Photographer's Note

Stakna Monastery or Gompa is situated on the right bank of the River Indus in Ladakh. The location is easily accessible by road with a distance of approximately 25 km from the town of Leh. The monastery was founded by Chosje Jamyang Palkar in 16th century, the great scholar saint of Bhutan. Stakna belongs to the Drugpa and has a number of monasteries attached to it, namely Mud and Kharu and those of Stakrimo, Bardan and Sani in Zanskar.

The name, 'Stakna' literally means 'tiger's nose'. The monastery was so named because it was built on a hill, which is shaped just like a tiger's nose.

Small but visually impressive, Gompa crowns a rocky outcrop just 800m across the Indus from Km449 (where Leh–Thiksey buses terminate), though the gompa’s winding access road adds another 900m. The narrow suspension bridge is just wide enough for small taxi-vans. Off the gompa’s small central courtyard, four rooms with vivid new Tantric murals can be visited. Behind the main prayer hall, smaller subshrines retain 400-year-old sandalwood statues, original frescoes and statuettes of the Bhutanese lamas who founded the monastery.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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