Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Ladakh’s landscape offers spectacular sites adorned with Monasteries. It is very likely that you would spot monks in maroon attires ambling around here in Ladakh.
One of the most isolated monasteries in the Zanskar region in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir, the 12th century Phugtal Gompa stands at the mouth of the lateral gorge of the Lungnak or Lingti-Tsarap River. From a distance, the monastery looks like a honeycomb. The name Phugtal means cave in the local language. The monastery is made up of mud and wood.
The Phugtal Monastery is built around a natural cave, which is believed to have been visited by numerous sages, scholars, translators, and monks around 2,550 years ago.
Located at a height of 14000 Ft. above sea level, this beautiful cave monastery has four prayer rooms, a library, teaching facilities, a kitchen, guest rooms and living quarters for approximately 70 monks in residence. Frescoes and ceilings decorate the old chapel and are popular with tourists.
The history of Phugtal Monastery states that the present day gompa was established in the early 15th century by Jangsem Sherap Zangpo, a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The natural caves here are said to have existed before 2500 years ago.
According to the legend when Jangsem Sherap Zangpo came here, he showed miraculous signs and caused a spring to run from the cave, a tree to grow on top of the cave, and the size of the caverns to grow larger.
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Trekking to the Gompa
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Phugtal Monastery is during one of the festivals celebrated here. Other than that, Phugtal can be visited between June and September.
How to Reach
Phugtal monastery is accessible only on foot. The trek to Phugtal Gompa begins from the villages of Cha or Khangsaar. It is a day’s hike to Phugtal from the villages.
1. Introduction: The Enigmatic Cliff Monastery of Phugtal Gompa • The Mysterious India
2. History, Major Highlights, Best Time to Visit, How to Reach: Phuktal Monastery | Phuktal Gompa | Buddhist Monastery in Zanskar (tourmyindia.com)
1. Tour my India