Rumtse to Tsomoriri
The remote high plateau of Changthang (meaning ‘northland’) stretches from western Tibet into eastern Ladakh. This region, known as the land of the nomads, will give you an experience to last a lifetime. See the nomads’ traditional lifestyle and share a cup of butter tea in one of their black yak-hair tents along the incredible oval-shaped bank of Tsomoriri. The lake changes its turquoise blue color with the light and is surrounded by a picturesque landscape. The area is also an important wildlife sanctuary, harboring snow leopards and wild asses, as well as various species of birds.
Destination: Rumtse to Tsomoriri
Best Time: May to Sept
Duration: 12 Nights / 13 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
AM: Excursion Spituk
PM: Excursion to Sankar Gompa & Shanti Stupa
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- RUMTSE (3 HRS DRIVE)- KYAMAR 4050 M (4 HRS)
From Leh, the drive to Rumtse is an exciting one, with views of the Indus Valley and many monasteries on the way. Day one is easily manageable: we have a short walk on a rather flat terrain to aid acclimatization.
We will camp overnight at lush Kyamar, near a spring.
DAY 04 : KYAMAR- TISALING 4200 M (6-7 HRS)
We should be fully energized today with proper breakfast for a challenging day ahead. We begin with gradual ascent towards our first pass of Kumur La (4800 m), which gives a spectacular view of the Changthang range with its colorful rife of mountain. After the pass, we steadily descend towards the base of the next pass.
Here we might come across nomads with their herds of sheep, goats and yaks. After a short rest, we set out for Mandalchan La (4850 m). From this pass it’s an easy descend to the camping site at the pastureland of Tisaling.
DAY 05 : TISALING – PONGANABU 4250 M (6 HRS)
By now, we are well acclimatized to conquer our third pass, the Shibuk La (4900 m), and about 2-hour journey. From the top of the pass, we have an incredible view of the surrounding mountains and of our next destination, Tsokar Lake. With a breathtaking view to ease our exhaustion, we head down towards the valley accompanied by the shrill whistles of the shy and active marmots, which is characteristic of this harsh region. It’s approximately a 4 hrs walk to the Tsokar basin, and our camp for the night will be the windy Pongunabu.
DAY 06 : PONGANAGU – NURUCHAN 4300 M (6 HRS)
Today is an easy day, and we follow a dusty jeep road towards Tsokar Lake. Along the salty shores of the lake, we have a rare impeccable opportunity to see some of the endangered migratory birds of the world. From here we carry on along the trail to the right of the lake, keeping to a barren land until Nuruchan, where we will be welcomed by a grassy land with streams nearby.
DAY 07 : NURUCHAN- GYAMAR BARMA 5100 M (7-8 HRS)
We have to get set for a tough day ahead. We will cross the icy cold stream in Nuruchan before gradually ascending Horlam Kongka La (4900 m). From the pass, we will have a view of the turquoise blue Tsokar. After an easy 40-minute walk down to Rajungkaru, we will encounter several typical Tibetan nomads with their flock of yaks, sheep and pashmina goats. Following the stream for about 50 minutes, we will enter another nomad settlement. These nomads are of Western Tibetan origin. When the Chinese subjugated Tibet these nomads and their animals faced numerous hardships, fighting biting cold and losing many lives while fleeing into Ladakh from Tibet.
After sharing a cup of butter tea with the nomads, we will continue to ascend the Kyamayuru La (5410 m); this pass is challenging in nature, but the magnificent view from the top makes it well worth all our strenuous efforts.
From the pass we descend gradually to the valley towards our campsite at Gyamar Barma (5150 m). Due to the campsite’s high altitude, bad weather can make night temperature freezing.
DAY 08 : GYAMAR BARMA – GYAMAR 5200 M (3-4 HRS)
When we open our eyes in the morning, we will find ourselves amidst a herd of grazing yaks. After breakfast, we head to our next pass, Kartse La (5300 m). Ascending slowly in the thin air of the plateau, we will eventually reach the pass. The trail leads gradually down to the lush green valley of the Gyamar, where we spend our night.
DAY 09: GYAMAR – KORZOK 4500 M (6-7 HRS)
Today, we gradually ascend towards the highest and final pass on the trek. Following the narrow valley until the Yalung Nyaulung La (5450 m), we will see some of the rare flowers and herbs of the Himalayan region. The fragrances will astonish you! To our right we can view snowcapped mountains and from the top of the pass we will also have a view of the lake Tsomoriri, surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We descend steeply for a couple of hours to the Korzok Phu, the summer pasture of the Korzok people. From the pasture.
DAY 10: KORZOK – LEH (7 HRS DRIVE)
We drive back to Leh along the gorges of the mighty Indus with all these good memories in mind, leaving behind the beautiful lake Tsomoriri.
DAY 11: LEH
Excursion to Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Stok
Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour.
We start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue, built in the memory of King Singee Namgyal by his son lDeldan Namgyal in 1633 A.D. It is the only kind of statue made of Gold, Gilt and copper in entire Ladakh.
Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh,.
Drive further to visit the famous Hemis Gompa, This is the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Most of the other Drukpa monasteries are the branch monasteries of Hemis. It was built during early 17th century with the blessing of Lama Stagtsang Raspa (Shambunatha), by famous Namgyal dynasty king Singee Namgyal.
The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading Buddhism in the Tibetan world.
After covering these three monasteries we drive back to leh and visit Stok Palace on the way, Stok lies south south of leh on the opposite side of the singe Tsangspo River. The castle was built on a hill at the end of village in about the year 1825 by king Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. In stok there is also the sacred monastery of Gurphug, a branch of Spituk Monastery. On the 9th and 10th days of the first tibeten month of the festival called the “Guru Tshechu” is held during which the monks of Spituk Monastery come to perform the sacred dances. At that time two gods make their appearance.
DAY 12: LEH
Complete day at leisure to explore the beautif leh city on your own and time free for last day shopping.
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 13: DEPART LEH
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. .