Thekchhok Gompa

Buddhist Monastery in Chemrey & Takthog

Spectacularly viewed across barley fields and buckthorn bushes, Chemrey village is dominated by the beautifully proportioned Thekchhok Gompa covering a steep hillock with a maze of pathways and Tibetan buildings.

Above the appealingly wobbly 17th-century prayer hall, the Lama Lhakhang has dark, partly restored ancient murals and sells officially blessed 'protection talismen' (₹200). On the penultimate floor the Guru Lhakhang has vivid contrasting colours and a 3m-high golden Padmasambhava statue encrusted with turquoise ornamentation. There's a little museum on the very top, which is supposedly open till 6pm but was double-locked when we visited before then

The monastery access lane starts near Km7.3 on the Karu–Pangong road. From there it's around 1km to the base of the monastery crag, then a steep, sweaty climb if you're walking. Vehicles can drive another 2km around a spiral lane to the main entrance high above.