Rangdum Monastery in Zanskar Valley – A breath-taking fort in the hills

 In Ladakh, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel, Travel Photography

One of the best places in our Ladakh tour packages and sitting atop a hill perched like a mighty fort stands a monastery, rich with history and overflowing with culture – the Rangdum Monastery in Zanskar Valley. Located between Kargil and Padum the Rangdum Gompa belongs to the Gelugpa sect and is situated at a height of 3657 meters.

With snow-capped peaks, you get a mesmerizing view of the valley on the backdrop of this mystical monastery. Like the many amazing places in the Zanskar Valley, the Rangdum monastery provides one of the main attractions in Ladakh and holds an amazing collection of Tibetan and other Buddhist artifacts.

The history of Rangdum Monastery.

The history of Rangdum Monastery.

The history of Rangdum Monastery.

The Rangdum Monastery is almost 200 years old and was built in the 18th century during the period of King Tsewang Mangyul. This monastery is located in the most isolated part of the Suru Valley and although a part of Suru Valley, it is culturally a part of Zanskar.

The inscriptions found in the monastery depict the origins of the monastery and the structure is said to have been built by Gelek Yashy Takpa during the reign of King Tsewang Namgyal II of Ladakh.


Home to almost 30 monks and countless donkeys, the Rangdum Monastery depends on supplies from outside. The land is almost barren due to the harsh weather conditions, especially during the summer.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, a trip to the Rangdum Monastery in Leh is a must-have experience in your Leh-Ladakh tour.

Rangdum Monastery at a glance

Rangdum Monastery at a glance

Rangdum Monastery at a glance

The valleys surrounding Rangdum Monastery, the colorful hills on one side and rocky mountains and glaciers on the other, give a majestic presence to the monastery.

Some of the stones carved here have pictures of mandalas and chortens on them and the usual “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantras. A place for meditation, religious worship, and religious education for the monks and the local community, the Rangdum Gompa provides spiritual solace to the local communities as well as travelers.

Being completely isolated and far off from the mainland, the monastery sometimes gets dependent on offerings of grains, medicines, and milk products from the local village. The surroundings and architectural beauty contribute to the monastery’s appeal.

How to reach Rangdum Monastery

Rangdum Monastery in Ladakh is located almost 160 km towards the south-east of Kargil and 105 km from Padum.

The nearest airports to Rangdum Monastery in Zanskar are Srinagar and Leh.

By train, the nearest station is Jammu Tawi. After reaching the railway station you can take a ride to Kargil or Leh, and from there move on to Rangdum Gompa. You can book your hotels in Leh before heading out on your adventure.

The Randum Monastery can be accessed by road as it is connected by a lot of roadways. You can get regular bus services from Kargil as well as Padum. You can also hire a car from Kargil but the journey may last up to 7 hours. The roads are rocky and challenging so be prepared for a rough ride. The scenic route however will make the trip worthwhile.

A monastery for all

A monastery for all

A monastery for all

Tourism in Ladakh only began to develop in the 1970s, when travelers sought out this barren untamed Himalayan region. Slowly tourism began to flourish when the monasteries in Ladakh began to open their doors to curious wanderlust backpackers and tourists.

In the heart of the Himalayas stands the Rangdum Monastery in Leh, which provides an escape from the main city life and gives a glimpse of the Buddhist heritage amidst some of the most mesmerizing landscapes of the nation.

Understanding culture and traditions and preserving and maintaining it for future generations, should be one of the focuses while traveling and visiting these amazing heritage sites such as the Rangdum Monastery in Ladakh.

What are the nearby attractions to explore?

The nearby attractions and a few hours drive from Rangdum Monastery are:

Parkachik Glacier which is revered as one of the most beautiful glaciers.

Mamaleshwar Temple is an ancient shrine located in the town of Pahalgam.

What is the best time to visit Rangdum Monastery?

The best time to visit Rangdum Monastery is June to September. The monastery is cut off for the rest of the year due to heavy snowfall.

Are there accommodation options near Rangdum Monastery?

The Global Himalayan Expedition has set up homestays near the village for visitors. Hotels near Rangdum monastery are also available but they are quite a distance away from the monastery.

Are there any cultural festivals or events celebrated at Rangdum?

Like most Buddhist monasteries, the Rangdum Monastery celebrates annual festivals featuring vibrant dances, religious performances, and cultural events that attract both tourists and locals alike.

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