Wanla Gompa is a historic Buddhist monastery located in Wanla village. The monastery is thought to have been built around 1000 AD. Lama Rinchen Zangpo, a saint at the time, translated Buddha’s teachings into Tibetan. The monastery is close to Lamayuru Monastery. The monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built with the support of the King of Ladakh between 958 and 1055 AD.
Wanla is a Lamayuru sub-monastery that provides a caretaker monk in charge of daily rituals and granting access to the temple. Wanla Monastery, perched on the ridges of the Wanla hamlet, is also regarded as one of Ladakh’s holiest and best-preserved Buddhist monasteries. The best time to visit Wanla is between May and September. The weather conditions appear ideal but avoid visiting during winters and monsoons when landslides and cloudbursts are common.
The three-story image of the 11-headed Mahakaruna or Avalokiteshwara is the main attraction of this monastery. There are also many paintings of Buddha, Mandalas, and Bodhisattvas in the Gompa. The monastery is considered the most blessed of all the monasteries in Ladakh, and people come from all over to seek Buddha’s blessings.
Visitors to the monastery can also see the remains of a 12th-century castle and a newly constructed building. Aside from its sanctity and scenic beauty, visitors find the 4-5 hour trek to this monastery extremely enthralling and fascinating. A visit to Wanla Monastery, located approximately 65 kilometers from Leh, is a must if you plan a tour to Ladakh; in fact, it is included in most Ladakh tour packages.
Wanla was among the first stops on the ‘Art of the Silk Road’ journey to Ladakh, a stunning region in northern India that once served as an important gateway to the ‘Silk Road,’ a network of trade routes connecting India with China, Persia, and Southern Europe.
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