About 20 kms south-east of Rangdum stands the Panzila axis, across which lies Zanskar, the most isolated of all the trans-Himalayan valleys. The Penzila pass (4,401m) is a picturesque tableland surrounded by snow-covered peaks.
As the Zanskar road winds down the steep slopes of Penzi-la to the head of the Stod valley, the majestic " Drang-Drung" glacier looms into full view.
A long and winding river of ice and snow, "Drang-Drung" is perhaps the largest glacier in Ladakh, outside the Siachen formation. It is from the cliff-like snout of this extensive glacier that the Stod or Doda tributary of the Zanskar River rises.
The spectacular Himalayan landscape and the lifestyles of the inhabitants attract many tourists to the hidden kingdom of Zanskar
once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, Padum (3505 m) is the present-day administrative centre of Zanskar Sub-Division of Kargil district.
This picturesque village is 6 kms west of Padum, on the road to Kargil. The main attraction here is the castle-like monastery, which unlike other monasteries of Ladakh, is built on level ground.
The largest monastery of Zanskar, Karsha Gompa is an imposing complex of neatly white washed building blocks comprising several chapels, besides residential cells for its nearly 150 lamas, who belong to the Geluks-pa sect... Read More
Located 12 kms south of Padum, Bardan is an isolated monastery with about 40 Dugpa- Kargyud lamas in residence. Founded during the 17th century as the first ever centre of the Dugpa-Kargyud monastic order in Zanskar.
Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the oasis-like village below, the picturesque monastery of Stongdey lies 18 kms to the north of Padum, on the Padum-Zangla road... Read More
Situated 35 kms further ahead of Padum in the northern branch valley of Zanskar, Zangla was ruled by a titular king till his death about two decades back. The old castle, now in ruins except for a small chapel, occupies a hill overlooking the desertic valley below...Read More
By far the most spectacularly located monastic establishment anywhere in Ladakh, the Phugthal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave, high up in the vertical mountainside of the lateral Shadi gorge...Read More
The other spectacular cave monastery of Zanskar, Zongkhul falls on the Padum-Kishtawar trekking trail, just before the ascent to the Omasi-la pass begins. Built like a swallow's nest on the rock face in the Ating gorge, the monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian Yogi, Naropa...Read More
A accommodation is not a problem in Zanskar. You may stay at the Tourists complex or be economical and opt for the camps in the tents. There are few hotels too in Zanskar that provide basic facilities. Monasteries and village houses are the other stay options in Zanskar.