Thiksey monastery is located on a hilltop, 21 km east of Leh. Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School, sent six of his disciples to spread the teachings of the new school. Tsongkhapa gave Jangsam Sherab Sangpo, a small statue and instructed him to meet the King of Ladakh to seek his help in the propagation of Buddhism. The King loved the gift of the statue and directed his minister to help Sherab Sangpo to establish a monastery of the Gelug order in Ladakh.
Thiksey Monastery consists of four main buildings; they are the assembly hall in yellow building, guardian deity shrine in red building, Tara temple and Maitreya temple. The assembly hall is the oldest building and the purpose of the hall is to assemble the monks and read prayers in it. The red building consists of guardian shrines that are mostly covered with a veil, the veils are removed only during the Gustor festival and when something unrest happened in the village. The Gonkhang and Lhamokhang would be the oldest guardian shrines. Lhamokhang is an interesting guardian shrine; female visitors are not allowed to visit Lhamokhang. The reason is purely spiritual as the protector Palden Lhamo (Sri Devi) is so clean and pure that the presence of women visitors might unclean and contaminate her aura. Dolma Lhakhang (Tara Temple) has a large statue of Goddess Tara in the centre with her 21 fellow Taras and also flanked by smaller statues. The temple also consists of older statues of Avalokiteswara and Lama Tsongkhapa. Maitreya temple is the most spectacular temple with its magnificent Maitreya statue built in 1977. It was constructed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Thiksey monastery in 1970.