One of the least explored regions in Zanskar Valley, Zangla is an idyllic destination in Zanskar, Kargil district of Ladakh. Located about 35 km from the administrative centre of Zanskar i.e. Padum, Zangla is on the northern side of Zanskar in the remote corner. Zangla was under the ruler ship of nominal king until his death about two decades ago.
Zangla is famous for its palace which is now almost in ruins. A nunnery and an ancient monastery in the village of Tsa Zar are also worth visiting. Zangla is also an important point for the famous treks in Zanskar like Padum- Lamayaru trek, Markha Valley Trek, Chadar Trek and Padum-Stondey-Zangla-Karsha-Padum round trip.
Zangla has mainly Buddhist population with some Arghons Muslims. Traditional sports like Archery, Polo, and Ice Hockey are played during long winters and monastery festival held at Zangla Monastery.
- Region : Zanskar Valley, Kargil, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
- Ideal Duration For Suru Valley: 5-6 Days
- Best Time To Visit: May – September, January – February
- Difficulty : Moderate- Tough
- Trip Starting Point : Kargil or Leh
- Nearest Airport : Leh Airport and Srinagar Airport
- Category: Scenic, Offbeat, Trekking Point
How to Reach
Zangla is located in the northern side of Zanskar at the utmost boundary. Zangla is well connected with Kargil by road via Padum.
A Bi-weekly bus service link the area of Rangdum and Padum to each other. If you want to reach Zangla by your vehicle, you have to rely on Kargil Taxi Stand as taxis from Srinagar or Leh can’t drive on the Kargil- Padum route. Similarly, Padum – Zangla route is served by Padum Taxi Union. You can take taxi from Padum to cover Zangla but these taxis have very high rates. So, reach Padum by taking taxi from Kargil and then take another taxi from Padum to cover Zangla.
Best Time to Visit
Both winter and summer are the best seasons to visit Zangla. Since Zangla is an important point for various famous winter treks especially Winter Chadar Trek, the region can be explored in the winter mainly in January and February. Apart from these treks, Zangla can be visited from June to September to explore the serenity of the region. Due to clear sky and pleasant weather, Zangla is the perfect destination in summer.
Where to Stay
Padum has various accommodation alternatives. You can stay in JKTDC hotel. Padum town also has several private hotels with basic facilities. Due to its distant location, accommodation can be available in the form of home stay in Zangla at reasonable remuneration.
Tourist Attractions of Zangla
Zangla Monastery, located in the nearby village of Tsa Zar is celebrated for its beautiful fresco paintings. Nestled on the Hilltop, this Buddhist monastery is the home of around 150 monks and also has an old nunnery.
An old castle which is popularly known as Zangla palace is also engages tourists which are mainly in ruins. The panoramic view from the palace is breathtaking and thus this goes into the category of unmissable for the tourists. Zangla palace is sometimes mistakenly called Zangla monastery but Zangla village has no monastery expect a nunnery.
Zangla is an important point for the various treks. Zangla is the destination for famous Padum-Stondey-Zangla-Karsha-padum round trip. For Markha Valley Trek, Zangla is the base camp. For other treks like Padum- Lamayuru and Chadar trek, Zangla is the departure point.
Reasons to Visit Zangla
- Zangla Palace and nunnery
- Zangla Monastery which is in Tsa Zar village and also known as Tsazar Monastery
- Starting point as well as base camp for various treks
Tips For Travelling In Zangla
- Zangla is a remote village and most of the places located between Kargil and Zangla are situated on the high altitude. Altitude Sickness is common phenomena at high altitude hence acclimatize yourself and aware of Altitude sickness.
- Keep yourself with sufficient cash as you don’t find ATMs everywhere.
- Keep in your mind that taxis from Srinagar and Leh are not allowed on Kargil – Padum road. Similarly if you want to travel Zangla, you have to take taxi from Padum taxi stand as other taxis are not allowed on Padum- Zangla road.
- Do not expect lavish stay arrangements here Zangla is a remote village.
- Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol.