Duration: 10 days
Accomodations: Hotel/Guest House
Best time: June to September
The beautiful multi-colored desert landscapes are arid and dotted with small villages inhabited by rugged-looking people of Tibetan heritage. Leh town is a fascinating city surrounded by rugged snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, verdant farmland, sprawling monasteries, ancient palaces and countless discoveries alluring visitors worldwide. After strolling through Leh and the Indus valley, on this journey you will make the tour to Zanskar Valley. Zanskar Valley, known for its splendid isolation, perched at over (3,500 m) is southwest of Leh, and among the highest and most remote regions in the world. Settled up between the peaks of the Zanskar range, the valley is drained by the Stod and Lungnak rivers (also called Doda Chu and Tsarap Chu locally), both of which are tributaries of the Zanskar river, which itself flows northwards to join the Indus. The ‘gateway’ to Zanskar is Penzi La. Two small high-altitude lakes with camping sites and views of permafrost mountains are the highlights of this pass, which is the highest point on the Kargil-Zanskar road. A few hundred metres from Penzi La is the enormous Drang Drung glacier, source of the Stod river. Just 20 kms before Penzi La, you will pass Rangdum. Set in a wild, big-sky valley, the village is home to the 250-year old Rangdum gompa built on a low plateau. Its museum has a collection of thangkas, masks and manuscripts. From Penzi La, a spectacular drive along unpaved roads leads through villages like Abran, Aksho, Hamiling, Shagam and Phey, all within 12 kms of one another and about 50 kms from Padum. Those who care to stop may admire the view, as well as the many boulders engraved with ancient rock art in and around these settlements. A little further, Sani village (8 km before Padum) has one of Zanskar’s few gompas built on flat land. The Sani gompa has the famous Kanika chorten, which may date to the rule of the Kushan emperor Kanishka.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LEH. (11500ft/3500m) Our representative will assist you at the Airport on arrival. Get aboard the waiting vehicle and transfer to your hotel. Check-in at the hotel. Today the full day is for rest and leisure to acclimatize to the higher altitude. Overnight at (hotel)
Day 2: LEH TO SHAM VALLEY. After breakfast, start driving towards the Sham Valley, En-route you will receive blessings from the Gurudwara Pather Sahib, a holy place for Sikhs with storytelling. After spending some time here, travel to Magnetic Hill which is not too far from here. The spot has become a major tourist attraction in the recent past owing to the belief that it pulls vehicles towards itself. Next, travel to the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. The site is hugely photogenic and this presents a good opportunity to capture some incredible views in photographs. Thereafter, explore Alchi Monastery which is built in the 11th century; and see the statues and paintings in its assembly hall, Sumtseg and Manjusri shrine. Overnight at (Uletokpo/ Temisgam)
DAY 3: DRIVE TO KARGIL. Today after breakfast you will drive towards Kargil, visiting Lamayuru Monastery of Lamayuru village en route. The gompa organises two festivals, one each in the 2nd and 5th months of Tibetan lunar calendar. Further on the tour reach Mulbekh village, which has a giant image of Maitreya carved on a rock. Overnight at Kargil.(hotel)
DAY 4: KARGIL TO RANGDUM. Rangdum is in a valley situated (3,657 m /11,998 ft) above the sea level in an isolated region of the Suru valley in the Ladakh region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India. The locals depend on their flocks and supplies from Zanskar. The population of the Suru Valley as far as Parkachik are all Muslim.The spectacularly beautiful valley is however, practically uninhabited past Parkachik other than a couple of tiny settlements. The small village, Parkachik, is the end village of Muslim and Gomdun (parkachik glacier)the valley are entirely Buddhist. The people are socially and culturally part of neighbouring Zanskar and support the 18th century Rangdum Monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight at Rangdum.(hotel/guest house)
DAY 5: RANGDUM TO PADUM. Padum is named after Padmasambhava. It is the only town and administrative centre in Zanskar. It was historically one of the two main capitals of the Zanskar Kingdom the other being Zangla. Overnight at Padum.(hotel/guest house)
DAY 6: SIGHTSEEING AROUND ZANSKAR Today you will be visiting some of the places of the Zanskar which are more of a touristic nature. Overnight at Padum.(hotel/guest house)
DAY 7: PADUM TO RANGDUM After breakfast we will start driving towards Rangdum and stop in Karsha village. Karsha Monastery founded by Phagspa Shesrab, is the highlight of the place. The next stop is Stongdey Monastery, the second largest gompa in the Zanskar sub-district of Kargil. Later, visit Sani Monastery, believed to have been constructed in the 2nd century. Featuring a castle-like formation, it features the Kanika Stupa in its backyard. Overnight at Rangdum.(hotel/guest house)
DAY 8: RANGDUM TO KARGIL We will drive back to Kargil through the same route that brought us here. Reach Kargil in the afternoon. Overnight stay at Kargil.(hotel)
DAY 9: KARGIL – DHA – LEH. We will drive towards Leh stopping en route in the Dha village. The local people of Dha are called Brokpa and they are thought to be the descendants of the subjects of Alexander, the Great. After spending some time in the village, we will drive to back to Leh. Overnight at Leh.(hotel)
DAY 10: FLY BACK. n the morning transfer to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport to catch the flight for your onward journey.
LAND COST: on request
- Hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner.
- All monastery entrance fees, wild life fees and permit and fee.
- Hindi/English-speaking guide.
- All transportation.
- Airport transfers.
COST EXCLUDES :
- Medical and evacuation insurance
- Miscellaneous expenses and tips for the staff
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- International/Domestic Air ticket to and from Delhi.
- A single supplement.
- Laundry and other services not mentioned in the package. If you need any arrangement, please let us know.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay or baggage loss insurance.
- Charges incurred as a result of delays, natural calamities beyond the control of Yama Adventures.
Whilst every effort is made to keep to the above itinerary, clients will hopefully appreciate that this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region. There will quite likely be changes to the itinerary. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns off the beaten track, can contribute to the need for changes. Your guide will do everything in his power to see that you are inconvenienced as little as possible in such circumstances. Timings are approximate.
© Yama Adventures, 2019.