The dominant religion of Ladakh is Buddhism, and it is the living religion of the people here, the practice of which has enabled them to live in complete peace not only with other religions but also with the nature. It is manifest in the art and architecture of Ladakh. The monasteries, or the gompas as they are called, are beautifully designed and have the finest of sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes, gold and silver chortens, paintings done on silk scrolls and walls and scriptures printed out of hand-made wooden blocks. In the monasteries the devout pray for the peace of the world.
Buddhist Pilgrimage in Ladakh
Buddhism, especially the Trans-Himalayan Buddhism from Tibet is the very essence of living in Ladakh . Partly because of the royal patronage, the central part of Ladakh has the greatest concentration of major Gompas or monasteries. From the twelve situated near the Indus River banks, a must visit is the oldest Lamayuru believed to have been a sacred site for pre-Buddhist religion known as 'Bon'. Monasteries of Phiyang, Hemis and Chemrey belong to the Namgyal dynasty period and are a major attraction during their monastic festivals. The reformist group monasteries are also well represented in central Ladakh by Thikse, Likkir, Rhidzong and Spituk.