- DURATION : 14 DAYS
- TREKKING DAYS : 10 DAYS
- MAX ELEVATION : 5200 m
- GRADE : STRENUOUS
- SEASON : MAY TO OCT
- BEST : MID AUG TO SEPT
This is one of the most popular and beautiful treks with an easy access. The trail will, in many places, reveal the impact of the collision between the Indian subcontinent and Eurasia, resulting in unique rock formations rife with beautiful colors. The area is home to rare and endangered Himalayan wild lives. This trek also provides an opportunity to glimpse traditional villages and livelihoods of the Ladakh people.
DETAILED DAILY ITINERARY
DAY 01: ARRIVE IN DELHI Upon arrival you will be met by our representative at the international airport and transferred to the hotel in Delhi.
Delhi is the nation’s capital and India’s third largest city with a population of 10 million plus, covering an area of 1483 sq km. It is located in the northern part of India, at a height of 239 m above sea level, and is a bustling metropolis. The main languages spoken are Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, although English is also widely understood. Delhi is also a major travel gateway and is one of the busiest entrance points for overseas airlines, being a major link to all other northern and southern cities.
Overnight in hotel, Delhi
DAY 02 FLY LEH & ACCLIMATIZATION – 3500m Early morning you will depart from Delhi to Leh. We leave hotel early in the morning to drive to the domestic airport in Delhi. We set out for one of the most sensational and spectacular flight in the world. The destination of this flight is known as the small capital, Leh. The largest city in the Ladakh region. We go directly deep in the Himalaya Mountains and up to the Ladakh plateau. The flat Indian plains are quickly superseded by the deep valleys and white peaks of the Himalayas, which are in turn replaced by the pale pink and brown nuances of the high Tibetan desert plains. The hour long flight with spectacular scenes features views of the 7000m Nun-Kun Mountain.
Upon arrival you are met at the Leh (3500 M) airport, the crisp air of Leh welcomes you to this unpolluted Himalayan destination. You will be welcomed and escorted to our hotel where room has been booked for your ready occupancy. A little briefing on the day’s program and a breakfast, you are advised to rest for the first half of the day to acclimatizing to the high altitude and rarefied air.
Leh, the capital of the Ladakh district at 11482 ft (3500 m), is situated on the banks of the Indus River and is located in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas, toward the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh became the regional capital in the 17th century, when King Sengge Namgyal shifted his court here to be closer to the head of the Khardung La-Karakoram corridor into China. Leh has been a center of Tibeto- Buddhist culture for centuries, but has only been open to travelers since 1974. Its colorful gompas have attracted devout Buddhists from all over the globe.
After lunch we will go for an easy and relaxed orientation drive of Leh market, Sankar Gompa is a branch of Spitok Monastery and the Seat for head Lama, who was pass away few years back, now they found new reincarnation in Nubra valley, The Monastery is about 160 years old. From here you will continue to Shanti stupa the Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1992. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town.
Overnight stay at Hotel or Ladakh Sarai, Leh B L D
DAY 03 EXCURSION TO STOK PALACE, SHEY, THIKSEY & HEMIS After breakfast explore some of Ladakh’s ancient Monasteries. A picnic lunch is provided. Shey Palace was built in 1645 and is a summer residence for the kings of Ladakh. It is the oldest palace in Ladakh and above the palace is an even older ruined fortress. Located on the second storey of the Monasteries is a large Buddha statue. The seated Buddha is 12 meters high and worked of copper sheets gilded with gold. In front of the Buddha is a large bowl of wax with a central flame that burns for one year before being replaced. Thiksey Monasteries is the most picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus. From here one commands a magnificent view of the valley. The Monasteries possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hundreds of hand-written or painted prayer books. Hemis Monasteries is one of the most important in Ladakh, the largest and also the wealthiest. It was built in 1620 by the king-architect Singe Namgyal, a great patron of Buddhism. He filled Hemis with golden statues, stupas set with precious stones and thangkhas (painting) brought from many places, including Tibet. Hemis has several hundred lamas attached to its subsidiary monasteries. Hemis is the location for numerous religious festivals throughout the year, although the most important one is in summer when a huge thangkha, one of the largest in the world, is hung in the courtyard. It takes about 50 monks to carry the thangkha to its place and unfold it. The thangkha is made of fine heavy silk and embroidered with pictures of various gods as well as of the founder of Hemis. Spectators watch these dances from the upper storey verandas around the courtyard.
Overnight stay at Hotel or Ladakh Sarai, Leh B L D
DAY 04 DRIVE TO STOK AND TREK TO BASE CAMP OF TONTON LA (3900 M) (06 Hours) After an early start from Leh, we will travel by jeep to stok, where horses will be waiting to carry our equipment. The trek will begin along an old jeep road into a parched and exposed region, so water and sunscreen are absolutely vital! A 30-minute drive gets you to road head at Stok, from where the trek begins. The trail goes through the village and, keeping to the true left bank of the Stok Nala, climbs gradually for an hour past fields of barley, enclosed gardens and a few apricot orchards, to the head of the alluvial plain where it enters the gorge of the stream. The trail is well worn, used for the summer movement of cattle and sheep to the higher pastures and by donkey and dzo columns carrying food and other supplies between the camps and the villages.
About three hours into the day’s walk, where a spur forces the river to take a sharp turn, pass the jagged ruins of the Staklang Khar fort, supposedly dating back to the 13th or 14th century, which dominates the upper part of the gorge. At its base is a thick grove of willow which serves as a pleasant spot for lunch. From here the trail climbs steeply for a short distance to a saddle called Tonton La, with its ritual cairn of rocks, decked with prayer flags and topped with the skulls and horns of Bharal (blue sheep), common in this area. Here the camp is set for the night.
Overnight stay at camp, Tonton La
DAY 05 TREK TONTON LA TO RUMBAK (4880 M) (06 Hours) Morning after breakfast leave for Rumbak, The trail from here ascends gradually all the way along the Rumbak Nala until you reach Rumbak, the largest village in the Zinchen Valley. If the fields are cultivated you may have to ford the river a few times up to Rumbak junction. We then follow the well-marked trail on the left bank of the Rumbak Nala, passing cultivated fields and scattered houses until we enter a side valley leading to the south. Further trek on along the river until you reach Rumbak where you can see the snow capped peaks of the Stok mountains.
Overnight stay at camp, Tonton La
DAY 06 TREK RUMBAK TO SHINGO VIA YURUTSE AND KANDHALA (4900 M) (07 Hours) After breakfast we walk towards Yurutsy right fork of the river and continue a gradual ascend towards Yurutse, where the villagers grow Barlay, Potatoes and some green vegetables. Near the village are some impressive purple and green rock formations.
After 02 hours walk towards the Kandala pass (4900m) which is the second highest pass in our trek. From the camp side we start ascend with zigzag trail and on the way sometime we again chance to see Marmot. When you are close to the pass from the distance you see very colorful Prayer flags welcome you all that here is the Kandala pass (4900m). When you are on the top you see very beautiful view of Zanskar Range and Ladakh Range including locally known as Stok Kangri (6150m). From the pass you see first view of the Markha valley and down in the valley you see Shinggo village were our camp side.
Overnight stay at camp, Kandhala B L D
DAY 07 TREK SHINGO TO SKIU (3300 M) (04 Hours) Immediately after we leave camp, gradual ascent followed by a steep climb gets us to the Kundu La (4906m). From the pass there is a fabulous view of white-fringed mountains merging into the distant ranges of the Karakoram. The trail descends steadily to the head of the Skiu Valley, where a number of rivulets join to form a small stream. The broad grassy shoulders of the upper valley narrow sharply to the pinched waist at Sumdo, with its few houses and fields at the junction of a small stream with the Skiu Nala. From here the river swoops exuberantly down a tight, narrow gorge, choked with willow and wild roses, and we follow the trail as it leaps from bank to bank all the way to the village of Skiu on the banks of the Lower Markha. You enter the village confronted by towering rock faces. Since Skiu is only at about 3660m and the Markha Valley is quite narrow, the temperature is higher here.
DAY 08 TREK SKIU TO MARKHA (3600 M) (07 Hours) After breakfast again starts your trek following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points, and passes through the Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with ancient prayers). Most times, the river remains to the right and has to be crossed a few times. While crossing the river when in spate, trekkers should consult their guide or horseman. After pleasant walk through the wooded valley you reach the biggest village on the trek, Markha. The village consisting of approximately 50 houses and has a monastery on a mountain spur at the lower end of the village.
After crossing the river for the last time, we will arrive in Markha, the large village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery and a ruined fort. Camp here for the night.
Overnight at Camp, Markha.
DAY 09 TREK MARKHA TO THACHUNGTSE (3900 M) (06 Hours) The Markha valley trail continues passing through old stone-mills, and crossing the Markha river several times you will reached to a ruined castle and the beautiful monastery of Techa, which is beautifully perched on a towering cliff that looms above Markha. A short trek from Techa will greet you at Umlung at a cliff off the trail.l Trek further to reach Thachungtse passing through Hankar village with an old ruined fort.
Overnight at Camp, Hankar.
DAY 10 TREK THASHUNGTSE TO NIMALING (4700 M) (04 Hours) The trail climbs steadily up the now narrow valley, past villages smaller and seemingly poorer than those in the lower areas. The Nimaling plain is a broad undulating meadow, sloping upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse, 21,500ft/6,553m, which dominates the area. Nimaling with tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over its meadows provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals; yaks, sheep, goats, dzos and horses, not only from the Markha, but also from villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to spot the occasional blue sheep or wolf.
Overnight at Camp, Nimaling.
DAY 11 TREK NIMALING TO SUMDO VIA KONGMARULA (5200 M) (08 Hours) The trail begins to ascend right from the camping spot. One can have a beautiful view of the mountain ranges and the wildlife around this pass. The summit of the pass, Kongmarula, 5030 meters, reveals different snow clad mountain peaks all around. Kongmarula is our last and highest pass in our trek with gradually ascend. If the weather is clear you have very beautiful view of Kangyatse, D’Zonggo and others mountain. After Kongmarula then we step walk down towards the valley. Today you see very beautiful rocks along the trails. After some time you are in chuskurmo (sulfur sore spring water) where local people coming with (Amchi) local doctor for cure and then after we see first village which is known as Chogdo with few houses. The trail descends and at some points it is very steep and narrow. Loaded animals need great care in traversing the trail and at some places the narrow gorge. Follow downstream up to Shang Sumdo, a good camping place near water.
Overnight at Camp, Sumdo.
DAY 12 TREK SUMDO TO MARTSELANG (3700 M) (03 Hours) AND DRIVE TO LEH Our spirits lifted by a successful trek, we will enjoy an easy descent mainly along the left bank of the Martselang to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus at the village of Martselang. At a little distance from the camping place there is a valley to your left which takes you to Shang village, but we continue straight down the wider valley, following the stream down hill. During the summer season, one should consult the guide or porter before crossing the water. The wider valley reveals the panoramic view of Indus valley.
Board the awaiting jeeps here for the 2-hrs drive to Leh. Visit Hemis monastery. The monastery is 45 Km from Leh, built in 1630 and is one of the most Famous, largest and richest monastery.
Overnight at hotel or Ladakh Sarai, Leh.
DAY 13 FLY DELHI AND ENJOY THE SIGHTSEEING OF OLD & NEW DELHI In the early morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi you are met at the airport transferred to the hotel.
Your guide will collect you from the hotel and take you for the sightseeing of Old and New Delhi.
There is Old Delhi and New Delhi, although the demarcation between the two has begun to blur and areas to the north, south, east and west of Delhi are becoming increasingly popular. New Delhi was designed and built by the British and remains the hub of major political and commercial activities giving the city a cosmopolitan air. It is graced with wide roads, stately monuments, government buildings and embassies, and green parks and gardens.
Begin with old Delhi by visit to Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, built of red sandstone and white marble in the middle of the 17th Century. Then enjoy strolling around Chadni Chowk (Silver Street), once the Imperial Avenue down which Shah Jehan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades, and endless little alleyways, today bustling with silversmiths’ ateliers and shops and stalls selling almost everything! You may also like to visit the Red Fort, built in 1648 during the reign of Shah Jehan in red sandstone, which gave the fort its name. There is a museum that houses a 14th century manuscript of the Holy Quran.
Sightseeing of New Delhi includes a visit to India Gate, built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy is today the official residence of the President of India and Parliament House a unique circular building with huge colonnades, houses the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.
End your tour with a visit to Humayan’s Tomb; the first Mughal garden tomb, built by his grieving widow, Hamida Begum, of red sandstone and white marble. The tomb houses 100 graves within it. Visitors are immediately struck by the tomb’s resemblance to its more famous cousin, the Taj Mahal, with its four grand gateways, octagonal base-plan, soaring niche-shaped arches, lofty double domes and the symmetrical garden with its central canal. Wander round the gardens, the air filled with the sounds of peacocks and a wide variety of birds and sit quietly on a bench watching the sun go down.
Return back to the hotel after completion of your sightseeing for dinner.
Overnight in hotel, Delhi
DAY 10: TRANSFER TO THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT According to you International flight schedule our representative will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to the international airport to board your international flight for homeward journey with some sweet memories.