HIKING INTO THE SECRET CORNER OF ZANSKAR
- The ancient Kingdom of Zanskar
- Buddhist villages & monasteries
- Remote trekking over mountain passes
- High and wild moon-like landscape
Since 1974, when Ladakh first became accessible to foreign visitors, this high and arid region has captured the imagination of adventure travelers. Geographically, Ladakh is a western extension of the Tibetan Plateau and, as recently as the beginning of the nineteenth century, this mountainous country was a part of Tibet. Buddhism was brought to Ladakh by Guru Rimpoche who was born in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and this colorful religion is still practiced throughout Ladakh and neighboring Zanskar. Large numbers of monasteries, many of them occupying impressive hill-top sites, are active in the region to this day.
A mixture of cultures and religions is an important element in the attraction of Ladakh as a destination for adventure travel. Just as important, however, is the remarkable landscape of the area, which provides perfect terrain for trekking. A number of parallel mountain ranges, including the Great Himalaya Range and the Zanskar and Ladakh ranges, divide this territory and provide the setting for a wealth of excellent trekking routes, usually involving high pass crossings. Scattered high villages, each with its irrigated fields of barley and potatoes, add color to this otherwise quite barren environment.
Our new Darcha to Padam Trek takes in the green, verdant valleys of Kullu-Manali, skirts the mysterious valleys of Lahaul and Spiti and climbs over the high passes to the awesome southern region of the Zanskar Mountains. We will travel over high mountain passes and descend into spectacular gorges, as we traverse this extensive landscape with its stark and dramatic moonscapes.
The Darcha to Padam (Camping Trip) is part of our Himalayan Classic Trek Series. Our Classic Treks are led by an experienced, English-speaking Indian Trekking Guide and full support crew. We are able to arrange this trek starting on any day of the week during the months of June through September for groups of 2 to 10 people. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a detailed day to day Trip Itinerary.
Day 1. Welcome to India! Arrive in Delhi via respective airlines. Hotel.
Day 2. Sightseeing in Delhi. Hotel.
Day 3. Fly from Delhi to Kullu on a regularly scheduled flight and drive to Manali (30 miles). Hotel.
Day 4. Sightseeing day in Manali. Hotel.
Day 5. Travel to Darcha. 10,825 feet. 7 hour drive. Camp.
Day 6. Trek to Ramjak. 14,105 feet. 4 to 5 hour trek. Camp.
Day 7. Cross the Shinkula Pass (16,730 feet) to Gumburanjon. 14,660 feet. 8 to 9 hour trek. Camp.
Day 8. To Table Camp. 13,300 feet. 6 hour trek. Camp.
Day 9. Trek to Purne. 12,140 feet. 6 hour trek. Camp.
Day 10. Excursion to Phutal Monastery. 4 hour hike. Camp.
Day 11. Trek to Ichar. 12,140 feet. 5 to 6 hour trek. Camp.
Day 12. To Mune. 12,300 feet. 5 hour trek. Camp.
Day 13. Trek to Padam. 11,480 feet. 5 hour trek. Hotel.
Day 14. Drive to Rangdum. Camp.
Day 15. To Kargil. Hotel.
Day 16. Drive to Leh. Hotel.
Day 17. Sightseeing in Leh. Hotel.
Day 18. Visits to the Shey, Thiksey & Hemis monasteries. Hotel.
Day 19. Fly to Delhi. Evening departure.