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
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
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.
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