Things To Do In Zanskar Valley
Nestled in the remote part of Ladakh, a trip to Zanskar Valley is a must at least once in your lifetime. That is because its wide-open vistas, aqua blue water streams, the compelling aura of monasteries and the massive glaciers give a lot of opportunity for offbeat activities to do in the Zanskar Valley. The valley runs wild amidst the deep canyons of the Himalaya.
Every year, many nature lovers and adventurists go aboard to explore this remote place in trans-Himalayas. The valley’s sparse population helps you for exploration and becoming one with nature. It has stayed isolated for centuries and now with all the trilling activity options, the tourism in Zanskar Valley is on the rise. And the reason for that lies in the list below that our expert travel agents at Eladakh Tourism have curated.
Top things to do in Zanskar Valley:
Feel the spirituality in the air at the Phugtal Monastery
Detached from the rest of the world, The Phugtal monastery reverberates positivity in the air. It is situated atop a cliff at the mouth of a cave. Its coexistence likes a honeycomb into or around the natural cave adds to its fascination. It is said that the most important sages, translators and scholars have visited and meditated in this place. The pure peace and solitude experienced here is something that only Mother Nature can provide.
What more to know: If you can, you must climb on the highest point and witness the glorious views of the picture-perfect setting of the mountains, opulent landscapes and the pristine Lungnak River.
Attend the monastery festivals
If you are only expecting snow-capped mountain views in Zanskar then you are sourly incorrect. There is more to landscapes and it is their festivities that bring life to the land. The best thing to do in Zanskar valley is to experience endless festivities and celebrations. The monasteries are where you can witness a blend of numerous Central Asian cultures such as that of Tibet, China and Northern India. As a part of the celebrations, folk dances and songs are prominent that come alive in a colourful kaleidoscope.
What more to know: The Sani festival is the biggest one in Zanskar. A holy dance is performed by all the Lamas in a circle. An idol of Lord Buddha is placed in the centre and prayers are offered.
Soak your soul in the views of Sangam Point
The beautiful valley of Zanskar is where you can come across the confluence of Indus and Zanskar Rivers. Boasting of a faultless landscape, the Sangam Point is nature’s handiwork. The meeting point is nestled between the spectacular mountains of the cold desert. All those who love natural settings will appreciate this beauty. It is where you can spot two distinct colours merging into one- the murky waters of Zanskar and the cobalt waters of Indus. It is also a dream destination for trekkers.
What more to know: You can enjoy boating here that is the best activity to do in Zanskar valley.
Embark on the Darcha Padum Trek
Nature’s stunning canvases are the trekking routes in the Zanskar valley. If you wish to steer away from the visuals of a fast-paced crazy city life, then you must embark on the Darcha Padum Trek. Bask in the calming vistas as you traverse across high altitude mountainous roads. It is one of the most fulfilling nature treks in the country. Big and small quaint monasteries that are perched on cliffs dot the trail. The mountain valleys, clear skies, deep gorges, and unscathed landscapes are a sheer sample of stimulating beauty you get to witness on the Darcha Padum Trek.
What more to know: The trek takes you through an eco-friendly zone. It is advised to not encourage littering near the local sites and campsites.
Discover the simplicity of the local life by living in a homestay
In a valley whose settlements are more than 900 years old, the best thing to do in Zanskar valley is to discover and bask in the very warm hospitability of the locals. People from all over the globe come here to spend time with the locals here. The real essence of the land can be experienced by choosing a homestay. The accommodation here provides for great local ambience, traditional home cooked meals along with mesmerising views from the rooms. Living amid dreamy interiors is a must-do activity when in Zanskar valley.
What more to know: It is essential to choose your homestay option on the basis of recommendations and popular listings.
Challenge yourself to one of the most thrilling adventures- the Chadar Trek
Also known as the Zanskar Gorge winter trail or the Frozen river trek, this experience is one of its kind. It is the most offbeat activity to indulge in Zanskar valley for both, nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The trek brings hoards of native tourists to these pristine lands. It is spine-chilling as it asks for a compulsory ritual of acclimatisation since the trail takes you to an elevation of 10,000 to 11,000 ft.
What more to know: It is best to embark on this trek in the month of January since the frozen river-bed is most stable and thick during this month. Moreover, it is not for the faint hearted and requires you to get a Medical Fitness certificate as well.
Pump your adrenaline as you cut across the Zanskar river in a raft
This valley is an enormous playground for the adventurers. And among all other things, Rafting is reputed as one of the most adventurous things to in Zanskar valley. It is a thrilling water sport that requires you to battle the untamed Indus river’s turbulent waters. The river has rapids ranging from grade 1 to grade 4. You can also enjoy the unpredictable flora and fauna that surrounds this gushing river. Moreover, the raft will also have you crisscross by some ancient monasteries and remote scenic villages.
What more to know: It is always advisable to book your rafting experience well in advance, since the slots fill in pretty quick during the tourist season.
Enjoy hot kahwah at the Baralacha La Pass
Imagine sipping on a cup of seemingly hot kahwah at an altitude of 16,040 feet above the sea level. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? In a freezing temperature at that height, the best thing to do in Ladakh in May is to sip on some hot kahwah. It is traditionally prepared drink with exotic spices and saffron that helps keep the body warm. Driving up to the Baralacha La pass is an experience in itself. It provides fascinating views as is set amidst two prominent mountain ranges of India- the Zanskar ranges and the Pir Panjal mountain ranges.
What more to know: Make sure you have all necessary permits in place as it is set in a border area.
Undoubtedly the most enchanting places to visit in Ladakh, the Zanskar Valley is a hidden treasure waiting to be found. We hope that this list of must-do things in Zanskar Valley helps you plan a memorable trip with much ease and convenience.
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