|Best Time||June - Mid Sep|
|Routing||Arrival Delhi - Leh - Likir - Lamayuru - Alchi - Wanla - Hanupatta - Photoksar - B.C. of Singge la - Lingshed - Snertse - Hanumil - Pishu - Karsha - Padum - Mune - Icher - Purne - Phugtal - Kargiak - Lakung - Ramjak - Pallamo - Darcha - Jispa - Manali - Kalka - Delhi Departure|
Crossing the whole of Zanskar from north to south ranks among the world's most amazing treks. Cut off by snow from rest of the world for over 8 months of the year, Zanskar is one of those legendary places that definitely call for a visit. You will spend 19 days trekking and cross several high mountain passes, in the midst of awe-inspiring scenery, a striking mix of bare mountainside and green villages. Within this isolated enclave, the Zanskaries are still almost completely self-sufficient and live under the protection of the monasteries which are usually perched high up on rocky crags or cling onto spectacular cliffs. The length of the journey, the high altitude and the isolation mean this trip requires real commitment. Perect Indian Tourism is leading the group for the remote valley since 1992.
DAY 01 :
Upon arrival meet with our representative at Indira Gandhi International Airport, transfer to the hotel for rest of the night. (Mostly the International flight arrives mid night at Delhi)
DAY 02 :
Early morning transfer to Domestic Airport to connect the flight for Leh.
Overnight stay at the hotel
DAY 03 :
After breakfast, get ready for the Indus Valley monastery tour.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Leh.
DAY 04 :
Breakfast at hotel, later drive to Lamayuru en route visit.
On arrival check-in to the tent for overnight stay. Rest of the time visit local village.
DAY 05 :
Pack your small backpacks and watch the horses getting ready. Set off for this first day of the adventure. A gentle trail leads up to the small pass of Prinkti La (3750m) before heading down to the village of Shilla and the last 3 km to Wanla (3250m). Here we set up a camp for the night and spend the afternoon relaxing in the sun or exploring the gompa in Wanla, before we gather around for a nice dinner.
DAY 06 :
An easy walk towards Phansila (3410m) will lead us to a beautiful valley. From here we descend to a pass beyond which the valley starts to narrow, with mountains towering above our heads and the Zanskar River making its way deep down in the Gorge. In this barren, harsh landscape, beautiful rosebushes give you the senses of an unforgettable experience. We camp close to the river, just after the village of Hanupatta (3890m), where we have a great view down the valley.
DAY 07 :
We follow the river and the wide valley up for some time before we cross the river and start the long and gradual ascent to Sirsir La (4850m). From the top of the pass we can get panoramic view of the main Zanskar range as well as our next pass, the Singge La (5090m). It is another 2 - 2 ½ hrs of walk down to the village of Photoskar (4250m), situated in the cliffs of mountains virtually piercing the sky and surrounded by green fields. The trail towards Sumdo disappears in the deep gorge down to the right of the village. We spend the night close to the village and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
DAY 08 :
After crossing the small pass of Bumiktse La (4200) in the morning, we enter the broad and lush Photang valley. A gentle trail leads us through this beautiful landscape, where villagers graze their Yak/Dzo and Horses. One of the most fascinating things about the Zanskar trek is the ever-changing landscape. Every time you turn a corner, or cross a pass, a new world appears in front of you. Passing through the deepest of gorges and meandering through the greenest of fields, the majestic Zanskar River assumes a fascinating form and life of its own. With colors and shadows changing with the sun, one never gets bored! Slowly we ascent towards Sengge La (5090m), or the "Lion Pass" with the last few meters steep, but will give an incredibly rewarding view on the top. From the pass it is an easy walk down to our campsite.
DAY 09 :
We follow the trail high above the Zanskar River, the mountains take a greener and gentler formation, before we descend from Kiupa La (4400 m) down the steep zigzag trail to the villages of Gongma (3840m) and Skiumpata. From here we climb up a gentle trail to the Margum La (4400m), from where we can see Lingshed an hour or so away. The campsite in Lingshed is just by the monastery belonging to the Gelugpa order and housing around 60 monks. The village itself is spread out over a big area, enclosed in green fields of barley.
DAY 10 :
A long day, we walk through the green fields of Lingshed early in the morning. It takes some ups and downs before we reach the base of the Hanuma La (4950m), from where we start climbing many steep zigzags that lead to the top of the pass. The walk down is gentle before we enter a rocky, spectacular gorge and soon the valley flattens out, the trail following a lush riverbed with rosebushes. Just above the campsite of Snertse, there is a herders' camp, and sometimes, fresh cheese, milk and curd is available here. Down in the riverbed it is possible to go hunting for fossils. The locals sometimes show nice collections of their findings. The Zanskar range consists of layers of sediments from the ocean floor and the Ladakh range is granite born out of the immense heat generated by the friction between the two plates.
DAY 11 :
Next, we may head for another pass, Parfi La (3950 m). A short walk after Snertse, there is a wonderful lookout from where we can see the pass and, down the valley, the Oma Chu River. We follow the trail 500m down the valley, cross the bridge and start on the juniper covered zigzag trail up to Parfi La. Red alert! If fortune strikes, we may come across a rare species of the Himalayan region: the majestic brown bear. We may also see herds of attractive Himalayan blue sheep. Here we walk down to the banks of the Zanskar River and follow it all the way to the village of Hanumil (3380 m), where we will camp for the night.
DAY 12 :
We will start with an easy walk on plain and barren land along the Zanskar River and follow all the way to Pishu (3470m), passing Pidmo (3420m), an exotic landlocked hamlet of 8-9 families leading a simple traditional life. Pishu is located on the west side of the Zanskar River and opposite of Zangla (formerly a tiny kingdom). Here we will come across a 55m hanging bridge, the longest on Zanskar River. Our day will end at a lush green campsite with a spring situated nearby where we can quench our thirst.
DAY 13 :
After a hearty breakfast we will begin our day with another effortless stride towards our next destination. From Pishu the trail ascends gradually to Rinam (3550m) along the bank of the Great Zanskar River. We will have a view of the stunning monastery of Tongde. Once reaching Karsha (3600m), we can reinvigorate ourselves at the bank of Zanskar River. Also there is the Karsha monastery, which is one of largest monasteries of Gelukpa sect, located on a hillside with an imposing view of the entire valley. Believed to have been founded around 10th century A.D, a visit to the monastery is said to be must to get the blessings.
DAY 14 :
We will follow the route to Pipiting village on the dusty road from Karsha. Padum is the major hub of activities of the entire valley. The villagers gather here on every auspicious occasion. It is also a place to purchase our food supply for the remaining trekking days. The day can be used for sightseeing the famous Sani Gompa, located at a distance of 4 hours both ways. The Kanika Chorten, the oldest Stupa in the entire Ladakh region (dating from the first century BC) stands in the courtyard of Sani Gonpa, belonging to Drukpa Kagyud sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Simply stroll around the village or visit the nearby monasteries of Pipiting and Stakrimo.
DAY 15 :
From Padum we continue along a dusty Jeep track. En route, we'll come across Shila and Bardhan villages. Bardhan is known for its valley monastery (3620m), which is closely associated with the Drukpa order of Hemis monastery. It is also famous for its huge and beautifully engraved (mantras) prayer wheels. From Bardhan it will take another 2-2½ hrs (approx) along the Tsarap River before we turn off to the Kangla, and mount to a plateau and the village of Mune (3900 m).
DAY 16 :
People consider the day ahead from Raru (3850m) onwards a bit tough. Till Raru, the dusty road trip is quite easy and relaxing. After crossing the main tributary beyond Raru, there is a short walk before a gradual descent to the main valley. Thereafter the trail begins alongside the river leading to Ichar village (3650 m), where we will camp for the night, near a dike.
DAY 17 :
From Ichar the trail is sometimes quite tricky for the horses, but it's really thrilling to be in the magnificent gorge. En route there are many climbs and falls as we cross some small side rivers leading to Surle and Cha village. From Cha, walking along the river amidst greenery till the crossing of the bridge with the mystical tune of flowing rivulet drives the exhaustion away. We will camp at Purne village (3700 m).
DAY 18 :
The trail to Phuktal (3850 m) follows the right bank of the Tsarap River and enters splendid gorges for sometime before reaching a makeshift bridge. After a short walk we will come across a small plateau with sprinklings of chortens and prayer flags. Here we'll have an amazing view of Phuktal monastery, one of the most fabulous sights in the Zanskar valley. The sight of the monastery leaves a lasting impression due to its unique creation. It is on a limestone cliff, with the main assembly hall carved out of a huge cave and the monks' residences scattered down the hillside. After visiting the monastery, we'll come back to Purne for an overnight stay.
DAY 19 :
Now it's time for us to start a fresh venture with the crossing of the bridge in the gorge. Before the steep ascent to the huge fertile plateau of Testha village (3980), we keep to the trail along the right bank of the river. An excellent path with a minor climb and descent marked by a progression of well-maintained stupas of the village of Kuru (3990), a major center for livestock breeding makes the journey interesting. After Kuru the trail descends back to the right side of the riverbank toward the village of Tanze (3850m). From Tanze, it's an easy short walk to the route that joins up with hiking tours Darcha-Padum by the Baralacha & Phirtse la.
DAY 20 :
The trail from Table gradually ascends to the village of Kargyak (4050m) on the left bank, the highest permanent settlement in the Zanskar region. We climb up easily towards a majestic rock tower known as Gonpo Rangjung. After passing the awesome rock-face, there are plenty of passages to the upper reaches of the Kargyak River. The path then heads to the beautiful yak grazing pastureland known as Lakung (4470 m). This is one of the most rewarding places for encampment.
DAY 21 :
We'll be having heavy breakfast to generate extra energy to meet the challenge of Shingo pass (5090m). Though not tough by Himalayan standards, it is a trying one and can be accomplished in a couple of hours. The gradual ascent leads to the top of the pass. The view can leave us aghast with its panoramic scenery, a backdrop of 6000 mtr snow-capped peaks defining both the main Himalayas and the Baralacha Range. A series of prayer- flags mark the Shingo la. The descent path is easy and well trodden. It starts with a small steep route leading to a slope to the right side of the valley, and passes shepherds' huts at Chumik (4640m) and a further descend leads to the meadowland campsite of Rumjak (4290 m).
DAY 22 :
We continue on the right bank of the river, where the descent is rather gradual until the last section of the Zanskar Sumdo (3860m). Before reaching Zanskar Sumdo, the path is easy, but we need to be alert of the steepness. After a steep descent at the intersection, we cross the river on a manned pulley bridge. Further on, the trail runs along the far bank towards boulder fields until Pallamo. There, we will camp for the last night of our trekking, ending our thrilling adventure on prepossessing greenery.
DAY 23 :
After breakfast commence trek to road head, the easiest and shortest hike on this adventure. We will pass the village of Rarig (3430m) down the valley, continuing in a spectacular gorge along a dusty path until the final count -down to Darcha than continue to Jispa and then a overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 24 :
We'll then make way for Manali. We drive for about 145 kms through the fascinating Himalayan tracks to arrive at Manali, one of the most beautiful spots in Himachal. On arrival, check in to the hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 25 :
Moring leisure for breathe in the fresh mountain air of Manali.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 26 :
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kalka, Board Train to Delhi.
DAY 27 :
Some leisure and recreation in the morning to be followed by departure in the afternoon for Delhi sightseeing.
After farewell dinner transfer to International Airport and take an onward flight.
|Leh||The Meridian||Singge Palace|
|Jispa||Hotel Ibex||Hotel Ibex|
|Manali||Hotel Highland||Banon Resort|