The seventh edition of the two-day monastery festival in Padum, the capital of Zanskar, will display the valley's rich heritage and cultural traditions with local dance forms, music, and even sports such as horse races, and archery.
The essence of this festival is to celebrate the victory of good over evil. This year the festival will also commemorate 75 years of India's independence or Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
According to the local administration, the seventh edition of the festival will be "a true mirror of Ladakh's culture, traditions, and cuisines and also showcase local handicrafts, art and other products". If you are heading to this festival, make sure you take the time to soak in this region's pristine beauty.
A Trekker's Paradise
Zanskar lies to the southwest of Ladakh and is referred to as the 'Country of Dharma'. The region is hugely popular among travellers active in the trekking circuit. The popular Chadar trek, also known as the Frozen River Trek, stands out as the most challenging for the altitude ( at approximately 11,000 ft above sea level), route difficulty, and freezing temperatures.
The Monastries of Zanskar
There are at least eight monasteries in this region, namely Rangdum Gonpa, Sani Gompa, Zangla Temple, Zongskul Gompa, Karsha Gompa, Stongday Gompa, Phugtal Gompa, and Bardan Gompa. Many villages don't have full road connectivity, hence one may find it challenging to reach these monasteries on foot.
How To Reach Zanskar Valley
For about six to eight months in a year, road links between Kargil and Padum remain cut off. There is no means of transport by air either. July to October is peak tourist season, where taxis can be hired or rented from Kargil. Bus services on the route are also available from Leh or Kargil.