Sani Monastery is located in the central plain of Zanskar region, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is located next to Sani Village and 6kms away from Padum. In the Ladakh and zanskar region this is the oldest monastery. This belongs to Drukpa Kargyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
What to see in Sani Monastery: This monastery is the only monastery in Zanskar which has nuns. This was built in Parts. Each part of this monastery belongs to different centuries. Oldest part of the monastery is Chorten. This belongs to 2nd century. In 17th century, assembly hall was built. At this place there is a small chapel. On this chapel visitors can find plenty of floral designs, landscapes and beautiful murals. Murals say the life of Padmasambhava.
Monastery is in the form of Castle. Kanika Stupa is one of the attractions of this place. It is believed that this was built by Kushan rulers of 2nd century. In the main building of the monastery, visitors can see prayer hall. In this hall, visitors can see the statues of Kargud-pa’s Lamas and Buddhist deities. Outside this complex, one can see cremation ground. It is one of the 8 most important cremation grounds of Tibetan Buddhist.
Most famous festivals of this place are Great Prayer Festival and Naro Nasial Festival. Great prayer festival celebrates during the winter season. Naro Naisal Festival is a two day festival. It is believed that, under Kanika Stupa, Yogi Naropa meditated. Every year, this statue is unveiled in late July. At that time, Lamas perform Mask dance.
What to see around Sani Monastery:
Pipiting: It is located very near to Zanskar. This place is famous for several ancient temples and stupas. Other attraction near this place is Sani. This monastery has ancient chortens. It is constructed by Emperor Kanishka. Attractions of this Gompa are idols, paintings and murals of Saint Padmasambhava.
Bardan Monastery: It is located on the trekking route from Padum to Phuktal. This monastery was established in 17th century and it belongs to Tibetan Buddhism.
Padum: It was once acted as capital to Zanskar. Padum Valley is the major attraction of this place. Other attractions of this place are Starrimo Monastery and Trekking.
Phuktal Gompa: It is constructed in the shape of beehive on the rock wall. Major attractions of this gompa are huge prayer hall and meditation room. This gompa is dates back to 11th century.
Rangdum Monastery: It lies between Kargil and padum. Main attraction of this monastery is assembly hall. This hall has beautiful status.
Tagrimo Monastery: It lies in the plains of Padum. Other name is Kagyupa Monastery. It is the house to 30 monks. This place is famous for 17th century paintings.
Getting to Sani Monastery: Sani Monastery is connected with road. Nearest town is Kargil. It is situated on 1 D National highway. This highway connects Leh and Srinagar. Visitors have to reach Kargil to visit this monastery. Regular buses are available from Leh and Srinagar to Kargil. Nearest railway station is located at Jammu. From Chandigarh, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi etc trains are well connected with Jammu. Cars, Jeeps and buses are available to reach Kargil from Jammu. Nearest airport is located at Srinagar and Leh.
Getting around Sani Monastery: This can be explored on foot. From Kargil, buses, Jeeps and Taxis are available to visit the surrounding places of this monastery.
Best time to visit Sani Monastery: Best time to visit this place is between July to November.
Where to stay in Sani Monastery: There are no accommodations are at Sani Monastery. Limited accommodations are available at Kargil. Luxury hotels are not available.
Where to eat in Sani Monastery: Eateries are not available at this place. It is advisable to carry food while visiting this place.