Zanskar valley lies to the south west of Leh, surrounded by the Himalayan and Zanskar ranges. It is the most isolated of all the trans- Himalayan valleys. Zanskar comprises two main valleys of Stod (Doda chu) and Lungnak (Tsarab chu), which converge below at Padum. The valley has an area of about 5,000 sqr. Kms. and is situated at an elevation of 13,154 ft. The area remains inaccessible for nearly 7 months in the year. As winter approaches all the high passes get close and the river freeze on the surface. Zanskaris walk along the frozen river to reach the Indus River in Nimo village, which is known as the Chadar trek.
The route from Kargil to Padum via Penzi La is the only motorable road to reach Zangskar valley, which remains open from June to November. The Kargil to Padum Road was completed in the late 70’s. Even today this road is not mettaled and has been neglected by Govt. Localites of the region are trying to get the construction of Chadar road running from Nimo to Padum along the Zanskar river , which would then connect Zanskar from Leh in 5hr.