One of the most remotest and least visited Zanskar valley falls under Kargil distric of Ladakh region. Panikhar on the route to Zanskar, is commonly considered to be on the border of the Suru Valley, the Pensi la pass almost midway between Padum and Rangdum separates Zanskar from the Suru valley.
Zanskar lies between the Kashmir valley and the Lahaul valleys to its south and the Indus valley of Ladakh to its North. To the west of it lies the district of Kargil while to its east it is bordered by the Rupshu and Changtang regions of Ladakh.
From a tourist point of view Rangdum 120 Kms from Kargil can be considered as Suru valley and Padum administrative centre of Zanskar is another 120 Kms ahead of Rangdum as Zanskar valley. The Pensi la pass the highet point in this route is about 25 kms from Rangdum.
Apart from the panoramic vistas of the Suru Valley Rangdum also has the Rangdum Monastery which houses an amazing collection of Tibetan artifacts.
There are many monasteries in Zanskar also. Karsha, Stongdey Phugthal and Zongkhul to name a few.
Suru and Zanskar lies in the Kargil district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The average height of the Zanskar Range is about 6,000 m (19,700 ft). Its eastern part is known as Rupshu. Located on the leeward side of the Himalayas, Zanskar, like its neighbor Ladakh, is a high altitude desert. The valley is drained by the two main branches of the Zanskar River. Most of its inhabitants believe in Tibetan Buddhism. In fact Buddhism made its way into Ladakh via this region. Zanskar has one of the longest uninterrupted Buddhist heritages of any region in the world. Zanskar has some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries of the Ladakh region. Among the wildlife that can be found in Zanskar are the marmot, bear, wolf, snow leopard, kiang, bharal, alpine ibex, wild sheep and goats, and the lammergeier.
The important thing to note if you are visiting Zanskar is that there is no petrol pumps and very limited resources are available in this region so make sure you have all the supplies necessary for your entire duration of the trip.
River Rafting in Zanskar:
The Zanskar river is a one of the most exciting river rafting sites in India with rapids ranging from grade III and IV.
The river passes through the Zanskar canyon also called the Grand Canyon of Asia and offer some of the most exciting rapids. Typically Zanskar river expedition is a two week affair.
Kargil/ Zanskar Festival: This festival spreading over 5 days is held at Padum Zanskar/ Kargil. A combination of sports and local cultural events mark the festivities.
Neares airport is at Leh.RAIL
Udhapur is the nearest railway at Jammu district.ROAD
A poorly maintained 200 km long motorable road connects Padum, the largest town of Zanskar, with Kargil. This road is open only for about 5 months in a year, from June to October. In winters the only way in and out of Zanskar is a hazardous walk along the frozen Zanskar river to the town of Nimmu.