The Union Transport Ministry has decided to build a new Paddar-Zanskar highway starting from Paddar (Kishtwar) to Padum Sub Divisional headquarters of Zanskar thereby giving direct connectivity to Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir. With this, the route discovered by the great Dogra warrior, Gen Zorawarnis, and the brave Army of Maharaja Gulab Singh, to conquer Ladakh and Tibet is going to become a reality. It will connect the major pilgrimage center of Mata Machail in Paddar area of district Kishtwar, where thousands of pilgrims visit during the annual Yatra in August every year.
This road attained prominence and got a green nod from MoRTH as the Ministry of Defence exerted pressure to have the safest and direct short link to Kargil and Drass sectors along the Line of Control and also to the China border from the Northern Command Headquarters at Udhampur via Doda and Kishtwar districts.
The distance between Kargil and Zan skar is nearly 231 km and it takes over 18 hours and 30 minutes (nearly two days) to reach Zanskar from Jammu via Srinagar. It will be hardly 10 hours journey from Jammu to Padum Sub Divisional headquarters in Zanskar via Kishtwar and Paddar and just 9 hours from Udhampur Command Headquarters, once this highway becomes operational. From Paddar Sub Division in Kishtwar, there is a direct link to Pangi Valley in Himachal via Killar to Kelong, which can provide inter-connectivity with Chandigarh-Manali-Leh Highway, which is now all-weather roads due to commissioning of Rohtang Tunnel.