India | Jammu and Kashmir | Ladakh


Chorten is Tibetan Buddhist reliquary. Chorten in Tibetan language means ‘stupa’ and they are similar to the Indian stupas and are found mostly in the Leh District. The chortens found at the entrance of the villages and monasteries in Ladakh symbolically represent the presence of Buddhism. It is made of mud and stone, nowadays also of concrete.

Hemispherical in shape, the basic structure of a chorten consists of a square foundation symbolizing the earth, a dome representing water and thirteen tapering spires symbolizing the soul’s progression towards nirvana. These spires lead to a parasol, the symbol of wind. The parasol is topped by the glittering crown of the chorten symbolizing the sun and moon. The chortens found in the monasteries are made of silver and are coated with semi-precious stones and sacred manuscripts are also found on them. It also contains the relics of venerated Rinpoches, the incarnation of Lamas.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Leh
Location: Ladakh

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