Shey Gompa

Shey Gompa in Leh Ladakh

Shey Gompa, also known as Shey monastery, is 15 kms away from the south Leh. This monastery is located on the hill lock in Shey. This monastery is built inside the palace, in 1655 on the instructions of Deldan Namgyal in memory of his late father Singay Namgyal. This monastery is famous for giant copper statue of Buddha in the region. All the walls near the statue are painted with images. Walls on either side of the statue are painted with the images of 16 Arhats (saints) 8 on each side. Back wall is painted with the images of the Buddhist disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana. The offerings offered by disciples are grains, jewels, holy signs and with mantras.

These monasteries celebrate 2 seasonal festivals i.e. Shey Doo Lhoo (marks the beginning of the sowing seasons) and Shey Rupla (marks the harvesting season). Shey Doo Lhoo is performed by the monks in main monastery in which they perform the religious rituals. For this festival, oracle reader come to monastery on the horse and organizes and carries out the prayer for three days. In the Shey Rupla festival, farmers do offering of their first fruit of their corn, in monastery. A Rhupla dance is performed by two men in whom they wear tiger costume. It is said that women without any children, especially come here for a prayer to Buddha, for seeking blessing.

A large wax bowl with central flame is placed in front of the Buddha idol. This flame symbolizes the divinity and purity. This flame burns for 1 year before getting replaced by the monks.