Rangdum situated 3657 m above the sea level, Rangdum valley is an elliptical expanded plateau surrounded by colorful hills on the one side and glacier encrusted rocky mountains on the other. Rangdum Valley is located at the remotest and most isolated region the Suru valley. Midway between Kargil and Padum (Zanskar), it is a popular night stay for the trekkers to Padum. Panoramic surroundings make it a convenient and foremost choice for camping in the forests of Himalayas and yet being near a road as a precautionary measure. As the sun sets, the ethereal beauty of the valley turns itself to the extreme with flame-colored hills wearing shimmering red snow tops as their crowns. An important trekking base, Rangdum offers 5-day trek Henaskut across the Kanji valley gorge, which is very popular along with shorter treks such as hike up the Penzila Ridge opposite the magnificent Drang-Drung glacier.
Rangdum Valley Attractions
The Rangdum Gompa of Ladakh is situated near the Zanskar region. A major attraction of the area, the monastery dates back to the 18th century, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect,. The Ladakh Rangdum Gompa towers above a centrally rising hillock, entrenched around by the bifurcated course of a mountain stream. It houses approximately 40 monks and looks like an ancient fortification that stands as the guardian of a spiritual mountain valley.
The villagers that stay around the Rangdum Monastery of Leh Ladakh are the descendents of the serf-tenants of the monastery. They do not own any land, since, the entire valley including the fields tilled by the villagers- the pastures, hills and even the streams, is the property of the monastery.
One of the major attractions of the monastery is its small museum. It boasts of a rich collection of fascinating Tibetan as well as other relics. The Rangdum Monastery of Leh Ladakh owns the entire valley around it, comprising of the fields tilled by the villagers, the pastures, hills and even the streams. The villagers staying around the monastery are the descendents of the serf-tenants of the monastery and do not have any land of their own.
Parkachik glacier (90 km south of Kargil) in the Nun-Kun slopes is another major trek site near Rangdum.
Lingshet Monastery, located south east of Rangdum, is among the oldest monasteries of Leh-Ladakh.
Trekking Route To Hinaskot/Henaskot
Rangdum also serves as an important trekking base. The most popular trek from here leads to Henaskut (also spell 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 .
A more adventurous trek from here leads to Kishtwar via the glaciated Valley – a virtual circumlocution of the Nun-Kun massif. Among the shorter treks available, the best is a hike up the Penzila Ridge to camp for a night or two opposite the majestic Drang-Drung Glacier. This rather easy walk offers breathtaking views of the Great Himalayas towards the West.
Bed and Breakfast
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.
How To Get There
By Air: The nearest airports are Srinagar (204 km) and Leh (230 km).
By Road: The region is well connected with Kargil (130 km) and Padum by regular bus service. One can hire a car or jeep taxi from Kargil that takes around seven to eight hours to reach Rangdum.