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Pilgrimage in Ladakh


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Pilgrimage in Ladakh The land of Buddhist Monks.
The few religious places in Ladakh are :

Padum
Padum the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, situated at a height of 3505 m is the present day administrative headquarters of the region. With a population of nearly 1500, Padum can be described as the most populous settlement of Zanskar, otherwise a very scarcely inhabited valley. Several places of tourist interest in the vicinity of the township can be visited while you entertain a walk. The closest monument is a group of ancient rock carvings on a huge boulder near the river bank, just beneath the old township. These rock carvings dates back to the 8th century and provide an evidence of North Indian Buddhism influence since ancient times. The Starrimo Monastery with about 30 resident monks clings to a tree-covered ridge above the old town. Across the expanse of cultivation is the old village of Pibiting, dominated by its scenic hilltop monastery, a magnificent manifestation of stupa architecture.

Arriving At Padum
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km stretch is paved, remains opened between mid July to early November. The J&K SRTC runs a thrice weekly B-class bus service from Kargil. However groups can hire A-Class or even Super-Deluxe buses to visit Zanskar, including the remote areas of interest like Stongdey, Zangla and Karsha. Jeeps and Gypsy taxis can also be hired at Kargil. During June and early July, prior to opening of the road, it is recommended to walk into Zanskar from panikhar or Parkachik onwards.
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Zanskar
About 20 kms. from Ladakh, South of Rangdum stands the Pazila watershed across which lies Zanskar, the most lonely of all the trans Himalayan Valleys. The Panzila Top at the height of 4401 m is the picturesque tableland embellished with two small alpine lakes and surrounded by snow coated peaks.

Zanskar consists of a tri-armed valley system sitting between the Great Himalayan Range and the Zanskar mountain; the three arms radiate star-like towards the west, north and south from a wide central extensions where the region's two principal drainage's meet to form the main Zanskar River. The area remains unreached for nearly 8 months a year due to heavy snowfall resulting in closure of all the approaching passes, including the Penzi-la. Today, Zanskar has the distinction of being one of the last few surviving cultural satellites of Tibet. Within the mountain barriers of this lost Shangri-la stands several ancient yet active monastic settlements. Few of these religious foundations have evolved around remote meditation caves believed to have been used by a succession of famous Buddhist saints for prolonged meditation in pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment. Zanskar

Arriving At Zanskar
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km stretch is paved, remains opened from around mid July to early November. In June, the summer is at its height in the region and the climate is ideal for trekking along the route free from vehicular traffic of any kind and when the countryside is freshly rejuvenated into life after months of frigid dormancy.

Stongdey
The monastery of Stongdey lies 18 kms. from Ladakh, to the north of Padum, on the road leading to Zangla. An old establishment related with the Tibetan Yogi, Marpa, Stongdey is today the second largest monastic establishment of Zanskar, resided by the resident community of about 60 Gelukpa monks. The spanning whitewashed structure has many temples, each of them a repository of the region's rich monastic heritage.

Arriving At Stongley
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km extension is paved, remains opened from around mid July to early November. The J&K SRTC runs a thrice weekly B-class bus service from Kargil. If in group then you can charter A-Class or even Super-Deluxe buses to visit Zanskar, including the interior places of interest like Stongdey, Zangla and Karsha. Jeeps and Gypsy taxis can also be hired at Kargil.

Zangla
Lying far in the northern arm of Zanskar at the edge of the 35 km. long rough road from Padum is Zangla, a small place ruled by a Titular King till his death a few years back. The old castle of the King is now in ruins except from a small chappel. Nearby is the old Nunnery worth a visit for the exact lifestyle of the small monastic community of nuns. An old monastery based in the nearby village of Tsa-zar has exclusive frescos, that should be visited.

Arriving At Zangla
The 240 km long Kargil-Padun road, of which the first 90 km stretch is paved, remains opened between mid July to early November. The J&K SRTC runs a thrice weekly B-class bus service from Kargil.

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Hemis Festival Tour Package (13D)
Destinations :Delhi - Leh - Thiksey - Khadungla ....
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Leh-Ladakh Monastery Tour (14D)
Destinations :Delhi - Leh - Thiksey - Khadungla ....
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