There’s a lot to experience in Zanskar Valley. From the epic views to stunning landscapes and even adventure sports like rafting, there’s a whole lot to do in Zanskar. The valley is best visited with its sister valley, the Suru Valley. It’s the most isolated of all Himalayan valleys and has an area of 5,000 sq.km. The valley is situated at an altitude of 13,154 feet above sea level.
For the better half of the year, Zanskar Valley is cut off from the rest of the world because of excessive snowfall. The adventure aspect of Zanskar is the most popular amongst tourists. The clear Zanskar waters offer rafting and other activities.
Best Time to Visit Zanskar Valley
Days are pretty pleasant during summertime whereas the nights turn out to be pretty chilly. Many prefer the months from April to August to visit Zanskar but during the earlier months, the weather seems to get unpredictable. So it is recommended that you visit from the months of July to August. Winters are extremely cold and not recommended for a visit to Zanskar.
Stay Near Zanskar Valley
Campsites, bungalows and a few guest houses are available for stay during your Zanskar visit. One being The Jammu and Kashmir Bungalow. The nearest village to Zanskar is Zongla where you may find rooms for rent in monasteries and even village houses. Fancy hotels may be found 14 km away in the nearest town of Padum.
Sightseeing Around Zanskar Valley
While on your visit to Zanskar Valley, you can also make a trip to Zongkhul. Here is where you can visit the cave monasteries go further up to Stongdey and admire a few more. You can visit both places by trekking to them. Suru Valley is another hugely popular spot.
Activities at Zanskar Valley
One tourist favourite activity at Zanskar is rafting. Other than rafting, you can also go for the many trekking trails.
Food at Zanskar Valley
You can find basic local food options at Zanskar Valley. Your options may include thukpa, momos, skyu and ladakhi chai and also don’t forget the delicious bowl of maggi in the valley. The hotel menus may extend to European and Indian cuisines.
Restaurants Near Zanskar Valley
Your food options are limited to the restaurants at the hotels and guest houses. You will find basic food preparations here.
Sample Itinerary for Zanskar Valley
Include your trips to Zanskar and Suru to your trip to Ladakh. On reaching Zanskar Valley, you should go to the Zanskar river for a rafting experience. Other than this, you can also go for the trekking trail. You can go further upwards to Zongkhul to experience the cave monasteries and Stongdey to see the second largest monastery in Zanskar. Your trip to Suru can be pushed to the afternoon or even the next day.
How to Reach Zanskar Valley
- Air: The nearest airport to Zanskar is at Leh. For a charge of Rs. 1000 you can get cabs that will take you to Zanskar from the airport. Another way to Zanskar is from Srinagar. Shared cabs and buses are available for you to take from the airport to Zanskar.
- Rail: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Zanskar. From Jammu, you can take the shared buses to Zanskar.
- Road: The State Road Transportation of Jammu and Kashmir offers regular bus services to Zanskar. The bus routes starts from Leh and Kargil and go all the way to Padum with stops at Zanskar and Suru. Motorbikes and taxis are also favourable options to Zanskar and Suru Valleys.