Sani Monastery, a castle-like gompa, is located in Sani, 6km west of Padum, on the road to Kargil. It is a part of the Drukpa Kagyupa School. The prime draw is Kanika Stupa (image), which is located in the backyard of the monastery. It goes back to the 2nd century. There is a vast central prayer hall that houses a variety of statues of Buddhist saints. A chapel is also attached to the Sani gompa, housing a fascinating collection of frescoes and stucco murals. Another focal attractor is a onetime cemetery, a superior example of ancient rock carvings. Sani is associated to a saint named Naropa, who is understood to have meditated here for sometime under the Kanika Stupa. A veiled bronze image of Naropa can be seen here. This image is unveiled once a year during July, a two-day festival being held to memorialize the occasion.
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