Phyang Monastery (Gompa): The Heart of Village
The Phyang Gompa lies in the heart of Phyang and rightly so it functions as one.
About 20 km towards Srinagar from Leh, on the Srinagar-Leh highway, lies this beautiful village of Phyang. With about 300 homes in the hamlet, this is an oasis of green in the otherwise barren yet beautiful landscape of Ladakh.
The Phyang Monastery or Gangon Tashi Chodzong is a famous Buddhist institution in Ladakh. The name ‘Phyang monastery’ has been taken from “Gang Ngonpo” or the blue mountain.
The monastery was constructed in the 16th century by Choje Denma Drakpa. The person was invited by the then king of Ladakh, Tashi Namgyal to set up a monastery. Therefore it is said that King Tashi Namgyal was keen on the monastery to atone for a terrible crime that he had committed-blinding and expelling his elder brother in order to gain the throne.
For a Responsible tourist, the Gompa has a lot to offer. There is a museum that contains 900 years old scriptures, idols, Tibetan and Mongolian firearms and weapons. The museum exhibits rich collections of thangkas, ancient wall paintings and holy deities. Moreover, the Gang-Sngon Tsedup Festival is held annually from 17th day to 19th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. On the 2nd and 3rd day of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar, Phyang serves as a venue for sacred dances. Numerous tourists come here to experience the unique taste of festivals. Festivals at Phyang involves, music, dance, mask dance, Cham dance by monks are definitely worth watching.
History of Phyang Monestry:
Phyang monastery was considered as the primary and one of the most influential institutes in Ladakh. The area where the monastery stands today once was under the royal property and was gifted to Denma Kunga Drakpa. Phyang monastery is a Buddhist centre and belongs to the sect of “Red hat” (Kargyu-Pa). The large temple premises include the accommodation of plenty of holy shrines inside the temple complex. These shrines feature spectacular wall paintings and artwork dating back to the royal period. The Monastery also houses a school, named “Ratnashri” that provide knowledge to the younger monks on modern education along with Buddhism. Also, there are classes in Hindi, English, Mathematics, Tibetan languages.
The ambience around the monastery is pristine and peaceful. The tourist can soak in the natural beauty and also enjoy a sweet cup of tea offered from the ever hospitable Lamas (Monks). There is a provision of about 100 Lamas to stay in the monastery.
Reaching Phyang Monastery:
Phyang village is well connected with NH1 (Srinagar –Leh) highway. A 4 KM long road from NH1 leads you directly to the monastery. It is fully motorable by well-paved metaled road.