Alchi shelters an extraordinary collection of ancient wall paintings and wood sculpture that is preserved.
The nearby Srinagar-Leh highway sees the gathered low pagoda roofed cubes, 3km across the Indus from Saspol, dwarfed by a spectacular sweep of wine-coloured debris slope. It is one of the most prominent historical sites in Asia. Nevertheless, Chos-Khor or "religious enclave" lies in Alchi, 70km from the west of Leh. This place resides an extra ordinary collection of ancient wall paintings and wood sculpture, astonishingly preserved for more than 9 centuries inside five tiny mud walled temples. This site's earliest murals are regarded as the finest forms of art that took place in Kashmir during the "second spreading." Hardly a handful of monasteries founded during this era survived the Muslim damages of the fourteenth century. Alchi is the most incredible amongst them and less distant then all and this is the only one place where you don't need to take permit at all to visit. It is located in the midst of the spectacular scenery and is a spot of complete tranquility to take a break from the long journey to or fro from the Ladakhi capital.
There is a legend that is quite popular here amidst the local people, "The Great Translator" Rinchen Zangpo passed from this course of way and placed his walking stick inside the ground and when he returned after visiting he found that his stick had turned into poplar, an auspicious sign that made him built a temple over that spot. One tree near the entrance of the temple Chos-Khor denoted with a signboard is the symbol of this event. The chos-khor itself consists of five separate temples, various residential buildings and scattered large chortens, surrounded by mud and stone walls. If you go to visit this place, observe the ancient buildings of the Du-Khang and the Sumtsek, both are located in the middle of enclosure.
The entrance tickets are issued by the caretaker Lama at the cost of RS.25 from nearby Likkir gompa and he will only unlock the doors for you. Newly installed lights means you cannot use lights to scrutinize the paintings vibrant colours. And also you are not allowed to take photographs.