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Phyang Monastery

Phyang Monastery is also referred to as Gangon Tashi Chodzong. It is located nearly 20 kms away from the western side of Leh, in the Ladakh district. The Monastery got its name from the blue colored mountain (Gang Ngonpo) at the back of the Monastery. The Monastery was constructed in 16th century by Choje Denma Kunga Drakpa with the support of his follower Chogyal Tashi Namgyal who was the 21st Dharma King of the district of Ladakh. The location of the present Monastery was once a portion of the several Monastic properties, presented in the time of King Tashi Namgyal to Denma Kunga Drakpa.

According to legends, Denma Kunga Drakpa came to the region of Phyang in quest for a place to construct a Monastery and here he erected his tilt on a ground, cherishing the wonderful surroundings. Denma Kunga Drakpa was particularly nosed by a hillside, exposing three discrete animal shapes. During meditation, he saw a dream of the protectress Achi who was on her beautiful blue horse. Then, he interpreted the dream as a positive sign and took the decision to erect the Phyang Monastery on a hilltop. Afterward, a rose shrub sprouted and it propagated on the hilltop which is present in the Monastery even today. 

The monastery was maintained by a series of Chojes which are selected through the Drikung Kyabgons directly. At present, it is guided by Togden Rinpoche, who is Ladakh’s 33rd Choje of Drikung. There are many holy shrines located within the Monastery compound. There are also numerous lovely mural paintings, dated back to the imperial period, flourishing the Monastery. The oldest temple of Phyang is the Mahakala Temple also known as Gomkhang. During the time of the establishment of the Phyang Monastery in 16th century, it was constructed and painted. The beautiful ancient murals are there which shows Mahakala and the other savior deities.

This Monastery also includes a collected works of gracefully painted ancient thangkas and idols, exceptionally valuable for the purpose of iconography for the tradition of Drikung. These cultural riches have currently been documented inside the attractive book ‘The Hidden Treasures’ published by the author, Otter Verlag from Ladakh. In Ladakh, this Monastery has become the major and most significant center for the mission of the Drikungpa until the recent time. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang builds his house at this Monastery after evading from Tibet. It was prior to the establishment of DKI at Dheradun, India. At present, over 100 local monks are there in Phyang. In this Monastery, the Ratnashri School has been erected to provide modern education to the junior monks along with Buddhist. The classes which are offered include Mathematics, English, Tibetan, Hindi and the ritual prayers of the Monastery.

From the 17th to the 19th day of the first month in Tibetan calendar, there is an annual fiesta held which is called Gang Sngon Tsedup. Many dances of holy meaning are performed in this Monastery on the 2nd and 3rd days of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar.


In ancient times, the hilltop where the present Phyang Monastery is situated had several monastic properties, and an archaic Monastery called Tashi Chodzong was also there. In accordance with other fables, it is believed that the Monastery was initiated by King Tashi Namgyal in the late 16th century. This Phyang Monastery is one out of the two Monasteries, in which the teachings of Drigungpa sect was begun by Phakmadrupa Dorje Gyelpo. The chief of the Monastery currently is the lama, who is believed to be the Skyabje Toldan Rinpoche’s reincarnation.


Inside the complex of Phyang Monastery there are several kinds of shrines, splendidly decorated with frescos. Another fascination of Phyang Monastery is the museum. This 900 years archaic museum has an impressive collection of Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan articles which includes weapons and fire arms. After current renovation, this Monastery is worthy to visit. This museum consists of wide collections of statues which are made up of bronze and belongs to the 16th century.

Reaching There

Phyang Monastery is only around 17 kms away from Leh. Taxis and cabs are available from Leh to reach Phyang. Leh has good communications by road with Srinagar and Manali. Phyang can be reached from Leh. But these roads are quite not easy to move.

Frequent landslides usually occur here. Kalka is the closest railway station to the Phyang Monastery. Passing all the way through Shimla, from Manali, tourists can take the buses or hire private cabs to get to the town of Leh, from where anyone can effortlessly reach Phyang monastery.

Visitors can also make a trip to the Phyang Lake which is just a few kilometers away from the Phyang Monastery.

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