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 is a list of things to do while in Padum.
Table of Contents
1. Home Stay
After doing the back-breaking drive from Kargil, there is no better place than a 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 Gompa
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.
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 bread. 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 Timelapse
Being so close to the sky makes Padum an ideal place to shoot a time-lapse. Use your smartphone or DSLR and soon the entire sunset with a 5 or 10-second photo interval and your time-lapse should look somewhat similar to this. Don’t forget to carry a tripod for the same.
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