Tourist Places to Visit in Zangskar, Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Tourist Places to Visit in Zangskar, Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Zangskar also known as Zanskar is a sub district or Taluk of Kargil District in Jammu and Kashmir State in India, geographically situated between latitude 33°29′ in the north and longitude 76°50′ in the east. Zanskar Range separates Zanskar Town from Ladakh and is located at an altitude of about 6,000 meters.

Zangskar has an area of 7,000 sq. km. and is positioned at an elevation between 3,500 and 7,000 meters. Zanskar forest region is home to animals like bear, wolf, snow leopard, kiang, bharal, wild sheep, lammergeyer and marmot. Domestic animals like yak, dzo, sheep, horse, and dog can be seen in the villages of Zangskar.


Etymology and History of Zangskar:

It is believed that Zanskar derives its name from Tibetan word ‘Zang’ means ‘copper’. Another theory states that, Zanskar draw its name from ‘Zan-mKhar’ means ‘food palace’. Zanskar is also called as Zangs-mkhar, Zangs-dkar, Zanskaris and Zangs-skar. It is said that Zangskar was inherited population from Kazakhstan, Tibet and China.


Culture and Shopping in Zangskar:

Zanskar Skad is the local language and widely spoken language in Zangskar. Stod skad, Zhung skad, Sham skad, Lungna skad, Hindi and Urdu are other languages spoken in Zangskar. Most of the people living in Zangskar are Muslims and Buddhists. Zanskar is home to Sani Monastery, Bardan Monastery, Phugtal Monastery, Rangdum Monastery and Likir Monastery.

Zanskar is famous for handicraft products, clothes, carpets, ropes, and bed covers. In recent years, Zanskar has got modern touch to its shopping sector. Due to the visit of huge number of tourists from all over the country, several modern shopping centres have started their operations all over Zanskar.


Connectivity to Zangskar:

Private vehicles are very helpful to reach nearby regions and the major towns of the state. There are few buses plying between Zangskar and its nearby regions. Tourists can use their own vehicles to reach different tourist destinations of Zangskar and this is also a best option for travelling.

Jammu Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Zanskar located at a distance of about 746 kms. Leh Airport is one of the major airports of the state and also a closest airport to Zanskar placed about 460 kms.


Places to see in Zangskar:



Padum is a popular hill station and was the capital of earlier Zanskar. It is positioned at an altitude of 3,505 meters from the mean level of sea. Padum Valley is located just near Padum and the greenery of Padum gives an unforgettable feel to the tourists. 10th century Starrimo Monastery is situated in the vicinity of Padum Hill Station.


Zanskar River:

Zanskar River also called as Tsarap Chu flows between U-shaped valleys. Tsarap Chu is the tributary of Zanskar River. Zanskar River flows near Abring and the Padam, due to this these two villages are best viewpoint to watch the flow of Zanskar River.


Drang-Drung Glacier:

Drang-Drung Glacier is positioned on the Panzila dividing line in the region of Ladakh. It is surrounded by snow enclosed summits and 2 beautiful lakes. Drang-Drung Glacier is situated near Panzila Top, Doda River.



Karsha is a small village in near proximity with Zanskar. Karsha Monastery is the major attraction of Karsha Village and was constructed during the 10th century by Phagspa Shesrab. Also the village is home to Dorje Dzong and Chukshik-jal Temples.



Pipiting is a village in Zanskar famous for its stupa and numerous historical temples. Sani Monastery is located in Pipiting built by Emperor Kanishka. Pipiting Gompa is also one of the favorite places of tourists well known for its frescos, paintings and the statue of Saint Padmasambhava.


The list of other tourist places in and around Zangskar include:

  • Khurana River
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Rangdum Monastery
  • Mulbekh Monastery
  • Shargole Monastery
  • Phokar



Best time to visit Zangskar:

During the months of summer is the best time to visit Zangskar because of its tourist friendly weather.


Accommodation options in and around Zangskar:

Hotels located in Zanskar and Kargil City have all the major facilities like conference hall, car parking, hot water bath, internet connectivity, doctor on call and very good electricity. The major hotels located in Zanskar and Kargil are as follows:

  • Hotel Siachen
  • Hotel Greenland
  • Carvan Sarai Hotel
  • D’zojilla Hotel
  • The Kargil Continental
  • Hotel PC Palace
  • The Kargil Residency
  • Naktul Hotel
  • Marjina Hotel
  • Jan Palace

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