Famous for its stunning scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries, Zanskar (also Zangskar) is a region in Ladakh, only more remote and less densely populated.
The Zanskar Range is a mountain range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that separates Zanskar from Ladakh. Geologically, the Zanskar Range is part of the Tethys Himalaya, an approximately 100-km-wide synclinorium formed by strongly folded and imbricated, weakly metamorphosed sedimentary series. The average height of the Zanskar Range is about 6,000 m (19,700 ft.). Its eastern part is known as Rupshu. It also separates Kinnaur District from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. The highest peaks of Himachal are in Zanskar range.
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It was ruled by a titular king, till few years back. Zangla lies in the north of Zanskar, around 35 km from Padum. For the visit of austere life style of small community of nuns, one can find many old nunneries.
It has many spectacular cave monasteries famous in Zanskar. Zongkhul is located on the trekking trail of Padum to Kishtwar which is just before the starting point of ascent of Omasi- la Pass trek.
The Stongdey monastery lies on the road towards Zabgla, 18 km in north direction from Padum. There is a community of about 60 Gelukpa monks who are the resident of the Stongdey. Stongdey is the second largest monastic establishment in the Zanskar region and this monastic is inhabited by the community of monks. Tourists can approach this place on foot by the road in about 4 hours. Monastery climb is rather strenuous, but it is worthwhile after seeing the breathtaking natural beauty of the valley.
Trekking is one of most adventures things to do in Zanskar, Ladakh. Zanskar attracts thousands of adventure sports lovers every year, to experience the adventure and thrill of some challenging treks available there. Few of the highest mountain passes of the country are located in the Zanskar. Trekking through these high mountains is enthralling, but trekking in these places requires good trekking experience as well as trekkers should be able to take physical strain.
Rafting in Zanskar River is one of the most adventures activities to do in Zanskar. This rafting route takes tourists to one of the most amazing and challenging gorges of the world. Water in the Zanskar is very cold and it is always advised to carry a wet suit along. These rafting trips can continue up to 12 days, where you can enjoy the camping near the river bank, in the nights.
Leh is located in the Indus river valley at a crossroads of the old trading routes from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. Its importance as a trading town slowed down with the partition of British India, and ended with the closure of the border in 1962 during the Sino-Indian war.