Stakhna Gompa (20 km)

Located on a remote and isolated rocky outcrop on the banks of the Indus River, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Stankha means ‘tiger’s nose’ as it is situated on the ‘nose’ of a hill that resembles a tiger. Founded by a Bhutanese scholar and saint in the late 16th century, this gompa belongs to the Drugpa or Red Hat sect. It is small and very well maintained, and a visual treat, with beautifully painted interiors adorned with paintings, frescoes and murals. There are many smaller shrines that house 400-year-old sandalwood statues and statuettes of the Bhutanese priests who founded this monastery.

It’s worth your while visiting this monastery, for it is beautiful and offers spectacular views from the top. To get to Stankha, drive down the Indus, which then curls around 'Tiger’s Hill’. But the road does not follow the course of the river, and visitors must driver right around and negotiate a small bridge before arriving at the monastery. The views of the snowy peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range to the south are breathtaking.