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Information on Trekking in Ladakh and Zanskar

Here is information on Trekking in Ladakh and Zanskar :- Tirekking in the arid, extremely cold trans-Himalayan desert of Ladakh and Zanskar, very often at altitudes that exceed 5,000 m (16,404 ft), can be a uniquely exhilarating experience.

The terrain, as starkly beautiful as any highland setting in the world, has a number of trails, many of which trace ancient trading routes to Central Asia. They lead past spectacularly located monasteries, remote passes, sometimes staggeringly high, deep river gorges and lush meadows scattered with mani walls and chortens. The best time to trek is between June and September, when the land is not snowbound and the terraced fields are being harvested.

Trekking in Places in Ladakh and Zanskar:

Padum to Lamayuru

This 160-km (99-mile) path follows the Zanskar river via Karsha, past the impressive Lingshet Monastery and Singe-la ("Lion Pass"), ending at Lamayuru. A slightly easier route past Zangla, joins the main trail at Yelchang village. Also Visit - Leh Ladakh Tours

Altitude: 5,000 m (16,404 ft)

Level of difficulty: tough

Padum to Darcha

The 115-km (71-mile) path goes from Zanskar into Himachal Pradesh, along the beautiful Tsarap River, past Phugtal Monastery and Kurgiakh, Zanskar's highest village at 4,100 m (13,451ft).

Altitude: 5,100 m (16,732 ft)

Level of difficulty: moderate


White-water rafting on the Indus and Zanskar rivers is a popular activity from July to mid-September. There are various options to consider on the Indus River, from calm "float trips" between Hemis and Choglamsar, to longer stints between Spituk and Alchi. Jeep safaris to the lakes of Tso Kar and Tso Moriri and back, take three days, with tents pitched near Karzok village. The region's rich wildlife includes bar-headed geese, black-necked cranes and the kiang (Tibetan wild ass).


Be prepared: Most of the walking is hard, and it is imperative to be well acclimatized to the altitude, as even the bottoms of river gorges are 3,000 m (9,843 ft) above sea level. For tips on altitude sickness, see p767. Guides and ponies are essential for all treks in the region. Maps are insufficient, so don't wander off on your own as it could prove fatal.

On the trek: Drink plenty of water. Do not litter; carry all rubbish back with you. Plastics can be taken to the Ecology Centre (01982) 53 221 in Leh. Carry cooking fuel. Never burn wood, which is a scarce resource.

Permits: Permits are required for the Nubra Valley, Pang-gong Tso, Tso Moriri and the Dha-Hanu region.

Equipment, jeep hire and operators: The Traveller Shop in LehBusiness Management Articles, (01982) 52 248 hires out trekking gear. Rafting agencies include Indus Himalayan Explorers (01982) 52 735 and Rimo Expeditions (01982) 53 348. Jeeps are expensive and can be hired from Leh for trips to Nubra and the lakes. Check the price list at the taxi stand.

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For more information on Trekking in Ladakh and Zanskar contact Swan Tours one of the leading travel agents in India.

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