Glorious adventures are to be found in Zanskar Range’s precious jewel, Ladakh, where millions of animals and plants live together in harmony. At the heart of the Lungnak Valley in Ladakh sits the picturesque Phugtal Monastery.
Phugtal Monastery in Tibet
Lungnak Valley in the Ladakh Autonomous Region in the Himalayas is one of the most remote regions in India, and there is only one monastery in the entire area, the Phugtal Monastery. The monastery is situated on a cliff, and Tibetan Buddhists reside there. Consequently, people flock to its exquisite honeycomb construction and scenic surroundings, making it one of the most popular destinations in India.
Gangsem Sherap Sampo created Phuktal Gompa in the early 12th century, a student of the Gelug founder Tsongkhapa. While the monastery was built in the 12th century, it remained a well-guarded secret for many centuries when Hungarian nobleman Alexander Cosmo de Koros came and lived there from 1826 to 1827.
The location, architecture, and isolation of the Phuktal caverns are spiritually significant because ancient wandering monks used them for prayer and meditation. There are four rooms where people may worship, one area for people to read in, one room for instruction, a kitchen, a library, residential space for up to 70 monks, and guest rooms. Tourists like the frescoes and ceiling design of the ancient chapel.
One of the few Ladakhi Buddhist monasteries accessible exclusively on foot is Phuktal Gompa. Unfortunately, Padum has no public transportation access; hence, one has to go by taxi from Padum to Raru and then on foot. To get to Phugtal from two tiny settlements, Chatang and Purne, take a short walk. It is around 7 kilometres from Purne Monastery.