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Alchi : Overview
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Area Size :  N/A Sq. Km.   Population :   500 Millions.  
Popular Languages :  Ladakhi, Hindi, and English  
Lamayuru > Alchi

Alchi is a village in the Leh district of Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, situated on the bank of Indus River 70 km downstream from the capital in Leh. Unlike the other gompas in Ladakh, Alchi is situated on lowland, not on a hilltop.


The village is famous for the existence of one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh (a national heritage), mainly known for its magnificent, and well-preserved 11th or 12th century wall paintings, all in an Indian style.

The monastery was built, according to local tradition, by the great translator Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055 CE). Inscriptions, on the other hand, show that it was founded by a Tibetan noble called Kal-dan Shes-rab in the 11th century.

The wall paintings in Alchi Monastery are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh and reflect artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir. It also has some massive statues of the Buddha and "lavish wood carvings and art-work — almost baroque in style."

"The oldest gompas, those dating from Rinchen-zang-po's time — Alchi and Lamayuru, and the less accessible Wanla, Mang-gyu and Sumda — belonged at the time of their foundation to none of these Tibetan schools, whose establishment they antedate. They were at some stage taken over by the Ka-dam-pa, and when it fell into decline they were taken over again, this time mostly by the Ge-lugs-pa. The exception was Lamayuru, which was for some reason claimed by the Dri-gung-pa. Alchi, perhaps already by the fifteenth century abandoned as a centre of living worship, was in the care of the Ge-lugs-pa establishment of Likir."


Alchi is a small village with all modern facilities for overnight stays, Alchi is a comfortable and a nice place in the heart of the Himalayas. The best time to visit is from June to September.

How to reach Alchi by Road

By Road: Alchi is connected to Leh through regular buses. Taxis are also available on hire to reach Alchi.

The Alchi-Manali road is one of the two major road networks that connect this place with the rest of India. This is the world's second highest motorable road, reaching 5328 m at Taglang La. The road is usually open between the months of June and mid-October.

Click on link for a list of trains to various cities

How to reach Alchi by Air

By Air: Leh is the nearest airport from Alchi, which can be reached by either bus or taxi. Alliance Air flights connect Leh with Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, and Srinagar through regular flights.

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