Chemrey Monastery

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. It's one of Ladakh's most impressive sights.

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 an ancient 3m-high golden Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) statue encrusted with turquoise. There's a small but excellent museum on the very top.

The monastery access lane starts near Km7 on the newly upgraded 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.