The sky-touching and snow-capped Himalayan ranges with scenic landscapes, waterbodies, and scattered ruins of old monasteries are a dream destination for many wanderlusts.
If you are in search of such a paradise in India, the Zanskar Valley of Ladakh is one such popular destination.
Cradled at 1314 ft, this region offers a mesmerizing hotspot for thrilling outdoor activities.
In winter, the valleys remain heavily enveloped in snow, making them an iconic place for city dwellers.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Zanskar Valley,
Let’s see each of these in detail…
Location of Zanskar Valley
Zanskar Valley is a hidden gem located about 105 kilometers away from Leh.
This is the Kargil district to the east of Ladakh.
The natural beauty of Zanskar Valley
The Zanskar Valley is known as “the hidden treasure of Ladakh.” This barren yet beautiful land rewards visitors with breathtaking scenery. The major attractions of this place are the picturesque waterbodies, snow-enveloped mountain peaks, and beautiful landscapes.
The snow-covered cragged peaks seem to touch the cloud-covered sky.
You can see numerous Zanskar tributaries traversing the valleys. The thin streams with white glaciers meander through the mountains and merge on the horizon. You can also occasionally see the crystal clear aquamarine lakes sprinkled with ice.
Numerous hamlets with simple white buildings and sparse cultivable land border the valley.
Another lovely sight you can see here is the Pensi La Pass, which is flanked by glaciers on both sides.
Sometimes, you can also glimpse some rare wildlife and bird species.
Zanskar valley is one of the best places to have a magical sight of starry nights, especially the Milky Way Galaxy. The moon-bathed place is a sight which you should not miss here.
You can also see a plethora of monasteries that dot this valley. Lingshed monastery, Sani Monastery, Stongdey monastery, and Phuktal Monastery are some of them. You can also see many prayer flags fluttering near the passes and monasteries.
While soaking in the journey to Zanskar, you can spot lovely kids with red cheeks and narrow eyes wrapped in colorful woolen who would impart a heart-melting smile at you.
In general, this hilly destination undoubtedly mesmerizes visitors.
Things to do about Zanskar valley
Although one of the remotest regions of India, there are numerous things to do in Zanskar valley.
- Visit the valleys and lakes beautified with the glaciers- Shafat Glacier, Drang Drung Glacier, Nun Kun peaks, Ta Tso, Lang Tso, and Gumbo Rangan.
- Get a thrilling ride through the mountain passes of Parkachik La, Shingey La, and Sir Sir La.
- Take in the spiritual ambiance of the nearby monasteries.
- Capture the rare sights of wildlife and birds like Asiatic Abex, Himalayan Golden eagle, Blue Sheep, Marmots, Kiangs, and many more.
- Explore the nearby ruins of the forts like Zangla and Rangdum.
- Photograph the exquisite “Milky Way Galaxy.”
- Arrange for camping with your squad under the starry nights.
- Go for thrilling activities like trekking, rafting, paragliding, and motorbiking. There are treks such as the “Chadar Trek, Lugansk Trail trek, Padum Darcha Trek” and others.
- Taste authentic mountainous dishes like Thukpa, Momo, butter tea, and Tingmo in Zanskar valley.
- Enjoy sunrises and sunsets from the vast sceneries of rolling mountains and lakes.
Best time to visit Zanskar Valley
Many factors decide the optimum time to visit Zanskar valley. Road conditions, temperatures, trekking routes experiencing massive snowfall, etc.
September and October are generally considered the best time to visit the valley.
With the arrival of autumn and the departure of the monsoon, nature leaves the imprints of the freshness of the monsoon, making the surrounding more transparent. You can also experience a light shower of snow, and the lakes start to be inundated with glaciers at the end of September.
October in Zanskar is far more beautiful. The skies are filled with a hue of a honey drop. The golden orange hue marking its presence makes the valley more magical and makes your journey more memorable!
During the winter, the weather is entirely freezing. Heavy snowfall can cause discomfort, and several roads are blocked during this time.
January is when the valley receives the highest amount of snowfall. The temperature drops as low as -12 degrees and hence quite unbearable.
Snow clearing is done in April, and trekking through the passes is an adventurous option during summer.
Other attractions near Zanskar Valley
Zangla, Zongkhul, Bardan Gompa, Sheela VIllge Waterfall, Sani Monastery, and Padum Village are some of the beautiful places near Zanskar.
The list does not end here, as there are endless places to include in your Zanskar itinerary trip.
Green pebbly valleys, snow-covered peaks, glaciated lakes, colorful flags fluttering, gompas, and monasteries create a postcard-perfect view of Zanskar, making it look no less than a paradise.
It’s mesmerizing how the northern borders of India impress globetrotters with such picturesque scenery. And I think a nomadic life is incomplete without the trip to Zanskar valley.
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