Trekking in Ladakh
from Srinagar drive on this route in the relative comfort of
taxis, local buses or their own vehicles, taking two days and
breaking journey at Kargil. It provides the best possible
introduction to the land and its people. At one step as you
cross the Zoji-la, you pass from the lushness of Kashmir into
the bare uncompromising contours of a trans-Himalayan
landscape. Drass, the first major village over the pass,
inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins,
has the local reputation of being the second coldest permanent
inhabited spot in the world. But in summer when the pass is
open and the tourists are going though, the standing crops and
clumps of willow give it a gently, smiling look. On departure
from Kargil, the road plunges into the ridges and valley of
the Zanskar range over a huge mound of alluvium, now made
fertile by a huge irrigation scheme.
Mulbekh with its gigantic rock engraving of Maitreya
(Buddha-to come) and its gompa perched high on crag above the
village, is the transition from Muslim to Buddhist Ladakh. It
is followed by two more passes, Namika-la (12,200 feet/
3,719m) and Fotu-la (13,432 feet / 4,094 m). From Fotu-la, the
road descends in sweeps and shirls, past the ancient and
spectacularly sited monastery of Lamayuru, past amazing
wind-eroded towers and pinnacles of lunar-landscape rock, down
to the Indus at Khalatse- a descent of almost 4,000 feet/
1,219 m in about 32 km.
In winter the temp touches as low as minus 30 degree(Leh &
Kargil) and minus 60 degree in (Drass) subzero temp.prevails
from December to February throughout Ladakh, where as, zero
degree temp.'s experienced during rest of winter months. This
result in freezing of all conceivable water resources. During
summer the maximum temp.increases from 20 degree C to 38
degree C in July and August. The relative humidity is low and
ranges from 31 to 64 percent.
Trekking Routes in Ladakh
The Pangong Lake Circuit
The beautiful high altitude Pangong Lake is also
another popular destination with trekkers. It is a picturesque
route that covers Shey and Thikse with their interesting
monasteries, before turning off into the side valley of
Chemrey. It goes over the Chang - la , the pass over the
Ladakh range which despite it height is not too difficult to
tackle. At the base of the pass, tangse has an ancient temple.
The trek ends at spangmik, which is the furthest point to
which foreigners are permitted - about 7 km along the southern
bank of the lake.
Located in an ideal location within the centre of the
Himalayan region, Kargil is one destination of Ladakh with
tremendous potentials for adventure activities. Kargil serves
as an important base for adventure tours in the heart of
Himalayas. It is also the take off station for visitors to the
heaven of exotic Himalayan locales, Zanskar Valley. Tourists
travelling between Srinagar and Leh have to make a night halt
at Kargil before starting off the second leg of their trekking
The Korakoram Range
The range of mountains north of Ladakh, and thus north of the
Himalayas, has 10 peaks over 7,000m including at 8,611m, the
world's second highest peak, Mt. Godwin Austen, also known as
K2. It stands in the Pakistani held part of Kashmir. Because
the mountains in the Karakoram rise from a base altitude
averaging close to 3,000m they do not look as impressive as
the Himalayas. Trekkers should note that this region is
outside the permitted zone.
Along the eastern ridge of the Karakoram Range in northern Ladakh
is the Nubra valley comprising of the upper Shayok and Nubra
river valleys. The trekking route to this area is demanding
and traverses the Kardung-la pass along the ancient trade
route from Leh to Central Asia. It is the highest motorable
road in the world! The breathtaking view from the pass surveys
an entire length of the Indus valley in the south and a
magnificent panorama of snow clad peaks. The route follows the
valley past attractive villages to Deskit, the largest village
in the valley. Onwards to Hundar down the Shayok valley, the
trail wanders past rolling sand dunes. There is a small
population of double humped Bactrian camels here and visitors
can avail of a marvelous moonlight camel safari on the dunes.
The Tso Moriri Lake
The Leh-Manali road goes through the upland desert plateau of
Rupshu inhabited only by the nomadic chang-pa herdsmen and
their flocks of Pashmina goats. Its bare rolling hills
interspersed with dusty valleys are the setting for the
spectacular Tso Moriri Lake and other lakes in the area.
One trek wends its way to Korzok located just 5 km along the
lake's 23 km length. This route takes off along the Leh-Manali
road over the Taglang -la, proceeds to the twin lakes of
Startsapuk Tso (a fresh water lake) and Tso-Kar (a salt water
lake) and then on to Korzok
This is a rigorous grade 10
days trek route crossing the highest pass of 5,100 meters.
Passing through world's highest mountains this is indeed a
very good trek.
This is also a 10 days trek leaving Zangskar region for
It is a 12 days trek with over 100 river crossings on the way.
It is a tough trek that is only possible when the water level
goes down (from last week of August till September end).
Changthang / Rupsho valley region
Rumtse-Tsomoriri This is an 8 days trek crossing three 5000+
meters passes on the way leading to the beautiful plains of
Rupsho and the beautiful high altitude lake Tsomoriri at 4200
This is a 15 days trek leading to Rupsho Plains via Markha
Valley and is a high altitude trek with almost crossing a pass
everyday. The highest pass on the way is about 5300 meters
high (Zalung Karpo La).
Nubra valley region
This a 5-6 days trek crossing Ladakh Range from Central Ladakh
for Nubra Valley in the north. Spectacular views of Karakoram
Range on the way and crossing Khardungla (highest motorable
road) on the way back are its special features.
This is a 14 days trek and is in continuation of the above
trek from Nubra Valley back to Indus Valley at Phyang crossing
Lasermo Pass (5200 meters).