A high altitude but delightful trek suiting most of us with few moderate climbs and descents as we traverse parallel to the Indus river but to its South within the northernmost reaches of the Zanskar Range, past quaint villages and lower or intermediate passes. An easily manageable 5 to 8 day trek.  (Total 12 days in Ladhak and up to 19 in India). A fun rafting outing and a study visit to Ladhak’s famed Buddhist monasteries and its well preserved ancient culture. The adventure is basic yet so exciting.  Start is from the popular Lamayuru Gompa and its nearby moon – like soil formations and we end at Chilling with an additional option of carrying on to the Markha Valley from Chilling to Leh (6 additional yet highly rewarding days on request).     (L 3)

Note : Register early for hassle free air reservations. The land route to Leh is beautiful but tiring, needs an extra 5 to 7 days and is feasible only from end June to mid October.

Note : The Markha Valley option is an additional 6 days of superb trekking.
 

1. Intention. To undertake an ambling trek in the high altitude mountains of the stark and beautiful Ladhak Range and spend great moments in numerous villages studying the culture and people in the heartland of Ladhak Buddhism

2. Duration. 20 or more  adventure filled days in India of which  up to 7   days are spent on the superb Ladhak and Buddhist region trek and additionally on rafting and  visits to Ladhak’s famous monasteries and cultural centres. A chance exists to see the beautiful  Taj Mahal and  Delhi and while in Ladhak to undertake some  other road safaris.  The pre – trek period in Ladhak is inescapable as we have to acclimatise. Yet we use each  day to its best.
3. Modes of Transportation. By road in cars/jeeps or a suitable coach as per the itinerary below. A flight to Leh and then the trek follows from Likir. We finally return by air to Delhi. As mentioned the land route can take up to a week extra.
4. Best time.End April to end October though April and October are a bit cold.

5. Age Profile. 18 years upwards, as per fitness.

6. Broad Itinerary.(Refer Map A) and (Map B)

(a) Arrive at Delhi, received, halt over at hotel to rest and recoup. A days sightseeing in Delhi. Next morning move to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and night over at Agra. Note that in summers it can be really hot outdoors at Delhi and even more so at Agra. The next evening return to Delhi and next day take the flight to Leh (3522 m). (4 days – can be reduced if stay in Delhi or Agra is curtailed,  if desired please specify) (4 to 6 months advance planning recommended to get confirmed flight tickets) (Land route through Manali and Keylong option exists but needs an additional five to seven days and is feasible only from end June to mid October)

(b) A day of complete rest at Leh. (Avoid even easy walking today)

(c) (c) An Essay into Ladhak Buddhism. We now spend 3 days, the first of which being kept relatively easy, in travelling within Ladhak visiting its monasteries and villages. This acquaints us with the area and its people and helps us acclimatise better. The monasteries, mostly along the Indus Valley, include Thiksay, Stok, Spituk, Hemis and places in Leh.  (3 days). 

(d) Rafting down the Indus. This fun day is to enjoy some easy rafting from Leh to Nimmu and in visiting a special village in the afternoon –  Chilling.  Back to Leh for the night.  (9 days since arriving at Delhi).

(e) Days 1 to 6 of the trek.  We now  start the main trek.  We drive to Lamayuru and after visiting the Gompa start our trekking odyssey. Day 1 of the trek is a great 5 hour walk where we climb from Lamayuru (3600 m) over Prinkti La (3720 m) and descend to the beautiful Wanla Village area (3250 m) after crossing a gorge and Shilla.  On Day 2 we walk another 4 to 5 hours to Hinju Village after crossing a low pass. On Day 3 we walk longer for about 6 hours to Sumda Chenmo after crossing Kongski La (4950 m). The ascent to the Pass is steep but the descent thereafter long through pastures. On Day 4 we will trek to Chilling, an intriguing village on the Zanskar river and reached after what is a long haul day with an over 8 hour trek and we climb and descend the steep Dungdungchen La (4700 m). Lanak and Sanak are crossed on either side of the Pass. On Day 5 we trek to Shingo (4150  m) going over the low pass and crossing Kaya and Skiu (3400 m).  On Day 6 we trek about 6 hours over Ganda La (4900 m) to Rumbak (3900 m) after passing village Yurutse. The last day of the trek, Day 7, sees us cross Stok La (4900 m) and descend to Stok from where we drive across the Indus to Leh about half an hour away. (16   days since arriving in India).
(f) (f) Optional additional 6 day trek through Markha Valley on request. For avid Ladhak lovers this additional 6 day trek option can be examined in trek L 1 which is basically a Markha Valley trek from Leh (Spituk) to Hemis.  From Kiu instead of turning north for Stok we continue east up the Markha valley.
(g) With about two weeks having gone by in India we visit the beautiful Pangong Tso lake next day after the main trek finishes. A very early start and we head into a long winding drive over the rather high Chang La Pass (5358 m). This beautiful Lake is part in China’s Tibet and part (1/3rd) is in India. This is the apex point of the trip and by late evening we are back at Leh. The last day we do a half day safari to the very High Khardung La pass (5606 m) that towers over Leh and spend the afternoon and evening roaming around Leh or visiting any other area that you like. (18 days in India).

(h) On the  19th   day in India we are back at Delhi. However it is essential to plan the return flight to home a clear 48 hours or more later so that a cushion is kept in case bad weather delays our flying out of Leh. These two days can be used to further explore Delhi, for shopping and to recoup.
(i) After spending  20 or  21 great days in India we take the night flight back home, but with plans for other adventure trips to Ladhak, or elsewhere in India, already taking shape in the mind.

7. Accommodation and Cuisine. This will be a mix of hotels, rest houses/inspection bungalows, camps in tents, the odd home stay where viable. Changes can be made to suit specific participant requirements. Cuisine. A variety of  Indian, Continental, Chinese or Tibetan with due care and regard to sensitivity to spices.
8. Cost of Basic Itinerary above (Delhi airport back to Delhi airport).

(a) Our plans are all inclusive in India and based on  a  groups of  preferably about 10 or so pax. This includes airport transfers, hotel and basic sightseeing costs at Delhi,  Agra, Delhi – Leh – Delhi air fare and all halts in Ladhak, tips, accommodation (twin sharing), water and all meals. It also includes all costs of treks/rafts  including costs of English speaking trek leaders, guides and rafting boat-masters,   equipment, porters and ponies, entry fees at various places/parks, road transport in exclusive jeeps, government royalties, and the costs of any special clothing that you want us to arrange for the duration of the trip which can be indicated to us when registering. However international air-fares,  airport taxes, visa charges, duty on any items and personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry, tobacco, phone calls, camera charges where applicable and individual expenses incurred away from the plan for the group are excluded
(b) Registration. As this is the peak tourist period it is essential that Registration be done at least four to five months prior to arrival. Half the determined costs are to be paid on registration and the balance to be paid six weeks prior to arrival.

9. Changes in the itinerary, if requested, can be worked out and costs evaluated separately. Or, any other specified itinerary can be developed to match your interests.