Zanskar Valley - The Valley that Echoes Chants.
The magnificent rugged, remote valley lies in the interiors of the newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh. Zanskar Valley is a sub-district of Kargil with Padum being its administrative centre, it is one of the known Buddhist kingdoms of the western Himalayas within an elevation of 12000 feet.
A vast plain surrounded by immense rocky Himalayan peaks with snow-capped tips, for countless centuries a powerful river flows through the region. As you stroll down through the alley of an arid cold desert in deep gorges and glaciers, you will find yourself passing through various passes, a gorgeous turquoise lake with an enchanting landscape which is dotted by many timeless monasteries.
From different shades of brown rock formations to the warm hospitality of its people- Zanskar has all the elements that entice the explorers into the Lost Valley!
Let’s take a tour to the valley that echoes chants…
How to reach Zanskar
- Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh is the nearest airport to reach Zanskar Valley. You can rent out a private vehicle from the airport or you can also choose to take public transport.
- Leh – Padum has Heli service of Pavanhans, it is approx. 30-40 minutes ride to Padum. (Season Sensitive)
- Reach Jawi Tawi Railway Station and then take a means of public transport or private vehicle via Kargil to Zanskar Valley.
- You can start from Leh via Kargil to Padum – 447 km.
- Another route from Manali via Shingo La – 227 km.
- Pensi La is only open from May – October
- Shingo La, recently opened route August – October
Zanskar valley being quite offbeat roads and many parts are only accessible on foot.
Here are the must-visit places in Zanskar Valley. You don’t want to miss out!
1. SURU VALLEY– The Definition of Beauty
Suru valley is nestled in the Himalayan mountain range – surrounded by snow-capped mountains, pristine rivers, and verdant valleys. Panikhar is a small village located in Suru Valley by no means it is a large inhabited by people of Dard and Tibetan descent. With lush green valleys filled with willow, mulberry, poplar, apricot, and apple trees and mighty Nun Kun rising atop, this is a peaceful and secluded place to go off the beaten path.
2. RANGDUM – Trekking Base Of Himalayan Wilderness
Village in the middle of nowhere is an ideal camping place in the Himalayan wilderness of Suru Valley and it serves as a base for different trekking routes. Having the arid and barren look to the place, Rangdum monastery gives the final touch to the picturesque on a top of a hillock like an ancient fort. Being the 200 – year – old monastery, stones are carved in mandalas along with usual inscription with the wide collection of Tibetan and other artifacts in a museum, it is the home to around 40 monks.
3. DRANG DRUNG GLACIER – The Natural Marvel
You will witness one of the most picturesque natural marvels situated near Pensi La Pass called Drang – Drung Glacier. Largest glaciers towering height of 4,780m, it spreads alluring charm to a distance of 23km – as Doda River originated from here and flow to Padum to join Tparap Chu to form the might Zanskar River