Samstem Ling Gompa
Soon after passing Khalsar, the road crosses the confluence of the Shyok and Nubra to a patch of green sloping from the river to the base of precipitous mountains. Sumur is home to the Nubbra valley's most important monastery, Samstem Ling Gompa, forty minutes' walk behind the village.
Built in 1841, the Gompa is home to over a hundred Gelugpa monks, aged between seven and seventy. Action centres on the large Du-khang, which is hung with Thangkas and dominated by a huge gilded statue of Shakyamuni, accompanied by Maitreya and the protector deity Mahakala.
Across the courtyard, the long, low Gon-Khang is guarded by statues of fierce protector deities strung wit wide-eyed skulls and figurines of the 84 Mahasiddhas, venerated Tantric saints. Samstem ling is linked to the Gompa of Rhizdong in the Indus valley west of Leh .
Road: Buses leave from the prayer wheel on the main road in Sumur for Leh, Panamic (Monday & Wednesday; 1-2 hr), and for Diskit (Thursday & Sunday; 3-4 hr).
To catch the morning or evening pujas at the Gompa, one
will have to stay in Sumur. Tsering Yangchun, a local schoolteacher in the
village, has a couple of simple rooms 1 in the family house, with an earth
toilet and sparse washing facilities, and serves home cooked food.
The camping ground around the corner is owned by the same family house, with an earth toilet and sparse washing facilities, and serves family. On the main road, Tsewang Jorgais has basic rooms 2 while Tashi's Khangsar 3 is a bit more pleasant and also has camping facilities. For more comfort, head up the Panamic road for 1-km towards the road to the Gompa, to the Yarab Tso at Teggar.