Ladakh’s mesmerizing beauty, amazing history and fascinating heritage makes it a popular and most loved travel destinations in India. The surreal landscapes of Ladakh hide a number of mysterious places that have a legend attached to it. One such place is the Basgo Palace perched atop a stone and clay hill.
Ladakh – Basgo Monastery and Basgo Palace
Basgo Palace FACT
The palace is Enlisted among World’s 100 most endangered heritage sites by the US World Monument Fund.
In this post/video we will try to explore the mystic charm of the Basgo Palace and Basgo Monastery.
WATCH Ladakh Basgo Palace VIDEO
Ladakh – Basgo Palace and Monastery Location
The Basgo Monastery and ruins of Basgo Palace, lie at a distance of 42 km, West of Leh and is on the way towards Sham valley and Lamayuru on the Leh-Srinagar Highway.
Ladakh – Drive Towards Basgo Monastery
How to Reach Basgo Palace and Monastery in Ladakh
After crossing Indus-Zanskar Confluence point, 6 kms ahead of Nimmu Village, a right turn on the road goes to the Basgo Village.
This narrow straight road goes through the village for around 1 and half kilometers. The winding road that starts soon after you cross a small bridge slowly ascends towards the Basgo Monastery and the Basgo Palace.
The Ruins of Basgo Palace
From the road It’s difficult to form an opinion about the kind of a palace it is until you cross the last curve and reach the open space, entire place holds a mystic charm.
Ladakh – Basgo Palace
Made of mud and rocks, The surreal castle ruins perched on a steep hill give an impression of huge anthills emerging from the ground. It makes one wonder about what the palace originally looked like.
History of Basgo Palace and Basgo Monastery
Ladakh – Basgo Palace Basgo Monastery
Earlier, Ladakh was divided into 2 parts – the upper Ladakh ruled by Takbumde from Leh and Shey & the lower Ladakh ruled by Takpabum from Temisgam and Basgo. A former king of Basco named Bhagan, brought back together Ladakh by conquering the Leh’s King and took on the last name Namgyal which means triumphant. The new kingdom later set up by him continues to exist till date.
The complex includes the ‘ruins of the castle’ and a ‘Monastery’ – called the Basgo Monastery, and is noted for its Buddha statues and old Murals.
Ladakh – Basgo Palace and Monastery
The Castle and the Monastery were set up on the hill top in the year 1680. While the castle is in a state of ruins, the monastery is now re-established. UNESCO and the Basgo Welfare Committee have united to restore the ancient castle compound.
Ladakh Basgo Monastery Buddha Temples
A small walk towards the right takes you to the Monastery which houses three different Maitreya Buddha temples – Serzing & Cham Chung Temple on the left & Chamba Maitreya on the Right. A monk who resides there will happily take you to a tour around the 3 temples.
Ladakh Basgo Monastery Chamba Maitreya
The biggest of the three is the Chamba Maitreya set up on a hill top. The temple can be accessed by climbing up a number of steep vertical stairs which might be a bit exhausting for some. From the top one gets beautiful views of the entire complex and the village. The temple holds a huge 14 meters high golden copper-gilded statue of Maitreya Buddha.
Ladakh Basgo Monastery Chamba Maitreya
The walls of the temple are adorned with various painting of Buddha and other celestials beings.
Ladakh Basgo Monastery Serzing Temple
On the lower downhill, in the opposite side lies the second temple the Serzing temple and is ancient than Chamba MAITREYA. To reach the temple, One has to walk through the narrow paved pathway lined with white washed walls on either sides. The unexpected dramatic turns with astonishing views of the surroundings kept us thrilled and left us wondering about what we might stumble upon next.
The temple houses a large copper-gold Maitreya Buddha statue and the walls are adorned with colorful Paintings and murals. The conservation of this temple is being undertaken by the Basgo Welfare Committee.
Cham Chum Temple
Ladakh Basgo Monastery Cham Chum Temple
The third temple to the right is the Cham Chum temple. Its was built by a Muslim Balti princess to offer her namaz, but later converted into a Buddhist temple when she adopted Buddhism. It’s the smallest shrine in a not very good shape. Efforts are being taken to preserve the structure.
The temples offer beautiful views of the entire complex, the surrounding mountains and the village below.
Ladakh View from Basgo Monastery
Best Season and Timing to Visit Basgo Palace and Baso Monastery
Morning : before 11:00 am
Evening : between 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
These are the best timings to watch the beautiful landscapes. The hilltop offers beautiful views of the Basgo village below surrounded by mountains.
Time Required to Explore Basgo Palace in Ladakh
Exploring the Palace and Monastery will not take more than half an hr. One can easily spend hrs admiring the beauty of the surroundings and the castle ruins.
– There is an Entry fee for all the 3 temples
– Photography is allowed inside the temples
– Wear comfortable footwear
– Amazing place for photography
Despite of being such an amazing place, the Basgo palace gets a very few tourists. One must visit this place to experience the mystic charm of the monastery, The crumbly mud mountains, the landscape and the surreal Basgo palace in ruins.
So that’s it friends. Stay tuned for more Ladakh posts/videos coming up shortly. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE our channel India Ghoomo so you don’t miss any videos. We will see you soon in our next post. Till then take care. Bye!
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