complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave high up in the sheer mountain
face of a lateral gorge through which a major tributary of the southern
Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River flows. Perhaps, the most isolated monastic
of Zanskar, its foundation date back to the early 12th century ; at least
one old chappel, among the several several of which it is composed, has
frescos and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and
iconographic influence. Phugthal is accessible f rom the Padum-Manali
trekking route through a 7 km long trail that branches off from the Purney
Bridge on the main trail. A visit to Phugthal, including Bardan and Muney
monasteries enroute, makes a good 5-days round trek from Padum.
Alternatively, one can add one extra day to Padum-Manali trekking itinerary
to include a day-return visit to this unique monastic establishment
inhabited by a resident community of about 40 monks.
How to Reach ?
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km stretch is
paved, remains opened from around mid July to early November. Jeeps and
Gypsy taxis can also be hired at Kargil. During June and early July, prior
to opening of the road, it is recommended to walk into Zanskar from panikhar
or Parkachik onwards. In June, the summer is at its height in the region and
the climate is ideal for trekking along the route free from vehicular
traffic of any kind and when the countryside is freshly rejuvenated into
life after months of frigid dormancy.
Places of Interest (Visit
Leh is nested in a side valley just to the north of the Indus Valley.
Until 1947 it had close trading relations with Central Asia yak trains would
set off from the Leh Bazaar to complete the stages over the Kaakoam Pass to
Yarkand and Kashgar.
Administering the Valleys of Suru , Drass, Wakha and Bodkarbu, Kargil
lies midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir and the fertile reaches of
the Indus Valley and ladakh
Thak Thok gompa
shelters a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated
during his epic eight-century journey to Tibet.
Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh,
around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar,
Padum is 240 km to the south of Kargil, comes as a bit of an anticlimax
Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on
the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other.
Walled in by the Great Himalayan Divide, Zanskar, literally " Land of
White Copper" has for decades exrted the allure of Shangri La on visitours
Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum Strongdey Zangla Karsha
Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar.
The Suru Valley
Diving two of the world's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru
Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La the main entry point
the Nubra valley - nubra means green used to be on the trading route
connection Tibet with Turkistan, Also Now as the Valley of Flowers
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from
Pangong Tso, 15km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest
saltwater lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh
east into Tibet.
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is Famous for the large herds of
king, or wild ass, which graze on its shores, the lake of Tso Moriri.