Darcha Padum Lamayuru Classic Zanskar Trek

Darcha Padum Lamayuru

Here is a chance for hardiest trekker, 14 to 20 km of rough tough and wonderful views every day for two weeks. You and your group will be led among Western Himalayas premier long distance footpath, which links Darcha in Lahaul with Padum in Zanskar and Photoksar in Ladakh. At several points, you will visit Phuktal monastery which is built under a huge cave, Mani gompa, Burdan gompa, Karsha gompa and Lingshed gompa. You will reach as high as 5100 meters, the path crosses passes i.e. Shingo la 5100m, Perfi la, Hunuma la 4800m, Sengge la 5060m. As you cross old packhorse trail, shepherds track, an ancient route. The route crosses Rivers of Chandra, Bhaga, Tsarap, Doda, Zanskar and Indus

Zanskar traverse is one of the classic trekking tours of the Himalayan region, the first day 5 hrs. Drive to Keylong, than to Jispa, Darcha (3,360 m) over Rohtang pass (3,978 m) the gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi and Zanskar valleys. While acclimatizing slowly and doing a hike in around Keylong, we start our trekking tour from Palamo. We cross Shingo La pass (5,090 m) to get into Zanskar. Many ancient gompas on the way: Phuktal gompa which is built under a huge cave and it provides one of the fantastic views. Karsha gompa is biggest in the Zanskar region. Enroute we pass shepherds with their flocks of sheep and climb beautiful snow covered passes with panoramic views of the Great Himalayan range. Trek terminates at Photoksar and we drive to Leh which is 6-7 hrs of a spectacular short drive along the Yapola river gorge and finally 5 to 6 hrs along the Indus river.

Outline Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Delhi, drive to Manali (2050m)
Day 2: Manali
Day 3: Drive Manali – Rohtang pass (3,978 m) – Kyelang (3,080 m)
Day 4:  Acclimatize trek Kardang - Lapchang - Satingri, Drive Jispa (3,650 m)
Day 5: Jispa to Zanskar Sumdo (4,000m) drive, acclimatize trek to Kuddu.
Day 6: Trek Chhumik Nakpo (4,670 m).
Day 7: Trek Shingo la (5,090 m) - Lakhong (4,500 m).
Day 8: Trek Kurgiak (4,140 m)- Sking (4,100 m)
Day 9: Trek Purne (3,800 m).
Day 10: Trek Phuktal (3,900 m) - Cha (3950m) - Anmo (3800m)
Day 11: Drive Raru (3,800m) -Padum (3,600 m)
Day 12: At Padum - Visit Dzonkhul - Sani - Karsha (3,750 m)
Day 13: At Padum - Visit Thongde - Zangla - Pishu (3,500 m)
Day 14: Trek Pidmo - Hanamur (3650m).
Day 15: Trek Parfi la (3,900 m) - Zingchen (3,360 m) - Snertse (3,800 m).
Day 16: Trek Hanuma La (4,800m) - Base Lanang (4,000 m)
Day 17: Trek to Lingshed (3,900 m) -
Day 18: Trek to Netoski la (4,475 m) - Skiumpata (4,000 m)
Day 19: Trek to Kiupa la (4,420 m) - Sengge-la (4,950 m) - Base (4,400 m)
Day 20: Trek Bumitse la (4,400 m) - Photoksar (4200m).
Day 21: Drive to Wanla (3250m) - Lamayuru (3500m)
Day 22: Lamayuru - Alchi (3200m) - Leh (3500m).
Day 23: Morning flight to Delhi, Evening flight back home.

Kanji - Lamayuru Extension
Day 20: Trek Bumitse la (4,400 m) - Photoksar (4200m).
Day 21: Trek to Sirsir La (4805m) - Spangthang/Urtsi Dok (4500m)
Day 22: Trek to Snigutse La (5100m) - Shilakong (4300m)
Day 23: Trek to Yogma La (4820m) - Kanji (3850m)
Day 24: Drive to Fotu La (4100m) - Lamayuru (3500m)
Day 25: Drive to Leh (3500m)
Day 26: Leh
Day 27: Leh
Day 28: Morning flight to Delhi, evening flight back to home.

Detailed  Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi, drive to Manali (2050m)
Arrive at Delhi Indira Gandhi international airport. Pickup by private car drive to Manali. Leaving Delhi drive 4-5 hours journey to Chandigarh, watching the changing scenery roll by. Chandigarh is almost the end of the line, located at the point where the Indian plains meet the foothills of the Himalaya. You continue your journey into the mountains, following the Beas River to enter the Kulu Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in the Indian Himalaya. The road winds its way past pine-clothed mountain slopes giving glimpses of snow-capped peaks and through small settlements with their fields of rice and maize and little walled orchards. Eventually, you reach the upper part of the Kulu Valley and arrive at the popular tourist resort of Manali. Manali is approximately 300km from Chandigarh and the journey will take us around 7 hours. We check into the hotel.

Day 2: Manali
To help with acclimatisation before we start trekking you spend the day in Manali at just over 2000 metres. This is a very popular tourist town and you visit some of its famous sights while you are here. You can visit the colourful Hadimba Temple, the medieval wooden palace at Naggar with its own art museum and enjoy a soak in the Vashisht hot springs. It is also fun to walk around the sprawling bazaar.
a day for final preparation before leaving to Zanskar

Hill resorts town of Manali

Day 3: Manali – Rohtang pass (3,978 m) – Kyelang (3,080 m), drive 5 to 6 Hrs.
Starting trip from Manali, at the head of the lush green Kullu valley. The road slowly winds up the Rohtang-la pass (3’978m.), the first of the high passes, then down into the Lahaul valley. Rohtang La 3978, which is the gateway Lahoul and Spiti Pangi and Zanskar valley. The landscape changes dramatically, the greenery being replaced by barren hillsides, where the village with their bountiful fields of barley, peas and potatoes, stand out in stark contrast. On entering Lahoul the Buddhist influence is visible in the many monasteries crossed on the way. The people here have distinct Tibetan features. Today we drive along the Chenab & Bhaga River to Keylong check in to hotel and short hike to Shishur gompa 2 hours.

At Marhi - hairpin bend road with spectacular view en route Manali - Rohtang La 

Day 4:  Acclimatize trek Kardang gompa (3300m) - Lapchang - Satingri (3150m),  5-6 Hrs, Drive Satingri to Jispa (3,300 m) 45 minutes.
Today acclimatize hike to Kardang gompa, from Keylong we descend to Bhaga river and climb steadily to Kardang gompa, impressive view of Bhaga valley also known and Gharja. After visiting the gompa gentle descent to Lapchang village and descend to Gumling and from here on a well-defined path to Satingri crossing small villages of Mangun, Kyor. Arrive at Satingri than drive to Jispa for an overnight stay.

Keylong / Kyelang sub headquarter of Lahaul valley - view from Kardang 

Day 5: Jispa to Zanskar Sumdo (4,000m) drive 2 Hrs, acclimatize trek to Kuddu.
Leaving Jispa, drive to Darcha and continue to Chikka Rarik than along the river to Zanskar Sumdo. Today we do final acclimatization hike, before entering in Zanskar valley. Proper acclimatization must be needed before crossing the Shingo la to enter Zanskar.

Zanskar Sumdo camp

Day 6: Trek Chhumik Nakpo (4,670 m). 6 Hrs
Today leaving Zanskar Sumdo we cross the second ford then go up the right-hand valley following the stream, which comes from Shingo la. Streams in the Himalayas should be cross carefully even if they look small, camp in the small meadow.

Chumik Nakpo - Chumik means spring water in Zanskari 

Day 7: Trek to Shingo la / Shinkun la (5,090 m) - Lakhong (4,500 m), 7 - 8 hours
Today leaving early gradual ascent to Shingo la, the highest point of our trek at 5,090 meters. An eventful day for those who have never climbed to this height. Soon after camp trail goes through rock fields and glacier. From the camp, climb moderate slopes to foot of the pass. Top of Shingo la pass there are prayer flags and mani stones are telling the story of those people who cross over years back. With an impressive view to Zanskar side the valley we trek and summits rising above 6000 m of Great Himalayan range. Today the road has opened up this pass and it's officially open for public. Walk over the glacier and fallen rocks. Long descent to Pankeya and further to Lakhong we reach the valley floor. Lakhong is high pasture land for yaks, dzo and sheep, where domestic animals are kept during summer time and produce cheese, butter for winter stock. Finally, reach Lakhong camp beside a small stream.

Shingo La

The descent from Shingo la above Lakhang

Day 8: Trek Kurgiak (4,140 m)- Sking (4,100 m), 6-7 Hrs
Cross the stream and come to the right side of a stream. Walk on a mass of fallen rocks, then cross a small stream. After one hour, you pass beneath the face of the Gomborangjum, then an easy descent to the first village of Zanskar region Kargyak.

Gomborangjum peak - numbers of yaks can be seen at this area grazing

Enroute to Kurgiak (the first village)

Day 9: Trek to Tangze (4,000 m) - Testa - Purne (3,800 m), 7 - 8 hours
Leaving Kyin along the right bank of Kurgiak chu on a well-defined trail to Lakhong. We pass the Karu, Testa and Hal village. We descend to a small bridge near Purney and pass a series of stupas to reach Purney campsite. Purney is situated at the confluence between Tsarap and Kurgiak.

Reaching Testa village

Day 10: Trek Phuktal (3,900 m) - Cha (3950m) - Anmo (3800m), 8 Hrs.
Leaving early today from Purney to Phuktal and to reach at gompa during morning prayer time. Its a two hours hike to Phuktal also called Phukthar. We depart early from Purney on a well-defined trail along the left bank of Tsarap River. Short before Phuktal, we cross the Tsarap river by bridge. This monastery is built under a huge cave and it belongs to Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
There is a stone tablet which serves as a reminder of the stay of Alexander Csoma de Koros at Phuktal, while he worked on the first English-Tibetan dictionary between 1826 and 1827 when he explored Ladakh.
After spending two hours at Phuktal we retrace back to the bridge, from here we take the trail that goes to Cha. Gentle climb for an hour and descent to Cha village. Passing Cha continue to Anmo village. A short before Anmo there is small gompa which you will visit.

Phuktal / Phugtal gompa - one of most spectacular sight in Zanskar - built above Tsarap river 

Day 11: Drive Raru (3,800m) -Padum (3,600 m) 2 Hrs
We drive to Padum from Anmo for 2 hrs, en route passing Raru and you visit Bardan gompa. You take shower and wash clothes this day and visit the Padum market while the crew will be busy buying fresh vegetables for our next part of the trek.

Pipiting village near Padum

Day 12: At Padum - Visit Dzonkhul - Sani - Karsha (3,750 m)
Today is the day to explore the important sights in around Padum. At first, you drive to Karsha, one of the biggest monastic complex in Zanskar region, After Karsha we visit Sani gompa and finally to Dzonkhul gompa, located after Ating village and from Dzonkhul the one of adventurous trek goes to Paddar via Omasi la.

- Karsha gompa - one of largest monastery in Zanskar -

Day 13: At Padum - Visit Thongde - Zangla - Pishu (3,500 m)
we visit Thongde, which is built on a hilltop by Lama Marpa and its more than 950 years old finally drive to visit Zangla fort and to our camp is beside Zanskar River on a large meadow at Pishu.  

Day 14: Trek Pidmo - Hanamur (3650m). 6 Hrs
Leaving camp, trek along the Zanskar river for 45 minutes and cross a large bridge and pass beneath the Pidmo village. Passing through the fields of barley, short ascend than along the left bank to the campsite of Hanamur.

- Hanamur as seen below located at the left banks of Zanskar river - view from en route to Parfi la -

Day 15: Trek Parfi la (3,900 m) - Zingchen (3,360 m) - Snertse (3,800 m). 7-8 Hrs
Today after breakfast continue on the left bank of the Zanskar River. Cross Small stream on the left, the trail leads away from the edge of the Zanskar river, steep ascent to Parfi-la (3900m. Its a long and steep descent to Oma Chu River - Oma means milk in Zanskar and Chu is for water, so simply Oma Chu is "white water or milky water". Arriving at Zingchen you cross the bridge and up  500 meters on the sandy slope, then one and a half hour to the campsite of Snertse.

 - Parfi la descent trail and Oma Chu gorge -

Day 16: Trek Hanuma La (4,800m) - Base Lanang (4,000 m), 7-8 Hrs.
Leaving camp long and gradual ascent to the pass of Hanuma-La (4800m.) through gorges for four hours to reach the Hanuma la. Spectacular view of Lingshed, Sengge la and Nyerak from the Hanuma la. This pass is a connecting point between Ladakh and Zanskar. Soon after the pass its 800 meters long descent to the campsite of Lanang also known as Hanumil base.

- At Hanuma la -

Day 17: Trek to Lingshed (3,900 m), 4-5 Hrs
Today we take a short walk to Lingshed village and spend the afternoon exploring this wonderful village. After Lanang short ascent to small pass than an easy trail to Lingshed village. Visit the monastery and explore local life at the village.

 - Lingshed gompa - Crossing Hanuma la, you enter Ladakh and leaving Zanskar behind -

Day 18: Trek to Netoski la (4,475 m) - Skiumpata (4,000 m), 5-6 Hrs
Leaving  Lingshed we climb to Netoski la (4,475 m). We descend gradually to the villages of Gongma and to the campsite of Skiumpata.

Day 19: Trek to Kiupa la (4,420 m) - Sengge-la (4,950 m) - Base (4,400 m). 7-8 Hrs.
Leaving Skiumpata gradual climb to pass of Kiupa-la (4,420 m) and long and final steep climb to Sengge-la (4,950 m).  Sengge la is also called Lions pass, due to the pass and surrounding mountains making a shape of a Lion. To the south great view of Yulchung and across the Zanskar river the Nyerak. An easy descent from the pass down to the valley and arriving at lonely stupa where our camp is set.

- The road between Sengge la - Photoksar - the trail on the left, we trek away from the road -

Day 20: Trek Bumitse la (4,400 m) - Photoksar (4200m). 4-5 Hrs.
Leaving an early from camp today we will have a long drive ahead to Leh. Short descent to Bhumiktse-la (4,400 m) towards Photoksar, Photoksar is a beautiful village at the base of the huge mountain wall. Arriving at Photoksar, our vehicle will be waiting for us here.

 - Photoksar -

Day 21: Drive to Wanla (3250m) - Lamayuru (3500m)
We drive to Sirsir la - Hanupatta - Wanla and further to Lamayuru. You will spend the night at a homestay in Lamayuru to experience the Ladakh culture and visit the monastery.

Day 22: Lamayuru - Alchi (3200m) - Leh (3500m).
Today drive to Leh along the Indus river. Enroute we visit Alchi and Likir Gompa. Arrive in Leh and check into hotel and evening explore local bazaar.

- Leh palace or Sengge Namgyal Palace and the old city of Leh -

Day 23: Morning flight to Delhi, Evening flight back home.
Early flight to Delhi and evening flight back to home.


Kanji Lamayuru Extension

Day 20: Trek Bumitse la (4,400 m) - Photoksar (4200m). 5 Hrs
Leaving an early from camp today we will have a long drive ahead to Leh. Short descent to Bhumiktse-la (4,400 m) towards Photoksar, Photoksar is a beautiful village at the base of the huge mountain wall. Arriving at Photoksar, our vehicle will be waiting for us here.

Day 21: Trek to Sirsir La (4805m) - Spangthang/Urtsi Dok (4500m), 5-6 Hrs
Leaving Photoksar gentle and easy ascent by following the good path to Sirsir la. Enjoy the wonderful view of Photang and Photoksar valley. From Sirsir la its easy descent to the campsite of Urtsi dok.

Day 22: Trek to Snigutse La (5100m) - Shilakong (4300m), 6-7 Hrs
Leaving camp you arrive at an immense plain where you will find many animals grazing in the area like sheep, goats, yaks, and dzos. After crossing tiny gully with a wonderful pillar of rocks starts ascending to Snigutse la. View from top of the pass is stunning and enchanting. Easy descent to the campsite of Shilakong.
A small doksa can be found here, where sheep kept during summer time.

Day 23: Trek to Yogma La (4820m) - Kanji (3850m), 6 Hrs.
After Shilakong camp, its two hrs of gently climb to Yogma la. The first view of Kanji valley can be seen from here. Descent to the small hamlet where you will meet with Kanji people. Now along the left bank of the stream to Kanji. One of the most spectacular villages in this part. Arrive at Kanji and campsite is just below the village. Explore the village and meet with locals.

Day 24: Drive to Fotu La (4100m) - Lamayuru (3500m)
Stunning view along the way to Lamayuru. The road goes through spectacular gorge after Kanji. Its a short drive to Lamayuru. Arriving at Lamayuru, explore the 1000 years old complex. Oldest monastery in Ladakh, founded by Indian scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa in the 11th century. Lamayuru host mask dance festival (Yuru Kabgyat) during 17th and 18th day of fifth months of the Tibetan Lunar calendar. It belongs to red hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism; monastery is rich with Thankas and wall paintings. Lamayuru monastery was constructed by Arahat Nimagung in between the 10th and 11th century. History says that in the 11th century the Mahasidha Naropa visited this place and the cave where he resided and meditated is still to be seen inside the monastery.

Day 25: Drive to Alchi (3200m) - Likir - Leh (3500m), 6-7 Hrs
Continue to drive to Alchi monastery, situated at a distance of 68 km from Leh. Its monastery built on lowlands rather than on a hilltop as others are, in order to protect from enemies. The Stupas/Chortens around Alchi gompa contains numerous wall murals of Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo, who has built this monastery. Alchi monastery has vast collections of wall paintings and wood sculpture. Continue to Likir and than to Leh.

Day 26: At Leh -Visit Shey - Thiksey - Hemis - Matho - Stok - Spituk
Visit Hemis monastery which is 45 km far from Leh and it takes a 90-minute drive. The great Mahasiddha Staktsang Raspa along with great ancestor Singey Namgyal builds this biggest monastery in the 16th century. After visiting this monastery, drive back to Thiksey monastery, which is 27 km from Hemis. This monastery is the oldest monastery of Gelugpa School in Ladakh. The great Lama Paldan Shesrap built it in the 14th century. Here you can see the big statue of the Future Buddha. After visiting this monastery drive to Matho monastery built by Lama Tumgpa Dorje in the 13th century. The famous two oracles (known as Rongtsan), who were invited from Tibet by the founder of this monastery still make an appearance during the festival of the monastery and Stok visit the Royal Palace of present kind and queen which was constructed by the kind Tsepal Tondup Namgyal in 1825. Inside the palace, you”ll find a great collection of ancient royal ornament and finally drive back to Leh to visit.

Day 27: At Leh - Visit Leh palace, Tsemo Gompa - Shanti Stupa

Day 28: Morning flight to Delhi, evening flight back to home.
Early flight to Delhi. Drop at Leh airport, flight to Delhi and onward flight back to home.




-  All ground transportation to & fro as per the itinerary Manali to Leh.
-  3 nights hotel accommodation at CP plan (2x Manali, 1x Leh)
-  5 nights hotel accommodation at MAP plan (1x Manali, 1x Jispa, 3x Padum, 1x Lamayuru)
-  14 nights camp with all camping facilities.  3 men spacious 4 season tents for 2,  sleeping bags, foam mattresses, dining tent, trekking poles & safety gears.
-  All meal during trek - starts with bed tea to breakfast, lunch, 3 course dinner, tea /coffee, snacks. from Indian, Tibetan, Chinese to continental cuisine.
-  Support staff: well English, Ladakhi speaking local trekking guide, cook & camp crew.
-  Trekking mules/horses for porterage of your luggage and trekking gear.
-  Camping fee,  trekking permits.
-  Goods and services tax.
-  First aid medical kit.


×     Domestic flight   
×     New Delhi airport to Manali transfer (Booking of a private car on request), Leh airport transfer.   
×     Rest of hotel in Manali, Leh, Delhi
×     Travel insurance.
×     Soft or hard drinks.
×     Entrance fee at monasteries
×     Personal tipping to staff: Guide, cook, helper, horseman, driver.
×     Any unforeseen cost arises by natural hazards rain, snow, roadblock which cost extra lodging & boarding beyond trip Schedule.

Classic Zanskar Trek: Darcha - Padum - Lamayuru

Region: Lahaul, Zanskar
Trip length: 23 days Delhi to Delhi
20 Manali to Leh
14 days of trekking
14 nights of camping
Grade: Moderate to strenuous
Max. Altitude: Shingo - la 5090m
Best Season: Mid June to Sept. end
Group Size: Min 4, Max 6

28 Days Delhi to Delhi

23 Days Manali to Leh
17 Days of Trekking
17 Nights of Camping

An introduction with Zanskar

Remote villages & adventurous trail
Ancient fort and monasteries
Stunning gorges and canyons
Meeting with locals

Approaching Lingshed Gompa

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