Living on the Edge
Diskit Monastery also known as Deskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, northern India.
The Diskit monastery was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Diskit monastery is situated on the hill, just above the flood plains of the Shyok River, on its right bank in the Diskit village (3,144 metres (10,315 ft)) in Nubra Valley. Diskit Monastery has been built at the edge of the approach road. Approach to the monastery is through a flight of steps made of stones, which lead to the prayer hall of the monastery.
The monastery, which houses about 100 monks, runs a school in its precincts. This school teaches Tibetan children. The school has been upgraded recently to enable teaching of scientific subjects with support from the Lungta, a 'Tibet Support Group' (a Non Governmental Organization -NGO) who have created computer facilities in the school.
A popular festival known as Dosmoche or the "Festival of the Scapegoat" is held in the precincts of the monastery in February during the winter season, which is largely attended by people from villages of the Nubra Valley. They come to witness the famous mask dance performed by Lamas of the monastery. The mask dance is performed to dramatically express the superiority of good over evil forces. The dances are believed to avoid ill-fortune in the new year.
The big white building at the top left side of the frame houses Buddha relics, paintings etc. The red one beside it is the Prayer Hall. The smaller ones thereafter are Lama quarters, kitchen, store room, guest houses etc.
Source: trekearth.com (Dec. 14, 2013)