This gompa is 17kms. from Leh and is Ladakh's most photographed and architecturally impressive gompa. The gompa was founded in 15th Century and has got whitewashed Chortens and cubic monk quarters. The gompa is situated on the top of a hill and belongs to the Gelukpa Order. The 12 storeyed monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings, swords, great collection of tibetian books and an impressive large pillar with Lord Buddha's teachings engraved on it. Above the main courteyard of the monastery, there is the new Matreya temple inaugurated by H.H. Dalai Lama in 1980.
This temple enshrines a gigantic gold faced Buddha image sitting in Lotus position. The complex of Du-Khang has got faded murals depicting Tantric Deities and has got ancient cloth bound manuscripts and also has enormous collection of Thankas which are unrolled once a year during the Chamm dance festival. The most striking highlight of Tikse is the view from the terrace that includes barley fields stretches, snow covered deserted mountains, Tolkien-esque monasteries. It also fives the view of Shey and Stok in the northwest and Stakna towards the south. The best time to visit the monastery is at dawn when the monks perform puja along with the playing of drums at the terrace.