Tuesday, 25 June 2013

About Zanskar Tourism

Zanskar is a sub district of Kargil district, which is visited for its famous mountain ranges and adventure activities. Zanskar, also known as Zangskar, is a popular destination in the Ladakh region. Tourists visit this place to view its scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries. It borders Ladakh and is almost identical to Ladakh in terms of population and infrastructure.

Zanskar is spread over an area of about 2,700 square miles at an altitude of 11,500–23,000 feet. It is a high altitude semi-desert lying on the northern wing of the Himalayan Range. Zanskar is situated in the interior of Leh-Ladakh and during the months of November to May, it is cut off due to heavy snowfall.

According to historical records, the first activity in Zanskar seems to be recorded in the Bronze Age. It is believed that an Indo-European population identified as the Mon might have inhibited this place. Buddhists coming from Kashmir spread their influence over this city in nearly 200 BC.

The oldest monuments in Zanskar date back to the Kushan period. Zanskar and other regions of the western Himalayas were invaded in the 7th century by Tibetans, who spread their Bon religion here. Buddhism retrieved its influence over Zanskar in the 8th century.

The border conflicts among India, Pakistan and China kept this place secluded for visitors and foreigners.  During the wars over borders, Ladakh had to sacrifice two thirds of its territory. The first road of this place, connecting to Padum with the road between Srinagar to Ladakh, was built in 1979. Zanskar, once a restricted area, was opened in 1974 only to foreigners.

Zanskar is renowned for trekking, mountaineering and rafting. Apart from that, it is also popular for its snow-capped peaks. The Zanskar River, which flows in the valley, gives opportunity for rafting. On the way to Zanskar from Leh, tourists can visit Mulbek, which is popular for a huge sculpture of the Buddha on a rock.

The way between Ringdum from Mulbek offers the view of snow covered mountains and two highest peaks of Nun and Kun. Zangla, once ruled by a titular king, is 35 kilometres away from Zanskar and offers views of the austere life style of a small community of nuns. Another popular place is Remala, a village that comes on the way to Zanskar. Zongkhul, which is located in the trekking trail of Padum to Kishtwar, is popular for its cave monasteries.

Zanskar does not have any airport of its own. The nearest airport to the place is Leh. It takes an hour to reach Leh from Delhi. Jammu is the nearest railway station. Tourists can take the Srinagar route to Leh to reach this place. Manali route is another option available for travellers to reach Zanskar.