Famous For :God Lovers, Nature Lovers
Visiting Time :6am-1pm & 1.30-6pm
Duration of Visit :Around 2 to 3 hours
Phuktal Monastery is like a honeycomb, cut into a rock under a gignantic grotto and has more than 70 Monks. The library three large and one small prayer room etc and the grave of Gangsem Sherap Sampo who founded Phuktal. In the cave over the monastery there is a hollow in rock the water level of which never reduces even after taking out any amount of water from there. Water is said to have healing powers. There is also a stone tablet left by Alexander Cosmo de Koros an Hugaraian who explore Tibet and lived in this monastery in 1826-27.
The Phuktal Monastery appears to be sprawling out from a huge cave high up in the steep cliff. It is this location that makes it completely different from other monasteries of the Zanskar valley. Also, it is the unique setting of the monastery that lends it the name Phuktal meaning through caves. The foundation of the monastery, made up of twigs and muds, was laid way back in the 12th century. Today, the monastery is home to around 70 monks who are extremely friendly and love to show the visitors around. They even take the trouble of arranging for a stay for the visitors in the gompa willingly.
The highlights of the monastery include frescoes and ceiling decorations in an old chapel which seems to belong to same era as that of Tabo Monastery and Alchi Monastery.
This monastery can be approachable either from Darcha or you may drive to Padum from Leh and than trek towards Darcha. Trek from Padum to Darcha is one of the most interesting treks in Zanskar range.
If you are looking for nearby attractions at Phugtal Monastery then be prepared for getting hypnotized after viewing the surrounding sceneries in the lap of the mountain. The beauty is the most of the attractions in Phugtal. Else from this in Phugtal a number of different festivals are celebrated. Be lucky enough to experience at least one of these occasions. Let’s focus on some of the mentionable festivals in Phugtal Monastery.
Smonlam Chenmo:This is considered the most significant ceremony of the year. Smonlam Chenmo or Monlam Chenmo implies the beginning of a new year. During these festivals, special rituals are performed for the well being of people and for world peace.
Chudsum Chodpa:In this festival, the monks worship thirteen deities. Chudsam Chodpa is celebrated just after Smonlam Chenmo.
Chonga Chodpa:Chonga Chodpa is celebrated just after the Chudsum Chodpa. In this ceremony, the monks from Phugtal Monastery make aspecial statue of deity by flour and butter. The deity is then worshipped by the villagers.
Gyalwe Jabstan:After Chonga Chodpa is held Gyalwe Jabstan is celebrated. This very ceremony engages worship dedicated to the 14th Dalai Lama for his long life.
Jigched Lhachusum Ceremony:Next comes Jigched Lhachusum ceremony which is celebrated between the end of March and the end of May.
Initiation of Vajrabhairavam: This very festival is to worship the most powerful form of Manjushri, Vajrabhairava.
Gadam Nagchod:This is another significant festival of Phugtal Monastery. This very festival is maintained during the arrival of December.
To be very frank Phugtal Monastery is very famous among the trek lovers due to its amazing trekking route. So if you are also a trekker and planning to trek to Phugtal Monastery then you will not find any difficulty as the rout is so clearly directed. But if you are carrying your family and thus looking for easier ways then you are advised to hire taxis or cabs from Jammu. Else flights from Delhi to Jammu will also be alright. But make sure that you have no member in your group who finds it trouble in walking for long as some distance you have to cover by foot to reach Phugtal Monastery.
When it is Phugtal Monastery try to confirm your booking between the months from March to October as after that the roads to Ladakh remains closed due to heavy snowfall. So enjoying an undisturbed tour plan between the mentioned time period. Else you are advised to catch the amazing festivals celebrated in the monastery so that you could experience the unique and different culture and nature. Know the dates of the festivals and confirm your tickets accordingly.