and the most isolated part of the Suru Valley, Rangdum is an elliptical
expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on the one side and glacier
encrusted rocky mountains on the other. Situated 130 kms South- east of
Kargil, it falls midway between Kargil and Padum. Due to its remoteness from
inhabited parts either of Suru or Zanskar, the areas wild beauty is almost
haunting, while its isolation is near perfect even as the unpaved Zanskar
road traverses its length. The chief attraction of this area is an imposing
18th century Buddhist monastery with about 40 monks in residence. Perched
picturesquely atop a centrally rising hillock which is entrenched around by
the bifurcated course of a wild mountain stream, the Rangdum monastery has
the aura of an ancient fortification guarding a mystical mountain valley.
The villagers are descendents of the monastery's agricultural, serf-tenants,
who do not own any land in the region. The monastery enjoys perpetual and
unalienable o wnership of the entire valley including the fields tilled by
the villagers, the pastures, hills and even the streams. Rangdum also serves
as an important trekking base. The most popular trek from here leads to
Henaskut near Lamayuru, across the spectacular gorge of the kanji valley.
This 5-day trek also forms the last leg of the two week long trans-Himalayan
traverse between Kashmir and Ladakh.
How to reach ?
Sankoo, Panikhar and Parachik are connected with Kargil with regular bus
services, in summer even twice a day. A bus ride from Kargil takes 2 hours
to Sankoo, 3 hours to Panikhar and about 4 hours to Parkachik. Rangdum is
serviced by the BI-week bus service to Padum, which increases according to
demand. Some trucks plying between Kargil and Padum also offers a lift in
the cabin for the price of a bus seat. Cars and jeeps taxis can be hired
from Kargil for visiting different places in the Suru Valley, including
Rangdum and Penzila.
Places of Interest (Visit
Leh is nested in a side valley just to the north of the Indus Valley.
Until 1947 it had close trading relations with Central Asia yak trains would
set off from the Leh Bazaar to complete the stages over the Kaakoam Pass to
Yarkand and Kashgar.
Administering the Valleys of Suru , Drass, Wakha and Bodkarbu, Kargil
lies midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir and the fertile reaches of
the Indus Valley and ladakh
Thak Thok gompa
shelters a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated
during his epic eight-century journey to Tibet.
Dhahanu is situated to the south west of Leh,
around 163 Kms. passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar,
Padum is 240 km to the south of Kargil, comes as a bit of an anticlimax
Rangdum is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colourful hills on
the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other.
Walled in by the Great Himalayan Divide, Zanskar, literally " Land of
White Copper" has for decades exrted the allure of Shangri La on visitours
Zangla is the nodal point on the popular Padum Strongdey Zangla Karsha
Padum round trip, which covers most of the cultural sites of Zanskar.
The Suru Valley
Diving two of the world's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru
Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La the main entry point
the Nubra valley - nubra means green used to be on the trading route
connection Tibet with Turkistan, Also Now as the Valley of Flowers
Drass (3230 m), 60 km west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, is a small township lying in the centre of the valley of the same name
The Shyok River receives the waters of the Nubra and Changchenmo rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from
Pangong Tso, 15km to the southeast of Leh, is one of the largest
saltwater lakes in Asia, a long narrow strip of water stretching from Ladakh
east into Tibet.
Tso Moriri or "Mountain Lake" is Famous for the large herds of
king, or wild ass, which graze on its shores, the lake of Tso Moriri.