Where the Dosmoche festival is held: Diskit monastery, Nubra Valley
The town of Diskit is located in the Himalayas state of Jammu and Kashmiri is famous for its 14th century monastery. The Diskit monastery is believed to be the largest and the oldest monastery in Nubra Valley.
Diskit monastery belongs to Gelugpa order of the yellow hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, the disciple of Tsong Khapa, in the 14th century.
The Diskit gompa has been constructed in Tibetan style and boasts of murals and frescos. This gompa was given to Rimpoche of Thiksey monastery during the 18th century. Diskit gompa is still under the management of the Thiskey monastery and is considered as a branch of the same.
Diskit monastery has an elevated cupola with a fresco of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery of Tiber. The historic and culturally important Tashi Lhunpo was founded by the first Dalai Lama. Diskit monastery roof offers panoramic views of Nubra Valley.
Diskit gompa houses around 100 monks. The prayer hall of the monastery has a statue of Maitreya Buddha and several images of fierce guardian deities. Diskit gompa, is believed to still guard the wrinkled head and hand of a Mongol demon inside a temple in the monastery.
According to local legend, the Mongol demon once lived on the land where the monastery stands and wrecked terror on the village people. Even after being slain, the demon kept resurrecting which has been stopped only by the monastery’s deities.
The monastery stands on a hill above the flood plains of Shyok river. The impressive 106 foot tall giant statue of Maitreya Buddha which stands amidst the towering barren and rugged trans-Himalayas. Lachung temple, is also believed to be one of the oldest shrines in Nubra Valley.
Diskit monastery has a festival which is held in the month of December or January and is known as the Dosmoche or the festival of scapegoat and is a major crowd puller. Charm dances and prayers makes the ambience a great spiritual feed. It is also the time when locals exhibit their arts and sports skills.
The monastery has a small entry fee and is a must visit for everyone who travels to the village of Diskit.
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