Kardang Gompa

Buddhist Monastery in Keylong

On concrete stilts facing Keylong across the valley, Kardang Gompa has existed for 900 years, but was refounded in 1912. Maintained by an order of Drukpa Kagyu (Red Hat) monks and nuns, the monastery enshrines a mighty prayer wheel said to contain a million paper mantra strips. Ask a monk or nun to open the doors to see the excellent frescos and library of sacred texts.

The library also houses thangkas, old weapons and musical instruments. Getting here by road is nearly 20km via the petrol station at Tandi Bridge. On foot from Keylong, it's a stiff walk taking over an hour, steeply down then back up. Descend the step-path from near Vikrant Homestay in the western Mall, and 30m before the hospital go down to a footbridge across the River Bhaga. Climb 1km back up to a road on the other side, turn right into Kardang village and ask directions to the gompa, 800m further uphill. For a different route back to Keylong, return to Kardang village then head to the right along the road for 3km to Lapchang village, where a path descends 1km to another footbridge, then climbs 1.25km to the main road. Keylong is 1.5km to the left.