About Zanskar

Zanskar, southern part of Ladakh lies between Great Himalayas and Ladakh mountain range. Zanskar is known for it’s beautiful traditional culture still preserved in its purity as well as for it’s harsh climatically condition. Etymologically ‘Zanskar’ refer to the natural occurrence of copper in this region. Literature on history of Zanskar is very scarce and from these scare resources we come to know that between 10th and 11th century two royal houses of Zangla and Padum were founded. These two royal houses of Zangla and Padum ruled Zasnakr as an independent Buddhist Kingdom until the 15th century, as until than Zanskar was Buddhist dominated society as the emergence of Islam in Zanskar is of recent origin. Some scholar also link Zanskar to the old trade route linking India and Central Asia through present Lungnak valley to the Mandi via Lahul Spiti. But this part of history is not well researched so we have hardly any resource on this part of history of Zanskar.

For a short period of time, Zanskar along with the neighboring region – Ladakh was a part of the ‘Guge’ Kingdom of Western Tibet, which was founded by Nyi Ma Mgon – the great-grandson of Glang Darma in the 10th Century. Apart for this subjugation of Zanskar to the western Tibet, Zanskar was an independent kingdom ruled by two or four related royal families until the end of 17th century. Zanskar lost its independence in the late 17th century when its was annexed in the larger Ladakhi kingdom centered in present Leh. In 1830s, during his conquest of Ladakh and Zanskar, the Dogra General – Zorawar Singh conquered the Padum and Zang La and established a Fort at the village of Pipiting at the north of Padum.  From their onwards Zasnkar became a part of Dogra Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir which later became part of India after the Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja signed instrument of accession with India on 26 Oct. 1948.