Ladakh and Zanskar are famed for dogs, big and small, but nowwhere are there as many per family as in Zangla. They include some Corgi lookalikes that appear on the roof of one of the house of the king of Zangla. The old king, who was such a delightful host to trekking parties, died in 1989.
Although for a century the king had held only a nominal title, his lineage can be traced back to when the royal lineage in Zanskar was split. One side of the family ruled from Padum, and the other from Zangla was able to reach an accord which allowed him to retain a nominal rule over the nearby villages of Honia and Chazar, and the villages of Hanumil, Pidmu and Pishu on the far side of the valley. The head monk at Spitok is related to this family, and also administrators the Zangla monastery, which is on the cliff just beyond the village.
Shaping a circular segment of customary homes around a wide hover of terraced grain fields, Zangla is the last real street connected Zanskar town east of Padum. On an exposed precipice at its southwestern corner is the little ridge post royal residence, and at the most distant end of the town, there's a little, neighborly Buddhist religious shelter from which an option trail drives north to Km33 headed straight toward Pidmo Bridge (5km past).
Zangla makes a fine if uneven half-day jeep trip from Padum. On the way, appreciate scenes of land strata and make the winding outing 2.6km up to Stongdey Gompa for morning perspectives of the radiantly rough mountain skyline.