Southern Zanskar Trekking
Zanskar is being considered as the most inaccessible route for crossing and achieving high peaks on the earth. This is a high desiccated land best known for innumerable ancient monasteries, fabulous water streams and for some great ruined palaces. Zanskar is the only range where the only way to travel is by foot that is by trekking or by pony. Bit today, jeep safari and motor biking safari is also joining the list to explore the grand hidden ranges of Zanskar. When we talk about trekking across the Ladakh ranges and that preferably at the southern areas, the challenges takes you to the great heights by demanding more physical strength and stamina.
The journey that begins at Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh into the ancient kingdom of Zanskar taking a great toll towards an outstanding review of the remarkable cave- Gompa of Phugtal. The area is filled with many challenges along with some pleasure of meeting the local folks to get their trends and traditions. The landscape and the people of Southern Zanskar truly make a unique adventurous experience to all.
The trekkers need to cover some of the major areas of southern Zanskar to include Darcha, Zanskar Sumdo, Chuminakpo, Lahkhang, Lukung, Kargyak, Purni, Tanze, Keylong and more. All these destinations demand great challenges on their trails to reach the maximum heights of 5080 mtrs. Apart from that there are two other major routes to cover the southern zones and that preferably are: Kargil to Zanskar and Manali to Padum for great challenging experiences. Explore the agitating experiences of the journey towards the southern regions of Zanskar during the best season of mid-June to October for best pleasurable hiking moments.
DAY 01 : Delhi – Manali (2050 M)
In the evening drive to Manali by AC Volvo Coach at 18:00 hrs. Overnight journey.
DAY 02 : Manali (2050 M)
Arrival at Manali by morning and then transfer to hotel. At leisure or a tour of attractive places like Hadimba Devi temple, Vashisht Hot Springs, Club house etc. can be taken. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 03 : Manali – Darcha (3400 M) 180 kms/5-6 hrs
In the morning after breakfast drive along the Beas River upstream long the true left bank through the several villages to the Rohtang pass (4050 m). Down hill drive to the Gramphu and passport check point at Koksar. Reach Keylong the tribal dist. headquarter, 35 kms a head campsite at Darcha. We will camp near the river at Darcha. Overnight in the tent.
DAY 04 : Darcha – Zanskar Sumdo (3640m, trek 7-8 hrs)
A very short drive will get us to Darcha and from there to Rarig from where we begin the trek. We move up the Barai Nullah (river) valley passing Palamo village with their characteristic flat-topped dwellings. Today we have to cross several side streams and cross a boulder field to reach our campsite. Overnight in tents.
DAY 05 : Zanskar Sumdo – Acclimatisation day
We have a rest day today to help in acclimatisation. There are plenty of short walks in this remote and barren for restless souls. Overnight in tents.
DAY 06 : Zanskar Sumdo – Chuminakpo (4500 m) 7.30 hrs
Today it’s trekking high up on mountain side. First cross the river by a hanging bridge and then steep climb up for about an hour and then follow the trek on a narrow valley until you reach Ramjak, a small meadow. Thereafter to Chuminakpo (4800 m). Overnight in the tent.
DAY 07 : Chuminakpo – Lahkhang (4300 m) over Shingo la (5090 m) 7-8 hrs
Path leads over moraines, ice chilled stream may have to crossed, over snow and glacier, suddenly prayer flags can be seen flattering over the pass. Descend to the Zanskar valley, before arriving at campsite one have to wade through Kargyak Chhu, beautiful campsite on the bank of Lhakhang Chhu. Overnight in the tent.
DAY 08 : Lukung – Kargyak (4060 m) 5 hrs
Easy trek beside the right bank of Kargyak Chhu and foot of the Gumboranjom tower; a chilled stream has to cross. An opportunity to see closely the herds of yaks, Marmots are whistling around the meadow and plays hide and seek. Long series of Mane wall and Chhorten are a symbol to reach Kargyak village, it houses a small Gompa on the top of village. Overnight in the tent.
DAY 09 : Kargayak – Purni (3800 m) 6 hrs
Trail goes through Tanze, Kuru, Testa and Yal. Villages Farmer can be seen cultivating their fields with melodious song of Zanskar. Reached Purni, situated on the confluence of the Tsarap and Kargyak Chhu. Overnight in the tent.
DAY 10 : Purni – Phugtal Gompa (3850 m) – Purni (3950 m, trek 4- 5 hrs)
Today we climb next to the Kargyak river through a gorge to the Tsarap river to get access to the stunningly located Phuktal Gompa (3850m). The monastery is perched on the mountainside and is quite an impressive sight. The monastery was built around a sacred spring and was visited by the Hungarian, Csomo de Koros, one of the first Europeans to visit Zanskar in the 1820’s.after spending some time at the gompa we return to our campsite at Purne. Overnight in tents.
DAY 11 : Purni – Tanze (3850m, trek 4 hrs)
We retrace our steps to Tanze. It’s a short walk and one will get enough time to rest one’s legs. Overnight in tents.
DAY 12 : Tanze – High Camp (4800m, trek 7-8 hrs)
From Tanze we take the trail towards the Phitse La. Initially we move through a gorge and then the trail opens out to a wider plateau. We will try to camp as near as possible to the base of the pass so that it’s easier tomorrow to climb the pass. A remote pasture, though small is where we camp for the night. Overnight in tents.
DAY 13 : High Camp – Phitse La (5526m) – Lingti Camp (4700m, trek 7-8 hrs).
It’s a short but steep climb to the pass. The final ascent is up a scree slope, making the going tough, to reach the Phitse La (5250m). The effort is more than rewarded by spectacular views of Himalayan peaks and hanging glaciers close to the pass. A short detour climb to a small ridge, affords excellent views of the Zanskar range. The descent is also steep and crosses further scree slopes before reaching a meadow at Chumik Marpo. We continue descending into a narrow gorge to the main Lingti valley. We camp near a side stream of the Lingti River. Overnight in tents.
DAY 14 : Lingti Camp – Tsarap Camp (4400m, trek 4-5 hrs)
We follow the Lingti River to a confluence with the Tsarap where we make camp. Our route today crosses several ridges dotted with juniper and marked with prayer flags or Mani walls, and through meadows used by nomadic Gaddi shepherds. We have to cross streams at several places. Overnight in tents.
DAY 15 : Tsarap Camp – Kilong Sarai (4600m, trek 3-4 hrs)
We walk in the lower meadows where the valley widens out and we can see the Leh-Manali highway in the far distance. We camp in a grassy field at Kilong Serai. Overnight in tents.
DAY 16 : Kelong Sarai – Keylong
Today we will drive towards Keylong the head quarter of Lahaul valley. On arrival check in to hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 17 : Keylong – Manali
Early in the morning we will drive towards Manali through a very interesting landscape. One can stop on the way to Manali at Rohtang Pass for photography. On arrival check in to hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 18 : Manali – Delhi (Drive 580 kms/12-13 hrs)
The day is for relax, by evening catch AC Volvo coach for Delhi. Overnight journey.
DAY 19 : Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi by morning at 08:00 hrs.
Trip & Services Ends Here.