Day 2: Drive to Leh via Alchi
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Alchi village to see 1000 years old Alchi Dhammchakra Centre. Later drive to Leh, enroute visiting Confluence of Indus and Zanskar river, Basgo fort, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and Spituk monastery. Evening free to stroll around Leh market. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Leh.
ALCHI GOMPA : 70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attractions. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from the Liker monastery. This is the only monastery amongst 34 monasteries, which is not located on a hilltop.
CONFLENCE OF THE ZANSKAR & INDUS : On way to Sham Valley before Nimu village one can have this magnificent view of two rivers in wed-lock! In seasons they have different colors and flow and wildness.
BASGO GOMPA : 40 Kms downstream from Leh, it was the seat of power of branch of a Namgyal family. It was here in 1680 that invading Mongol and Tibetan armies were held in check over a three year old siege. Original 16th century murals and other arts at Basgo are well worth a visit.
GURDWARA SHRI PATTHAR SAHIB : The Shrine known as Gurudwara Patthar sahib is situated about 25 kms. Short of Leh town on the Leh-Srinagar road. Built in the everlasting memory of Shri Guru Nanak Deve Ji the great prophet who sanctified the place by his sacred visit during the year 1517 while on his second missionary tour (2nd Udassi 1515-1518). The Guru reached here via Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet Yarkand and Leh after having spiritual discourses with the sidhas at Mount Sumer (Central Himalayas). On the hill features across the road, there used to live a wicked demon that terrorized the people of the area. Their miseries multiplied day by day. As their miseries became unbearable they prayed for divine help. It is said that the Great Guru heard their woes and came to their rescue. The Guru settled down on the bank of the river flowing nearby. The people sought for help and the Guru blessed the people and became very popular in the area. The locals called him as Nanak Lama. The Demon got enraged and started making plans to kill Guru Nanak. One morning, when the Guru was sitting in meditation, he rolled down a big boulder from the hilltop with the aim of killing the Guru. But on the very touch of Guru’s body, the solid rock melted like wax and Guru’s back got embedded on it like a cushion. The Guru kept on sitting in meditation undisturbed. Thinking that the Guru must have been killed, the demon came down but was taken aback on seeing the Guru in meditation, undisturbed. With a rage of anger he tried to push the rock with his right foot but the rock had already became like wax his foot also got embedded into it. On this , he realized his folly and powerlessness as compared to the spiritual power of the Great Guru. He fell on the feet of Guru and humbly prayed to be pardoned. The Guru advised him to get rid of his wickedness and lead the life of a nobel person, in the service of humanity. This changed the life style of demon and he started serving the people. The Guru there after continued his Holy journey towards Srinagar and Kashmir via Kargil.
The boulder having imprint of the Guru’s back is lying in the Gurdwara to this day.
MAGNETIC HILL : Defying the Law of gravity. This place is close to the Gurdwara Shri Patthar Sahib. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up-hill that’s the Believe it or not of Ladakh!
SPITUK GOMPA : 8 Kms from Leh, it stands prominently on the top of hillock commanding a panoramic view of the Indus Valley for miles. Many icons of Buddha and fine Thankas are to be found in this 15th century Gompa. The Gompa also houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and an awe-inspiring image of Mahakaal. The face of the Kali image is kept covered and is revealed only at the annual function at January every year.