Trekking from Purne to Phugtal Monastery, in Pictures


A dash of green at the only house you will encounter on the way on the way to Phugtal (Phuktal) from Purne. 

Read : Stunning experiences from the most remote monastery in the world

Beginning of the trail, golden colours of the mountains – Tsarap Chu flows by.


Fabulous terrain sculpted by nature itself. My path passes through these rocks.

Read : Leh-Ladakh : Amalgamation of Cultures

Sand and stone formations enroute Phugtal Gompa, I can also spot a cave sort of opening on that huge mountain.


The slender path clings to the right side of the river, loose gravel shifts and falls into the river making it a precarious walk.


Dramatic scenery in Lungnak Valley, Tsarap Chu (the river responsible for the debacle of Chadar Trek in 2015).

Read : Wanderings in Lahaul – Tayul Monastery

The lama stationed by the monastery starts waving to me even as I wonder ‘What if?’ 


First glimpse of the swaying bridge over Tsarap Chu… Isn’t is a classic photograph?


The path periodically comes down to the dizzying river and then makes for a steep climb again. 

Read : Wanderings in Lahaul : Kardang Monastery

Can you spot a monk in the picture? A tiny dot of red, lama of Phugtal Monastery.


You really want these prayer flags to help for just that little bit. One of the scariest bridges ever!


Don’t be a gama in the land of the lama!


I will be forever grateful to that person from Yal village for sewing up my torn shoes, only with these could I reach the elusive Phugtal Monastery.

Read : Lamas at Phuktal Monastery

How often do you see that?! Lamas posing with the coolest caps.


Checking up on me, eh! Bloody fingers and all that. He he.


Chortens, monks, a monastery guesthouse and the greatest of all sights; built inside a cave Phuktal Gönpa also written as Phugtal Gönpa.
A place that I’ve aspired to visit, after falling in love with the monasteries of Spiti, Lahaul and Ladakh.

Read : Can you help me ‘do’ Ladakh in 6 days?

Stunning colours of the mountains, a hanging monastery built on a rock face, Tsarap Chu river flows… This is Phugtal!


My favourite picture of Phuktal Gönpa.


An eternal spring flows inside the cave; notice the lone Cypress tree on top.

Check : Waltzing to Happiness on a Houseboat in Srinagar

We are literally on top of the river, on a limestone cliff, within a cluster of buildings made of mud and stone. Gloriously old.


Monks having lunch in the picturesque courtyard of the cute monastery school.


Lunch time meant it was a good opportunity to mingle with these little kid monks.

Read : Portraits that speak, from Turtuk

Families from all across Zanskar send their kids to the monastic school in Phugtal Monastery.


A view from inside the labyrinth of houses and scrabble of white washed buildings.


Artistic treasures lie scattered; a team of artists from Chilling has made some beautiful Bodhisattvas inside the monastery.

Check : Bhutan : Experiences & Tips

Classes being held at the hanging courtyard (come to think of it). Quite a classroom, I must say!


We can hardly imagine how that wonderful structure was built on that vertical cliff.


The oldest part of Phugtal monastery is said to be more than a 1000 years old and the paintings are similar in style to Alchi & Tabo

Want to know more about Zanskar?

Read : Doing the unthinkable – Solo Trekking to Zanskar

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21 thoughts on “Trekking from Purne to Phugtal Monastery, in Pictures”

  1. Striking landscape beautifully captured for posterity. I remember reading about the Phukta Gutor festival celebrated here, to mark the end of the Tibetan year.

    On another note, all these difficult to access monasteries seem like a faraway dream.

    And about the ‘almost invisible’ monk – he is standing on the left riverbank, close to the rivulet.

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  3. I fall in love with this place. You are such a lucky person on earth. I have marked this place in my bucket list. Is it possible to visit there with you?

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