ZANSKAR, 2008: Lamayuru to Padum


Zanskar is a high altitude desert with deep ravines and powerful rivers located between Ladakh and Kashmir in north India. The Buddhist culture is similar to that of Ladakh. We flew to Delhi then on to Leh, the main town of Ladakh. A few days for acclimatisation to the altitude then we drove east along the Indus valley to the start of the trek near Phanjila. Then 11 days trekking north to south through villages and over several 4500 to 5000 metre passes to Karsha monastery, near Padum, the main town in Zanskar.

On the spectacular drive back to Leh we stopped at Rangdum monastery then drove through Kargil, stopped overnight at Mulbekh and continued east along the Indus, pausing at Lamayuru and Alchi.


Our guide on this trek, and several other treks, was Stanzin, aka Tenzin Chos. Most people in the Himalaya have two names, the family name and the nicname, eg Stanzin. Stanzin lives in Leh with his wife and three children. He’s a brilliant guide, a genuinely great man and a kind and wonderful companion who’ll enjoy the trek as much as you. He’s from a small village near Padum in Zanskar. He works tirelessly, speaks good English, always manages to find the caretaker with the keys and has many friends along the trail and in the monasteries. We’d recommend Stanzin 100%.

Stanzin has a website:

You can email him at

Delhi to Leh                

Leh, Matho, Stok       

Leh, Gonpa        

Leh to Phanjila. Trek to Hanupatta       


Hanupatta to Photoksar over the Sirsir La      


Photoksar to Marling over the Singge La       

Marling to Lingshed         


Lingshed to Snertse over the Hanuma La         

Snertse to Hanamur over the Parfi La       

Hanamur to Pishu via Zangla       

Pishu to Karsha       

Karsha Gompa       

Karsha Festival       

Karsha to Rangdum via Sani       

Rangdum to Mulbekh via Kargil  

Mulbekh to Leh via Lamayuru and Alchi    

Leh, Sankar       

Leh to Delhi