9 Day Trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh [Day by Day Travel Itinerary]

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Are you looking for a travel plan for a trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh? This 9-day detailed travel itinerary of Zanskar Valley from Leh will help you plan a memorable trip. This itinerary covers all the major tourist attractions in Zanskar Valley including Rangdum and Padum with local sightseeing.

9 Day Trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh
9 Day Trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh

Suru and Zanskar Valley have started coming out to be the next popular adventure destinations in the Himalayas after Leh – Ladakh and Spiti Valley. It is not a surprise as other destinations have been flocked with tourists, adventurists are looking out towards more secluded and peaceful locations in the Himalayas.

Hence, nestled in the remote corner of Ladakh district, Zanskar Valley is the appropriate candidate for being popular among adventure-loving tourists. As more and more questions have started appearing on Devil On Wheels website for different plans of Zanskar Valley, in this article today, I will share a detailed travel plan covering Zanskar Valley from Leh in 9 days.

Stop at Magical Rangdum Village when traveling to Zanskar Valley from Leh side
Stop at Magical Rangdum Village when traveling to Zanskar Valley from Leh side

Do I need Inner Line Permit for the Zanskar Valley trip from Leh?

There is no need for an inner line permit to visit Zanskar Valley. Hence, in case you are not visiting any other sightseeing places in Ladakh, no permit is required for Zanskar Valley.

However, you must note that in case you are planning to hire a taxi, Ladakh taxi can only drop you to Kargil, where you will have to take a Kargil based taxi to drop you to Padum. Once you reach Padum, you will have to hire a local Padum based taxi, which can help you do sightseeing in Zanskar Valley and drop you back to Kargil and Leh.

These taxi rules are quite complicated in Zanskar Valley, and at times, they do allow Kargil based taxi but not always. So, keep this important distinction in mind 😀 …

Mode of Transport in Zanskar Valley

You can check the Leh – Ladakh taxi union rate list 2019 – 20 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh. They will easily offer about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on the phone always help in bargaining more. Try to call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the more comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.

In case you love to ride the bike and want to rent a bike for Zanskar Valley trip, you can refer Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2020-21. However, I will highly recommend that you plan a bike ride to Zanskar Valley only if you have experience of riding in trans-Himalayas on bad dirt roads with bumpy rides. If you have any back pain issues, then please stay away from a bike ride.

9 Day Travel Plan – Zanskar Valley from Leh

In this itinerary of Zanskar Valley, as you will be flying directly to Leh which is located at an altitude of about 3500 Mtrs. Hence, you must acclimatize properly in order to combat acute mountain sickness. It is of utmost importance to rest for at least one day before moving or travel anywhere in Ladakh or towards Zanskar Valley. Please do not take AMS lightly.

You are safe to travel down towards Alchi or Kargil on the first day in case you wish, but I have taken a conservative approach to rest on the first day.

Welcome to Zanskar Valley
Welcome to Zanskar Valley

Now, let’s look at this detailed day by day travel plan for making a trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh.

Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)

  • Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
  • Take ample rest as well as water or anything that keeps your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
  • Do not overexert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
  • After 5-6 Hrs of rest, you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa.
  • If you feel exerted, go back to the hotel, have dinner at the Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion.
  • Follow the sunset by a stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
  • Go back to the hotel for an overnight stay at Leh.
  • Overnight at Leh

You do not need to pass Zojila when traveling to Zanskar Valley from Leh side.

Day 2 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil

Day 3 | Kargil – Sankoo (42 KMs) – Panikhar (67 KMs) – Parkachik (98 KMs) – Rangdum (138 KMs) – Penzi La (165 KMs) – Padum (255 KMs)

  • Have breakfast either at Kargil, preferably packed breakfast from the hotel
  • It is going to be a long day, hence, leave for sure by 7 AM
  • Have lunch at Rangdum, specifically not letting you stay at Rangdum as it a much harsh place than Padum with the least facilities. So, better break journey while coming back
  • Beautiful Stod River join you after descending from Penzi La
  • Will take about 9-11 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 4 | Rest day at Padum or visit to Zongkhul Monastery

  • Rest at Padum and enjoy the stay to acclimatize better
  • After lunch, you can do Padum – Tungri (17 KMs) – Zongkhul (37 KMs)
  • Will take about 2-3 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 5 | Padum – Stongde (15 KMs) – Zang La Fort (32 KMs) – Karsha (62 KMs) – Padum (74 KMs)

  • Explore local sightseeing in Padum including Sani, Stongdey, and Karsha monasteries, Zang La Fort
  • An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar, midway between Stongde and Zangla
  • Sheela Village Waterfall: You can spend some time at the waterfall at Sheela village while coming back to Padum from Stongde
  • Karsha monastery: Evening visit for a nice view of Padum village
  • Stongde monastery: Morning visit for better views
  • Zang La Fort: Ahead of Stongde and offers some scenic wide views
  • Will take about 3-4 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 6 | Padum – Penzi La Pass (90 KMs) – Rangdum (117 KMs)

  • On the way see and click some lovely pictures of Drang Drung Glacier
  • Spot some wildlife including Marmots as well on the way to Penzi La
  • Stop by at Statso – Langtso Twin Lakes on the way to Penzi La
  • Some time at Penzi La with pictures
  • Rangdum Gompa is a MUST DO which is about 2-3 KMs from Rangdum
  • Enjoy any leftovers while going towards Padum earlier
  • Will take about 5 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Rangdum, avoid JKTDC Rest House at Rangdum and prefer a homestay

Travel Tip: If you are driving yourself to Zanskar, you must check 40 must-have things to carry on a self-drive road trip to Zanskar Valley.

Day 7 | Rangdum – Parkachik (40 KMs) – Sankoo (96 KMs) – Umba La – Drass (160 KMs)

  • Spend some time at beautiful Panikhar village and enjoy the scenic beauty around
  • Excellent views of Nun – Kun from Purikutchey
  • Trek down to the river and relax for a while on the way
  • The rock-carved Maitreya at Kartse Khar
  • Have lunch at Sankoo
  • Give a shot at the unexplored Umba La route on the way back
  • Will take about 7-8 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Drass

Day 8 | Drass – Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

  • Cover Kargil War Memorial
  • Cover Mulbekh Maitreya, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes
  • On the way, you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 9 | Leh – Delhi By Morning Flight

  • Back to Sweet Home
Twin lakes of Penzi La Pass when traveling to Zanskar Valley from Leh
Twin lakes of Penzi La Pass when traveling to Zanskar Valley from Leh

Other Important Links for Zanskar Valley

These are some of the most commonly referenced articles on the Zanskar Valley on Devil On Wheels website. Please refer to them in case you have any questions regarding these topics.

Penzi La Pass on Kargil to Padum Road
Penzi La Pass on Kargil to Padum Road

Zanskar Valley via Darcha – Shingo La Route

As of 2019 September, only one car was able to reach Padum from Darcha – Shingo La route. In the coming years, I expect to see this route from Manali – Darcha – Padum getting more attraction from the tourists.

Once it is fully operational and safe for travel, I will share more details on this route itinerary as well.

Conclusion

I hope this article helps you planning a trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh. You can always tweak this article in case you are planning to travel within Ladakh or travel down from Manali – Leh Highway instead of flying out of Leh or maybe even come from Srinagar – Leh Highway and travel down to Manali – Leh Highway. I will share those itineraries in the next few posts.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

But, I am sure, if Zanskar Valley from Leh is what you need, this article will help you in finalizing the plan. If you have any questions about your Zanskar Valley trip, please feel free to post them on this website or my Instagram profile.

In case you have made a trip to Zanskar Valley and want to share any tips or suggestions with other fellow travelers, please share them in the comments section. If you wish to write a post for Devil On Wheels as a guest author, I can also set up your account to share the experience of your trip to Zanskar Valley.

In the end, if you know a friend or a family person who is making a trip to Zanskar Valley from Leh Ladakh, please feel free to share this article with them as well.

Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


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Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

2 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Can someone suggest any change that we might have to do in the itinerary?

    Day 1: Early morning flight Delhi to Leh 0740 hrs arrival. Spend remainder of the day resting. (Shanti stupa popular sunset + Leh palace + Local bazzar)

    Day 2: Leh kargil highway -> Hall of fame museum -> Gurugwara pathar sahib -> Magnetic hill -> Confluence of indus and zanskar river -> Spituk Monestry -> Leh

    Day 3: Nubra valley -> After 2 hours -> Khardungla -> Indus Valley (Rest) -> Hunder sand dunes and camel ride (Overnight stay in hotel)

    Day 4: Nubra -> Khardungla-> Leh (Diskit monestry on hill top ) Optional: Jokhng leh mosque, Central asian museum

    Day 5: Leh -> Changla pass -> Pangong (Chang thang valley -> Chang la(2nd highest point)) -> Tangtse temple(OPT)-> Overnight in tent or guest house

    Day 6: Pangong -> Thicksey Gompa -> Shey palace -> Leh

    Day 7: (Friday morning )Leh -> Manalli Day 8: (Saturday) Leh -> Manalli (Reach in afternoon by 2PM) Bus at 5PM


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