(also spelt Padam
) is the largest town and administrative centre of Zanskar tehsil
of Kargil district
in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
Padum is located at . It has an average elevation of 3,669 metres
There are several small villages around Padum.
The traditional heart of the village is below the gompa where two large chortens stand above old buildings. A road was constructed in 1980 across Pensi La. Padum has several hotels and restaurants meant for tourists. Padum has a post office, internet cafes and telephone booths.
Padum is inhabited by people of Tibetan
descent who follow Tibetan Buddhism
. There is a sizeable Sunni Muslim
number (accounting for ~40% of the towns population), mainly Balti
who have been present in Padum since the 17th century. A mosque was built in Padum in recent years to cater the local Muslim population.