This spectacularly located cave monastery has Tsarap Chu river flowing right underneath it. It is not connected by any road and one has to trek for 6 hours from Padum-Raru road to reach Phugtal monastery. Established in 13th century, this is also known as one of the remotest monasteries of the world. It also houses a school and clinic run by monks for the locals of Lungnak Valley. There is a guesthouse located at the base of the monastery which is run by monks for travellers.
The PreludePhuktal Monastery (also called Phugtal Monastery) had been on my mind for a while. But something or the other kept me away from it since 2014. No wonder, inspite of having planned for Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib and nearby areas for my upcoming trip, one night, a monk, no older than 8 years, smiled at me in my dreams. I woke up, and knew, that my travel plans are going to change. This was not the first time that my dreams have led me to places and experiences that I’ll remember for more than a lifetime. For me, it was a sign to visit the place I had been longing for. And not only this, but to spread smiles there as well.Spreading Smiles is an initiative where I travel to remote places of the country, mostly Himalayas, and do things to bring about a smile on the faces of people. You can read all Spreading Smiles at Phuktal Monastery here
Etched on verticals of a rugged mountain, Phugtal Gompa is very famous but is mostly known for being extremely isolated. To reach Phugtal one needs to cross the Zanskar Rangdum road which is fairly bumpy. The main monastery is inside a cave in the cliff gorge. The monastery provides a stay for the tourists that would like to stay back after a long hike to the village. The experience of visiting and staying in Phugtal Monastery is nothing short of mind blowing!Where: Ladakh, Kashmir
Phugtal is the most spectacularly located monastic establishment anywhere in Ladakh. It is one of the only Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh that can be reached on only by foot. The Phugtal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave high up in the sheer mountain face of a lateral gorge through which a major tributary of the Lungnak River flows. Perhaps the most isolated monastery in Zanskar, its foundation dates back to the early 12th century. The monastery has frescoes and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and oceanographic influence.