Location: 130-km Southeast of
Kargil, On Kargil-Zanskar Road, Ladakh Region, J&K
Main Attractions: Rangdum Monastery, Trekking To Henaskot
Best Time To Visit: Late June To Mid-September
Remote Buddhist Settlement
The farthest 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-km
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 ownership of the
entire valley including the fields tilled by the villagers, the
pastures, hills and even the streams.
Trekking Route To Hinaskot/Henaskot
Rangdum also serves as an important trekking base. The most
popular trek from here leads to Henaskut (also spelt as Hinaskot)
near Lamayuru, across the spectacular gorge of the Kanji valley.
This 5-day trek also forms the last leg of the two weeklong
trans-Himalayan traverse between Kashmir and Ladakh .
HOW TO REACH THERE
Road: 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 offer 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.
WHERE TO STAY
At Sankoo basic accommodation is available in the Govt. Rest
House. A Tourist Bungalow is also situated over here. At
Panikhar the Tourist Bungalow provides 4 furnished rooms while
some private hotels also offers accommodation. At Rangdum the
newly built Tourist Complex provides 5 furnished rooms and
dormitory accommodation. Tented accommodation operated by the
monastery management provides simple overnight shelter while
basic food is available at the nearby teashop.