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ALCHI MONASTERY

ALCHI MONASTERY

FOUNDED IN THE early 12th century AD,thereligious enclave of Alchi is the jewel among Ladakh’s monasteries. Because Alchi was abandoned as a site of active worship, for reasons unknown, as early as the 16th century, the 12thand 13th-century paintings in its temples have remained remarkably well preserved, undimmed by the soot from butter lamps and incense sticks. Of the five temples in the enclave, the finest murals are in the two oldest, the Dukhang and the Sumtsek. These have been executed with great delicacy and skill by master painters who were probably from Kashmir.

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