Rafting In Zanskar

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Rafting In Zanskar


Born from the merging of the Stod and Tsarap rivers, the Zanskar arises near the border between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, and makes its way northward, to meet the Indus at Nimmu. A beautiful stretch of water, the Zanskar isn’t as wild and wicked as its southern sisters, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi. It does have some grade III and IV rapids, but they’re fewer and more far between.

Among the most exciting runs on the Zanskar is the Padum-Nimmu run, a trip which takes several days and involves having to camp out in the wild. It’s replete with exciting rapids, and is suggested only for those with a fair bit of experience in white water rafting.

Another good run is the Phey – Nimmu route, easier than the Padum-Nimmu one- it’s mostly Grade II or III. The main attraction of the run is that it passes through astoundingly beautiful mountains, many of them with tiny villages and imposing old monasteries nestling among the valleys. The run starts at Phey and ends about 36 km from Leh, at Nimmu. Nimmu is situated at the confluence of Ladakh’s two main rivers- the Indus and the Zanskar.

Zanskar’s administrative centre, Padum, is accessible from Kargil, to which it is connected by road during the summer months. Buses run between the two towns on alternate days between July and October, and vehicles may be hired in Kargil to do the trip.

Best time to visit

July and August are the best months for river rafting on the Zanskar river.


Note: Zanskar has very limited,public transport and other facilities- including tourist accommodation. In addition to this, parts of the area, especially those lying close to India’s international borders, require special permits to be obtained. To overcome all these difficulties, it’s essential to go through a specialised agency which organises river runs. They’ll make all the necessary arrangements, including permits, transport, equipment and accommodation. Many such agencies have their offices in Leh, and some also have offices in other cities in India, such as New Delhi.


Daytime is considered safe and the best time to go rafting.

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