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Zanskar is a semi-desert situated on the northern part of the majestic Himalayan Mountain Range. Situated around 105 km from Leh, this picturesque attraction is well-known for its adventure activities. Adventure seekers can indulge in paragliding, water rafting, and challenging trek trails. Its scenic beauty coupled with the pristine environment and warmth of the local people make Zanskar a popular destination for tourists in the region.
Lose yourself in the grandeur of nature in the Zanskar Valley
Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy Zanskar Valley as it offers activities like nature’s trek trails, paragliding, and rafting. The challenging Lamayuru to Padam and Lamayuru to Darcha treks, trailing through mountain passes, are extremely popular amongst tourists. These treks last over 10-15 days, putting your physical and mental strength to a stern test! Rafting in the Zanskar river through the mesmerizing gorges is one of the most exhilarating experiences. As the river water is freezing, the rafting is done wearing wetsuits. This extreme adventure is completed over four days with camping nights by the river bank.
Chadar Trek is one of the most challenging treks, testing both your physical and mental endurance to the fullest. This trek is done on Zanskar when the river freezes during the winter season. This treacherous walk on ice is completed under extreme -cold temperatures and stretches over days and nights. This trek is organized only in January and February (maybe March, sometimes).
Situated in between Kargil and Rangdum, Suru Valley is another of nature's wonders with its spectacular green landscape and scenic surroundings. Rafting on Suru River begins from this valley, and it also acts as a base camp for mountaineering activities. Suru Valley is a must stop for travelers seeking scenic beauty in the region.
The twin peaks of Nun-Kun stand tall in all their glory and are a sight to behold! Nun is considered the highest peak on the Indian side of the Himalayan mountain range. The most exciting aspect is that Nun is almost always covered in snow and hence looks white. Kun, standing next to Nun, on the other hand, is black. Nature never ceases to amaze us with its mysteries.
Sani Monastery is known to be one of the oldest in the region. It is situated in the village of Sani, around four miles from Padum. Zanskar Valley has several more monasteries in the vicinity of a panoramic view of the valley. These monasteries are centuries old and some of them house grand murals, statues and stupas.
Zanskar is home to many glaciers that are worth visiting. Shafat Glacier is in Suru Valley that serves as a base for climbing the twin peaks of Nun-Kun. The panoramic Parkachik Glacier situated in Parkachik can be accessed through a suspension footbridge hanging over the Suru river. Drang Drung glacier is the second largest glacier after Siachen Glacier and is seen as a river of snow and ice.
How to Get Tickets?
You do not need ticket to visit Zanskar Valley.
How To Get Around?
You can plan your journey to Zanskar Valley either from Leh or from Srinagar. You can use private vehicles, like Cars or bikes to travel to Zanskar Valley. Most prefer self-driven cars or self-ridden motorcycles for an unparalleled experience. You can take your vehicles or rented vehicles. It is preferable to opt for SUV’s and MUV’s as the tracks could be treacherous, slushy and wet. Do ensure to drive well maintained and duly serviced vehicles to avoid any vehicle troubles on the way. Do exercise extra caution and care while driving on these roads. Hiring a private taxi is safe and convenient, but could pinch your pockets. You can opt for cheaper public transport and use the JKSRTC bus service from Srinagar. Catch the bus from Srinagar Bus Stand at Lal Chowk to Kargil and from Kargil to Padum. You may also find private bus operators plying buses from Srinagar to Kargil. The travel cost in both the state government-run and private buses are almost the same. Please check the frequency of bus service from Kargil to Padum to plan your itinerary smoothly. The most suitable mode of transport would be shared cabs running from Srinagar to Kargil or even from Srinagar to Padum. These non-stop rides take close to 12 hours to reach Padum from Srinagar
What Should I Wear?
Although you are visiting in Summer, the temperatures could dip, and it is safe to wear and carry warm clothes/shoes to this place.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit here is during summers.
Will I Need a Guide?
You can opt for individual trips or group tours that can be booked online, as there are plenty of options available as per your convenience.
How To Get There?
You can plan your trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh or Srinagar. Plan to reach Leh or Srinagar from your respective origin. You can opt for private or shared cabs, public transport or self-driven cars or bikes as per your inclination and budget considerations.
Take care to acclimatize yourself to the altitude. One option is to plan for a night stay at Kargil before reaching padum to get better acclimatized to the altitude before entering the valley. Ensure you are always well hydrated. Do not exert yourself. Stay away from smoking and alcohol and any other depressant medication. Do not starve and still keep your body warm. It is better not to sleep during the day. Ensure to carry first aid kit, a basic medical kit for emergencies. If you continue to have any altitude sickness, immediately come down.