Zanskar Valley Tours And Activities- The Perfect Way To Enjoy The Valley To It’s Fullest

 In Backpacking Trips, Ladakh, Travel

Travelling is an activity that is refreshing, fun-filled, and relaxing, and it helps tourists make a lot of memories. Those who enjoy travelling always look for new and exciting places to plan a trip and what’s better than a trip to Leh Ladakh and that too with our Leh Ladakh tour packages. A tour to Zanskar Valley, located in a remote area of Ladakh, is essential at least once in your lifetime. This truly wild valley surrounds the Himalayan Mountains’ deep valleys.

There are several reasons to visit Zanskar Valley, since there are so many things to discover and do on your Zanskar Valley trip, you must consider planning a trip there. The region’s highlights include:

  • Its stunning blue rivers;
  • Pristine lakes;
  • Enlightening monasteries;
  • Demanding routes and mountains;
  • Silver glaciers;
  • Its inhabitants and culture.

Apart from sightseeing places, Zanskar Valley Tours & Activities also have option for many exciting activities, from river rafting to trekking and much more. Your trip to the Zanskar Valley will surely be something whose memories will be cherished by you forever.

Tourists all over the world plan their trip to the Zanskar Valley every year. If you want to visit a place with many offers, Zanskar Valley is certainly the place to go to. Zanskar Tourism is getting increasingly popular, therefore you must visit the site for an adventurous experience. You can find exciting Zanskar tour packages for a memorable trip to the destination. Several of exclusive Leh Ladakh packages cover the Zanskar Valley in the itinerary by keeping in consideration, the  increased demand of tourists.

You are in the right place if you want more information about a Zanskar Valley trip. This blog post acts as your ultimate Zanskar travel guide. Read on carefully to learn more about Zanskar Tourism and what’s in it for you!

Places to Visit in Zanskar Valley

Zanskar Valley has numerous places for sightseeing for tourists. You feel spellbound by the long list of options of areas of interest in the Zanskar Valley. Ideal Zanskar Tour packages will cover most of these places. Some of the notable ones to visit in Ladakh are discussed below:

1. Nimu

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Famous for its stunning sight of the confluence, also called Sangam of Indus and Zanskar Rivers, Nimu is a not to miss destination near Leh. This location is a must-see for the intersection because Nimu is the beginning point of the All India Rafting Adventure on the Indus River.

Another popular spot for sightseeing tours in Nimu is the Magnetic Hill, which is nearby and famous for its mind-blowing optical illusion. Nimu has a luxury heritage hotel giving a wonderful stay near Leh by pampering you most incredibly, catering to all of your exclusive requirements, and acquainting you with the culture and customs of Ladakh for those seeking a genuine experience of Ladakh.

Known for: Nature and beauty. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September.

2. Sani Gompa

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The Sani Gompa is among the significant attractions in Zanskar valley tours and one of the popular tourist spots in the Zanskar Valley that should be on your list. As it is thought to be the oldest holy structure in the entire Ladakh and Zanskar area, Sani Gompa, just close to the settlement of Sani, is a well-known destination in Zanskar Valley. It is the only order with nuns and belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Kanika Chorten, a historic chorten that stands about 20 feet tall, is housed within the Sani Gompa. The chorten is usually believed to have existed during the reign of Kanishka, a legendary Kushan ruler known as Kanika.

Sani Gompa’s architecture is distinct from other well-known monasteries in Ladakh since it is situated on flat ground rather than a hill or mountain. It has a fortress-like shape to it.

The monastery is decorated with a colourful array of statues of Buddhist deities and Kargud-Lamas. The Sani monastery also has a crematorium outside its courtyard, regarded as the eighth-most important cremation site in Tibetan Buddhism.

Ten standing stones just next to the Kanika Chorten have pre-Tibetan-style carvings of gods. The main entrance is a gate chorten with prayer wheels, and the gompa’s complex is rectangular.

Known for: Nature and spiritual feel.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and August.

3. Drang Drung Glacier

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Drang Drung Glacier, one of Ladakh’s two significant glaciers, is located along the Kargil-ZanskarRoad near Pensi La. The largest glacier in Ladakh that is reachable by visitors is this one, which is 23 kilometres long. Moreover, Drang Drung may be seen from Pensi La, where it appears to be a flowing river of ice encircled by the beautiful Himalayan Mountains. Doda River and Stod River, two of the most beautiful lakes in Leh Ladakh originate from one of India’s most immense glaciers.

One must complete a three-day challenging yet exciting journey from Padum to reach this popular destination in the Zanskar region. It’s one of the top hiking trips in Ladakh for thrill seekers. Beautiful glaciers, breathtaking mountain ranges, and even sections of fruit orchards along the walking path to the Drang Drung Glacier. It is a one-day trip from Pensi La.

Known for: Glacier and nature. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September.

4. Phuktal Monastery

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As per this Zanskar travel guidethe Phuktal Monastery is something you should take advantage of when you visit the Zanskar Valley. It is one of the few monasteries in Ladakh that can only be accessed by hiking. This Buddhist Gompa has an outstanding front with rock-cut caverns that appear to be entrenched in the mountain.

The Phugtal Monastery, cut off from the outside world, exudes cheerfulness. At the opening of a cave, it is perched above a cliff. What makes this monastery even more attractive is the way it coexists with the natural cave. The greatest sages, interpreters, and academics are supposed to have come here and mused.

Known for: Nature and spiritual feel.  

Best Time to Visit: Between May and September.

5. Zangla

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Zangla, a charming town in Zanskar, is a unique location for a pit stop on your Padum-Karsha trip. Situated against the lovely Zanskar Valley, this stunning location is a must-see for its rural beauty and village life, although it only has the Zangla Palace as an attraction.

The village’s primary feature is still the Zangla Palace on a hill, because it has a temple and some monks live there, it is also known as Zangla Monastery. The palace’s view is breathtaking, so seeing it should be noticeable.

Known for: Nature, spiritual feel, and history.   

Best Time to Visit: Between June and September. 

Suggested Read: Tips for travelling responsibly in Leh Ladakh

6. Zongkhul

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Zongkhul Monastery, a significant attraction in Zanskar district, served as Naropa’s meditation site when he attended the illustrious Vikramshila University in Bihar. Naropa was a well-known Buddhist yogi. The Drukpa style of Tibetan Buddhism is represented at Zongkhul Gompa, also known as Dzongkhul Gompa, which is situated in Stod Valley on the southwestern bank of the Bardur River.

Several yogis have made Zongkhul their preferred location for meditation. In reality, one can see Naropa’s footprint carved into the rock at the entrance to this well-known monastery in Zanskar. The rocks of his meditation cave are supposed to bear imprints of his ceremonial blade and staff.

Known for: Spiritual feel. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and October

7. Stongdey Monastery

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Stongdey, or Stongde Monastery, is Zanskar Valley’s second-largest monastic institution. It is unquestionably a unique destination in this part of Ladakh. Stongdey is an 11th-century Gompa that houses 60 monks and is a part of the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

Stongdey Monastery, which is perched on a mountain, features seven temples, the Tshogs-Khang of which is embellished with magnificent deity murals. The artwork in the temple is gold-outlined on a black backdrop.

Known for: Spiritual feel, nature, and art. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and October.

8. Panikhar

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Panikhar, located at the entrance of the Zanskar Valley region, is always regarded as one of the most picturesque populated regions in the Trans-Himalayan region. Your journey must end in Panikhar, which is situated in Suru Valley at the entrance of Zanskar. This popular tourist destination is the foundation for explorers interested in mountaineering, rock climbing, river rafting, and hiking. The place is also known for being one of the best spots for trekking in Ladakh.

This well-liked tourist destination is located adjacent to Parkachik La, a high mountain pass from which the view of Nun Massif is clear and breathtaking.

Known for: Nature and adventure.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September. 

9. Karsha Monastery

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The most significant monastery in the area and the largest in Zanskar Valley is popular Karsha Gompa. This top attraction is situated in the settlement of Karsha in the Padum Valley, beside which the babbling Doda River runs. More than 100 monks live at the Karsha Gompa, a Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism belonging to the Gelugpa School. The bones of Dorje Rinchen are also kept at the monastery.

The renowned Chadar Trek in Zanskar Valley ends near the settlement of Karsha, where the monastery is located. One of the great attractions of Karsha Monastery is the annual Karsha Gustor festival from the 26th to the 29th day of the 11th Tibetan month, generally in January.

Known for: Spiritual feel.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September. 

10. Suru Valley

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You’ll find the Suru Valley in the Kargil area of Ladakh. Mountain climbers are highly drawn to the uncharted Suru Valley because it has a lot to offer tourists and hikers. It begins in Kargil and continues to the Penzi La glacier where Suru River originates. The bottom half of the valley is extremely rich and utilised for agriculture. It is located along the banks of the Suru River. Little settlements dot the scenic valley, which provide breathtaking vistas and viewing possibilities. Suru Valley has several fantastic places for a picnic, including Sangra Parkachik, Umba, and Damsna.

Known for: Nature. 

Best Time to Visit: Between May and September.

11. Bardan Monastery

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The Bardan Monastery is an underrated place to visit in the Zanskar Valley. The Drukpa Kargyud monastic order established the Bardan Monastery in the 17th century. There are several little stupas there, as well as a sizable meeting hall with magnificent Buddha images. A few historical paintings and sculptures of several other Buddhist figures may be seen in the prayer hall.

Known for: Nature and spiritual feel. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September. 

12. Padum

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The town of Padum is the most populous in Zanskar and is home to various rare plants and animals. The area still has prehistoric remnants, including elaborate engravings on a large rock on the river Lung-nak that dates back to the 8th century. It was once the capital of the ancient Zanskar Kingdom. Two historic Buddhist monasteries, one in the shape of a stupa on top of a hill, and two Stagrimo monasteries are also part of the town. 

This region’s surroundings have breathtaking natural beauty that is too exquisite for words. The terrain, which serves as a foundation for hiking, includes grasslands, vast agricultural fields, beautiful green woods, trickling streams, and the natural roughness of the mountains.

Known for: Nature and spiritual feel.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September.

13. Rangdum

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Rangdum, an elliptically formed plateau in the Kargil area of Jammu & Kashmir, is between Kargil and Padum. The site is stunning, bordered by brightly coloured hills on one side and gleaming white glaciers on the other. From here, one can also view the Drang-drung glacier.

Known for: Nature. 

Best Time to Visit: Between June and September.

14. Pensi La Pas

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Pensi La Pass, which divides the Zanskar Valley from the Suru Valley, is situated in the Zanskar mountain range at the height of 4400 metres. This area is the perfect campground for hikers who want to take a break before continuing their journey. It is abundant in medicinal plants, has blue-green water springs, and offers an unmatched view of the surrounding mountains.

Known for: Nature. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and August. 

15. Parkachik La Pass

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A short hike from Panikhar, you can reach this pass. It would help if you hiked up to the pass and back by dusk to spend the night at Panikhar. Another option is starting from Panikhar( one of the highest motorable roads and pass) , crossing the pass, and descending to Parkachik on the other side. Magnificent views of the Nun-Kun Mountain may be seen from this pass. You can also see other peaks in the main Himalayan range that divide Kashmir from Ladakh.

Known for: Nature and Adventure.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and August. 

16. Zanskar River

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The Zanskar River originates amidst snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the pristine Ladakh area of northeastern India.

There is a lot of fun and moderate whitewater, with wide, sandy beaches where you may camp under the night, the river canyon is steep and deep. It is unquestionably a classic and an extraordinary chance to experience a fantastic trip while being immersed in an atmosphere and traditional Himalayan culture.

Known for: Nature.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September.

17. Pibting Monastery

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Folklore abounds in Pibiting Monastery, one of the most amazing places to visit in Leh Ladakh, situated in the Pibiting hamlet not far from Padum. It is commonly recognised that the monastery has beautiful architecture. It is built as a chorten or stupa and is located at the top of a hill.

According to legend, the monastery was constructed in the 2nd century by the ruthless monarch Kanishka of the Kushan Kingdom. It offers expansive views of the splendour of nature. The area around the monastery is tranquil and calm. It is ideal for trekking and photography. Padum has made a name for itself as a popular hiking location.

Known for: Nature. 

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September.

18. Umba La

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At 14,750 feet above sea level, Umba La is indeed one of the highest mountain passes in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The road leading to the peak, also called Umbala Top, was recently asphalted.

Drive cautiously since this steep road has terrifying drop-offs and hairpin turns. The high mountain road across the pass provides a quicker route from Sankoo to Drass. Significant snowfalls, landslides, and avalanches can occur at any moment and are extremely dangerous because of ice patches.

Known for: Nature.  

Best Time to Visit: Between May and September.

19. Lang Tso and Stat Tso Lakes

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At 14,750 feet above sea level, Umba La is indeed one of the highest mountain passes in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. The road leading to the peak, also called Umbala Top, was recently asphalted.

Drive cautiously since this steep road has terrifying drop-offs and hairpin turns. The high mountain road across the pass provides a quicker route from Sankoo to Drass. Significant snowfalls, landslides, and avalanches can occur at any moment and are extremely dangerous because of ice patches.

Known for: Nature.  

Best Time to Visit: Between May and September.

20. Shafat Glacier

Image Source : vargiskhan

The Nun and Kun peaks are formed by the 14-kilometre-long Shafat glacier, which also provides a base for ascending these two peaks. It is located in the Suru Valley. This glacier’s water enters a stream called “Shafat Nala,” which helps the Suru River’s flow. 

Known for: Nature.

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September. 


21. Doda River

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The Doda River, often called the Stod River, flows through the Stod Valley in Zanskar. Rafting contests are held along the whole length of this river since it is famous for adventure sports like river rafting in Ladakh. As you move through it, it offers a fascinating viewpoint.

Known for: Nature and adventure.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and September. 

22. Nun-Kun Massif

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Nun-Kun Massif, a peak in Suru Valley, offers a panoramic view of the entire Zanskar area.

When you set foot in Leh, you could feel Mount Nun, the most prominent peak in the Nun-Kun Massif, with the twin peaks glowing brightly along the way to Kargil. Actual guts and bravery are required to climb this mountain. The journey to Nun is filled with excitement thanks to extensive glacial features, icefall slopes, heavily crevassed surfaces, knife-edge cliffs, vertical ice walls, and intermittent showers.

Known for: Nature.  

Best Time to Visit: Between June and September. 

23. Umasi La

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One of Zanskar’s most popular tourist destinations is the Umasi La, as it offers beautiful views of the Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. The southern entrance to  is the Umasi La, between Kishtwar and Zanksar in the Great Himalayan Range.

You go through one of the most picturesque roads on your trek. Spend the night at the glacier. The path borders the Kishtwar Shivling on the Pardar River’s bank. The route leads from the dry Zanskarsteppe to lush hills covered with conifer and deodar woods. The pass climb is one of the most challenging and lonely climbs, and depending on the weather, it can be might be important or at times even necessary to use ropes and ice axes.

Known for: Nature and spiritual feel.  

Best Time to Visit: Between July and August. 

Things to Do in Zanskar Valley

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There are lots of things and fun activities that you must experience and take part in during your time in the Zanskar Valley. Some of the things to do in Zanskar Valley are discussed below:

  1. River rafting: River rafting is a highly recommended activity in this Zanskar Travel guide. It is among the most daring moves in the Zanskar Valley, as compared to other things. It’s an action-packed water sport that demands you to navigate the raging rapids of the Indus River. You may also enjoy the erratic vegetation and animals enveloping this raging river. Also, the raft will take you through several historic monasteries and isolated picturesque settlements.
  2. Staying in a homestay: While in the Zanskar Valley, tourists must consider staying in homestays. It is considered to be the best thing to do in Zanskar Valley, whose settlements date back more than 900 years, is to learn about and lake and the excellent hospitality of the local residents. People from around the world explore this location to interact with the natives. Choosing one of the finest homestays in Ladakh will allow you to feel the true spirit of the place. Homestays in Zanskar Valley offer a wonderful sense of place, authentic home cooking, and breathtaking views from the rooms. Living in lovely surroundings is a must-have experience while visiting Zanskar Valley.
  3. Trekking: Trekking is an integral part of Zanskar Valley tours. Zanskar is a delight for hikers and may be referred to as the “capital of hiking in India.” It has some great hiking paths. A significant portion of the valley cannot be reached by automobiles since it is one of the highest altitude locations in the nation. The only way to explore is on foot. There are several multi-day high-altitude hikes in the Suru Valley to Lamayuru, Parkachik, and Rangdum. Chadar Trek in the winter is regarded as divine. Trekking is the best thing to do in the valley and is probably the best way to take in its splendour.
  4. Attending monastery festivals: A good number of historic monasteries in Zanskar date to the 10th and 11th centuries. These monasteries have festivals characterised by a riot of colours, dances performed by the lamas, and lovely devotional music giving a magical aura, as they give a glimpse into the way of life of the inhabitants of Zanskar, and is a cultural spectacular in the valley that should not be missed.
  5. Tasting the cuisines: No tour is complete without tasting the authentic cuisine of that particular place. When it comes to food, Zanskar Valley has a lot to provide. Tibetan dishes like thukpa and momos are popular in Zanskar, where Tibet greatly inspires native cuisine.

Best Time to Visit Zanskar Valley

Those wanting to visit Zanskar Valley would naturally like to know the best time to visit the place. The Zanskar Valley is best seen between July and August when the weather is most agreeable. In these months, the weather is clear and suitable for outdoor exploration. It is not a good idea to visit the area in other months, especially between December and February, as the valley experiences heavy snowfall and occasionally sees road closures due to snow buildup. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Zanskar Valley Tours & Activities. 

1. Is Zanskar Valley worth visiting?

Zanskar valley is a must-visit place with much to offer visitors. Plan a trip to Zanskar Valley to have an experience worth remembering for a lifetime.

2. What is the best and most suitable time to explore Zanskar Valley?

The perfect time to visit Zanskar Valley is between July to August because the weather is ideal for tourists to travel smoothly.

3. How to plan a trip to Zanskar?

For your trip to Zanskar, you can find exciting tour packages and choose the one you find the most suitable from them.

4. Why do people visit Zanskar?

People visit Zanskar because it is a tourist destination with many places to visit and things to do. From seeing snow-capped mountains to beautiful lakes and monasteries to fun activities such as trekking and river rafting, Zanskar is a destination that should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

5. How many days do you need to see Zanskar?

Ideally, you need at least 5-6 days to experience Zanskar fully. It is advised that you search for Zanskar tour packages that cover the most important places to visit in Zanskar and let you indulge in some of the significant activities to take part in Zanskar. 

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