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The Phuktal Monastery

The Phuktal Monastery, located at 3900 meters above sea level, is a Buddhist monastery in the remote and hard-to-reach Zanskar Valley in the southeast of the Himalayan region of Ladakh in northern India.
The monastery is not only a sacred place, but also an architectural wonder shaped by its natural surroundings. Loose stones in the cave ceiling and around the monastery threaten the site, which is worthy of protection.

The Phuktal Monastery

The name Phuktal translates as "cave of silence" or "cave of liberation or place of retreat".
The monastery is home to numerous shrines and valuable wall paintings from the 16th century. It is an important spiritual and cultural place for the people of the Zanskar Valley and also attracts visitors from all over the world.

Today, 30 to 80 monks (aged between 7 and 80) live in the monastery. One of the monks' main tasks is to perform rituals and prayers in the temple for the people, the animals, the environment and the whole world.
They also regularly visit the surrounding villages to perform prayers and protection rituals. In doing so, they undertake long and, especially in winter, dangerous journeys.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to financially support the Phuktal Monastery in their efforts to implement the urgently needed rockfall protection measures.

Any amount of support is welcome and appreciated in order to start the implementation of the protection measures.
The monastic community, the "Tschudig Gyatso Switzerland" association and all those involved would like to thank you very much for your support!

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Danger of falling rocks

As a result of the increasing temperature fluctuations with freezing and thawing from fall to spring and the more intensive rainfall in spring, rockfall occurs more frequently both in the cave and in the inhabited surrounding area. The local monks are particularly at risk. Entire houses have already been destroyed and unfortunately two monks have also died as a result of falling rocks. 
It is therefore urgently necessary to implement various protective measures to ensure the protection and safety of the community and visitors from all over the world.

Location of Phuktal Monastery

The Phuktal Monastery is located in the Himalayas, in the south-east of the Zanskar region in northern India at 3900 meters above sea level.

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Planned measures

  1. The existing protective measures must be professionally supplemented by the construction of additional gabions. 

  2. Surface water should be diverted away from the critical gullies (incised erosion channels) to prevent further erosion. 

  3. A concept is needed for the regular maintenance of the gabions and for their accessibility.

  4. In addition, the planting of shrubs, e.g. sea buckthorn, rose hips, barberry or even trees should be implemented as a further additional measure.

  5. A ban on access to the area above the monastery is absolutely necessary to prevent people from unnecessarily causing rockfalls.

More detailed information

If you would like more detailed information, you can find the complete documentation in the form of a sponsor folder here. 

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