Zanskar Expedition (Lamayuru – Padum Trek)



15 days

Tour Type


North of the Great Himalayan range, amongst a tangled knot of jagged mountains, lies a rugged and fascinating land, the once independent kingdom of Zanskar. Lamayuru Padum Trekking Sandwiched between the Indus Valley and the main crest of the Indian Himalaya, this remote and inaccessible setting, well-guarded by snowy mountain passes, has kept alive an archaic form of Tibetan Buddhism which flourishes in chain of far-flung monasteries, most of which occupy spectacular fortified locations, high on rocky ridges in isolated valleys. Lovely high meadow camp sites and dry desert land, high passes and snow-capped peaks stunning scenery, Buddhist monasteries and picturesque villages with their irrigated fields of barley and potatoes, and fascinating encounters with the Zanskari people turn a trek in this area into an unforgettable experience.


Area: Ladakh
Max Altitude: 5000 mts
Grade: Moderate to Challenging
Season: Mid-June – Mid October


Day 01: Delhi – Leh (Complete Rest in Leh for acclimatisation)

On arrival at Leh met our representative and transfer to pre booked hotel/Guest house for relax and acclimatisation. This is necessary for getting acclimatised at high altitude. Evening one can visit the color full market of Leh. Overnight in the hotel/guesthouse.


Day 02: Leh – Shey – Thiksey – Hemis 

On this day you will go a sightseeing trip to some ancient monasteries in this area.

 Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17’Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.

 Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.

 Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17’Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.


Day 03: Leh – Lamayuru (115 kms/3½ hrs drive) – Wanla

We leave Leh in the morning for Lamayuru. Along the way, we will see confluence of 2 rivers (Indus & Zanskar), Basgo castle, we come across some of the oldest and most famous monasteries in Ladakh, founded around 11th century by Lotsawa Rinchen Sangpo Lamayuru, Likir and Alchi offer truly memorable visits on account of their age and history. After reaching Lamayuru (3420m) and here meet our trekking crew and will pack our small backpacks, watch the horses get ready, and set off for this first day of our adventure. A gentle trail leads up to the small pass of Prinkti La (3750m) before heading down to the village of Shilla and the last 3 km to Wanla (3250m).Here we set up camp for the night and spend the afternoon relaxing in the sun or exploring the Gompa in Wanla, before we gather around for a good dinner.


Day 04: Wanla – Hanupatta (5 hrs)

Trek to Hanupatta after breakfast. Walk begins with a flat section. Cross onto the right bank before Phenji la. At the junction of the rivers, Chorten and religious banners can be seen. Continue across the slope to reach Hanupatta. Packed lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in trekking tents.


Day 05: Hanupatta – Photoskar (7 hrs)

Breakfast in camp. Trek to Photoksar. Long ascent into the stony valley. Cross the river and walk up to Sisir La (4800mts) after which it is a long descent to Photoksar (3750mts). Packed lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 06: Photoksar – Foot of Sengge La (7 hrs)

After breakfast trek to foot of the Sengge La with packed lunch. Ascend to the Bumiktse La (4200mts) after which is a gentle slope into the broad valley. A short climb to the Sengge La (5000mts) and then a steep descent till the foot of the Sengge La. Camp here for the night. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 07: Foot of Sengge La-Lingshed (6 hrs)

Breakfast in camp. Begin trek to Lingshed. After Kiupa La (3850mts) is a steep descent to the villages of Gongma and Skiumpata (3840mts). It is a wonderful landscape with a view of the valley of Nierag on the other bank of the Zanskar. Reach Lingshed after crossing the Murgum La (4100mts). Camp near the monastery. Packed lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 08: Lingshed – Snertse (6 hrs)

After breakfast trek to Snertse . From Lingshed it is an easy ascent to the Hanuma La pass (4700mts) then a long gradual descent to the sheepfolds of Snertse. Packed lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 09: Snertse – Hanumil (6 hrs)

Trek to Hanumil after breakfast. From the Oma Chu river is a steep ascent to the Parfi La (3900mts) and a sharp descent to the foot of the pass. Walk up to the plateau taking the path that leads towards the edge of the Zanskar to Hanumil. Packed lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 10: Hanumil – Pishu

Breakfast in camp. Easy walk to Pishu (05 hrs) sometimes along the river and sometimes across the morainic plateau. Camp below the village of Pishu. Packed lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 11: Pishu – Karsha (5 hrs)

Cross Rinam above, which is a small stream and shelter formed by the rocks. Easy stretch along the banks of the Zanskar river to Karsha. It is a beautiful Gelukpa monastery dating back to the 15th century. Packed lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents.


Day 12: Karsha-Padum (3-4 hrs)

After breakfast trek to Padum with packed lunch. Cross the Doda river, walk through a dusty plain to Pipiting and then Padum. Visit the local monasteries / Gompas in the evening. Camp for dinner and overnight.


Day 13: Padum – Kargil

After breakfast drive to Kargil. Overnight in Kargil.


Day 14: Kargil – Leh

After breakfast drive to Leh. Overnight in Leh.


Day 15: Leh – Delhi

Transfer to airport in the morning



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