Stakna Monastery in LehThe Stakna Monastery is a small but extremely important monastery established near Leh. Many tourists, knowledge seekers and historians from across the world visit Stakna Monastery because of its rich heritage and precious artifacts inside the Monastery walls.
There is a lot of importance attached to the place of Stakna Monastery in Buddhist Monastery. Learn all about this Monastery in the article given below.
History of Stakna MonasteryOnce there was a very famous scholar called Chosje Jamyang Palkar who lived in the 1580. He interpreted many religious texts, read scriptures and disbursed his precious bank of knowledge amongst all others. The reigning monarch at that time was Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgyal who was responsible for patronizing artists, musicians and scholars was very pleased with Chosje Jamyeng Palkar and gifted him several religious estates.
These estates were given to the religious scholar with the hopes that they will be turned into centers of religious learning and spirituality. The Stakna Monastery was finally established on a hill in one of the estates. This hill had a nose like a tiger’s snout and this is how the Monastery derived its name as Stakna or the “Tiger” Monastery. Till date the proponents of Stakna Monastery worship the tiger and regard it as holy.
Structure of Stakna MonasteryThe Monastery itself is of modest proportions though there is a high wall enclosing acres of property inside it. There is an assembly hall, a deity room, rows of religious inscriptions and lot of valuable artifacts in the Monastery. The most important image in this Stakna Monastery is that of the reigning God of Buddhism; Arya Avaloketswara who is the husband of Goddess White Tara. This image is a rarely documented image of Avaloketswara and it was originally brought in from Kamrup or Assam.
There are 30 monks who stay as residents of Stakna Monastery and they all belong to the Buddhist Religious order called Dugpa. This is a conservative monastery following Buddhist religion in its strictest sense. There is a small teaching cell in which 10 students are at present taking discourses on religion and spirituality. Because of its spiritual purity many other branch Monasteries were built emulating the principles of Stakna Monastery. Mud Monastery, Kharu Monastery as well as Stakrimo Monastery and Sani Monastery (latter two are in Zanskar) were established.
Things to see in Stakna MonasteryThere is one of the largest examples of Chorten inside the Dukhang or the assembly hall. The Chorten is over 7 feet in height and it has a body of gilded silver. There are 3 principal gorgeous images of Bodhisatva Padma Sambhava, Tshong san Gompo and Padma Sambhava inside the assembly hall. Padma Sambava was a famous Indian Buddhist scholar who translated Buddhist religious and academic text into Tibetan language. Tshong Gompo was one of the ancient monarchs of Tibet.
To the right of the Assembly hall you will find lovely and old representations of Sakyamuni (the past Buddha), the current avatar of Buddha and several Maitreya (future avatar of Buddha). There is a gorgeous throne of Head Lama which is at the left center of Dukhang.
How to Reach Stakna MonasteryOne hour of car ride from Leh along Leh-Srinagar Highway will take you to Stakna Monastery. The distance between Leh and Stakna Monastery is 25 km. Once outside the Monastery, you will have to climb up a steep flight of stairs to reach Stakna.
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