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Zanskar, Ladhakh,Jammu and Kashmir, India, Ladakh

Zanskar, Ladhakh,Jammu and Kashmir, India, Ladakh

About 20 kms south-east of Rangdum stands the Panzila axis, across which lies Zanskar, the most isolated of all the trans-Himalayan valleys. The Penzila pass (4,401m) is a picturesque tableland surrounded by snow-covered peaks. As the Zanskar road winds down the steep slopes of Penzi-la to the head of the Stod valley, the majestic " Drang-Drung" glacier looms into full view. A long and winding river of ice and snow, "Drang-Drung" is perhaps the largest glacier in Ladakh, outside the Siachen formation. It is from the cliff-like snout of this extensive glacier that the Stod or Doda tributary of the Zanskar River rises. The spectacular Himalayan landscape and the lifestyles of the inhabitants attract many tourists to the hidden kingdom of Zanskar. The Zanskar valley is situated across the Suru Valley and over the Pensi La in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Sightseeing of Zanskar,
Nimu is located in the South east of Ladakh Region and is 35 km from Leh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. Nimu is a stop for all the river rafting groups and is the main starting point for the annually-held all-India river rafting expedition, which is done in the Indus River. The temperature here varies from +40 °C in summer to −29 °C in winter. Due to such hard climate and extreme weather conditions this area has very little vegetation cover (as seen in picture on right).
Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
The Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which is 25 km from Leh Falls between Leh and Nimu en route.
Drang-Drung Glacier
22km long Drang-Drung-Glacier is the largest glacier accessible to tourists in the Ladakh region. In fact Drang Drung is located in heights of Zanskar. Drang Drung glacier is the source of Doda River and one can trek upto the glacier from Padum. the Stod river also has its source at the Drang Drung glacier. Drang Drung glacier can also be seen from the Pensi La pass. Pensi-la (Pensi Pass) almost midway between Padum and Rangdum. The glacier in fact looks like a winding river from Pensi la, the difference being that instead of water its a river of ice. Drang Drung is one of the major attractions of Zanskar region and augments the chanrm of this adventure junky paradise.
Phuktal Monastery 
Phuktal Gonpa is a Buddhist monastery located in the remote Lungnak Valley of Zanskar, in the autonomous Himalayan region of Ladakh, Northern India. Built around a natural cave believed to have been visited by important sages, scholars and translators beginning around 2,550 years ago, the present Phuktal Gonpa of the Gelug lineage was established in the early 14th century by Jangsem Sherap Zangpo, a disciple of Gelug founderTsongkhapa.
Zangla is situated on the northern side of Zanskar at the extreme edge of the 35 kms long road that begins from Padum. Zangla was ruled by a titular king till his death about two decades back. An old castle is located on the hills, which is now in ruins. From the castle a panoramic view of the deserted valley below can be had. An old nunnery is located nearby and an old monastery is situated in the close village of Tsa-zar, famous for its beautiful frescos. From Zangla trips to most of the cultural sites of Zanskar like Padum-Strongdey-Zangla-Karsha-Padum trip. Zangla is also the basecamp for the Padum-Markha valley treks.
Its foundation is attributed to Naropa (956-1041 CE), who was a celebrated Indian Buddhist yogi, mystic and monk from the renowned Vikramshila University in Bihar. He is said to have meditated in one of the two caves around which the gompa is built and the monastery is dedicated to him. His footprint can be seen in the rock near the entrance to the lower cave. The gompa contains images and thankas of famous Drukpa lamas. Zhadpa Dorje, a famous painter and scholar created some of the frescoes on the cave walls almost 300 years ago.
Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the oasis-like village below, the picturesque monastery of Stongdey lies 18 kms to the north of Padum on the Padum-Zangla road, Ladakh region, J& K at an Altitude of 3,500m. An old foundation associated with the Tibetan Yogi Marpa, Stongdey is now the second largest monastic establishment of Zanskar, which is inhabited by a resident community of about 60 Gelukpa lamas. The sprawling white washed complex has a number of temples, among which the Gon-Khang containing several fierce-faced veiled deities is of particular interest. The climb up to the monastery from the roadside is rather strenuous, but it is worth the trouble for the breathtaking scenery of the valley available from here.
One of the most beautiful regions of Ladakh, the Suru Valley forms the mainstay of Kargil district. Lying nestled along the north-eastern foothills of the Great Himalayan Wall, it extends from Kargil town, first southward for a length of about 75 Kms upto the expanse around Panikhar, thence eastward for another stretch of nearly 65 kms upto the foot of the Penzila watershed where the Suru River rises. With its extensive tracts of alluvial floor and verdant hillsides that are intensively cultivated by a zealously agrarian peasantry, the Suru Valley serves as ladakh's granary. Its composite population of about 30,000 - mainly of Tibeto-Darad descent - are Muslims who had converted their Budhist faith around the middle of the 16th century.
Karsha Monastery or Karsha Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in the Padum Valley of the Zanskar region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The Doda River flows past the monastery from its source at the Drang Drung glacier of the Pensi La (14,500 feet (4,400 m)). It was founded by the translator, Phagspa Shesrab.The monastery, also known by the name “Karsha Chamspaling’, was founded by Phagspa Shesrab, under the Gelugpa Order or the Yellow Hat Order.
Zanskar Valley
The landscapes are wonderful with different shapes and colors of the mountains, rocks and boulders. One can also have the opportunity to see the large glacier on the way. You can also rest and enjoy the cool breeze of this exotic region. Its unique high passes and the valleys, crystal clear streams and green meadows are very attractive, especially to nature lovers. There are many trekking routes within zanskar itself.
Chadar Trek
The word Chadar means blanket and is used to refer to the trek along the frozen Zanskar River. The most amazing thing about the frozen river is how unfrozen it is! Spring water prevents the blanket from completely smothering the river which in places retains it rapids; all the more fear some in temperature of -30ºC the trek goes by shuffling along the icy path! A spectacular and at times challenging trek across the Zanskar with opportunities to savour ancient Bhudhist monasteries and remotes villages nestled in the depths of deep gorges valley of Trans Zanskar ranges.

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