Likir monastery is located at a distance of 52 kilometres in the west of Leh. The literary meaning of the word ‘Likir’ is “The Naga-Encircled”. It depicts the Nanda, Takako and Naga-rajas, the mighty snake deities.
Likir Monastery takes its name from the term Lukhgil which meaning ‘coiled snake’. Buddhists say that the Snake King Jokpo slept in Likir Monastery once and that the monastery is encircled and guarded by the souls of two giant snakes—Nanda and Takako. The monastery, linked to the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, was built in the early 11th century by Lama Duwang Chosje. It was restored in the 18th century after the gompa is destroyed by fire. It is Presently headed by Ngari Rinpoche, the youngest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama.
The prominent feature of Likir Monastery is the 75 ft high gold plated figure of Maitreya Buddha. Besides, Dosmoche, the yearly celebration of Likir Monastery, attracts many guests, both residents and foreigners.