1] It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh, notably containing a separate set of buildings for female renunciates that has been the source of significant recent building and reorganisation.[2][3]

The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus Valley. It is a twelve-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya Temple installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970; it contains a 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two stories of the building.[4][5]

History

In the early 15th century, Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School - often called "the Yellow Hats" - sent six of his disciples to remote regions of Tibet to spread the teachings of the new school. Tsongkhapa gave one of his disciples, Jangsem Sherab Zangpo (Wylie: shes rab bzang po), a small statue of Amitayus (the saṃbhogakāya form of Amitābha), containing bone powder and a drop of Tsongkhapa's own blood. Tsongkhapa directed him to meet the King of Ladakh with a message seeking his help in the propagation of Buddhism.[6][7]

The King, who was then staying in the Nubra Valley near Shey, loved the gift of the statue. After this meeting, the King directed his minister to help Sherab Zangpo to establish a monastery of the Gelug order in Ladakh. As a result, in 1433, Zangpo founded a small village monastery called Lhakhang Serpo "Yellow Temple" in Stagmo, north of the Indus. In spite of his efforts, the lamas who embraced the Gelug order were initially few, although some of his disciples became eminent figures over the years.[6][7][8][9]

Indus Valley. It is a twelve-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya Temple installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970; it contains a 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two stories of the building.[4][5]

In the early 15th century, Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School - often called "the Yellow Hats" - sent six of his disciples to remote regions of Tibet to spread the teachings of the new school. Tsongkhapa gave one of his disciples, Jangsem Sherab Zangpo (Wylie: shes rab bzang po), a small statue of Amitayus (the saṃbhogakāya form of Amitābha), containing bone powder and a drop of Tsongkhapa's own blood. Tsongkhapa directed him to meet the King of Ladakh with a message seeking his help in the propagation of Buddhism.[6][7]

The King, who was then staying in the Nubra Valley near Shey, loved the gift of the statue. After this meeting, the King directed his minister to help Sherab Zangpo to establish a monastery of the Gelug order in Ladakh. As a result, in 1433, Zangpo founded a small village monastery called Lhakhang Serpo "Yellow Temple" in Stagmo, north of the Indus. In spite of his efforts, the lamas who embraced the Gelug order were initially few, although some of his disciples became eminent figures over the years.[6][7][8][9]

Je Tsongkhapa pictured behind a prayer wheel, located in the steps that lead to the main part of Thikshe monastery.

In the mid 15th century, Palden Zangpo continued the monastic work started by his teacher, Sherab Zangpo. He decided to build a larger monastery here that was dictated by an unusual event that occurred while choosing a site. Legends narrate that Tsongkhapa had predicted that his doctrine would prosper on the right bank of the Indus River. This prediction came true when the

The King, who was then staying in the Nubra Valley near Shey, loved the gift of the statue. After this meeting, the King directed his minister to help Sherab Zangpo to establish a monastery of the Gelug order in Ladakh. As a result, in 1433, Zangpo founded a small village monastery called Lhakhang Serpo "Yellow Temple" in Stagmo, north of the Indus. In spite of his efforts, the lamas who embraced the Gelug order were initially few, although some of his disciples became eminent figures over the years.[6][7][8][9]

In the mid 15th century, Palden Zangpo continued the monastic work started by his teacher, Sherab Zangpo. He decided to build a larger monastery here that was dictated by an unusual event that occurred while choosing a site. Legends narrate that Tsongkhapa had predicted that his doctrine would prosper on the right bank of the Indus River. This prediction came true when the Thiksey Monastery was established. This was followed by others such as Spituk Monastery and Likir Monastery, which are also situated on the right bank of the Indus.[2]

According to legend, Sherab Zangpo and Palden Zangpo were performing some sacred rituals near the Yellow Temple. The torma offerings were then taken to a rock outcrop to be thrown down to the valley. As they were about to throw the torma into the valley, two crows appeared suddenly from somewhere and carried away the ceremonial plate with the offering of torma. They then placed the torma at a location on the other side of the hill. When Palden Zangpo and his disciples began looking for the torma, they reached Thiksey, where they found that the crow had placed the torma on a stone in perfect order and in an undisturbed condition. Palden took this finding as a divine directive to build the monastery here.[2][10]