Gompas and stupas
Leh Travel Blog› entry 25 of 29 › view all entries
Everyone talks about seeing the gompas and stupas in Leh and its environs, but I confess I had to look up both words. And I bet other people either won’t admit they don’t know what these words mean or don’t bother looking them up. So to make it easier for you, a gompa is a Tibetan monastery, and a stupa is a Tibetan Buddhist monument that’s mound- or dome-shaped.
Anita and I hired a car and driver to take us to a few gompas of his choice, since we didn’t have a clue where to go. Unfortunately much of the drive covered the same territory as the bus ride from Manali to Leh, so the scenery wasn’t new. But were were in a jeep, so much more comfy than the bus. We saw the Hemis Monastery, known (I think) for having the largest number of Tibetan monks in
Every monastery has prayer wheels, usually lots of small ones and one or two large ones. They’re all over Leh, too, in what seem to be random places. The wheels have prayers inside them, and spinning them clockwise has the same effect as orally reciting the prayers. I love the sentiment.
Our time with the driver was supposed to be four hours, but it last nearly six door to door. The driver was very relaxed about it, and we weren’t charged anything extra as we would be in the