Welcome to Gulabgarh
Gulabgarh, along with its twin-across-the-river, Atholi, form the administrative and transport hub of the fascinating Paddar region, best known for distinctive little Hindu shrines with naive-style carved facades. The most famous of these is at the roadless village of Machail whose rapidly growing popularity now fills Gulabgarh with pilgrims throughout August. But Gulabgarh itself has its own Chandi Mata shrine and at least three other similar temples; there's another in Atholi which has a more unspoiled feel, and 11km away in pretty little Sohal is another much-revered Kali Mata temple. Sohal makes a good starting point for walks into some beautiful upland scenery, and for the seriously hazardous Omasila trek to Zanskar. English-speaking Tashi Tsering at Lonpo Adventure Tours can help organise.
If you're taking the exciting K³ Chenab River route to Keylong, the section between Gulabgarh and Killar is the most nail-bitingly thrilling section.