Ladakh, Trekking in Ladakh, Ladakh Tour
Trekking in Ladakh
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Trekking in The Himalayas

The Ladakhi Himalayan range of mountains provide excellent opportunities for trekking in the wide variety of landscapes of Himalayas. While crossing the Great Himalayan Range for instance, one passes through all kind of landscapes getting through the arid, alpine meadow or the forest valleys. During the trekking route one comes across the local inhabitants of the state living happily under the adverse conditions prevailing in this region – meeting the local people during the trekking makes the trekking experience in Ladakh complete.


As Ladakh was first opened for the tourists, so most of the tourists would visit Leh and its surrounding and trekkers used to go for the treks into the nearby valleys. The most popular of these treks were the 8 days Markha Valley trek and the 11 days Lamayuru – Padum route and the Stok-Khangri round trek. The Valleys of Suru and Zanskar have been the recent addition in the Tourism of Ladakh.

Undiscovered Areas

Some of the areas of Ladakh that were once closed to foreign visitors have been opened now. Movement here is restricted to designated circuits and the time allowed is limited. There are different categories of entry permits which are taken care by the Indo Vacations Leh office.

Nubra Valley

Along the eastern ridge of the Karakoram range in northern Ladakh is the Nubra Valley which comprises of the upper Shayok and Nubra river valleys. Trekking routes in this area are rather difficult and traverses the Kardung-la (18,380 ft) pass along the ancient trade route from Leh to Central Asia. While passing this pass you are on the highest motorable road in the world ! The panorama view from the pass covers the entire Indus Valley in the south and one can also see the magnificent snow clad peaks. The route passes through the attractive villages to Deskit, the largest village in the valley. To Hundar, down the Shayok valley, the trail wanders past rolling sand dunes. There is a small population of double humped camels here and visitors can avail a moonlight camel safari on the dunes which is a life time experience.

The Pangong Lake Circuit

The beautiful high altitude of Pangong Lake in Ladakh is also another popular destination with trekkers. The picturesque route to this valley also covers Shey and Thikse with their interesting and worth visiting monasteries and before turning off into the side valley of Chemrey it goes over the Chang – la (17,900 feet/  5475 meter). The height of Chang Pass is high but despite its height this pass is comparatively easy to get through. At the base of the pass, at Tangse there is also an ancient temple. The trek ends at Spangmik which is the farthest point to which foreigners are permitted – about 7 km along the southern bank of the lake. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 14,000 feet (4,267 metre), and breathtaking. Its blue green waters reflect all the mountains of the Changchenmo range. The Pangong Lake is the largest brackish water lake in Asia or better to say that Pangong Lake is more like an inland sea which is 150 kilometers long and have the width of 2 to 10 km. The travel of around 160 kilometers to the Pangong Lake is really an experience. On this picturesque journey you really realize that this is a really isolated area. You may only come across the Army man who are stationed there or only a few Ladakhi families who are also glad to see and welcome you with a smile. The soldiers of Indian Armey are helpful especially when it comes to an emergency. They also keep oxygen cylinders with them. One should not hesitate to ask them for any help needed. For the bird lovers this is an ideal site to take the pictures of the Siberian crane which is black necked. The marshland of Mahe provide them an ideal breeding ground for these migratory birds. As politically the lake is divided under the Indian rule (around 150 kms.) and rest under the Chinese rule (around 100 kms). The boating is officially not allowed or just half a kilometer that too with the permission of the soldiers present there. The water of the lake are clear and cold. This lake is also interested to the geologists and some of the researches are going on to know more about the history of Pangong Lake. As this lake is in very fragile ecological zone, visitors are requested not to leave any garbage or plastic at the lake.

The Tso Moriri Lake Trek Circuit

Following the Leh-Manali road which leads through the upland desert plateau of Rupshu, inhabited only by the nomadic Chang-pa herdsmen and their flocks of Pashmina goats, its naked hills and dusty valleys are the setting for the spectacular Tso Moriri Lake and other lakes in the area. One of the trek takes its way to Korzok (4572 m) and is located just 5 km along the lake’s 23 km length. This trekking route goes along the Leh-Manali road over the Taglang Pass and proceeds to the twin lakes of Startsapuk so (a fresh water lake) and so-Kar (a salt water lake) and then proceeds to Korzok. The Tso Moriri Lake's water is sparking blue in its bleak surroundings. The surroundings of the Tso Moriri Lake water attracts bar-headed goose, brahminy duck, the great crested grebe and the brown headed gull for breeding making it a lively place.

The Drok Pa Area

An expedition to this area takes the trekker to the picturesque villages of the Drok Pa people. The people are Buddhist in religion, both racially and culturally. Possibly early Aryan settlers who came in from the Gilghit area, the Drok Pas have preserved ancient traditions that resemble Bon – chos, a pre-Buddhsit religion. Two of their villages Dah and Biama may be visited. The route following the Indus after Khalatse goes past the attractive villages of Domkhar, Skurbunchan and Achinathang, set amidst fields of ripening crops and orchards of fruit trees.

River Rafting in Ladakh

Exciting river rafting options are also available along the Indus river and its major tributaries. Ask Indo Vacations for more details. The best stretch for guided white water rafting trips is between Spituk and Saspol on the Indus close to Leh. For easy runs, the area from Spituk to Karu is chosen popularly.

Mountaineering in Ladakh 

The Nun-Kun massif, easily accessible from the Kargil-Padum road, is the most popular climbing option in Ladakh. The Stok-Khangri massif in the Zanskar range is accessible from Leh. The climbing is advisable from mid May to mid October. Major peaks in the Karakoram range accessible from various points in the Nubra Valley include Saser I (7,415 m), Saser II (7,513 m), Saser III (7,495 m). The foreign tourists require clearance from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in Delhi, before having the climbing expedition.

Trekking Tips

The easiest way to go on a trek or a safari is through a Tour Operator / Travel Agency. They will take care of all arrangements for camping gear, portage, provisions, etc. The Associates offices of Indo Vacations provide camping equipment at the Srinagar, Leh and Kargil . Imported items like insulated ground sheets, two man tents, sleeping bags, insulated jackets, trekking shoes and rucksacks are available.

If booked with Indo Vacations all your provisions and fuel from Leh or Kargil for the entire duration of the trip will be taken care of, as nothing is available in the outposts of this difficult area and tourists really may not expect from the villagers for their basic winter provisions.

The environment in Ladakh is ecologically fragile and cannot absorb the garbage left by trekkers. Basically, no garbage must be left at campsites undisposed. Polythene wrappers and containers must be taken back by the tourists or should be deposited with the tour operator who will take care of it.


Frequent group departures...

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