Dzongkhul Monastery: Yet another cave monastery, it is believed that Zongkhul was built by Naropa, the revered Buddhist yogi. In fact, the entrance of the complex is even said to have a footprint of Naropa. Other things to look out for include ancient wall murals and frescoes, ivory statues of important deities, a crystal Stupa, traditional Thangkas and prayers/mantras in the form of inscriptions. Located in Stod Valley, the trek to this monastery is a tough one and will surely challenge the adventure enthusiast in you.
Stongdey Monastery: The oldest and second largest monastery in the region, Stongdey is also known as Stongde, Stongday, Tonday or Thonde. While a strenuous trek takes you to this place about 18 kilometres away from Padum, the beauty of the monastery and its untouched surroundings will make it seem worth the effort. The monastery is known for its gorgeous representation of the deities through paintings boasting of black backgrounds and gold outlines. What’s more, it is also home to various important Buddhist relics, ancient murals and more than 60 Gelukpa monks.
Visit during the Gustor Festival in July to see Stongdey Monastery come alive with colours, celebrations and various cultural performances by the monks.