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Sightseeing in Zanskar

Phugthal - By far the most spectacularly located monastic establishment anywhere in Ladakh, the Phugthal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave, high up in the vertical mountainside of the lateral Shadi gorge, through which a major tributary of the Lungnak or Lingti-Tsarap river flows.

Phugthal Monastery  
Phugthal Monastery

Perhaps the most isolated monastic establishment of Zanskar, its foundation dates back to the early 12th century. At least one old chapel, among the several of which it is composed, has frescos and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and iconographic influence, which are almost contemporaneous to those found in the Tabo and Alchi monasteries. Phugthal is accessible from the Padum-Manali trekking route via a 7-Km long trail that branches off from the main trekking route at Purney Bridge. A visit to Phugthal, including Bardan and Muney monasteries enroute, makes a good 5-day round trek from Padum. Alternatively, one can add one extra day to the Padum-Manali trekking itinerary to include a day return visit to this unique monastic establishment which was a resident community of about 40 Geluks-pa lamas.

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