Towards the western end of the Himalayas a series of continuous mountain ridges, comprising scores of 6000 metre (20000 foot) peaks, forms an effective barrier between the Indian provinces of Lahaul and Ladakh. Linking these contrasting mountainous regions is a trekking route that provides one of the great challenges of the Indian Himalaya. Transferring by train and car from Delhi, we pass through the lush KuluValley and cross the RohtangPass to reach the start of our trek at Darcha. From here, we head north across the Shingo La (c.5100m./16000ft.) into the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, famous for its hardy inhabitants and starkly beautiful landscape. En route, we encounter a succession of isolated villages and several wonderful Buddhist monasteries, notably at Phuktal, Lingshet and Lamayuru. As a finale to what is unquestionably one of the world’s classic trekking experiences, there is also time to explore the fascinating Ladakhi capital of Leh.
Day 01 : Arrive Delhi, where you will be met and transfered to your hotel. (Hotel B&B)
Day 02 : Delhi - Manali by bus.
Day 03 : Manali - Darcha by bus.
Early morning drive from Manali to Darcha. Arrive Darcha and overnight in Camp.
Day 04 : Darcha - Palemo (3600m) in 5h
Leave Darcha, We start our journey with an easy walk into the valley. En route, we will visit the Chika and Rarik monasteries.
Day 05 : Palemo - Zanskar Sumdo (3860m) in 5h.
We cross the river by a hanging pulley. Overnight at Zanskar Sumdo
Day 06 : Zanskar Sumdo - Chumi Napo (4640m) in 5h.
Early morning trek from Zanskar Sumdo to Chumi Napo. The route leaves the valley and starts climbing up quite steeply towards the Shingo La pass.
Day 07 : Chumi Napo - Shingo La (5090m) - Lakham (4470m) in 6h.
Prayer flags flapping in the wind mark the Shingo La pass, surrounded with fascinating views of the glaciers. An easy traverse of a glacier takes us to the valley and to the Lakham yak pastures.
Day 08 : Lakham - Kurgiak (4050m) in 6h.
A gradual descent along the Kurgiak river, lined with mani walls. On the way, we will come across a few Doksas, where yaks are kept in summer time.
Day 09 : Kurgiak - Tetha (3950m), in 7h.
The trail is now boarded by meadows of flowers and barley fields. Shortens are spread all the way and highlight the religious fervour of the Zanskaris.
Day 10 : Tetha - Purni (3700m), in 2h.
We visit Phuktal monastery (3850m), perched on the side of an impressive cliff. (4h return journey from Phuktal monastery to Purni).
Day 11 : Purni - Ichar (3650m) in 4h.
Day 12 : Ichar - Mune (3900m), in 5h.
The trail goes up and down along the Tsarap river. On arriving at Mune, we will visit its monastery.
Day 13 : Mune - Padum (3600m) in 6h.
En route we visit Bardan monastery, one of the most important in the area. Overnight in Padum
Day 14 : Padum- Karsha (3600m) in 3h.
A pleasant walk through fields. On the way we will visit Pepiting monastery and the Karsha Gompa--one of the most important in Zanskar and dating back to the 15th century. We have beautiful panoramic vistas of the full Himalayan range.
Day 15 : Karsha - Pishu (3470m) in 5h.
We progress along the Zanskar river.
Day 16 : Pishu - Hanumil (3380m) in 5h.
An easy-going walk along the right bank of the river takes us to Rinam village. We continue to the tiny hamlet of Hanumil.
Day 17 : Hanumil - Purfi La (3950m) - Snertse (3850m) in 6h.
Up and down over a steep path.
Day 18 : Snerstse - Hanuma La (4950m) - Lingshet (4000m) in 6h.
After a steep climb we reach the Purfi La pass, from where the panorama towards the Ladakhi and Zanskari ranges is quite impressive. Visit of Lingshet monastery.
Day 19 : 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, then climbs steeply to reach the second pass, Khyupa La (4300m).
Day 20 : Camp before Singue La - Singue La (5050m) - Photoksar (4200m) in 6h.
An amazing spectacle of hanging icefalls. We descend towards the Photang river and progress through barley fields.
Day 21 : Photoksar - Sirsir La (4850m) - Hanupatta (3760m) in 6h.
Photang valley turns into a gorge labyrinth, which forces us to make a detour via Sirsir La pass. Three shortens mark Hanupatta and its giant hundred-year-old cedar, flanked by colorful prayer flags.
Day 22 : Hanupatta - Wanla (3250m) in 5h.
We head down towards the Photang valley and climb up to the Panjila pass(3410m). We finally descend to Wanla and visit its tiny monastery.
Day 23 : Wanla - Lamayuru (3420m) in 4h.
Visit of the monastery at Lamayuru, which is the biggest in western Ladakh and 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.
Day 24 : Lamayuru - Leh (3500m) -by bus.
Day 25 : Free day in Leh for personal activities.
Day 26 : Leh – Delhiby plane. (Hotel B&B)
Day 27 : At leisure in Delhi. Safety day for your international flight. (Hotel B&B)