Famous For: Zanskar is famous for its many monasteries. It is known as Chosyul or ‘Land of Religions’ due to the presence of several monasteries like Stong De, Phuktal, Zangla, Rangdum, Karsha and Lingshed. However, Pensi La Pass, Zanskar River, Padum, Zanskar Valley, Rangdum are some attractive places of Zanskar.
Major Attractions: Pensi La Pass, Zanskar River, Padum, Zanskar Valley, Rangdum are some of major places to visit in Zanskar.
Ideal Visit Time: In the summer session June to September is the ideal time to visit Zanskar. On the other hand in winter session, October to May is the best time to visit Zanskar.
Zanskar, its local name is Zahar or Zangskar. It is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. The administrative centre is Padum. Zanskar, together with the neighbouring region of Ladakh, was briefly a part of the kingdom of Guge in Western Tibet. In recent times there has been a huge loss in terms of tourism, which Zanskar has suffered. The opening of the area to foreigners has since led to the financing of schools and the restoration of monasteries and roads. However, it has also had a huge impact on the environment and population of this fragile mountain. All in all, it is one of the major tourist destinations where many tourists visit every year.
Let’s talk about some attractive places of Zanskar below:
Pensi La Pass
The Zanskar Valley is largely separated from the Suru Valley. After its separation, it became a fascinating valley in the Zanskar range, known as the Pensi La Pass Valley. It is located at an altitude of about 4400 meters above the sea level. Rich with abundant medicinal plants, blue-green water fountains and an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountains, the area is an ideal camp for trekkers.
The presence of a variety of wildlife, including marmots and brown bears, is observed here. It is adorned with glaciers on both sides, from which the currents of the Suru and Zanskar rivers flow, creating a beautiful and picturesque view. Keep in mind, however, that the valley is only accessible between May and September, with heavy snowfall in the rest of the month leaving the area submerged and unpredictable.
The acclaimed zanskar rive as the most challenging trek in the region. Zanskar River Trek or Chadar Trek is a winter trail. It is one of the largest tributaries of the river Indus. It rises from the slopes of the Himalayas to the north. Branched into two: Doda tributary, begins in close proximity to the Pensi La Pass and flows alongside the Zanskar Valley towards Padum, whereas the Kargyag river tributary forms the second branch emerging from near the Shingo La and Tsarap river.
The confluence of these two tributaries forms the Lungnak River, also known as the Lingti or Tsarap River. Due to the adjacent glaciers, the entire area of the Zanskar River forms a U-shaped valley. It presents a mesmerizing view during the day as well as at night. This river provides an outstanding trek during the winter months at a jaw-dropping elevation of 3800 metres making it a must visit site. You can pass your great time with friends and family.
Padum is named after an ancient Indian Buddhist guru of the 8th century. Who was known as Padmasambhava and is regarded as the second Buddha. The town of Padum is located at an altitude of 3669 m in the Janskar range. The most populated town of Zanskar, Padum also serves as the abode to exotic flora and fauna. This region still holds antediluvian relics like intricate carvings on a large rock situated on the banks of the river Lung-nak, dating back to 8th century.
In addition to these attractions, there are some natural beauties in the vicinity of this region that cannot be expressed in words. It also consists of a trekking base, landscape meadows, extensive farmland, green forests, trickling streams and raw rugs of the mountains. Undoubtedly it will play a significant role in your entertainment.
A very natural and enchanting view gives the gift of Zanskar Valley. It offers amazing treks and that’s why it’s so popular. With the mind-blowing landscapes of the mountains, the snow-covered nature, breathing in the clear flow of the misty clouds and enjoying the unparalleled glory and irresistible view of nature is different. This valley stands tall in the jungle range of the Himalayan mountains. The range is located at an average elevation of up to 6000 m. It is home to a dense range of flora and fauna. On the way to the valley, along with other places of interest, you can see the beautiful meadows, the sparking streams and the Drang-Drung glaciers.
Located between Kargil and Padum, Rangdum is an elliptical plateau in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir. Located at an altitude of 3657 m, the plateau is located in a valley in the Suru Valley region, about 100 km from the city of Kargil. Decorated with colorful hills on one side and white glaciers on the other, it carries a dazzling view. All in all, the area is a fascinating site. Drang-drung glaciers can also be seen from this region. A wonderful region in the north of India, Zanskar has many more wonderful places that you can see. It is one of the best and offbeat places in Zanskar, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful vacation.
How To Reach
By Road: Zanskar valley is 250 kilometers away from Kargil. So you have to reach Kargil first, which is 213 km away from the Leh. From Kargil, hire a SUV to reach Zanskar. Also, there’s a weekly services that run from Leh till Padum in Zanskar. It stops for the night at Kargil. If tourists are opting for the Manali route to reach Leh, then the Zanskar would one of the regions they will come across.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi. It is 730 km away from Zanskar. Most of the major cities in the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Indore, Jabalpur and Rishikesh are well connected to Jammu by rail. Additional trains operate on this route during the holiday season. Buses from Jammu ply to Zanskar. Taxis are also available to reach Zanskar from Jammu.
By Air: Leh is the nearest airport at the distance of 105 km. Flights from Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar connect Leh by air. Taxi & cabs are easily available from Leh to reach Zanskar. Delhi is the nearest international airport at the distance of 1250 km. Delhi is well connected to most major domestic and international cities by air. So, if you want to reach Zanskar, you’ll have to reach one of those airport at first. Then you’ll have to hire a taxi or cab.