Image: Sajith T S
Phugtal Gompa, India
High in the Himalayas, an awe-inspiring sight greets the eyes of India-fatigued travellers trekking through the remote region of south-eastern Zanskar, in the far north of the country: Phugtal Gompa. Hanging onto the edge of a rocky gorge at the mouth of a giant cave, this strange, sacred construction is built directly into the cliff side, like some giant, human-sized honeycomb. Phugtal’s (Phuktal) devoutly busy bees would therefore be the 70 or so Buddhist monks who live there, dividing their holy time between the monastery’s library and prayer rooms.