Top things to do

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…
Multicuisine in Padum

Chumathang Restaurant

With Chinese lamps and sturdy furniture, this pleasant upstairs eatery offers a fairly wide-ranging menu that's cooked with reasonable skill and can be served with good naan (tandoor-cooked flat bread) and ₹200 beer…
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 …
Multicuisine in Padum


Staff seem lethargic but manage to turn out relatively appealing Chinese dishes, Ladakhi staples and fat-but-crispy banana pancakes.
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…
Bar in Padum

Kailash Bar

Typical small-town bar with insufficient lighting and all-male clientele. A slightly redeeming feature is the scrappy 'garden' shelter area behind.