16 Days Ladakh Nubra Valley Trek — Ancient Gateway to Silk Road
The Nubra Valley trek is one the great classic trekking routes in Ladakh or 'Little Tibet'. Cross high passes like Ganda La and Gongmaru La. Camp at Nimaling, one of the most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh. Pass small picturesque villages, climb through gorges, follow the Markha river and visit famous Spituk Monastery.
Day 1 | Hotel
Upon arrival meet and transfer to hotel. Check into hotel and overnight.
Day 2 | B, L, D | Hotel
Delhi – Leh (3500m)
Morning transfer to airport and connect short (60 min) flight to Leh. During the flight you will have spectacular viewof Ladakh Himalayan ranges. Upon arrival meet and greets, after that transfer to hotel. Welcome drinks check in and rest till lunch time to acclimatize. You will have lunch in the hotel.
After lunch your guide will bring you around to explore the main market of Leh and some locals market where local Ladakhi womens sale the vegetable with little basket in traditional dress. After that visit famous Leh Army Museum Evening back to hotel and have dinner.
Day 3 | B, L, D | Hotel
After breakfast you will have day tour around the Leh for more acclimatization. Visit Tsemo Monastery at Namgyal Hill which used to be an old Royal Palace. From this view point you can have panoramic view of Leh Valley and the surrounding villages. Descending from the back of the palace we walk via Sankar to the recently built Japanese Peace Pagoda. Afternoon short brief about the trek. Evening dinner.
Day 4 | B, L, D | Guest House/ Tent
Leh – Tiger
After breakfast drive to Tiger over the incredible Khardung La Pass (5600m), the highest road in the world! Afternoon at leisure and time to explore the environs.
Day 5 | B, L, D | Guest House/ Tent
After breakfast full day excursions to visit Ensa Gompa and Panamik Hot Spring is organized for the group along with picnic hot lunch.
Ensa Gompa is a 250-year-old monastery, located near Panamik Village in Leh. The Gompa is perched on top of a rock that overlooks the snow capped mountains of the Nubra Valley. It is a six hour trek to reach the Gompa from Panamik Village. The Gompa has Buddhist murals, which are the main attractions of the monastery.
Panamik Hot Spring
The Panamik hot water spring is situated at an elevation of 10442 ft above sea level. The spring water contains high amount of sulphur and it is believed best for curing rheumatism and other ailments. Renowned for its curative hot springs, Panamik is situated close to Siachen glacier, the highest battlefield in the world. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, the green valley of Panamik is a sight to behold. The village stands on the banks of Nubra River. The scenic beauty, sulphur springs and the proximity to Siachen glacier make it a must visit destination.
Day 6 | B, L, D | Guest House/ Tent
Tiger – Diskit
After breakfast drive to Diskit. Afternoon visit 2 different monasteries after that short hikes around the area.
Day 7 | B, L, D | Hotel
Diskit – Leh
After breakfast drive back to Leh. Upon arrival check in hotel. Afternoon enjoy some free time on your own.
Day 8 | B, L, D | Tent
Diskit – Leh
After breakfast we drive to Zinchen where we start our trek. Enroute we visit Spituk Monastery. Our ponies & trekking crew will be waiting for us at Zinchen. The trail is straightforward as we follow the Jinchen Nala upstream. The valley closes in around us while amazing rock formations tower above us. We may have to cross the river as the stream forces the path closer to the side of the valley. Suddenly the valley widens and reveals the snow-topped peaks of the Stok mountains. Prayer flags on a wide pasture mark the junction with the trail leading to Rumbak.
The Spituk monastery offers a commanding view of Indus. It has a totally new Gompa within the monastery as well as the old Gompa has also been restored meanwhile. It is constructed in a series of tiers with courtyards and steps. Higher up in the hill is a chamber which houses the enormous statue of goddess. Its face is covered and uncovered only once in a year during the festival time.
The Spituk Gompa was founded in 11th century by Od-De, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub-od. The Gompa was named Spituk (exemplary) by Rinchen Zangpo, a translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially the Gompa was run according to the Kadampa school then during the reign of king Gragspa Bumide he converted it to Gayluk Pa order. Many icons of Buddha and 5 thangkas can be visited in this 15th century monastery.
The Dukhang Hall is the largest building and has two rows of seats running the length of the walls to a throne at the far end. Sculptures and miniature chortens are displayed on the altar. There is also a collection of ancient masks, antique arms and fine thangkas. Higher up the hill is the Mahakal Temple, containing the shrine of Vajrabhairava. The terrifying face of Vajrabhairva is unveiled only at the annual festival in January.
Day 9 | B, L, D | Tent
Rumbak – Base of Gandala (4450 m) 4 – 5 hrs walk
After breakfast start trek, looking left towards Rumbak a fantastic multi-coloured peaked skyline ridge appears in the distance. We carry on up the main valley to a water mill and a bridge, which we cross. The trail ascends the valley gradually, and when the valley splits we take the right hand fork up past the one house village of Yurutse. We camp just past Yurutse at the base of the Ganda La, our first Pass.
Day 10 | B, L, D | Tent
Gandala – Base of GandaLa – Skiu (3400 m) 7- 8 hrs walk
After breakfast start trek .The trail is clear as it zig zags towards the pass. As we climb the views become more spectacular. Behind us Stok Kangri dominates the skyline. Finally we reach the top of the Ganda La (4,950m) decked with colourful prayer flags, and the views are worth all the effort.
Ahead is the Zanskar Range and behind are the Stok Mountains. Far below in the valley are the fields of Shingo. As we descend keep an eye open for marmots and blue sheep, both of which seem to thrive in these desolate, high altitude spots. An easy descent of 2 hours, we arrive Shingo. From here a long descent through a wooden ravine to Skiu village, where the trail meets the Markha valley.
Day 11 | B, L, D | Tent
Skiu – Markha – ( 3800 m) 8 – 9 hrs walk
After breakfast start trek, today trek will be fairly long, but easy walk today, as we trek along the valley to Markha. The terrain along the valley is not demanding, so there is plenty of opportunity to admire the magnificent scenery. The colours of the barren mountains of Ladakh are truly spectacular, pastel pinks, blues and greens shine in the brilliant sunshine and change colour dramatically as the sun rises and sets.
The trail crosses the Markha River a few times, and although bridges have been built there may be some water crossing involved. Beyond the settlement of Chalak there is an impressive line of chortens to ward off any evil spirits trying to enter the valley.
A medieval fort on the hillside tell us that we have almost reached Markha. Markha is a large village, the there will be time to explore in the afternoon. Our camp will be on the lush grazing flats just outside the village.
Day 12 | B, L, D | Tent
Markha – Thathungtse (4330 m) 5 – 6 hrs walk
After breakfast within 45 minuts of walk we have to cross Markha river twice. Just beyond Markha the trail meets the Chacham Valley. Here is the Umlung gompa, set way above us on the cliff face. There is time to visit the monastery, which is the most important in the valley and is affiliated to Hemis. Continuing up the valley we walk through Umlung village to Hankar where there are more impressive fort ruins and a small gompa. From Hankar the trail turns off from the main valley and now follows the Nimaling stream to Thahungtse where we camp. We may be lucky and see wild sheep high up on the grazing areas above the campsite.
Day 13 | B, L, D | Tent
Thathungtse – Nimaling ( 4750 m) 3 – 4 hrs walk
After breakfast start trek, after the short walk to Nimaling. The trail climbs steeply to the plateau where the valley opens out. In this area there is no permanent habitation but during the summer months the shepherds bring their flocks of sheep, goats and dzos to graze on the high altitude pasture. The shepherds stay in stone shelters close to the grazing area for the whole summer, and we can often buy yoghurt or chang from them.
Chang is a local beer brewed from barley and is an acquired taste…sorry, no Creemore beer available! In the evenings the animals are brought down from the hills and typical to have hundreds of them wandering through the campsite. We should have the afternoon in Nimaling.
Day 14 | B, L, D | Hotel
Nimaling -Sumdo (3650m) 8 – 9hrs walk & drive to Leh
After breakfast start trek, the trail begins today by climbing to the Gongmaru La. It is a fairly long, steep ascent zig zagging to the top of the pass at 5,200m., but the views from the top are worth the effort.
Looking back we see KangYangtse and Nun Kun in the far distance. Ahead there are views across the Stok Range and down to the Indus valley. The descent is steep at first to a tea tent, which is sometimes open for a welcome cup of tea. We then enter a spectacular gorge and descend gradually with a few small river crossings.
High up on the barren cliffs we may spot the elusive Blue Sheep which inhabit this area. Passing through Shogdo we continue our descent to the village of Sumda. Rejoin our transport & drive to Leh. Upon arrival check in hotel. Evening dinner.
Day 15 | B, L, D | Hotel
Leh – Delhi – Final Departure
After breakfast, transfer to airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, meet and start tour around Delhi. Visit Indian Gate, President Palace and Red Fort. You will have lunch in the city center. Late afternoon free time for shopping and dinner. After dinner transfer to airport as per your flight.
Day 16 | B
Early morning arrive Singapore.
- Return domestic air ticket (Leh – Delhi – Leh) with all the taxes
- 1 night hotel in Delhi with breakfast
- 4 airport transfers in Delhi as per itinerary
- Inner line permit
- All private transportation including airport transfers by A/C 4×4 Jeep
- English speaking tour guide throughout the trip
- All the accommodation in Leh –A class standard (Local) hotels twin or triple sharing basis
- All the meals as per itinerary
- All the entrance fee
- 1 English speaking trekking guide, assistant local guides (above 8 pax)
- Porterage by horse
- Equipment: Two man tent, Dinning tent, Mattress and necessary cooking utensils
- Manpower: 1 cook, 2 kitchen helper and necessary porters/Horse
- Boiled drinking water during the trek
- All the necessary trekking permit
- International airfare
- India Visa (apply your own)
- Travel insurance
- All alcoholic and other beverages
- All personal expenses
- Liabilities of loss, theft and damages