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Manali - Kaza - Parang La – Tso Moriri – Leh Trail

Months: Early July to end September
Number of Days: 13Nts / 14 Days
Maximum Altitude: 5450m
Grade: Moderate - Strenuous
Trek Days: 10

This trek starts from Kibber village in the Spiti Valley and takes you into the Rupshu valley in Ladakh. The Rupshu valley is essentially a hi-altitude plateau which is the summer grazing grounds for the hardy Changpa nomads who roam this vast plain extending into Tibet. The Parang La Trek (18,300 FT) to this high altitude pastureland is a challenging trek that lets you experience the beauty and breathtaking landscapes of both the lower Himalayas and the expansive high altitude grazing pastures in the Greater Himalayas. On the trail you'll walk through a profusion of wild flowers including the exquisite Blue Himalayan Poppy Flower in blossom and on the expansive Changthang plateau view large brackish lakes surrounded by a ring of barren brown mountains that change to indescribable colours as the sun crosses the skies.


Day 1: On arrival at Delhi airport we meet you and transfer you to your pre-reserved hotel. The morning is free to relax. In the afternoon we take on a half day old Delhi city tour. See the Red Fort, the mosque known as Jama Masjid both built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan many centuries ago and stroll along the narrow backstreets selling mouth watering kebabs and pilaffs. (Optional as you may want spend the day relaxing in your hotel). Return to your hotel for the night.

Day 2: We leave Delhi early after breakfast and drive to the city of Chandigarh where we arrive by early afternoon. Check into your pre-reserved hotel and then after lunch visit the famous 25 acre Rock Gardens known for its unusual figures and sculptures created out of industrial and urban waste items. We then take you to the famous Rose Gardens Asia's largest rose garden, spread over 30 acres of land where you get to see over 50,000 rose-bushes with 1600 species of this delightful flower. We then return to your hotel for dinner and the night.

Day 3: We leave after a leisurely breakfast and drive through the foothills into Himachal Pradesh and passing a few towns and numerous villages arrive at the hill resort of Manali - 2050m by late afternoon. On arrival we check you into your pre-reserved hotel. In the evening take a stroll along the Mall Road the main shopping area and if you prefer dine out at one of the finer restaurants in town. Try Chopsticks for authentic Chinese, The Mayur for excellent Indian cuisine and the Khyber for North West Indian food and Sagar for vegetarian food from Gujarat and Punjab. Return to your hotel for the night.

Day 4: After an early breakfast we leave for the Spiti valley crossing the 3978m Rohtang Pass and then driving beside the Chandra River. From the small hamlet of Batal we drive up to the Kunzum La. Ä from Batal there is bifurcation to the left - a rough jeepable road to the stunning Chandratal Lake a large water body surrounded by stark barren mountains. (An option here is to spend a night on the lakes shore) Ä We climb up to the 4590m Kunzum Pass and then descend gradually into the Spiti valley and reach the first village of Losar by early afternoon. From here the road goes through gorges and wide plains till we reach the seemingly medieval town of Kaza – sub divisional headquarters of Spiti at a height of 3800m. On reaching Kaza we check into a comfortable guest house while our camp staff takes off to the neat and tidy village of Kibbe r also reputed to be the highest permanently inhabited village ion the world where they set up camp on a grassy slope.

Day 5: After breakfast we drive up to the ancient Ki Monastery impressively built on a stand alone rock hill at a height of 4116m overlooking the vast Spiti River basin. This ancient Gompa houses precious manuscripts, thangkas and old musical instruments. From here we drive north to the small village of Kibber at 4250m . We climb up a slope and reach our camp where we have steaming hot lunch before heading out for a short walk around the hillsides. Return to camp by evening.

Day 6: Our Trek starts . We leave early today and cross a couple rolling hills with a good view of towering snow clad mountains in the distance. We trek over a small stretch of rolling grassland then descend to a narrow gorge and then climb up to our campsite at 4300m at Dumla village by early afternoon.

Day 7: An uphill walk of about 3 hours from Dumla village at a leisurely pace brings us to the rolling meadows of Thaltak where we camp for the night. You can see the snow clad Parang La in the distance glimmering in the sunlight.

Day 8: Thaltak to Tak-Chu the Base of Parang-La at 5575m is a six hour trek - first through the Parilungbi gorge and then uphill taking us through scenic countryside to the base of the Parang la Pass. On the way we have excellent chances of seeing marmots and Ibex. Following the mountain stream we reach the base camp below Parang la.

Day 9: Trek over Parang la - 5600m / 18,300 ft, to Karsha Gongma - 4930m at the head of the Parechu valley. Today's seven hour climb and descent into the Ladakh pastures is a memorable one affording expansive views of the Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti mountain peaks. The trail to Parang La involves crossing a few crevasses nothing that requires special mountaineering skills as our guides are well equipped with Ice Axes and Ropes. On reaching the valley floor we set up camp for the night.

Day 10: Trek for about five hours gradually walking down to Umna at 4680m and our camping site for the night. On the way one river crossing is involved.

Day 11: Today's five hour walk along the Parechu River takes us to the camping grounds at Rachu Lamo at 4470m . On the way you may meet a few of the nomadic Changpa shepherds grazing their flocks of sheep and goat. We set up camp close to the meandering Parechu River.

Day 11: Today another five hour walk through a few boulders beside the Parechu River which also involves a river crossing brings us to our campsite for the night at Chumik Shilde at 4300m.

Day 12: Today's five hour walk is on the expansive Changthang Plateau which extends into southern Tibet. This is the Changpa's land where they roam freely grazing their large flocks of sheep, goat and herds of Yak. Living out of Yak skin tents they lead a fiercely independent lifestyle. The Changthang is also home to numerous species of wild life namely –Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass), Wild Yaks, Himalayan Red Fox, Wolves, Ibex, Blue Sheep, Wooly Hare, Tibetan Antelope, Marmots and Pica beside the elusive Snow Leopard. We reach our campsite at Kiangdom at 4350m by afternoon.

Day 13: It's a bit of a long trek today as a seven hour walk along the green lake shores brings us to the small camping grounds on the shores of the large 28Kms long and 8Kms wide Tso Moriri Lake at 4450m . Our campsite is surrounded by barren hills that change to amazing and indescribable colours of rust, gold, bronze, red, purple and vermillion as the sun moves across the skies.

Day 14: Last Day of Trek . Another long day of seven hours walking along the shores of Tso Moriri till we reach the only habitation on this otherwise desolate and isolated plateau – the village of Karzok at 4267m. You get good glimpses of the hundreds of migratory birds that visit this large brackish water lake during this time of year. These include the rare black necked cranes which breed only on this lake, bar headed geese and ducks like the redshank, ruddy Shelduck, lesser sand plover and others. Tso Moriri remains one of the best spots for the avid bird watcher. We set up camp near Karzok and then take stroll around this interesting village with its impressive Gompa above.

Day 15: After an early breakfast we leave for Leh the headquarters of Ladakh. It take us about 8 hours through a landscape of wind sculpted mud and rock hills and over the Mahe bridge to the small hamlet of Chumathang famous for its medicinal hot springs and finally to Leh by evening. On arrival we check into a comfortable pre-reserved hotel.

Day 16 & 17: Visit the Shey, Stok, Thiksey, Stakna and Hemis Monasteries . The next day we explore the Shanti Stupa , Sankar, Spituk, and Phyang Gompas and on the return stop over at the imposing Leh Palace overlooking the entire town of Leh.

Day 18: On this last day of the tour we drive you to the airport to board your early morning flight to New Delhi.

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