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This article provides information about the Spituk/ Spitok Gompa, a monastery in Leh Ladakh, India.

Spituk Gompa

Location: Approximately 8 km from Leh
Belongs To: First to Kadampa School and later to Tsongkhapa Order
Founded By: Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od
Founded In: 11th Century
Attractions: Gustor Festival

Spituk Gompa of LadakhThe Spituk Monastery of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 8 km from the town of Leh. Towering over a conical, the 3-chapel monastery dates back to the 11th century, when it was founded century by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. He was the one to introduce a monastic community here. When a translator, Rinchen Zangpo, came to this place, he said that an exemplary religious community would develop there. This statement led to the naming of the monastery as Spituk, meaning Exemplary.

During that time, Spituk Gompa belonged to the Kadampa School. With the progress of time, it came under Dharmaraja Takspa Bum- Lde Lama Lhawang Lotus. After restoring the monastery, he introduced the stainless order of Tsongkhapa there. Till date, the Spitok Monastery of Leh Ladakh is following this order only. Inside the monastery, the main statue is that of Lord Buddha. Then, there is also a sacred image of Amitayus. The image, about a finger high in length, was presented by Tsongkhapa to Takspa Bum-Lde.

It also contains five Thankas and a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, along with a splendid image of Mahakaal. One of the major attractions of the Spituk Monastery is the Gustor Festival. An annual event, the festival takes place from the 27th to 29th day of the 11th Tibetan month. During this festival, the sacred dance is also held. The other monasteries of Stok, Sankar and Saboo in Ladakh, are branches of the Spituk Monastery only. The successive reincarnations of Skyabsje Bakula Rinpoche serve as the incumbents of all these monasteries.