River Rafting in Ladakh and especially at the Zanskar and Indus rivers brings a perfectly oriented adventurous program for the never-ending fun and thrills. The Indus, originates near the Kailash Mountain and the Mansarovar Lake in Western Tibet where the water levels remain high during the month of June to late August, which is regarded as the best season for the mesmerizing rafting expeditions. The river rafting in Ladakh areas includes the featured drive in the incessant inflows to explore the western Ladakh, villages, monasteries & ancient ruined palaces, along with some hiking & trekking experience.
The white water at Zanskar ranges is featured with different types of rapids naming I and II grades and at some places, has grade III to even V rapids. The popular rafting points are from Phey to Nimo and also from Upshi to Kharu or from Upshi to Nimo. The other major points can be found from Phey to Saspol or Phey to the Indus - Zanskar confluence at Nimo and from Nimo to the historical monastic enclave of Alchi, about 75 Kms west of Leh. The experienced rafters would love to try some more challenging route between Alchi and Khaltsey towards Nurla.
The Zanskar is the remote tributaries of the Indus harbor brings one of the spectacular navigable gorges from all around the world. A journey towards the Zanskar River through rafting excitements is best described as the “Grand Canyon of the Himalayas” to delve deep inside the drenched paradise of the area along with the submersion of the Ladakhi culture along with the thrilling white water adventure.
The rafting trip will also take the agitating rafters down the extremely desolate, remote and sheer Zanskar gorge with walls rising a few thousand feet out of the river bed, culminating on the mighty Indus River, (which incidentally lends India its name).
Paddling across the Zanskar River requires great muscular strength to cross the deep gorges for more excavating thrill. Besides, it also brings the camping excitements along with some trekking opportunities to get acknowledged with the Ladakhi culture more closely. The most strenuous rafting expedition begins at Ramela to carry to troop towards Lamera, Karshya, Nyarak, Lama Guru, Nimu and then at the end towards Leh to cover the maximum altitudes of 5030 meters for the magnanimous thrilling options of white water rafting in Zanskar.
In the morning take a flight for Leh. Upon arrival at Leh met our representative and then transfer to hotel. Take a complete rest and acclimatise. Overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning take a full day guided sightseeing at Leh covering Shey, Thiksey and Hemis Monastery. Evening back to hotel for overnight stay.
We drive from Leh to Mulbek - Kargil, through a spectacular moonscape. We drive over the Fotu La (14,000 ft), a high mountain pass and exit the Indus valley. Enroute, we do a photo stop above the Lamayuru monastery belonging to the 'Red Hat' sect. Overnight stay at Kargil.
A spectacular drive past Panikhar and Parkachik, with magnificent views of the Nun and Kun massifs (7000 meters), hanging glaciers and large meadows. We drive till Rangdum Gompa (12,000 ft).Camp overnight.
We drive to Ramela, which is the starting point for the rafting trip on the Stod River, a tributary of the Zanskar River. We drive over the Pensi La (14,500 ft), which enables grand views of the Zanskar peaks at the bottom of which is the Drung Durung glacier that feeds the Zanskar River, 40 km below, into which we flow trip the next day. Overnight tented camp.
Raft till near Karsha Gompa, near Padum. (3496m; 11,466ft; 4 hrs) We raft 30 km in 4-5 hrs which includes a break for lunch and hot beverages. We are surrounded by 6000 meter high peaks. River section today includes a Class II section, a good introduction for first timers as well as to the river in general. Settle into camp by afternoon, we can take an optional hike to Karsha Gompa.
After a late morning start, we raft from Karsha up to Honyo/Pidmo (3361m; 11,025 ft; 3 hrs). This stretch is approximately 25 km with Class II and III rapids. Another easy day to get used to the river, the altitude and hone our paddling skills.
After packing camp, we raft 25 km to Nyarak (3286m ; 10,780ft ; 3 hrs) a Class III section. The gorge narrows in on the river - this indeed is a Grand Canyon in its own right. We stop for the day to pitch camp in a gorge below Nyarak village.
Rest day at Nyarak. Take a hike to Nyarak village or relax under the cool shade of the willows at our Campsite. Wash up at the campsite stream and enjoy the day off.
Today’s 35 km rafting section takes us from Nyarak to Lama Guru (3190m; 10,465ft; 5-6 hrs including scout and lunch) through the core of the Zanskar A classic white water day with continuous Class III rapids, and a few Class IV rapid where the river squeezes between a gaps of about 18ft. We stop for lunch near a huge waterfall and continue to camp at the confluence of Markha river with the Zanskar. Rock formations, spires and an amazing palette of colours add to the trip today. Camp.
We raft 40 kms of Class III/IV white water from Lama Guru to Nimu (3154m; 10,345 ft; 3-4 hrs) today. We raft past the village of Chilling and exciting rapids as the Zanskar plunges out of the canyon to meet with the Indus at Nimu. We end our trip at the confluence of the Zanskar with the Indus. Drive an hour back to Leh. Last minute retail therapy and a hot shower! Overnight at Leh hotel.
In the morning take a flight for Delhi.