Location: Ladakh Himalaya
Altitude: 4470 Mtrs
Best time to visit: June - Oct
Duration: 17 Days
The Ladakh – Zanskar Trek is one of the most spellbinding treks in the Indian Himalayan region that attracts mountain lovers as well as explorers from all over the world. Both Ladakh and Zanskar are well-known for displaying a vivid picture of the ancient Indo – Tibetan settlements. It takes you from monasteries to monasteries that hold several ancient manuscripts, chortens and statues that retrace the footsteps of Tibetan Buddhist in India. Further, the architectural works and religious paintings on the walls of the monasteries are also a feast to the eyes. Moreover, the journey takes you through a contrasting route each day. Moving through deep gorges, barren terrain and several mountain passes, the Ladakh Zanskar trek becomes one of the toughest treks in the Indian Himalayan region. The journey climbs through some of the deadliest mountain passes like the Sir Sir La at 4,850 meters, Singge La at 5,090 meters, Bumiktse La at 4,200 meters, Kiupa La at 4,400 meters and Hanumur La at 4,950 meters. The Ladakh Zanskar trek that covers the remotest part of India also takes you to some of the isolated Indo – Tibetan villages tucked in the deserted and rugged terrain.
The journey commences from Leh and thereafter a drive of approximately 5 – 6 hours drops you at Panji La via Lamayuru. The drive from Leh to Lamayuru allows you to explore some of the ancient monasteries like the Lamayuru, Likir and Alchi. From Panji La the trek heads to Hanupatta at 3,860 meters and traverses through some of the spectacular gorges as well as colourful landscape bedded with rose orchards. Thereafter, the trek from Hanupatta leads to Photoksar at 4,200 meters after crossing some of the high altitude mountain passes like the Sir Sir La and Singge La and several small Tibetan settlements. The journey from Photoksar turns to Gongma via Singe La, which is the toughest trails in the entire route and thus it requires a day of acclimatization at the base of Singe La. From Gongma, the journey follows a trek downhill via Hanumur La to Pishu followed by Padum and Kargil and leaves you with some of the best adventurous moments you ever had.
Day 01): Delhi - Chandigarh - Kullu - Manali (2050 mts) (4 hrs by Train and 8 hrs Drive)
Reach Chandigarh from New Delhi by Shatabdi and then move to Manali. On arrival check in to hotel. Explore Mall Road of Manali in evening. Overnight stay at hotel.
Manali is a significant hill station of northern India and this region is frequented by scores of tourists every year. The cool environs of Manali sprinkled with snow-capped mountains offer a nonesuch haven for the tourists afflicted by scorching summers. Kullu is vibrantly patterned with puttoos, Nepali Porters, Buddhist Monks, etc. all these elements make Manali extremely welcoming to the tourists from all over the world.
Day 02): Manali (Local sightseeing)
There are various places for local sightseeing in Manali. Hadimba Temple offers many amazing sites, among which, the prominent one is the Dhoongri Temple dedicated to Goddess Hadimba. Manu Temple, located 3 kilometers from main market in old Manali, is believed to be the only Manu temple in the country. There are 3 newly edified hued monasteries where visitors can also buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two of these monasteries are located in the town and one at the left bank of Beas River. Vashisht Hot Water Springs is also highly popular among the tourists. Vashisht is the small village positioned on the left bank of Beas River towards Rohtang Pass. Close to Vashisht Temple is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashisht Muni.
Day 03): Manali - Darcha (3,300 mts.) (147 Kms/7-8 hrs drive)
Drive to Darcha after enjoying the breakfast. Pass through Rohtang Pass (3980 meters). This pass is the doorway to Lahaul, Spiti, Zanskar and Pangi Valleys. Reach Darcha and have overnight stay at camp. Darcha is the last village that comes on the way from Manali to Leh. This village is the starting point of Darcha to Padum Trek.
Day 04): Darcha (Trek Starts) - Pa Lahmo 3,450 mts. 4 hrs
Trek to Pa Lamho after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 05): Pa Lahmo - Zanskar Sumdo (3,600 mts.) 7 hrs
Trek to Zanskar Sumdo after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 06): Zanskar Sumdo - Chumik Nakpo(4,060 mts.) 7 hrs
Trek to Chumik Nakpo after having breakfast. Stroll towards the stream flowing from Shingo La. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 07): Chumik Nakpo - Lahkhang Over Shingo La(4,060 mts.) 9 hrs
Trek to Lahkhang over Shingo La after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 08): Lahkhang - Kargil (4030 mts.) 6 hrs
Trek to Kargil after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp. Passing underneath the face of Gomborangoo, drop down towards Kargyak on the right bank. Kargyak is the last village of Zanskar Area.
Day 09): Kargil - Purni (3,700 mts.) 6 hrs
Trek to Purni after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 10): Purni - Phuktal - Purni (5 hrs)
Trek to Phuktal Monastery after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp. Phuktal Monastery is one of the most stunning sights in Zanskar Region. It belongs to Gelukspa Order. The monastery is like a honeycomb, formed into a cock under a colossal grotto, and has 70 monks as well. In the caves over the construction, there is a water hole whose water level not at all recedes, even after taking out any measure of water from there. This water is said to have curative powers.
Day 11); Purni - Pipula (3650 mts) 5 hrs
Trek to Pipula after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 12): Pipula - Raru (3,600 mts.) 6 hrs
Trek to Raru after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the camp.
Day 13): Raru - Padum (3,500 mts.) (Trek Ends) 6 hrs
Trek to Padum after having breakfast. Padum is the sub-divisional headquarter of Kargil District, Jammu and Kashmir. You can explore Bardan Gompas. The trekking ends here. Overnight stay in the camp. Padum is the most populous hamlet of Zanskar. Otherwise, it is very rarely inhabited valley. This region is also popular as major trekking base as well as a popular tourist destination.
Day 14): Padum - Kargil (2704 mts.) 240 Kms/8 hrs Drive
Drive to Kargil after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Kargil (2704 m), located 234 kms from Leh in the east and 204 kms from Srinagar in the west, is the second largest urban centre of Ladakh and it is the headquarters of the district of same name as well. A tranquil town now, Kargil once served as significant trade and transit centre in the Pan-Asian trade system. Several caravans carrying foreign merchandise comprising silk, brocade, carpets, felts, tea, poppy, ivory etc. shipped in the town on their way to and from China, Yarkand, Kashmir and Tibet.
Day 15): Kargil - Leh (3505 Mts) 234 Kms/8 hrs Drive
Drive to Leh after having breakfast. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Leh is the charming capital of the Autonomous Hill Council of Ladakh. Leh is also well known as Little Tibet. The significant monasteries to explore in and around Leh are Shey, Hemis, Thiksey, Shankar, Spituk, as well as the Stok Palace, Shanti Stupa and main Bazaar are also the places that one can visit. The Leh Palace overlooking the town was the former home of the Rulers of Namgyal Dynasty. The ascetic festivals are very well liked and Hemis, Lamayuru, Phyang festivals in summer are frequented by bunch of tourists who horde to observe the Cham Dances.
Day 16): Leh (Local sightseeing)
This is the day for local sightseeing.
Leh Palace is an illustrious monument and a historical building as well. The nine- storied palace was constructed in the 17th century by the famous monarch of Ladakh- Sengge Namgyal.
Jama Masjid is the historical mosque located in the heart of Leh town. It was constructed in 1666-67 A.D. resulting to an agreement between the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb and the then monarch of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal.
Spituk is the Gompa that stands outstandingly on the pinnacle of a hillock at the distance of 8 kilometers from Leh. This site commands a sublime view of the Indus Valley even from miles. Numerous icons of Buddha and five Thangkas are established in this 15th century monastery. There is also an assortment of ancient masks, historic arms, and an amazing image of Mahakal.
Phyang Monastery is located at a distance of 17 kilometers from Leh on the Leh-Kargil Road. It was erected by Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century A.D. and it appears like a place from a distance. This spectacular Gompa belongs to the Red Cap sect of the Buddhists. An assortment of Buddha Icons is kept on wooden shelves in this monastery.
Day 17): Leh - Delhi
In the morning, catch a flight to return Delhi. Trip ends here.