August 14, 2021
Purig Kargil has been very rich in Monoliths and several colossal rock sculptures, cave monasteries and other naturally formed topographical features such as lakes, glaciers, divine peaks and many other beautiful valleys. The cultural heritage of Buddhist rock artwork and history in the region dates back to the Gandhara Art of the 5th-6th Century CE. The Maitreya or Future Buddha statues are situated in all four directions including Karchay Khar, Wakha Mulbekh, Apati and Drass.
The largest 9 meters high colossal rock sculpture of Future Buddha, locally known as Mulbekh Chamba in the south of the district headquarters is situated at Mulbekh on the Srinagar-Leh national highway, some 40 kilometers towards Leh side. En route the Aryan Valleys on the Kargil Batalik Road, there is another colossal rock sculpture of Maitreya Buddha located towards the west of Kargil in the Apati village of Sodh area. The rock structure represents the Buddhist art of rock sculpture dating back to 3rd-4th CE similar to that of Kartse Chamba (holding a sacred vase water pot in his left hand and the right hand on his heart gesturing the protection from all fears of cyclic existences).