Southern Zanskar and Phuktal Monastery
- Hike from Manali to Moon Lake
- Two 5000 metre pass crossings
- The camp at Moon Lake
- Awesome trekking in Himalayan Zanskar
- Visit the Phuktal Monastery
This exciting trekking holiday starts out at Darcha in the Lahaul Valley and crosses the Shingo La (5090m) to reach the southern edge of the Himalayan region of Zanskar. Here, we follow a tributary of the Zanskar River and pass beneath the towering rock peak of Gumburanjan, en route to the village of Kargyak which is the highest settlement in the area. After a visit to the impressive cliff-side monastery of Phuktal, we trek across the Phirtse La (5250m), where the views extend across range upon range of high mountains. Trekking out to the Baralacha La on the Leh-Manali road, we then make a 3-day descent of the Chandra River, fording the river several times and stopping off at lovely Moon Lake. The lakeside meadow camp amongst countless alpine flowers is an undoubted highlight of the trip. Including the fascinating overland journey to and from Manali, this is a classic circuit trek in a remote and unspoiled area.
Is this holiday for you?
This trek travels through remote Zanskar valleys using trading routes and ancient paths of Gaddi shepherds. It encounters a variety of terrain from high pasture to scree and boulder slopes. The route also involves several river and stream fordings which will require wading, in some cases in waters up to waist high. There are some longish days on the trip and a good level of physical fitness is required. We have given this trip a high grade on account of the remoteness of the location and the several longish days including high passes and river crossings.