Finding accommodation in Zanskar valley is really not that difficult anymore. In recent years, the valley has seen a significant increase in the number of visitors. This applies to the valleys of both Suru and Zanskar. A lot of small hotels and guesthouses have come up in almost every village and town en route. In this post, I will provide some information on where to stay in Zanskar.
You should know that Zanskar still remains to be a remote region. While there has been a definite boost in tourism in Ladakh, the number of tourists Zanskar receives is still not that high. The hotels and guesthouses you will find here will not be anything fancy but decent enough to keep you warm and comfortable.
Please note that in this post, I will only talk about your choices of accommodation in Zanskar Valley. If you want to get more information like how to reach, the best time to visit, and sightseeing, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Zanskar Valley.
Accommodation in Zanskar Valley
There are a few different options that you can choose from when it comes to finding accommodation in Zanskar Valley. Let us take a look at them one by one.
Hotels & Guest Houses
Hotels in Zanskar Valley are limited to only a couple of places. After Kargil, Padum is the only place where you will find a three-star hotel. However, budget guesthouses are also available in the towns of Sankoo and Rangdum.
Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Bungalow
These are government-run tourist bungalows and can be a good budget option to stay. The problem however is that they are not that well maintained out here. Unlike the HPPWD guesthouses, the conditions of the J&K Tourism Bungalows in Zanskar are never good. More information on this is provided later in the article.
If you are willing and can find a villager kind enough to invite you to his home, you can pay him for food and accommodation in his house for a night. This can be a good choice if you want to stay in the villages around Padum where there are no hotels or guesthouses.
Renting a Room at the Monastery
This is my favorite. Experience the lifestyle of a monk and rent a room at one of the numerous monasteries in the valley. Karsha Monastery I know offers accommodation and the same arrangement is available at Phuktal Monastery as well. You may ask around at other monasteries too while you are there.
Campsites in Zanskar Valley are limited to only a couple of places. It may improve in the coming years but there aren’t many existing campsites available right now. If you were carrying your own gear though, there will be a lot of good spots en route to pitch your own tent.
Where to Stay in Zanskar
Below is a breakdown of towns/villages in Suru and Zanskar Valley and what kind of accommodation you can expect there. Also mentioned are the names and contact information of a few hotels I am aware of.
Please note that I have not stayed in all of them (cannot of course). The information below is based on my own experience and feedback received from other travelers. I would strongly advise checking the hotel/guesthouse on your own first before deciding to check-in.
There are a lot of hotels in Kargil in almost every budget now. It is the midpoint on Srinagar Leh Highway and in the peak tourist season, is filled with people traveling to or from Ladakh. You will not have any problem finding a hotel to stay in here.
As you start traveling from Kargil to Padum, the next big village en route is Sankoo in Suru Valley. Road condition is good until Sankoo and it won’t take you long to reach here from Kargil. Because of this, not many people stay here for the night. Most of the tourists visiting Suru and Zanskar valleys stop here for a quick break, have breakfast, and be on their way.
Accommodation in Sankoo is available in the form of a J&K tourism bungalow, very basic homestays, and a few guesthouses.
The place where I stayed in Sankoo deserves a special mention. The name of the small guest house is Goba guest house. It is lovingly run by the Goba family and they provided me with exemplary hospitality.
Panikhar too has a J&K tourism bungalow but it is not the best place to stay here. I have myself never seen the rooms from the inside but have been told by a friend that they were in pathetic condition.
Apart from this government-run bungalow, the only other option is to talk to the locals here and request them to make arrangements for your night stay which they gladly will in exchange for a small charge. Most of the villagers in Panikhar rent out their spare rooms to travelers during the tourist season.
Please be advised though that your stay will be very simple but comfortable. You will be provided with an “angeethi” type room heater and it will keep you warm at night. Your dinner will be simple home-cooked food served by your host.
During my last trip to Zanskar Valley, I decided to stay at Panikhar, I went straight to the JKTDC guest house but the caretaker was not there. While waiting, the lady from the house just opposite the guest house offered me a stay in her house. She quoted Rs. 500 including dinner and breakfast and I accepted readily.
The house belonged to a retired govt teacher and had a clean and airy ambiance. I was ushered into their best room and served salty tea, also known as ‘Kashmiri Chaai’.
I got cleaned up and sat with the family for an early dinner. We had lots of small talk with all the members of the family and I found them all to be lovely and very hospitable people. Below is a picture of the village I clicked the next morning.
Parkachik is pretty much the same story as Panikhar. You can stay at the J&K tourism bungalow or ask the locals for a homestay. The tourism bungalow here goes by the name of “Parkachik Alpine Hut” which leads people to believe that this is a different guest house but it is not. Meals are prepared at the bungalow by the caretaker on request.
I have never stayed here myself and so far do not know anyone who did. So I cannot really tell how good the stay here is.
Rangdum is not really a village, but rather an area of about 7 odd km, which includes the villages of Juldo and Tashi Tongse with the Randum Monastery lying in between the two villages.
I have stayed at Rangdum a few times. The first time, I stayed at the JK Tourism guest house and it was OK at that time for Rs. 300 a night. But when I went there again 2 years later, the rooms were absolutely pathetic, to say the least, with really dirty rooms and sheets.
Add to that, there was no running water and one had to go outside to use the handpump. The caretaker was asking Rs. 500 for the night this time.
I of course refused to stay and then went to the Himalayan Inn nearby. The lady there was asking for 2000 but agreed to Rs. 700 in the end.
During my last trip, I stayed at La Himalaya Guesthouse. I found the rooms neat and they charged me Rs. 1200.
There are a couple of dhabas (cafes) in Rangdum where you can stop for a cup of tea and some snacks. These cafes too offer some very basic accommodation. Tashi’s Panzi La dhaba is one of the few dhabas located next to the police station in Juldo. There is a Nun Kun Guesthouse near the Dhaba that can be a good place to stay.
There is also a campsite here by the name of Nun-Kun Deluxe Camp (01982 252153 or [email protected]) but I have never stayed here personally. Another place to stay is Zanskar Express Guest House.
Padum is the headquarters of Zanskar Valley and thus the most developed town in the region. Here you can find a phone booth, internet cafe, variety of restaurants, hotels, and guest houses.
Most hotels close from Late October to June, except when booked in advance for winter trekking groups. There is also a camping ground in Padum, opposite the Tourist office.
I have seen the JKTDC rest house in Padum once and it was available at 200 bucks a day. But the state of affairs inside the room was quite horrible. I have never stayed there so far, obviously.
Further up on the main market road is the New Geyskit restaurant, opposite Padum post office. It is a must-visit restaurant in Padum that serves fantastic local cuisines, especially the Shabalay. It is manned by friendly and efficient staff and is the preferred place for hanging around for a lot of locals, foreign tourists, trek guides, and school children alike.
The first time I was there, they had rooms available as well. We got a clean big room with an attached bath/toilet for Rs. 700 per night. During my trips in the coming years, I went straight to this place and stayed there.
Mentioned below are the names and contact information of a few other hotels in Padum in case you would like to call and inquire in advance.
- Mont-Blanc Guesthouse – Phone: 01983 245183.
- Phukhthar Guesthouse – Phone: 01983 245226.
- Marq Guesthouse (Has Wi-FI facility)
- Hotel Ibex – Phone: 01983 245214
- Hotel Rigyal – Phone: 094692 24500
Karsha is a small village approximately 10 km from Padum on the road towards Hanumil. It is best known for Karsha Monastery. There are three guest houses here, all priced close to Rs. 500-800.
- Chetan Guesthouse
- Thieur Guesthouse
- Tinkuling Guesthouse
If you wish to, you can also stay at the monastery here. You can rent a room at the Monastery for a very small charge. Below is a picture of the monastery.
There are two small eateries here with the possibility of a very basic homestay.
Accommodation is available only in the form of homestays.
This is also a small village known for its monastery and Zangla Fort. Out here as well, the only choice of accommodation is a homestay.
Below are a few other tips regarding traveling to and staying in Suru or Zanskar valleys
- Facilities here are very basic due to the remoteness of the region.
- Electricity supply in the entire area is limited to just a few hours in the day.
- Room rates are considerably cheaper than the neighboring Ladakh.
- There is no running hot water in the villages and you may need to pay separately for hot water which will be provided in buckets.
- In case of a medical emergency, the only hospital in the region is Community Health Center in Padum. The hospital surprisingly is well equipped considering the location.
- Padum also has a phone booth from where you can make STD / ISD calls.
- Only bank in Suru and Zanskar too is in Padum, a J&K bank branch but no ATM.
Accommodation in Zanskar Valley – Conclusion
I hope the information above on accommodation in Zanskar Valley was of help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer.
Thanks for your informative blogs.Can you suggest an accommodation at Purney?
Sorry Subhra. Don’t have any contact details for accommodation at Purney. It is mostly homestay though so you will have to find one when you get there
I am planning to visit zanskar this august.
Would like to know if I can go as a pillion on a bike via leh padum jispa new route.
Should I take part with any group like golden eagle or I can go with hired personal rider.
Hi Abhishek – Hired personal rider? You mean you want to rent a bike with rider or you will bring someone who can ride the bike there for you?
Can we rent a bike in padum ?
Do you have any contact numbers for homestay at Rangdum?
Hi Supriya – I did but lost the numbers now. As you enter Rangdum, there is a small restaurant to the left. Talk to him. If not, then cross Rangdum and reach Tashi’s tea point on the other side of the village, near Rangdum Gompa. He can offer a homestay as well
Where 2 stay in purne
my wife and I are travelling to Zanskar at the end of this week. We are looking for accomodation at Purne on Sept 19th. Can you please advise of options… thanks
Hello Vargis, how will be the road condition and weather at Shinku La expected at the end of September ? We, as a family r planning to cross it from Padum to reach Darcha- Manali.
Can you please send me HOTEL MARQ Contact number at Padum…..
Can i get contact info of some guest houses
I have mentioned the ones I knew of
These articles are really really helpful. However I had a few questions-
Do you think females are allowed to stay at the monestry?
I ma planning on visiting leh this July and I dying to visit zanskar But I am a solo traveller. Would you have number (s)of any agencies or tourist travellers in leh who can help me plan a trip?
Would really appreciate if you can respond.
Hi Varghis, do you have any latest info on whether tourists are being allowed in Zanskar at the moment? I am planning a trip in the first week of October.
Ladakh and Zanskar is closed for tourism Sagun, both due to COVID and Chinese Incursions. Plan for next year only.
Hi Vargis, can you share any homestay contact at Purne please!
I want to contact no. Of homestays at Zangla and wanla
Please help me as quick as possible. My travel time August, 20w3
Thanks to you.
Padum is the only place where you will find a three star hotel and a couple of other decent enough hotels.
i need advice for travelling to ZASHKAR on Srinagar-Leh-Manali trip.
places to visit after reaching Padum
& how much time does it take from Kargil & back to kargil
Please take a look at the article below.
Your blogs are full of information. We am planning our trip from Srinagar to Zanskar valley towards end of july and want to camp mostly. Can you suggest any places in Srinagar where i can get camping gear? (tents, lamps etc).
Also do you have any recommendations on day rafting around Suru/Zanskar valley?
Hi Vamshi – You want to buy from Srinagar or rent from Srinagar?
thanks for the reply vargis. i want to rent tent, oxygen cylinder etc and buy certain things like lamps, cooking gear like grill/stove. can you give me both contacts so that i can call them and see what they have?
So much of info your site has, just amazing ! Finally i cannot handle the Ladakh temptation anymore and inspite of the long drive from Bangalore i have decided to make a trip the Drang Drung Glacier ! The only hitch is, i plan to do it with my wife who cannot make it after June due to work issues. We just have a window of month of May. We plan to cover only the Kargil-Parkachik-Drang Drung Glacier route. Both of us are pretty well acclimatized in general having been to Guru Dongmar (15000ft +) earlier and we actually stay in the mountains at 7000ft altitude (which is not much). Iam aware that we are talking about 12000 ft +.
We will be travelling in a new Maruti Gypsy. I plan to start early from Kargil, stay over for couple of days at Parkachik and then cover Drang Drung, come back to Parkachik , stay overnight and head back to Kargil. Is this possible in may? I want to do a couple of treks in Parakchik to visit the glacier their as well
Please let me know your thoughts !
Hello Shyam – Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes, you can definitely do it in May but plan towards the later part. As a matter of fact there has not been much snow in the region so far, hasn’t snowed in Srinagar at all until now so do not be surprised if the roads open up a bit early this year.
Hi Vargis, many thanks for all the info – really helpful! My husband and I are planning to do the Darcha – Padum half of the Zanskar trek this July and we’re wondering about accommodation. Are there homestays all along the way or do we need to carry our own tent?
Hi Emily – You will have to carry your own tents if you are planning to trek. After Darcha, there is no village that I am aware of and the human settlement will be after crossing Shinku La, at the village of Reru, about 25 kilometers from Padum
Hi Vargis, Thank you for the swift reply. How many days into the trek would we arrive from Darcha to Reru do you think – i.e. how many nights would we need to camp in our own tent? I had read in other blogs that you could stay in tea houses all across the Zanskar trek so suddenly a little nervous… Are you aware of organised camp sites between Darcha – Padum? Alternatively is there a different route within zanskar that would allow us to stay in tea houses all the way? Thanks so much for your help! Emily
Hello Emily – I am sorry for being of no help here but I am not really into trekking. I am more of a motorcyclist so have never been to this side of Himalayas. I really wish I had an answer to your questions but I do not. I have only been as far as the road went and my motorcycle or my car could take me.
Hello vargis, when self camping at either zanskar or pangong, what should one use as a base for sleeping? We are deciding between a yoga mat or an Inflatable bed to be used under a sleeping bag. Thanks.
Hi Yogesh, Inflatable bed will be a bit much to carry I think. Get a Tirpal if you can, it provides good insulation from the cold beneath. Yoga Mat will be good. I will recommend that you first lay down the Tirpal, put on a yoga mat on it if you wish to and then your sleeping bag. The locals camping sites use the same thing as well.
Take a look at the link below on a few tips about self camping in Ladakh.
Hi vargis, firstly thanks for evtg you are doing via this website for all your fellow travellers. I read your article about the dogs in ladakh. We are travelling to zanskar in august 2017 and will be camping there in our own tents. Anything similar to be worried about up there?
Dogs up here in these remote areas are not used to seeing unfamiliar faces and that is the risk. Just ensure that you are camping close to a local’s home or dhaba and you should be OK. Just do not set up your tent in the middle of nowhere.
Hi Vargis, we are planning a trip to Leh in the first week of June. A family trip including my mother (age 70), kids (below 10years in age). Lots and lots of confusion has crept up our minds regarding the iterinary. Which place to stay enroute Leh. I have been till Sarchu, so have an idea of accomodations available at Manali, Jispa, Sarchu but have no idea beyond it. Please help me out in planning the iterinary. I’ll give you a basic idea.
4th June – we’ll leave from Chandigarh and reach Solang Valley. Stay in Hotel Iceland.
5th June – leave early and reach Jispa. Stay at Padma Lodge.
6th June –
10 June – reach Chandigarh by night.
Please help me in planning iterinary beyond Jispa.6th to 10th. The places we would like to visit are Leh, pangong lake, magnetic hill, khardungla, etc..please consider the fact that we want to avoid travelling long streches in a day because of mom and the kids. And also keeping in mind permits that need to be arranged to visit pangong or any other place.
Thank you in advance
Starting from Jispa on 6th and reaching back Chandigarh on 10th while including all the places you mentioned above without traveling for long hours is impossible brother, specially with young kids and your mother. I would not recommend this journey at all unless you can throw in some more days.
4th – Chandigarh to Solang
5th – Reach Jispa
6th – Start by first light of the day and reach Leh by evening
7th – Reach Nubra valley from Leh
8th – Reach Pangong via Agham Shyok road ( 6 hours) or Wari La (10 hours)
9th – Reach back Leh via Chang La
10th – Reach Kargil
11th – Reach Srinagar
12th – Srinagar to Chandigarh
You see what I mean? You will have to throw in at least 2 more days and even then the journey will be a bit rushed, not really a family vacation that an entire family can enjoy.
Thank you sooooo much Vargis for all the information you have given. I understand that i am running short of days and am really trying hard to extend the vacation by atleast a couple of days. Hopefully i’ll be able to do so 🙂 could you please suggest some decent accomodations as per the iterinary. I am unable to find on the net. I have been able to shortlist only for Solang Valley and Jispa till now.
You are welcome Nakul.
In Leh, you can stay at Hotel Shanti Palace. I always stay here while traveling to Leh and it is a nice place.
Hotel Sten Del in Nubra valley is a good option.
As for Pangong, there is an entire series of camps out there and they all are good enough. Just walk to a camp which has no other guests or only a few guests and check into that one. That way, you will have no issues getting food and all other requirements attended on time.
Try hotel Dzozila in kargil.
For Sriangar, I highly recommend that you stay in a houseboat in Dal. Great time for a family vacation. Must do it.
It was a really helpful blog Vargis. Thank you 🙂
You are welcome Nidhi 🙂