This is one of the most adventurous treks on an isolated route far into the mountains with many rivers to be crossed. It is a real wilderness experience for adventure seekers, and the best period for exploration is from August – October when most of the snow has melted and the roaring rivers are passable.
Destination: Jhunglam Trek
Best Time: Oct to Feb
Duration: 16 Nights / 17 Days
DAY 01 : ARRIVAL IN LEH
Upon arrival at Leh Airport you will met by Mountain trails representative and Welcome in traditional Ladakhi style and transfer to our pre-arranged hotel, rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight stay at hotel
Leh City: The capital of Ladakh, at one time was a major stop on the Asian “Silk Route”. A stroll along the main bazar, observing the varied crowd and peering into the curio shops, is an entrancing experience. Chang Gali, behind the main bazar is less bustling but has intriguing little shops selling curios and jewelry like pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, lapis and many other kinds of semi-precious stones, as well as curiously carved Yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls etc.
DAY 02 : LEH
Post breakfast we depart for AM Sightseeing tour to Spituk
Spituk monastery was built in 15th century during the reign of Grags ‘bum-lde, these new Gelug-pa monastery was built like fortress on the summit of crags. Spituk lies some 5 kms south of Leh. Nesting at the foot of the crags are the flat-topped houses which go to form the village of Spituk.
Spituk or dpe-thub mean ‘effective as an Example’ and this is thus a suitable name for the first Gelug-pa monastery in Ladakh. Inside the monastery, which includes several courtyards and temples of various sizes, has been built at different levels, following the shape of the rock.
Later we drive back to hotel on time for lunch
Later in the afternoon, guided sightseeing tour visiting Sankar Gompa, located at a distance of approximately 3 km from the town of Leh. A subsidiary of the Spituk Gompa, it belongs to the Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat Sect. The monastery also serves as the official residence of the Ladakh’s head of Gelukpa Sect, known as The Kushok Bakul. There are time restrictions for visiting the Sankar Monastery of Leh Ladakh. You can also go either between 7:00 am and 10:00 am, or between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. These restrictions have been placed because a few of the monks, of the yellow-hat sect, attached to the monastery reside here permanently.
Later we visit Shanti Stupa A magnificent white-domed structure, The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights. A large number of tourists come to Ladakh every year to visit this amazing stupa.
DAY 03 : LEH – MARTSELANG (2 ½HRS DRIVE) – SHANG SUMDO (6 HRS TREK )
Leave Leh by jeep to the starting point of the trek at Martselang (3600 m.) and start our trek to Shang Sumdo ,a small village at 3700 m. Martselang is the entry point into the Hemis National Park in which we may see endangered high altitude animals like Snow leopard, Tibetan Wolves, the great Tibetan Sheep and Golden Eagle.
DAY 04 : SHANG SUMDO – LARTSA (6 HRS TREK)
Today we trek through the gorge of Shang, ascending gradually an enjoying the magnificent colors, shapes and rock formations of the gorge. We will pass by the small village of Chogdo before arriving at camp at Lartsa (4600m).
DAY 05 : LARTSA – THACHUNGTSE VIA KONGMARU LA 5200 M (6 HRS TREK)
A steep ascent leads us up to Kongmaru La (5200 m.) From the pass we will see a breath taking view of Kangyatse Peak (6400 m), Zanskar and the Karakoram ranges .Then we descend gradually to the summer pasture of Nimaling ,where the villagers of Markha valley stay during the summer season with their sheep, goats and yaks.The campsite of Thachungtse (4000 m) is further down the valley on the bank of the Markha River.
DAY 06 : THACHUNGTSE – YAKRUPAL (5-6 HRS TREK)
After yester day ‘s strenuous walk, today is easier as we walk through the remote Langthang valley ,where few other trekkers go. Only the villagers from Markha use this valley as a pasture ground for their sheep, donkeys, yaks and horses. From Thachungtse, we follow the valley own until it divides, cross the river and follow the valley to the left along the Langthang Chu River.
The Langthang River has the tendency of rising during the day due to snow melting in the mountains and by noon it becomes a dangerous river to cross. An early start in the morning is therefore essential, as one has to cross the river several times. Yakrupal (4200 m) is a nice, green campsite and a good place to rest.
DAY 07 : YAKRUPAL – ZALUNG KARPOLA 5150 M – TILAT SUMDO (5/6 HRS TREK)
We will continue up the valley towards the Zalung Karpo Pass (5200m). From the top of the Pass there is a spectacular view of the Zanskar range on the one side, while on the other, the highest plateau in the world appears, the Changthang plateau stretching far into Tibet. The only inhabitants of the Changtang are a nomadic and semi-nomadic people, living in tiny settlements with their animals and a small harvest of barley on which to survive.
Descending own from the Pass, several river crossings will follow and lea us to the right bank of the Changchu River and the camping site of Tilat Sumdo (3750m).
At the crossroads of Tilad Sumdo, it’s worth exploring some of the secluded gorges nearby. If fortune strikes there are chances of seeing wild life around, including blue sheep and the rare snow leopard.
DAY 08 : TILAT SUMDO – BASE OF CHARCHARLA (8 HRS TREK)
Today we’ll have more river crossings than any other day. The day starts with crossing the icy cold river of Changchu and entering into a beautiful narrow valley until a canyon.
After several river crossings, the valley narrows and crossing the river becomes much easier. Walking further leads us to a plain with stones opposite a cluster of spectacular rocky needles where two cold streams intersect. Camp at Charcharla base (4400 m)
DAY 09: BASE OF CHARCHAR LA – ZANGLA SUMDO VIA CHARCHARLA 4950 M (5 HRS TREK)
Following the stream will reveal several impressive gorges. After the third narrowing gorge, leaving the stream towards the left, we finally ascend gradually to the top of Charchar la (4950m). From the pass we will have a fine view of the main Himalaya beyond Padum. We descend steeply along glacial steps to the base of the Pass. After crossing a magnificent canyon towards the left as far as the intersection along the stream to the large river at the campsite of Zangla Sumdo ,we’ll have a very beautiful campsite to relax for the night.
DAY 10: ZANGLA SUMDO -ZANGLA (4 HRS TREK)
With many river crossings downstream into the Zulung valley, we sight the first Zanskari village amidst the greenery of barley fields. The trail goes gradually up as far as Zangla castle an then own for half an hour beyond the Chortens (Stupas),bringing us to the village of Zangla (3370 m). Until 1989,
Zangla had its own ruler with control over the nearby villages of Honia, Chazar, Hanumil, Pidmo and Pishu on the far side of the valley. Zangla monastery has its legacy with the Spituk monastery of the Gelugpa sect.
DAY 11: ZANGLA – KARSHA (5/6 HRS TREK)
Our day begins with crossing the longest hanging bridge over the Zanskar River. From Pishu the trail ascends gradually to the village of Rinam (3550 m), following the banks of the Great Zanskar River. Along the way, we’ll see the stunning monastery of Tongde. Thereafter we will arrive at Karsha (3600 m) an reinvigorate ourselves at the banks of the Zanskar River listening to the musical tune of the flowing water.
Karsha monastery is one of largest monasteries of Gelugpa sect. It is on the hillside with am imposing view of the entire valley. Most of the monks are from the surrounding villages. It is believed that the monastic site was founded probably around the 10th century A.D. It is recommended to visit the monastery to get a holy blessing.
DAY 12: KARSHA – PADUM (2 HRS TREK)
From Karsha we will follow the route to Pipiting village on the dusty road to Padum (3531 m). Padum is the major hub for all the activities of the entire valley and the capital of Zanskar. Here all villagers gather on auspicious days. After arriving at Padum, we once again intermingle with civilization for a day, and it is time to have a complete rest before preparing for the long drive back to Leh.
DAY 13: PADUM – RANGDUM (110 KM /6 HRS APPROX.)
We start our journey for Rangdum. Upon arrival in to our Private tents. After tea /coffee late in the afternoon we visit the famous Rangdum Monastery perched on a solitary rock in the middle of the valley. After visiting the monastery we drive to Rangdum plains in Zanskar region.
Overnight stay in the tents in the picturesque campsite.
DAY 14: RANGDUM – KARGIL – LAMAYURU (237 KM /10 HRS.)
In the morning we drive towards Lamayayuru – our next destination via Kargil. After a long drive of about 10 hrs we arrive in Lamayuru and check in at our pre-arranged guest house for an overnight stay.
DAY 15: LAMAYURU -ALCHI -LIKIR – LEH (135 KM /05 HRS.)
In the morning before breakfast we visit the Lamayuru monastery to be part of the morning religious ceremony. It’s a very soothing and spiritual experience to be there among these warm an friendly monks.
Then we drive and cross the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh’s most loved monastery. Over a century old, its wall paintings are very similar to those of the Tabo gompa in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Unlike other monasteries, which are usually on a cliff top or cling to a mountainside, Alchi is at ground level and is nestled in the shade of a garden.
After Alchi we have an option to visit the impressive Ridzong Gompa, Rizong Gompa is known as the paradise for Meditation. Guru Padma Sambhava is believed to editated here for years. One can still find the small caves where Lamas used to meditate for years cutting themselves from the rest of the world except for a one feet square outlet window from where they accept the one time meal of the day.
Rid-zong is the most recent of the Gelug-pa foundation in Ladakh. The monastery has been built picturesquely at the head of a gorge reached by a side-valley running north from the Indus near a village Uletokpo. Rid-zong is best known as best disciplined monastery of the whole of Ladakh.
Later we drive to Likir and visit Likir gompa situate atop a windy cliff top overlooking the beautiful village of Likir. It was founded in the 12th Century although the present construction dates back to the 18th century as the original one was destroyed by fire. In its courtyard is a yellow-coloured 3-storey high mammoth statue of the Lord Buddha, which was constructed by a resident monk. The top floor has an impressive museum containing old thangkas and weapons used many centuries back
Finally we reach Leh by evening.
Upon arrival in Leh we check in at our pre-arrange hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 16: LEH
Complete day at leisure to explore the beautif leh city on your own and time free for last day shopping.
Or one can take an optional excursion to KHARDUNG-LA-PASS (the highest motorable road in the world) at 18,390 ft, around 39kms from Leh.
PANGONG LAKE, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China.
DAY 17: LEH (depart)
Tour concludes. Mountain Trails thank you for your patronage and ensure a punctual transfer to Domestic Airport to catch the flight for your onward Destination