· Shingo La photo-feature
Approaching Zanskar from the Suru Valley
· Penzella Pass
· Shagma Karphu
· Zanskar River
· Khurana River
· Rangdom Gompa
· Phuktal Gompa photo-feature
Passes leading to Zanskar include the Umasi La, the Poat La, the Kang La from the Miyar Nala near Udaipur and the Shingo La. Further to the east lies the Phirtse La from the Sarchu plains. One of the most popular routes in from Lahaul is over the Shingola Pass. It lies at an altitude of 17,200 ft on the crest of the actual Great Himalayan range. However, the Shingo La, like the other high passes, can only be crossed in late summer. To the northwest lies Kargil of Ladakh and the road leading to Kashmir.
In the winters, however, the Zanskar River is Zanskar's only access route. The ice freezes thick on the river and it becomes a highway known as the Chador Road, going to Saspul in the Indus Valley.
Zanskar has always been the most inhabited area in the Ladakh- Zanskar region, with several small villages that maintain close contacts with the Kashmir and Lahaul areas. As a result, some of the recent claims of the 'discovery' of Zanskar remain wishful thinking. Zanskar has many gompas and trade routes crisscross the region -- routes that have been used since olden times.
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