Padum, Zanskar valley, India

Perched on a hill top is the Pibiting monastery in Padum. In the summer, Padum gets a lush green appearance from the barley fields everywhere. This is a stark contrast to the barren browns of the Greater Himalayan mountain ranges surrounding this town. 

 The 250 km journey from Kargil to Zanskar is studded with stunning, mostly untouched landscapes. Read more about this exciting journey at Journey to Zanskar: India’s remote valley.

.By Sandeepa and Chetan ( )

A village in Zanskar, where our driver took us for a home cooked lunch by his sister. As the caption reads, it was the best lunch ever. The experience was made better because we were not in a restaurant, but inside a home, which looked decked up, we assumed for us.

I shall be sharing PPT of my talk titled “ EXPLORING THE DHAULADHAR AND PIR PANJAL RANGE ” which was held at IHC ( INDIAN HABITAT CENTRE ) New Delhi , Dated 31 October 2015 and IMF ( INDIAN MOUNTAINEERING FOUNDATION ) New Delhi , Dated 6 November 2015 . Kindly Email me at


P.S. I am sorry, I should have shared it earlier but I was out of town and travelling . #DHASA #DHARAMSHALA #Dharamsala #Mcleodganj #Bhagsunag #NADDI #Dharamkot #Norbulingka #Palampur #Baijnath #Kangra #Himachal #Chamba #Lahaul #Lahoul #Pangi #Bharmour #Zanskar #Padum #Ladakh (at Indian Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi)


En continuant dans cette vallée on retrouve la religion bouddhiste, puis en passant le col de Pensi La on tombe sur le grand glacier de Drang Drung et on pénètre dans le Zanskar, une des plus belles régions que j’aurais pu voir. J’aurais donc traversé ces deux vallées dans les différents véhicules qui ont bien voulu me ramasser sur le bord de la route pour aller voir un festival bouddhiste, le Gustor de Karsha. En chemin, j’ai fait la rencontre des moines du monastère de Rangdum qui m’ont accueilli pour deux nuits en me faisant avaler leur thé au beurre de yak. 


Padum is the where phase I of our trek ends. Here we take a bit of a breather, stock up on stuff, get rid of facial hair (Rohit), go to the health centre (me), take baths (all) and wash clothes (all). 

Halfway report is that we are all a bit more tired mentally than physically. The relentless, ceaseless and featureless (not technically because there are lots of mountains, but if mountain after mountain looks the same, does this term not apply?) landscape does take a toll on motivations. I can’t explain it, we wanted to do it, we did it, we really cursed it then, but I don’t think it was so bad now. 

I truly do love walking, memories get etched easily when I am going slow. But for how long can the mind etch the same brown mountain? Note to mind: 8 more days till the browns would make way for the greens of Kashmir valley. 

SP MLA, cops booked for Dalit’s murder

AN FIR against Samajwadi Party MLA Sunil Kumar Lala, two police officers and 12 other people was registered in connection with the murder of a Dalit man in June 2014 after a local court gave directions in this regard.

The FIR, which comes over a year-and-a-half later, was registered by the Maigalganj police station charging the 15 accused of murder, theft, criminal intimidation and SC/ST Act based on a complaint filed by victim Padum Singh’s mother Gangajali. She had alleged her son was killed in a fake police encounter in Lakhimpur Kheri, from where the SP MLA had won the election for Kasta constituency. The two officers booked for the murder are the then station officer of Maigalganj police station Vishwanath Yadav and constable Sanjeev Kumar.

Twelve other accused are residents of Laloha and Musliganj villages. No arrests have been made so far, police said.

Investigating Officer in the case, Mithlesh Dixit, who is the Circle Officer of Lakhimpur Kheri’s Mitauli area, said police have started the investigation in the murder case and confirmed that the FIR has been registered.

Lakhimpur Kheri police had claimed that 36-year-old Padum Singh was gunned down in crossfire at Shripalpur village on June 29, 2014. The two accused officers had reportedly suffered pellet injuries. The police had claimed it recovered a country-made pistol and cartridges from Padum’s possession.

A few months after the encounter, Gangajali had filed an application in the court, seeking direction for lodging an FIR. Quoting from her complaint, police said the mother alleged that on the fateful day, her son had been been called by the MLA at his house “to settle some dispute”. When Padum showed up at his house, the MLA handed him over to the police who later killed him and cooked up an encounter story. Gangajali had also alleged that the police never gave her son’s body to her for final rites.

MLA Lala, when contacted, said Padum’s family took his name “on the direction of my political opponents”. “I never met Padum but had heard about him through local residents when he was alive. I have nothing to do with his death,” he claimed.

Station House Officer, Mitauli police station, Gulab Shankar Pandey said Padum was a “history-sheeter with around 10 criminal cases registered against him”. A native of Babiya village, Padum is survived by his wife Nanhi Devi and three children.