Hemis to Zara/Kharnak (Zalung Karpola)

Best period : June to October

Short description : This partly isolated fantastic trek guarantees lots of seasonal shepherds and nomads with their flock on the way. Leaving from Hemis one crosses a few passes into the nomad area of Kharnak, finishing at Zara, on the Leh to Manali road.

Day 1 : Arrival in Delhi, flight to Leh.

Day 2 : Tour of Leh city.

Day 3 : Tour of Spitok and Phyang gompas.

Day 4 : Tour of Shey and Matho gompas and Stok palace, the home of Ladakhi royalty.

Day 5 : Tour of Tikse and Hemis gompas, two the wealthiest and most influential institutions in Ladakh. Camp at Hemis.

Day 6 : Trek from Hemis to the village of Chogdo.

Day 7 : trek to Kongmaru La base camp.

Day 8 : Over Kongmaru La (16,730 ft.) to the plain of Nimaling, then over a small ridge to the secluded base camp at the foot of majestic Kang Yatze peak (21,000 ft.).

Day 9 : Day at Leisure or perhaps climb an adjacent ridge for a closer view of Kang Yatze's summit.

Day 10 : Over Konka Wangpo (16,500 ft.) to the valley of Langtang Chu.

Day 11 : Climb to the top of Zalung Karpo La (16,570 ft.) for a birds'-eye view of the Kharnak region before descending to the lovely meadow of Sokra.

Day 12 : Pass through Kharnak, with its imposing fort looming over us, and enter a spectacular gorge leading further down into willow groves. When the valley widens again, you will reach one of the most auspicious spots in the region, the site of a massive and remarkably ornamented monument. overnight camp.

Day 13 : A short day. After one hour's walk, we reach the semi-permanent settlement of Dat and camp near the village. The village and its small Gelugpa gompa merit an afternoon's exploration.

Day 14 : On the vast open plain beyond Dat, we keep a close lookout for herds of Kyiang, the Tibetan wild ass which frequent this valley. The stream has dried up here, but bubbling springs provide refreshment before the climb to Yar La (15,910 ft.). This is an easy pass, but the views are incredible. From the pass, there is a simple descent to Lungmoche.

Day 15 : The scenery changes yet again as you pass two small ridges and descend through grotesquely wind-carved rocks to one of the most beautiful campsites in Ladakh, called Zhabuk. You slake your thirst in the crystal clear spring and watch for the flocks of graceful Bharal, or Blue Sheep, on the cliffs above.

Day 16 : Be prepared for some exciting river crossings before we climb high above the Zara Chu (river) and leave it behind for good.

Day 17 : You make an early start to tackle the highest pass on our journey, 17,390 ft. Marang La. The views from the summit stretch to the Great Himalaya. The descent is quite long, and we end up in a lovely willow grove on the bank of the mighty Tsarap Chu, leaving the icy heights far behind.

Day 18 : It's a short walk to the Manali-Leh military road, where we meet the jeep that will take us on to Manali. This spectacular drive takes us over the main Himalaya range at the 15,255 ft Baralacha La before stopping for the night in Darcha.

Day 19 :You continue by jeep over Rohtang Pass (3978 metres) to Manali.

Day 20 : Day free in Manali.

Day 21 : Drive to to Pinjore, check in at Hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 22 : A short jeep ride to Chandigarh, then the Express train to Delhi, on arrival check in at Hotel. Stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 23 : Depart-Delhi, Transfer to airport for flight to onwards journey


Hemis to Zara