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Zanskar Travel Guide

Zanskar, the "land of white copper" is one of the remotest and least explored regions of India. Spreading out like a fan with three arms between the Zanskar and Great Himalayan Ranges, the glacier is cut across by the Stod that joins the Tsarap (or Lingit) to form the Zanskar.

Closed to the outside world till very recently, the Zanskar region is now a very popular trek route, with unspoilt valleys, stark mountain ranges, and traditional hamlets. Habitat for a population of about 10,000 tenacious Zanskaris, very little grows here except a crop of hardy barley. Because of their isolation, the people of this valley have preserved an ancient form of Buddhism, which follows a strict set of rules to utilise limited resources in the best possible manner.

Till the 80s the only way to get into and out of the valley was through snow-covered 5,000 metre high passes or along the chadar (sheet of ice) of the frozen Zanskar River in winter. Now a motorable track has been cut through across the Pensi La, though often bad weather and snow can block traffic. Nevertheless, a journey from Padum (main town) to Kargil that once took about seven days can be accomplished in fourteen hours or so.

Zanskar is the land to come to for a tryst with the past, for a journey into the unknown -a trip that will almost certainly throw up surprises by the score.

So travel to Zanskar and explore the rugged charm of Zanskar yourself.

As much as Zanskar is famous for rafting, it is equally famous for trekking on frozen water of Zanskar River. Beginners should make a first attempt only with a good trainer for both trekking and rafting.

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