The very first glimpse has potential to make you stand still. It was on the 3rd day of our trip in Leh – Ladakh. As soon as I reached the place all my stresses were just blown away. An amazing feeling engrossed me which resulted into tears of happiness. Yes!!! and reason was the calmness and placid beauty of Sangam in Leh Ladakh. Typically, Sangam means the place of meeting or the act of flowing together. The river Indus meets her tributary Zanskar near Nimmu village and the confluence is broadly known as Sangam in Ladakh. Besides picturesque roads, snow clad mighty mountains, immense grasslands and lakes, the Sangam in Ladakh must be in the bucket list of all visitors visiting Ladakh. Those who are not aware of Ladakh, It is the newly designated union territory in Northern India with Leh as its capital. Earlier Ladakh was part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Indus River - Ladakh
One of the longest rivers in Asia, used to be the lifeline of famous Indus Valley Civilization. Originating in the Tibetan Plateau, fed with glaciers and rivers in the Himalayan, Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, runs through Ladakh, before merging into Arabian Sea near Karachi, Pakistan. The Rigvedic “Sindhu” is believed to be the present-day Indus river. The river carries crystal blue water.
The Zanskar River
The major tributary to Indus river. Zanskar is originated from the confluence of Doda and Lungnak rivers in Zanskar valley. The river then flows through stunning Zanskar gorge before meeting with Indus at Sangam valley.
The Sangam in Ladakh
Due to contrasting characteristics, the rivers do not easily blend into one. You can easily distinguish two different streams after few miles down the line from Sangam.
An Interesting seasonal phenomenon of these two rivers is that Zanskar flows faster than Indus during summer while in winter it is vice-versa.Along with the speed both the rivers change their colors in different season specifically in summer & winter.
Things to do in Sangam
In summer, River rafting in Sangam is very popular among the tourists.
During winter temperature goes down below freezing point and a huge part of Zanskar river turns into a thick layer of ice, that is called Chadar, the blanket.
Chadar trek is one of the most high-risk treks in the world. In winter when the High mountain pass like Pensi Laa get closed due to massive snow fall, only connectivity within the Zanskar valley is through the frozen river and that is how the Chadar trek has got its popularity.
Besides rafting & trekking there are plenty of things to do
- Visit the oldest monastery in Ladakh – Lamayuru Monastery. Around one and half hour drive from Sangam.
- The famous Magnetic Hill which defy Gravitational force. Around 7 Km from Nimmu village.
- Visit Guru Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which is around 11 Km from Nimmu. Listen the story of demon while having tea & refreshment.
- Basgo & Alchi are two popular destinations.
How to reach Sangam in Ladakh
Nestled between stunning mountains the vantage sight is about 40 km from Leh towards Shrinagar on NH1. A day trip from Leh is the most convenient option to visit Sangam.
The nearest railway station from Leh is Jammu Tawi at a distance of 810 km from leh.
The nearest airport is Leh airport commonly known as IXL.
Summer is considered as the best time to visit Sangam in Ladakh. The roads to Ladakh remain closed from Nov to May due to heavy snowfall keeping air travel as the only option to reach Leh.
Where to stay in Leh-Ladakh
- A day trip is recommended from Leh as the place does not have any accommodation facility. You can carry your own tent if you are too enthusiastic.
- Either pack your food or get some in Nimmu village.
- First half of the day has better visibility due to availability of ample sunlight.
- Be extra cautious during winter as conditions may get extreme.
Dsiclaimer: Some of the pictures(Zanskar river, river rafting, Chadar trek) are taken from Internet.