Karsha monastery, (near) Padam, Jammu and Kashmir, IN

Raw data

"Through a bridge at Tungri which is just 8 km of Pudum one can reach Karsha, which is know for its Karsha Gompa, It is Zanskar's largest Gelug-pa gompa and is looked after by monastery of Likir. It is a neatly whitewashed building that houses many chapels, The Individual monk's quaters & temples dates back to 10-14th centuries."

"The largest monastery of Zanskar, Karsha Gompa is an imposing complex of neatly white washed building blocks comprising several chapels, besides residential cells for its nearly 150 lamas, who belong to the Geluks-pa sect. Built picturesquely along the steeply rising mountainside above Karsha village, the monastery can be seen from far. The central building is a large assembly hall housing an array of figures and the ornate throne of the Head Lama-incarnate. Three adjoining chapels contain numerous statues and other art objects, among which a set of exquisite silver and copper chortens are worth noting for their beauty. […] Other places of interest in the Karsha area include an old nunnery called Dorje Dzong, occupying a hilltop to the west of the main monastery. The ruins around this nunnery are believed to be the original monastic foundation of Karsha: the present monastery was founded during the 14th century. An old stupa surviving among the ruins is still adorned with the original murals, which reflect Indian artistic influence. Nearby is the ancient temple of 'Chukshik-jal', which houses an exquisite figure of Avalokitesvara as the main image. Its smoke covered wall frescos are the finest example of Himalayan art."

Kursha Gompa (5.3 nm N of Padam, Zanskar, India)

"Karsha Monastery at Karsha was founded by Phagspa Sherab in the 11th century. This monastery is built along the steep gradient of the mountainside above the Stod River. This grand monastery complex comprises several chapels, residential rooms for 150 resident monks, and a library. Apart from these, there are eight temples and two assembly halls in the complex, which also houses a famous, large and priceless Thangka and smaller but valuable scrolls and precious idols. The library in the monastery is the largest library in Zanskar Valley.
The Gompa also has a Thabrang with frescoes dating back to around the 15th century, and a 14th century Chomo Gompa (Nunnery) called the Dorje Dzong at the other end of Karsha. The nuns go over to the main Gompa for all major festivals.
Karsha is situated at a distance of 4-6 km from Padum."

"Karsha Monastery or Karsha Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in the Padum Valley of the Zanskar region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The Doda River flows past the monastery from its source at the Drang Drung glacier of the Pensi La (14,500 feet (4,400 m)). It was founded by the translator, Phagspa Shesrab.[1][2][3] The monastery, also known by the name “Karsha Chamspaling’, was founded by Phagspa Shesrab, under the Gelugpa Order or the Yellow Hat Order.[4][5]
[…] Karsha is the largest and most important monastery in Zanskar. It is attributed to Padmasambhava, and there are ancient rock-carvings at the site. The oldest remaining structure, an Avalokiteshvara temple, Chuk-shik-jal, contains wall paintings which seem to associate it with the era of Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055).[6]
[…] It is a highly revered monastery in Khurshan village, which is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi)) from Padum village."
Input by: tmciolek, Mar 13, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 14 Jul 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Karsha monastery, IN.

General location of the Karsha monastery, IN.
lat=33.5332 long=76.9053
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Jammu and Kashmir:Zanskar

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 1000-32p 1033-66p 1067-99p - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013
1000-32p 1033-66p 1067-99p 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

  • The monastery is still active in the 21st c.

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 14 Jul 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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