Located 3 km from Skardu city, Gilgit-Baltistan, the Manthal Buddha Rock stands as a silent testament to a bygone era. Carved from granite in the 8th century, this cultural gem beckons travelers to unravel its rich history and breathtaking artistry.

Historical Significance:

The rock, adorned with a colossal Buddha carving at its center, flanked by two standing Metreyias and encircled by twenty small Buddhasattvas, transports visitors back to a time when Buddhism thrived in the region. An inscription at the rock’s base, translated by a Balti elder, speaks of Lonchay, a local prince whose palace once stood before the rock but succumbed to the raging waters of the Hargisa River. During Lonchay’s reign, Buddhism flourished, and the Manthal Buddha Rock served as a sacred site for Tibetan worshippers who made Skardu their capital until the 13th century.

Journey to Manthal Buddha Rock:

Accessible with a short 3-kilometer drive from Skardu, the site lies along the road leading to Deosai or Sadpara Lake, situated on the right side across the Hargisa Nala. The journey unfolds the region’s scenic beauty, setting the stage for an encounter with an ancient marvel.

Exploring the Site:

For enthusiasts of Buddhist culture and history, Manthal Buddha Rock offers a profound insight into the traditions that once flourished in Gilgit-Baltistan. The rock, perched at a height, not only unveils the religious significance but also provides a panoramic view of the surrounding region. Before Islam’s arrival, the majority of the local population practiced Buddhism, leaving behind captivating Buddha images on numerous rocks. The Manthal Buddha Carving remained concealed until the early 20th century when Scottish traveler Ella Christie brought it to the world’s attention through her book on Western Tibet. Since then, the Pakistani government has taken measures to preserve this historical monument, attracting tourists keen on exploring Skardu’s cultural richness.

Preservation Efforts and Religious Tourism:

In recent years, the Pakistani government has been actively promoting religious tourism, recognizing these sacred sites in national forums. This initiative aims to inform the global Buddhist community about the region’s historical significance and attract visitors interested in exploring its cultural tapestry.

Tour Objective Description:

Explore the ancient wonders of Gilgit-Baltistan at Manthal Buddha Rock. Uncover the mystique of an 8th-century granite masterpiece, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich Buddhist heritage. Plan your journey for a cultural odyssey with breathtaking views and historical revelations.