Karsha Gompa, Monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh

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Karsha Gompa is the biggest monastery in Zanskar situated in scenic surroundings few kilometers from main Zanskar town, Padum , is an imposing complex of neatly white washed building blocks comprising several chapels, besides residential cells for its nearly 150 lamas, who belong to the Geluks-pa sect. Built picturesquely along the steeply rising mountainside above Karsha village,  It was established by Lama Phagspa Sherab in the 11th century above the Stod river.

 

Karsha Gompa, Monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh

Karsha is the largest and most important monastery in Zanskar. It is didicated to Padmasambhava, and there are ancient rock-carvings at the site. The oldest remaining structure, an Avalokiteshvara temple, Chuk-shik-jal, contains wall paintings which belongs to the era of Rinchen Zangpo , The bone relics of Dorje Rinchenare is a part of this collection at Karsha Gompa.

 The Karsha area include an old nunnery called Dorje Dzong,  occupying a hilltop to the west of the main monastery. The ruins around this nunnery are believed to be the original monastic foundation of Karsha ,  the monasteries of Khagsar, Purang and Phagspa , two Temples – the ‘Thugsjechhenpoi Lhakhang’ and the ‘Lhakhang Karpo’ the present monastery was founded during the 14th century. An old stupa surviving among the ruins is still adorned with the original murals, which reflect Indian artistic influence. Nearby is the ancient temple of ‘Chukshik-jal’, which houses an exquisite figure of Avalokitesvara as the main image.

View from Karsha Gompa , Chortens in Zanskar Valley, Ladakh

Mons of the Khesa race became Buddhist in Kushan period under the King Kaniska are the dominant population in the Zanskar their features do not match with that of the local tribes or with the Mongolians, Mons are credited with building Kursha Monastery in the main Zanskar valley along with other 30 monasteries, chortens and temples .  Kursha monastery houses the mummified body of an incarnate lama called the Rinchen Zangpo and sealed in a wooden box with silver lining.

The most important festival, known as the Karsha Gustor, is held with masked cham dances on the 26th to the 29th day of the 11th Tibetan month, which is usually in January.

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Rangdum Gompa,Monastery, Suru valley, Ladakh

Rangdum Gompa , Tibetan Buddhist monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect administered from Karsha Gompa, situated at a height of  3,657 m (11,998 ft) on top of a small but steep  hill  at the head of the Suru Valley, in Ladakh. The monastery is built over a hillock , entrenched around by the bifurcated route of a mountain stream. The Rangdum Gompa of Ladakh gives the appearance of an age-old fortification. It was built 200 years ago by Gelek Yashi Takpa in the period of King Tsewang Mangyul . 

Rangdum Gompa, Monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh

Rangdum is 130 km. from Kargil at far end of isolated part of  Suru valley it is on a mid way to Padum and Kargil. On one side are the colorful hills while on the other side are rocky mountains and Glaciers . The small mani walls here and towards Padum are more ornate than in Ladakh , some of the stones are carved not only with the usual “Om Mani Padme Hum “ mantra but also with pictures of chortens and mandalas .  It is next to the tiny village of Julidok, and about 25 km from the Pensi-La  which leads into Zanskar valley,  it is physically in the Suru Valley, but culturally part of Zanskar

Holy Scripts kept at Rangdum Gompa Zanskar, Ladakh

The Rangdum Monastery of Ladakh owns the entire valley around it , there are more than 50 Monks who depend upon the offerings of grains and butter from the villages  , the  villagers who tilled the fields are decedents of serf-tenants of the monastery. The small villages of Yuldo and Julidok, at the end of the valley are entirely Buddhist. The people are socially and culturally part of Zanskar and support the  Rangdum Monastery,The country surrounding  is very bleak crops sometimes cannot ripen in the brief summer. The locals depend on their flocks and supplies from lower down the Suru Valley from Kargil or over the pass from Zanskar.  it is also the destination of the nomadic herds people called Bakaarwals, who trek up every year from the Himalayan foothills from around Jammu area , bringing their flocks of sheep and goats to grow fat on the rich summer growth of grass.

The road conditions are very bad near Rangdum.  There is no access to electricity, phone or internet.

For more information contact +91-9810506646

Callers from Outside India + 44770093414

Email: promark@promarktravels.com

Website: www.promarktravels.com 

Blog: www.promarktravels.com/blog