6-km to the north of the main
highway, shortly before the village of Saspol, the large and wealthy Gompa
of Likkir, home to around one hundred monks, is renowned for its huge
yellow statue of the Buddha to come which towers above the terraced fields
and village below. It is also known as Lu-khyil ("water spirit
circled"), a reference to Naga spirits who are said to have once
lived here. About Likkir Gompa
Founded in 1065 by Lama Duwang Chosje who was given the land by Lachen Gyalpo, the fifth king of Ladakh , the Gompa originally belonged to the Khadampa sect. In 1470 the Gompa was converted by Lawang Lotos, a monk from central Tibet, into the Gelug-pa monastery that is still here today.
The Gompa was extensively renovated in the 18th century and there is little sign of the antiquity related to the site. The impressive Du-khang is devoted to the three Buddhas - "Marme Zat" (past), "Shakyamuni" (present) and "Maitreya" (Future), while the Gon-khang, decorated with lavish murals of "Yamantaka" and "Mahakala" contains the statue of the wrathful protector, "Tse-Ta-Pa".
Most visitors to Likkir continue on an excellent two-day hike from here to Temisgang via Rhidzong, which provides a good and comparatively gentle introduction to trekking in Ladakh. For those with less time on their hands, a short acclimatizing three to four hour walk from the Gompa leads to the top of the ridge west of Likkur, providing great views of the Indus Valley.
Road: A single bus links Likkir to Leh , leaving Leh in the afternoon and returning the next morning.
Simple rooms are available at the school below the gompa, and at a couple of basic guesthouses including the welcoming Norbu in Likkir village, which also serves meals.