Phugtal Monastery , built around a natural cave, is located in a remote valley – Lungnak Valley – in Ladakh. Supplies arrive on horses, mules and donkeys in summer and across the frozen Zanakar River in winter.
There have been talks of building a road to the monastery but for now, a day’s walk from Dorzang, at the end of the road leading from Padum, you’ll find the charming Phugtal Gompa. The monastery gained importance because it was believed to have been visited by numerous sages, scholars and monks around 2,550 years ago.
The earliest residents of the cave were believed to be the 16 Arhats – the legendary followers of Buddha, and their images appear on the cave walls. Other residents include Padmasambhava, Phakspa Nestan Dusdan and Lama Marpa Lotsawa.
The Gompa also serves as the local traditional Tibetan medical clinic for the local people. An Amchi, physician, gives Sowa-Rigpa medicine prepared at the monastery.