The village of Alchi is situated around 70 kms. from Leh on the left banks of the Indus river. The village Alchi differentiate itself from other villages of Ladakh by being so lush green. The flood plain at Alchi is very fertile and provides good and relatively extensive agricultural land. Now most of the small houses are made of bricks. The main road at both side is covered by the Apricot trees. It is a normal sight to see the donkeys (Mules) laden with wares and building material during the summers when all the activities are at their peak. The Alchi region too received cultural influence from other areas. Alchi had contacts with Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, however the Alchi’s isolation helped the village and the Gompa to keep their culture and traditions intact. Alchi was also on the main trade route of central Asia. The route along the Indus via Leh was connected to the Chinese Turkestan.
The main centre of attraction in the Alchi village is the Alchi Gompa (monastery and temple complex), on the banks of the Indus river. Alchi is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist centers in Ladakh and also as the monastic jewels of Ladakh. The Alchi monastery dates back to nearly one thousand years and so the effect of the Tibetan influence can be seen in the local culture. There are five shrines in the Choskor temple complex which has some splendid wall paintings. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from the Likir monastery.
Since last 500 years, the religion is not practiced in the Alchi monastery. Over a period of time the Yellow hat sect (Gelugpa) shifted the religious activities to another place which is 30 kms away, known as Likir. The surrounding of the Gompa offers a very friendly atmosphere for the visitors as there are small restaurants, tea stalls and as well as souvenir shops welcoming the tourists. The visitors who have a very less time to visit Leh can have an excursion to the Alchi monastery.
How to reach Alchi:
The nearest airport is located at Leh, about 70 km from Alchi.
Alchi is situated about 541 km from Manali and 364 km from Srinagar.
Where to stay in Alchi:
During peak season, some of the guesthouses operate in Alchi. Alternatively, accommodation can also be booked in Leh.