Perched high in the mountains on the remote northern edge of India, Ladakh is a truly inspirational destination for a trekking holiday. This classic trek not only takes us through a spectacular high-altitude world with breathtaking vistas and entrancing scenery, but also gives you the chance to experience Buddhist culture in remote monasteries, practice yoga and mediation at a special center, and be awed by expansive mountain and valley views. This is a challenge not to be missed.

Highlights

  • Tour remote villages and ancient Buddhist monasteries
  • Practice yoga and meditation surrounded by mountains
  • Enjoy the physical challenge of trekking amid spectacular scenery
  • Cross the Konski La Pass, with panoramic views of the Zanskar range

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Fly Delhi to Leh Leh
Day 2 Morning Yoga and Sightseeing in Leh Leh
Day 3 Monastery Tour: Thiksey, Hemis, Matho Leh
Day 4 Transfer Leh to Lamayuru - Trek to Wanla Wanla
Day 5 Trek Wanla to Hinju Hinju
Day 6 Trek Hinju to Sumdo Doksa, Via Konski La Sumdo Doksa
Day 7 Trek Sumdo Doska to Base of Dung Dung Chan La Dung Dung Chan La
Day 8 Trek Dung Dung Chan La to Chilling Chilling
Day 9 Vehicle Transfer from Chilling to Leh Leh
Day 10 Fly Leh to Delhi Delhi
Day 11 Farewell Delhi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fly Delhi to Leh

Leh
Leh is surrounded by high mountains

In the early morning you'll be transferred to Delhi Airport to board your domestic flight to Leh. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River. The flight from Delhi flies over the Himalayan Range, providing amazing views.

Upon arrival you'll be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude (11,620 feet/ 3,500 m.). In the late afternoon you can take a gentle orientation walk around Leh and its bazaars. Once, Leh was an important trading center along the old Silk Road from China. The town is dominated by the nine-story Namgyal Palace, which has been likened to a mini version of the Potala Palace in Lhasa.

Day 2: Morning Yoga and Sightseeing in Leh

Spituk
Spituk Monastery

In the morning you'll be taken to the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, about half an hour's drive out of town. Attend an hour-long yoga and meditation class, then return to your hotel for breakfast.

Take a half-day sightseeing tour of Leh, visiting the town's highlights. These include:

  • Sankar Gompa, an affiliate of nearby Spituk Gompa.
  • The Shanti Stupa, constructed by a Japanese Buddhist organization and inaugurated by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. There are spectacular views over Leh and the Stok Kangri Range.
  • Leh Palace, situated above Leh on Namgyal Hill. The palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in 17th century, but was later abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century.

Day 3: Monastery Tour: Thiksey, Hemis, Matho

Monks at Hemis Monastery
Monks at Hemis Monastery

Today you'll visit three of the most important and beautiful monasteries near Leh: Thiksey, Hemis, and Matho Monasteries.

First drive to Thiksey Monastery, which belongs to Gelukpa (Yellow Hat) order of Buddhism. Perched on top of a hill, its red and white buildings can be seen for miles. A recently built temple within this complex contains a magnificent image of the Future Buddha, Maitreya.

Next, drive to Hemis Gompa, belonging to the Drukpa (Red Hat) order. Hemis holds the distinction as the biggest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh, and houses a very rich collection of ancient relics, including rare 17th-century murals and painted stone reliefs adorning the courtyard gallery. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Continue to Matho Monastery, right across the Indus River Valley from Thiksey. This monastery was founded in 16th century, and it is the only monastery in Ladakh that belongs to the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism. You'll learn all about these different sects from your guide.

Day 4: Transfer Leh to Lamayuru - Trek to Wanla

Lamayuru Monastery
Lamayuru Monastery

After breakfast, leave Leh behind and drive to Lamayuru (11,053 feet/3369 m.), a journey of about three hours. Visit the monastery here before starting the trek to Wanla in the early afternoon, a walk of about 3-4 hours.

After leaving Lamayuru you'll cross barley fields and will come to a narrow rivulet that you'll have to cross. You will see a trail with two white stupas, and your climb towards the first pass will begin. Reach a small valley after a while, which leads to Prinkiti La, the first pass of the trek (12,140 feet/3720 m.). A short and easy climb will take you over the pass. Then descend into a narrow gorge, continuing until you reach Shilla village. Cross a bridge over a river, and continue on the right bank until you come to Wanla village (10,334 feet/3150 m.). Stay overnight in the charming town, and don't miss Wanla Monastery.

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Day 5: Trek Wanla to Hinju

Wanla
Wanla

Start today's trek after breakfast and after loading your gear onto ponies. Today's trail follows the Yapola River for about two hours, then comes to the village of Phanjila (10,826 feet/3300 m.). Have a tea break here before continuing along a gradual incline to Hinju village (12,417 feet/3785 m.). Today's trek takes about 5-6 hours.

Day 6: Trek Hinju to Sumdo Doksa, Via Konski La

Karakoram Range
Karakoram Range

This morning's walk begins with a steep climb through mountain pastures to Konski La. At 16,233 feet (4948 m.), it's the highest pass on this trek. While it's a challenging ascent, at the top you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Karakoram and Stok Ranges. Descend to your campsite at Sumdo Doksa camp site (14, 507 feet/4422 m.). Today you'll walk for about 6-7 hours.

Day 7: Trek Sumdo Doska to Base of Dung Dung Chan La

Zanskar River
Zanskar River near Chilling

This morning, after breakfast, pass through the village of Sumda Chenmo, from where the trail starts ascending to the base of Dung Dung Chan La Pass. Along the way, look out for beautiful Alpine flora like edelweiss. Stop for the night beneath Dung Dung Chan La (14,527 feet/4428 m.), after about 6-7 hours' walking. You'll ascend the pass first thing the next morning.

Day 8: Trek Dung Dung Chan La to Chilling

Indus River
Indus River

Start the day's hike with a straightforward climb up to Dung Dung Chan La Pass (15,813 feet/4820 m.). From here you can enjoy the beautiful vistas of the Stok Range in the east and the Zanskar Range to the south.

From the pass, the trail gradually descends down a ridge toward the valley, continually tapering before reaching the village of Chilling (10,482 feet/3195 m.), on the banks of the Zanskar River. Chilling is the only village in Ladakh that has provided copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron items to the Leh market throughout the centuries.

Finish the trek, after about 6-7 hours' walking, at Chilling.

Day 9: Vehicle Transfer from Chilling to Leh

Leh
Leh

Say goodbye to your trekking crew after breakfast, and transfer to Leh, a journey of about two hours. You'll follow the banks of the Zanskar River until you reach Nimoo, where the Zanskar and Indus Rivers meet.

Upon arrival in Leh, check in to your hotel, and the rest of the day is free. Do some last-minute shopping in what will feel like quite a metropolis, compared to the remote mountains!

Day 10: Fly Leh to Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort, Delhi

Transfer to Leh Airport in the early morning to fly to Delhi. Enjoy some last views of the mountains en route. Upon arrival you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Relax and recover from your trek, or enjoy some last-minute sightseeing in Delhi. 

Day 11: Farewell Delhi

Indira Gandhi International Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport

You'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home or to continue your onward travels. Namaste and Julley!