Stok Gompa in Leh Ladakh
Stok Monastery or Stok Gompa is 15 kms. away from the south of Leh. The Stok monastery is a Buddhist monastery founded by the Lama Lhawang Lotus in 14th century. The Stok monastery consists of a library with 108 volumes of Buddha teaching. The Stok monastery consists of a central courtyard with a prayer flag pole in centre. Entrance of veranda has painting of guardians of four directions. The main assembly is repainted and decorated with numerous banners and Thangkas. Even entrance walls have various guardian divinities. The images on the walls are of Vajrapani (Vajra-in-hand), Avalokitesvara (four-armed-manifestation), Sakyamuni (historical Buddha). Avalokitesvara, who is also known as “Lord of all Survey” and it is believed that he is reincarnated in Dalai Lama.
A small chapel, inside the Stok monastery is the oldest one in Ladakh. Sometimes ago, a new temple is constructed on the name of Avalokitesvara, images with 1000 hands and 11 heads. A ritual mask dance is performed near the monastery on the early June.
Stok Guru Tsechu is the main festival celebrated in Stok monastery, one week before the Matho Nagrang. This festival is held for two days and two oracles offer the prayer. The main thing in this prayer is that, this prayer is not versed by the priest, but by the common man, which is selected, cleansed and prepared by the Lamas.