Darcha - Lamayuru Trek
Into remote Kingdom of Zanskar, the towering misty mountains of Ladakh and Zanskar cradle the splendors of Tibetan Buddhism; fascinating travelers for centuries with the sight of monasteries built hundreds of years ago. The mystic magic of Tantric Bu ...
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|Duration: 28 Days | Best Month: June - October | Trip Grade: Strenuous | Maximum Altitude: 5000 m | Starting Point: Delhi | End Point: Delhi | Mode of Travel: Drive In / Fly Out | Number of Pax: Min. 2 people | Style of Trek: Camping / Hotel|
Into remote Kingdom of Zanskar, the towering misty mountains of Ladakh and Zanskar cradle the splendors of Tibetan Buddhism; fascinating travelers for centuries with the sight of monasteries built hundreds of years ago. The mystic magic of Tantric Buddhism is practices and performed with devotion. Ladakh, including the Zanskar area has been termed by many Western writers as "greater Tiber". Open to tourist since 1974, people from all over the world have flocked in to experience its warm hospitality and unforgettable landscape. There are about 25 gompa in Leh district alone, with Hemis gompa the biggest and richest.
This is one of the classic trekking tours of the region. The first day 7 hrs drives to Darcha (3,360 m) over Rohtang pass (3,978 m) the gateway to Lahoul, Spiti, Pangi and Zanskar valleys. We camp at Darcha to acclimatize, which is starting point of some major trekking tour. We cross Shingo La pass (5,090 m) to get into Zanskar. Many ancient gompa on the way: Phuktal gompa, which is built under a huge cave and it, provides fantastic view also Karsha gompa which is the biggest in Zanskar region. En route we pass shepherds with their flocks of sheep and climb beautiful snow covered passes with panoramic views of the Great Himalayan range. Trek terminates at Lamayuru, which has an ancient gompa. It is oldest gompa in Ladakh, with large library of Buddhist literature. Leh is 147 Kms from Lamayuru.
Darcha - Lamayuru Trek Itinerary
Day 01: ARRIVAL IN DELHI and Transfer to hotel.
Day 02: DELHI – NALAGARH.
Post breakfast transfer to the railway station to board the train to Kalka. Arrive Kalka transfer to Nalagarh (40 Kms). O/ N Nalagarh Fort.
Day 03: NALAGARH – MANALI. 261 Km (7 – 8 Hrs) O / N Hotel in Manali.
Day 04: MANALI (2100 m) - DARCHA (3300 m). 145 Km (06 – 07 hrs)
The first day is dedicated to the road transport on the 147 km between Manali and Darcha. The road climbs up to the Rothang Pass (3992m) where the forested Kullu valley lies on the south and the yellow dry Lahoul valley in the North. The road passes through the wild Chander valley up to the Bhagga river to start the trek. O/ N camp.
Day 05: DARCHA – PALHAMO.
Leaving the last Lahoul village of Chikka Rarik, an easy trail leads to a narrow valley. The scenery changes dramatically from wide valley to narrow valley offering a landscape coloured in deep reds and golden yellow. O/N Camp.
Day 06: PALHAMO - ZANSKAR SUMDO.
The Barai valley stretches on to the North West, but you cross the bridge and go up into the little Barai Valley, where the streams join the main river. Walking north, the tiny meadow of Zanskar sumdo is reached after a 5 to 6 hours walk.
Day 07: ZANSKAR SUMDO - CHUMIK NAGPO (BASE CAMP).
The trail leads up to the narrow valley moraines toward the base of Shingo-La pass (5096m). Camp is held at the button of the pass after 5 to 6 hours of walk. Coming from the south, it is important to acclimatize on these initial days.
Day 08: CHUMIK NAGPO - LAKHANG.
The trail is steep going up to the permanent snow field of Shingo-La (5096m). There are views of the great himalaya range from the pass. A small shrine and the wind ripping the Buddhist prayer flags mark the pass. We then go down from the pass to the pastures on the westward of the Kargyak river. Camp is held near the small isolated hut used by the yaks herders (6 to 7 hours of walk).
Day 09: LAKHANG - KARGYAK.
Walking towards Kargyak village, the scenery changes dramatically with change of colour of the landscape from light red to deep purple. The valley and whole day is shadowed by grace of the majestic Gumburanjon. Kargyak, the first village of Zanskar will be reached after an easy walk of 4 to 5 hours.
Day 10: KARGYAK - PURNI.
Walking north of Kargyak, along the river, the scenery is mesmerizing. On this gentle walk through Kuru and Testa villages, one gets view of high peaks. Camp is held at the small village of Purni, at the junction between the Tsarap river and Kargyak river, after 5 to 6 hours of walk.
Day 11: PURNI - PHUKTAL GOMPA and Return
An optional day for the trip to the 11th century monastery is highly recommended. Built in a cave it is really considered as a jewel of the region. The rising and falling of the path along the well cut edges, strange canyons folds and the approach to gompa is only 3 hours of walk to and back. Couple of hours of rest and tea at the gompa is a great pleasure.
Day 12: PURNI - BIBULA.
Soon after leaving Purni, there is the opportunity to cross one of the last remaining plaited willow rope in Zanskar to the curious village of Cha. Ichar is particularly beautiful with its fortress, and a new gompa surrounded by mani walls in the terraced fields. (4 to 5 hours of walk)
Day 13: BIBULA - MUNI.
After passing the Raru village, the pass goes over moorland (that can be interesting if like birds) to the beautiful located Muni Gompa. Muni village can be seen deep inside the valley like typical Zanskar cauldron with gardens that can be seen from the other side of the gorge. (6 to 7 hours of walk)
Day 14: MUNI - PADUM.
An easy walks will show you views of great peaks. Barden gompa, perched on a rock promontory, was built in the 17th century and can be visited on the way. Padum is the small capital and the district headquarter of Zanskar (in the state of Jammu and Kashmir). Camp is heald near the stream, after 5 to 6 hours of walk.
Day 15: PADUM - KARSHA GOMPA.
A strange walk across the huge central Zanskar plain. From your first step, the dramatic Karsha gompa can be see clinging to dark jagged cliffs over the Doda river. This Gelukpa monastery is the largest of Zanskar. All your walk will be dominated by the Nun and Kun massif around Padum: ice, snow and rocky peaks... Camp site is a few km after Karsha (4 hours of walks)
Day 16: KARSHA - PISHU.
The trail goes down toward the tiny village of Rinam and the follows the broads Zanskar river to Pishu. The villages with cellular shaped fields spill across alluvial plain, peaks towers on the other side of the valley lies ont this plain. Beside the river, you will find the lovely campsite just below the main village after 5 to 6 hours of walk.
Day 17: PISHU - HANUMIL.
A quiet walk on the sand beaches beside the Hanumil river will contrast with the geological figures, deep gorges around you. Camp is beside the river after 6 hours of walk.
Day 18: HANUMIL - SNERTSE.
The trail leaves the river and climbs up to the Parfi-La pass (3900m) and goes down to cross the Zingchen Tokpo (omachu) the border betwenn Zanskar and Ladakh. After crossing the bridge, you will have to climb again to see pasture to the North. The camp site is around some herders' huts. (7 hours of walk)
Day 19: SNERTSE - LINGSHED.
The trail goes up through narrow gorges with clear water. Before the Hanuma-La (4700m), you will cross very dry yellow valley surrounded by strange hills. From the pass, you will discover great scenery of the deep and now far Zanskar valley and the Lingshed village. The beautiful Lingshed gompa is looking majestically down to the village. (7 to 8 hours of walk)
Day 20: LINGSHED - THE BASE OF SENGGE-LA.
The day is beginning by an easy climb to the Murgum-La (4100m). A gentle descent toward the village of Gongma (3840m) and the trail will climb again to the rocky camp at the base of Sengge-La. (6 to 7 hours of walk)
Day 21: BASE OF SENGGE-LA - PHOTOKSAR.
A steep but short climb will bring you to the Sengge-La (5000m). The trail will follow Photang valley and goes to the bumiktse-La (4200m). Photoksar is lying up a canyon, at the base of huge mountains walks, a abandonned gompa remains up the village. (6 hours of walks)
Day 22: PHOTOKSAR - HANUPATTA.
The last slopes of Sirsir-La (4800m) are quite steep but the views of the two valleys will award you to reach the top of the pass. In this wide region, marmots calls and whistles can be eared. A beautiful valley will bring you to Hanupatta camp site after 6 hours of walk.
Day 23: HANUPATTA - WANLA.
The narrow trail will cross the most incredible beautiful gorges showing varieties of colours. Soon after going outside the gorges, Phenjilla village is reached: apricot trees are growing on the slopes around the village. Then campsite of Wanla is held beside a river. Wanla village is dominated by an old castle and gompa. (6 hours of walk)
Day 24: WANLA - LAMAYURU.
After a short walk, you will leave the main valley to a narrow and dry gorge going up to the Prinkiti-La (3726m). Then, there is an easy descent to the ancient monastery of Lamayuru. The gompa holds a rich library of ancient Tibetan manuscripts. (4 hours of walk). O/ N Camp.
Day 25: LAMAYURU – LEH. Drive to Leh. O/N Hotel.
Day 26: Leh full day sightseeing
Day 27: Leh – Delhi
After breakfast check out from the hotel, and transfer to the airport to the catch the flight for Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi, transfer to hotel
Day 28: Transfer to airport to catch the flight for back home.