Recently opened to foreigners due to the proximity of the Chinese boarder, the Changthang is a land of wilderness and magnificent landscapes. This region is characterized by high arid plains, remote villages, snow-capped peaks and beautiful high altitude azure-blue lakes, the largest being Tsomoriri at 4,500 m.
Truly remote, this area is only accessible for a few months every summer and is inhabited by Changpas - nomadic yak and pashmina goat herders of Tibetan origin, who wander this area crossing over high altitude mountain passes. Our trek will take us across these passes to their summer settlements to witness a unique human culture, far away from the reaches of the modern world. The itinerary then goes south towards Spiti, following the western bank of the lake. The scenery is wild and vast with snow-capped peaks lining the far horizon. The trek ends at Tabo, famous for its monastery.
Day by Day Itinerary:Day 01: Delhi. Airport - hotel transfer.
Day 02: Delhi - Leh (3500 m) by plane. Afternoon at leisure. We can visit the palace and the gompa of Leh and the Stock royal palace.
Day 03: Visit of the high Indus valley's monasteries (Car). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04: Visit Stok royale palace, Spitok monastery and the Tibetan Camp of Choglamsar (Car). These two days of visit are an excellent opportunity to get acclimatized for the Khardong La.
Day 05: Leh - Rumtse (4000 m) by taxi. Trek to Kyamar (4420 m) in 4 h.
We stop at Hemis to visit its monastery, one of the largest and most important of Ladakh. Later, we will continue to Rumtse, where the trek starts. We enter a magnificent and vast area, where the Changpas - nomadic herders take their yak to pasture. We follow the ancient salt along the green Kyamar valley.
Day 06: Kyamar - Kumur La (4770 m) - Tisaling (4805 m) in 5h 30.
We start through beautiful color gorge towards Chorten Sumda. Easy walk for one hour then ascend towards Kumur La. From the top one can see the beautiful view of the chain of Kangyatse and the chain of Indus valley.
Day 07: Tisaling - Shibuk La (4875 m) - Pangunagu (4800 m) in 5 h.
From the pass we get a panoramic view of the Tsokhar Lake (4400m)and the Rupshu valley. Then descend towards the lake, from witch the nomads collect some salt. We will camp near the winter camp of nomad people of Chanthang.
Day 08: Pangunagu - Nuruchan (4630 m) in 5 h.
Today we have an easy trek along the lake. On the way one can see many birds and Wild ass (Kyang) of Ladakh and Tibet plateau. At the end of the lake the trail goes right and enter the Nuruchan village.
Day 09: Nuruchan - Horlam Kongka La (4 900 m) - Kyamayuri La (5 410 m ) -Gyamabarma (4950 m) in 6 h. This is a high altitude route and we will cross two passes around 4900 m.
Day 10: Gyamabarma - Yalung Nyau La (5 440 m) - Korzok (4550 m) in 6 h.
Trek over the Yalung Nyau La to Korzok, on the northwestern shore of Tso Moriri, the "Mountain Lake". We visit the Korzok monastery. Camp by the lake.
Day 11: Korzok - Kyangdam (4550 m) in 6 h 30.
Walk along the western shore of Tso Moriri to Kyangdam, an expansive grassland on the southern shore.
Day 12: Kyangdam - Narbu Sumdo (4450 m) en 6 h.
After crossing the river, the trail climbs up for a while and enter the Parang Chu valley.
Day 13: Narbu Sumdo - Parang Chu 1 (4850 m) in 5 h.
We gradually ascend the Prang Chu valley, on the right bank of the river.
Day 14: Parang Chu 1 - Parang Chu 2 (5000m) in 5h 30.
The trail passes through a narrow gorge involving many ascents and descents to the side valleys and streams
Day 15: Parang Chu 2 - Parang La (5500 m) - Jugstok (4800 m) in 7 h.
After the frontal moraine of the Parang glacier, the trail continues on the opposite bank, thorough a mass of fallen rocks. After making our way over a few patches of snow, we climb gradually up to Parang La. The top of this Pass presents spectacular viewpoints of the peaks and ranges of Lahol and Ladakh. The Parang Chu, whose source is on the southern slopes of Parang La, can be seen below.
Day 16: Jugstok - Kiber (4205 m) in 7 h.
Steap descend towards the Sampa Lungpa valley. After crossing a little pass, the Thaltak La (4600 m),one can see towards Parilungbi in the Lingti Valley and Shilla. We soon reach the little hamlet of Dumla, a tiny green oasis, then Kibber, which is the highest village in the world.
Day 17: Kiber - Tabo (3050 m).
Transfer by taxi, along the Spiti river (60 Km - 4 h). We reach Kyi in less than 3 hours and have all afternoon to explore this fascinating village and the jumble of the white buildings that is the gompa, perched high on a rocky hill above the village. Afterwards, we visit the Tabo monastery, one of the most important gompas, not just in Spiti but in the whole Tibetan Buddhist world. There is also a modern gompa and a painting school founded by the Dalai Lama.
Day 18: Tabo - Kyato. Transfer by taxi.
Day 19: Kyato - Kunzum La (4590 m) - Rohtang La (3980 m) - Manali.
Transfer by taxi. This is quite long drive, about 8 to 9 hours. We will cross two passes split by the Chandra valley.
Day 20 : Manali - Delhi by night bus.
Visit old Manali, Hadimba temple and Vashisht village. In the late afternoon we will take the night bus to Delhi.
Day 21 : Delhi. Late morning, arrive in Delhi. Afternoon at leisure.
What is Includes in the price?
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis for the duration of the tour in the itinerary.
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Coach transfers from First day meeting point of the group to the last day of the dropping point of the group of the tour.
- All entrance fees of the sightseeing places mentioned in the itinerary.
- Services of the Tour Manager from the first day of meeting point to the last day dropping point of the tour.
- Guide Tips, Driver tips & Restaurant Tips.
- A complimentary travel bag and cap.
- Cost of any internal airfare if specified in the itinerary.
What is Excludes in the price?
- Cost of Rail or Airfare to and from the meeting and dropping place of the tour except Airport to Airport Tours / specifically mentioned in the tour itinerary.
- Cost of any individual Airport / Railway station transfer
- Any Increase in the Airfare / Hotel tariff charges.
- Any Increase in the fuel surcharge or any kind of taxes levied by the respective government or statutory bodies.
- Porterage (Coolie charges), laundry, wines & alcoholic beverages, mineral water (unless specified), telephone charges, shopping, all items of personal nature and also food and drinks not forming the part of the group menus.
- Cost of Insurance
- Extra stay pre/post tour.
- Any extra expenses incurred for changing the route due to any unforeseen circumstances, forced majuire instances, natural calamities, political disturbances, strikes etc.
- Extra cost incurred due to illness, accident, hospitalization or any Individual unforeseen cost incurring incidence.
- Any private transfers taken to move from one place to another instead of coach
- Additional extra topping if taken
- If any activity/sightseeing done twice
- Any add-on sightseeing/activities along with transfers if done other than mentioned in the tour program.
- Fur coats/Jackets to visit snow point or any special attire required to visit any particular sightseeing place.
- Premium seat charges
- Medicines required if any.
- Service or Government taxes as applicable.
Ladakh, the land of many passes, snow clad mountains and arid land is among the highest of the world's inhabited plateaus. It lies at altitudes ranging from about 2,750 meters at Kargil to 7,672 meters at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. The summer temperatures exceed up to 35 ° C, while in winter they may drop to -40 ° C in some high altitude areas. Ladakh has been the described as 'Moon Land', 'Magic Land', and 'Mysterious Land' for its unique landscape and exquisite culture.
Ladakh is sandwiched between two vast mountain systems, the Karakoram to the north and the Himalaya to the south. Covering an area of about 60,000 sq km and ranging in elevation from 2600m to 7070 m, it is the largest and highest district in India. The Indus valley is the Ladakhi heartland, with the highest population density, and large amounts of agricultural land. Running parallel, roughly north-east south-west with it are a series of valleys and mountain ranges. North of the Indus valley is the Ladakh range, on the other side of which is the Shayok, and Nubra valleys.
Ladakh is country's coldest, highest and the driest zone. Ladakh has a cool and generally dry mountain climate. Much of Ladakh is above 11,000 feet (3,350 M). Therefore, you can expect warm to hot days in the summer and cool nights. In winter the temp may drop as low as
-35*C. There is occasional snowfall in winter caused by "Western Disturbances". Summer days are generally warm, 25-30*C. Annual rainfall does not normally exceed 10cm/3.5 in though over the past decade or so there have been occasional spells of unusually heavy rainfall.
Information on Ladakh before the birth of the kingdom (10th century) is scarce. Ladakh can hardly be considered a separate political entity before the establishment of the kingdom about 950 CE, after the collapse of the early Tibetan Empire and the border regions became independent kingdoms under independent rulers, most of who came from branches of the Tibetan royal family.
The earliest layer in the population of Ladakh was probably composed of the Dardi.Herodotus mentions twice a people called Dadikai, first along with the Gandarioi, and again in the catalogue of king Xerxes's army invading Greece. Herodotus also mentions the gold-digging ants of Central Asia, which is also later mentioned in connection with the Dardi people by Nearchus, the admiral of Alexander, and Megasthenes
The language of Ladakh is Ladakhi, a Tibetan dialect with written Ladakhi being the same as Tibetan. Tibetans can learn Ladakhi easily but Tibetan is difficult to speak for Ladakhis. Spoken Ladakhi is closer to the Tibetan spoken in Western Tibet. Ladakhi language is a shared culture platform which brings the Muslims and Buddhists together as one people of this Himalayan region. Ladakhis usually know Hindi and often English.
Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being: Thukpa, noodle soup; and Tsumpa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour, eatable without cooking it makes useful, if dull trekking food.
A dish that is strictly Ladakhi is skyu , a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables.
Flora & Fauna of Ladakh
Ladakh's flora and fauna are more similar to those of Tibet than to the main Himalaya and are a product of the dry climate, cold winters and short growing season. The animals of Ladakh have much in common with the animals of Central Asia generally, and especially those of the Tibetan Plateau.
- Zanskar (also Zangskar ) is a region in Ladakh north west India . It is famous for its stunning scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries. It borders on Ladakh to which it is almost identical from an outsider's point of view, only being more remote and less densely populated, with less infrastructure.
- Nubra valley, north of Leh, located between the Ladakh Range and the Lofty eastern Karakoram mountains , lies Nubra, a region part green, part rocky and barren and part , rather surprisingly Desert and camels too. A region very unique in itself!
- Pangong Lake, this vast lake, 150km long and 4 km wide, stretches from the north -east of Ladakh across the border of Tibet.There are some interesting birds around the lake shore including a few pairs of the very rare endangered black -necked crane.
- Tsomoriri Lake, this high altitude lake is situated in the Rupshu region of eastern Ladakh near the border with Tibet. The mountains to the east of the Lake are crowned by two of Ladakh's highest summits, the Lungser Kangri (6666m/21,870 ft) and to its north, Chamser Kangri (6622m/21,712 ft).
- Dha hanu, downstream from Khaltse along the lower Indus , live a group of people known as Brokpas, an isolated people of the purest Aryan stock who are racially , and in some ways culturally , very different from most Ladakhis. They are the only ones to have preserved their unique form of Buddhism which is mixed with the pre Bhuddist animistic religion, Bon.
Monasteries of Ladakh
- Lamayuru Gompa
Location 125 Km from Leh
Founded in 11th century by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa
- Alchi Gompa
Location 67 Km from Leh
Founded in 1000 AD by Rinchen Zangpo1000 AD
- Likir Gompa
Location 60 Km from Leh
Founded in 9th century by Lama Duwang Chusje
Location 70 Km from Leh
Founded in 1831 AD by Lama Tsultim Nima
- Phyang Monastery
Location 26 Km from Leh
Founded in1515 by Chosje Damma Kunga
- Spituk Monastery
Location 7 Km from Leh
Founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od in 11th century
- Namgyal Tsemo
Location in Leh town Just above the leh Palace on a Hill
Founded by King Tashi Namgyal in 1430 AD
- Sankar Gompa
Location 1 Km north of Leh
- Shanti Stupa
Situated in Leh Town near Changspa
Founded by a Japaneese Monk in 1984
- Chemrey Gompa
Location: 45 Km
Founded in 17th century by Lama Tagsang Raschen
- Hemis Monastery
Location: 46 Km
Founded in 1630 by First incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso
- Stakna Monastery
Location 25 Kms from Leh
Founded by Chosje Jamyang Palkar in 16th century.
- Thiksey Gompa
Location Thicksey Village 20 Kms from Leh
Founnded in 1430 AD. By Spon Paldan Sherab, nephew of Sherab Zangpo
- Shey Palace & Gompa
Location : 14 Kms from Leh
Founded by King Deldan Namgyal in 17th century
- Stok Gompa
Location 14 kms from Leh
Lama Lhawang Lotus in 14th Century
- Diskit Gompa
Location: Nubra valley 130 Kms from Leh
Founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in 14th century.
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