New Delhi: Zanskar, which lies to the south-west of Ladakh, is a haven for adventure lovers and is known extensively for its adventurous frozen river/chadar trek in winter and adrenaline-pumping white water rafting experience in summer. Is. It is an offbeat destination, which is part of the Kargil district in Ladakh and has some of the most spectacular views in the union territory. Often referred to as the ‘Country of Dharma’, the region is associated with Guru Padmasambhava and the great yogi Naropa and has a Buddhist majority.
Zanskar is a popular hiking destination for adventure enthusiasts. Apart from the Chadar Trek, there are many thrilling treks in the region, such as Lamayuru to Darcha and Lamayuru-Padum trek, which take you to different settlements and provide breathtaking views. Additionally, the Grade IV rapids of the Zanskar River make for a great white-water rafting adventure.
Also, the grand valley of Zanskar is where one can come across a place known as the Sangam Point at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. The meeting place, nestled between two magnificent desert mountains, is nature’s own handicraft.
Apart from treks and adventures, another thing that Zanskar is famous for is the Zanskar Festival held in its capital city of Padum. This year is the seventh edition of this grand festival.
Zanskar Festival: What is it all about?
An annual event known as the Spitok Gutor Zanskar Festival is held for two days in several monasteries around Ladakh. The victory of good over evil is celebrated throughout this festival. This festival is celebrated especially in the monasteries of Gelukpa, a reformist of Tibetan Buddhism in India, some of them being Spituk, Thiksey and Karsha.
For the “sacrifice on the 29th day”, the name Spitok Gutor Zanskar is used. The Kali Topi dance is the main attraction during the festival. The dance depicts a Buddhist monk as murdered King Lang-dar-Ma in the ninth century. An additional mask is worn by the black hat dancers. “Argam” concludes the festivities. Additionally, a sacrificial cake is cut to signify the conclusion of the festivities.
Zanskar Festival: Celebrations in the year 2022
The seventh edition of the Zanskar festival is scheduled to take place on 29 and 30 September at Padum, Zanskar. The purpose of this event is to honor and highlight the rich cultural history of Zanskar. It is the perfect reflection of the culture, traditions and cuisine of Ladakh, showcasing regional handicrafts, artwork, local dance and musical styles and even traditional sports such as archery and horse racing. Additionally, the event will highlight the pure and distinct beauty of the Zanskar region of Kargil district.
Apart from these, this year’s program Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
Monasteries of Zanskar:
There are many small villages in the Zanskar region, some of which are home to famous monasteries. However, access to these monasteries is only possible on foot as many local villages are not connected by roads.
There are at least eight monasteries in this area, namely Rangdam Gonpa, Sani Gompa, Jangla Mandir, Jongskul Gompa, Karsha Gompa, Stongde Gompa, Phugtal Gompa and Burdan Gompa.
Best time to visit Zanskar:
The monsoon months between July and September are considered to be the best time to visit Zanskar. During that time, the temperature ranges between 15 °C and 35 °C, and since Zanskar is located at a high altitude, it does not receive much rain during the monsoon season. Snowfall starts in Zanskar from the month of October, so if one wants to enjoy snowfall or do the famous Chadar River trek, it is best to visit Zanskar during winters.