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Prayer flag above the monastery of Tanze (the wind is believed to propagate the prayers printed on tissue)

Zanskar, also spelt Zangskar, is a vast region in Ladakh, India. It is famous for its stunning scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries. It is more remote and less densely populated, with less infrastructure than other places in Ladakh.


Get in[edit]

Zanskar Valley is approachable by road from Kargil, which lies on the SrinagarLeh highway. The main town of Zanskar region is Padum which is about 240 km from Kargil, with Rongdum approximately midway. There is a road under construction which will connect Darcha to Padum and onwards to Leh via Nimoo.

Get around[edit]


Padum Valley
Zanskar Valley
  • Padum Valley: Padum sits at an altitude of 3505 m from the sea level. It is the capital of the ancient Zanskar, and is administrative headquarters of the Zanskar region. Padum has population of 1500-1600. Padum is a very scarcely inhabited valley in the Zanskar. Padum is one of the famous trekking destinations in Ladakh.
  • Stongdey monastery lies on the road towards Zabgla, 18 km north from Padum. There is a community of about 60 Gelukpa monks who are the resident of the Stongdey. Stongdey is the second largest monastic establishment in the Zanskar region and this monastic is inhabited by the community of monks. Tourists can approach this place on foot by the road in about 4 hours. Monastery climb is rather strenuous, but it is worthwhile after seeing the breathtaking natural beauty of the valley.
  • Zangla was ruled by a titular king till a few years ago. Zangla lies in the north of Zanskar, around 35 km from Padum. For the visit of austere life style of small community of nuns, you can find many old nunneries.
  • Zongkhul has many spectacular cave monasteries famous in Zanskar. Zongkhul is located on the trekking trail of Padum to Kishtwar which is just before the starting point of ascent of Omasi- la Pass trek.


  • Trekking. Zanskar attracts thousands of adventure sports lovers every year, to experience the adventure and thrill of some challenging treks available there. Some of the highest mountain passes of the country are in the Zanskar. Trekking through these high mountain is enthralling, but requires good trekking experience and trekkers should be able to take physical strain.
  • Rafting in Zanskar River is one of the adventure activities. This rafting route takes tourists to one of the most amazing and challenging gorges of the world. Water in the Zanskar is very cold and it is advised to take a wetsuit. These rafting trips can last up to 12 days, with accommodation being camping near the river bank.




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