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Ladakh zanskar trekking

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Ladakh zanskar trekking

Ladakh is beauty and unique natural heritage of this region, Ladakh is both historically and culturally Tibetan. Being close to the Himalayas there is very little rainfall in these area. The Indus already 500 kilometers from its source flows through wild countryside between Halse and Leh. Upstream, above the Capital, it waters a broad plain where are many beautiful oases. Zanskar trekking trail is one of the most well-known Himalayan ...See more

Ladakh is beauty and unique natural heritage of this region, Ladakh is both historically and culturally Tibetan. Being close to the Himalayas there is very little rainfall in these area. The Indus already 500 kilometers from its source flows through wild countryside between Halse and Leh. Upstream, above the Capital, it waters a broad plain where are many beautiful oases. Zanskar trekking trail is one of the most well-known Himalayan Trekking in Ladakh. It starts from the lush green valleys of the Ladakh Himalayas, and leisurely traverse the great Himalayan range. Zanskar trek is crouching between the formidable peaks.

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Trip Highlights

Trip Itinerary

Ladakh zanskar trekking itinerary:

Lamayuru / Padam / Darcha Trek  {Long Zanskar  Trek}

Day 1: Arrival Delhi + Sightseeing. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Delhi/Flight to Leh-Alt. 3500 Mts. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3:  Sightseeing in  Leh. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: In  Leh { Day  Return  visit  to  Shey/Hemis &  Thiksey Monasteries} Overnight at hotel.

DAY 05:  Leh/Lamayuru drive to Phanjila. Overnight at tent.

DAY 06: Phanjila trek to Hanupatta (5- 6 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 07: Hanupatta trek to Photoksar via Sir Sir la (6- 7 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY  08: Photoksar trek to Base of Singe la (5- 6 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 09: Base of Singe la trek to Gongma via Singe la (6-7  hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 10: Gongma trek to Lanang via Lingshed (6- 7 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 11: Lanang trek to Zingchen via Hanumur la (6-7 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 12: Zingchen trek to Hanamur via Parfi la (4- 5 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 13: Hanamur trek to Pishu (4-5 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 14: Pishu trek to Padum (6-7 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 15: Padum trek to Raru (6 hrs). Overnight at tent.
DAY 16: Raru trek to Pepula (5-6 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 17: Pepula trek to Purne (5-6 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 18: Day hike to Phuktal Monastery 3850m (4 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 19: Purne trek to Tetha (2 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 20: Tetha trek to Kargyak (5 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 21: Kargyak trek to Lakhang (4- 5 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 22: Lakhang trek to Ramjak via Shingo la (7-8 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 23: Ramjak trek to Palamo (4-5 hrs). Overnight at tent.

DAY 24: Zanskar Sumdo trek to Darcha. Overnight at hotel.

Day 25: Sightseeing in Manali. Overnight at hotel.

Day 26: Manali/Chandigarh/Delhi. Overnight at hotel.

Day 27:  Leave Delhi with your return flight for onward destination.      

Detail Itinerary

Detail itinerary

Lamayuru / Padam / Darcha Trek  {Long Zanskar  Trek}

Day 01 Arrival in Delhi,

Arrive  Delhi  in  the  morning.   Meet  &  Greet on arrival &  transfer  to  hotel . { Standard Check in Time  at the hotels in India is  12  Noon  and  early check in at  the hotels  shall be  subject to availability}.  Morning  free  to recover  from jet  lag  and  around  noon   proceed for  sightseeing of  Delhi  to visit  India Gate, Raj Ghat,  Jamia Masjid, Chandni Chowk,  drive  past   Government buildings including  President's  Palace.  Start  the  tour  with Raj Ghat  followed by visit  to  Jamia Masjid,  Chandni Chowk  etc.  If  time  permits  also  visit  a Sikh Temple/Hindu temple. During  the  days  sightseeing  stop  at  some  local  restaurant  for  Lunch{ optional}.  The  sightseeing  shall  be  for  about  3-4  hours.   After Sightseeing  is  over,  drive  back to Hotel for  overnight  stay. Overnight at  the Hotel.

The Jamia  Masjid:
This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two  40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble.

The Chandni Chowk:
Chandni Chowk , originally meaning moonlit square or market, is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, now in central north Delhi. Built in 17th century by the great Muslim Emperor of India,Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, The market was once divided by canals to reflect moonlight, now closed, yet it still remains one of India's largest whole sale markets.Chandni Chowk is the major street in the walled city of Old Delhi, which was originally called Shahjahanabad

Day 2: Delhi/Flight to Leh-Alt. 3500  Mts

Early morning  transfer to Delhi airport  to connect  flight  to Leh.  Most  of  the  flights  go to Leh in the morning  only & there  are  many flight options from Delhi to Leh and the flying time is about  1 hour & 10 Mins. Upon arrival in Leh, meet on arrival & transfer to hotel. The distance  from  Leh  Airport  to  Leh  Hotel  shall be  around  7 kms. which takes  roughly  15 Minutes. Remainder of  the  day  free  to  rest  &  to get acclimatized with  the altitude. {It is must to take it easy and get acclimatized with the altitude}. Overnight  at the  Hotel.

Day 3:  In  Leh

Morning  visit  to  the Leh Palace & Tsemo Gompa which can be done on foot. Return to hotel  for Lunch. After lunch walk down to the city  & visit a private home where we can arrange butter tea for you {This is subject to permission being  granted by the family}.  Afterwards visit  the Shanti  Stupa and have panoramic view of  Leh. All  the  above  places  can be done  easily  on Foot  and  the  places  are  within radius of  1-3  Kms. Overnight at the hotel.

Leh palace:
The majestic palace  overlooks the  Namgyal hill and is nestled amidst breath taking locales of the Himalayas. It resembles Potala in Lhasa, though in  comparison is much smaller.  Right above the palace is the famous Victory Tower that was built in the memory of the triumphant brave Ladakhi soldiers who fought the invading  armies of Balti Kashmiris in the early 16th Century. Today, the palace serves as an office for Indian Government's Archaeological Conservation  Organization. The temple architecture is basically medieval Tibetan architecture. The main features of this style of architecture are massive buttressed walls and  overhanging wooden balconies. The Leh Palace has been a silent spectator of some of the most brutal wars and has suffered much damage from  cannon balls.  The palace still exudes charm and provides wonderful views of the snow capped mountains and landscape. There are some murals  still left in the palace that speak of the royal glory of the bygone era.

Tsemo Gompa:
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was founded in the early 15th century, around the year 1430. It stands atop the crag behind Leh palace, having a full view  of the town of  Leh. And because of this position, it offers some of the most splendid visuals of the town. The Namgyal Tsemo Gompa of Ladakh was  founded by King Tashi Namgyal and has been named after him only. It boasts of a rich collection of some ancient manuscripts and wall paintings.  One of the most treasured possessions of the monastery is a three-story high solid gold idol of Maitrieya Buddha (future Buddha, also known as the laughing Buddha). Namgyal Tsemo Monastery of Leh Ladakh also houses a statue of Avaloketesvara and Manjushri, approximately one story high. Near the monastery is an old fort, which, because of neglect, lies mostly in ruins now.

Day 4: In  Leh { Day  Return  visit  to  Shey/Hemis &  Thiksey Monasteries}

Day return visit to Hemis, Thiksey and Shey Monasteries. After visiting the Monasteries and  attending  the morning Prayers  at  Thiksey Monastery  return back to  hotel in  Leh for  late  Lunch. Remainder  of  the day free  for  independent  activities. Overnight at the  Hotel.

Hemis Monastery holds the distinction of being the biggest as well as the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh. It dates back to the year 1630 and was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. Hemis Monastery is positioned inside a gorge, at a distance of approximately 47 kms.  from Leh. Belonging to the Dugpa Order, it stands on the western bank of the Indus River. The monastery also boasts of a very rich collection of ancient relics.he array of items kept inside the monastery consist of a copper-gilt statue of the Lord Buddha, various gold and silver stupas, sacred thankas and several other exquisite objects. Situated slightly higher than the Hemis Gompa of Leh Ladakh, is a sacred hermitage, founded by Gyalwa Kotsang. The meditation cave of Gyalwa, along with his footprints and handprints on the rock and sacred shrines, still bring back his memories to life.The Hemis Monastery also serves as the venue of an annual festival, known as the Hemis Festival. This festival is celebrated as a commemoration of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhav. On the day of the Hemis Festival, the thangka of the monastery is displayed, with a gap of twelve years between successive displays. The Thanka is the sacred appliqué-work tapestry wrought with pearls, which depicts Guru Padmasambhava.  And not to be forgotten is a sacred mask dance that is performed at the monastery every year. The dance takes place on 9th and 10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar.

Thikse Monastery:
Thikse  Gompa  or  Thikse Monastery (thiksok Nambar tak pe ling) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect, located  on  top  of  a hill, approximately 19 kilometers  east of Leh.  It  is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh. The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 meters (11,800 ft) in the Indus valley.  It  is  a 12-storey  complex and houses many items  of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords.  One of  the  main points of  interest is the Maitreya (future Buddha) Temple which is installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to  this monastery in 1970. A 15 meters (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two story's of the building is defied in the monastery.  A  nunnery is also part of the complex.

Shey  Monastery  &  Shey Palace complex:
The  Shey Monastery or Gompa and the Shey Palace  complex are structures located on a hillock in Shey,15 kilometers (9.3 mi) to the south  of Leh in Ladakh, northern India on the Leh-Manali road. Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past.The palace, mostly in ruins now, was built first in 1655, near Shey village, by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal, also known as Lhachen Palgyigon.  It was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh. The Shey Monastery was also built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldon Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is so named since Buddha was the sage (muni) of the Sakya people who resided in the Himalayan foothills and their capital was Kapilvastu. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh

DAY 05:  Leh/Lamayuru/Phanjila

Leave Leh after breakfast & drive to Phanjila by Jeep/ Van.  Along the way, you will come across some of the oldest and most famous monasteries in Ladakh. The monasteries in Lamayuru, Likir and Alchi  are truly worth visiting for their age and history.   The drive from Leh to Phanjila takes roughly 5 hours. Upon reaching Phanjila , camp   for  overnight.

DAY 06: Phanjila- Hanupatta (5- 6 hrs)

Today you will start the first day of your long trek. After a short walk from Phanjila the valley becomes more and more narrow, leading into a spectacular gorge with rock walls rising 1000 mts. above the river. The Zanskar River makes its way deep down in the gorge,  and in this barren, harsh landscape beautiful rose bushes flower.   Camp close to the river just after the village of Hanupatta (3760m), (3760m), from where you have a great view down the valley. Overnight  in tented camps.

DAY 07: Hanupatta - Photoksar via Sir Sir la (6- 7 hrs)

You will follow the wide Spong Valley up for some time before you cross the river and start on the long and gradual ascent to Sir Sir la (4850m).  From the top of the pass there are great views of the main Zanskar range as well as your next pass, Singge la (5090m). It is another 2 ½ hours walk down to the village of Photoksar (4200m), enclosed in green fields and situated among mountain cliffs. The trail towards Sumdo disappears in the deep gorge down to the right of the village. You will make your comfortable camp for the night close to the village and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

DAY  08: Photoksar – Base of Singe la (5- 6 hrs)

After crossing the small pass of Bumiktse la (4200), you will enter into the broad and lush Photang valley. A gentle trail leads you through this enjoyable landscape, where the villagers keep their yaks and horses grazing. 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 will appear in front of you: the deepest gorges, the greenest fields, the majestic Zanskar River giving formations and life.  Slowly you will ascend towards your camp at the base of Singe la (4600 m).

DAY 09: Base of Singe la – Gongma via Singe la (6-7  hrs)

A gradual ascend will lead you to Singge la  (5090m), meaning the "Lion Pass." The last few hundred meters are steep, but the top of the pass presents a rewarding view. From the pass a steep descend for few hundred meters. You will follow the trail high above the Zanskar River, the mountains having taken a greener and gentler formation, before ascending gradually to Kiupa la (4400 m). From the pass the trail down is steep zigzag to the village of Gongma (3840m).

DAY 10: Gongma- Lanang via Lingshed (6- 7 hrs)

From Gongma you will climb up the gentle trail to the Margum la (4400m) from where you can see Lingshed an hour or so away. The monastery is founded by the Gelugpa order and gives home to around 60 monks. The village itself is spread out over a big area, enclosed in green fields of barley. After visiting monastery of Lingshed, you will continue towards Lanang.

DAY 11: Lanang- Zingchen via Hanumur la (6-7 hrs)

A steep and long ascent will take you to the pass of Hanumur la (4950m). Once there, the views north to Singe la and the snowcapped peaks of the Ladakh range are spectacular. From the pass it is an easy descend for an hour before a steep descend down to Snertse. Just above Snertse, there is a herders' camp, and sometimes fresh cheese, milk and curd are available here. Down in the riverbed it's possible to go hunting for fossils, and the locals sometimes show a nice collection of what they have found. When the Indian plate slammed into the stationary mass of Asia some 50  million years ago, the Great Himalayas were formed. The Zanskar range consists of layers of sediments from the ocean floor while the Ladakh range consists of granite, born in the immense heat generated by the friction between the two plates. After resting for a while at Snertse you will continue towards Zingchen, where you can take a bath in Oma Chhu river.

DAY 12: Zingchen- Hanamur via Parfi la (4- 5 hrs)

In the early morning you will head for your last pass before Padum, Parfi la (3950m), juniper covered trail zigzagging up to the pass. This area is also home to the Himalayan brown bear, as well as blue sheep. From the pass we descend down to the banks of the  Zanskar River and to the village of Hanamur (3380m), which will be our camp for  tonight

DAY 13: Hanamur- Pishu (4-5 hrs)

This is a relatively level stage along the Zanskar River. On the way you will pass Pidmo (3420m), a small village with a few families. It is another 2-3 hours journey to Pishu, (3470m) which is a scenic village located on the west side of the Zanskar River.  Hanamur, Pishu and Pidmo together with Tsazar and Honia on the other side of the river, constituted the former kingdom of Zangla. The entrance to Pidmo is marked by a long mani wall and chortens, from where you will find your way to a grassy  campsite.

DAY 14: Pishu – Padum (6-7 hrs)

You have another quite easy day ahead of you along a dry, dusty jeep road. From Pishu the trail leads to Rinam (3550 m), following the banks of the Zanskar River. Arriving at Karsha (3600m) you can visit the famous monastery. Karsha monastery: Karsha monastery is one of largest monasteries of the Gelukpa sect, founded around the 10th century A.D. and with 140 resident monks. It is situated on a hillside with an impressive view of the entire valley. After visiting the monastery, continue towards  Padum (3531m), the capital of Zanskar and a major trade center in the valley.

DAY 15: Padum – Raru (6 hrs)

You will follow a dusty jeep road until Raru, which has been built recently, passing by the villages of Shila and Bardan, the last one being well known for its monastery as well as  for its huge and beautifully engraved prayer wheels. From Bardhan it will take another couple of hrs along the Tsarap River before entering a plateau and the village and monastery of Mune. It is another 40 min walk to your camp at Raru (3900 m).

DAY 16: Raru- Pepula (5-6 hrs)

From Raru the trail follows a flat ground before descending steeply to the banks of the Tsarap River.  Thereafter the trail follows the river leading to your camp at Pepula (3850 m).

DAY 17: Pepula- Purne (5-6 hrs)

From Pepula the trail can at places be quite tricky for the horses. Along the trail there are many ups and downs, and you will cross some small side rivers leading to the villages of Surle and Char. You will follow the valley to the confluence of the Tsarap and  Kargyak Rivers, and will then cross a bridge and climb up to the village of  Purne (3700m), where you will find your campsite.  

DAY 18: Day hike to Phuktal Monastery 3850m (4 hrs)

Phuktal monastery is the most spectacular situated gompa in Ladakh, clinging to some limestone cliffs with the main assembly hall carved  out of a huge cave and with the monks' white  residences scattered down the hillside. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa order (yellow hat order) and is built around a sacred spring which flows all year, even in the winter when other springs freeze. Inside the monastery there is an inscription to Cosma de Koros (Hungarian historian), one of the first Europeans to visit the Zanskar region and the first to translate the Buddhist texts from Tibetan into English. After visiting the monastery you will return to Purne to spend the night.

DAY 19: Purne - Tetha (2 hrs)

You will recross the bridge across the Kargyak River in the morning and follow the trail to the settlement of Yal. A steep ascent then leads you to the huge, fertile plateau of the whitewashed village of Tetha (3950), where you will find our campsite.

DAY 20: Tetha - Kargyak (5 hrs)

It is a gentle walk today and soon you will enter  the village of Karu, marked by chortens. Stone walls line the track, protecting the fields from pack animals. Below the village of Tanze, you will cross the bridge, and from here it is another 5km to the village of Kargyak,  (4050m) the highest  permanent settlement in the Zanskar region. Your campsite for the night will be by the riverbed.

DAY 21: Kargyak - Lakhang (4- 5 hrs)

In the morning, you will walk across yak grazing pastures, with a thick blanket of edelweiss, towards the impressive rock monolith known as the  Gumburanjan. Further you will reach the shepherds encampment of Lakang (4470m). Your campsite tonight has great, panoramic views of the Himalaya Range.

DAY 22: Lakhang - Ramjak via Shingo la (7-8 hrs)

You will start your day with a steep climb, before the trail crosses an alpine tract leading to the base of the  Shinkul la. A river crossing over a torrent that flows from the glacier north  of the pass will most likely give you wet boots. From here the ascent to Sinkul la (4980m) follows a trail across snowfields or scree, after season. Rock cairns and prayer flags will greet you at the top of the pass and the view is impressive with 6000 m peaks defining both the Himalaya and the Baralacha Ranges. From here there is a steep descent to the valley floor. After some time you will reach your camp at Ramjak (4290m).

DAY 23: Ramjak- Palamo (4-5 hrs)

Your trail today will lead you through boulder fields, across several streams and meager grazing pastures to Palamo (3600m).

DAY 24: Zanskar Sumdo- Darcha

You will cross a bridge high above the Darcha River and continue down to the village of Rarig, and at last,  Darcha (3350m), your  final  destination of  the Trek. Upon arrival in Darcha meet with the jeep / car & driver to Manali and upon arrival in Manali, check in at the Hotel.  

Day 25: In Manali

Day in Manali to relax & do some sightseeing in Manali. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 26: Manali/Chandigarh/Delhi

Leave Manali early in the Morning & drive  to Chandigarh  which takes approx. 8 Hours and upon arrival in Chandigarh transfer to train station to take  shatabdi express train around 1830/2150 Hrs. to  Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, transfer to Hotel for overnight stay.

Day 27:  Delhi / Onward destination

Leave Delhi with your return flight for onward destination.  







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Eco Trip Nepal has been working hand to hand with nonprofit social organization SWAN Nepal (Social Welfare Association of Nepal) from its initial years. We provide continuous support to SWAN financially as well as by organizing charity and volunteering tours in the remote village of Baglung district. Organizing your holiday through Eco Trip Nepal will not only provide the chance to explore the natural grandeur of Himalayan country Nepal but also you will be playing a vital role in bringing positive changes in the lives of local community.

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