Phugtal Monastery, Zanskar – Ladakh
It’s a beauty to see Phugtal or Phuktal monastery from a distance. It would not be wrong to say- before you step in; stand and watch it from a distance. This honey-combed Monastery is much admired for its outer looks as it is with inner paintings!
Located in the mouth of a cave – with Lungnak river passing by, it’s a home to around 70 monks. In summers, the monks can often be found sitting on the roof tops reading and studying. Tracing back its history to 12th century has got a beautiful small chapel with astonishing frescos in it.
SUV’s leave you at a distance and from there one has to trek up to the monastery! So, where climbing up the hill, just make sure you are not that bad at trekking!
- It’s one of the most photographic Monastries of Zanzkar Valley – especially from outside. Especially the honey-combed structure makes it looks more beautiful. So, get your lenses ready!
- Phugtal Monastery is at quite a heigh. To reach it one needs to cross 4980 m Shingo La pass on foot; so be mentally and physically prepared for it! One of the best routes include taking straight Darcha lane on Manali Road (around 4 days). Best take a guided tour and be in a group of at least 2 people! It’s a kind of trekking you do. In fact, Padum – Itchar-Phuktal – Ramjak/ Darcha is a very famous trekking route of Zanskar Valley.
- Zanskar Valley is near to Phuktal Gompa. So, once back in town enjoy sports like river rafting.
- Get one of those Home Stay Trekking on the route to Phugtal Monastery. Rural Homestays or parachute cafes provide simple lodging negating the need to carry significant supplies and sometimes camping gears too! Generally charging INR 500 per person per day; they are good options!