FROM THE INDUS VALLEY TO THE GREAT HIMALAYAN LAKES

Deep in the Ladakhi and Champa territory, there is much to see. Trekking in the Sham region, the delightful homestay, the Markha valley, the nomads of the Changtang plateau, the sparkling lakes and, the refreshing sight of the Kangyatsé massif all add up to make an unforgettable experience.

In the footsteps of the old caravans

From the Indus valley to the Tibetan Changtang plateau, we pass through the Sham region and the Markha valley, meeting the inhabitants who are predominantly farmers and breeders and then visit some known as well as secret monasteries. This trek takes us deep into Ladakhi and Champa territory: a complete change of scenery!

The trip begins with three days of easy trekking in the Sham region, where we immerse ourselves in local lifestyle, living in beautiful Ladakhi houses in a homestay arrangement. We then climb up gradually as we head for the Markha valley, which opens out to the high peaks of the Kangyatsé massif. From passes to villages, we walk through colorful landscapes of ocher, green and turquoise that contrast with the luxuriance of the villages.

We end our great trek in the high plateau of Changtang, land of nomadic tribes. We meet them and try to learn about their way of life. The exchanges happen naturally and with a bit of luck we bivouac next to their camp. The lakes of Tso Kar and Tso Moriri are the highlights on this trip.

HIGHLIGHTS
- Trek through three very different regions of Ladakh.
- Encounter with nomads of Changtang and Tso Moriri Lake.
- Great west-east crossing of Ladakh.


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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Level of Trek: Very Difficult
  • Best Period: June - September
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Highest Altitude: 5300 Meters
  • Flights: Delhi - Leh - Delhi

For your next trek with us in the Himalayas, travel light and aware: Base Camp offers you a biodegradable soap made in Nepal, to leave no trace ...

Day
Depending on your arrival time: spend a short night in a hotel close to the airport or transit at the airport.

From Delhi, we catch a domestic flight to Leh. A delightful flight over the Himalayan range.
Arrival at the hotel; day of rest and acclimatization
- Accommodation: Hotel 

We start our adventure with excursions in the high altitude of the Indus Valley and visit the great monasteries of Shey, Thiksey, and Rizong. Shey was once the capital city of the Kingdom during the 13th Century.
We then visit the monastery of Thiksey, which lies on the right bank of the Indus River, about 20 km from Leh. This monastery was built during the 15th Century and is dedicated to Maitreya, the future Buddha.
In the afternoon, we head toward Hemishukpachen, where Angchok and Tsering will be waiting to welcome us. On the way, we stop at the Monastery of Rizong, located in an astonishing circuit.
- Accommodation: Homestay

We hike uphill for an hour to reach the pass of Mebtak (3,830m). Once past the pass, we go downhill toward Ang and Temisgam. The path has been carved in the colorful ochre, pink, and purple (Ophiolites) rocks, reminding us that the Himalayas emerged some fifty million years ago from the Tethys sea bed. Once we reach Temisgam, we drive a short distance on a wonderful twisting road up to Lamayuru. After a short tea break, we visit the monastery of Lamayuru (11th century) with its three great temples, perched on a rock overlooking the village.
- Elevation + : 400m
- Elevation - : 700m
- Duration of hike: 4 to 5hr
- Hours of transportation: 1
- Accommodation: Guesthouse

Today’s trek takes us through one of the most beautiful landscapes. The color of the rocks change according to the light falling on them and contrast with the greenery of the Lamayuru village.
We then hike uphill to reach the Prinkiti Pass (3,700m). Once there, after a short break, we start walking downhill toward Wangla.
At the end of the day, we visit the monastery of Rinchen Zangpo, perched high on a hill overlooking the village of Wangla.
We spend the night in Punchok’s family home
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Homestay

We drive along the Yapola River and reach the villages of Phankilla and Hinju (3,740m). Then we trek through an amazing valley of arid but colorful, rocky mountains often with ice on their summits.
Here, even the smallest pool of water spouts an oasis of greenery.
- Elevation + : 600m
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

 

This is the first day of sustained trekking and a climb to the Konzle-La pass (4,880m). We climb up gradually on a zigzag path to reach the pass. Once on top, we have our fill of the view and start the downhill walk to reach our camp for the night.
- Elevation + : 1000m
- Elevation - : 800m
- Duration of hike: 6hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We walk along the river go past the rocky mountains that seem to shoot up into the sky like sharp needles. We then come across a bit of a greenery where there are trees and barley fields in sharp contrast. The village of Sumda Chenmo is close by. We visit the tiny monastery here and stop for lunch by the river. We then start walking uphill toward the Dundunchen pass.
- Elevation + : 300m
- Elevation - : 400m
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We start the day with a gradual uphill climb to reach the Dundunchen pass (4,700m). Once we reach the pass, we can see the road that goes to Konzke La. It is a magnificent spectacle with a chaotic melange of colorful rocks, grey schist, and serpentine greens alongside the ochres, browns, and reds of the mountains. Then we walk on a stiff downhill path toward the gorges of the Zanskar river up to the village of Chilling (3,500m).
- Elevation + : 500m
- Elevation - : 1300m
- Duration of hike: 5hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

Today we cross the Zanskar River via a basket bridge and enter the Markha Valley. It’s an easy day of walking with little elevation to worry about.
- Elevation + : 150m
- Elevation - : 50m
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

From Skyu, we take an ancient path and walk through the Markha Valley. We cross the river several times either via bridges or by fording the river. This is one of the most beautiful valleys in Ladakh where green fields contrast with the colorful, arid rocks.
- Duration of hike: 7hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We make several crossings of the Markha River before reaching the Homalang village. The valley gets gradually wider from here on, opening out to the important massif of the Kangyatse. We continue hiking and walk past Hangkar (3,930m), the highest village in Markha.
- Duration of hike: 6hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

This day we have only a short walk toward the pass of Zalung La (5,190m). We cross the ruins of some ancient hamlets: Tikyu and Langtang Chen and spend the night at the foot of the pass.
- Duration of hike: 4hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We walk uphill on a gradual climb to the pass of Zalung. Once on top, we get an unobstructed view of the massifs of Zanskar and Kangyatse. After a well-deserved break, we start the long downhill walk to the village of Sorro.
- Elevation - : 1000m
- Duration of hike: 6-7hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

Our trek in the Valley of Markha ends at Dat, one of the numerous pastors’ villages of the region. We start the day with a downhill hike toward the amazing gorges of Dat. We then walk along the river Chang Chu that meanders around in a valley; a little paradise far removed from the rest of the world.
- Duration of hike: 4-5hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We take a 2- hour drive toward the Changtang Plateau at the south of the Markha Valley which is only a few kilometers from Tibet. There, the landscape changes dramatically. During the summer, many nomads bring their goats, sheep, horses, and yaks to graze in these pastures. The Changtang lakes are also home to numerous protected species of migratory birds. Once we reach Lake Tso Kar, we set up camp and walk along the shores of the lake. The read and ochre of the surrounding mountains are beautifully reflected in the turquoise waters of the lake. It is a great opportunity for bird watchers to observe the many species of birds that rest here.
- Duration of hike: 3hr
- Duration of drive: 2-3hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

We walk toward the Tso Moriri Lake through a hilly region with great alpine pastures, where the nomads ‘Champas’ bring their cattle for grazing during the summer. It is normal to frequently bump into nomad camps in this region. We go to meet with them and set up our bivouac next to their camp. We then walk toward the Horlam La pass from where we can see a large number of 6000m+ summits of the Korzog and Rupsu massifs all around. Gradients both uphill and downhill are gradual.
- Elevation + : 400m
- Elevation - : 300m
- Duration of hike: 5- 6hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

Today we will cross two passes both above 5000m. But because of our acclimatization, it will not be that difficult for us. Moreover, uphill hikes to the passes are of relatively small gradient. The views from these two passes are simply unforgettable.
- Elevation + : 400m
- Elevation - : 300 m
- Duration of hike: 6hr
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

That will be our last day of trekking. We will reach the village of Korzog, on the banks of the Tso Moriri Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake covers an area of about 120 square kilometers. This lake is a major spot for birds to reproduce and an inescapable halt toward the migration routes for more than 40 species of water birds. Some Champas are living all year long around the lake.
- Elevation + : 600m
- Elevation - : 800m
- Walking hours: 4-5h
- Accommodation: Bivouac under tents

In the morning we hike around the lake and visit the monastery of Korzog.
Then we drive all the way back to Leh.
- Duration of drive: 6-7hr
- Accommodation: Hotel

Flight back to Delhi to catch your return flight.
End of our services.

What's included

- All the transports and transfers in private vehicle
- Outside LEH Guesthouse and Tented Camp on full board basis
- In LEH, Hotel on BB basis
- Oxygen available if needed
- English speaking Ladakhi Guide at Ladakh
- Staffs ( Cook, Assistant Cook, Mules) according to the size of the group
- Camping equipment and collective cooks at bivouacs including tents, tent mess, tent cook, tent toilets, table and chairs, mattresses...
- Entrances to the mentioned sites, trekking permits, and park entrances according to the itinerary
- Domestic flight indicated in supplement

What's not included

- Stay in Delhi, food at Leh except Breakfast
- Indian Visa to get in advance
- International flights
- Insurance detail compulsory
- Tips, personal expenses, drinks, sleeping bag, etc...
Question? Make an inquiry or call (977-1) 441 55 73