LADAKH ITINERARY DAY BY DAY

DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2: FLY TO LEH : you will have an early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world! On the northern horizon you may be able to pick out K2, the world’s second highest peak, and other Karakoram giants. On your left you can see Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh at 7100m and 7080m. On your arrival in Leh, transfer to hotel. Day at your leisure for acclimatization

DAY 3: ACCLIMATIZATION IN LEH, 11,500ft/3,505m: Explore Leh bazar and walk to up to Shanti Sputa. Over night at hotel.

DAY 4: FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING IN THE INDUS VALLEY. Today you will spend a full day visiting many of the important places in the wide Indus valley. This will certainly include Shey, Palace of the old Ladakhi kings,

Thikse a large monastery which contains a three-storey-high statue of Chamba, Buddha of the future, and Hemis the largest monastery in Ladakh. At the latter, ask to see the temple in the rear, which houses the Buddhas that have in the past spoken. In the afternoon you drive back to Leh. Overnight at Hotel.

SHEY PALACE (15 km from Leh)The old summer palace of the kings of Ladakh was built about 550 years ago by Lhachen Palgyigon, the first king of Ladakh. It stands next to the remains of a larger construction on the east side of a hill which runs south-east towards the Indus. From the palace you can see over the fertile Indus plain north-east to Tikse Gompa and over the Indus to the Zanskar mountain range. The old Shey palace has the largest golden Buddha statue in Ladakh in its gompa. The statue is worked out of gold and gilded copper sheets, stands 12 meters high and has blue hair. It was erected by King Dalden Namgyal in the middle of the 17th century. The most important moment in the construction of such a figure is when the eyes are painted in and the statue can see. No artist or monk would dare to look the Buddha in the eye so the pupils are painted over the artist’s shoulder, with his back to the idol.

THIKSAY GONPAThe 500-year-old Thikse monastery, perched on a hill high above the Indus, has the largest contingent of monks in Ladakh. On the right of the entrance to the main courtyard a new chapel houses an enormous 15 meter high seated Buddha figure. About 100 yellow-cap monks belong to the gompa. If you get there by 6.30am you can witness the daily morning prayers, but there are also prayers closer to noon, preceded by long, mournful sounds from the horns on the roof.

HEMIS GOMPA (45 km from Leh)

Hemis Gompa is famous far beyond the borders of Ladakh for its Festival. This takes place every year with mask dances on the 9th to 11th day of the fifth Tibetan month. Hemis also has a gigantic thangka, one of the largest in the world, which is only displayed to the public every 12 years at the Festival. Hemis Gompa is the largest and one of the most important in Ladakh quite apart from its annual festival. It was founded about 350 years ago by Stagtshang Raschen, who was invited to Ladakh by King Singe Namgyal.

A Buddhist scholar will give a talk and answer questions.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 5: VISIT ORACLE NEAR LEH, DRIVE TO START OF TREK. We cannot guarantee this proposed audience with an oracle who foretells the future, but if possible we will arrange for you to meet her in a village near Leh. She has such a reputation that local people are afraid to talk to her for fear she will tell them things they would rather not hear. Much of today is free time to be spent doing your own thing.

In the afternoon, you drive to the start of your trek at Ridzong, and on arrival, you walk up to Ridzong Gompa. Ridzong monastery is nestled on a hilltop and is a meditation center inhabited by monks. No local house can be seen except for small Pullus here and there. Visit the Gompa and camp nearby.

DAY 6: TREK TO YANGTHANG. You start the trek to Yangthang. It will be a gradual walk, 3-4 hrs, ascending through a valley until you are near Yangthang, where you have to climb the hill to reach the village. Yangthang is a village with 15-20 houses. Overnight camp at the village.

DAY 7: TREK TO ULE. (12,800ft/3,901m). Another easy trek of 4-5 hrs, crossing by a good bridge you reach a small oasis called Ule. This region is home for the pasture people with their yaks and sheep. During the summertime these people make small Pullus (very small temporary shelter built of stones) and remain there for the entire summer. They come down to the village during the winter with their animals. Overnight camp near Ule.

DAY 8: TREK TO HEMIS SHUKPACHEN. Climb for approx. 50 minutes gradually to reach Sermanchan-La. From here it is an easy descent to the village of Hemis-Shukpachan, a major village the name of which derives from Conifers (Shukpa) that are seen everywhere in the village. There is a beautiful Gompa that you will visit. Here you visit local houses, test local food and beverages etc. Overnight camp at the village.

DAY 9: TREK TO TEMISGAM 4-5 hours trek, Passing through the village the trail then enters a sort of plateau to an ill-defined pass. There is then a steep descent and then contouring to the right around the mountainside. There is another climb to the summit of Meptak La. This is about 2 hours from Hemis Shukpachen. There is then an easy descent towards the village of Ang.You will then have a picnic lunch at Ang. Then another one hour to Temisgam.Temisgam was capital of Ladakh in the 14th centry. The King Tagspa Bom chose it as the capital of his kingdom. Practice meditation and teaching by lama. Overnight in Temisgam

DAY 10: Temisgam which has a famous palace with a particularly fine statue of Avalokitesvara. This is the Bhudda of Compassion  the Dalai Lama being the living incarnation. Visit Lotsava School before lunch then drive back to Leh which is approximately 3-4 hours. On the way you will visit Alchi, one of the very oldest temples in Ladakh. On arriving back into Leh you check into the Hotel.

DAY 11: DAY AT LEISURE. Continue your exploration of Leh , go for shopping and witness cultural show in the evening.

DAY 12: FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 13: RELAX IN DELHI. Late night transfer to International Airport.

DAY 14: FLY HOME.

THE RUPSHO TREK


DAY 1:
ARRIVE DELHI. Our local representative will greet you at the

international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2: DELHI TO CHANDIGARH TO MANALI (TRAIN/COACH).

We will be transferring to a railway station for the high speed train to Chandigarh. The train journey will take 3 hours. On your arrival in Chandigarh, our representative will meet you and drive straight to Manali (1920m/ 6336ft), covering 338 kms . Arrive Manali and check into your hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 3: REST IN MANALI. (6,430ft/1,960m).

Morning at your leisure. In the afternoon we will take a walk to Hadimba

temple and in the evening drive to Vashist hot springs. Overnight in the

same hotel.

DAY 4-5: MANALI  TO SARCHU TO BARANDINALA (9hrs.)

We will drive to Sarchu via Rotang La, 3978m (13,051ft). This pass featured heavily in the early exploration of the western Himalaya and provides excellent panoramic views of the high peaks. From here you drop down into the region of Lahoul valley, then Kelong and Jispa. You then cross the formidable Baralacha La, 4,891m (16,046ft) and enter a much more arid, sparsely populated stretch. There are one or two lakes and impressive canyons and huge plains. Camp at Brandinalla.

DAY 6: BRANDINALLA  SOKMIKCHIK (4050 m/13365FT  4 hrs)

After breakfast, we will leave for the trek, initially on the highway for about 3 kms.Then we turn left onto the valley, following the river Tsarap Chu on our right side, till we branch off the river to follow a small stream coming down from Morang La. Dinner and overnight in camp at Sokmichik.

DAY 7: SOKMIKCHIK  TABOK (4550 m/15015 ft  3 hrs)

The trail rapidly gains altitude through a narrow gorge, with thorny bushes and willow trees for first hour & another steep climb of 2 hrs. Our camp that night is walled in by the mountains from all sides.

DAY 8: TABOK TO TUZAK (4500 m/148050 ft) via Morang La (5250 m/17325ft  6 hrs) We start early in the morning on a long & steep ascent of 4 hrs. through a narrow valley till we reach the pass. We then descend down to a small valley and onto a narrow gorge, which will bring us to a small meadow beside a stream. Overnight in camp.

DAY 9: TUZAK TO YABUK (4400 m/ 14520ft  5 hrs)

Immediately after leaving camp the valley suddenly opens up. We make a steep ascent of 1 hour to a small pass and then descend down to Lun. Here we have a couple of river crossings before we arrive at our grassy campsite.

DAY 10: YABUK TO ZARA (4250 m/14025ft  5 hrs)

We walk gradually through beautiful mountains . We cross the river Zara and arrive at Sangastha to visit some nomads houses. We will cross the river again and follow an easy dusty trail till we arrive at Zara. Overnight in

camp.

DAY 11: ZARA TO TSOKAR (4550 m/15015ft 5hrs)

This is an easy day trek. We turn right towards Pang and come out on the Leh-Manali road head just below the Tanglang La. We walk through more plains till we arrive at Tsokar, which means “The Salt Lake”. A good day for bird watchers and we may see some herds of Skiyangs (wild asses).

DAY 12: TSOKAR TO HERMANLA (4850 m)TO  ROJANGKURU (4700 m/15510ft  6hrs)

We will walk along the right side of the lake before we reach below the pass. Steeps ascent of 2 hrs. to the pass and then another half an hour will bring us to a beautiful meadow besides the stream coming from Kazur La. Overnight in camp.

DAY 13: ROJANGKURU TO KAZUR LA (5300 m/17490ft  6hrs)

The trail stays on the right hand side of the stream before we reach below the pass. The climb to the pass takes 03 hrs. with trail ascending steeply nice view of peaks over 6000m/ 19800ft. Descend down to the broad valley and another flat walk of one hour to our camp.

DAY 14: GYAMA TO TSOMORIRI LAKE (4500 m/14850 ft  7hrs)

After leaving camp we cross the stream and enter a narrow gorge and then a long descent to the Leh-to-Tsokar road. Easy walk from there of 1 hour to our camp.

DAY 15: TSOMORIRI

Day to explore the lake and also visit Karzok Monastery. Overnight in camp.

DAY 16: TSOMORIRI TO LEH (3500 m/11500ft ; 218km 7hrs)

After breakfast we depart for Leh. Upon arrival check in hotel; overnight

at hotel.

DAY 17: LEH

After breakfast we leave for full day excursion to Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries. Return to Leh in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight in hotel.

DAY 18 : LEH

After breakfast leave for halfday sight-seeing to Phyang and Spituk monasteries. Return to hotel for lunch. Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 19: LEH/DELHI (FLIGHT)

Transfer to domestic airport in time to board flight for Delhi. Arrive and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

LAMAYURU TO ALCHI TREK

DAY BY DAY ITINERARAY

DAY1: ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY2 : FLY TO LEH : you will have an early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world! On the northern horizon you may be able to pick out K2, the world’s second highest peak, and other Karakoram giants. On your left you can see Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh at 7100m and 7080m. On your arrival in Leh transfer to hotel. Day at your leisure for acclimatization

DAY 3: ACCLIMATIZATION IN LEH: 11,500ft/3,505m: Explore Leh bazar and walk to up to Shanti Sputa. Over night at hotel.

DAY 4: VISIT STOK MUSIUM AND THE ROYAL PALCE : Stok palce is the last palce ever built by the Ladakhi king Tsepal Tundup Namgyal in 1824,

Day 5: DRIVE TO LAMAYURU,( 124mk/ 4 hrs) After breakfast we drive down the geologic wonderland of the Indus River valley, past the confluence with the Zanskar River, and on through the small villages of Nimo, Saspol and Khalse. We cross the Indus just past Khalse and begin a steep climb to the village of Lamayuru. We reach the monastery, perched on top of a steep cliff, in the early afternoon with plenty of time for a tour. This monastery is the oldest in Ladakh, dating from the 11th century. The monastery is built around a cave where the Naropa lived and meditated. After the tour we camp.

DAY 6: TREK TO WANLA (5 hrs trek)

We start our trek from Lamayuru with immediate descend. Later cross the stream, then the path gradually climbs across a mountain side and reach Prinkiti La (3720 m/22,200 ft). Continue further to Shilla and then to Wanla. On arrival set up camp and later visit the monastery. Overnight in tents.

DAY 7: TREK TO URSHI (6 HRS TREK)

We Start trek in the morning after the trek and easy ascending upto the destination. Arrive Urshi by late afternoon and set up camp. Overnight in tents.

DAY 8: TREK TO Tar via Tar la (7 hrs trek)

Today is a difficult and panoramic day. The path is well marked and steep ascend of about six hours takes you to the top of the pass and about another three hours descend to arrive at Tar village. Overnight in tents.

DAY 9: TREK TO MANGYU (5 hrs trek)

Start trek after breakfast and the path goes up along mountain side to a small pass, then take an easy descent towards Mangyu. This is an attractive village with interesting monastery. On arrival set up camp. Later visit the village and monastery. Overnight in tents.

DAY 10: TREK TO ALCHI (5 hrs trek) (4-5 hrs)

Today we take a nice path into a beautiful narrow valley. After another two hours of walking you arrive in Indus valley at Gera village. We follow the Indus upstream and cross it at Lardo and further walking takes us to the village of Alchi where we have a very old and remarkable monastery. Visit the village and monastery. Later transfer by surface to Leh. Hotel

DAY 11: DAY AT LEISURE. Continue your exploration of Leh , go for shopping and witness cultural show in the evening.

DAY 12: FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 13: RELAX IN DELHI. Late night transfer to International Airport.

DAY 14 : FLY HOME.

LAMAYURU-HIMES

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

 

DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH : you will have an early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world! On the northern horizon you may be able to pick out K2, the world’s second highest peak, and other Karakoram giants. On your left you can see Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh at 7100m and 7080m. On your arrival in Leh transfer to hotel. Day at your leisure for acclimatization

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, “stove-pipe” hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : PHYANG SIGHT SEEING. The Phyang Gompa has 50 lamas and seven novices of the red-cap sect and possesses five chapels. The monastery is interesting for its museum containing some old Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and possibly Saracen weapons and armour. The museum room itself is said to be nearly 900 hundred years old. The monastery has had several renovations recently, including the addition of a large house for the head lama and a new entrance hall with a large prayer wheel. The 650 year old Dukhany Temple was renovated in the late 70’s. Return to Leh hotel.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO LAMAYURU, CAMP. After breakfast we drive down the geologic wonderland of the Indus River valley, past the confluence with the Zanskar River, and on through the small villages of Nimu, Saspol and Khalse. We cross the Indus just past Khalse and begin a steep climb to the village of Lamayuru. We reach the monastery, perched on top of a steep cliff, in the early afternoon with plenty of time for a tour. This monastery is the oldest in Ladakh, dating from the 11th century. The monastery is built around a cave where the Naropa lived and meditated. After the tour we camp in fertile green village of Lamayuru.

DAY 6 : TREK TO HINJU. 7 hrs. Leaving Lamayuru we gradually climb the mountain-side opposite the monastery until we reach a small valley. We follow the valley up to Prinkiti-La pass (12,200 ft) and then descend into a gorge. At Shilla we cross a bridge and continue on the right bank to the village of Wanla. We now follow the left bank of the Yapola River and cross a bridge to Penji-la. We go up the valley and take the right fork to Hinju, where we camp.

DAY 7 : TREK TO SUMDA. 5-6 hrs. We continue up the Hinju valley on our way to Konzke-la pass (16,236 ft). The final ascent becomes steep, but the fabulous views of snow-capped peaks make it well worth the effort. From the summit we begin a long descent to pastures along the river. We continue along the left bank till we reach Sumda and camp.

DAY 8 : TREK TO CHILLING. 6-7 hrs. We cross the valley to the rock shelters where we cross the bridge and begin the ascent to the pass. We reach Dundunchen-la pass (15,744 ft) after a steep climb for more spectacular views. The trail is steep on the descent as we head towards a valley. The valley continues to narrow until it opens out at Chilling on the banks of the Zanskar River. The villagers here are metal craftsman.

DAY 9 : TREK TO SKIU. (9,900 ft) 4 hrs. We begin this day by crossing the Zanskar River in a cable car located upstream a short distance from Chilling. We follow the well worn path to the village of Skaya. From here it is a short walk to the lush green campsite at Skiu. The village of Skiu is at only 9,900ft, and the Markha Valley here is narrow, so the temperatures can soar. We camp at Skiu, and at dusk it is worth climbing back up the valley to where the Skiu Nala meets the Markha river. Here there is a small monastery cared for by an old nun who comes every evening to light the candles at the altar of “Chamba”, the future Buddha.

DAY 10 : TREK TO MARKHA. (11,776ft). 6 hrs. A very pleasant walk up one of the loveliest sections of the Markha valley. Woody bushes grow thickly along the river which is spanned by several bridges over which the trail marches to Thinlespa. The camp is beyond this small village on the right bank of the river, just before the village of Markha.

DAY 11 : TREK TO THACHUGTSE. (13,078ft). 6-7 hrs. The trail continues eastwards climbing steadily up the valley through the picturesque village of Markha, which has a fascinating monastery well worth a visit. Coming in from the south is the trail from Rubering La, one of the routes from Zangla. From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind. Between the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hankar is a ruined fort, the walls of which climb sharply up a crag to an aerie of a lookout tower  worth visiting for those with a good head for heights. Follow the Nimiling river up the narrow valley to the camp at Thachugtse. It will be considerably cooler here.

DAY 12 : TREK TO NIMALING. (16,097ft). 3 hrs. The trail continues to climb up the valley to a picturesque lake with a reflection of snow-capped Kang Yatse, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. From here the Nimaling plain is a broad undulating meadow which slopes upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse which dominates the area. Nimaling with tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over its meadows provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals; yaks, sheep, goats, dzos and horses, not only from the Markha but also from villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to spot the occasional blue sheep or wolf. You should reach camp in the early afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax and explore.


DAY 13 :
REST DAY IN NIMALING. A day to recuperate and enjoy this beautiful alpine meadow. You can take a short hike to the base of the glacier on Kang Yatse.

DAY 14 : TREK TO SUMDO. (13,230ft). 7-8 hrs. After crossing the Nimaling river, climb to the top of the highest pass on the trek, the 17,409ft Kangmaru La with its wonderful views from the top. Snow peaks in every direction, and on a clear day the giants of the Karakorams, including K2 can be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulfur springs of Chyushkarmo, and follows the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang Nala and the Martselang.

DAY 15 : TREK TO MARTSELANG. DRIVE TO LEH 3-4 hrs trek. An easy descent mainly along the left bank of the Martselang river to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus river at the village of Martselang. Transport will be waiting here for the 2 hr drive to Leh, after first visiting the Hemis Gompa. Overnight at the hotel in Leh.

DAY 16 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. A chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 17 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 18 : RELAX IN DELHI .

DAY 19 : FLY HOME

 

MARKHA VALLEY

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 : ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH 11,500ft/3,505m : you will have an early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world! On the northern horizon you may be able to pick out K2, the world’s second highest peak, and other Karakoram giants. On your left you can see Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh at 7100m and 7080m. On your arrival in Leh transfer to hotel. Day at your leisure for acclimatization

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, “stove-pipe” hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : PHYANG SIGHT SEEING. The Phyang Gompa has 50 lamas and seven novices of the red-cap sect and possesses five chapels. The monastery is interesting for its museum containing some old Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and possibly Saracen weapons and armour. The museum room itself is said to be nearly 900 hundred years old. The monastery has had several renovations recently, including the addition of a large house for the head lama and a new entrance hall with a large prayer wheel. The 650 year old Dukhany Temple was renovated in the late 70’s. Return to Leh hotel.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO SPITOK, TREK TO ZINGCHEN . After breakfast we drive to Spitok Gompa (approx. 2 hours) for a visit. This monastery was built about 500 years ago by Gyalpo Bumlde, although one temple, dedicated to Mahakala was built about 900 years ago. About 125 yellow-hat sect lamas are considered Spitok Lamas, but at least half of them live and pray at Spitok’s dependent monasteries at Sankar, Stok and Sabu. All the lamas do however gather together for major festivals. The name Spitok is probably derived from the Central Tibetan language and means, Effective as an Example, referring to the fact that this was the Tibetans first monastery in Ladakh. The head lama for Spitok is the head lama for Ladakh and represents Ladakh as a member of Parliament, spending much of his time in Delhi. Spitok Gompa contains both old temples and those built in the 1970s. Ancient thankas are preserved there, some having been taken from the Potala in Lhasa after the Chinese invaded Tibet. After leaving the gompa, we cross the bridge over the Indus river and meet up with the horseman. The trek begins here and follows the Indus for a short distance, before striking out for the mountains. You soon enter the narrow gorge that leads to the first camp at Zingchen.

DAY 6 : TREK TO YURUTSE. 6 hours. You will follow the trail beside the river till the valley widens at Rumbak, where you can see the snow-capped peaks of the Stok mountains. Take the right fork of the river and continue to the very small village of Yurutse. The purple and green rock formations are quite impressive. Continue past the village to the base camp of Ganda La.

DAY 7 : TREK TO SKIU. (9,900ft). 7hrs. The climb over the Ganda La is not as steep as that up to the Stok La, but it is a bit longer. From the top of the pass there is a fabulous view of snow-capped peaks. The descent into the Skiu valley is steady. The wide pastures at the top of the valley closes into a narrow waist at Shingo, where there is a stream junction and a few houses and fields. From here the river swoops exuberantly down the tight narrow gorge choked with willow and wild rose, with the trail following, swapping from bank to bank as it goes. The village of Skiu is at only 9,900ft, and the Markha Valley here is narrow, so the temperatures can soar. We camp at Skiu, and at dusk it is worth climbing back up the valley to where the Skiu Nala meets the Markha river. Here there is a small monastery cared for by an old nun who comes every evening to light the candles at the altar of “Chamba”, the future Buddha.

DAY 8 : TREK TO MARKHA. (11,776ft). 6 hrs. A very pleasant walk up one of the loveliest sections of the Markha valley. Woody bushes grow thickly along the river which is spanned by several bridges over which the trail marches to Thinlespa. The camp is beyond this small village on the right bank of the river, just before the village of Markha.


DAY 9 :
TREK TO THACHUGTSE. (13,078ft). 6-7 hrs. The trail continues eastwards climbing steadily up the valley through the picturesque village of Markha, which has a fascinating monastery well worth a visit. Coming in from the south is the trail from Rubering La, one of the routes from Zangla. From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind. Between the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hankar is a ruined fort, the walls of which climb sharply up a crag to an aerie of a lookout tower  worth visiting for those with a good head for heights. Follow the Nimiling river up the narrow valley to the camp at Thachugtse. It will be considerably cooler here.

DAY 10 : TREK TO NIMALING. (16,097ft). 3 hrs. The trail continues to climb up the valley to a picturesque lake with a reflection of snow-capped Kang Yatse, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. From here the Nimaling plain is a broad undulating meadow which slopes upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse which dominates the area. Nimaling with tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over its meadows provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals; yaks, sheep, goats, dzos and horses, not only from the Markha but also from villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to spot the occasional blue sheep or wolf. You should reach camp in the early afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax and explore.

DAY 11 : REST DAY IN NIMALING. A day to recuperate and enjoy this beautiful alpine meadow. You can take a short hike to the base of the glacier on Kang Yatse.

 

DAY 12 : TREK TO SUMDO. (13,230ft). 7-8 hrs. After crossing the Nimaling river, climb to the top of the highest pass on the trek, the 17,409ft Kangmaru La with its wonderful views from the top. Snow peaks in every direction, and on a clear day the giants of the Karakorams, including K2 can be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulfur springs of Chyushkarmo, and follows the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang Nala and the Martselang.

DAY 13 : TREK TO HEMIS. 5-6 hrs trek. An easy descent mainly along the left bank of the Martselang river to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus river at the village of Martselang. The trail ends at the Hemis Monastery, the largest and richest in Ladakh.

DAY 14 : RETURN TO LEH. We visit the monastery in the morning and then meet our transportation for the 2 hr drive to Leh. Overnight at the hotel in Leh.

DAY 15 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. A chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 16 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 17 : RELAX IN DELHI.

DAY 18 : FLY HOME.

 

NUBRA VALLEY

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 : ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH 11,500ft/3,505m : you will have an early morning transfer to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world! On the northern horizon you may be able to pick out K2, the world’s second highest peak, and other Karakoram giants. On your left you can see Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh at 7100m and 7080m. On your arrival in Leh transfer to hotel. Day at your leisure for acclimatization

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, stove-pipe hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : DRIVE TO THE NUBRA VALLEY. After checking out of the hotel, we drive on the highest motorable road in the world over the 18,380 ft Kardung La pass. The road descends from the pass down a spectacular gorge through the Kardung village and on down to the valley floor where we set up camp at the village of Khalsar.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO DISKIT AND HUNDER . After breakfast we follow the Shyok River to beautiful village of Diskit, where we visit the stunningly perched, Diskit Monastery. We then drive further down the river to scenic village of Hunder, which is a far as tourists are allowed. In the afternoon we head up the Nubra River to Sumur and visit the Samtanling Gompa with its large children’s school. We return to the camp at Khalsar where we meet our horseman.


DAY 6 :
TREK TO HOTONG. The trek begins on a trail above the valley floor that descends to a small village located on a rushing stream that pours out of a side gorge. The trail then follows the valley floor through an incredible array of rocks and boulders. The steep mountains rising on either side of valley are magnificent with snow-capped peaks and rugged rock formations. We camp the first night at Hotong, next to a spring.

DAY 7 : TREK TO AKGAM . Upon leaving the camp at Hotong, we climb up the side of the canyon to escape the Shyok River which sweeps in right next to the canyon wall. We finally descend again to the valley floor and proceed to the vibrant green patch in the distance which is Akgam. We reach our camping spot in a meadow next to a clear rushing stream, early in the afternoon.

DAY 8 : TREK TO TANGYAR. The trail follows the stream up the narrow, green valley. As we gradually ascend in altitude, we reach lower village of Tangyar, about 2000 ft higher than Akgam. A gompa perched high on the side of the valley can be seen across the bright green fields of barley. We climb another 500 ft to fields above Tangyar, where the villagers spend the summer tending to the fields and their livestock. We camp in this upper broad meadow.

DAY 9 : TREK TO WARI LA BASE CAMP. We continue up this broad valley and soon leave the cultivated fields behind for the high mountain pastures of the Yak, sheep, and goats. Brightly colored lichen adorn the boulders and delicate wildflowers including eidleweiss dot the sparse vegetation growing in this alpine environment. We are surrounded by snow-capped peaks again as we gently make our way up to the base camp below the Wari La pass. Golden eagles can usually be seen soaring above the base camp.

DAY 10 : TREK TO SAKTI, DRIVE TO LEH. Spectacular views await at Wari La pass with the Karakorams to the north and the Zanskar range to the south. K2 can be seen on the far left of the Karakorams. The green fields of Sakti can be seen far down the valley to the south. We descend down this valley and meet our driver in the early afternoon for the ride back to Leh.

DAY 11 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. A chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 12 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 13 : RELAX IN DELHI. Late night transfer to International Airport.

DAY 14 : FLY HOME.

MYSTERIES TREK IN LADAKH RUPSHOW

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 : ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH. You will have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for the flight up to Leh. This surely is one of the most sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over the top of the Greater Himalaya before dropping down in a series of steep turns, to land at the small military airport at Leh. Flight time is about 1 hour. You will be met on arrival and driven through Leh to check into your Hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 ft and therefore we recommend that the rest of the day is spent resting to help adjust to the altitude.

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, stove-pipe hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : PHYANG SIGHT SEEING. The Phyang Gompa has 50 lamas and seven novices of the red-cap sect and possesses five chapels. The monastery is interesting for its museum containing some old Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and possibly Saracen weapons and armour. The museum room itself is said to be nearly 900 hundred years old. The monastery has had several recent renovations, including the addition of a large house for the head lama and a new entrance hall with a large prayer wheel. The 650 year old Dukhany Temple was renovated in the late 70’s. Return to Leh hotel.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO MIRO, TREK TO CHUMIK CHANMO. (4242m/ 14,000 ft) After breakfast we drive to up the Indus River valley and cross the bridge at Upshi. We follow the Manali highway until we reach the village of Miro. Here is where we begin the trek by crossing the bridge and following the river for a short distance before turning up the right hand side of the valley. We follow the stream up the valley, ascending gradually up to Kortsangla pass at 16,700 ft. We trek for about 5 hours this first day.

DAY 6 : TREK TO KYAMER. (4545m/15,000 ft) 5.5 hrs. This day will be very easy and exciting. We might see ibex, deer, marmot, and especially Edelweiss.

DAY 7 : TREK TO MANDALCHAN VIA KYMARLA. (5109m/16,860 ft). 5 hrs. This day will be a bit more difficult. It will take 4 hours to get to the pass, but the spectacular panorama of the Great Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges make it very worthwhile. From the pass we descend a steep trail to Mandalchan. There is a nice camp before crossing the river.


DAY 8 :
TREK TO PANGUNAGU. (4818m/15,900 ft). 7 hrs. We cross the stream in the morning and gradually ascend to Mandalchanla pass (17,200 ft). We descend to a valley where we eat lunch by the stream. We then leave the stream and go up the right slope of the valley to a small pass at about 16,400 ft. After several more passes, we cross the last pass, Thatangla (17,000 ft) and descend to camp. On this day it might be possible to see wild donkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, and lots of marmots. You will also see beautiful flowers including Eidelweiss at the camp. The varied geological forms are amazing and the colors of the mountains are truly breath-taking.

DAY 9 : TREK TO NURUCHAN. (4787m/15,800 ft). 8 hrs. This is one of the longest days of the trek. After 3 hours you will see some springs near a road. At Nuruchan there are several possibilities for camping, but the best campsite is after the village. You will see many herds of yak.

DAY 10 : TREK TO KY-MA SHALMA. (5303m/17,500 ft). 6 hrs. From the beginning of this part of the trek we ascend towards the small pass Zangbula at 17,000 ft. Then we proceed down into a valley where we can visit some nomads. They are likely to offer us some Yak cheese. These people come from Sumda. We then hike along the beautiful stream ascending toward Ka-yourula pass at 18,000 ft. After the pass we descend to camp.

DAY 11 : TREK TO KORZOK DOG. (4636m/15,300 ft). 9 hrs. (approximately 15 miles). We cross the river in the early morning near the nomad’s camp. Then we go up to the Kamapanela pass at 17,700 ft. We then descend to a valley where there are more nomads. We gradually ascend along a river to Gogmo chy la pass at 18,000 ft. Here we have a beautiful view of Tsomoriri lake. We go down to Korzok Dog and camp.

DAY 12 : TREK TO KORZOK VILLAGE. (4381m/14,460 ft). 2hrs. We visit another nomad camp in the morning. These are true Changtang Nomads. We then follow the stream until we reach the village of Korzok.

DAY 13 : DRIVE TO LEH. Our vehicles meet us at Korzok and drive us down to the Indus River Valley and back to Leh, where we check into the hotel.

DAY 14 : RELAX IN LEH. We will have a chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 15 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 16 : RELAX IN DELHI. International flights usually leave after midnight, so sleep in and relax. Leave for the airport about 10 pm.

DAY 17 : FLY HOME

 

MYSTERIES TREK IN LADAKH RUPSHOW

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


DAY 1 :
ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH. You will have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for the flight up to Leh. This surely is one of the most sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over the top of the Greater Himalaya before dropping down in a series of steep turns, to land at the small military airport at Leh. Flight time is about 1 hour. You will be met on arrival and driven through Leh to check into your Hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 ft and therefore we recommend that the rest of the day is spent resting to help adjust to the altitude.

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, stove-pipe hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : PHYANG SIGHT SEEING. The Phyang Gompa has 50 lamas and seven novices of the red-cap sect and possesses five chapels. The monastery is interesting for its museum containing some old Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and possibly Saracen weapons and armour. The museum room itself is said to be nearly 900 hundred years old. The monastery has had several recent renovations, including the addition of a large house for the head lama and a new entrance hall with a large prayer wheel. The 650 year old Dukhany Temple was renovated in the late 70’s. Return to Leh hotel.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO MIRO, TREK TO CHUMIK CHANMO. (4242m/ 14,000 ft) After breakfast we drive to up the Indus River valley and cross the bridge at Upshi. We follow the Manali highway until we reach the village of Miro. Here is where we begin the trek by crossing the bridge and following the river for a short distance before turning up the right hand side of the valley. We follow the stream up the valley, ascending gradually up to Kortsangla pass at 16,700 ft. We trek for about 5 hours this first day.

DAY 6 : TREK TO KYAMER. (4545m/15,000 ft) 5.5 hrs. This day will be very easy and exciting. We might see ibex, deer, marmot, and especially Edelweiss.

DAY 7 : TREK TO MANDALCHAN VIA KYMARLA. (5109m/16,860 ft). 5 hrs. This day will be a bit more difficult. It will take 4 hours to get to the pass, but the spectacular panorama of the Great Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges make it very worthwhile. From the pass we descend a steep trail to Mandalchan. There is a nice camp before crossing the river.

 

DAY 8 : TREK TO PANGUNAGU. (4818m/15,900 ft). 7 hrs. We cross the stream in the morning and gradually ascend to Mandalchanla pass (17,200 ft). We descend to a valley where we eat lunch by the stream. We then leave the stream and go up the right slope of the valley to a small pass at about 16,400 ft. After several more passes, we cross the last pass, Thatangla (17,000 ft) and descend to camp. On this day it might be possible to see wild donkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, and lots of marmots. You will also see beautiful flowers including Eidelweiss at the camp. The varied geological forms are amazing and the colors of the mountains are truly breath-taking.

DAY 9 : TREK TO NURUCHAN. (4787m/15,800 ft). 8 hrs. This is one of the longest days of the trek. After 3 hours you will see some springs near a road. At Nuruchan there are several possibilities for camping, but the best campsite is after the village. You will see many herds of yak.

DAY 10 : TREK TO KY-MA SHALMA. (5303m/17,500 ft). 6 hrs. From the beginning of this part of the trek we ascend towards the small pass Zangbula at 17,000 ft. Then we proceed down into a valley where we can visit some nomads. They are likely to offer us some Yak cheese. These people come from Sumda. We then hike along the beautiful stream ascending toward Ka-yourula pass at 18,000 ft. After the pass we descend to camp.

DAY 11 : TREK TO KORZOK DOG. (4636m/15,300 ft). 9 hrs. (approximately 15 miles). We cross the river in the early morning near the nomad’s camp. Then we go up to the Kamapanela pass at 17,700 ft. We then descend to a valley where there are more nomads. We gradually ascend along a river to Gogmo chy la pass at 18,000 ft. Here we have a beautiful view of Tsomoriri lake. We go down to Korzok Dog and camp.

DAY 12 : TREK TO KORZOK VILLAGE. (4381m/14,460 ft). 2hrs. We visit another nomad camp in the morning. These are true Changtang Nomads. We then follow the stream until we reach the village of Korzok.

DAY 13 : DRIVE TO LEH. Our vehicles meet us at Korzok and drive us down to the Indus River Valley and back to Leh, where we check into the hotel.

DAY 14 : RELAX IN LEH. We will have a chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 15 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 16 : RELAX IN DELHI. International flights usually leave after midnight, so sleep in and relax. Leave for the airport about 10 pm.

DAY 17 : FLY HOME

KHARNAK NOMAD

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH. You will have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for the flight up to Leh. This surely is one of the most sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over the top of the Greater Himalaya before dropping down in a series of steep turns, to land at the small military airport at Leh. Flight time is about 1 hour. You will be met on arrival and driven through Leh to check into your Hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 ft and therefore we recommend that the rest of the day is spent resting to help adjust to the altitude.

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, stove-pipe hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : SIGHTSEEING OF ALCHI MONASTERY. We drive to Alchi to see the most beautiful murals and paintings in Ladakh. Alchi was built in the 11th century by Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo. Drive back to Leh and prepare for trekking the next day.

DAY 5 : SHANG SUMDHO TO CHUSKYURMO (4070 m/ 13431 ft) 3-4 hrs. This will be a day of climbing up a beautiful gorge, tiresome but stunning. Keep your eyes peeled for snow leopards at all times! After 3-4 hours, you will arrive at Chuskyurmo, whose waters are reputed to have medicinal qualities.

DAY 6 : CHUSKYURMO TO NIMALING (4720 m/ 15576 ft) via Kongmaru la 5220 mt 17226 ft . 5-6 hrs From Chuskyurmo upwards, the valley opens and you have a great opportunity for viewing blue sheep (Ladakhi: napo), one of several species of wild goat living in the mountains of Ladakh. From Kongmaru la there is a fabulous view of Nimaling You will see the stone huts of villagers from Markha, who inhabit this pasture land several months of the year. *In case of extreme cold, it is advised not to camp at Nimaling, but to continue down the valley towards Thatchuntse.

DAY 7 : NIMALING TO YAKRUPAL (4600 m/15180 ft) 6-7 hrs. This day presents the challenge of up and down walking above 4500 meters. You cross first one, then a second pass from which you have a fabulous view into Zanskar. Don’t forget to look for wolves! During the afternoon, you will first drop deeply down to the Langtang Chu, then gradually stroll up the valley towards your grassy campsite at Yakrupal.

DAY 8 : YAKRUPAL TO TSOKRA (4060m/ 13398 ft) 6-7 hrs. This morning, you will climb up up up, finally reaching the fabulous Zalungkarpo La after several hours. After a short break (bring prayer flags!) on the pass, you will descend into the wilderness of Kharnak, finally camping at Tsokra. Your horses will be happy with the abundant grass, and you will have the opportunity to see both ancient ruins and one of the most beautiful cliff faces in Ladakh.

DAY 9 : TSOKRA TO DAT (4200m /13860ft) 5-6 hrs. Today’s walk is one of the most beautiful on the trek, and there is no climbing  so you can really enjoy it! Your path will wind through willow groves and around rivers that flow into Zanskar. Check for snow leopard prints on the sandy banks! You will camp in Dat, the winter site for the Kharnak nomads. If time permits, pay a visit to the gompa before dinner.

DAY 10 : DAT TO LUNGMOCHE (4550 m/15015 ft) via Yar La (4950 m/ 16335 ft )5 hrs. This morning, you will walk on flat ground for several hours, appreciating the vastness of the fairly bleak Dat valley. Towards lunchtime, you will take a turn at a natural spring, and begin your approach to the Yar La. From this pass, you will see a great change in landscape. You are now arriving in the Changthang plains. A one-hour descent from the pass will bring you to Lungmoche, a windy but beautiful campsite.

DAY 11 : LUNGMOCHE TO ZARA (4390 m/14487 ft) via the nomad settlement at Yagang. (5-6 hours) Today’s walking is fairly gentle, and after several hours you should reach the nomad headquarters of the Kharnak people at Yagang. Here you can interact with the nomads and enjoy some lunch. Several more hours of walking will bring you to the settlement of the Rupshu nomads at Zara, where you will spend the night.

DAY 12 : ZARA TO PANGUNAGU (4430 m/13290 ft) 2-3 hours. Leaving the nomad camp after breakfast, you should arrive on the Manali road after just an hour’s walk. From here, an opening into the Tsokar basin lies in front of you, and it is a short 2 hour walk to your camp at Pangunagu. For the rest of the day, you can explore the TsoKar basin -> an afternoon walk to the shore of the lake (45 min) should be considered a must.

DAY 13 : REST DAY AND CLEAN UP THE CAMPING SITE. Afternoon The taxi will meet you and drive to Leh via Tanglang la the second highest road in the world.

DAY 14 : RELAX IN LEH. You will have a chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 15 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 16 : RELAX IN DELHI.

DAY 17 : FLY HOME

ZANSKAR, THE LAND BEYOND

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 : ARRIVE DELHI: Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you Transfer to the hotel.

DAY 2 : FLY TO LEH. You will have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for the flight up to Leh. This surely is one of the most sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over the top of the Greater Himalaya before dropping down in a series of steep turns, to land at the small military airport at Leh. Flight time is about 1 hour. You will be met on arrival and driven through Leh to check into your Hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 11,500 ft and therefore we recommend that the rest of the day is spent resting to help adjust to the altitude.

DAY 3 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. Again we will take it easy today and your guide can show you around town. Leh is very Tibetan in many respects; the national dress, stove-pipe hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are much in evidence. The Royal Palace which dominates the town is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don’t try to do too much on this first day! Visit the palace, poke around the bazaars, and if you’re feeling really keen and strong, walk out to one of the villages just to the north.

DAY 4 : DRIVE TO WANLA VIA ALCHI MONASTEREY 5to6 hours

The monastery of Alchi is the one of the oldest in ladakh and has a magnificent mural built by lama Rinchen zangpo. Camp and overnight in wanla.

DAY 5 : WANLA TO HANUPATA, 6 to 7 hours

After crossing the bridge of wanla river we follow on its right side the rough vehicle road until we reach hinju, ursi and then phanjila. Then, we cross the river over a small bridge. After that, we turn west up the spang nala and continue on the gently rising trail to the large village of hanupata with its gompa. River camp and overnight in hanupata.

DAY 6 : HANUPATA TO PHOTOKSAR OVER SIRSIR LA (7 to 8 hours)

The trail follows the spang nala and then up its narrow valley. As you reach the top of sirsir la (4 800 metres) you will have a nice view to the singge la and zanskar mountains. The descent is steep at first, then more gently to photang river. We follow it downstream until photoksar village after having crossed the river. This is a beautiful camp and we overnight in photoksar.

DAY 7 : PHOTOKSAR TO YULCHUNG-NERAG (7 to 8 hours)

Today we will climb two passes, the bumiktse la ( 4 200 metres) and after that the highest pass of this trek, the singge la ( 5 000 metres), both easy climbs. On top of the latter we have a fantastic view to the zanskar mountains! There is a steep descent to our next camp and we will overnight above the village of yulchung-nerag.

DAY 8 : YULCHUNG-NERAG TO LINGSHED TO HANUMA LA (7 to 8hours)

We first cross the small kiupa la (3 900 m) and descend steeply to the villages of skiumpata and gongma. From here we have to cross another pass, the murgum la (4 100 metres) before we easily reach lingshed, the largest village in the trans singge la region. We will visit the monastery that belongs to the gelukpa school of buddhism. We camp and overnight near lingshed gompa.


DAY 9 :
BASE HANUMA LA TO ZINGCHAN OMA CHU (6 to 7 hours)

On top of hanuma la (4 700 metres) we can see lingshed and its monastery very clear. We trek easily down and follow a narrow valley to reach snertse, continuing the steep and difficult trail to zingchan near the oma chu river and cross the bridge. Here we are in the zanskar region. We camp and overnight at the bridge of zingchan oma chu.

DAY 10 : ZINGCHAN OMA CHU TO HANUMIL (6 to 7 hours)

We start with a steep climb to parfi la (3 900 metres). On its edge you will find chortens and prayer flags. A steep descent will bring us toward the raging zanskar river. From here the trail is easy walking to the attractive village of hanumil. We camp and overnight in hanumil.

DAY 11 : HANUMIL TO PISHU (5 to 6 hours) Today we do not have to cross any passes! We follow the zanskar river on the right side and arrive, after only two hours, in pidmo village. Here we cross the bridge and walk toward pishu. This is a nice camp and we overnight in pishu.

DAY 12 : PISHU TO KHARSHA (5 to 6 hours)

We first make a little detour before discovering the longest hanging bridge, which spans the 55 metres over the zanskar river and leads us to zangla. We pass rinam village and continue on very dusty river banks. Here it is often very hot! Yet, the first sight of the largest monastery of zanskar valley soon will come into view. The camping site is situated just below the willow garden of karsha monastery which we will visit in the afternoon. We camp and overnight in karsha.

DAY 13 : KHARSHA TO PADUM (3 to 4 hours)

After the crossing of the stod (or doda) river, we head toward pibiting and finally reach padum. In the afternoon, we will visit of the small market. We camp and overnight in padum.

DAY 14 : PADUM TO KARGIL DRIVE .

DAY 15 : KARGIL TO LEH:

DAY 16 : RELAX IN LEH. We will have a chance to relax in the relative luxury of Leh, and do any last sightseeing and exploring. There will no doubt be a chance to have a final celebration with your guide and crew before the flight tomorrow. In the summer there are often polo matches on a Sunday. Overnight in the hotel.

DAY 17 : FLY TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

DAY 18 : RELAX IN DELHI.

DAY 19 : FLY HOME

GORGES OF ZANSKAR & CHARCHA LA

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

 

DAY 1 : ARRIVE IN DELHI. We will be met at Delhi airport early on Sunday morning, and transferred to Hotel. The day can be spent making any last minute preparations, shopping, or just relaxing by the pool. Should you want to do any sightseeing this can be arranged. Overnight at the Imperial Hotel.

DAY 2: Fly to Bhuntar and transfer to Banons Resort Hotel.

DAY 3 : DAY AT LEISURE IN MANALI. There is plenty to do in Manali. Visit the large and thriving Tibetan Buddhist monastery, or highly recommended is a visit to the hot spring baths higher up the valley at Vashist. You can walk or take a taxi. Overnight at the Banons Resort Hotel.

DAY 4 : DRIVE TO JISPA. (10,826ft). Our journey is by private bus over the Rohtang Pass (14,500ft / 4000m) with views of snow peaks of the Himalaya in every direction. The Rohtang was the first major pass to be crossed by early western explorers and its colourful history is well told in John Keay’s excellent book “Where Men and Mountains Meet”. We descend to the Chandra Valley and follow it downstream, to its confluence with the Bhaga valley pausing for a picnic lunch just before Keylong. We camp at Jispar, which is about four miles south of Darcha in the Bhaga valley. Ahead the road continues up north east, up the Bhaga Valley and over the Baralacha La (4891m/16,046ft) and on across the Zanskar Range eventually to Leh. However our trek route starts at Sarchu which is tomorrow’s destination.

DAY 5 : DRIVE TO SARCHU. Our journey continues on the Manali-Leh highway and today we will start to see a big changes in the landscape as we move into the rain shadow north of the main Himalayan chain. After about an hour we will reach the settlement of Darcha, which basically consists of an army checkpoint and a small collection of tea huts and shops. This was originally the place where groups used to camp before starting to trek up the Barai Nala to Shingo La and into the Zanskar valley. In 1995, after an unusually heavy monsoon, the Barai river changed its course and flooded the campsite and now groups camp at Jispa. After some minor checkpoint formalities we continue on our way up to Patseo where there is an army camp. We then start the long ascent of the Baralacha La (4883m) which cuts the main Himalayan chain. If the weather is with us, we should see fine views of the surrounding mountains and the plains around Sarchu. After a long descent, we reach Sarchu where we will camp for the night.

DAY 6 : BEGIN TREK (6hrs). Today we start trekking and we leave Sarchu following the Lingti Chu valley. This day will be spent walking through mainly pasture land as the trail follows the river slowly upwards. The trail follows the mountain side for a while until the ground widens into a high desert valley. The valley then narrows at Chumikmarpo and the approach to the Phirtse La. Camp overnight.

DAY 7 : TREK TO RIVER CAMP. We continue up the valley crossing two canyons and experiencing our first river crossing before climbing to a wide plateau. As the valley narrows further, we pass a collection of Gaddi shepherd huts and tumble-down prayer walls built from mani stones. We then climb steeply to cross a small pass before descending to camp near the river.

DAY 8 : TREK TO BASE OF PHIRTSE LA. As we head up the valley further we begin to feel more and more isolated as the gorge narrows further and the thinning of the air makes this day a relatively strenuous one. Camp at the base of the Phirtse La.

DAY 09 : CROSS PHIRTSE LA (17,876ft  8hrs). This is a tough day, but one that is rewarded with the fine views from the top of the pass. The trail, which is not very well defined, passes through a meadow from where it pushes on to the top of the Phirtse La. The path is steep in some areas and crosses a number of scree slopes before it finally reaches the top, after 4 to 5 hours. It all feels worth it as you stand at the top looking east towards the spectacular mountains of Changtang and northwest towards the Zanskar valley. If everyone is feeling fit we will probably have lunch at the top and then tackle the steep but short descent to the river. From here we will trek a little way down the valley before reaching our campsite for the night.

DAY 10 : TREK TO ZINGCHEN (14,664ft). We quickly leave the river a climb a small pass where we see fine views of the Zanskar valley spreading out ahead of us. It is from this pass that we get our first views of the massive granite mountain of Gumburonjon. We then descend and finally reach our campsite at Zingchen, a small grassy meadow.

DAY 11 : TREK TO PURNE. (12,300ft). Today is the day we finally meet the main Zanskar valley and other trekkers who have taken the more popular trail into the Zanskar valley over the Shingo La. We descend steeply for approximately 500m through a gorge before joining the main valley at a bridge crossing the Kargyak River a short way from the village of Kuru. We then follow the main trail down through the villages of Tabla and Testa before a steep descent takes us to a further bridge that we cross to get to our campsite at Purne. Camp overnight.

DAY 12 : VISIT PHUKTAL GOMPA. This is half a day’s diversion leaving the camp standing at Purne. We walk up a very deep and impressive gorge with a fast flowing river to this remarkable and remote monastery. The 500-year-old Gompa is built literally on the side of a cliff. Here we can visit the inner temples and see a stone tablet left by the Hungarian, Alexander Csoma de Koros, one of the first explorers in Tibet, 1826-27. We then return to Purne where we can relax with a beer and exchange stories with other trekkers. Overnight camp.

DAY 13 : TREK TO RERU. (12,073ft). The valley deepens and takes on the proportions of a gorge. We pass some small hamlets: Cha, Kaydang (with a small tea shop) and on to Hamuni. We then continue past the village of Surle and on towards Ichar where we cross the river on a new strong metal bridge. This is in marked contrast to the two small bridges made entirely from woven birch twigs which we will have passed earlier that day. The fortified village of Ichar is about 30 minutes walk away and is well worth a visit, as it is perhaps the most beautiful of the villages on the way to Padum, the capital township. We then walk through more magnificent, gorge scenery and with further small monasteries to visit. We camp by a small lake behind Reru village. In the past, unwary campers have been surprised by the lake being filled during the night to allow for irrigation of the fields the next day. The locals are very amused when campers wake to find their tent under water!!

DAY 14 : RERU TO PADUM. (11,483ft). Before reaching Shila, which is marked by a high waterfall, we pass Mune Gompa and come to Bardan Gompa, an impressive monastery sitting on top of a rocky outcrop in the middle of the gorge. The building was erected in the early sixteen hundreds on the orders of Nawang Namgyal, the first ruler of Bhutan, who was given various lands in Ladakh to further his Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, by the ruler of Ladakh at that time. The valley which we have walked down for the past six days now opens out into the much wider Lunak Valley and we reach Padum, the capital of Zanskar. Camp overnight.

DAY 15 : AT LEISURE IN PADUM. Today there is a chance to relax and celebrate the completion of the first part of the trek. Padum may be the kingdom’s capital, but it has only about a hundred houses built on a barren rock-covered hill, on which a fort once stood, with newer houses in the surrounding fields. Unlike most other Zanskaris who are nearly all Buddhists, its inhabitants include a large number of Indo-Aryans, who are followers of the Sunnite Muslim sect. We may well be able to arrange an introduction to Phunshok Dawa, Gyalpo (Precious Ruler) of Padum. Phunshok’s ancestors collected taxes and had a quasi-judicial role dealing with any disputes or family problems for the villages around Padum. Nowadays the present holder of the title of “Gyalpo” is the local school teacher. He speaks good English and his stories of times past and explanations of Zanskari culture are of great interest. Camp overnight.

DAY 16 : DRIVE TO ZANGLA. After the tourist ban in the Summer of 1995 the Indian government agreed to pump extra money in Zanskar. One of the results is that there is now a jeep track which runs from Padum to Zangla and beyond. Like it or loath it jeep tracks will continue to be developed in the region and today we make full use of this one. We will set off from Padum early in the morning to try and get most of the driving done before the temperature gets too ferocious. The journey will be quite slow as the track is rough and the jeeps available in Padum are not reliable as those found in other parts of India! We should get to Zangla in the early afternoon and that should give some time to look round the village and to walk up to the old palace which was once the seat of the throne in Zanskar. The descendant of the other one-time ruler of Zanskar, Mr Nimu, still lives here, and we may be able to meet him. Camp overnight.

DAY 17 : TREK TO BASE OF CHARCHA LA. Today we trek north-east, following the course of the Zumling River upwards to the Charcha La. You’ll become well-used to the variety of Zanskari bridges as you are likely to cross the river 20 times during the day.

DAY 18 : CROSS CHARCHA LA TO TOM TOKH. From below the pass, it takes about four hours to ascend to the crossing at nearly 5,000m, marked by a chorten. Descending from the pass, we follow a narrow gorge, crossing a shallow stream several times, sometimes on ice bridges and avalanche debris. At one point the gorge is less than two meters wide for about 50 meters. This can be difficult if the water level in the stream is high. We camp tonight below the pass at Tom Tokh Sumdo.

DAYS 19 &20 : TREK TO TILTA SUMDO. Our route over the next few days follows a very rough, rocky and unstable trail with many river crossings before we reach Tilta Sumdo, where the Khurna Cho flows in to form a major confluence and join the Zanskar River further to the north. The walk is much more dificult if the river is high or if there have been many recent rockfalls. Camp overnight.

DAY 21 : TREK TO BASE OF RUBERUNG LA. Today we have another hard day’s walk, with further river crossings to be made. Camp overnight.

DAY 22 : CROSS RUBERUNG LA, TREK TO MARKHA VILLAGE. The ascent to cross the Ruberung La is up a narrow gorge with numerous other gorges joining it. It would be easy to take the wrong trail without a guide. The top of the pass at 4,900m is reached after about three hours. From the top of the pass the path is quite clear and descends to a stream, which you follow for four or five hours down to the Markha River and our campsite just before Markha Village. Camp overnight.

DAY 23 : TREK TO NIMALING (4-5hrs). We are now back on the beaten track and are following part of the popular Markha Valley trail. This will come as a welcome change to the rigors of the last few days. We follow the trail passed many teahouses that have sprung up until we reach the settlement of Nimaling. The village is set in a large flat bottomed valley and has a semi-permanent population of herders that bring their animals to this meadow for summer grazing.

DAY 24 : CROSS LALUNG LA, TREK TO GYA PHU. Almost as soon as we join the main Markha Valley trail, we leave it again to trek up the Lalunga La (17,000ft). We are taking this alternative route as the main trail leads to the campsite at Shang which over the years has become very popular and as a result extremely dirty. From the top of the Lalunga La fine views of the Karakorum mountain range are afforded. After a gradual descent we reach Gay Phu where we camp for the night.

DAY 25 : TREK TO LATO, DRIVE TO LEH. The final walk is an easy one and a good time to ponder over the hard days you have left behind. We continue to walk through pasture land and meadows to the village of Lato where vehicles will be waiting for us to take us to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Overnight at Kang Lhha Chen Hotel.

DAY 26 : AT LEISURE IN LEH. There is time to buy postcards and do some souvenir hunting in the narrow back streets or crowded bazaars. You will also have a chance to visit the deserted Royal Palace. Ladakh was at one time a powerful Himalayan kingdom in its own right and Leh, its capital, is a tremendous medieval town. Besides the Royal Palace the town is a hive of trading activity and crowded with people in Ladakhi national dress. Here too are many Tibetan refugees and a taxi ride to visit their enclave is well worth it. Overnight at Kang Lhha Chen Hotel.

DAY 27 : FLY TO DELHI. This is one of the most remarkable flights to be taken in India in that it crosses the Greater Himalayan range. On one side of the aeroplane can be seen in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and on the other side of the aeroplane, so close that you feel you could reach out and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif. Upon arriving in Delhi we transfer to the Imperial Hotel.

DAY 28 : AT LEISURE IN DELHI. You have a full day in Dehli for relaxing, last minute shopping and any sightseeing you would like us to arrange. A day room will be kept at the hotel from midday onwards. Transfer to the airport in the evening for the early morning flight on Monday.

DAY 29 : FLY TO HOME