MONASTERIES OF LADAKH
Monasteries in Ladakh, Tibet and whole Himalayan Buddhist Kingdoms are known by Gompas. Gompa meant sacred solitary or meditation place for monks. They are treasure houses, full of fresco paintings of various meditational deities, Mandalas and statues of various Bodhisattvas. They contain endless explorations of Buddhist philosophy which are embodied in its Arts and Artifact.
Ladakhi culture owes almost everything to Tibetan Buddhism, which was probably brought first to Tibet in the early 7th century of the Christian era. It finally became a national religion in the 11th century and later flourished in all the Himalayan Buddhist Kingdoms including Ladakh. Tibetan monks meticulously translated texts from Sanskrit to their mother tongue, and today many works originally composed in Sanskrit exist only in these Tibetan translations. Thus the canons of Tibetan Buddhism are very important for the study of Buddhism in general. The existing monasteries of Ladakh possess hundreds of Buddhist artifacts from Kashmir and Tibet. All the monasteries are affiliated to one of the four major orders of Tibetan Buddhism- Nyigmapa, Saskyapa, Gelukpa, and Kargyudpa.
The monasteries of Ladakh belong to a different time period, some dating back to 11th century, like Alchi, Mangue and Sumdah-chun which belong to the same architectural tradition of Gandhara art.