Adventurous travelers to India will appreciate the isolated splendor of Phuktal Monastery, Ladakh, in northern India. The monastery dates back to the twelfth century and has a fascinating history. It was built into the cliff face, perched beneath the opening of a large cave. The spectacular setting makes it well worth the trek to reach it, along the remote yet magnificent mountain passes of the Himalayas.
The trek to the monastery is itself an amazing experience which gives foreigners the rare chance to experience the remote interiors of Ladakh. The walk involves crossing wooden bridges suspended over the River Lungnak, and traversing barren stony landscape which is filled with ancient rocks with Tibetan script carved into them.
A community of 70 monks resides in the isolated setting which is a place of holy pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. The buildings are simple constructs made from mud and twigs. In addition to the monks’ simple living quarters, the monastery comprises a temple, a library, four prayer rooms and an old chapel. Famous in Phuktal Monastery are the ancient frescoes which adorn the ceiling of the old chapel. Inside the cave which dominates the cliff face is the specialty of Phuktal Monastery, a sacred spring which is protected by the spirit of the guru Rimpoche.
Visitors that make the trek will find there are many things to do in Phuktal Monastery. They can enjoy a performance of a cham dance by the Buddhist monks and explore the interior of the cave and buildings. Tourists may share a simple lunch prepared by the monks, while drinking in the spectacular views over the river from the rocky perch at a height of 3,800 meters. Overnight accommodation can also be arranged in the monastery, offering a unique opportunity to spend the night in a place of such spiritual repute.
A trip to Phuktal Monastery is an amazing experience for tourists to share and experience spiritual life of a community of monks which dates back centuries. It really is a once-in-a lifetime adventure for the adventurous.