Entering Zanskar from Rangdum to Padum, India (09/2018)

view from Karsha Gompa in Padum

view from Karsha Gompa in Padum

After finishing our work, we left Rangdum and continued our journey to Padum in the eastern Zanskar region.

Only 25 km east of Rangdum, the road took us across the Pensi La (4400 m) and into the Zanskar Valley. The scenery of the wide mountain valley opening before us was truly spectacular. We passed the Drang Drung Glacier surrounded by high mountains of more than 6000 m altitude. We reached Padum in the late afternoon and spent the following days working in the countryside north of the town. We were also able to visit beautiful and remote Zangla Palace, the site where Hungarian scholar Sándor Csoma de Kőrös compiled the first Tibetan-English dictionary in 1823. Furthermore, we took a walk through Karsha Gompa with fantastic views across the Zanskar Valley.

Just as on previous legs of our journey, I took a video of the drive from Rangdum to Padum.

Once we completed our work around Padum, we had to drive all the way back to Leh via Rangdum and Kargil.

4 responses to “Entering Zanskar from Rangdum to Padum, India (09/2018)

  1. I love this area, it’s too bad it’s so remote, but that’s probably what keeps it special. We didn’t go to Zanla Palace, but Karsha was a favourite of ours. Great pictures!

    • Thank you! 🙂 I think part of the charm is the remoteness of the region – but they built new roads from Padum north to Leh and south towards Keylong. Therefore, the entire area will soon be easy to reach and the long drive from Kargil via Rangdum will not be necessary anymore…

      • That road has been under construction for so many years now. Beautifully graded but still many km between the upstream work from Nimmu and the downstream work from Padum. I spoke with a road engineer when I was in padum who said progress was going to accelerate because new european drilling equipment was delivered this year, said it lets them progress at 4-5 meters per day. Said they now expected a single lane to be completed by 2020. I’m skeptical because none of their past promises were kept, but they are definitely making progress. When that road does go through Padum will be an easy half-day drive from Leh. I’m afraid the most charming nearby valleys will be quickly developed to become like Manali and the local culture will be destroyed.

      • Yes, I agree… progress and development has good and bad sides – and while I love traveling and discovering new places, I strongly dislike mass tourism with all its consequences… that’s also quite contradictory by itself! In any case, let’s hope for the best!!! 😊🍀

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