Rupshu is a vast area to the south east of Ladakh, on the road from Manali to Leh. The valley lies at an altitude of 4,000 to 5,000 meters. Cultivation is difficult because of the extremely cold and dry climate, though there is ample grazing land. The small population is thus widely spread and consists mainly of nomadic shepherds, called Changpas. The Changpas also engage in trade and work the caravans between Ladakh, Lahoul and Spiti.
The trek commences from the Indus valley, goes over the Kangmaru la into the Nimaling plains, over the Zalung Karpo la towards the Rupshu Valley. Following the Kurna Chu through the beautiful Sorra gorge, the trail goes over two more passes before ending on the banks of Tso Morari or “mountain” lake, situated in the middle of the elevated district of Rupsu. The lake is formed by a tributary of the Spiti river. The lake’s name is characteristic of its situation – nestled in the midst of 20,000 foot plus peaks which completely shut the lake in. Legend has it that a woman riding a yak was carried into the lake. At first the yak swam boldly out and the woman (chomo) was delighted. But after a while the animal grew tired and sank deeper in the water. The chomo became frightened and screamed “Ri Ri, Ri Ri” until the yak sank and she drowned. Since then, the lake has been called Chomo-riri.
The area is rich in wildlife including the kyang (wild ass), red fox and the rare, highly endangered snow leopard. Black-necked cranes and bar-headed geese flock to the lakeside for breeding during the summer months. Tso Kar is another brackish lake and this whole region has supported a vital salt industry that allowed the Changpas to trade with merchants from the other regions of Ladakh.
DAY 1 Arrive Delhi:
Where you will be met and transfered to your hotel.
DAY 2 Delhi – Leh (3500m)
Arrive Leh and drive by jeep to the Ladkahi style hotel. The rest of the day is free to either rest in the shade of the hotel courtyard, or we can take a lazy walk into Leh’s colourful bazaar. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 3 Visit Leh
A whole day at leisure in Leh. You can visit some of the most famous and oldest monasteries of Ladakh (15th and 17th century), Thikse, Shey and Hemis and take a walk to the colorful bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 4 Leh – Hemis (3505m)
Today we drive (by bus) Hemis
DAY 5 Hemis – Shang Sumdo (3850m)
Today we leave the Indus valley. We descend towards Martselang, then follow the valley, which is fairly narrow in some places, continuing along the riverbed to Shang Sumdo. A short and pleasant stage, in anticipation of the next two long days.
DAY 5 Shang Sumdo – Latza Kongmaru (4800m)
We progress along the river whose banks are studded with ochre rocks.From Chukirmo village, the track leads into narrow gorges, where ponies need to be unloaded twice, and climb up to the base of Kongmaru La.
DAY 6 Latza Gongmaru-Kongmaru La(5030m)-Langtang Chu (4250m)
From the pass, there are great views north towards eastern Korakoram and China, whilst the southern view is dominated by the shapely Kang Yatze (6400m) and the Ladakhi range. We take a ridge trail and descend zigzagging across scree. Afterwards, the path descends easily towards the Nimaling summer pastures and the Markha valley, the most beautiful valley in Ladakh.
DAY 7 Langtang Chu – Yakrupal (4700m)
We climb up the large valley, and, after crossing a stream, carry on along a wall of moraine
DAY 8 Yakrupal – Zalung Karpo La (5200m) – Sorra (4200m)
We carry on upwards until the valley divides, where we fork right. From the pass, we follow a ridge trail that leads to another pass, then plunge into the valley.
DAY 9 Sorra – Dat (4200m)
We follow beautiful woody gorges until they widen into a valley. Manis and shortens are scattered along the trail that leads along the Sara and Dat rivers. Dat is a verdant village, where arable farming uses every inch of land.
DAY 10 Dat – Yar La (5000m) – Lungmo Che (4010m)
An easy climb takes us up to the pass, where we enjoy a dramatic view over the Rupshu. Sometimes we are overtaken by caravans of “Khyangs”, wild donkeys that frighten our ponies.
DAY 11 Lungmo Che – Lun (4100m)
The landscape completely changes, turning into into a vast arid plain where the Zara Chu flows (dry from August on). Tibetan nomads populate the area.
DAY 12 Lun – Marang La (5300m) – Takh
The path leaves the river and leads up to a beautiful plateau at 4500m. We climb up gently to the last pass. Then it is a long descent towards Takh.
DAY 13 Takh – Manali by bus
A long drive to Manali. Crossing the Rohtang Pass(3990m) above Manali, We glimpse the green forested slopes of the Kullu- Manali Valley. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 14 Manali – Delhi,
Check in to our Hotel.
DAY 15 Visit – Delhi
The morning is free to relax and then after lunch we leave for a 05 Hours sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, Which are completely different in character to one another. We visit the Qutub Minar, Red fort and India Gate.
DAY 16 Transfer to airport and fly back home
Duration: 18 Days – 17 Nights
Destinations Covered: Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Darcha – Palamo – Zanaskar Sumdo – Chumi Napo – Shingo La – Lakham – Kugiak – Bepul – Purni – Phuktal Gompa – Mune – Padum – Ringdom Gompa – Kargil – Leh – Delhi
Day 1 Drive Leh to Martselang 2 hours, trek to Shang Sumdo (3,660 m) – 3 to 4 hours.
Day 2 Trek to base of Kangmaru la (4,320 m) – 5 to 6 hours
Day 3 Trek over Kangmaru La (5,100 m) to Nimaling (4,720 m) – 5 to 6 hours
Day 4 Trek to base of Jalang Karpo La (4,300 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 5 Trek over Jalang Karpo La (5,050 m) to Kar (4,300 m) – 7 to 8 hours
Day 6 Trek to Dat (4,250 m) – 7 to 8 hours
Day 7 Trek to Lang Mocho (4,380 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 8 Trek to Sangtha (4,300 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 9 Rest day
Day 10 Trek to Pogmar (4,500 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 11 trek over Pogmar La (4,800 m) to Norbu (4,400 m) – 7 to 8 hours
Day 12 Trek to Nurchan (4,185 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 13 Trek to Gana (4,235 m) – 5 to 6 hours
Day 14 Trek to Karzok (4,506 m) – 5 to 6 hours
Day 15 Rest day at Tso Moriri
Day 16 Drive to Leh – 6 to 7 hours
Day 17 Day for own activity
Day 18 Dep/Trns to airport to catch flight to Delhi