Ten Things to do in Padum, Zanskar

Padum, the headquarters of Zanskar Valley, arguably one of the most remote places in the world has a lot to offer than what meets the eye. Here are a list of things to do while in Padum.

1. Home stay

After doing the back breaking drive from Kargil, there is no better place than an home stay in Padum to stay the night or two. Home stays are in plenty in old Padum. These home stays are the best to experience the Zanskari Himalayan life.

2. Kambhir (local roti)

A local zanskari roti (bread) made out of wheat is a must try for breakfast. Served along with jam, butter and tea.  Kambhir is the staple breakfast in the entire valley.  

3. The Gonpa

A short walk from the main market and one will reach the Padum monastery which is situated on a small hill lock and offers travellers, a bird’s eye view of the entire town of Padum and the neighbouring villages.

4. Shopping

For those who love shopping Padum has a few shops which sell Tibetan handicrafts and jewellery. Shopping at these stalls is surely worth it and bargaining is a skill which is will surely come handy.  

5. Truck ride

Try an open air truck ride in Padum with the locals.  These trucks are used as public transport in the valley and a truck ride with the locals at 12,000 ft ASL is a must do to get your adrenaline rush going.

6. Interact with locals

Being a tourist town the entire population is very welcoming to travelers and the locals are always up for a short chit chat over any topic from politics to climatic change, they just love to talk. Julie which means hi,hello,welcome is a great way to start a conversation.

7. Padum bakery

The town has a local bakery which makes at least 10 varieties of biscuits and six different kinds of breads. The biscuits are surely worth buying and the bun masksa (bread + butter) is a good snack to carry for your day venture around the town.  

8. Zorawar’s fort

A short two kilometre walk from Padum and one will reach a run down structure which looks more like a mud house eroded over the years. This structure used to be a fort back in the day when Zorawar ruled the land of Zanskar.  

9. Village Hopping

Around the town of Padum, along the road to Zangla there are plenty of villages which are at a distance of around one or two km from each other.  Rent a bike or strap on your hiking boots and explore these tiny villages.

10. Sunset Time lapse

Being so close to the sky makes Padum an ideal place to shoot a time lapse. Use your smart phone or DSLR and soon the entire sunset with a 5 or 10 second photo interval and your time lapse should look some what similar to this. Don’t forget to carry a tripod for the same.


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