THE VALLEY OF FLOWERS
Duration: 17 days, 8 days trekking
Accomodations: Hotel/Camping on trek
Best time: July to mid-September
Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
The Nubra Valley trek lies to the north of Leh which was once the gateway to the Silk Route. The valley has vast alluvial plains and Bactrian camels which roam the sandy banks of the Shyok River. This trek visits what is considered by many to be the most beautiful region of Ladakh and will leave you reminiscing about its stunning views of the Karakoram ranges. You will be traversing along the world’s highest motorable road, the Kardung Pass 17,590 feet in addition to the hike up to the snowline via the Lasermo La Pass (17, 716’) from Phyang village.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI. Our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.
DAY 2: FLY TO LEH. (11,500ft/3,505m) Transfer to the airport for the early morning flight to Leh, the ancient historical capital city of Ladakh and once a stop on the Asian “Silk Route.” This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular one-hour journeys on earth as the Airbus 320 jet flies out of the scorching Indian plains over a virtual sea of snowcapped Himalayan peaks before landing at the ancient city of Leh in the Indus River Valley. Situated at an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet in elevation, Leh is in stark and spectacular contrast to the urban intensity of New Delhi.
Because of the early departure as well as the dramatic elevation gain, your first day in Ladakh will be a restful, easy one. You may wish to stroll in the Leh bazaar, where there are many shops selling Ladakhi, Tibetan, and Kashmiri goods. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: ORIENTATION WALK IN LEH. We will walk from our hotel to the town center and walk gradually through the Old Town of Leh to Lehchen Palkhar, the ancient palace of Leh which was built in 1600 by the then King Singge Namgyal. Above the castle is the “Red Chapel” which houses a statue of Maitreya (the future) Buddha as well as three-story-high statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri on either side. Above this Chapel is the Namgyal Tsemo, “Tower of Victory,” which was built during the reign of King Tashi Namgyal. We will then walk down to the village of Chubi to visit the Women’s Alliance center and return to town for lunch. In the evening, we will drive to Shanti Stupa, a Japanese Peace Pagoda, to watch the sun set over the Indus Valley. We will drive a short distance to tour Changspa, one of the most popular places in Leh, and explore its many restaurants, bakeries, internet cafes and shops. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: SHEY AND THIKSEY MONASTRIES / STOK PALACE. Today you will be visiting two of the major Gompas (Ladakhi word for Monastery): Shey and Thiksey. Shey Khar is the former palace of the ladakhi royal family and only 13km from Leh. The Palace houses a 350-year-old copper and gold statue of the Lord Buddha. From Shey you will walk across the field to Thiksey village, where you will visit the Thiksey Monastery perched imposingly on a hillock from which its red and white buildings can be seen from kilometers away. This Gompa is famous for its 15 meter-high seated statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha. In the afternoon, you will be driven back to Leh and visit the Stok Palace. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: DRIVE TO PHYANG/ TREK TO PHYANG PHU- 4 hours. This day will be the first day of the trek. Though it is a short day in terms of walking, it is rather a good day for acclimatization. You will be driven first to the Phyang village and after visiting the village monastery, you will begin your trek to Phyang Phu. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: TREK TO SOUTH BASE CAMP OF LASERMO LA- 4,700m, 4 hours. After a leisurely breakfast, we will continue our trek to the base of Lasermo La (4,700 m). (B, L, D)
DAY 7: TREK TO NORTH BASE CAMP VIA LASERMO LA (6-7 hrs trekking). Today, we start quite early in the morning as we will cross the Lasermo Pass at 5,400m (17,716ft). The top of the Lasermo La offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, the Indus valley and the Shyok Valley. The trail from the pass towards the camp passes through rough moraines for an hour and a half. It is important to start early, as the ponies must cross the glacier before midday in order to avoid difficulties arising from melting snow and ice. The campsite is in a beautiful meadow and offers opportunities to explore and see beautiful flowers growing at such high altitude. (B, L, D)
DAY 8: TREK TO HUNDAR DOK- 5 hours walking. Today, you will walk down through meadows, flowers, and sometimes rocks. Most of the time, you will be walking along the Hundar stream. After following the stream for a while, you will pass through shepherds' huts, where the men and women from Hundar Dok Village live with their Yaks, cows, goats and sheep where they might be seen collecting milk, cheese, butter, wild vegetables and fuel for the winter. If you feel adventurous, you can taste the delicious milk and cheese with tsampa, the traditional staple of the Ladakhi diet. Tonight’s campsite is just above the Village of Dok Gongma (Upper Dok). (B, L, D)
DAY 9: REST DAY TO EXPLORE HUNDAR AREA. You have the entire day to yourself to explore the Hundar and surrounding areas. (B, L, D)
DAY 10: TREK TO SKARCHEN- 5 hours walking. Another beautiful day where you will pass through the villages of Dok Gongma, Dok Yokma and Wachan, which are names of different places with concentrations of scattered houses belonging to a common village known locally as Hundar Dok. If you are not in a hurry to get to your camp at Skarchen (a place where some of the local families go with their animals during the winter), you can spend some time exploring the villages and share a few moments getting to know the locals. (B, L, D)
DAY 11: TREK TO HUNDAR- 4 hours walking. The last day of trekking is through the beautiful Hundar Gorge, which opens up just before descending to Hundar Bridge. Before the final descent we will have a great view of Saser Kangri (7,672m), one of the highest mountains in Ladakh. (B, L, D)
DAY 12: TREK TO DISKET AND SUMOOR. This is the final day in the Nubra Valley for exploration and Bactrian camel riding in the Hundar dunes (optional). There will be a jeep trip for sight-seeing around the villages in the area. At the beautiful village of Diskit, we visit the stunningly perched, Diskit Monastery. We then drive up the Nubra River to Sumoor and visit the Samtanling Gompa with its large children's school. (B, L, D)
DAY 13: DRIVE BACK TO LEH VIA KHARDUNG LA, (5,350m) After breakfast, we drive back to Leh via the Khardung La at 5,350m, formerly the world’s highest motorable road. (B, L, D)
DAY 14: FREE TIME IN LEH. A final day for sightseeing and souvenir shopping. (B, L, D)
DAY 15: FLY BACK TO DELHI. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.(B)
DAY 16: RELAX IN DELHI. International flights usually leave after midnight, so sleep in and relax. Leave for the airport about 10 pm.
DAY 17: FLY HOME
LAND COST: on request
- All accommodation in Delhi and Leh with breakfast.
- Camping accommodation as per the program with all meals during the treks.
- Mule drivers and mules during the trekking.
- All monastery entrance fees, wild life fees and camping fees.
- English-speaking guide in monasteries and while trekking.
- Service of cook and attendants during the trekking.
- All camping equipment including North Face or equivalent sleeping tent, foam mattresses, dining tent and toilet tents
- All transportation from Delhi Airport pick-up to departure.
What’s not included:
- Medical and evacuation insurance
- Miscellaneous expenses and tipping to the staff
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food in Leh and Delhi.
- International Air ticket to and from Delhi.
- A single supplement.
- Laundry and other services not mentioned in the package. If you need any arrangement, please let us know.
IMPORTANT TREK NOTES
Whilst every effort is made to keep to the above itinerary, clients will hopefully appreciate that this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region. There will quite likely be changes to the itinerary in terms of anything from on-the-spot choice of campsite to when a rest day is taken. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns off the beaten track, local availability of horses or yaks, can contribute to the need for changes. The Trek guide will do everything in his power to see that you are inconvenienced as little as possible in such circumstances. Timings are approximate.
© Yama Adventures, 2017.