Southern Zanskar and Phuktal Monastery
India, Trek & Walk, 23 days - from £1,095 (land only) - from €1,315 (land only) - from $1,805 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at our central group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. In the afternoon, a city sightseeing tour is provided. Dinner and overnight in Delhi.
Day 2: After breakfast at the hotel we transfer to the railway station to board the train to Chandigarh. Here we meet our vehicles for the drive up into the foothills of the Indian Himalaya, today travelling as far as Mandi. We stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 3: We continue our drive deeper into the foothills, following the Beas River to Kulu and eventually to Manali. We check into our hotel and have time to explore the town before dinner.
Day 4: We drive across the Rohtang Pass (3978m) one of the highest road passes in the world. We have excellent views of the Himalaya from the top before descending on the Leh road to our overnight stop at Keylong (3100m) where we stay in a hotel.
Day 5: A short transfer to the start of our trek at Palamo (3500m) above the village of Darcha. Walking mostly on jeep tracks, we ascend the Barai Valley through villages to our first night's camp at Jaskar Sumdo (3637m).
Day 6: A day for acclimatisation prior to going up above 4000 metres. There are various options for day walks or we may choose to simply rest and soak in the scenery.
Day 7: We leave the Barai Valley and make a gradual ascent towards the Shingo La as far as the high grazing ground at Chumiknakpo (4640m) where we set up our camp.
Day 8: We make an early start today for the climb to the Shingo La (5090m.). From the summit of the pass we have spectacular views of the serrated snow-covered peaks of the Himalaya. We descend, steeply at first, to our camping place in the high pastures at Lakong (4470m).
Day 9: We are now in the Kargyak Valley and after crossing the river we descend this valley to the village of Kargyak which is the highest permanent settlement in Zanzkar. After lunch here we continue to our camp at Tablay/Hee (4184m).
Day 10: We continue through the Kargyak Valley passing several villages and below the holy mountain of Gumburanjan before reaching our next overnight stop at the village of Purne (3950m).
Day 11: We have a day hike to the amazing Phuktal Gompa (3850m) which is perched on a mountain ledge. After visiting the gompa, we return to our camp at Purne.
Day 12: We retrace our steps, making the gradual climb through Yal and Tsetha to Karu and descending as far as Tanze, where we set up camp.
Day 13: We head up out of the Kargyak Valley, climbing to the small grazing area of Zingchen where we set up our camp at around 4800 metres.
Day 14: This morning we trek for 4 to 5 hours to the base of the Phirtse La and then a short (1 hour) but steep ascent brings us to the summit of the pass (5526m) for spectacular views over the Zanskar ranges. We descend gradually at first and then more steeply for 2 hours to the Lingti Valley and we camp at Chumik Marpo (4700m) beside the river.
Day 15: Our route today brings us to a wide valley which connects the pastures used by nomadic shepherds. We follow the Lingti River to Khamparapa nalla where we make a river crossing before reaching our camp at Khamerab after 4 to 5 hours of walking.
Day 16: We follow the Lingti River through various nomadic settlements and to the confluence with the Tsarap River where we camp at Debri.
Day 17: We now head up the Tsarap Valley which becomes quite wide and reach our camp in the fields of Kilang Serai Village. From our camp, we can see, in the distance, the Leh to Manali Road.
Day 18: This morning we reach the Leh to Manali road where we meet with our vehicles and drive to the crest of the Baralacha La (4950m). From the top of the pass we trek down into the Chandra Valley and to the pastures of Topko Yongma (4650m) where we set up camp.
Day 19: We follow the Chandra River through a high altitude desert overlooked by 6000 metre snow peaks to reach our next campsite at Topko Gongma. A long but spectacular day of around 8 or 9 hours walking.
Day 20: A day with several ascents and descents to reach Chandra Tal, or Moon Lake, a blue-green lake in a stunning setting. We make camp here among alpine flowers at an altitude of around 4300 metres.
Day 21: Our vehicles will be waiting for us not far below Chandra Tal. Our journey back to the Rohtang Pass takes us along the rough road to Spiti through spectacular rocky landscapes. Late afternoon brings us to Manali where we check in at a hotel.
Day 22: We have a full day of spectacular and scenic driving to reach Chandigarh. Here, we board the evening Shatabdi Express train which will arrive in Delhi shortly before 10 pm. We then transfer to a hotel close to the airport.
Day 23: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.