Buddhism in Ladakh :
Buddhism in Ladakh is something that cannot be ignored and a famous idea for cultural visit in Ladakh. Entire population of this region follow Buddhism and influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. In each monastery, you will find a statue of Buddha who has attained Nirvana (Freedom from the cycle of birth and death). Many domestic and international travellers visit the region to explore these monasteries and learn from it.
Buddhist religion has many stories of feelings and sprites. These represent both good and evil qualities which can be easily noticed at the time of the annual carnivals of different gompas in Ladakh.
Some interesting facts to know
Gompas : It is a community where spiritual monks and nuns live and practice their religion. Gompas in Ladakh are also an educational centre and play a significant role amongst the local community. Gompas are above just monasteries and have museums where you can get sets of Buddhist art. The annual carnivals in Ladakh which is organized in Gompas a colorful gala where masked people dances and religious ceremonies draw both pilgrims and travellers in large numbers.
Chortens and stupas : Both are dome shaped structures made over a square base. They are normally made in remembrance of a Buddhist monk or religious teacher. Some of them are contain leftovers of holy men. Chortens are decorated with flags, oil lamps and flowers.
Thangka : It is the religious paintings that represent the life of Buddha or many Boddhisatvas. These religious work of arts make people learning to paint a Thangka, it is not simple and requires complete training.
Mandala : It is a symbolic symbol of the cosmos as per the Buddhist iconography. A bright design created from sand on the floor or from paint on a wall or screen, a mandala is considered to have amazing powers that support in achiving concentration to pray. Mandala is also popular for its four gates which usually open to the four most important orders of the Earth.
Central Institute of Buddhist Studies : This is the centre of Buddhist studies in Ladakh. Established in 1959, the insitute keeps special place in the region and offers syllabus from basic to higher. It has 29 Gompas and nunneries affiliated to it. The institute is situated in Choglamsar, on few kilomteres from Leh.