Basgo is 40km from Leh and well worth paying a visit, particularly in the evening light when the orange-red tint of the rocks look their best during ‘golden hour’.
My visit to Basgo was part of a one day excursion from Leh, exploring the gompas north of the town.
The itinerary for the day was :
Up until the 16th century, Basgo was the seat of power for lower Ledakh when the region was then divided. The fort and palace are now in ruins, but in the early 1680s an invading Tibetan army was held at bay here for three years by the Ladakhi forces at Basgo. Basgo was clearly once a formidable stronghold.
Little of the palace and fort exist now, although the temples have been restored and are well worth a visit, if open. This seems down to just pure luck whether they are open or not, I was 50% successful !
You’re free to roam and explore the now ruined mud and brick palace, which almost seems to be crumbling before your eyes. I hope some effort can be invested in preserving what’s left of the structure, as it is an impressive and atmospheric setting in the fading sunlight.
The Cham Chung temple, standing on a corner of a courtyard contains an image of Maitreya (Future Buddha), and has been recently restored by local artists.
Sadly the colossal Maitreya in Basgo’s Chamba Lhakhang, recently restored in 2006, was closed during my visit.
Happily, on my second visit to Basgo in 2015 I was able to gain access to the temples housing the colossal Maitreya’s. Click here to read all about what lies within those temples…
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