The Tsemo or the Victory Fort lies on the Tsemo hill is a significant landmark which is visible virtually everywhere in Leh. The Monastery got built in the 15th century by Ladakh King, Tashi Namgyal who is also the dedicated follower of Buddhism.
The fort is only 15 minutes climb opposite the Chenrezi Lakhang with the ruins of red bricks. Namgyal Monastery seems as if it is the crown on the head of Palace ridge. The Monastery cum Fort is also called Namgyal Tsemo Gompa or Namgyal Tsemo Monastery or Leh Monastery stand guard over the city and witness the ceremonies of Buddha in morning and evening. There are many worship flags in the fort which adorns fortress. The Monastery consists of two temple buildings which are eight-meter tall, three-story and pure gold faced the Maitreya Buddha statue which is called future Buddha.
History of Leh Monastery
The fort was built by the king after Nubra Valley invasion by Mirza Heder in the 15th century for dedicating to the guardian deities to chase the evil spirits and protect the kingdom from invasion and attacks in future. The idols of Manjushri and Avalokitesvara are also present. Many beautiful paintings and ancient scripts related to Buddha are kept and well preserved in a shrine.
The Namgyal Monastery which was served as the royal residence once is now the structure of red bricks which still don’t fail to attract and amaze people from all around the world. It is the live example of beauty in the ruins. The structure of red bricks is the beautiful place for a person with the photogenic eyes as it offers a panoramic view of the entire city. The cost amount is Rs 20 per person as some of the amounts is for maintenance of the monastery. The view is serene and magnificent to enjoy.
Best time to visit the Monastery
The best time to visit Namgyal Monastery is when the monks perform the spiritual ceremonies in monastery or Gompa that is in morning or evening. With the view of majestic mountains all over, worship flags, view of Leh valley and the paintings, a person can relax and enjoy peace.
The silent flowing Indus River and Zanskar range covered with snow give a beautiful view of the region. The fort that has witnessed so many years as well as centuries have seen natural disasters and floods and also had gone through the harsh climatic weather but still, it is there for the people of Leh as a devotion to guardian deities and makes them believe in faith.
The structure of Namgyal Monasteryhad seen the emergence of new structures and old building getting demolished. The fort provides a view of mountains and Indus River which represents the city, nature, and architecture which shows a change in human civilization and the paintings and scripts on the wall serves religion at one place. Changes might take place in Leh but the ageless Gompas and the religious beliefs make the place versatile and unique.