Korzok, also known as Karzok
or Kurzok, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Drukpa Lineage and ancient village on the western bank of Tsomoriri Lake in Leh
. Korzok, situated at 4,595 metres (15,075 ft), houses a Shakyamuni Buddha and other statues. It is home to about 35 monks.In the past, the monastery was the headquarters of the Rupshu
Valley. As a Drugpa order monastery, it was under the jurisdiction of the Hemis Monastery
. Two or four monks were assigned to run the monastery.
The highly revered monastery is 300 years old. The Tsomoriri Lake in front of it is also held in reverence, and considered equally sacred by the local people. With the efforts of the WWF-India the Tsomoriri has been pledged as a 'Sacred Gift for a Living Planet' by the local community (mostly Chang-pa herdsmen). As a result, the area has been opened up for tourists.
Korzok monastery as seen now is said to have been re-built in the 19th century on the right bank of the Tsomoriri River.The old monastery was built on a gentle slope, unlike other monasteries that are generally perched on hill tops. An impressive photong is also located near to the Gompa. A number of Chortens are also seen near the monastery.
Korzok settlement is considered as one of the oldest settlements of the World
.The monastery houses the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha along with images of other deities.The monastery has beautiful paintings (Thangkas); old paintings which have been restored.
Visitor Information :
The monastery is located to the southeast of Leh in eastern Ladakh, Jammu
, at a road distance of 215 kilometres (134 mi). It is also approachable from Manali. The Leh-Manali Highway or Manali-Tsokar route leads to Tsomoriri Lake and the Korzok Monastery. The Leh-Manali route passes through Upshi
, Chungthang to Tsomoriri Lake, a distance of 215 kilometres (134 mi). The road, climbing though the Tanglang La Pass, is the second highest in the world.Leh is also connected by air with many destinations in India.A permit (obtainable at Leh only) is essential for entry into the area. Only tented accommodation, pitched on the banks of the Tsomoriri Lake, is available for visitors.
Local Festival :
The Korzok Gu-stor festival is held at the monastery and attracts many Chang-pa, the Tibetan plateau nomadic herdsmen. The festival lasts for two days (July/August) and ends with the dismemberment and dispersal of the 'Storma' (sacrificial cake) by the leader of the Black Hat dancers in a ceremony called 'Argham' (Killing).