Zanskar is a part of the Eastern Indian Himalaya, the remoteness region, challenging treks, spectacular mountain views, and seldom visited Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, a trek through Zanskar has become one of the world’s most remarkable journeys.
In addition, Zanskar is one of the more “flowering” areas of Ladakh. Much of Zanskar’s vegetation is found in the lower reaches of the valleys, and consists of alpine and tundra species. Most impressive are the meadows covered with thousands of edelweiss. At the foot of the Gumburanjon Mountain blue poppies spread across the fields. Crops include barley, wheat, lentils, potatoes, as well as apricot trees.
Domesticated animals such as the yak, dzo, sheep, horse, and dog can be found in the region. On the trail, we might also see marmot, bear, wolf, kiang, bharal, alpine Ibex, wild sheep, and the lammergeyer, or bearded vulture. If we’re lucky, we might also spy a snow leopard.
Our trek takes us from the capital Leh through this spectacular and memorable area of the world and we end the trek at Lamayuru, the largest monastery in Ladakh.
Itinerary: Zanskar: Padum to Lamayuru trek:
Duration: 16 days/15 nights
Best Times to Visit: May through September
Prices: $1106 per person based on at least 2 people traveling together.
Day 01: Arrive-Leh
Your early morning flight from Delhi takes about 1 hrs and 15 minutes and rises quickly from flat farmlands to snow-capped peaks. It soon becomes a “sightseeing flight” once you’re over theHimalayan and Zanskar ranges, the mountains and glaciers poking through the clouds below.
Finally you land at Leh, nearly 11,000 feet. On arrival you’ll be met by a representative of Mountain Trek and Tour and transferred to your hotel. Today, you’ll take complete rest to acclimatize to the high altitude. In the evening, we’ll drive to Leh Palace to begin getting the feel of Leh and Ladakh. Overnight at the hotel in Leh.
Day 02: Visit Leh
A whole day to acclimatize to the altitude and explore Leh at your leisure. You can visit some of the most famous and oldest monasteries of Ladakh (15th and 17th century), Thikse, Shey and Hemis and take a walk to the colorful bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Leh – Kargil (3700m)
Today we’ll drive north to Kargil where we’ll spend the night at a local hotel. Enroute, we’ll stop at some interesting sights on our drive including the Alchi and Lamayuru Gompas before reaching Kargil later in the day. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04: Kargil – Padum (3600m).
We continue driving north until we reach the capital of Zanskar–Padum. Our drive includes some spectacular scenery as we twist and wind our way along the river. At just over 12,000 feet, Padum is slightly higher than Leh and you’ll have time later in the day to explore and shop around town. Overnight in Padum.
Day 05: Padum – Karsha (3600m) in 3h.
We start our trek today after breakfast with a pleasant walk through fields. On the way we will visitPepiting monastery and the Karsha Gompa–one of the most important in Zanskar and dating back to the 15th century. It’s built into the side of a mountain and overlooks the small village. Throughout the day, we’ll have beautiful panoramic vistas of the full Himalayan range. Overnight in tents at Karsha.
Day 06: Karsha – Pishu (3470m) in 5h.
Today we continue our walk into the heart of the Zanskar region. We progress along the Zanskar Riverand get some spectacular views. Later, we reach the small village of Pishu where we can explore the town before spending the night.
Day 07: Pishu – Hanumil (3380m) in 5h.
After breakfast, we’ve got an easy-going walk along the right bank of the Zanskar River until we get to Rinam village where we’ll take lunch. Later, we’ll continue to the tiny hamlet of Hanumil with its few houses and open campsite under willow trees. Great spot for a Frisbee.
Day 08: Hanumil – Purfi La (3950m) – Snertse (3850m) in 6h.
Our hike today is up and down over a steep path. We’ll pass a few small huts and our journey includes spectacular views that open up at a variety of spots along the trail. We end at Snertse and its sheepfolds where we spend the night.
Day 09: Snerstse – Hanuma La (4950m) – Lingshet (4000m) in 6h.
After a steep climb we reach the Purfi La pass and later the summit of Hanuma La, from where the panorama towards the Ladakhi and Zanskari ranges is spectacular. We descend over an easy path and later visit the Lingshet Monastery which sits above the small village and against a towering backdrop. Overnight in Lingshet.
Day 10: Lingshet – Camp before Singue La (4550m), in 6h.
We start a long and gradual ascent to the Netuke La pass (4280m), where we have a wonderful view towards the Nierag valley. The trail then descends shortly to reach Skimpata and Gongma villages where we can rest and talk with any local villagers. Then we climb steeply to reach the second pass,Khyupa La (4300m) where we experience some of the best views of the trek. We’ll camp at the foot of Singue La.
Day 11: Singue La (5050m) – Photoksar (4200m) in 6h.
We should be able to see an amazing spectacle of hanging icefalls today as we descend towards thePhotang River and progress through barley fields. As its name suggests (although maybe not originally intended!), the village of Photoskar is a photographers delight. Plus, we’ll arrive later in the day when we can talk with the welcoming residents of the village.
Day 12: Photoksar – Sirsir La (4850m) – Hanupatta (3760m) in 6h.
Photang valley turns into a labyrinth of trails and we make a detour via Sirsir La pass with its desert-like vistas. Three chortens mark the village of Hanupatta with its giant hundred-year-old cedar, flanked by colorful prayer flags. Here we spend the night.
Day 13: Hanupatta – Wanla (3250m) in 5h.
We head down towards the Photang Valley and climb up to the Panjila Pass (3410m) with is villages and fields. We finally descend to Wanla and visit its tiny, 1,000 year old monastery with its image of the 11 headed Mahakaruna, that stands to a height of more than two storeys.
Day 14: Wanla – Lamayuru (3420m) in 4h.
Today we finally arrive at our final destination and visit the monastery at Lamayuru, which is the largest in western Ladakh. The monastery at Lamayuru was built in the 16th century on the site of a much older temple. The gompa is very well kept and famous for its many colorful wall paintings. We spend the night in Lamayuru.
Day 15: Lamayuru – Leh (3500m) by bus.
You’ll have some time later in the day to wander the streets of Leh one last time and perhaps try that restaurant you were thinking about.
Day 16: Leh – Delhi by plane to make your final way home.
HEMIS COMPLEX NEAR ZANSTI PARKING
LEH -LADAKH POBOX 155
POSTAL CODE 194101 J&K INDIA
MOB: +91 9419886483
TEL : +91 7298604854
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