Karsha Monastery

  • imageZanskar
  • Ladakh

About Karsha Monastery Ladakh

The largest Monastery in Zanskar, Karsha Gompa is also the most important one in the region. This top attraction in Zanskar is located in Padum Valley in the village name Karsha and by it flows the gurgling Doda River. Belonging to Gelugpa sect of Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Karsha Gompa is home to more than 100 monks. The monastery also houses the bone relics of Dorje Rinchen.

The village Karsha where the monastery is situated is also the ending point of the popular Chadar Trek in Zanskar. One of the major attractions of Karsha Monastery is the annual celebration of the festival of Karsha Gustor on the 26th to the 29th day of the 11th Tibetan month, which is usually in January.

History of Karsha Monastery :

The history of Karsha Monastery states that it is a 10th century gompa in Zanskar and is attributed to Padmasambhava. There are several ancient rock-carvings at the monastery. The oldest remaining structure of Karsha Monastery is an Avalokiteshvara Temple, Chuk-shik-jal that contains wall paintings associated with the era of Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055).

Architecture of Karsha Monastery


The architecture of Karsha Monastery is of Tibetan style. There are a number of shrines in the gompa and residences that can accommodate 100 monks. The monastery is also embellished with exquisite paintings done by the Lama Dzadpa Dorje.

Highlights of Karsha Monastery :

  • Bone relics of Dorje Rinchen
  • Wall Paintings
  • Avalokiteshvara Temple/Chuk-shik-jal
  • Karsha Gustor

Best Time to Visit Karsha Monastery

The best time to visit Karsha Monastery is from July to September when the roads are clear of snow. Visiting Karsha Gompa during the annual Karsha Gustor in January is also considered ideal.

How to Reach Karsha Monastery?

The best way to reach Karsha Monastery is by hiring a cab or riding a bike from Padum, which is 9 km away. One can also decide to walk from Padum to Karsha.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How far is Karsha from Padum & what is the best way to reach?

Karsha Monastery is situated at a distance of 9 km from Padum. Hiring a cab or riding a bike are the best ways to reach here.

Q. Is there a festival to see in Karsha Monastery?

Yes, Karsha Gustor is an annual festival held in the month of January during which the traditional Cham Dance can be witnessed in Karsha Gompa.

Q. How old is Karsha Monastery & which sect of Buddhism does it belong to?

Karsha Monastery is a 10th century monastery. It comes under Gelug or Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Q. What is the major attraction in Karsha Monastery?

The fact that it is the largest monastery in Zanskar and the annual Karsha Gustor are the major attractions of Karsha Monastery.

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