The Thiksey Monastery (or Thiksey Gompa) of Leh is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the region. The Thikse monks are set apart as they wear a yellow head gear, and they are called the “Yellow Hat Monks”.
The monastery is famous for its resemblance with the “Potala Palace” of Lhasa. The Potala Palace was the residence of the Dalai Lama, until the 14th Dalai Lama had to move to India in 1959.
The locals tell a story that initially the Thikse Gompa was planned to look exactly like the Potala Palace. Monks painted the Potala Palace on a large piece of cloth and carried it to Leh, to use as reference for Thikse. But en route it started to rain, and parts of the painting got smudged. That is the reason, locals say, Thikse could not be made as an exact replica of Potala but only bears a resemblance.