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MATHO MONASTERY

MATHO MONASTERY

THE ONLY MONASTERY in Ladakh of the Sakyapa sect Matho, built in the early 16th century, is also one of the few that continues to attract many new entrants, Its main importance, however, lies in its Oracles – two monks who, after months of purification by fasting and meditation, are possessed by a deity. This event takes place during Matho’s annual festival, held between February and March. The drama of the occasion is tremendous as the Oracles traverse the topmost parapet of the monastery blindfolded, despite the 30-m (98-ft) drop onto the rocks below. The Oracles answer questions put to them about public and private affairs, and great faith is reposed in their predictions. Matho also has a small museum with a rare collection of 16th-century tbangkas and costumes.

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