Padum is named after Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism). It is the only town and administrarive centre in Zanskar. It was historically one of the 2 main capitals of the Zanskar kingdom, the other being Zangla. It is 240 kms away via the link road from Kargil town and serves as the staring point for several treks in Ladakh region.
Padum is at the centre of the tri-armed Zanskar valley. It has an average elevation of 3,657 meters (11,998 feet). A number of notable Buddhist monastries are located near Padum including Bardan monastery Kursha monastery and the newly built Dalai Lama Photang. Phuktal monastery(located in Padum)is one of the most popular and serenely located monastic establishments in the whole of Ladakh and Zanskar valley.
A favourite among photographers, the town of Padum is scenic and known for its spartan splender. The fields that acquire different hues with the change of season and the close view of the Drang-Drung glaciers long and windly river of ice and snow create an almost magical image to be captured.