Zongkhul

Naropa (956-1041 C.E) was a well-celebrated Buddhist yogi of India. He belonged to the Vikramsila University which is in Bihar. It is believed that he utilized one of the two caverns of this monastery to meditate in seclusion. The monastery is built around these caves. The monastery is dedicated to him as well. Close to the entrance of the lower cave, his footprint can be seen in the rock. The monastery holds with pride; several thankas and images of popular Drukpa lamas. There are some frescoes on the cave wall that were fashioned by a painter and scholar of great fame-Zhadpa Dorje, about 300 years ago. It is believed that inside the cave Naropa meditated, there are impressions of Naropa’s ceremonial dagger and staff in the rocks. These belongings of Naropa draw many people to this place. Recently the number of the monks residing in the monastery has dropped but till the sixth decade of the past century, there were about 20 monks who used to reside in the monastery.

The meditation of Naropa made this monastery a significant place of reflection and several mahasiddhas of Zanskar meditated here. The Zongkhul monastery in Zanskar is credited to have numerous blessed shrines in it. There are affluent compilations of valuable artifacts, a Stupa of crystal, an image of Samvara made up of ivory and some texts containing biographies and spiritual songs that were composed by the succeeding mahasiddhas and the like. To have a blissful experience, visit this monastery.

How to Reach

The nearest road is 240 km long Kargil-Padum road, which remains opened from around mid July to early November. B-class buses operate thrice, weekly, from Kargil. However groups can charter A-Class or even Super-Deluxe buses also. Jeeps and Gypsy taxis can also be hired at Kargil.

Best Time to Visit

July to Early November.