Hungarian explorer Sándor Kőrösi Csoma spent some time in the Phuktal monastery

Saturday, December 7, 2013


The Phuktal monastery was founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo Lama at the dawn of the 12th century. The monastery has been built on the steep limestone walls of the Zanskar range of Western Himalayas in Tsarap river valley, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Phuktal monastery is unique in several ways. On the one hand, it is one of the most isolated meditation centers of the world, on the other, its specific architectural layout makes it one of the most remarkable achievements of human ingenuity: the buildings have been constructed from wood and mud at the entrance to a cave.


Currently, about 70 Gelugpa monks live in the monastery, which has a library, four prayer rooms, lecture rooms, and kitchen and living quarters.

The monastery is so isolated that the nearest highway three days' journey away. It can be reached only by foot, it is usually visited only by tourists that want to gain spiritual experience. The monks are supplied with food by inhabitants of the surrounding villages, in return they educate their children.

Great Hungarian explorer Sándor Kőrösi Csoma stayed at the monastery from November 1826 to October 1827. A plaque placed on the wall of the monastery pays tribute to his memory.

Photo: Flickr / Kanglapass / Sebastien

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