Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

The other spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar, Zongkhul falls on the Padum-Kishtawar trekking trail, just before the ascent to the Omasi-la pass begins. Built like a swallow's nest on the rock face in the Ating gorge, the monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian Yogi, Naropa, who is believed to have used for meditation the two caves around which the monastery has been developed. A footprint on a stone near the ingress of the lower cave is highly revered as that of the yogi. The frescoes on the cave walls are very old and reflect a high degree of artistic achievement. These are believed to be the original murals executed by Zhadpa Dorje, the famous scholar-painter of Zanskar who was active in the same monastery about 300 years ago.
 
Dzongkhul Monastery or Zongkhul Gompa is located in the Stod Valley of Zanskar in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Like Sani Monastery, it belongs to the Drukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism
 
Dzongkhul has traditionally been home to famous yogins. It is sited near the foot of a wide valley which leads to the pass known as the Umasi-la which joins Zanskar and Kishtwar.
 
History
 
Its foundation is attributed to Naropa (956-1041 CE), who was a celebrated Indian Buddhist yogi, mystic and monk from the renowned Vikramshila University in Bihar. He is said to have meditated in one of the two caves around which the gompa is built and the monastery is dedicated to him. His footprint can be seen in the rock near the entrance to the lower cave. The gompa contains images and thankas of famous Drukpa lamas. Zhadpa Dorje, a famous painter and scholar created some of the frescoes on the cave walls almost 300 years ago.
 
Impressions of Naropa's ceremonial dagger and staff are also said to be in the rocks in his meditation cave which attracts many pilgrims. Until about the 1960s there were some 20 resident monks, but the numbers have dropped sharply in more recent times. It also contains a rich collection of precious artifacts, such as an ivory image of , a crystal stupa, and texts containing spiritual songs and biographies. Dzongkhul became a flourishing  meditation centre under the Zanskari yogi Ngawang Tsering
 
Festivals
 
The Zongkhul Huchot festival on the 16th and 17th days of the fourth Tibetan month but there are no masked dances.
 
 
More in this category: « Zangla Stongdey »

About Jammu & Kashmir Tourism

The Department of Tourism, J&K is the main developmental, promotional and regulatory arm of the J&K Government. Its main role comprises of overall planning and execution of schemes for the development, up-gradation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure in different parts of the State.
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