Spituk Gompa of Ladakh dates back to the 11th century. It owes its inception to Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. Od-de led to the establishment of a monastic community at this place. A three-chapel monastery, Spituk is located at a distance of approximately 8 km from the town of Leh. The name "Spituk", meaning exemplary, has been derived from a statement of a translator, Rinchen Zangpo, about the monastery. He said that an exemplary religious community would develop there, providing the name Spituk for the monastery.
At that point of time, the Spitok Monastery of Leh Ladakh was under the
Kadampa School. Slowly and gradually, as time passed, the monastery
started functioning under Dharmaraja Takspa Bum - Lde Lama Lhawang
Lotus. He brought about the restoration of Spituk and introduced the
stainless order of Tsongkhapa (Gelukpa). Even today, the monastery
functions under the Gelukpa order only. Three other monasteries of
Ladakh, namely Stok, Sankar and Saboo, are considered to be the branches
of Spituk Gompa.
The incumbents serving in all these monasteries are the successive
reincarnations of Skyabsje Bakula Rinpoche. The main image inside the
Spitok Monastery is that of Lord Buddha. Along with that is a sacred
image of Amitayus, about a finger high in length. Tsongkhapa, himself,
presented this image, to Takspa Bum-Lde. It also boasts of a rich
collection of thankas, ancient masks, antique arms, etc. And not to be
missed is an impressive image of Mahakaal.
The Dukhang (main temple) also has a high throne at its far end,
reserved for the Dalai Lama. The door beside this central throne leads
to dark old chapel. The central images inside the chapel are those of
Tsong-kha-pa, his two chief disciples and of the Buddha. Spituk Gompa
also plays the host to the Gustor Festival, held every year. The
festival takes place from the 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of
the Tibetan calendar. A sacred dance also forms a part of the