Do you want to visit the most incredibly situated, let alone remote, monastery in Ladakh? Then put on your hiking boots. Only those on foot can get to Phuktal Monastery at 3,970 meters/13,024 feet. Phuktal is a 5km/3.1 mile hike in each direction just from Purne campgrounds.
Phugtal Monastery or Phugtal Gompa (often transliterated as Phuktal) is a monastery in south-eastern Zanskar, Ladakh in northern India.
Founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo in the early 12th century, the monastery is a unique construction built into the cliff-side like a honeycomb. It is located on the mouth of a cave on the cliff face of a lateral gorge of a major tributary of the Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River.
Home to about 70 monks the monastery has a library and prayer rooms. A stone tablet reminds of Alexander Csoma de Kőrös author of the first English-Tibetan dictionary who explored Ladakh and visited in 1826-27.
Nowhere else in Switzerland is the change from the hilly landscape of Central Switzerland to the craggy alpine scenery so abrupt or impressive as in the Alpstein area.
The challenging walk from Wasserauen up to the Ebenalp offers spectacular views of this fascinating hiking area. After the first climb, you reach the picturesque Seealp lake, with, behind it, the mighty Säntis mountain. However, the undisputed high point of this route is the Äscher mountain restaurant. The restaurant is in the most precarious position, clinging to the foot of a vertical cliff face a good 100 m high. The season usually ends on October 31.
The Äscher Cliff Restaurant in Switzerland is best seen after a long hike. It was carefully built into the side of a mountain during the 19th century. More of an inn and restaurant than a luxury resort, this getaway is the best spot to take a breather on your trek up the northern Alps. The views here will keep you charged as you continue your trip through the Swiss mountains.
Wasserauen – Seealpsee – Äscher – Ebenalp
The walk begins at Wasserauen station and leads first up quite a steep path to the Seealpsee. The tour round the lake which follows gives you plenty of time to admire the beautiful scenery. Then the climb up from the Seealpsee to the Äscher really shows what you are made of. The mountain path goes up steeply along the slope and is quite tricky. Finally, after the Äscher mountain restaurant, a rocky path leads on up to the Ebenalp with its fantastic views. Then the cable-car takes you back down to the valley in just a few minutes.