Exploring Doda River in Zanskar Valley: A Hidden Treasure.

 In Holidays, Homestays, Ladakh, Travel Photography

The Doda River, also known as Stod River is 79 kilometres long, which forms the Stod Valley in Zanskar valley of the Leh district in the Union Territory of Ladakh in India. The Doda River flows southeast along the Kargil-Zanskar road in the main Zanskar valley, through the towns of Akshu, Abran, Kushol and Phey. Many places in Ladakh are yet to explore specially for travel lovers and adventure enthusiasts our Leh-ladakh tour packages are worth exploring.

The Doda River in Zanskar valley, also known among the best trekking spots in Leh ladakh, arises from the Drang-Drung Glacier near Pensi La, a mountain pass off the Zanskar-Kargil road. The Drang-Drung Glacier is a river of ice and snow by itself and is the largest glacier other than the Siachen Glacier in Ladakh outside the Karakoram Range. 

This Doda River in ladakh contributes to the minimal agricultural production of the Zanskar valley by providing irrigation to the fields of barley, wheat, buckwheat and peas. The Doda River is famous for adventure sports. Rafting events are organised along the length of the Doda and the Zanskar Valley.

How to Reach Doda River?

How to Reach Doda River

How to Reach Doda River

Here is your answer for how to reach doda river in Ladakh. Moreover, you must follow these travel tips while exploring ladakh.

By Flight: The Srinagar International Airport is the closest International Airport to Doda.  From Jammu Airport, Doda is approximately 170 Kms. After reaching Jammu or Srinagar, one has to travel by road. It takes about five and a half hours to reach Doda from Srinagar and 4 hours from Jammu Airport.

By Road:-The City is well connected with the rest of the country with Batote Doda Road adjacent to NH 244. Daily Bus, Tempo and shared Taxis services are available from Jammu & Other cities to Bhaderwah.

By Rail:-The nearest station is situated in Udhampur (150 Kms) & Jammu (190-km).

Best Time to Visit Doda River 

Best Time to Visit Doda River

Best Time to Visit Doda River

The best time to visit Doda river is during the summer and rainy seasons which is from March to October. Temperature ranges within minimum 8 to maximum 21 degrees Celsius. Moreover, tourists may check ladakh weather guide while planning their trip to Leh Ladakh.

Rafting in Doda River

River rafting in the Doda River in Zanskar Valley offers a thrilling and adventurous experience. The Doda river in Ladakh situated in the remote and rugged landscapes of Ladakh, the Doda River provides a perfect whitewater rafting and best activitesin ib Doda River, with its crystal-clear icy waters and scenic beauty. Also, Don’t miss exploring the best things to do in Ladakh.

Top Highlights of Rafting in Doda River :

Top Highlights of Rafting in Doda River

Top Highlights of Rafting in Doda River :
  • Challenging Rapids: The Doda River features a series of rapids that range from Grade III to Grade V, offering challenging courses for rafters.
  • Scenic Beauty: The Doda river flows deeply in valleys with towering cliffs and dramatic mountain backdrops, giving stunning views that are unique to the Himalayan geography.
  • Remote Adventure: The isolation of the Zanskar Valley adds to the adventure, making rafting here a journey not just through rapids, but also into one of the most pristine environments in India.
  • Cultural Interaction: With ancient Buddhist monasteries and remote villages, rafting trips offer opportunities to interact with the locals, known for their hospitality and rich culture.
  • Seasonal Window: Season for rafting in the Doda and Zanskar rivers is relatively short, typically from late June to late September, when the ice melts and the water levels are suitable for rafting.

Places To Visit Near Doda River 

Exploring Doda River in Zanskar Valley offers a wonderful opportunity to witness some of the unique and stunning places to visit near Doda River


It acts as a base for treks and expeditions in Zanskar surrounded by ancient Buddhist monasteries like Karsha and Stongdey known for their religious importance and architecture.

Phuktal Monastery

Besides other monasteries in Ladakh, Phuktal Monastery is an architectural wonder, one of the most isolated monasteries in Zanskar, known for its stunning location and as a hub for Buddhist studies and meditation.


Zangla is known for its old castle ruins perched on a hill, and a nunnery. Explore Zangla and experience local hospitality in traditional homestays.




Rangdum is situated midway between Kargil and Padum, surrounded by glaciers, indulge in trekking around the area to explore its scenic beauty.

Suru Valley

The valley is known for its scenic vistas featuring vast agricultural fields. Most beautiful during the spring and summer months when the crops are lush and the flowering plants are in bloom.

Pensi La Pass

This high mountain pass connects the Suru Valley to the Zanskar Valley and offers mesmerising views of the Drang-Drung Glacier and surrounding peaks. Ideal place for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers looking to capture the raw beauty of the Himalayas.

Suggested Read: Places to visit in Leh Ladakh 

Is the Doda River suitable for water activities like boating or rafting?

Yes,Doda river is suitable for rafting or boating.However,the season for rafting is relatively short,typically from late June to late September,when the ice melts and the water levels are suitable for rafting.

Are there any famous landmarks or attractions along the Doda River?

There are several attractions near Doda river which includes Padum, Phuktal Monastery, Vasuki Naag temple, Suru valley,Pensi La Pass, Gupt Ganga temple, and many more.

What are the best times to visit the Doda River?

The best time to visit Doda river is during the summer and rainy seasons which is from March to October.

Are there any accommodations or camping sites available near the Doda River?

Tourists may find several options for accommodation like hotels and homestays near the doda river.Also, Campsites are typically basic and require you to be self-sufficient. Companies organising rafting trips often include camping logistics as part of their packages, including meals, tents, and necessary permits.

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