Sani Monastery in Kargil (Ladakh)

The Sani Monastery has been constructed in several places over the course of centuries.

The Sani Monastery has been constructed in several places over the course of centuries. | Photo credit: Araken Starway/wikimedia

Sani Monastery Overview

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Sani Monastery is situated towards the west of Padum, on the road that leads to Kargil. This monastery is a significant shrine of the Drukpa Kagyupa School of Tibetan Buddhism and belongs to its southern branch. A unique thing about this monastery is that it has been constructed in different parts over a course of several centuries. While the chorten inside this monastery belongs to the 2nd century, its assembly hall is believed to be constructed during the early years of the 17th century.

The architecture of the Sani Gompa resembles a huge castle and has a prayer hall and 2nd century Kanika Stupa within its premises. Statues of Buddhist deities and revered Lamas adorn the central hall, which also has elaborate fresco designs and thangkas on its walls. Behind this monastery, there is a small chapel that has stucco murals related to the life of Guru Padmasambhava. A sacred cremation ground, surrounded with intricate rock carvings, is situated right outside the monastery complex.

This monastery is associated with Naropa – a famous Indian Buddhist Yogi and spiritual teacher. According to beliefs, he meditated at this site, under the Kanika Stupa. A small room with his veiled bronze idol has been constructed at the spot where he meditated for a long span. Every year during the Naro-Nasjal festival in July, the statue is unveiled for devotees and masked dances are performed as a ritualistic offering.

  • Photo Opp

    Nestled amidst scenic surroundings, the Sani Monastery offers ample of opportunities to photography lovers. They can click snapshots of the ancient shrine and the surrounding beautiful valley.
Religious Monument


Kargil, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir