Zanskar is one of the remotest yet the most stunning area in Ladakh. Heavy snowfall for eight months in the year makes it a hostile territory. But come summer, the very tough ridges with frozen river and uneven terrain, that makes the place so unapproachable during the season of ice and snow now becomes challenging and strikingly beautiful trekking routes. These treks can be very rewarding not only for the adventure seekers but for those who loves to experience the nature's virgin beauty as the route to Zanskar offers many kind of such spectacular views which can take one's breath away. The gushing Zanskar River offers some of the most thrilling water sports, like river rafting and canoeing, making this quiet place uncharacteristically boisterous and exciting. All along the way, are picturesque landscapes, snow capped mountain peaks, high and rugged passes, rich flora and fauna, serene monasteries , hamlets and villages preserving the age old Tibetan Buddhism culture, that are so much a part of Zanskar. Its geographical isolation together with the esoteric nature of Buddhism practised here has enabled its inhabitants to preserve and perpetuate their cultural identity. Today, Zanskar has the distinction of being the least interfered area of Ladakh, and one of the last few surviving ancient cultural region in its original form.
Zanskar could be reached in two different ways depending on the choice and convenient of the tourist. First being the trekking and the second by jeep Safari. Trekking to Zanskar can be a better option for those who seeks thrill and adventure however jeep safari is no less exciting as the option of reaching Zanskar by following the river path is open for both. River rafting is another electrifying option and what makes it interesting is that it can be blended with both trekking and jeep safari, as the rafting route starts at the beginning of Sham valley near the Indus- Zanskar river confluence, which had to be touched in both the ways, whether it is trekking or Jeep safari.
REACH ZANSKAR BY JEEP SAFARI
Jeep safari from Leh to Zanskar valley is worthwhile, because it goes through picturesque Sham valley (lower Ladakh) also known as Apricot valley where one get to explore ancient monasteries of sham valley, Basgo castle temple, Likir monastery, Rigzong monastery, Alchi Choskor temple, Lamayuru monastery, 9 meter rock carved image of four-armed Avalokistravara (It was carved in the late Gupta period of India 8th or 9th century), Nunnery at Mulbek village and Aryan valley of Ladakh Dha-Hanu. After entering Kargil region, one would witness the endless lush green beauty of Suru Valley followed by large tract of pastureland with panoramic view of Nun-Kun massif glacier peaks and Drang-Dung glacier in front of Rangdum village and monastery. And finally we would cross Panzila pass (4400m) which serves as a gate way to Zanskar valley, various remote villages of Zanskar valley can be encountered along the way stretching up to the Padum, capital town of valley with modern administrative office, hotels and Guest house and General store as well as Internet cafe. Sightseeing exploration in Zanskar valley can be done in three/four days.
For Jeep safari tour to Zanskar valley please write to us.
REACH ZANSKAR BY TREKKING
To reach Zanskar valley through trekking is an unforgettable experience for the first time trekker and one of the best options for adventures lovers to reach Zanskar valley, trekking start from Lamayuru village 120 km from Leh Town and end at Karsha village of Zanskar. On trail, the trekkers have opportunity to see fascinating landscape and remote villages as well as wild life including marmot, bear, wolf, skiang, bharal, alpine Ibex, wild sheep, and the lammergeyer, or bearded vulture. If we're lucky, we might also spy a snow-leopard. Throughout the trek, you will be accompanied by our trained staff including tour guide, helpers, cook and porters. After the trek spend two/ three days for exploring famous monasteries of Zanskar valley and return to Leh by Jeep via Kargil and Sham valley of Leh district.
For detail itinerary of Trek to Zanskar valley write to us or check our trekking section.
ADVENTURE TREKS IN ZANSKAR VALLEY
For adventure seekers, Zanskar valley has lots to offer. Two most prominents are the Chadar trek and river rafting.
CHADAR TREK (FROZEN RIVER)
Chadar Trek is an unusual yet thrilling expedition of walking on frozen river. The Zanskar River freezes in winter, enabling walking on the thick ice sheet along the area that is inaccessible in summer. Chadar Trek allows us to penetrate this isolation and also to examine some of the picturesque remote villages along the Zanskar River in the midst of winter and thus catch a glimpse of the lifecycle during this unique time of the year. The traditional name of the trek "Chadar " means the frozen sheet, which served as the lifeline for the people of Zanskar for centuries as they had to go back and forth to the outside world, when the passes were inaccessible due to heavy snowfall. Now the route is also famous as winter trekking as walking on Frozen Zanskar River is an ultimate experience for adventure lover. Most of the trek is done on the ice (Chaddar) but at some places we must climb icy rocks or trails which can be pretty challenging. In normal course of journey along the villages, we follow the trail traditionally used by the people of Zanskar for ages. For this trek you will be accompanied by our expert tour guide as well as the porters and the kitchen team will be totally Zanskaris, who are naturally trained to work in any harsh weather conditions, so you can really count on them for the best service possible.
We have two options for Chadar (frozen river) trek, the longer route- up to Padum, the main town of valley and the shorter one is up to Lingshed village.
For detail itineraries write to us or check winter adventure tour section.
To come out from Zanskar valley by river rafting is one thrilling option for adventures lovers. Rafting starts on Stod river of Zanskar valley and take you down the extremely desolate, remote and sheer Zanskar gorge with walls rising a few thousand feet out of the river bed. During this period we pack along all the kitchen and tents equipment in raft and set up the camps/ tents on riverside for the day halt in the Zanskar river gorge until we reach Nimmu where our rafting ends. Our guides are fully certified with years of experience behind them, and food is prepared by our expert camp cook who can rustle up a tasty feast even in the isolated wilderness of Zanskar valley.