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Introducing Alchi

Best time to visit : June to September
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Alchi is a small village in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is a Buddhist heritage site in India and is a serene tourist destination nestled in the lap of Indus River. Tourists come here to spend some quality time in the midst of scenic locales surrounded by greenery everywhere. Alchi is not known to many people, but is gradually rising up as a nice tourist spot. There are a lot of homestay options in Alchi to have a comfortable stay. It is a perfect tourist destination to observe and experience the monastic life.

Facts

Alchi village is famous for its old Monastery that is known for its well preserved paintings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. These paintings depict the artistic and spiritual details of Hinduism and Buddhism that prevailed in Kashmir during that time.

Popular food preparations in Alchi include thukpa (a thick soup made of vegetables, noodles, and meat; seasoned with some salt. A bowl of this soup is sumptuous and is a staple diet for the locals.), momos (these are prepared in authentic Ladakhi style which you will not find anywhere else in India.), khambir (local bread served in breakfast with yak meat, apple or apricot jam, and a cup of butter tea). Cheese and butter in Alchi are made from yak milk. You can also enjoy chhang (local beer brewed and distilled from barley).

Tibetan handicrafts of Alchi are quite famous. You will find many curio shops in Alchi selling interesting things you will definitely like to possess. Thangkas, cotton or silk cloth paintings depicting forms of Buddhism, are definitely worth buying from Alchi. Speciality of these paintings is that the colours used are made from plants and is mixed with animal glue to make it more lustrous. Another speciality of Alchi is the choktse that are beautifully carved box-like tables around 2 ft. in height. These are made of Tsing or Kanth wood and you will find them in every Tibetan house. Female tourists would not be able to resist themselves from buying the semi-precious stone jewellery, shawls and Tibetan handloom stuff.

Nearby Places:
  • Basgo (about 27 km.): A historical town with great cultural background, Basgo is famous for ancient ruins and Basgo Monastery.
  • Spituk (about 52 km.): Popular for Spituk Monastery, a Buddhist structure with breathtaking views of mountains and a huge state of Kali.
  • Leh (about 60 km.): A picturesque destination surrounded by Kumarakoram and Himalayan Ranges, Leh needs no introduction. Tourists come here to visit the Buddhist monasteries and mosques dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Shanti Stupa and Sankar Gompa are few of the popular Buddhist shrines in Leh. Before visiting Leh, you should get a medical check-up done as there can be problems of breathlessness and it can take up to 48 hours to get acclimatized.
  • Hemis (about 100 km.): is famous for Hemis Gompa and for its high altitude National Park which is home to snow leopards, wolves and red foxes among other wild lives.
  • Nubra Valley (about 175 km.): It is famous as the valley of flowers and is known for its colourful wild roses.

One can also visit many other tourist destinations of the region, the most popular ones being Ladakh, Zangla, Zanskar, Padum, Kargil, Stongdey Monastery, Kursha Monastery and Bardan Monastery.

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