Rangdum Monastery is located in between Kargil and Padum which belongs to the Gelugpa sect at a height of 3657 meter on a top of a hill. It is situated near by the village of Rangdum. Rangdum Gompa is Tibetan Buddhist monastery which belongs to the Gelugpa sect. The monastery is build over a small hill and well-established around by the bifurcated way of a mountain stream. Rangdum monastery was developed by Gelek Yashi Takpa before 200 years ago. This period belongs to King Tsewang Mangyul and only 40 monks lives in this monastery.
The 200-year-old Rangdum Monastery is situated in the most isolated part of the Suru Valley in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. A prominent centre of Tibetan Budhism, the monastery is part of the Gelugpa or yellow-hat order.
The monastery falls in Suru Valley but culturally it is part of Zanskar. Situated at an elevation of 11,998 ft, it is amongst the most important landmarks of the Ladakh region. The monastery is 130-km south-east of Kargil and falls midway between Kargil and Padum.
Rangdum is just 130 km from Kargil,and the view of the rangdum monastery is very attractive as there are various mountains and on the other side there are rocky mountains as well as glaciers. On the wall of the monastery there are pictures of chortens and mandalas.
Rangdum Monastery is just positioned next to the tiny village of Julidok, and about 25 km from the Pensi-La which leads into Zanskar valley and and it is physically in the Suru Valley, but it is part of their culture. The best part of the rangdum gompa is that it contains a central prayer hall having fantastic collection of statues and art objects. Rangdum gompa has a major attraction for the lovers who like trekking, the most famous trek route being the one that commences from here and leads to to Henaskut near Lamayuru through breathtaking gorge of the Kanji valley.
Rangdum gompa having great advantage for having valley around it. Nearly there are 40 monks who are totally dependent upon the contribution of grains and butter from their villages. The village peoples does their work by plowing and sowing and raising crops are decedents of serf-tenants of the Rangdum monastery. Yuldo and Julidok villages are situated at the end of valley, which are mainly Buddhist. For tourists wishing to stay overnight at rangdum gompa, there is the newly built Tourist Complex with 5 furnished rooms and dormitory accomodation. Alternatively, they can also opt for tented accommodation operated by the monastery management. Food can be bought from the nearby teashop.
Rangdum also serves as an important trekking base.
The trek to Henaskut near Lamayuru is the most popular. The 5-day trek passes through the spectacular Kanji valley. Another trek from Rangdum leads to Kishtwar. Though less adventurous than the Kishtwar trek, the trek up Penzila Ridge is also popular. The shorter trek is popular with campers too who want to camp out close to the majestic Drang-Drung glacier.
By Air: The nearest airports are Srinagar (204 km) and Leh (230 km).
By Road: The region is well connected with Kargil (130 km) and Padum by regular bus service. One can hire a car or jeep taxi from Kargil that takes around seven to eight hours to reach Rangdum.