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

Raw data

"[…] the Phugtal Gompa of Ladakh dates back to the early 12th century. Situated in the Zanskar region, the Phugtal Monastery stands at the opening of a huge cave. The cave is located on the front of a huge gorge, which also serves as a passageway for a major tributary of the southern Lungnak River (Lingti-Tsarap). To reach the Pugthal Monastery of Leh Ladakh, one can also go through the Padum-Manali trekking route.
A number of chapels are situated inside the premises of the Phugthal Gompa. And one of these chapels even reflects a strong Indian touch. The frescoes as well as the ceiling decorations, adorning the chapel, bear the marks of artistic and iconographic influence of India. Also, the monastery serves as the residence for approximately 40 monks."

"As its name suggests (Phug means cave), the honey-comb-like Phugtal Monastery, home to more than 70 monks, stands at the opening of a large cave on a cliff above the Tsarap River. It has three large and one small prayer room whose unique, exquisite frescoes are similar to the 11th century ones of Alchi Monastery. The chorten here is believed to house the relics of Tsherap Zangpo, its founder. Csoma de Koros, regarded as the father of modern Tibetology, is said to have spent one year here. It takes a tough, arduous trek of two or three days to reach this isolated monastery, which appears to be miraculously glued on to the side of a vertical rock-face."–-jammu-stamp-show-2011/

"[…] Trek from Padum to Darcha is one of the most interesting treks in Zanskar range. From Padum, a trek route that leads to Manali diverges off from the Purney Bridge takes you to Phuktal monastery. This trail is 7km long."

"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. 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."

Input by: tmciolek, Mar 13, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 07 Mar 2014

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 Phugtal monastery, IN.

General location of the Phugtal monastery, IN.
lat=33.2687 long=77.1805
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2012.

Google Map link:,%20IN)&ll=33.2687,77.1805&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • India:State of Jammu and Kashmir: Ladakh & Zanskar

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

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 1100-32p - tmciolek 07 Mar 2014
1100-32p 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 07 Mar 2014

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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