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Tourist Places To Visit In Zanskar
Zanskar Valley in the Kargil district of Jammu & Kashmir boasts of some stunning locales. Tucked away in an isolated part of the country, the sheer beauty of the place through word of mouth has become a lucrative holiday destination for tourists. Sparkling rivers, magnificent glaciers, pretty quaint villages, sprawling barren lands and rugged landscapes have stolen the hearts of the people time and again so that travellers keep returning for more. Let us take a brief look at the places to visit in Zanskar Valley.
Originating in north-facing slopes of the Great Himalayan Ranges, Zanskar River is popularly known as Tsarap Chu among the locals of the Himalayas. The presence of glaciers has converted the entire area of the river into a U-shaped valley. Tsarap Chu meets the Zanskar River near Padam. The river has imparted an unparalleled charm to the valley and its sparkling waters are a treat to watch and cherish.
One of the biggest glaciers in the region, the Drang-Drung Glacier is located on the Panzila watershed in the region of Ladakh. This magnificent glacier offers a fascinating view of the Himalayas and Kargil. The glacier finds itself flanked by snow capped peaks and two alpine lakes.
Situated at an altitude of 3505 meters above sea level, Padum is the capital of ancient Zanskar. It is considered as one of the major trekking bases in the country as several trekking expeditions are flagged off from here. It also houses the famous 10th century Starrimo Monastery.
Pipiting is another popular village in Zanskar that houses several ancient temples and a stupa. The stupa is the very place where Dalai Lama is believed to have presented his sermons from. The Pipiting Gompa is a popular tourist spot which has contains some beautiful murals and paintings of its founder Saint Padmasambhava.
Stongde Monastery is located in Kargil district, built by Lama Lhodak Marpa Choski Lodos way back in 1052. Housing more than 60 monks, the monastery is a major tourist attraction. Within the complex is Gon Khang, the temple of guardian deities. It is believed to house the guardians of Buddhist pantheon. The Gustor festival is also celebrated here as per the Tibetan calendar.
Karsha Monastery is situated in Karsha village near Zanskar. The monastery is also known as Karsha Chamspaling, and was founded way back in the 10th century. There are several shrines within the complex of the monastery and some beautiful wall paintings. Gustor Festival is also celebrated here with much fervour. It houses more than 100 monks today.