Alchi is over one thousand years old. To get to the monastery, you walk along a winding white walled path where you cannot see round the corner, are met by several market stalls and then step over a small steam to enter the site. Prayer flags are hung low and flutter in the breeze, entrance ways are low so you have to stoop to walk through doorways, all giving an intimate sensation to the space. Water runs throughout the monastery and you can hear it exploring between temples, there is even a doorway to the river Indus. Within the temples there are sounds of creaking floorboards as you walk clockwise around taking in the amazing wall paintings and statues of Buddha.
Liker monastery was another calm place, when we walked up the many steps the main courtyard we were greeted by the soothing sounds of a monk sweeping. The temples had more spectacular paintings, and the museum had 500 year old silk tapestries, masks, weapons, and domestic objects. The main assembly has a fantastic alter and colourful hangings are. We were all struck by the robes left by the monks in the temple. They were differing tones of yellow, in varying states of condition and left in cone like heaps. They were like coiled springs of energy, very much more than cloth as they seemed to be imbued with something of their owners. After sitting in the temple for a while we walked outside to a giant Buddha statue.