Padum, the erstwhile capital of Zanskar
, is a town lying between the Greater Himalayas
of mountains in Kargil District
of Jammu and Kashmir
. Situated at an altitude of 3,505 m, it is the present day administrative headquarters of the region.
The town clings to an ancient monument situated on the banks of the
Zanskar River. The monument, dating back to the 8th century, features a set of ancient rock, having carvings on a huge boulder. The evidences reveal that during ancient period, this area was under the influence of North Indian Buddhism.
Padum is also a major trekking base and a popular tourist destination. This trekking area is the intersection of four major circuits connecting the alpine regions of the Chenab Valley and Himachal Pradesh with the arid mountains cape of
The Stagrimo Monastery, a 10th century monastery, lies towards south-west of the town. Excursions to Sani (6 km), Karsha (5 km) and Stongdey (19 km) will be an enchanting experience.
Padum can be accessed from Kargil (240 km) on the Kargil-Padum road. This road remains opened from around mid July to early November.