The Changthang plateau a sweeping terrain of vast pasture lands and remote villages. A landscape that is home to some of the highest and largest salt water lakes in the western Himalayas. Tso Moriri at 4,500m / 14,760ft is the largest of these lakes ringed by an austere range of brown barren hills. The Changthang is also home to the semi-nomadic Changpa shepherds who roam this wilderness in search of fodder for their Pashmina wool producing goats and herds of yaks. This trek traverses a part of the Changthang and spills over into the similar landscape of Spiti in the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh.
Day 01: We welcome you on your arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and escort you to your hotel where you stay overnight.
Day 02: Take the morning flight to Leh and check into your hotel. Afternoon free to wander around the bazaars and relax. A couple days in Leh is strongly advised due to the high altitude.
Day 03: We visit the ancient monasteries of Shey with its enormous state of Buddha and Thikse one of the most important Gompas in central Ladakh which has some beautiful wall paintings besides gilded statues of the Buddha. In the afternoon we drive down to the famous Hemis Gompa in a secluded grove of poplars. Return to your hotel for the night.
Day 04: Visit the secluded Stok royal palace the Spituk monastery and the Tibetan Camp of Choglamsar and get further acclimatized for the days ahead before returning to your hotel for the night.
Day 05: Drive from Leh to Rumtse village – 4000m / 13,129ft on the Manali-Leh Highway. Begin our trek to Kyamar – 4420m / 14,497ft. 4 hours. The trail enters an enchanting vast land where the weathered Changpa nomads are to be seen roaming in search of rich pasture for their flocks of sheep and herds of Yaks. This was also once the legendary salt route.
Day 06: Kyamar – Kumur La – 4770m / 15,656ft. & the Maldanchan La at 4805m / 15,760ft to Tisaling at 4805m / 15,760ft. 5 – 6 hours. The trek continues through a colour splashed gorge and goes on to Chorten Sumda. Its an easy one hour walk before an ascent begins towards the Kumur La pass from where you get great views of the Kangyatse chain of hills and the and the Indus valley.
Day 07: Tisaling – Shibuk La – 4875m / 15,990ft to Pangunagu at 4800m / 15,744ft. 5 hours. Once on the pass we are afforded with a birds eye view of the salt water Tsokar lake at 4400m / 14,432ft and the sweeping Rupshu valley ahead. The descent to this brackish lake famous for its enormous salt deposits is a leisurely one. Camp near the lake just off the vast Morey plains.
Day 08: Pangunagu – Nuruchan – 4630m / 15,186ft. 5 hours. We walk along the shores of the lake to the other end and if lucky get to see herds of Kiang and numerous migratory bird species. From the other side of the lake the trail turns right and enters the Nuruchan village. Camp.
Day 09: Nuruchan – Horlam Kongka La – 4900m / 16,072ft & the Kyamayuri La – 5410m / 17,748ft. to Gyamabarma (4950m / 16,236ft. 6 hours. The trail leads into higher altitudes and after crossing tow high mountain passes descend
to the small campsite at Gyamabarma.
Day 10: Gyamabarma – Yalung Nyau La – 5440m / 17,843ft to Korzok village at 4550m / 14,924ft. 6 hours. Trek over the Yalung Nyau La pass to the quaint village of Korzok, on the northwestern shores of Tso Moriri. After spending time exploring this ancient monastery we camp near the lake for the night.
Day 11: Korzok – Kyangdam – 4550m / 14,924ft. 6 ½ hours. We trek along the western shore of the sapphire blue Tso Moriri to Kiangdam a vast shrub land on the south shore of the lake.
Day 12: Kiangdam – Norbu Sumdo – 4450m / 14,596ft. 6 hours. The trail heads south after crossing the Pare Chu river and climbs steadily emerging into the Parang Chu valley.
Day 13: Norbu Sumdo – Parang Chu Camp 1 – 4850m / 15,908ft. 5 hours. The trail continues to climb gradually along the valley on the right bank of the river till we reach our campsite.
Day 14: Parang Chu 1 – Parang Chu 2 – 5000m / 16,400ft. 5 ½ hours. The trek continues south passing a narrow gorge all the while involving a series of climbs and descents across valleys.
Day 15: Parang Chu 2 – Parang La – 5500m / 18,040ft. to Jugstok – 4800m / 15,744ft. 7 hours. The moraine strewn face of the Parang glacier has to be crossed as the treks winds its way up to the Parang La pass. A rocky path takes us to the saddle of the pass from where you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the Ladakh and Lahaul mountain peaks. Far below you can see the silvery Parang Chu river making its way to the east. Camp overnight at Jugstok.
Day 16: Jugstok – Kibber – 4300m / 14,104ft. 7 hours. A steep descent is involved as we walk towards the Sampa Lungpa valley. Crossing another pass the Thaltak La at 4600m / 15,088ft we get extensive views of the distant Lingti valley east of Kaza town. Crossing smooth grassy hills we reach the small hamlet of Dumla from where we walk over to Kibber village said to be the highest permanently inhabited village in the world. Overnight.
Day 17: Kibber – Tabo – 3050m / 19,004ft. We are met by a Jeep which takes us to Kaza via the strategically located Ki monastery on a solitary rock face high above the Spiti river basin and on to the over 1000 year old Tabo monastery. Close by there is a newly built Gompa and a painting school founded by the Dalai Lama. Overnight at Tabo.
Day 18: Drive from Tabo to Manali over the 4590m / 16,087ft Kunzum La and the 3980m / 13050ft Rohtang Pass. 12 Hours. We arrive at the resort town of Manali in the lush green Kullu valley by late evening and check into a hotel.
Day 19: Rest day at Manali with a bit of local sightseeing.
Day 20: After breakfast drive to Delhi and check into a hotel for the night.
Day 21: Day at leisure in Delhi. Transfer to International airport by late night or early morning to catch your international flight.