Zanskar With Jungle Lore
Different from our Jeep safari trips, this trip is about exploring the Zanskar valley with our team of experts. The Zanskar Valley is one of the most serene, untouched and beautiful locations in the country. This experience is the closest you can get to living in God's abode.
This year, the Zanskar itinerary is designed differently where apart from the amazing drives through Suru Valley into Zanskar, we will be spending 3 nights in Padum and will be visiting Phugtal monastery and Muney Village. On our way back we visit Batalik which is located about 50km from Kargil and is famous for Drokpa tribe who are descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great.
ITINERARY - 12th to 20th Aug 2017
DAY 1 - 12th Aug - Mumbai to Leh
Arrival in Leh in the morning and full day rest.
DAY 2 - 13th Aug - Depart to Kargil
Confluence of Sindhu and Zanskar rivers is a magical sight apart from the obvious geographical significance.
Magnetic Hill: Alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull car uphill. Visitors and residents alike claim the legend to be true. Though theres some science to it as well but we'll tell you about that during the trip.
Pattharsahib Gurudwara: A beautiful Gurudwara constructed in memory of Guru Nanak Dev. It is situated on the Leh Kargil road. The armed forces looks after the Gurudwara.
Lamayuru Monastry : The Monastery is made up of number of shrines and is well known for its magnificent wall paintings.
DAY 3 - 14th Aug - To Rangdum
Rangdum is probably the coldest and highest camping spot in our itinerary, close to 13000 ft. It is the last inhabited place in Suru Valley and is known to harbour the nomadic herdsmen called Bakarwals, who take the long road from Kashmir valley every year during the summers for the green and fertile grass of the Suru Valley.
DAY 4 - 15th Aug - To Padum
We depart for Padum, the largest town in Zanskar Tehsil crossing Penzila pass. The Penzi-la pass (4401m) is a scenic tableland surrounded by snow-covered peaks.
The drive to Padum is surrounded by colourful hills on the one side and glacier – encrusted Rocky Mountains on the other. its approximately 5 to 6 hrs via Rangdum, Pensi La and Abran. As the Zanskar road winds down the steep slopes of Penzi-la to the head of the Zanskar valley, the majestic Drang-Drung glazier looms into full view. We cross the Drang Drung glacier, the source of Doda River to reach Padum
DAY 5 - 16th Aug - Local Sightseeing and overnight at Padum
Padum, the biggest settlement of Zanskar valley was named after Padmasambhava. At an average altitude. 11000 ft, its a small town with warm people.
We head to attend the Karsha Monastry, Sheela waterfall and Zangla village in the morning.
DAY 6 - 17th Aug - To Phugtal Monastary via Muney village
Early morning we head to Muney Monastery located at about 18 km from Padum. We visit the Muney monastery and trek to Phugtal Monastery.
Phugtal Monastery (often transliterated as Phuktal) is a Buddhist monastery located in the remote Lungnak Valley in south-eastern Zanskar, in the autonomous Himalayan region of Ladakh
DAY 7 - 18th Aug Padum to Kargil
Early morning departure from Padum as we say goodbye to Zanskar and Suru Valley and head to Kargil.
DAY 8- 19th Aug - Kargil to Leh Via Batalik
Post an early morning breakfast we leave for leh via Batalik is located about 50km from kargil and is famous for Drokpa tribe who is believed to be directly descended from the soldiers of Alexander the Great
DAY 9 - 20th Aug - Depart to Mumbai
Morning departure by flight
Kargil - D Zozila - Vist Website
Rangdum - Nun Kun Delux Camp
Padum - Hotel Ibex
PHOTO GALLERY Click Here
Rs 47,500 per person + 6% Tax
- All meals.
- Inner liner permits,
- Monastery fees and taxes.
- Surface transfers as per itinerary
The Cost Does Not Includes
"The Ends of the Earth" - often a term used to describe imaginative, fictitious places. Few realize that one such world lies in our own backyard.On our first trip to Zanskar valley, our driver earnestly told us that the first time the Zanskaris saw a army chopper, they went with food thinking that an injured bird has made its way into their land ! Undiscovered and beautiful...
Zanskar was – until recently one of the most inaccessible places in the world. It is a large area of abut 5000 sq.km. made up of two valleys, the Stod, which connects up with the Suru and Kargil regions, and the Tsarab, which follows the Zanskar River up north.
Zanskar remains inaccessible for nearly eight months every year due to heavy winter snowfall resulting in closure of all access passes. Because of its remoteness, Zanskar is often described as “the lost valley”. During our first trip to Zanskar valley, our driver in his very informative and earnest tone told us - the first time an army chopper had gone there for a rescue operation, the villagers had thought a huge bird had flown to their land and they welcomed it with food! Strange as it may sound, less than 10% of the tourists traveling to Ladakh actually go to Zanskar through the 240 km dusty Kargil-Padum road.
In June - July, the summer is at its peak in the region and the climate is ideal for trekking along the route, free from vehicular traffic of any kind and with the countryside freshly rejuvenated into life after months of frigid dormancy. For those who dare to do it, this translates into an unique Zanskari experience.
Flora and fauna
Among the wildlife that can be found in Zanskar are the Himalayan marmot, bear,the Himalayan wolf- which is the oldest species of all wolves in the world, the elusive snow leopard, kiang, bharal, alpine Ibex, wild sheep and goats, and the famed lammergeier - the bearded vulture known to have a wingspan of 3 mts.
Zanskar is the tehsil or sub district of the Kargil district. The region gets its name from the Zanskar mountain range which separates Zanskar from Ladakh. The most popular meaning among scholars for Zanskar is "Copper Star". Zanskar covers an area of 7000 sq. km. at a height between 3500 mts to 7000 mts. The famous passes in the region are Pensi La (14,450 ft), Shingo La(16703 ft) and Baralacha La. Each of these passes are sources to tributaries of Zanskar river, namely Doda, Kragyag and Tsarap respectively.
The easiest approach leads from Kargil through the Suru valley and over the Pensi La. It is along this track that in 1979 the first and only road in Zanskar was built to connect Padum with the main road from Srinagar into Ladakh. Zanskar along with Ladakh were declared restricted areas and were open to foreigners in 1974.
People Of Zanskar :
The majority of Zanskaris are of mixed Tibetan and Indo-European origins; notably Dard and Mon. The latter are in fact ethnically Dard, but "Mon" is used in order to distinguish them from later Dard settlers. The earlier areas like Panikher of Zanskar valley are Muslim dominated.
Zanskaris' main occupations are cattle rearing and cultivation; though land for cultivation is scarce and is restricted to mostly to terraces. Cultivated land is a rarity above 4000 mts. Despite all the hardships, Zanskaris have developed a system of agriculture supported by complex irrigation systems to produce enough food in these conditions. The circumstances have given rise to a tendency towards stable zero growth population. An efficient birth-control system in Zanskar has historically been achieved by the common practice of polyandrous marriage, in which several brothers are married to the same wife, and the widespread adoption of a celibate religious life. A high infant mortality rate also contributes to population stability.
Most of the people living in Zanskar are well versed in several languages including the local Dardic languages, Hindi, and often Tibetan, and many know enough of other languages like English, etc., to be able to communicate with tourists.
In And Around Zanskar :
Suru Valley lies in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and is called so because it is drained by the Suru River, a powerful tributary of Indus. A fertile valley with immense beauty, in fact the lower plains of the Suru Valley are one of the most agriculturally productive parts of Ladakh. Suru Valley is home to the massive Nun Kun Peaks; a pair of Himalayan peaks: Nun, 7,135 m (23,409 ft) and its neighbor peak Kun, 7,077 m (23,218 ft). Nun is the highest peak in the part of the Himalayan range lying on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. (There are higher peaks in the Indian part of the Karakoram range.)
There are two main villages in the Suru Valley - Rangdum and Parachik. Parachik offers a splendid view of the Nun Kun siblings and plantations of willow and poplar make it relatively lush. Whereas Rangdum has stark landscape but is beautiful nonetheless. It houses the 18th century Rangdum monastery which is situated on top of a small but steep sugar loaf hill at an altitude of 3,657 m (11,998 ft). Entrenched around a mountain stream, the Gompa gives an appearance of age old fortification, which still stands as the protector of this mystical valley.
Zanskar valley dosen't disappoint with its share of monasteries all beautifully standing out in the stark landscape.
Stongdey Monastery of Ladakh is considered to be the second largest monastic institution in the Zanskar region. It is known for its gorgeous wall paintings. Stongde also serves as the venue of Gustor festival, an annual festival that takes place on the 28th and 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar.
Located in the village of Karsha, it is the largest monastery in Zanskar. The Gustor Festival is celebrated at Karsha every year, on the 28th and 29th day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar. The celebrations also include the performance of the sacred dance.
Situated on the road to Kargil, at a distance of approximately 6 km to the west of Padum. Its been built in parts dating back to the 2nd century AD. The Sani Gompa of Leh Ladakh is also alleged to be connected with the famous Indian Yogi Naropa. Every year the bronze statue of the yogi is unveiled on the eve of the Naro-Nasjal Festival.
Rs 47,500 per person + 6% Tax
Trip Dates: 12th Aug to 20th Aug, 2017
Weather link For Zanskar
Trip Leader: Vishal