Phugtal Gompa

Phuktal Monastery

Useful Information

Location: Tsarap valley, South-eastern Zanskar, Ladakh. From the Padum-Manali trekking route, from the Purney Bridge branch of 7 km.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Temple
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
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12th century founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo.


Phugtal Gompa (Phugtal Monastery) is a cave monastery built into the huge opening of a cave high up in the Ladakh mountains above the Tsarap river. The region of south-eastern Zanskar is very remote, to reach this place a trek of two or three days is necessary. The monastery is today home to about 70 monks, has a library and prayer rooms. The houses, looking like honey combs, are built primarly of mud bricks.

The monastery was founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo in the early 12th century. The first time this remote monastery was visited by a western explorer was in 1826-27 by the Hungarian philologist Alexander Csoma de Kőrös, who explored Ladakh and wrote the first English-Tibetan dictionary. There is a stone tablet reminding his visit.

Because of its remote location, and the rareness of visitors, there are no regular open hours.