Zanskar Valley


Zanskar Valley is a beautiful landscape with attractive rivers, lakes, snow-clad mountains, amazing skyline, and all this at just a little distance away from Leh, the capital city of India’s Northern Union Territory, Ladakh. It is in the northern region of the great Himalayan range. It is a must-visit tourist destination for all coming to Ladakh.

Cliffhangers India, a registered travel planner with The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department, has a lot to say about the very famous tourist destination in Ladakh, undoubtedly the Zanskar Valley! Putting everything about this valley into words doesn’t seem possible so we are going to talk about some important aspects to get a good feel for your being in the Valley itself. Read ahead, it’s about how amazing the valley is!

Explore the Himalayan wonderland Zanskar Valley through: Zanskar Valley Tour Packages

Why Visit Zanskar Valley?

You must choose this valley because of the variety of things one can explore and experience here. The beautiful blue rivers, pristine lakes, spiritually enlightening monasteries, challenging roads, and passes, silver glaciers, and of course the people and its culture. This valley is home to many monasteries like Sani, Lingshed, Stongdey, Phuktal Monastery and Alchi Monastery.

Going through the Pensi La pass overlooking the glaciers and the view of Suru Valley can be a mesmerizing experience. Most travelers are recommended to visit here from May to September to enjoy the beauty of this valley to the fullest.

Explore the breathtaking himalayan landscapes: Leh Ladakh Tour Packages

Attractions of Zanskar Valley?

Below are the handpicked attractions of Zanskar. These are the best things you can do in this valley, and for these activities this valley is famous. 

Trekking: Most trekkers and travelers know about the Chadar Trek or the Frozen Lake Trek which is the most sought-after trek here during the winter. This trek is possible only in the winter months because that’s when the temperatures are below freezing point and it’s extremely cold in this region keeping the Chadar Lake frozen. The Padum Darcha trek, the Lugnak Trail, and the Zanskar-Sham Valley trek are also popular in Zanskar. These treks can be done in all three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter.

Book here: Markha Valley Trek

Bike Rides: This valley is a biker’s dream. Bike riding here can give you an adrenaline rush. Besides, biking here, and river rafting can be enjoyed too.

Book here: Leh Ladakh bike Trip

Baralachha Pass: A splendid pass through a spectacular landscape is what makes traveling through the Baralachha Pass a unique experience. This pass lets travelers get a view of the beautiful mountains as well as the Pir Panjal mountain range.

Sangam Point: Sangam Point is a spectacular place to view an amazing blend of two beautiful rivers the Indus and the Zanskar rivers. The point where these two distinctly colored rivers meet is called the Sangam Point. Tourists are surely going to be bedazzled with this natural, colorful, and adorable show of the pristine rivers. Everyone who comes here will take the most pictures of this truly picturesque display of nature, right here in this valley!

Festivals and Culture: If you thought this valley is only about the mountains, rivers, lakes, and adventures then that’s not all about it. The festivals, celebrations, and culture here are what make this place a truly colorful and adorable one. The Sani festival, the holy dance by the Lamas, and the beautiful blend of Tibetan, North Indian, and Chinese culture make a visit to this offbeat place an amazing and enriching experience.

Monasteries: Visiting monasteries here or for that matter anywhere in Ladakh is an amazing experience. Monasteries have enlightened monks, gorgeous Gautam Buddha statues, colorful artwork, and ethnic architecture to get impressed by. Monasteries are a place for meditation, peaceful stays, a celebration of holy festivals, and learning about the enlightened living of the Lamas from the monks themselves. This valley has some great monasteries to be visited by all the tourists coming here. some of the popular monasteries are Likir Monastery, Alchi Monastery and Thiksey Monastery.

Visiting monasteries is a beautiful experience for everyone and all age groups. Moreover, the monasteries here are so aesthetic that clicking photographs here can give you some splendid photogenic memories to cherish for a long. The names of some monasteries here are already mentioned in this blog, still, we add the names of the famous Tibetan-Indo monasteries in Zanskar Sani, Lingshed, Stongdey, and Phuktal monastery.

Local Cuisine and Delicacies: Whether you are on a trek or sightseeing, taking a break to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, lunch, snacks at snack time, and dinner are essential and enjoyable. Thukpa (soup with vegetables and noodles), Momos, Skyu (traditional soup), Tingmo (steamed Tibetan bread with dal, cooked vegetables, or meat), Chutagi (a pasta-like dish served with vegetable-based sauce), Chhurpi (Yak Cheese), Khambir (Ladakhi wheat-bread) and the most important Kahwah (tea) are some of the local foods that every traveler in here must insist on and try out.

Enjoying filling meals made from local ingredients as well as readily available noodles (known as Maggi in India) adds to the delightful experience for all visitors. From very young to seniors, all can come to here just to enjoy eating too in nature’s spectacular setting!

zanskar valley

How to Reach?

There are multiple ways you can reach Zanskar Valley. One can choose to reach Leh first and then hire a cab to reach from Leh. To reach Leh you can travel by air, railway, or road from most places in India. The most common way to travel by air is to land at Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. From the airport to reach Leh and/or Zanskar, you can hire a taxi.

Similarly, for reaching railway, direct trains are unavailable. You can fly to Jammu Tawi and then take a cab.

The distance between Leh and Zanskar is around 462 Km and can take around 11 hours by road. Zanskar and Leh are reachable by road from most nearby cities. National Highway 1 and 301 can opt for road travel.

Best Time to Visit Zanskar Valley

The best months to visit Zanskar Valley are summer months from May to June; or the monsoon months from July to September. So, the months from May to September are the preferred months for a trip to Zanskar Valley in Ladakh.

As you might have already noticed that the winter here begins in October and till January end this region experiences heavy snowfall and the temperatures drop down too low, imagine walking on an absolutely frozen lake, how cold that whole region could have turned!

Winter in Zanskar is a trendy and adventurous time. The temperatures are cold ranging from -2°C to -25°C. The months from October to February are the winter months here. It’s cold beyond description yet exceptional people explore this valley in winter. The snowfall, winter festivals and sports, frozen rivers and lakes, and winter treks are just a few words that describe the winter beauty but visiting this place in winter is one-of-a-kind experience.

We only suggest to all our readers and travelers to know that winter is not an ideal time to visit this valley and Ladakh since there are a lot of other inconveniences that one may have to bear. Nonetheless, we encourage the adventurous and experienced ones to step in!

Summer in Zanskar is from March to June. The region experiences warm to mild cold climates during summer. The temperatures range from -2°C to 30°C. The day temperatures may fluctuate from mild cold to sunny hot. The snow here starts melting in March but it is only by June that the snow on the roads and the valley melts and gets cleared. Summer here can be an exciting and exciting season to be in. With correct guidance and support from travel planners, you can spend a great time here during the summer.

The Monsoon in Zanskar is very pleasant. It is the monsoon, which is not just one of the best seasons to explore but it is also the prettiest and most convenient season for traveling, sightseeing, trekking and cultural exploration. The rainfall during monsoon is moderate to low as this region falls in the rain shadow area. The temperatures range from 10°C to 25°C. Travel planners strongly advise all visitors to choose the monsoon months for travel and exploration.

Nonetheless, the valley and all of its tourist destinations are fantastic all year. Each month of the year has something special to offer the visitors. You can visit at any time of year if you have basic information about the region and the guidance and support of your travel partner. Everyone is at liberty to choose one’s best time to visit.

We just recommend you choose an authentic travel planner to help you throughout your travel and tour here. Cliffhangers India is one of the best travel planners for the Zanskar tours and treks.

Read here about: Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh For Snowfall

Where to Stay at Zanskar Valley

Since this valley is an offbeat tourist place, you need to have the information about where to stay at here in advance. Padum has a variety of lodging and stay options. Padum has a wide range of budgets for Three-Star hotels. Camp stays are also available in Padum.

Tourists can also stay at Government-run guesthouses in Sankoo, Panikhar, Parkachik, and Rangdum. Karsha has both private guest houses and monasteries where visitors can stay. Homestays are available here including all the places mentioned in this part of the blog and Reru and Hanumil.

Remember to carry warm clothes, water, food packets, cash, fuel, hygiene and sanitation essentials, a basic medical first aid kit, torch, suitable mobile phone sim card for better connectivity and an overall good experience. For a detailed list of must-carry things for a tour or trek here, you can seek information from travel planners.

What Is Zanskar Valley Famous For?

The valley is famous for its Chader Trek and frozen River Trek. It is also famous for its treacherous terrains for adventure lovers. Apart from these water bodies, lush landscapes, and pleasant weather makes this valley a famous place. The valley offers a lot of things for travelers such as paragliding, trekking, and water rafting. The total area of the valley is 700 sq kilometers. It is one of the remotest regions in the Leh Ladakh. The beauty there is mesmerizing with the magnificent snow mountains in its backdrop. 

Which Is the Highest Peak Of Zanskar Valley?

Kamet Peak is the highest peak of this valley. It is 25,446 ft tall and one of the highest points of Zanskar. This valley is surrounded by magnificent snow-covered mountains ice glaciers and frozen lakes. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Leh Ladakh region. 

How Many Days Do You Need To See Zanskar ?

3-4 days are enough to explore the entire Zanskar Valley. You will explore the breathtaking rivers, mountains, monasteries, glaciers, etc. Besides, there are many top attractions that you can cover in 2 days such as Bardan Gompa, Stongdey Gompa, Karsha Gompa, Phugtal Gompa, and Padum Khar. 

Kargil To Zanskar Distance

The distance from Kargil to Zanskar Valley is 230 kilometers approximately. The road conditions are good. You will enjoy the breathtaking views from Kargil to Zanskar Valley.

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