Zanskar attractions

Buddhist Monastery in Zangla

Stongdey Gompa

One of Zanskar's most important monasteries, Stongdey Gompa doesn't look like much when viewed from below, but it crowns a bird’s-eye perch with stupendous views over the Zanskar Valley and the jagged mountain backd…
Buddhist Monastery in South of Padum

Bardan Gompa

Bardan Gompa is a fortress-like monastery with a spectacular setting atop a rocky outcrop commanding an S-bend in the Lugnak Valley. The main prayer hall retains some ancient murals and is accessed via an appealing …
Architecture in Zangla

Zangla Palace

The three-storey ruin of a 17th-century royal palace sits on a crag surveying Zangla village and the valley looking north towards Hanamur. From 1823, Hungarian scholar Alexander (Sándor) Csoma de Kőrös took a room h…
Village in Rangdum

Rangdum Village

Topped with winter feed-piles, Rangdum's 20 or so low-rise buildings look as though they were dropped randomly onto the remarkably wild, big-sky valley. The valley's meandering streams are backed to the west by a br…
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…
Buddhist Temple in Karsha

Chukchikjal Temple

Karsha Nunnery is only a few decades old, but it occupies the site of a far older settlement containing the ruins of a fortress, a stupa dating from the 10th century and this small but remarkable temple that's more …
Buddhist Monastery in Karsha

Karsha Gompa

At the far side of a wide plain around two hours’ walk from Padum, Karsha Gompa is Zanskar’s largest Buddhist monastery. Dating to at least the 10th century, it’s a jumble of whitewashed blocks rising almost vertica…
Buddhist Temple in Karsha

Dukhang Yokma

The Dukhang Yokma, Karsha Gompa's main prayer hall, was demolished in 2009 due to irreparable structural damage. In so doing, an astonishing discovery was made: the mummified body of the monastery's 14th-century fou…
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 …
Buddhist Monastery in Rangdum

Rangdum Gompa

Seen from Rangdum village, 5km west, this small, slightly raised monastery looks like a tiny island floating above the valley floor. The gompa’s 25 yellow-hatted monks are outnumbered by monastery donkeys, who sleep…