Buddhist Monastery in Padum

Sani Gompa

Unusual for being on flat land close to a village rather than on a rocky crag, Zanskar’s oldest gompa comprises a small, two-storey prayer hall ringed by a curious tunnelled cloister and a whitewashed stone wall stu…
Viewpoint in Padum

Padum Khar

The oldest section of Padum is a chaos of rocks, tumbledown old buildings, shrines and large assorted tunnel-stupas climbing a modest hillock. The hill was crowned by a 13th-century royal palace until 1822, when it …
Village in Padum


Around 2km northeast of the main market, Pibiting has the most authentic feel of Padum's surrounding villages. It's easy to spot thanks to a hilltop Guru Lakhang temple, which is itself topped with a stupa and beaco…
Buddhist Sculpture in Padum

Gyalwa Ringna

A large rock set above the riverbank is inscribed with a row of five seated Buddha figures in Gandharan style. They are thought to have been carved in the 8th century on what was possibly the site of a monastery.
Waterfall in Padum

Shilla Waterfall

Look across the river from the main Raru road at Km5.5 to see the forest-fronted village of Shilla backed by a crag with ruins at the top and a substantial waterfall cascading down the middle. At its base is a pool …
Viewpoint in Padum


To get a better sense of the Padum Valley's mountain-ringed setting, stroll a couple of minutes off the main drag to the heliport (used in winter only), where the carcass of an Indian military chopper adds interesti…