This trek traverses lush green foothills of the Kullu valley to the high-altitude desert of Ladakh. While this tough and challenging route tests our endurance and stamina, it also provides unforgettable experiences and a wonderful array of cultural and natural splendor besides vivid panoramic views that stick to our memory.
Before hitting the trail across the Himalayas our trip begins with some cultural exploration. Heading north from Delhi to Manali we stop overnight in Chandigarh – a Punjabi city known for its modernist architecture and fantasy sculptures at Nek Chand’s Rock Garden. In Manali, the vibrant hub of the Kullu valley and a major activity centre, we visit a temple, a fort and an art gallery. Off we go from here on to the trail. Starting from Pa Lahmo we ascend through a gorge past grassy meadows and alongside a glacier to the mighty Shingo La (5,100m), one of the highlights of the route; take time to admire the vast panoramic vistas across the snow-capped peaks. The trail then descends past picturesque Buddhist monasteries and through the canyons of the Tsarap River to reach the deep and remote valleys of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar.
This stage of the trek through the Zanskar valley is marked by ancient monasteries and remote villages with their hardy inhabitants still practicing that ancient form of Tibetan Buddhism. Crossing Parfila La we enter Ladakh. We further trek across the region over winding shepherd’s trails and caravan routes over some high and low passes, visiting remote villages and some of the region’s fascinating monasteries such as Phuktal and Lamayuru. The end of the trail is reached at Kanji, from where we drive to Leh. We have a full day in Leh to explore the city or to enjoy some well-earned rest before flying back to Delhi.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places visited, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
Arrive in Delhi. Arrive at the international airport of Delhi. After the traditional welcome transfer to hotel for overnight stay. Overnight Hotel
Delhi – Chandigarh (250 kms). Drive to Chandigarh, the shared capital of Punjab and Haryana states. Chandigarh actually stands like a gateway to many hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and the northern parts of Punjab. Overnight Hotel
Chandigarh – Manali (2050m) 320 kms. Today there is a long but interesting drive that starts early in the morning and passes from plains through lush green valleys all the way to Manali, a famous hill station and a tourist resort in the Himalayan foothills and on the banks of Beas River. Overnight Hotel
Sight-seeing of Manali. Today visit the beautiful village of old Manali and the Temple of Sage Manu and Goddess Hadimba. Afternoon stroll on the Mall road in Indian style with visit to the Buddhist monastery and Tibetan market will add spice to the day’s experiences. Overnight Hotel
Manali – Darcha – Pa Lahmo (3500m). An exciting journey to Darcha and further to Pa Lahmo, the starting point of our trek. Drive up to Darcha and leave the highway and take the link road on the left hand side for another about 45 minutes before arriving at Pa Lahmo. Overnight Camp
Pa Lahmo – Zanskar Sumdo (3600m;6-7 hrs). Leave camp after breakfast for Zanskar Sumdo. Follow the track until the last hamlet and then on to a good footpath. Pass a spectacular gorge and continue along the right bank upto Zanskar Sumdo. Camp near the river bank. Overnight Camp
Zanskar Sumdo – Chumik Nagpo (4060m;6-7 hrs). Today trek away from the main valley and head north towards Shingo La. The ascent is gradual across mixed terrain and through small grassy meadows. Camp near some shepherds' huts at Chumik Nagpo. Overnight Camp
Chumik Nagpo – Shingo la (5090m) – Lakhang (4060m; 8-9 hrs). Start early to be able to cross the first pass, Shingo La in time. Begin downhill walk slowly as the initial trail is steep. A long afternoon walk leads to an area known as Lakhang (4530m) where camp is set up on one of the meadows used by the nomadic Gaddi shepherds and yak grazers. Overnight Camp
Lakhang – Kargyak (4060m;6-7 hrs). Another beautiful day of our trek today. Cross the upper reaches of the Kargyak River shortly after leaving the camp and follow the river valley north leaving the impressive granite monolith of Gumburanjan behind. Walking through grazing meadows full of herbs reach the village of Kargyak. Overnight Camp
Kargyak – Purne (3700m;6-7 hrs). From Kargyak follow the valley to its confluence with Tsarap along a trail marked by well-maintained chortens. Continue along the valley to the small village of Purne (3800m) standing at the junction of several trails. Overnight Camp
Purne – Phuktal – Purne – Galboh (3890m ;6-7 hrs). Walk to Phuktal Gompa (3850m) located at a stunning place on the mountain. From the campsite follow the Tsarap River through a stunning gorge before reaching the gompa. Return to camp and after lunch continue on the left bank of Tsarap River. Arrive and camp at Galboh. Overnight Camp
Galboh – Raru (3880m; 6-7 hrs). Today the landscapes and scenery are just breathtaking. Follow Tsarap River through a beautiful canyon. Pass through one of the many fascinating villages, Ichhar before reaching Raru. Overnight Camp
Raru – Mune – Shilla (3650m;5-6 hrs). It's an easy trekking day. After an hours walk come to a small village called Mune dominated by an ancient Gompa of Gelukpa Order. The gompa is situated right at the bank of Tsarap on the mountain plateau. Here leave this road and cross a bridge and walk through the green lush fields of mustard and barley up to the village of Shilla. Overnight Camp
Shilla – Padum – Karsha (3650m;4-5 hrs;4-5 hrs). Today cross the bridge and head towards Padum. Continue on a dusty plain towards Doda River and cross a bridge to reach Karsha Monastery dating back to the 16th century. Overnight Camp
Karsha – Pishu (3520m). Start with a fairly easy walk along the dusty banks of the Zanskar River. Just before Pishu make a short detour to take a look at the longest hanging bridge in the Zanskar region. Continue on to Pishu where camp is set up just below the village. Overnight Camp
Pishu Rest Day. Today is a free day to recover or to wash laundry; a visit to Zangla village may be an option for some. Follow the flat trail beside the Zanskar River to reach Zangla, ancient capital of Zanskar. Find the ruins of a castle and nunnery and also a small gompa with some old thangkas and statues which were shifted from the old fort houses. After visiting this village trek back to the beautiful camp site of Pishu. Overnight Camp
Pishu – Hanumil (3500m;5-6 hrs). Continue along the left bank of the river and cross a moraine plateau before heading up towards a bridge at Pidmo. From here it is a further two-hour climb to our next camp at Hanumil. In the afternoon enjoy the late afternoon view of the entrance to the Zanskar River gorges. Overnight Camp
Hanumil – Parfila La (3970m) – Sinertse (3830m ;6-7 hrs). Start with a steep ascent and follow the trail away from the Zanskar region and up towards the Parfi-la Pass (3,970m). Then follow a rather steep descent to the Oma Chu (River) on the other side. After crossing the bridge enjoy some stunning views of the mountains and valleys before completing the journey to the camp close to the sheep pens at Sinertse. Overnight Camp
Sinertse – Hanumil La (4750m) – Lingshed (4020m;8-9 hrs). A long, gradual ascent this morning leads up towards the summit of Hanuma-la (4,700m). From here make a steep 1,000 meters descent before another 300 meters climb to a small pass that marks the rim of the Lingshed Valley. Then begin an easy trek down to Lingshed to the camp near the village's monastery. Overnight Camp
Lingshed – Netuksi (4420m) – Kiupa La (4480m) – Singe La Base Camp (4530m ;5-6 hrs). Today an hour’s trek up to Netuksi La (4420 m) and then across an escarpment offers some wonderful views across the Nierag Valley and the Zanskar River. The last part of our day's journey then follows a gradual path along the side of the mountain up to the camp at the base of Singe-la. Overnight Camp
Singe La Base Camp – Singe La (5000m) – Bumiktse La (4480m) – Photoksar (4300m ;6-7 hrs). Begin the day with a steep two hour climb to Singe-la this morning. Follow the descent into the village of Photoksar that lies enclosed between high mountain walls and lush pastureland overlooked by an abandoned gompa in the hills above the village. Overnight Camp
Photoksar – SirSir La (4850m) – Sniugutse La (5100m) – Shilla Kong Base (4100m ;6-7 hrs) Start with a long ascent all the way up to SirSir La (4850m). Enjoying an excellent view on a clear day from the pass we descend to the campsite at the bank of the stream. Overnight Camp
Shilla Kong Base – Shilla Kong la (4700 m) – Kanji (3850m; 5-6 hrs). Trek from Shilla Kong base to Shilla Kong La (4,700m), then an easy descent to Kanji village to meet vehicles (3,850m; 5-6hrs) Trek ends here. Overnight Camp
Kanji – Lamayuru – Leh. Drive from Kanji to Leh, en route visit Lamayuru monastery, reach Leh and check into hotel (3,560m). Overnight Camp
Leh Free Day. Today is free day to explore the Leh Bazaar to wear out the exhaustion staying at the hotel. Overnight Hotel
Leh – Delhi (By Flight). Early morning transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi. An hour long highly spectacular flight over the Himalayas. Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is free for individual sightseeing or last minute shopping. Overnight Hotel
Departure. Today check-out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi International Airport to catch flights to respective destinations. Overnight Hotel
Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.
Suitable for families with young children
Highest Point (Max altitude)
Shingo La (5100m)
Moderate and strenuous 6-8 hours activity per day with occasional longer days on peaks or high passes. Expect high altitudes, difficult terrain and changeable weather patterns. Previous experience desirable but not vital, good physical fitness and preparation recommended.
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