Southern Zanskar and Phuktal Monastery

Classic Indian Himalaya trekking holiday from Manali to Moon Lake

23

days

Trek

From $2,100 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Sixteen days of trekking, including two 5000 metre pass crossings
  • Our final camp of the holiday at Moon Lake
  • Real Himalayan adventure, as we cross the region of 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 that continue to be used by the semi-nomadic Gaddi shepherds. En route, we will encounter a variety of terrain from high pasture to scree and boulder slopes. The route also involves several river and stream fordings with the water level potentially above the knee in some places. 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.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.
  • Take the train to Chandigarh, then drive through Himalayan foothills to Mandi.
  • Following the Beas River, drive via Kulu to Manali. Afternoon sightseeing.
  • Drive across the Rohtang Pass (3978m) and descend to our overnight stop at Keylong (3100m).
  • A short transfer to Palamo (3500m) then trek to Jaskar Sumdo (3637m) in the Barai Valley.
  • A rest and acclimatisation day with options for day walks. A second night at Jaskar Sumdo.
  • Trek out of the Barai Valley en route to the Shingo La. Overnight at Chumiknakpo (4640m).
  • Trek up to the Shingo La (5090m) with Himalayan views. Descend to Lakong (4470m).
  • Trek through the Kargyak Valley via the village of the same name, to Tablay/Hee (4184m).
  • Continue via several villages and the sacred rock peak of Gumburanjan to the village of Purne (3950m).
  • Day-hike to the amazing cliff-side Phuktal Gompa (3850m). Return to Purne.
  • Trek back to Yal and Tsetha to Karu, then descend to Tanze (3850m).
  • Leave the Kargyak Valley, trekking up to the grazing area of Zingchen (4800m).
  • Trek up to the Phirtse La (5435m) with great views across Zanskar. Descend to Chumik Marpo (4700m).
  • Follow the Lingti River to the tributary Khamparapa Nalla and cross this to Khamerab.
  • Continue to trek beside the Lingti to its junction with the Tsarap River. Overnight at Debri.
  • Trek through the Tsarap Valley to the village of Kilang Serai (4600m).
  • Reach the Leh to Manali road, drive to the crest of the Baralacha La and trek to Topko Yongma (4650m).
  • Trek beside the Chandra River overlooked by 6000 metre peaks. Overnight at Topko Gongma.
  • Undulating trek to Chandra Tal or Moon Lake (4300m) a mountain pool in a stunning setting.
  • Short trek to the road, then drive through the rocky landscape of Spiti to Manali.
  • Drive via the Kulu Valley to Chandigarh. Evening train to Delhi and overnight at the group hotel.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.
2016
Sat 13 Aug - Sun 04 Sep Code SZP /02/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Southern Zanskar and Phuktal Monastery
  • The departure reference for this tour is SZP /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 13 Aug and departs on Sun 04 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $280 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tents not included)
  • Single Tent $165
2017
Sat 29 Jul - Sun 20 Aug Code SZP /01/17/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Southern Zanskar and Phuktal Monastery
  • The departure reference for this tour is SZP /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 29 Jul and departs on Sun 20 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $280 - Includes all group hotel nights (single tents not included)
  • Single Tent $165
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • pass
  • pass
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.

    Meet 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.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Take the train to Chandigarh, then drive through Himalayan foothills to Mandi.

    After an early breakfast at the hotel we transfer to the railway station to board the Shatabdi Express. Travelling in India is all part of the adventure and a rail journey is a fascinating way to get a hands-on view of Indian life, both frantic and relaxing almost in the same breath. After surviving the chaos of Delhi’s busy rail terminus (just put your faith in your KE representative and all will be well), we settle down for the 4 hour 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. Here we transfer to our vehicles to continue our journey into the mountains. We drive for around six hours, travelling as far as Mandi where we stay overnight in a hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs driving

  • Following the Beas River, drive via Kulu to Manali. Afternoon sightseeing.

    Leaving Mandi We continue our drive deeper into the foothills, following the Beas River to enter the Kulu Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in the Indian Himalaya. The road which winds it 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 we reach the upper part of the Kulu and arrive at the popular tourist resort of Manali. Manali is 108km from Mandi and the journey will take us around 3½ - 4 hours. We check into our hotel and have the rest of the afternoon to explore the town before dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs driving

  • Drive across the Rohtang Pass (3978m) and descend to our overnight stop at Keylong (3100m).

    We travel along the Manali to Leh road, a journey which has almost legendary status among Indian travellers. And which includes a crossing of the Rohtang La (3978m.), one of the highest road passes in the world. From the summit of the pass there are superb views of the Himalaya and we shall certainly stop for some photography before descending the long switch backs down to our overnight stop at Keylong (3100m.). Today’s journey covers approximately 115km. It is not possible to say exactly how long the journey will take as there can be many hold-ups along the way for traffic and road conditions, but is likely to be between 5 and 8 hours. On arrival in Keylong we check into a hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 8 hrs driving

  • A short transfer to Palamo (3500m) then trek to Jaskar Sumdo (3637m) in the Barai Valley.

    We have just a short transfer to the start of our trek at Palamo (3500m) above the village of Darcha. We ascend the Barai Valley on a rough farm road, passing scattered fields and following the Darcha River. Our first night's camp is at Jaskar Sumdo (3637m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • A rest and acclimatisation day with options for day walks. A second night at Jaskar Sumdo.

    We have allowed for an essential 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 recover from our long journey, soaking in the scenery.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek out of the Barai Valley en route to the Shingo La. Overnight at Chumiknakpo (4640m).

    Crossing the Darcha River on a substantial bridge we make a short steep ascent and then continue climbing more gradually over a landscape of sparse vegetation and scree to the relatively rich pastures of Ramjak (4290m). We continue our gradual ascent towards the Shingo La as far as the high pastures at Chumiknakpo (4640m.) where we make camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek up to the Shingo La (5090m) with Himalayan views. Descend to Lakong (4470m).

    We make an early start today for the climb to the Shingo La (5090m.). Heading for the glacier which fills the valley ahead we bear to the left and climb sometimes quite steeply to the top of the pass. The pass is adorned with hundreds of cairns and numerous prayer flags, some ancient and faded and others in recently-fixed, brightly-coloured strings. The view is spectacular with the serrated snow-covered peaks of the Himalaya all around us. We descend scree and snow patches, steeply at first to more high pastures where we may have to wade a stream if the snow bridges are no longer intact. A final steep descent and then a long walk brings us to Lakong (4470m.) where we make camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Trek through the Kargyak Valley via the village of the same name, to Tablay/Hee (4184m).

    We are now in Zanskar, a remote region of Ladakh lying between the mountains of the Zanskar Range and the main Himalayan chain. After crossing the streams beyond our camp, we descend the Kargyak Valley on a good trail leaving the impressive monolith known as Gumburanjan behind us. We continue our descent across flower strewn Yak pasture coming eventually to the village of Kargyak which is the highest permanent settlement in Zanzkar. We have lunch here and continue to Tablay/Hee (4184m) where we make our camp at 4184 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Continue via several villages and the sacred rock peak of Gumburanjan to the village of Purne (3950m).

    We continue through the Kargyak Valley passing the whitewashed houses of farms and villages with their stone-walled fields of barley, and several chortens and mani walls. At Tanze (3850m) we cross the river on a recently constructed suspension bridge and begin a climb to the village of Karu (3990m). From here we make a gradual descent to the village of Purne (3950m.) and our next overnight stop.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Day-hike to the amazing cliff-side Phuktal Gompa (3850m). Return to Purne.

    We have a day hike to the amazing Phuktal Gompa (3850m). This is a highlight of the trip and should not be missed although anyone who needs a rest day can of course take a day off here. The trek which takes around 4 – 5 hours for the round trip starts by ascending the Tsarap river through its gorge to a bridge which gives access to the gompa. The cliff-hanging gompa is an impressive sight as you approach and a visit to the buildings is also rewarding of our efforts. After visiting the gompa we return to camp at Purne.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek back to Yal and Tsetha to Karu, then descend to Tanze (3850m).

    We retrace our steps today, making the gradual climb through Yal and Tsetha to Karu and descending as far as Tanze (3850m) where we make camp. Today is a shortish day and the afternoon can be used for rest and recuperation or to do laundry.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Leave the Kargyak Valley, trekking up to the grazing area of Zingchen (4800m).

    Leaving Tanze we turn off the main trail and head up out of the Kargyak Valley, climbing steeply for almost 500 metres through a gorge to the small grazing area of Zingchen at around 4800 metres. There is not a great deal of room at this campsite – just enough for our tents – but it does give us a good head start for the following day.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek up to the Phirtse La (5435m) with great views across Zanskar. Descend to Chumik Marpo (4700m).

    This morning we begin with a gradual climb of around 4 or 4½ hours to reach the base of the Phitse La. We then climb more steeply for a further hour to reach the top of the pass (5435m.) for spectacular views over the Himalaya. A short detour to climb the ridge to the north of the Phitse La brings into view the jagged tops of the Zanskar Range. We are now in a real wilderness area and we are unlikely to see any other trekkers at all. From the top of the pass we descend gradually at first then more steeply down into the Lingti Valley. After approximately 2 hours from the pass we reach our next camp beside the river at Chumik Marpo (4700m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Follow the Lingti River to the tributary Khamparapa Nalla and cross this to Khamerab.

    We follow the Lingti River crossing several ridges dotted with juniper and marked with prayer flags and through broad grazing grounds used by nomadic Gaddi shepherds..We may have to take our boots off to cross side streams today and reaching the confluence of the Lingti with the Khamparapa nalla we will have to cross this river before reaching our camp at Khamerab.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Continue to trek beside the Lingti to its junction with the Tsarap River. Overnight at Debri.

    We continue to follow the Lingti River through various nomadic settlements to the confluence with the Tsarap River. We now follow this river ascending through Serchu to reach our camp at Debri.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek through the Tsarap Valley to the village of Kilang Serai (4600m).

    We continue up the Tsarap Valley which now becomes quite wide and we make a camp in the fields of Kilang Serai Village (4600m). Ahead can be seen the Leh to Manali Road.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Reach the Leh to Manali road, drive to the crest of the Baralacha La and trek to Topko Yongma (4650m).

    This morning we reach the Leh to Manali road where we meet our support vehicles and drive the hairpins up to the Baralacha Pass (4950m.). This is an ancient trading route between Kulu and Ladakh and is a watershed between three major river valleys, namely the Tsarap, the Chandra and the Bhaga. Leaving the road at the crest of the pass we trek downhill again into the Chandra Valley to the west and reach the pastures of Topko Yongma (4650m) where we set up camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek beside the Chandra River overlooked by 6000 metre peaks. Overnight at Topko Gongma.

    We wade across the Tokpo Yongma stream early and follow the Chandra River through a desert-like landscape overlooked by 6000-metre snow peaks. We have to cross a number of side streams today before reaching our campsite at Tokpo Gongma.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Undulating trek to Chandra Tal or Moon Lake (4300m) a mountain pool in a stunning setting.

    We start the day by wading across the Tokpo Gongma River (unless it has been possible to do this at the end of the previous day). We then begin a descent with lots of ups and downs as we follow a path high above the Chandra River which crosses a number of ridges and scree-filled gullies. The reward for this longish day is the beautiful setting of our camp at Chandra Tal, or Moon Lake, a blue-green lake surrounded by the snow-capped 6000-metre peaks of the Lahaul Range. We make camp here among alpine flowers at 4300 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Short trek to the road, then drive through the rocky landscape of Spiti to Manali.

    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.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive via the Kulu Valley to Chandigarh. Evening train to Delhi and overnight at the group hotel.

    A full day of spectacular and scenic driving to reach Chandigarh where the Himalaya meets the Indian plain. Here we board the evening Shatabdi Express train to Delhi. Arriving in Delhi shortly before 10.00 pm, we transfer to a hotel close to the airport.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Airport transfers are provided for all client departing on this day. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in india. Why not pre-book a 1-day excursion to the fabulous Taj Mahal, or a multi-day Rajathan experience, or a beach hotel break in Goa or Kerala. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking local leader
  • Delhi Airport transfers (on group arrival and departure days only)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Delhi
  • Full trekking service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel insurance
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than on group arrival and departure days)
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and Western, mostly purchased locally and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Delhi, we take our meals in the group hotel or in nearby restaurants. All meals while on trek and while staying in hotels are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on day 1 to dinner on day 23.
We will rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. All clients arriving in Delhi on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary will be met at the airport by a KE representative, who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients should let us know if Delhi Airport transfers are not required. Independent Delhi Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to Day 1 at an additional cost. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
The group will have one night at conveniently located tourist standard hotel in Delhi at the beginning of the holiday and one night at the same hotel at the end of the trip. We will also have two nights hotel accommodation in Manali and en route, we stay 2 nights in basic lodge accommodation in Mandi and Keylong. On trek there will be a total of 16 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Depending upon availability it may be possible to arrange single rooms for the night at the hotel in Delhi. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the loads are sorted. Setting off in the pleasant cool of the morning, we will generally reach our lunch stop by mid-day. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or even two and usually this is a light cooked meal. The pack-animals usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the crew will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking leader throughout the trip, and on trek will have the services of a full trek crew, including a local guide and a team of pack-animals and their handlers.

Approximately £150 - 200 (or equivalent in Euros, US dollars etc.) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including tips to local staff and soft drinks, etc. Since you will be changing the majority of your spending money into local currency on the day of arrival, we recommend taking this in cash rather than travellers cheques which can be difficult and time consumming to exchange. It is not necessary to purchase rupees before you travel. Sterling, US dollars and Euros are readily exchanged in Delhi. Credit and debit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in Delhi , Manali and Leh.

Tipping is an accepted and expected part of Indian culture, although you should only tip for services which are well done. Tips do not form part of the wages of your trek crew. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. Most people will wanty to give a tip to the local staff who work so hard to make the trip a success and we recommend that any tips are given from the group as a whole. As a rough guide, a contribution of around £60 (in rupee equivalent) from each group member should provide a sufficient pool for tipping. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the crews.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

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. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Substantial warm and waterproof hiking boots

  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings and camp use

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Inner (thermal) gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -15°C)

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Daypack 30 to 40 litres

  • Headtorch and spare battery

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite)

The following items are optional:

  • Thermarest (note that foam mattresses are provided)

  • Spare laces

  • Trekking poles

  • Insect repellant

  • Scarf or buff

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Travel clothes

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 7 or 8 hours per day over several days. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Whatever your exercise regime, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country before departure.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

During July and through to mid September the temperature in Delhi will be hot (35°C or even a few degrees hotter than this). It will also be humid. On the high plateau of Ladakh and Zanskar, the maximum daytime temperature low down on our trek will be around 15°C, with night-time lows below 10°C. At our highest camps, the night-time temperature may fall as low as minus 10°C. At high altitude, the sun has a very strong effect and it will feel hotter than the indicated temperatures especially around mid-day. The area north of the main Himalaya chain lies in a rain shadow area and is not normally adversely affected by the monsoon. We can usually expect stable weather during the trek. However like many places, this region is now subject to unpredictable climate change, and anywhere in the world, mountains do generate their own weather systems. Rain or snowfall cannot be ruled out.

  • Leh and Trekking in Ladakh. Charlie Loram

  • Trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Lonely Planet

  • Ladakh, Crossroads of High Asia. Janet Rizvi

  • Exploring the Hidden Himalaya. Kapadia and Mehta

  • Ancient Futures. Helena Norberg-Hodge

Editions Olizane Scale: 1:150,000 Trekking Map

This is a good map covering Ladakh and zanzkar in 3 sheets. For this trip you will need the central and southern sheets.

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Delhi City Tour

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the majestic tower of the Qutab Minar, as well as the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Delhi City Tour

From $105 per person

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Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, the Taj can be visited in just one day. This one-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. On arrival in Agra you will be met by your driver and guide for your full day of sightseeing. With its laid-back lifestyle and immense wealth of architecture, handicrafts and jewellery, Agra is amongst the most remarkable cities in the world.

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In the morning you will visit Agra Fort on the sands of the river Yamuna. After lunch at the Taj View Hotel you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort. Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. Return journey to Delhi is by private car or train - depending on whether you are departing Delhi the same night.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 1 day tour

From $270 per person

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Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

The beautiful Kashmir Valley and the town of Srinagar are located within India's most north-westerly territory. Known as the Valley of Paradise, this region is now back on the tourist map. One of Srinagar's highlights is Dal Lake and you can make the most of your visit by staying in one of the houseboats moored around its shores. Floating markets, friendly fishermen, the Mughal Gardens and many temples, mosques and bazaar streets, make any visit to Srinagar simply unforgettable.

Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

From $815 per person

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Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

The Taj Mahal in Agra is the most famous man-made wonder of the world and easily accessible from Delhi. Our 3 day tour visits Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur and the Amber Fort. You will depart Delhi on the early morning express train to Agra where a full day's guided sightseeing includes the Agra Red Fort and the Taj Mahal and stay overnight in a hotel. In the morning you depart Agra by private car to Jaipur, stopping en route at the 'ghost' city of Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival in Jaipur you check-in to your hotel and have time to explore the famous 'Pink City'.

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The following morning you visit the Jaipur City Palace and Palace of the Winds. After lunch you leave Jaipur for the impressive Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside overlooking a lake, reflecting its terraces and ramparts. In the late afternoon, you will make the 4-hour drive back to Delhi.

Agra, the Taj Mahal and Jaipur 3 day tour

From $570 per person

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Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

The Taj Mahal is the most famous man-made wonder of the world. Easily accessible from Delhi, this 2-day tour departs Delhi at 6am on the Shatabdhi Express train. You will have 2 days to explore the fascinating city of Agra. You will stay overnight at a (minimum) 3 star hotel on B&B basis. On day 1 you will visit Sikandra, Agra Fort and have a tour of the city. There will also be time for souvenir shopping in the bazaar close to the fort.

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Agra is famous for its handicrafts, mostly inlaid marble-work, leather goods, jewellery and textiles. On day 2 you will visit the world famous Taj Mahal and the ‘ghost city’ of Fatehpur Sikri, a superbly well-preserved, four hundred year old, temple and palace complex built by the third Mughal Emperor – Akbar. Return to Delhi by private car.

Agra and the Taj Mahal 2 day tour

From $355 per person

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Ashok

From $116 per room per night

Florence Inn

From $97 per room per night Combining comfort and elegance with economy, the Florence Inn is our preferred group hotel in Delhi. Well appointed throughout and with a smart lobby, it is immaculately clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The Florence Inn is just 5 minutes walk from Karol Bargh market and the metro station making it an ideal location for exploring the city.

Claridges

From $166 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi within 10 minutes walk of the famous Lodi gardens and Khan Market, Claridges oozes old-world charm and luxury. Set in a landscaped garden with swaying palm trees, you can get right away from the hurly burly and enjoy gracious Indian hospitality. The guest rooms and suites are classically decorated and equipped with all modern conveniences as you would expect in a hotel of this calibre. Claridges contains several excellent restaurants offering a choice of world cuisine and there is an outdoor swimming pool and a health club.

Maidens Hotel

From $133 per room per night Operated by the Oberoi group and set in 8 acres of garden with shady trees, Maidens is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. Built in the early 1900s, it has retained its colonial charm and offers spacious well appointed rooms with high ceilings. The hotel has a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine, a garden terrace extending to an open courtyard, and a small intimate bar. There is no pool. Located in Old Delhi, it gives easy access to Mughal monuments and the colourful Chandni Chowk bazaars.

Manor Hotel

From $144 per room per night This 2-storey, 15-room boutique hotel in a pleasant garden setting is very distinctive. With clean modern lines and contemporary furnishings the Manor Hotel has an understated elegance and comfort which is very appealing. Its public areas contrast cool Italian mosaic flooring with warm rich wood panelling, and you can enjoy a high level of service which is friendly and efficient. The hotel has an award winning restaurant and a bar. There is no pool but the hotel has a Wellness centre with yoga and massage. The Manor is located in a quiet residential area close to the Lodhi Gardens.

Ambassador Hotel

From $133 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi next to Khan Market, this art deco style hotel designed by British architect Walter George in 1945, is a listed heritage building. Its location makes it convenient for both the airport (22km) and the city centre (10 minutes by dive). The Vivanta-by-Taj Ambassador is operated by the Taj group of hotels, so you can expect the best of hospitality and service.

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