Zanskar Trek

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Zanskar Trek

Zanskar Trek starts from the abundant and lush green valleys of the Himalayas.

Zanskar Trek offers stunning sights of Tibetan Buddhism with its Gompas and frescos. The Zanskar area has attractive landscapes and a huge wealth of rock strewn mountains. This route gradually passes across the great Himalayan array and arrives in the trans-Himalayan range.

Rangdum is a charming place, surrounded by grand cascading hills on one side and glacier crusted rock-strewn mountains on the other. Trek to Penzi-la pass (4401m), a scenic tableland bordered by snow-covered peaks. When the road of Zanskar trails down the sheer slopes of Penzi-la to the head of the Stod valley, the magnificent Drang-Drung glazier appears into full view.

The trek follows the Tsarap River up and down through a dark, rocky landscape. Cross some stream and then continue to follow the Tsarap River. Trek through the past villages of Surle, Zantang, Kalbok and to the conflux of Tsrap and Kargyak rivers. Trek through the numerous trails from Padum to Central Ladakh, west of Kishtwar and south to neighboring Lahaul.

Lamas will welcome you to ancient monasteries scattered on steep cliff edges. All hard hikes involve effortful ups and downs. This trek will take you from the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh into the ancient kingdom of Zanskar. The scenery here is truly spectacular and the monasteries are really remote and cliffhanging.

A steep climb leads to Purfi La pass, from where the vista of the Ladakh Treks and Zanskari ranges is pretty extraordinary. Visit the Lingshed monastery and ascend long and steady ascent to the Netuke La pass (4280m), where you will have a wonderful view towards the Nierag valley.

Descend to the Photang River and pass by the barley fields. Trek towards Photang valley which turns into a gorge labyrinth. To reach Photang valley, you need to trek down. Thereafter, climb up to the Panjila pass (3410m). Explore the place called Wanla and its tiny monastery.

Major Attractions

Rangdum: Settled between Kargil & Padum, this place imparts great opening to trek into the elevated Himalayas. It is famous for its Rangdum Gompa. This monastery is located on a hill. The small monastery called Zongkul Gompa is also worth visiting.

Lingshed monastery: Lingshed Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in the Zanskar area. The monastery of Lingshed is set over the township; just beneath the sheer hillsides that rise beyond it.

Wanla: Set at the meeting point of two rivers in a side valley amidst Khaltse and Lamayuru, Wanla is a settlement which has gradients around a famous rock mount. An exciting castle is ruled by the superior structure of the three-storied Wanla temple.

How to get there

By Air: Indian Airlines and Jet Airways have regular flights to and fro Leh. Leh airport is linked with important cities like Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh.

By Road: Regular state transport bus services run between Srinagar and Leh and Manali and Leh. If you do not prefer traveling by bus, the alternative available is jeeps.

By Rail: Jammu is the closest railway station and is 734 km from Leh. From here Buses take two days to reach Leh.

Best time to visit: Mid June to Mid September


  • Special permits are not required for trekking in the Indian Himalayas, with the exception of certain restricted areas.
  • Make sure that you do not dirty the surrounding places while trekking.
  • Travel in groups, rather than moving alone.
  • Do not walk too fast on wet slopes and stones.
  • A moderate trek is set at an elevation of 4060 m. / 13315 ft.
  • Normal physic is required.

Things to carry

  • Walking stick
  • Binoculars and camera
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking shoes
  • Woolen clothes
  • Water, juices, snacks
  • Electric torch
  • Medical kit
  • A good compass
  • An extra pair of clothes

Other Attractions in the Vicinity

Stongdey: The monastery of Stongdey is located around 18 km to the north of Padum.

Penzella: It divides the Zanskar valley with the Suru Valley. Penzella Pass offers exceptional views of the grand mountains and the enchanting rural area.

Karsha: This Tibetan settlement is a must visit. It reveals the significance of the region and their lives. The Gelugpa monastery at Karsha is the main attraction.


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