Shyam Valley Trek
This two-week tour provides a grand introduction to Ladakhi landscape and culture of this picturesque and exotic place also known as ‘Little Tibet’. It is a vast high-altitude desert with stunning mountain panoramas and dotted by small villages inhabited by rugged-looking people of Ladakhi and Tibetan stock. The itinerary incorporates a relatively easy seven-day trek with memorable walking experience through the beautiful landscape with stoppages at villages and monasteries en route for a closer and better understanding of their people and culture.
Day 01 – Delhi
Arrive at the international airport of Delhi at night. After the traditional welcome we are assisted by Company’s local representative in the boarding early- morning flight to Leh. No Hotel.
Day 02 – Delhi – Leh (3,500m)
An early flight out of Delhi that flies over the Himalayan Range provides amazing views before it brings us to a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River. Upon arrival in Leh we are transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatize ourselves to the altitude (3,500m). In the late afternoon we walk the colourful bazaars of Leh, which was an important trading centre along the old Silk Route from China. The town is dominated by the nine-story Namgyal Palace whose faded grandeur has been likened to a mini-version of the Potala Palace of Lhasa. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03 – Around Leh: Matho, Thiksey and Hemis
The predominant faith of Ladakhis is Tibetan Buddhism. To understand their traditions and culture better, today we visit some gompas (monasteries) of this Indus Valley. Perched on a promontory on the left bank of Indus the Matho Monastery occupies a privileged position. Renovated lately and extended and decorated with rich iconography, it is modeled on the Sakya monastery of Tibet and houses about 60 lamas and 30 novices. Next, we visit Thiksey Monastery perched on top of a hill with its red-and-white buildings visible from a long distance. There are sacred shrines and many precious objects to be seen here. Its counterpart on the right bank of Indus, Namgyal Palace, is remarkable for its imposing architecture reminiscent of the Potala Palace of Lhasa. Lastly, we drive to Hemis Monastery, tucked away up, a side valley on the opposite side of the Singge Tsangpo river. Founded about 350 years ago by Stag Sang Raschen, Hemis Monastery is the wealthiest monastery in India and is famous for its stupas made of gold and silver. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04 – Indus Valley (3,500-3,800m): Stok Palace, Shanti Stupa and transfer to Taru
After breakfast we continue our sightseeing programme. Just across the river to the south of Leh lies Stok, a village in which the deposed royal family relocated after the loss of their throne. Stok Palace, where the royal family now lives, houses a museum of artifacts associated with this dynasty. Later we visit Shanti Stupa on the hilltop at Changspa. An exhausting steep uphill walk over the steps to the Stupa culminates in great views of the valley around and of the road to Khardung La -world’s highest motor able pass at 5,602 mtrs. Later we drive to a small village called Taru, the starting point of our trek. Overnight at Camp.
Day 05 – Taru – Taru La (4,200m) – Umla – Nimu (3,700m ; 6-7 hrs)
We begin our walk in a deserted valley with a gradual ascent towards the first pass, Taru La (4,200m). The trail gets steeper just before reaching the pass. Our hard work pays off with the breathtaking views from the top. It’s then a long but gradual descent on a dusty trail to the village of Umla. We cross this beautiful village before arriving on a deserted plateau where we stop for lunch. Later we continue towards Nimu village through an unpopulated landscape. Overnight at Camp.
Day 06 – Nimu – Nye (3,800m;4-5 hrs)
We start this short day’s trek with a gradual ascent for an hour through a canyon that is surrounded by rocky cliffs. From the top one can enjoy sweeping views over the green fields of Nimu and Indus River. We trek onto a deserted plateau to reach the green valley of Nye. In the afternoon we have enough time to explore this beautiful village. Overnight at Camp.
Day 07 – Nye – Likir (3,400m;approx. 4 hrs)
Today we reach an arid and bare landscape, flat and dry. We have a short ascent early on to reach a dusty road that hardly sees any traffic. From here it’s a gentle walk up to the village of Likir. After taking some rest at the camp we visit Likir Monastery and explore the village. Overnight at Camp.
Day 08 – Likir – Sumdo – Yangtang (3,600m;4-5hrs)
After breakfast we commence our trek to Yangtang via a small village of Sumdo (2-3 houses only), a gateway to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The walk is on a rough jeep-road with barely any traffic. We cross the small pass of Charatse La (3,700 m) to reach Yangtang. The fields of the village are visible from the top and before harvesting season the whole area looks like an oasis suspended in mid-air. We reach our camp set up either near the village school or at the river bank. Overnight at Camp.
Day 09 – Yangtang – Rizong – Hemis Shukpachan (3,600m;6-7hrs)
In the morning we descend along the river that we may have to cross several times (sandals required). We walk in the shade of trees up to the Monastery of Rizong, perched in a spectacular fashion on the cliffside overlooking the Indus Valley. The monastery holds special significance for Tibetan Buddhists as it belongs to Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After the visit to this monastery we continue our trek to cross Nigutse La (3,950m) and then descend to the village called Hemis. Overnight at Camp.
Day 10 – Hemis Shukpachan – Ang – Themisgam (3,600m;4-5hrs)
We depart Hemis to reach Rongtil La - an almost flat walk to the chorten marking the pass. From here our second pass, Meptik La (3,750m) is visible with its multi-colored mountain face. After a short steep descent to the base, Meptek La looks like a wall in front - but it can be climbed in half an hour by a slow leisurely walk. Our hard work pays off with the breathtaking views over the surrounding range of mountains from the top. A 90-minnute gradual descent through the village of Ang brings us to a prosperous village, Themisgam where we visit a castle. Our camp is in the middle of this beautiful village. Overnight at Camp.
Day 11 – Themisgam – Khalsi – Lamayuru – Leh (optional extension to Kargil (2,676 m))
Today our trek starts with a flat walk on a metaled road for about 30 minutes before we start ascending to Bong Bong La (3,650m). Continuing further we walk through the breathtaking canyons and enjoy views of pastel-coloured mountains with snow-covered peaks. It’s an easy descent to the road-head at Khalsi where we finish our trek and board our vehicles for a drive to Lamayuru. In the afternoon we visit Lamayuru monastery, one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh. We then drive to Leh for our overnight stay in a hotel. (Trek 4 hrs and drive111 kms / 2.5 hrs). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12 – Leh – Delhi (Tour concludes)
Today we catch an early morning flight to Delhi for onward flights to our respective destinations.
Alternative Extension to Srinagar
Day 11 – Themisgam – Khalsi – Lamayuru – Kargil (2,676m)
We continue our drive over Fotula La (4,100 m) and Namika La (3,700 m) to arrive at Kargil, a town inhabited predominantly by Shia Muslims. (Trek 4 hrs and drive 153kms / 4-5 hrs). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12 – Kargil – Srinagar (210 km/7-8 hrs)
Drive along the mountain road to Srinagar in Kashmir with spectacular views of Tiger Hill and other surrounding snow-clad peaks along the road. Check into hotel. In the evening enjoy an optional Shikara ride on Nigeen Lake. Overnight on board Houseboat.
Day 13 – Sightseeing in Srinagar
In the sightseeing programme visit Mughal Gardens and The Shankaracharya Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the afternoon visit the old city. Overnight on board Houseboat.
Day 14 – Srinagar – Delhi (flight) and Departure
After breakfast transfer to the airport to board the flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, check into the hotel where facility to use day rooms to refresh ourselves is available. Evening departure transfer to international airport of Delhi to board our flights to our respective destinations.
Itinerary may change according to travelling seasons
Prices will be available on request.