Deskit is the traditional and current administrative centre of Nubra valley, dominated by the hilltop Ganden Tashi Chosling monastery. It was founded in the 1440s by Changsem Sherab Zangpo, on the site of the then royal palace.
The monastery school was built on the hillside below the complex in the late 1990s, just below the ridgetop chosen as the site of a giant statue of Maitreya Buddha a few years later (completed 2009). Students follow the CIBS curriculum including Hindi, English, Bodyig, maths and some science, up to seventh standard. There are currently only 14, but numbers fluctuate considerably. Graduates typically go on to follow higher religious studies at the Tashilhunpo monastery in exile, in Karnataka, south India, before returning to Deskit.
After an initial visit in 2011, AT volunteers came to Deskit in October 2012 to install a library and furnished reading room. During a short stay, we led reading classes using some of the new books, involving artwork, and distributed toys and sports equipment.