Zanskar Trek

Darcha Padum Trekking

The Darcha Padum trek is being considered as one of the finest and most popular treks in the whole Ladakh ranges to take the route towards the Zanskar Valley. Through the remote Zanskar villages and ancient monasteries, trekking across the Darcha- Padum ranges will bring a slow ascent towards the Tsarap River to take the trekkers towards the center of the Zanskar ranges. Throughout the trails of the trekking, the trekkers will find the scintillating edges of this river to make the journey more prolific and stunning. This strenuous trek will include crossing over the major high passes like Shingo La pass (16700 feet) to experience the physical fortitudes beyond the limits to include the longest trekking routes of different valleys.

To make a start from Darcha-Padum at the height of around 12-13000 feet, one would cross the maximum altitude of 16,700 feet. The western end of the Himalayas brings a finely attributed garland of mountain ridges comprising of 6000m (20000 foot) peaks to cast an effective barrier between the Indian provinces of Lahaul and Ladakh. Cascading for the contrasting Ladakh mountainous regions, the Darcha-Padum trekking brings one of the greatest challenges of the Indian Himalayan treks to find the ancient kingdom of Zanskar being famous for its sturdy inhabitants and strikingly beautiful landscapes. On the way towards this trek the trekkers can salubriously notice the isolated unique villages and varied attractive monasteries including the Shey, Thiksey, Phuktal, Hemis, Lingshed and Lamayuru. Towards the end, the journey also lets them experience the wonderful sight-seeing of Leh- the legendary capital of Ladakh.

Day 01 : Arrive Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi airport met our representative and then transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02 : Delhi – Leh (Complete Rest in Leh for acclimatisation)

Take the morning flight for Leh. Check into the guest house and relax the whole day. This is necessary for getting acclimatised. Overnight at the guesthouse.

Day 01 : Delhi - Manali (2050 M)

In the evening drive to Manali by AC Volvo Coach at 18:00 hrs. Overnight journey.

Day 02 : Manali (2050 M)

Arrival at Manali by morning and then transfer to hotel. At leisure or a tour of attractive places like Hadimba Devi temple, Vashisht Hot Springs, Club house etc. can be taken. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 03 : Manali - Darcha (3400 M) 180 kms/5-6 hrs

In the morning after breakfast drive along the Beas River upstream long the true left bank through the several villages to the Rohtang pass (4050 m). Down hill drive to the Gramphu and passport check point at Koksar. Reach Keylong the tribal dist. headquarter, 35 kms a head campsite at Darcha. We will camp near the river at Darcha. Overnight in the tent.

Day 04 : Darcha - Palemo (3600 m) 5.30 hrs

Get ready for your day one trek to Palemo. After 30 minutes walk check post is established, visit the tiny hamlet and continue high over the Zanskar Chhu River through the last village of the valley (Rarick and Chhika) after few hour walk camp site is visible on the right side of the Zanskar Chhu (river). Overnight in the tent.

Day 05 : Palamo - Zanskar Sumdo (4000 m) 6 hrs

Gradual walk through the boulders and meadows, shepherds from the Kangra valley can be seen with their flocks. We also have to cross streams twice or thrice enroute. Arrive Zanskar Sumdo (4000 M), a good camping ground for the overnight in the Tent.

Day 06 : Zanskar Sumdo – Chuminakpo (4500 m) 7.30 hrs

Today it’s trekking high up on mountain side. First cross the river by a hanging bridge and then steep climb up for about an hour and then follow the trek on a narrow valley until you reach Ramjak, a small meadow. Thereafter to Chuminakpo (4800 m). Overnight in the tent.

Day 07 : Chuminakpo - Lahkhang (4300 m) over Shingo la (5090 m) 7-8 hrs

Path leads over moraines, ice chilled stream may have to crossed, over snow and glacier, suddenly prayer flags can be seen flattering over the pass. Descend to the Zanskar valley, before arriving at campsite one have to wade through Kargyak Chhu, beautiful campsite on the bank of Lhakhang Chhu. Overnight in the tent.

Day 08 : Lukung - Kargyak (4060 m) 5 hrs

Easy trek beside the right bank of Kargyak Chhu and foot of the Gumboranjom tower; a chilled stream has to cross. An opportunity to see closely the herds of yaks, Marmots are whistling around the meadow and plays hide and seek. Long series of Mane wall and Chhorten are a symbol to reach Kargyak village, it houses a small Gompa on the top of village. Overnight in the tent.

Day 09 : Kargayak - Purni (3800 m) 6 hrs

Trail goes through Tanze, Kuru, Testa and Yal. Villages Farmer can be seen cultivating their fields with melodious song of Zanskar. Reached Purni, situated on the confluence of the Tsarap and Kargyak Chhu. Overnight in the tent.

Day 10 : Prune - Phugtal - Gyalbokh

Today we visit Phugtal Gompa, one of the oldest monasteries in Zanskar and spectacularly located. Passing through a narrow valley and the splendid gorge we cross the bridge and come to a small plateau sprinkled with Chorten and religious banners. From here we see one of the most spectacular sights of the Phugtal Monastery built in a cave. The monastery belongs to the tradition of the Gelugpas (Yellow Hats). Back to Prune and further trekking up on the left bank of Tsarap river after crossing the bridge. Arrive Gyalbokh village. Overnight in tent. (6-7 hrs).

Day 11 : Gyalbokh - Raru (3700)

Several difficult stretches for the horses and mules. A gradual climb before coming to small plateau and the gradual descending towards to Raru village. Overnight in Tent. (6-7 hrs).

Day 12 : Raru - Mone – Padum

It’s an easy trekking down on motorable road. After an hour's trekking we come to a small village called Mone. Visit a Gompa there. Further enroute after two hours is Bardan Gompa, situated on mountain plateau. Arrive Padum (3650 m), the capital of Zanskar where two rivers Doda and Tsarap join to form Zanskar River. Overnight in Tent. (6-7 hrs).

Day 13 :

Padum the day is free to acclimatise.

Day 14 : Padum- Karsha – Rinam

From Padum head towards Pipiting and follow a dusty plain towards the Doda River and reach bridge. Cross the bridge to reach Karsha Monastery dating back to the 16th century. It is the largest and the wealthiest of all monasteries in Zanskar. Further trekking down on the plain path is Rinam. Overnight in Tent. (6-7 hrs)

Day 15 : Rinam – Pishu (3400 m) 3 hrs via Zangla 6 hrs

Flat trail beside the Zanskar River, visit Zangla village a ancient capital of Zanskar, ruin of castle and Nunery can be visited, small Gompa in the village in family house shifted from the old fort houses some old Thanka and statues. After visiting this village back to the beautiful camp site of Pishu. Overnight in the tent.

Day 16 : Pissu – Hanumil (3550 m) 5 hrs

Moranic track leading up and down, Crossing a bridge over stream. Colorful Chorten appear before arriving in the village, explore the Pidmo village. 2 hours walk till campsite of Hanumil. Overnight in the tent.

Day 17 : Hanumil - Snertse (4200 m) over Parfila (3900 m) 6 hrs

Now onwards the path leads us away from Zanskar River. Climb up to Parfi-La (3950 m) and then steep descend until reaching the Oma-Chu River. Crossing over the bridge and further climb up a 500 m sandy slope we reach the sheepfolds of Snertse.

Day 18 : Snertse - Hanumil La – Lingshed

Long gradual ascend towards Hanumil-La (4877 m). Reach the top of Hanumil-La and then steep descent about 1000 meters. Again climb about 400 meter up along the mountain side, cross a small pass and then easy descent to Lingshed (3800 m). Overnight in Tent. (7-8 hrs).

Day 19 : Lingshed - Foot of Shinge - La

Gradual one hour climb to the Margum La (4200 m) then pass an escarpment, go along the slope. Gentle descent towards the villages of Gongma and Skiumpata. Steep climb to Kiupa-la (3850 m) and then gradual climb along mountainside to the foot of Shinge-la. Overnight in Tent.

Day 20 : Foot of Shinge - La - Photoskar

About one to two hours steep climb to Shinge-la (5060 m) and then descending to a broad valley. Again gentle climb towards Bumiktse-la (4200 m) and descending towards Photoskar (3750 m), a splendid village. Overnight in Tent. (7-8 hrs).

Day 21 : Photoskar - SirSir La – Hanupatta

From Photoskar it's gentle climb up to a large Chorten, then long ascent of SirSir-la (4990 m). An easy descent to the river and village Hanupatta (3450 m). Overnight IN Tent. (6-7 hrs).

Day 22 : Hanupatta – Shilla

Trek down the slope until entering the gorge and the bridge at the junction of the two rivers. Some easy some difficult stretches of fallen rocks until Phenji La. Afterwards it’s trekking on motorable road up to Wanla (3245 m). Overnight in Tent. (5-6 hrs).

Day 23 : Shilla - Lamayuru – Leh

Last day of our trekking. We pass the Shilla village to cross Prinkti-la (3726 m) to reach Lamayuru (3 hrs). Visit monastery and drive to Leh (3500 m). Overnight in hotel.

Day 24 : Leh – Shey – Thiksey - Hemis

On this day you will go a sightseeing trip to some ancient monasteries in this area.

Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17’Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.

Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.

Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17’Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.

Day 25 : Leh – Delhi

Early morning transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi.

Trip & Services Ends Here.