If you are planning to visit Ladakh then you must not miss Phugtal Monastery as it is one of the attractive monasteries in Northern India. It is a Buddhist monastery located in the Southeastern part of Zanskar range in the remote valley of Lungnak. Phuktal Monastery was the center of meditation, retreat, teaching, and learning. In the earlier days, this monastery was the residence of many scholars and teachers. The term ‘Phuktal’ stands for Phuk and Tal. In the Zangskari dialect of Tibetan language, Phuk means cave and Thal or Tal stands for ‘at leisure’. Another alteration of the word Phugta has been found that is Phukthar, which means ‘liberation’. So the literary meaning of the word Phugtal can be ‘The cave of liberation’ or ‘The cave of leisure’. There are 70 monks live inside the monastery.
If you are looking for nearby attractions at Phugtal Monastery then be prepared for getting hypnotized after viewing the surrounding sceneries in the lap of the mountain. The beauty is the most of the attractions in Phugtal. Else from this in Phugtal a number of different festivals are celebrated. Be lucky enough to experience at least one of these occasions. Let’s focus on some of the mentionable festivals in Phugtal Monastery.
Smonlam Chenmo: This is considered the most significant ceremony of the year. Smonlam Chenmo or Monlam Chenmo implies the beginning of a new year. During these festivals, special rituals are performed for the well being of people and for world peace.
Chudsum Chodpa: In this festival, the monks worship thirteen deities. Chudsam Chodpa is celebrated just after Smonlam Chenmo.
Chonga Chodpa: Chonga Chodpa is celebrated just after the Chudsum Chodpa. In this ceremony, the monks from Phugtal Monastery make aspecial statue of deity by flour and butter. The deity is then worshipped by the villagers.
Gyalwe Jabstan: After Chonga Chodpa is held Gyalwe Jabstan is celebrated. This very ceremony engages worship dedicated to the 14th Dalai Lama for his long life.
Jigched Lhachusum Ceremony: Next comes Jigched Lhachusum ceremony which is celebrated between the end of March and the end of May.
Initiation of Vajrabhairavam: This very festival is to worship the most powerful form of Manjushri, Vajrabhairava.
Gadam Nagchod: This is another significant festival of Phugtal Monastery. This very festival is maintained during the arrival of December.
To be very frank Phugtal Monastery is very famous among the trek lovers due to its amazing trekking route. So if you are also a trekker and planning to trek to Phugtal Monastery then you will not find any difficulty as the rout is so clearly directed. But if you are carrying your family and thus looking for easier ways then you are advised to hire taxis or cabs from Jammu. Else flights from Delhi to Jammu will also be alright. But make sure that you have no member in your group who finds it trouble in walking for long as some distance you have to cover by foot to reach Phugtal Monastery.
When it is Phugtal Monastery try to confirm your booking between the months from March to October as after that the roads to Ladakh remains closed due to heavy snowfall. So enjoying an undisturbed tour plan between the mentioned time period. Else you are advised to catch the amazing festivals celebrated in the monastery so that you could experience the unique and different culture and nature. Know the dates of the festivals and confirm your tickets accordingly.
So why still wasting time? Do hurry, book your tickets to Phugtal Monastery and experience another world in the lap of Himalaya.