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Trekking
 

Lamayuru – Chilling

 The valley of Sham, in the lower part of Ladakh, is celebrated for its beauty and richness during the harvest. This trek follows the old caravan route to Lamayuru, which diverges from the Kargil – Leh road at the Phatu La. According to legend, Lamayuru was once filled by a lake, which miraculously disappeared by the hand of Lotsava Naropa. The monastery at Lamayuru, built in the 10th century, is one of the oldest in Ladakh, and is of the Kargyu sect of Tibetan BuddhismThis trek is unique in that it offers one the opportunity to see not only the many natural beauties of Ladakh, but also some of its most famous monasteries. The trail reveals many magnificent view of snow capped Mt.Photoksar (5685 m) and the confluence of the two mighty rivers of the Ladakh region. (Indus River and ZanskarRiver) 

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Overview


Day 1:    Leh – Lamayuru  – Wanla (3 hrs)

Day 2:    Wanla – Hinju (4-5 hrs)

Day 3:    Hinju – Sumda Doksa  (5-6 hrs)

Day 4:    Sumda Doksa – Dung Dungchan base (4-5 hrs)

Day 5:    Dung Dungchan base – Chilling (5 hrs)


Full Itinerary


Day 1:    Leh – Lamayuru  – Wanla (3 hrs)

 

                   We will leave by taxi from Leh in the morning to Lamayuru, following the Indus River through Sham Valley. After visiting Lamayuru monastery, we will pack our backpacks and set off on this first day of our journey. We will follow a stream for a time, gradually climbing up to the pass of Prinkti La  (3750m).  Then we will descend in narrow gorge to the small village of Shilla (3700 m).  From there, we will walk over 3 km to our campsite at Wanla (3250m), where we will spend the afternoon either relaxing in the sun or visiting the lovely monastery before we gather around a good dinner.

 

   Day 2:   Wanla – Hinju (4-5 hrs)

 

               Following a dusty road along the left bank of the stream, we will reach the small village of Phenjilla (3410 m). From Phenjilla, we will follow the road and a small stream on the left side of the valley for an hour, before reaching the scattered village of Ursi. We will then walk through a narrow gorge until we reach a traditional Rangthak (mill) at the far end of the village (a Rangthak is a small place used to grind wheat or barley between two flat stones with the help of flowing water). Still following the trail, we will walk through the narrow, tree-laden gorge, which will lead us to a spectacular precipitous cliff. The trail will then cut through the village of Hinju (3720 m), roughly 2 km below our campsite in a yak herder’s encampment.

Day 3:    Hinju – Sumda Doksa  (5-6 hrs)   

 

                From the encampment, we will continue along the trail and ascend the ridge below Kongskil La (4950m). There are amazing views of Hinju village; if we are lucky enough, we might glimpse a snow leopard hunting its prey. We will then climb gradually until we reach Kongskil La, where we will be surrounded by dizzying views of the Ladakh, Karakoram, and Stok ranges. The main ridges of the Zanskar range are also spectacular and worth viewing. The descent down the trail is very steep with loose moraine making it very difficult, so care must be takenThe trail then follows the left side of valley floor, passing a yak herders’ hut (4500m), before reaching the campsite (4400m). Mainly, the villagers of Sumda Chenmo occupy this valley.

 

Day 4:    Sumda Doksa – Dung Dungchan base (4-5 hrs)

 

               The morning will find our intrepid group fording the Zanskar River and following  a trail along the right of the valley.  Again we will ford the river before  ascending the opposite valley face, and following the irrigation channel to the village of Sumda Chenmo. From Sumda Chenmo, we head on the true left  side of the valley with beautiful view of the village with its lush  greenery.  Further the trail cuts through the valley’s wild rose bushes and leads us to another river crossing (this stream originates from the high snow-capped peaks of Mt. Photoksar (5685m)).  Before making a               steep, challenging ascent over Lanak, we will see Edelweiss and some of the other rare wild flowers of Ladakh. From the camp (4200m), there is a splendid view of Konskila, where we will make camp for the night.  

 

Day 5:    Dung Dungchan base – Chilling (5 hrs)

 

               We will begin the day with a straightforward climb to Dungdung Chan La  (4820m), which will reveal beautiful vistas of the Stok Range to the east,  the Ladakh Range to the north, and the Zanskar Range to the south. Along the  way, we will come across a yak herders’ encampment and its pastures.  From the pass, the trail gradually descends down a ridge toward the valley,  continually tapering before reaching the village of Chilling. The residents of the  Chilling are the only Ladakhis who have provided metalwork such as copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron to the Leh market through the centuries. From Chilling, we will drive for several hours along the Zanskar River, eventually reaching its confluence with the Indus and the easy road back to Leh.

 

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