Mulbekh Gompa, Mulbekh Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir perched in the Himalayas and surrounded by Zanskar plateau and Suru River. The topography of the Kargil district is characterized by craggy peaks, steep slopes, narrow gorges, and deep valleys. The land is the center of religious generosity. The land is an abode of a number of Buddhist monasteries. Temples of prehistoric origin get well with the Buddhist temples while increasing the spiritual splendor of the place.

monasteries in kargil

Kargil and Leh are the two districts of Ladakh. Kargil became famous even before Leh or Pangong Leh, during the war of 1999 between India and Pakistan. The beautiful town of Kargil district has some attractive tourist places that would make a travel enthusiast visit it time and again. Zanskar, which in the Kargil district is home to many beautiful Buddhist monasteries.

If you ever visit Kargil or Leh (by road) then don’t miss a trip to the Buddhist monasteries in Zanskar and Shargole. These places are dotted with some of the most picturesque and ancient Buddhist monasteries of the world. Visit the Sani Monastery built by emperor Kanishka, and is one of the eight holiest Buddhist sites in the country. Watch the delightful medieval frescos at this monastery. Also visit the wonderful Rangdum Monastery, with a tiny museum housing Tibetan artifacts. The Zongkhul Monastery is built inside a spectacular cave and makes for a very interesting visit. Karsha Gompa is one of the most imposing monasteries in the Kargil region built along a cliff, and can be seen from far off. The Stongday Monastery is built on a rocky outcrop, and the Phugthal Monastery has a spectacular location where it spills out of a majestic cave and balances itself on a gorge. Also, visit the 8th-century rock carvings in Padam’s river bank. Some of the other monasteries you can visit are Mulbekh Chamba Monastery, Shargole Monastery and the tiny Buddhist temple at Phokar Rizong.

zanskar road
Zanskar road


Kashmir: a brief history


The Nirmala Purana describes the Valley’s origin from the waters, Ka means “water” and “Shimir” means “to desiccate”. Hence, Kashmir stands for “a land from water”. There is also a theory that takes Kashmir to be a contraction of Kashyab-mira or Kashyapmir or Kashyapmeru, the “sea or mountain of Kashyapa”, the sage who is credited with having drained the waters of the primordial lake satisar, that kashmir was before it was reclaimed. The Nilamata Purana gives the name Kaashmira to the valley considering it to be an embodiment of Uma and it is the Kaashmir that the world knows today.. The Kaashmiris, however, call it kashir, which has been derived phonetically from Kashmir, as pointed out by Aurel Stein in his introduction to the Rajatarangini, a history of kashmir written by Kalhana in the 12th Century, It is also stated that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. This was drained by the great rishi or sage, Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula). Cashmere is a variant spelling of Kashmir.


Ladakh is renowned for its remote Mountain Beauty and culture. it is sometimes called “Little Tibet” as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture. Historically Ladakh was a Buddhist kingdom that included Baltistan and Aksai-Chin. which are now administered by Pakistan and China respectively. It has a strategic location at the Crossroads of major trade routes. But since the Chinese authorities close the border with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, International Trade has dwindled except for tourism. Since 1974 the Indian government has successfully encouraged tourism in Ladakh. Ladakh has been a focal point of numerous Wars between India and Pakistan and the sino-Indian war of 1962. The Saltoro Ridge in the Siachen glacier is an active military zone even today.


The ancient inhabitants of Ladakh with darts and Indo-Aryans race from down the Indus. But immigration from Tibet more than a thousand years ago largely overwhelmed the culture of the dards and moped up the racial characters in Eastern and Central Ladakh. Today’s population seems to be mostly of Tibet origin. Buddhism reached Tibet from India via Ladakh. The area was the stronghold of Buddhism before Islam reached.

River jehlum

The most well-known river of the Kashmir Valley is the river Jehlum locally known as veth. It comes out of the octagonal spring of verinag. Its flow is very fast up to Khanabal and from Khanabal up to Baramulla, it moves slowly. In the olden days, Jehlum was used for navigation purposes hundreds of boats, shikaras used to move people and from Khanabal to Baramulla. This river is used for irrigation purposes also as most of the Paddy fields are irrigated by river veth or its tributaries.

River Veth Jehlum


Famous places like Anantnag, Brihbihara, Awantipora, and Pampore are situated at the bank of the river Jhelum. It passes through the middle of the city of Srinagar and about nine bridges have been constructed to cross the river. Visitors and tourists can be seen in houseboats enjoying scenes on the banks of this river and Shikaras take them from one place to another. Jehlum goes winding outside the city and flows into the greatest sweet water, the lake of Asia, Wullar. It comes out of it and goes through the middle of Sopore and Baramulla.

River veth jehlum

At Mahura near Baramulla, a canal has been taken out of it and the Mahura Hydroelectric power station has been constructed in the year 1905. The river then moves fast and passing through hills and valley goes to Muzzarabad. And together with the rivers Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Beas, Sarasvati River, and the Indus from Ladakh they combinedly form the Sapta Sindhu (“Seven Rivers”) delta in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Sapta Sindhu is very famous and has 20 major tributaries.

In short, the prosperity and beauty of Kashmir depend on the river Jhelum also.