Ladakh is one of the most isolated areas for trekking in India. Cut off by road for the winter months, it offers a welcome escape from the overwhelming monsoon climate of the Indian plains in summer. Ladakh, meaning “The Land of High Passes” is an area of high altitude with breathtaking scenery. It is over one of these passes, the remote Parang La Pass (5600m), where we access Ladakh from the Spiti Valley.
Ladakh is one of the most isolated areas for trekking in India. Cut off by road for the winter months, it offers a welcome escape from the overwhelming monsoon climate of the Indian plains in summer. Ladakh, meaning “The Land of High Passes” is an area of high altitude with breathtaking scenery. It is over one of these passes, the remote Parang La Pass (5600m), where we access Ladakh from the Spiti Valley. On this trekking holiday one experiences an amazing diversity of landscape and culture. Starting from Delhi we drive north to the Himalayan foothills and into the Greater Himalayan Range (an area where Hinduism is the prominent religion). From there we go into Spiti, over the pass and on to Ladakh, an area enriched by Buddhism. This region is more like Tibet than India earning it the nickname “Little Tibet”. During this trekking holiday we ascend through steep gorges and cross flower filled meadows (the breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses), where you may spot a snow leopard, blue sheep or Tibetan ass (Kiang). We also visit monasteries, markets, remote villages and the spectacular Tso Moriri lake home to many migrant birds.
Today we continue to gain altitude. The first half of the day is an uphill drive to reach the Rohtang Pass (4000 m). After we cross the pass we descend to the Chandra River; we follow the river for the rest of the day until we reach Kaza via Kunzum la (pass), a spectacular drive. In the evening we recommend that you go for a short walk along to help with altitude acclimatization. Overnight camp.
We start early and drive further north into the mountains gaining more height along the way. The drive is a bumpy but beautiful, with plenty of photo opportunities. We stop at the famous Ke Gompa enroute and have the opportunity to drink chai with the monks living there. Overnight camp / guest house.
This is our first day trekking and our first experience of exercise at high altitude. We walk down to a small river and up through the steep gorge bed to reach our camp at the village of Dumla. Today’s trek is short, helping us to acclimatize to higher altitudes; we will arrive in time for lunch. Overnight camp.
Another short days trek to acclimatize with around 400 m height gain. It is a steep ascent gaining altitude in a fairly short span of time. Camp at Thaltak meadow with great views of the surrounding mountains. We encourage another short hike in the afternoon to help acclimatization. Overnight Camp.
This is a long day’s walk: 14 km in total. We gain about 400m in altitude allowing us to further acclimatize. We reach Borochen by mid afternoon and relax for the evening enjoying the surrounding views; the beginning of the trail up to the pass can be seen. Overnight Camp.
We make an early start to reach the pass. The trail is demanding at the start, and the last 4 km to the pass are quite steep. Parang La is the pass along an old trade route joining Spiti and Ladakh. It offers great views of the Changthang valleys in Spiti and Parilungi, a distinctive peak ahead and also the first visible Ladakhi peak. After taking in all the views we descend to the source of the Pare Chu River, crossing the glacier on the Ladakhi side of the pass for about an hour. On crossing the pass we experience a change of landscape, from the steep gorges of Spiti to the broad plains of Ladakh. Overnight Camp.
Today our trek follows the course of the Pare Chu River as it winds through a wide valley, with high banks left by the river in flood. There is an abundance of flora on todays walk. We camp at Datang Yongma.
We continue along the riverside trail with similar surroundings as yesterday, reaching Racholamo in mid afternoon. We lose a small amount of height during the day. Overnight camp at Racholamo.
We continue on to Chumik Shilde passing through Norbu Sumdo. We cross the Pare Chu River and head in the direction of Tso Moriri Lake. There is a good possibility of meeting yak trains transporting goods in the area. Arrive at our camping spot in the afternoon and enjoy a relaxed evening. Overnight camp.
Today we walk across the plains to the southern edge of the oval-shaped high-altitude Tso Moriri lake at Kiangdom, named after the kiangs (wild Tibetan asses) that roam freely here. The lake is a breeding ground for many rare migratory birds. It is a short day’s walk and gives a great opportunity to photograph what is one of the most beautiful places of the entire trip. Overnight camp at Kiangdom.
We start early and walk along the shores of the salt lake Tso Moriri. The view of the lake with Lungser Kangri (6666 m) in the background is spectacular. We try to arrive in Karzog as early as possible to avoid the strong winds that are common in the afternoon. On arrival to Karzog we can visit the ancient monasteries and relax after a hard trek! Overnight Camp.
We take the long picturesque drive to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, along the upper section of the Indus River (from which India takes its name). Overnight hotel.
The final day of our trip includes a one hour flight over the Greater Himalayan Range with fantastic views of K2 and many other mountains. Enjoy a full day in Delhi.