Phugtal Monastery or Phugtal Gompa is housed in the remotest corner of Lungnak Valley in the south-eastern region of Zanskar Valley, Ladakh. Also, often termed as Phuktal Monastery, it is one of the most enchanting sites up there in the entire region.

Trek to Phugtal Gompa - An Ultimate Travel Guide
Trek to Phugtal Gompa – An Ultimate Travel Guide

The fact of it being built into or around a natural cave in the cliffside, like a honeycomb, adds all the more fascination to the trip to Phugtal Monastery. Hence, it is also widely popular by the name of “cave monastery.” The remote location of the Phugtal monastery leaves you with nothing but all the peace and solitude you can ask from mother nature.

Phugtal Monastery Facts

Phugtal gompa lies in the remote corner of the Zanskar Valley of the Ladakh region. People can trek to one of the most popular honeycomb-shaped Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh.

Padum gets disconnected from the world in winters due to heavy snowfall on Kargil to Padum road over Pensila Pass. Hence, people walk over the Chadar trek to reach Padum and then take the Padum Phugtal trek route. During summers, the supplies are transported to the monastery through mules/donkeys or horses.

In the 2020 – 2021 winters, the road from Kargil to Padum over Pensila Pass remained open all around the years, which is a big welcome to the year-round connectivity to Zanskar.

This monastery belongs to the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Gelug is one of the newest schools of Tibetan Buddhism and was founded by Je Tsongkhapa. In the early 15th century, Jangsem Sherap Zangpo, a disciple of Tsongkhapa established Phugtal gompa.

Manali – Darcha – Shinku La – Phugtal – Padum New Route

Beginning in 2020, you can now travel to Phugtal Monastery from Manali to Darcha to Shinku La to Phuktal monastery as well. This new route offers some majestic beauty on the road and traveling via Shinku La pass adds a unique touch to the overall journey.

You can just visit Phugtal monastery and come back via the same route from Manali to Padum via Shinku La – Darcha in case not interested to cover Zanskar Valley or if you have already covered it.

Phuktal Monastic School

Phuktal Monastic School is set up to provide quality education to the students of the local villages without any charges or fees. The education involves a mix of traditional learning and the modern curriculum to help these students that come from the local farming families in the Lungnak Valley, which are extremely poor and least educated. The monastery bears the cost for the room, board, and study materials of the students.

Hence, the whole village life revolves around the Phuktal monastery only.

If you pay a visit, DO NOT forget to carry some education material to be donated to the school and spread smiles.

Those amazing landscapes of the Phugtal monastery trek
Those amazing landscapes of the Phugtal monastery trek

Who is Amchi?

Phuktal monastery hosts Amchi, a traditional Tibetan physician who provides natural Sowa-Rigpa medicine. These medicines are mostly prepared at the traditional Tibetan clinic in the monastery. The villagers come over to see the Amchi when there are any health issues. The monks from the monastery perform traditional prayers in the village at the significant events that are birth, wedding, death, etc.

Don’t forget to read my article on planning a budget trip to Zanskar Valley.

Phugtal Monastery, a close-up view...
Phugtal Monastery, a close-up view…
Another close-up view
Another close-up view
The honeycomb view
The honeycomb view of Phuktal

Best time to visit Phugtal

June to September is the best time to visit Phugtal monastery. In summers, the road from Kargil to Padum opens when snow is cleared from Pensila Pass in the May-June period. Srinagar Leh Highway also opens in May. Hence, you can make a road trip to Zanskar Valley only in the summer months of June to September.

Similarly, the road from Manali – Darcha to Shinku La Pass will open in May end or June after which you can travel on this new route to Phuktal Monastery. The road will remain open up to the end of October after which it becomes very risky to travel on these remote routes in Ladakh or Zanskar.

As of October, the high passes of the Himalayas start getting snowfall. The chances of Pensila Pass closing for the season get higher and higher with each passing day of October.

By October or November, Pensila Pass closes and disconnects Zanskar Valley from the rest of the world. Similarly, Shinku La pass closes in winters and even the connectivity between Keylong to Darcha is closed in the winter months. So, you cannot travel via this new route to Phugtal from the Manali side as well during the wintertime of the year.

In winters, when the Zanskar river freezes to ice, people walk over it to reach Padum on the adventurous Chadar Trek.

You can also read the detailed article to know more about the Best Time to Travel Ladakh & Zanskar

How to get to Phugtal Monastery or Phuktal Monastery?

As of 2022, the tourists can get to the Phugtal monastery either by Padum – Phugtal route or they can reach Phuktal from Manali – Darcha – Shinku La – Padum road route.

The road connecting Padum to Darcha – Manali via Shingo La in Himachal is entirely operational in 2020. This road goes passing by Purne from where you can go for the Phugtal monastery trek. This trek will take just about a couple of hrs to reach the monastery as compared to earlier days.

Even from the Padum side, now you can drive to Purne which is on the way from Padum to Manali road. Then it will take 2 hrs from Purne to Phuktal as there are no roads till Phuktal monastery as of now.

If you are interested in more of a pure trek route from Padum to Phugtal then you can trek from Icher to Anmo to Cha to Phuktal or Icher to Anmo to Purne which lies at the other side of the Lungnak river and then to Phugtal monastery. Refer to the 3-day plan itinerary below.

Are you not sure about the budget for the trip? Well, you can read my detailed article on how to calculate the cost of the Zanskar Valley trip?

Manali – Darcha to Padum via Shinku La Pass Road Status 2022

As of 2021, the road has been connected at both ends from Padum to Darcha via Shinglo La pass and lots of people have already covered this route in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. I hope in season 2022 as well; more and more people will start traveling from Darcha to Padum via Shingo La pass. This route will certainly make this monastery very popular among tourists.

There have been several vehicles as of October 2020 end that reached Padum from Darcha – Manali side. Hence, next season in 2020 we may start seeing more vehicles reaching Manali to Padum over Darcha – Shingo La route.

Please bear in mind that the road near Shinku La pass on either side is pretty challenging and you require to cross a couple of deepwater crossings which can be quite challenging in the early season when snow melts and July – August time when rains are common.

1 Day trip to Phugtal from Padum

If you have only a day to visit Phuktal monastery from Padum, then better start your day early in the morning. It takes more than 2 hrs to drive from Padum to Purne and then you need to trek for 2 hrs to reach the monastery.

You will spend some time up there at the monastery as well and then you can consider a similar time to return to Padum or reach Kurgiak further towards Darcha – Manali. So, if you have enough days in hand, it’s worth spending a night at Purne Homestay or at Phuktal monastery itself, as most people opt to do. Refer to 2 Day itinerary below.

Padum – Phuktal by Road – 2 Day Itinerary

As suggested above, the one-day trip to Phuktal is now possible but not recommended, I will suggest you follow the below two-day trip plan to visit Phuktal from Padum to either return or continue towards Manali from Padum via Darcha – Shingola pass route.

Day 1 – Padum to Purne

After breakfast drive towards Phuktal monastery. On the way, you can visit the Bardan monastery which is on a rock cliff beside the bank of the Tsarap river. Then have lunch at Purne and enjoy the beauty of Lungnak valley. You can also witness blue sheep there if you are lucky enough. 

You can spend the night at Purne Guest House or Homestay and maybe go camping in the wild up there. 

Day 2 – Purne to Phuktal to Padum

After breakfast trek towards Phugtal. You can take about 2 hrs for regular trekkers and about 3 hrs for non-regular trekkers. After reaching the monastery, have your lunch at Phuktal. 

There is a small guest house which is run by Phuktal monastery monks for the Travellers. If you wish to eat there then you have to order an hour in advance or they can serve you with Maggie and tea on instant order. 

After exploring trek back to Purne from where you can take your car or taxi to drive you back to Padum or further towards Kurgiakh campgrounds so that you can continue your journey the next day towards Shinku La Pass – Darcha – Manali.

Padum – Phugtal Trek – 3 Day Itinerary

Apart from the road journey to Purne, the only other way to reach the Phugtal monastery is by trekking to it. I need to assume that you are properly acclimatized in Padum. It is a bare minimum necessary to undertake any high-altitude trek.

If you are wondering how to reach Padum or Zanskar Valley, please read my article on Zanskar Valley – Most Common Itinerary

I will provide a day-by-day itinerary of the Padum to Phuktal Monastery trek along with other necessary details.

Day 1 | Padum – Raru – Ichar – Anmu – Chah (6-8 Hrs of trekking)

  • Give a shot at a 3-4 day trek + road journey to Phugtal Monastery
  • Drive from Padum to last road Icher, about 1 and a half hour
  • Start the trek from Icher until Anmu or up to Chah, in case you are short on days
  • It will take about 4-6 hrs trekking from Icher to Anmu and a further couple of hours trekking to Chah from Anmu
  • Few homestays are available at Anmu as well as Chah villages
  • Food will be rice, vegetable, dal, curd, and some local food. You can carry some foods to cook at Homestay if you wish
  • The river flows aside this trek and may have a magical feeling to it

Day 2 | Chah – Phugtal / Phuktal Monastery – Purne (5-6 Hrs trekking)

  • This day you pay a visit to the honeycomb cave-like Phugtal / Phuktal Monastery and return to another side of Lungnak river at Purne for overnight stay.
  • Start early from Chah to spend more time at Phugtal so that you can return to Purne with enough daylight left in the day.
  • Please note that the direct route from Chah village to Phuktal Monastery is a bit difficult and narrow. It should only be taken with a guide or local else you should take the route through Purne which is easier in comparison but takes one more day trekking
  • Chah to Phuktal direct route takes about 2.5-3 Hrs even being 6 KMs apart, and Phuktal to Purne will take you another 2-2.5 Hrs
  • Refreshments shall be available at Chah and Zamthang villages
  • There is a guest house with attached bathroom at Phugtal monastery as well in case it gets late for you and you do not like to risk the way back
  • At Purne there are two-three beautiful camping sites and a small guest house with shop and a homestay

If you love planning your Himalayan trips, then do read the detailed travel guide on how to make a road trip to Zanskar?

Day 3 | Purne – Anmu – Icher – Raru – Padum (7-8 Hrs of trekking)

  • Purney to Icher will take you about 7-8 Hrs, so start early in the day
  • Your taxi pick up should be there for pickup at Icher
  • If you are not tired, you can visit Bardan and Muney monasteries while driving back to Padum

You can also plan to include the Karsha monastery while coming back to Padum in case you have time or you plan to add a day. Karsha monastery can also be visited as a part of local sightseeing in Padum village.

Another view of the monastery
Another view of the monastery
Phugtal Gompa - As seen from the opposite side of Lungnak River
Phugtal Gompa – As seen from the opposite side of Lungnak River
The Chortens outside the monastery
The Chortens outside the monastery
Lungnak river and the trek route
Lungnak river and the trek route
That scary fall down into the Lungnak river
That scary fall down into the Lungnak river
Peculiar landscapes as seen on the way to Phuktal... Soil erosion in effect
Peculiar landscapes as seen on the way to Phuktal… Soil erosion in effect
Formations due to soil erosion
Formations due to soil erosion

Stay options at Phuktal Monastery Trek

  • There are homestays available at Anmu, Chah, and Purne villages.
  • Purne village has a guest house with a shop too for buying general stuff and food items.
  • There is a guest house with an attached bathroom at Phugtal monastery.
  • Camping sites are available in almost all villages including Purne or you can ask the local villagers to let you camp in their farms.

You should check the 12 must-have things to carry on a trek or camping trip in the Himalayas.

Omasila Hotel – Zanskar Valley

At Padum, you can stay at Omasila Hotel – Zanskar Valley. You can connect with Nobu Omasila at +91-7889857547 or +91-9469369109. They mostly offer about 40% discounts to all Discover With Dheeraj Community members. You can always refer my name (Dheeraj/Discover With Dheeraj) to Nobu bhai.

Nobu bhai also runs Kailash hotel at the main market at a cheap price of Rs 1000 double bed with attached bathroom and hot showers.

He will also be able to help you arrange the entire Phuktal monastery trek from Padum as well.

Homestays - on the way
Homestays – on the way
Another village on the trek route
Another village on the trek route
Another view of the village from the other side
Another view of the village from the other side
Villages on the trek to Phugtal Monastery
Villages on the trek to Phugtal Monastery
Villages on the trek to Phugtal Monastery
Villages on the trek to Phugtal Monastery

Other tips for Phuktal Monastery Trek

  • Local agents can help book the homestays in case you want no surprises after the tiring days of trekking 🙂
  • There are two satellite phones on the way to contact your loved ones, one at Cha village and the other at Phuktal itself
  • If you want to do camping while trekking, it can be arranged by a local travel agent in Padum, Zanskar. He will provide you a personal tent, kitchen tent, mattresses, and sleeping bags. He will arrange the food of your choice too mostly limited to Indian, Italian, and Chinese :). Of course, there will be a professional guide, a cook and ponies so that you only have to carry yourself and water bottles.
  • Taxi charges are about Rs 2600 for a drop to Icher and Rs 3000 for a pick up from Icher.
  • Taxi charges Rs 5000 to drop till Purne and Rs 6000 for the pickup. If you want to hold the taxi for a night the total cost for 2 days drop and pick up will charge Rs 7500. 
  • Share taxis are also available which will charge about 500 per person but the timing is not sure.  You can book a shared taxi and a full booking taxi at a good price at Zangskar Explorer office (+91-7889857547 or +91-9469369109) which is at the main market.
  • The guide and cook charges will be the same for either one person or 10 in a group. The more people you have in the group, the cheaper it will be.
  • You can also get bikes or bicycles on rent from Padum if you want to add more adventure to your journey. You can connect with Zangskar Explorer in Padum, contact number +91-7889857547 or +91-9469369109 – Nobu Omasila. He shall also be able to help you arrange the Phuktal monastery trek as well. You can refer him to Discover With Dheeraj Community or my name; he will be happy to help always.
  • If you visit Bardan and Muney monasteries on the first day; it will be more enjoyable because when you will be back from the trek, you may be tired, and most people skip. But, that adds to less time left to make it to Chah village on Day 1 itself.
  • There are basic medical facilities are there at Chah village as well
  • If you want it to be a relaxed trek to Phuktal monastery, you can do it in 4-5 days with an effortless pace and more enjoyment
  • As with any other high altitude trip, especially for this trek PLEASE carry more than enough water, ORS, energy drinks (optional), dry fruits, chocolates, eatables, regular medicines to help you survive at least two-three days

Trip Suggestion: If you are interested in the monasteries, do not forget to visit Hemis Monastery in Ladakh on your trip.

How you can help Phugtal Monastery & Spread Smiles

You must be wondering what this section is all about? Well, it is all about spreading smiles in the remotest villages of the Himalayas. As you must be knowing by now that there is a Phuktal Monastic School at the Phugtal monastery that provides free quality education to the local children of Lungnak valley in Zanskar.

Also, if you are connected with Discover with Dheeraj, you must be familiar with our DoW Cause – GYAAN 500. It envisions to support/aid the educational material such as school stationery, books, notebooks, school bags, etc.. required in local schools in the remote villages of Himalayas.

Problems of the school

Well, in December 2014, a landslide occurred between the Shun and Phuktal villages, which caused the formation of a landslide dam on the Phuktal river. In May 2015, the Phuktal river flooded as it burst and washed away the entire school campus.

The building, equipment, materials, and stores were all destroyed, leaving nothing but shattered dreams of education. The monastery has applied to both central and state for providing financial aid to help rebuild the school and restart their educational programs.

However, I request every traveler or a tourist visiting the Phugtal monastery to help in their capacities to restore the washed away local dreams of education in Lungnak valley !! The core team of the DwD Community will soon be undertaking a project to contribute our part in this restoration, but the more the merrier, I will say.

To check what is required, you can also get in touch with Dr. Tsewang Yangjor directly at or in Leh via telephone at 09469297433 or 91-1982-264585.

Hence, you see such a section in this travel guide. I hope each one of you will come forward and support such a cause on your own to help this school in need on your next trip to Phugtal monastery. This is no less than spreading smiles and taking back loads of wishes of purity and innocence.

Stupas on the way to Phugtal monastery trek
Stupas on the way to Phugtal monastery trek
Stupas on the way to Phugtal monastery trek
Stupas on the way to Phugtal monastery trek
Those many scary hanging bridges you cross on the trek to Phugtal monastery
Those many scary hanging bridges you cross on the trek to Phugtal monastery
Another such hanging bridge
Another such hanging bridge
Another such hanging bridge - Different view
Another such hanging bridge – Different view
Karsha Monastery near Padum, a distant view
Karsha Monastery near Padum, a distant view…


I hope the above travel guide to this fascinating Buddhist monastery (Phuktal monastery) proves helpful in planning your next Phukgal monastery trip. Feel free to post any comments, queries, or suggestions either in the DwD Community or the comments section at the end of the article.

Have a travel question?? You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment to ask your travel questions about traveling to the Himalayas.

Have you been to the Phuktal monastery before or planning to make your next trip to Zanskar valley? How about sharing your stories or thoughts with us too?

Special thanks to a dear friend, Nobu Omasila from Padum, who provided all the required details for the trek to Phuktal and contributed these pictures to DwD Community.


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Hi Dheeraj,
    First time I was in Phuktal in 1998 – twenty years ago! I always dreamt to come back there. I want to do this in this September.
    Can you kindly advise about possibility to make a circle route (from Phuktal and continue after to reach Karsha/Padum from other side)? I mean – not to come back to Purne.


    what about festivals in Phuktal or other Zanskar gompas in September this year?

    • Wow, it must have been pure raw and heavenly back then before the age of tourism and Internet put it on digital map. Well, regarding the lopp, you can surely extend the Phuktal trek to Padum Darcha trek and get down at Darcha from Phuktal.

  3. Pascal BAARSLAG on

    Hi Dheeraj, would it be possible to stay 1 or 2 weeks in the Phuktal monastery for a retreat ? Do you know how it works ?
    Many Thanks, Pascal

    • Pascal, I believe most monasteries in the Ladakh and Spiti region are welcoming for stay and volunteering. You can always stay in the monasteries and either help them with daily activities or contribute something financially.

  4. Dear Dheeraj,
    your article is very usefull for us! We are planning a trip in Ladakh-Zanskar and we are thinking about this itinerary:
    – Jeep from Kargil to Padum
    – TREK DAY 1 | Padum-Anmo (jeep) – Anmo-Phuktal-Purne (7 hrs trek)
    – TREK DAY 2 | Purne – Sking (6/7 hrs trek)
    – TREK DAY 3 | Sking – Shingo La base (6/7 hrs trek)
    – TREK DAY 4 | Shingo La base-Serchu [via ShingoLa 5.091 m] (trek+jeep)
    – jeep from Serchu to Tso Moriri

    What do you think? Do you have some suggestion?
    We really would like to do it in homestay! Do you think it would be possible? Or we going to need tends?

    Thank in advance for your help!

    • Hello Martina,

      I have few inputs here:

      1. After reaching Padum, you should rest at least for one day before you start a physical activity on high altitude. It will help with acclimatization.
      2. Rest your plan is more or less good in case you are sure of the trekking distances and used to trek that many hrs. But then when you plan to travel from Sarchu to Tso Moriri, you need to have protected area permit. Are you planning to have them in advance?

      Homestays will be possible at some places though since I have not done this trek personally, I believe you must carry camps that might help you at some places.


  5. Dear Dheeraj,
    thank you for your precious info and your great work!
    – Do you confirm that Zanskar valley is a safe place for lonely travellers? Me and my wife are planning cycling along that awesome place next august.
    – Is it easy to find homestay along the route from Kargil to Padum?
    – If we want to trek from Padum to Phugtal, is it easy to arrange that trip in Padum? I mean is it easy to find a guide in Padum that will take us to the monastery? And is it easy to find some sort of taxi that will take us back from Padum to Leh? (2 days I suppose…)
    Thank you so much

    • Well Lucas,

      100s of people make solo trips to Zanskar Valley and Ladakh every year. I have not heard any untoward incident with tourists in Zanskar Valley or Ladakh except some very ver 1-2 rare incidents in last 9 years. Kargil to Padum is a challenge to find home stay once you cross Rangdum. Up to Rangdum, it is possible because villages are present every 30-40 odd KMs. However, when you cross Rangdum, then it is along long ride to the first village in Zanskar Valley as you cross Pensila and there is no home stay there. So, it becomes difficult if you are not carrying your own camps.

      Yes, you can easily arrange the trip in Padum for Phugtal Monastery. You may get in touch with Nobu ji from Omasila at +91 94693 69109 who can help you out once you reach there. He can help with some home stays too and also run Omasila Hotel.

      Taxi can also be arranged from Padum to Leh.

  6. Hi Dheeraj. Is there any update on the route above or is the status still the same as 2016? For some reason Google shows a route from Jispa that’s takes a car directly to Purne. Pls advise if you have any info.
    Alternately What is the furthest one can ride from padum towards phugtal?

    • Apoorva, this route is not yet opened fully. Hence, you cannot take this route. In a year or two the route will open as the pass has already been open from Darcha side. However, the whole road connectivity is not yet there.

      • Ohk cool. Thanks for the update.
        I was also looking for good camping spots on the kargil-padum area. We will be carrying our own tents. Please let me know if you can recommend any. Thanks.

  7. Hello friend,
    I’m wondering if it’s possible to travel / trek to the Phuktal Monastery in late February early March 2018
    Thank you

    • No Hitesh, it is not possible as far as I know unless you are too much into the adventure of snow treks in snowbound regions and the remote Himalayas with proper guide and porters.

  8. shivam soni on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    It would be great if you could provide an update on the current status of Jispa – Phugtal route as of now June 2017. Also I am coming this july to Leh doin the entire circuit starting from Jammu -Srinagar- Kargil – Leh – Nubra – Turtuk – Pangong – Hanle – Tso Morriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Jispa – Manali on bike & Car. I know you have already stated that the route is incomplete and we have to trek to reach the marvellous Monastery, so i just wanted to know it current road status and if it can be adjusted on the way back to Manali from Sarchu.??

    • Shivam, the route from Jispa to Padum is not yet open. It will still take a couple of years to fully connect it as per locals. The route is only open up to Shinku la pass, about 40 KMs from Darcha

  9. Natalia Horinkova on

    Thanks for this amazing article. Would you recommend going in November – December? Or should I try planning this trip rather September?

    • No, please plan the trip in September. November – December will be too late and the road connecting to Padum from Kargil also closes by that time of the year.

  10. aquatarkus17 on

    Hi,are posible
    1 Kargill -Padum
    2- near Padum atractions (Karsha, Sangla etc)
    3- end of the road – cha
    4-Cha -Phugtal (night in monastery)
    5- Phugtal -begin the road, car tu Padum
    6- Padum to Kargill ?

    • This looks feasible to me. You will be needing shared taxi from Kargil – Padum to save costs. Also, do take a local with you from the village so that you are not alone on Phugtal trek.

  11. Hi, Dheeraj.

    My Whatapps Contact no. 7829171686

    I want to trek to Phugtal monastery after reading your wonderful guide to this place.

    Im travelling from Manali-Leh highway.

    So my planning is as below:

    Day 1 Manali- Keylong
    Day 2 Keylong-Leh-Kargil
    Day 3 Kargil-Padum
    Day 4 Padum-Cha village
    Day 5 Cha-Phugtal
    Day 6 Phugtal-Cha-Padum-Sani village
    Day 7 Sani-Padum-Lamayuru-Leh

    Can u give me some suggestion on my schedule?

    Is it possible to cover Keylong-Leh-Kargil in one day? Im taking HPDTC bus that depart in the morning from Keylong.

    And is it possible to cover Sani-Padum-Lamayuru-Leh in one day as well?

    Really hope to hear from you very soon. I will travel in first week of Sep. You can whatapps contact me too.

    Very much appreciated!

    • Well Sonship, there are few things which is too much in your plan:

      Day 2, Keylong to Leh is only possible. Then next day Leh – Kargil and then next Kargil Padum
      On all these days you will have to leave by 6 AM especially on Day 2 and Day 4. Then, one day rest is required in Padum to acclimatize a bit so that you can do the trek. Then, similar amount is required to return back.

      • Hi, Dheeraj.

        According to your suggestion, i made some adjustment as below.

        Day 1 Manali- Keylong
        Day 2 Keylong-Leh
        Day 3 Leh- Kargil
        Day 4 Kargil- Padum
        Day 5 Padum-Cha-Phugtal
        Day 6 Phugtal-Cha-Padum-Sani village
        Day 7 Sani-Padum-Lamayuru/Kargil
        Day 8 Lamayuru/Kargil-Leh

        Please help me to look through this revised schedule.

        Q1. On Day 5, is it possible to complete the trek from Padum to Phugtal?

        Q2. On Day 7, is it possible for to stay overnight in Lamayuru?

        Q3. Most importantly, can I complete this 8 days visit to Zanskar valley all by Shared taxi/ public bus?

        Hope to hear from you. Big thank you!

  12. hi dheeraj. first of all a great article with some amazing pics. me and my best friend are planning a trip to phugtal from manali.

    we are planning to ride till purne as it is just 231 km from manali, but this route is not mentioned by any of the traveler as everyone has mentioned route from padum village.
    we are just collecting info bout few things
    1. availability of drinking water ?
    2. availability of petrol may be in bottle if any ?
    3.Can we stay in the monastery ? me & my buddy want to meditate for couple of days.
    4.How can we help in rebuilding the school?

    • Hi Varun,

      Manali to Purne road is under construction and only complete up to Shinko La pass. Hence, you do not see any mention by any traveller. It is a trek route alongside which BRO is building a road as well. So, you cannot make that trip from Manali brother. You can only go from Padum side to Phuktal or do Darcha – Padum trek.

  13. Just what I was looking for. I am preparing an itinerary for my Mumbai-Ladakh-Mumabai Motorcycle road trip. I have listed about 16 monastery, Hanle Observatory, Pangong Lake and Khardungla. About Phungtal Monastery, would it be possible to ride a motorcycle across the trails to reach here, or at least a nearest spot where I can park my bike and trek the remaining part.

    Also I would love to contribute to the school there. I was thinking of getting in touch with the school and maybe bring some supplies along with me if possible when I come there.

    • Vishal, you can ride the bike only to the point mentioned in the article above, may be at max. a KM more ahead on dirt track but dont think can go beyond it. You will need to have few days in your schedule to make a trip to Phugtal as mentioned in the article above.

      • Thanks Dheeraj for quick response. I am in love with your website. So much information covering so many informative topics. Thanks a ton for sharing 🙂

  14. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to go on bike to phuktal but confused about the routes.I Know that its has limited accessibility but i need to know where shall i enter from.There are two ways one from padum & then there is this google map shows from jispa through kurgiak chu road.I don’t know if this kurgiak really exists or not but it is really there then it might cover up lot of distance.Let me know if you have any idea about it?

    • Neil, what do you mean by bike? Motor bike? There is no road that goes to Phuktal. The one that goes from Jispa is not complete and is only possible up to Shinkoo La not beyond.

      • Thank you for replying. Can you share your email or phone no. .We are planning in september so i got some queries to ask for.It would be great if you could help.

  15. Hi Deeraj, this ((“I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees”-ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON,))shall define how Kevlar are the efforts you put to construct such an immaculate piece of travelogue, I wish i shall be able to generate such fantastic scenery dwelling on my cameras during my September first week visit.lastly an **important point is there is a complete route and road/ homes stay houses guided maps from “HIMALAYAN HOME STAYS” /snow leopard home stay in ladakh which can be found and very benefical to our DOW community taveler ,do check it.

  16. Anyone has google maps location of “Ichar” village?

    – Rohith

  17. Hi,
    I have booed a tour which includes a guide to take on a day trek with over night stay in guest house from Padum – Phucktal monastery.

    My concern is that route dangerous like crossing water, dangerous foot brisges and walking along narrow paths on edges of cliffs and valley?

    Any advise would be helpful as I will be there in June this year

  18. hi
    This is vivek.
    I will be travelling from Srinagar – leh – Manali, starts june 6th.
    I wanna do this trek.
    But the problem is I am a solo traveler.
    I cant afford much for this trek alone.
    It would be helpful if i get any partners for this trek.

    I forgot to tell this, very good and in depth article.
    keep doing.

  19. Hi Dheeraj!
    I came back from Ladakh and planning to go Zanskar in September.
    I want to do this trek to Phuktal, most likely from 20 to 23 of September. is it good time?
    can we arrange a room for sleeping in gompa?
    How is situation with river? I heard many times people could not go because of floods.
    One more suggestion- can you get any map of this trek with mentioned elevation?


    • Yes, it is good time to travel in Zanskar Valley. Yes, gompa has stay options available. It was a flood situation last year but it got resolved after the flashfloods caused by landlside artifical lake burst.

      I am sorry about the map of it 🙁

      • Hi!

        I can’t find any of this villages (except Padum)) on the google-map, the only reason i need it is to know elevation (how much per day we go up and on which we sleep), may be I can contact travel agent who can give me such info? Can you suggest me anyone who replies emails?

  20. Eric Davenport on

    Hey Dheeraj!

    This is an amazingly helpful and article with beautiful photography! I am planning a trip to India and stumbled across this incredible looking Trek and am thinking I’ll have to add it to the itinerary. I have a few questions if you don’t mind answering!

    Do many of the people in the surrounding villages or monastery speak English? I would think homestay owners most likely speak English but I don’t want to assume anything.

    Is it possible to keep trekking past Phugtal to another destination, or is the best option to back track to Icher?

    I’d like to do this without a guide to save some money if possible . Is it easy to find homestays and keep from getting lost on the trail without a guide? Or would you suggest hiring one for this trek?

    Thanks for any insights!

    • Hello Eric,

      Thank you and glad you liked the article. Very unlikely that those people will be speaking English. Most of them are not even literate to higher classes. So, do not assume, you have to use your gestures to communicate or get an English speaking guide from Padum with you.

      Yes, from Phugtal, you can trek a little back towards Purne and start back the trek to Darcha. That is named as Darcha – Padum trek.

      I will suggest that you should have a guide with you. Though to save money many people take the local villagers with them too. But, having a company on a high altitude trek is absolutely necessary and locals know the terrain and region more than anyone else do. I always prefer a guide to such treks to remote places

  21. hi , quite interesting ; I had been to Leh Ladakh in 2012 . would like to trek on Zanskar or may be interested in some summer activities. I am 52 and fit for trek of 6-7 kms a day.

  22. Ole Ejnar HANSEN on

    Mamaste Sharma
    Thanks for teh very good information. My wife and I were at Phuktal in 1994. A great experiment, we slept at the monastery. Like to go back one day.
    The enlighted yak, OleEjnar Hansen, Denmark