Zanskar Tour - New Road Shinkun La - 10 or 7 Days

Explore Zanskar

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Included
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Trip Introduction
To visit Zanskar from Manali via Manali - Leh road and further from Leh - Kargil - Padum almost more than 600 km. Manali - Leh highway which crosses from four high mountain passes and remains closed for seven months in winter. 
Now there is a new road opened which connects Manali - Padum via Shinkun La also known as Shingo La. After Atal Rohtang tunnel BRO (Border road organization) will construct a tunnel below Shinkun La to make Manali - Padum road all weather. 
Shinkun La is the border between Ladakh union territory and Himachal Pradesh.
We at Potala Adventurers organizing treks in Zanskar for more than 22 years, now offer you for those who cannot make it by trekking and interested to explore Zanskar by vehicle. This new road will take one from Manali to Zanskar in just a couple of days. The ancient Zanskari trails which are still untouched by the road where we do until now a long-distance treks. This route (Darcha - Padum 10 days trek) remained one of the best trekking routes of Indian Himalaya for decades, now you can discover in a short period of time by road. 
Zanskar or Zangskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, lies in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. Padum the administrative center. Dominated mainly by Buddhist, together with the Ladakh, was once a part of the Guge kingdom in Western Tibet.

This Manali - Padum - Zanskar - Leh tour, is going to be one of the best tours of the Himalayan region. Setting off from Manali the first-day drive to Keylong, than to Jispa, Darcha (3,360 m) over Rohtang pass (3,978 m) the gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi and Zanskar valleys. While acclimatizing slowly and doing hikes, We cross Shingo La pass (5,090 m) to get into Zanskar. Many ancient gompas on the way: Phuktal gompa which is built under a huge cave and it provides one of the fantastic views. Karsha Gompa is the biggest in the Zanskar region. Enroute we pass shepherds with their flocks of sheep and climb beautiful snow-covered passes with panoramic views of the Great Himalayan range. Passing through the beautiful Chandra valley with some spectacular views of peak rising above 6000 m. At Tandi where Chandra & Bhaga meet to form a Chenab River, we enter Gahar valley and continue to Jispa at Stod valley. Chikka and Rarik are the last villages in Lahaul before Shinkun la pass and Kurgiakh is the first village in Lungnak River valley of Zanskar. From Zanskar Sumdo at the foot of Shinkun La, the road descends to Lakhong, Lakhong is a high pasture land where villager from Kurgiakh, Thangso village keep their domestic animals Yak, dzo, sheep, goat, horses for summer grazing. This is upper slopes of Zanskar where meadows are covered with edelweiss and at the foot of Gumorunjom peak Blue poppy can be found. Next a series of beautiful villages along the route to Purney, which is located at the confluence of Kurgiakh chu and Tsarap River. Purney to Phugtal road is still under construction and 2:30 hrs of a walk to one of the most spectacular sights of Zanskar - The Phugtal gompa. Which is built under a huge cave. Again we walk to Cha and continue to Anmo village, where you will stay overnight. A short drive to Ichar village and walk to Raru and finally by road to Karsha bypassing Mune, Bardan & Padum. Next couple of days to visit the sights in the heart of Zanskar before leaving to Rangdum below the Nun and Kun peak. Next along the Suru river to Kargil and joining the Srinagar - Leh road to Mulbekh, which has a huge statue of Buddha. Exploring the Lamayuru, we drive to Wanla for overnight stay. Finally visiting Alchi and Likir, we drive to Leh. Where our trip ends.

Brief Itinerary
Day +: Arrive Delhi, Drive to Manali
Day+: Manali
Day 1: Manali (2050 m) - Rohtang La (3980 m) - Keylong (3100 m) - Jispa (3200 m).
Day 2: Jispa - Shinkun La (5090 m)  - Kargiakh (4150 m) - Tangze (4000 m) - Purney (3800 m)
Day 3: Purney (3800 m) - Phuktal (3900 m)
Day 4: Phuktal (3900 m) - Cha (3900 m) - Anmo (3870 m).
Day 5: Anmo - Ichar (3850 m) - Raru (3800 m) - Padum (3600 m) - Karsha (3750 m)
Day 6: Karsha (3750 m) - Stongde (3800 m) - Zangla (3650 m) - Padum (3710 m).
Day 7: Padum - Dzonkhul (3870 m) - Pensi La (4470 m) - Rangdum (3660m)
Day 8: Rangdum - Suru (3300 m) - Kargil (2670 m) - Mulbekh (3300m)
Day 9: Mulbekh - Namika La (3830 m) - Fotu La (4100 m) - Lamayuru (3500 m) - Wanla (3150m)
Day 10: Wanla - Alchi (3100 m) - Likir - Leh (3600 m)
Day +: Leh - Delhi flight.


Manali - Zanskar - Manali: 7 Days

Day 1: Manali (2050 m) - Atal Tunnel Rohtang OR via Rohtang La (3980 m) - Keylong (3100 m) - Jispa (3200 m).
Day 2: Jispa - Shinkun La (5090 m)  - Kargiakh (4150 m) - Tangze (4000 m) - Purney (3800 m)
Day 3: Purney (3800 m) - Phuktal (3900 m)
Day 4: Anmo - Ichar (3850 m) - Raru (3800 m) - Padum (3600 m) - Karsha (3750 m)
Day 5: Karsha (3750 m) - Stongde (3800 m) - Zangla (3650 m) - Padum (3710 m).
Day 6: Padum - Shinkun La - Jispa
Day 7: Jispa - Keylong - Atal Tunnel - Manali
End of our Services

Detailed Itinerary
Day +: Arrive Delhi and Drive to Manali (2050 m)
Arrive at Delhi Indira Gandhi international airport. Pickup by private car drive to Manali. Leaving Delhi drive 4-5 hours journey to Chandigarh, watching the changing scenery roll by. Chandigarh is almost the end of the line, located at the point where the Indian plains meet the foothills of the Himalaya. You continue your journey into the mountains, following the Beas River to enter the Kulu Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in the Indian Himalaya. The road winds its way past pine-clothed mountain slopes giving glimpses of snow-capped peaks and through small settlements with their fields of rice and maize and little walled orchards. Eventually, you reach the upper part of the Kulu Valley and arrive at the popular tourist resort of Manali. Manali is approximately 300km from Chandigarh and the journey will take us around 7 hours. We check into the hotel.

Day +: Manali
To help with acclimatization before we start trekking you spend the day in Manali at just over 2000 meters. This is a very popular tourist town and you visit some of its famous sights while you are here. You can visit the colorful Hadimba Temple, the medieval wooden palace at Naggar with its own art museum and enjoy a soak in the Vashisht hot springs. It is also fun to walk around the sprawling bazaar. a day for final preparation before leaving to Zanskar

Day 1: Manali (2050 m) - Rohtang La (3980 m) - Keylong (3100 m) - Jispa (3200 m).
Drive: 6 to 7 hrs, Distance: 135 km
Starting the trip from Manali, which is located at the head of the lush green Kullu valley. The road slowly winds up after Palchan to the Rohtang-la, the first of the high passes, then down into the Lahaul valley along the Chandra River. Rohtang La, which is the gateway Lahoul and Spiti Pangi and Zanskar valley. The landscape changes dramatically, the greenery being replaced by barren hillsides, surrounded by high peaks, hanging glaciers and the village with their bountiful fields of barley, peas, and potatoes, stand out in stark contrast. On entering Lahoul the Buddhist influence is visible in the many monasteries crossed on the way. The people here have distinct Tibetan features. Today we drive along the Chenab & Bhaga River to Keylong check in to the hotel in Jispa.

Day 2: Jispa - Zanskar Sumdo ( 4000 m) - Shinkun La (5090 m) - Kargiakh (4150 m) - Tangze (4000 m) - Purney (3800 m)
Leaving Jispa, We drive to Darcha and continue to Chikka & Rarik, the last two villages before Shinkun La. Crossing bridge at Palamo than along the river to Zanskar Sumdo. 

Leaving Zanskar Sumdo the road passes through the second bridge then up the right-hand valley following the stream, which comes from Shinkun La (Shingo la). The highest point of our trip at 5,090 meters. Top of Shinkun la there are prayer flags and mani stones are telling the story of those people who cross over years back. With an impressive view to Zanskar side the valley we take and summits rising above 6000 m of Great Himalayan range. The road descends to Pankeya and further to Lakhong we reach the valley floor. Lakhong is high pasture land for yaks, dzo, and sheep, where domestic animals are kept during summertime and produce cheese, butter for winter stock. Along the right bank of Kurgiakh chu and below the mass fallen rocks of Gumborungjum peak. We finally arrive at Kurgiakh, the first village of Zanskar. We pass the Karu, Tangze village to a series of stupas before reaching Purney. Purney is situated at the confluence between Tsarap and Kurgiak chu and forming the Lungnak River valley.

Day 3: Purney (3800 m) - Phuktal (3900 m)
Leaving early today from Purney to Phuktal and to reach at gompa during morning prayer time. Its a two hours hike to Phuktal also called Phukthar. We depart early from Purney on a well-defined trail along the left bank of Tsarap River. Short before Phuktal, we cross the Tsarap river by hanging bridge. This monastery is built under a huge cave and it belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The road between Purney to Phuktal is still under construction, thus we walk from Purney to Phuktal. There is a stone tablet that serves as a reminder of the stay of Alexander Csoma de Koros at Phuktal, while he worked on the first English-Tibetan dictionary between 1826 and 1827 when he explored Ladakh.

Day 4: Phuktal (3900 m) - Cha (3900 m) - Anmo (3870m).
Exploring Phuktal & attending morning prayer at the monastery, we retrace back to the bridge, from here we take the trail that goes to Cha. Gentle climb for an hour and descent to Cha village. Passing Cha continues to Anmo village. A short before Anmo there is small gompa which you will visit.

Day 5: Anmo - Ichar (3850 m) - Raru (3800 m) - Padum (3600 m) - Karsha (3750 m)
We take a short drive to below Ichar village and walk to Raru from here exploring Ichar village. En route passing and visiting Bardan gompa continue to drive to Padum. Karsha, one of the biggest monastic complex in the Zanskar region

Day 6: Karsha (3750 m) - Stongde (3800 m) - Zangla (3650 m) - Padum (3710m).
After Karsha we visit Thongde, which is built on a hilltop by Lama Marpa and its more than 950 years old finally, drive to visit Zangla fort and to our camp is beside Zanskar River on a large meadow at Pishu or at hotel in Padum. 

Day 7: Padum - Dzonkhul (3870 m) - Pensi La (4470 m) - Rangdum (3660m)
Leaving Padum a short drive to Ating village and continue to Tungri. Taking a diversion to the left to Bardur River beside Stod valley. Dzonkhul belongs to the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism & traditionally been home of famous yoginis. Dzonkhul is also a starting point of the trek leads to Umasi la which joins Zanskar and Pangi Kishtwar. Built directly on a rock wall with two caves behind. The Huchot festival is famous at Dzonkhul. After visiting Dzonkhul we drive back to Ating and continue to on the Padum - Kargil to Pensi La. Pensi La is known as "The gateway to Zanskar" connects the Suru valley to the Zanskar region. The Nun and Kun peaks both above 7000m can be seen. The Drang Drung glacier to the Eastern flank of Pensi La is the source of Stod or Doda River, which flows into central Zanskar and joins with Tsarap Chu to form Zanskar River. Which is famous for the frozen river of Zanskar known as the Chadar route. The Rangdum is not so far from Pensi La. Rangdum monastery is situated on top of a small hill.

Day 8: Rangdum - Suru (3300 m) - Kargil (2670 m) - Mulbekh (3300m)
Leaving Rangdum, the route goes along the Suru River. We pass Sanku famous for its beauty. Suru valley is very low as compared to Zanskar and Ladakh. We pass Kargil. Kargil is 234 km from Leh to the East and Srinagar to the West. From Kargil, we take the Srinagar - Leh road to Mulbekh which is 45 km. Mulbekh is famous for its Chamba statue, an enormous figure carved into the rock face on the right-hand side of the road in Mulbekh village.

Day 9: Mulbekh - Namika La (3830 m) - Fotu La (4100 m) - Lamayuru (3500 m) - Wanla (3150m)
Leaving Mulbekh to continue to Lamayuru bypassing Namiki La. Lamayuru which is 58 km from Alchi. The oldest monastery in Ladakh, founded by Indian scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa in the 11th century. Lamayuru host mask dance festival (Yuru Kabgyat) during the 17th and 18th day of fifth months of the Tibetan Lunar calendar. It belongs to the red hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism; the monastery is rich with Thankas and wall paintings. Lamayuru monastery was constructed by Arahat Nimagung in between the 10th and 11th centuries. History says that in the 11th century the Mahasidha Naropa visited this place and the cave where he resided and meditated is still to be seen inside the monastery. Visiting Lamayuru we continue to Wanla. A far better place for overnight stay. 

Day 10: Wanla - Alchi (3100 m) - Likir - Leh (3600 m)
Today after breakfast at Wanla, we drive to the Alchi monastery, situated at a distance of 68 km from Leh. Its monastery built on lowlands rather than on a hilltop as others are, in order to protect from enemies. The Chortens around Alchi gompa contains numerous wall murals of Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo, who has built this monastery. Alchi monastery has vast collections of wall paintings and wood sculptures. After the visit continues your journey to Likir and Leh.

Day +: Leh - Delhi flight

What is included in the Price
-  All ground transportation by 4wd private car 4x4 as per the itinerary Manali - Padum - Leh with an experienced driver.
-  9 nights' accommodation in Hotel, HomeStay, tented camp, private camp on MAP plan.
-  Tour guide: Well English and Ladakhi Zanskari speaking local guide.
-  Goods and services tax.
-  First aid medical kit with mini oxygen bottles. 
- Mineral water.

What is not included in the Price
×     Domestic flight.
×     Delhi and Leh airport transfer on request. 
×    Rest of hotel accommodation in Manali, Leh & Delhi.
×     Travel insurance.
×     Soft or hard drinks.
×     Entrance fee at monasteries.
×     Personal gear, clothing, sleeping bags.
×     Personal tipping to staff: Guide, cook, camp crew, horsemen, porters, driver.
×     Any unforeseen cost arises by natural hazards rain, snow, roadblock which cost extra lodging & boarding beyond trip Schedule.


Price on request

Ask for student & group discount

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