Zanskar Travel Guide

Located in the Ladakh region in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, Zanskar range is a mountain range and a part of Tethys Himalaya. It is situated at an altitude of 19,700 feet and separate Kinnaur district from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most isolated regions in Ladakh and can only be reached either through a strenuous week long trek and a 14-hour drive alongside an uneven route along the Suru River. The mountain range is quite rich in terms of flora and fauna. However, a new road is under construction along the valley of the Zanskar River, connecting Padum to Nimmu on the Leh-Kargil road.

A sub-district of Kargil in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Zanskar region is a semi-arid high altitude desert. The area is one of the major draw among international and domestic adventure seekers. Administrative centre of the region is located in Padum. For a brief period of time it was a part of Guge Kingdom in Tibet. Perched on an altitude of 4,400 m, Pensi La is a Gateway to the area. Zanskar Valley gets completely cut off from rest of the world between November and May due to heavy snowfall. Most of the local population are Buddhist and the royal family still reside here although playa ceremonial role only.


When it comes to remote and pristine location, Zanskar gets as close to isolation as it can and could be reached only through a long 15 hours road drive. The journey along treacherous and potholed terrain follows Suru River or gets complete through an arduous trek. The region lies on the Northern flank of the Great Himalayan Mountain Range.

Best Time to Visit

As with most of the other destination in Ladakh region, Zanskar is best visited between June to September when the road is clear of the snow.

Tourist Attractions

Like most of Ladakh, attractions in Zanskar are natural. Semi-arid landscape, monasteries and chortens are popular attractions in the area. While Chadar trek which allows you to walk on the frozen river is one of the most popular activities in Zanskar. Nowadays, bike riders also throng this magnificent and isolate paradise in quest for adventure and thrill.

Where to Stay

Mostly there are campsites and homestays where tourists could find accommodation along the way.

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