June 2012
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Darcha Lamayuru Trek – A popular Trek in Himachal passing through Zanskar.

Darcha Lamayuru Trek is one of the most popular trekking and the most traversing treks in Himachal Pradesh, passing through Zanskar.


• To the north of the Great Himalayan Treks, amongst a tangled knot of jagged mountains, lies a rugged and fascinating land, the once independent kingdom of Zanskar.
• This range is sandwiched between the Indus Valley and the main crest of the Indian Himalaya.
• It is well guarded by snowy mountain passes, has kept alive an archaic form of Tibetan Buddhism.
• This flourishes in chain of far-flung monasteries, most of which occupy spectacular fortified locations, high on rocky ridges in isolated valleys.

The trek includes:
• Visit to some ancient monasteries dramatically built on jagged hillsides
• Stopping and meeting the friendly Zanskari inhabitants
• Quaint villages
• High grassy meadows
• Few crystal clear springs
• Shimmering snow clad mountains
• Beauty of the desolate landscape
• Highest Altitude gained: Shingo La 5100 m
• Trek grade: Strenuous
• Operational period: Mid June to end September
• Region: Lahoul, Zanskar, Ladakh,
• Trip Length: 20-27 days Ex New Delhi,
• Max. Altitude : Shingo – la (5090mt.),
• Best Season: Mid June to September end

The Trek Route

• Towards the western end of the Himalayas a series of continuous mountain ridges, comprising scores of 6000 meter (20000 foot) peaks.
• They form an effective barrier between the Indian provinces of Lahaul and Ladakh.
• Linking these contrasting mountainous regions is a trekking route that provides one of the great challenges of the Indian Himalaya.
• Transferring by train and car from Delhi, we pass through the lush Kulu Valley and cross the Rohtang Pass to reach the start of our trek at Darcha.
• From here, we head north across the Shingo La (c.5100m./16000ft.) into the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, famous for its hardy inhabitants and starkly beautiful landscape.
• Encounter a succession of isolated villages and several wonderful Buddhist monasteries, notably at Phuktal, Lingshet and Lamayuru.
• There is also time to explore the fascinating Ladakhi capital of Leh.

Outline of Trek Itinerary (From Delhi)

• Day 01 Arrival in Delhi
• Day 02 Drive Delhi – Manali (2,040m)
• Day 03 Manali
• Day 04 Drive Manali – Rohtang pass (3978m) – Jispa (3300m).
• Day 05 Trek to Palamo (3825m).
• Day 06 Trek to Zanskar Sumdo (4,100m).
• Day 07 Trek to Chhumik Nakpo (4670m).
• Day 08 Trek to Shingola (5090m) – Lakhong (4590m).
• Day 09 Trek to Kargyak (4230m).
• Day 10 Trek to Purne (3965m).
• Day 11 Trek to Phuktal (4055m) and back to Purne.
• Day 12 Trek to Vipula (3865m).
• Day 13 Trek to Raru (3960m).
• Day 14 Trek to Padum (3,530m).
• Day 15 Trek to Karsha (3,320 m).
• Day 16 Trek to Pishu (3660m).
• Day 17 Trek to Hanumil (3650m).
• Day 18 Trek to Snertse (3940m).
• Day 19 Trek to Lingshed (4100m).
• Day 20 Trek to foot of Sengge-la (3,990m).
• Day 21 Trek to Sengge-la ( 5060m) Photoksar ( 4400m).
• Day 22 Trek to Sir Sir-la ( 4965m) Hanupatta (4070m).
• Day 23 Trek to Wanla ( 3470m).
• Day 24 Trek to Prinkiti-la ( 3930m) Lamayuru (3750m) – Leh.
• Day 25 Leh
• Day 26 Leh – New Delhi
• Day 27: Fly home.

General Itinerary of the Trek

1. Darcha – Palemo (3600m) in 5h
• Start the journey with an easy walk into the valley.
• En route, visit the Chika and Rarik monasteries.

2. Palemo – Zanskar Sumdo (3860m) in 5h
• Cross the river by a hanging pulley.
• Overnight at Zanskar Sumdo.

3. Zanskar Sumdo – Chumi Napo (4640m) in 5h
• Early morning trek from Zanskar Sumdo to Chumi Napo.
• The route leaves the valley and one has to climb up quite steeply towards the Shingo La pass.

4. Chumi Napo – Shingo La (5090m) – Lakham (4470m) in 6h
• Shingo La pass is surrounded with fascinating views of the glaciers.
• An easy traverse of a glacier takes us to the valley and to the Lakham yak pastures.

5. Lakham – Kurgiak (4050m) in 6h
• A gradual descent along the Kurgiak river and lined with mani walls.
• A few Doksas, where yaks are kept in summer time can be visited.

6. Kurgiak – Tetha (3950m), in 7h
• The trail is boarded by meadows of flowers and barley fields.
• Shortens are spread all the way and highlight the religious fervour of the Zanskaris.

7. Tetha – Purni (3700m), in 2h
• Visit Phuktal monastery (3850m), perched on the side of an impressive cliff.

8. Purni – Ichar (3650m) in 4h
9. Ichar – Mune (3900m), in 5h
• The trail goes up and down along the Tsarap River
• On arriving at Mune, visit its monastery.

10. Mune – Padum (3600m) in 6h
• Visit Bardan monastery.
• Bardan is one of the most important in the area.
• Overnight in Padum.

11. Padum- Karsha (3600m) in 3h
• A pleasant walk through fields.
• On the way visit Pepiting monastery and the Karsha Gompa which is one of the most important in Zanskar and dating back to the 15th century.
• One can view beautiful panoramic vistas of the full Himalayan range.

12. Karsha – Pishu (3470m) in 5h
• Progress along the Zanskar River.

13. Pishu – Hanumil (3380m) in 5h
• An easy-going walk along the right bank of the river takes us to Rinam village.
• Continue to the tiny hamlet of Hanumil.

14. Hanumil – Purfi La (3950m) – Snertse (3850m) in 6h
• Up and down over a steep path.

15. Snerstse – Hanuma La (4950m) – Lingshet (4000m) in 6h
• After a steep climb reach the Purfi La pass.
• From here the panorama towards the Ladakhi and Zanskari ranges is very beautiful.
• Visit of Lingshet monastery.

16. Lingshet – Camp before Singue La (4550m), in 6h
• Start a long and gradual ascent to the Netuke La pass (4280m).
• Here have a wonderful view towards the Nierag valley.
• The trail then descends shortly to reach Skimpata and Gongma villages.
• Then climb steeply to reach the second pass, Khyupa La (4300m).

17. Camp before Singue La – Singue La (5050m) – Photoksar (4200m) in 6h
• An amazing spectacle of hanging ice falls.
• Descend towards the Photang River and progress through barley fields.

18. Photoksar – Sirsir La (4850m) – Hanupatta (3760m) in 6h
• Photang valley turns into a gorge labyrinth, which forces us to make a detour via Sirsir La pass.
• Three shortens mark Hanupatta and its giant hundred-year-old cedar, flanked by colorful prayer flags.

19. Hanupatta – Wanla (3250m) in 5h
• Head down towards the Photang valley and climb up to the Panjila pass (3410m).
• Finally descend to Wanla and visit its tiny monastery.

20. Wanla – Lamayuru (3420m) in 4h
• Visit of the monastery at Lamayuru, which is the biggest in western Ladakh and was built in the 16th century.
• The gompa is very well kept and famous for its many colorful wall paintings.

21. Lamayuru – Leh (3500m)

Trekking In Zanskar

– Crossing Zanskar – Lamayuru – Darcha via Nerag
– Diagonal Zanskar – Kanji to Tsokmitsik
– Trans Zanskar – Kanji – Darcha via Lingshet & Nerag
– Chiling – Zangla via Jumlang
– Kang La Trek
– Lamayuru – Padum or Padum – Lamayuru
– Padam – Darcha (Manali)

River Rafting Packages are given below:

• Indus River Rafting
• Rafting on Zanskar River

Best time to visit / climate

• The best time for a visit is July and August.
• For snowboard joys, December to March is the best time.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. To reach Ladakh
• Buses run directly to Leh from either Manali or Srinagar.
• Daily flights to Leh are run by Indian, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Red from Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and elsewhere.
• You can ride in to Leh between June and mid-October (when the roads are open) on a motorcyle too.

2. Bikers usually follow either of the 2 routes
1. Delhi -> Chandigarh -> Patni Top -> Srinagar -> Kargil -> Leh
2. Delhi -> Chandigarh -> Manali -> Sarchu -> Pang -> Leh

3. By bus
• Ladakhi buses run from Leh to the surrounding villages.
• Daily buses or mini buses run to Alchi, Basgo, Dha-Hanu, Likir, Nimmu, and Saspul.
• Twice daily to Chemray, Hemis, Matho, Stok, and Tak Tok.
• Hourly or more often to Choglamsar, Phyang, Shey, Spituk, Stakna, Thiksay.

Some travel books from Amazon about Darcha Lamayuru Trek

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: India Lonely Planet Indian Himalaya Lonely Planet Trekking in the Indian Himalaya

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at you.travel
Hotels at todaytourism.com
Hotels at packago.com

Blogs / Sites about Darcha Lamayuru Trek

Blogs and reviews at indiatrekkings.com
Blogs and reviews at thrillophilia.com
Blogs and reviews at redchilliadventure.com

Images and photos of Darcha Lamayuru Trek

Images at google.com
Images at thrillophilia.com
Images at potala-himalaya.com

Videos of Darcha Lamayuru Trek

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