June 2012
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Darcha Padum Trek – One of the popular treks, which leads to Zanskar Valley.

Darcha Padum Trek is one of the popular treks, which leads to Zanskar Valley.


• The trek takes one through many Zanskar villages and various monasteries.
• A slow ascent up to the pass and then a steep descent to the Tsarap River brings into the heart of Zanskar.
• The trail follows the river most of the way.
• Zanskar trekking is one of the challenging Himalayan adventure trek in an exotic land of ancient kingdoms.
• There are high mountain passes and unforgettable landscapes, villages.
• A journey through Leh – Ladakh and Zanskar, once part of the Kingdom of Western Tibet, is a journey back through the centuries.
• Tibetan Buddhist lamas, cliff-side monasteries, grazing yaks and lively, traditional villages add a sense to our journey through Ladakh & Zanskar.
• Our trek passes through the small Kingdom of Yulchung, a time barely remembered by the villagers.
• It continues across the Zanskar River gorges and through the canyons.
• The route extends to the spires of ‘Bear Valley’ to reach the ancient Kingdom of Zangla, the upper reaches of Zanskar.
• White-washed villages, ruined forts and dramatically perched Gompas can be seen.
• Our trek will be finish with a spectacular eight-day exploratory route west from Stongde Gompa to Brandy Nala
• Trip Length is 22 days.
• Trek is 10 days.
• Trek grade: Moderate to strenuous.
• Highest elevation : 5090m.
• Best season: Mid June to Mid Oct.

What is the Route?

• Drive will be from Delhi to the lush and exotic Kulu Valley.
• It crosses the Rohtang Pass and reach the start of the trek at Darcha.
• Towards the western end of the Himalayas a series of continuous mountain ridges, comprising scores of 6000m (20000 foot) peaks forms an effective barrier.
• This formation is between the Indian provinces of Lahaul and Ladakh.
• Linking these contrasting mountainous regions is Ladakh trekking route.
• The route provides one of the great challenges of the Indian Himalayan Treks.
• Head north across the Shingo La into the ancient kingdom of Zanskar.
• This is famous for its hardy inhabitants and starkly beautiful landscape.
• One can encounter a row of isolated villages and numerous wonderful Buddhist monasteries.
• They are notably at Phuktal, Lingshet and Lamayuru.
• One can also plan to explore the fascinating and legendary Ladakhi capital of Leh.

Outline Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Delhi airport, meet our staff then transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Delhi/Chandigarh/Manali.
Day 03: Manali.
Day 04: Manali-Darcha drive 140 kms by jeep.
Day 05: Darcha/Chalang Tokpo (Trek) 5-6 hrs.
Day 06: Chalang Tokpo/Zanskar Sumdo/Ramjak (Trek) – 7/8 hrs.
Day 07: Ramjak/Chumikanakpo (Trek).
Day 08: Chumikanakpo/Shingola/Lakonng (Trek).
Day 09: Lakong/Kurgiak (Trek).
Day 10: Kurgiak/Purne (Trek).
Day 11: Purne/Phuktal Gompa/Purne (Trek).
Day 12: Purne/Ichar (Trek).
Day 13: Ichar/mone (Trek).
Day 14: Mone / Padum (Trek).
Day 15: Padum / Kargi (Jeep).
Day 16: Kargil / Leh (Jeep).
Day 17: Leh – sight seeing.
Day 18: Leh – Visit of Shey, Tiksey, Hemis Gompas and Stok Palace.
Day 19: Leh – Delhi flight then transfer to Hotel.
Day 20: Fly back to home.

General Itinerary

1. Darcha to Palamo (3350m) 5-6 hrs
• Follow a small trail till Rarik.
• Then a trail to camp at Palamo.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

2. Palamo to Zanskar Sumdo (3600m) 5-6 hrs
• Cross a glacial stream.
• Continue along a fairly level trail to Zanskar Sumdo.
• Cross the river by pulley.
• Camp across the river.

3. Zanskar Sumdo to Chuminakpo (4050m) 6-7 hrs
• This is a steep climb for about 45 mins.
• Then follow a fairly level trail to Ramjiak (4290m).
• Continue traversing the scree slopes to camp at Chuminakpo (base of Shingo La).
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

4. Chuminakpo to Lakong(4470m) via the Shingo La (5100m) 6-7 hrs
• Start early in the morning for the climb to the Shingo La.
• Follow a path up a scree slope with some snow.
• Descend to camp by the river at Lakong Camp.

5. Lakong to Kargyak(4050m) 6-7 hrs
• Follow a path to the base of Gumburonjon (5900m), a huge rock face revered by the locals.
• Continue to camp near Kargiakh village the first Zanskari settlement.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

6. Kargyak to Testa (3950m) 4-5 hrs
• This is an easy level trail passing mani walls and chortens past the village of Kuru.
• Down to camp below Testa village.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

7. Testa to Purne (3700m) 4-5 hrs
• Continue down towards the river.
• Climb gently to Jal and descend steeply to a bridge which you cross to get to Purne.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

8. Purne to Phuktal Gompa to Purne 6-7 hrs
• Excursion to Phuktal Gompa (3850m), one of the most spectacu¬lar sights in Zanskar.
• This monastery dates back to the early 12th century and is built in a cave.
• Return to camp at Purne.

9. Purne to Ichar (3650m) 2-3 hrs
• Cross the river again for a 2 hr walk to Kaydang, a small village.
• Go past the village of Surle to camp at Ichar, an interesting fortified village.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

10. Ichar to Mune (3750m) 5-6 hrs
• Climb gradually before descending to the village of Raru and follow a lovely path to Mune.
• Overnight stay is in Camps.

11. Mune to Padum (3500m) 5-6 hrs
• From Mune monastery, descend to the main trail.
• Arrive at Bardan monastery 2 hrs later.
• This monastery is famous for its 180cm prayer wheel.
• Follow a dusty path till Padum.
• Overnight stay is in Camp/Rest House.

12. Drive Padum to Kargil (2180m) 9-10 hrs
• Drive back from Padum to Kargil.
• Overnight stay is in Hotel.

13. Drive Kargil to Leh (3500m) 7-8 hrs
• Drive back from Kargil to Leh.
• Overnight stay is in Hotel.

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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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:

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 Padum 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 Padum Trek

Blogs and reviews at peakadventuretour.com
Blogs and reviews at seven-sisters.blogspot.in
Blogs at potala-himalaya.com

Images and photos of Darcha Padum Trek

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

Videos of Darcha Padum Trek

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