Padum (also known as Padam) is a town named after Padmasambhava. It is the only town and administrative centre in Zanskar, Kargil district of Ladakh, India. It was historically one of the two main capitals of the Zanskar Kingdom, the other being Zangla. It is 235 km away via the link road from Kargil city (National Highway No. 01D).

View of Padum town in Kargil district, Ladakh, India.
View of Padum town in Kargil district, Ladakh, India.
Padum is located in Ladakh
Location in Ladakh, India
Padum is located in India
Padum (India)
Coordinates: 33°27′50″N 76°52′43″E / 33.46389°N 76.87861°E / 33.46389; 76.87861Coordinates: 33°27′50″N 76°52′43″E / 33.46389°N 76.87861°E / 33.46389; 76.87861
Country India
Union TerritoryLadakh
 • TypeAutonomous Hill Development Council
 • BodyLAHDC, Kargil
3,669 m (12,037 ft)
 • Total1,550
 • OfficialLadakhi, Hindi, Tibetan
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationLA 01 XXXX


The present population of Padum town is about 2000 people.[1] The traditional heart of the village is below the gompa and Palace khar (now in ruins) where two large chortens stand above old buildings. A road was constructed in 1980 from NH1 at Kargil over Pensi La which is 235 km away. The 145 km road to Darcha passing through Shinkula pass is now operational , which connects to Manali- Leh Highway. Padum has several hotels, homestays and restaurants meant for tourists. Padum has a post office, internet cafes and telephone booths.


Padum is at the centre of the tri armed Zanskar valley.[2] It has an average elevation of 3,657 metres (11,998 feet).[contradictory] There are several villages to the north-east of Padum leading to Karsha monastery.


Padum is largely inhabited by people of Tibetan descent who follow Tibetan Buddhism, but there is a sizable Muslim population (accounting for ~40% of the town's population and growing steadily), mainly Balti, who have been present in Padum since the 17th century.


Main Street of Padum
Padum hill (top right corner) as seen from Pibiting village
Looking south midway between Padum and Pibiting

The sub-divisional capital Padum is a town of the Zanskar sub-division or tehsil in the Kargil district of Ladakh state, India. The Zanskar River flows through the valley from its source at the Drang Drung glacier of the Pensi La.The Zanskar River joins the Lungnak River near Pibiting village.

A number of notable Buddhist monasteries are located near Padum including Bardan Monastery and Kursha Monastery and the newly built Dalai Lama Photang. The Phugtal Monastery is accessible from here. It is a day's trek from Dorzang, the end of the road leading from Padum.[3]


By Bus: The bus operates during the tourist season between 1 June and 30 September only, after this period the Manali-Leh NH21 highway is normally closed. The other roads including the highway from Leh to Srinagar via Kargil, remain open until the end of October. Despite heavy blizzards, the road from Leh to Nubra valley over the extremely high Khardung La is kept open throughout the year.

The Nimmu–Padam–Darcha road is being made which runs right through Padam. The road to Darcha via Purne is now ready and its half of the length is now 2 lane-tarmac, remaining being upgraded.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Osada et al (2000), p. 298.
  2. ^ Osada et al (2000), p. 298.
  3. ^ "Phugtal Monastery". Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.


  • Janet Rizvi. (1996). Ladakh: Crossroads of High Asia. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Delhi. ISBN 0-19-564546-4.
  • Osada et al. (2000). Mapping the Tibetan World. Yukiyasu Osada, Gavin Allwright, and Atsushi Kanamaru. Reprint: 2004. Kotan Publishing, Tokyo. ISBN 0-9701716-0-9.
  • Schettler, Margaret & Rolf (1981). Kashmir, Ladakh & Zanskar. Lonely Planet Publications. South Yarra, Victoria, Australia. ISBN 0-908086-21-0.

External linksEdit