Located in the Trans Himalayan region of India, Leh Ladakh is a spectacular destination in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Fast becoming the most frequented adventure zone in the world, Leh and Ladakh has a lot to offer for tourists, from age-old Buddhist monasteries to exciting adventure opportunities. Tonde Monastery is one of the most acclaimed Buddhist monasteries in Leh-Ladakh.
Being predominantly a Buddhist state, Ladakh has beautifully preserved the religion within its enclosure of majestic peaks and treacherous mountainous terrains. Also referred as 'Little Tibet', Ladakh is home to numerous monasteries of prominent Buddhist groups like Hemis, Alchi, Thiksey, Stakna, Spituk, Shey, Stongdey and Gelugpa schools.
The Tonde Monastery is a Gelugpa monastery located in the village of Tonde in Ladakh. Tonde village can be accessed from Padum - the largest town and administrative center of Zanskar in Jammu and Kashmir. From Padum, take a four to five hours hiking tour through a bare, desert like plateau to reach Tonde Monastery.
Tonde Monastery, also referred as Marpa Ling, stands high above the village, on the way to the Ronde Pass. Originally a Red Hat Monastery, Tonde underwent reforms in the passage of time, and now belongs to the most widespread, Gelugpa School of Tibetan tradition. Around 50 monks of Gelugpa sect reside in Tonde Monastery.
Also known as 'Yellow Hat' school, the Gelugpa sect emphasizes on the study of logic and philosophy - at the expense of direct, shamanic experience - and is a significant force in Tibet, Nepal, Northern India, and a few Western countries.
How to Reach:
By Air - Both Srinagar and Leh Airports can be used to reach Kargil.
By Road - From Kargil, regular buses are available are available to reach Padum. The journey takes two days, with an overnight halt at Rangdum. From padum, Tonde Monastery can be reached through hiking tour.