Located 57 miles from Leh and 2 miles off the highway from Nura, Temisgang was once a capital of western Ladakh. There’s little to suggest that these days, except for a ruined castle dating back to the 15th century and three old temples.
The setting for the gompa is quite spectacular, even if the weather was not that good on my visit it’s a beautiful and atmospheric place to visit. The added bonus is that Temisgang is not really on the list of gompas most tourists will visit in the region, so you’re likely to have the place completely to yourself.
Adjacent to the castle is the rebuilt Chenresig Lhakhang temple, which was unfortunately locked on my visit. Also locked was another Chenresig Lhakhang temple, much older this time. I was beginning to wonder if anything would be open, whilst it’s great to be off the main tourist routes the downside is that often there’s nothing open and no monks to assist you.
Fortunately, the Guru Lhakhang was open. This was a dark chamber housing Padmasam-bhava and his consorts, with some fine paintings on the walls.
A newer building within the gompa complex had another open temple that was clearly in use by the villagers on an almost constant basis. It was interesting to see a newer temple that was quite unlike any others I have visited in the region.
If you’re visiting the monasteries west of Leh it’s well worth taking a short detour to visit Temisgang. The setting and views alone will make it well worthwhile.
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