Ladakh - Kashmir Traverse Trek

  • Duration
    16 Days
  • Region
  • Category
  • Best Time
    • April - September


Ladakh, is a stark lunar landscaped land of a high altitude and a cold desert inhabited by Buddhist people following the Lama form of Mahayana Buddhism. Living under the shadows of the surrounding snow covered mountains of both the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges and praying at their monasteries perched on-top of hills trying to reach out to the gods. With prayer wheels in their hands rotating the prayers in the wind “Om Mani Padme Hum” describing the God Buddha as a jewel sitting in a lotus flower.

Following the Indus River drive West towards the Suru River Valley at the quaint town of Kargil and then further, coming to the village of Panniker under the shadows of the towering Mount Nun (7,135 meters) and Mount Kun (7,077 meters). From here the inhabitants follow the religion of Islam and have much affinity to the people of Baltistan located in the Karakorams. The Suru River Valley is a little more green as compared to the stark Indus River Valley of Ladakh.

Commencing trek on stark land scape following Cholang Nala towards Donara where Bobang and Lomvilad gully merge creating a spectacular river basin with green flat lands and snowcapped peaks in the backdrop.

From Donara, traversing the Boktol Glacier and finally walking down along the Boktol River, crossing gurgling mountain streams and over lush green alpine meadows, forests of birch trees,. Eventually cross the GolalGali Pass to come down to Sheeshnag Lake and join the pilgrimage trail of the Holy Amarnath, which is prayed to by Hindus as there is a massive ice Shivling there. The views are dominated by many 5,000 - 6,000 meter, snow covered mountains. Reach Pahalgam from where drive to the historic city of Srinagar where one can stay on-board the ornately carved wooden houseboats on the famous Dal Lake.

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi


    You are met outside the International arrival hall and transferred to the hotel for an overnight stay.

    Overnight stay at Hotel

  2. Day 2 Fly Delhi/Leh (3,500 Meters)

    Leh Ladakh

    Early morning departure from Delhi on the spectacular flight to Leh crossing the Himalayas, the Great Himalayan Divide and entering into the Karakorum. You are met at the airport and transferred to the hotel in Leh. Rest of the day is at leisure for acclimatization to the high altitude and rarefied air. Lunch, dinner and overnight stay is at the Leh hotel.

    Overnight stay at hotel (B, L, D)

  3. Day 3 Leh

    Leh Ladakh

    After breakfast visit Leh, a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The main street is open and airy, with rows of shops on either side. On either side of the market are seen a long line of Ladakhi women in traditional dress and colourful jewelry of coral and turquoise shells. They can be seen seated behind enormous baskets, selling fresh vegetables. The spectacular eight-storey Leh Palace looming above and overlooking town, was built in the 16th century, about the same time as the Pota La in Lhasa at Tibet, which it resembles.

    The stroll through the town is followed by a visit to Sankar Gompa, about 2 km from the market. It has a number of pure gold icons and richly painted walls, its pictures depicting different stories, including some from the Panchtantra. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

    Night stay and all meals are at the hotel.

    Overnight stay at hotel (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 In Leh (Shey, Thiksey And Hemis)

    Leh Ladakh

    Hemis Monastery: Situated about 50Kms west of Leh and by the Indus River, Hemis Monastery is one of the biggest in Ladakh. The monastery belongs to DugpaKargyutpa order and is built on a green hillside hidden in a gorge. Most of the complex is well maintained and the temples are ornately built. Some of the artwork and images inside the temples are recent.

    The Monastery relates to the Gyalwang and Drukpa family. Drukpa is believed to be the sacred image of the Hemis Monastery. The two important elements of the Monastery are Dukhang and Tshongkhang. Many festivals are celebrated in this Monastery. The Hemis festival is related to Lord Padmasambhava’s appreciation for the dance performed at this Monastery, which showed re-embody of the Buddha. Main attractions of the festival are the striking masks and the beautiful Tantric dance performed by the Lamas.

    The Monastery also has a Museum providing a rich display of artifacts.

    Thiksey Monstery: ThiksayGonmpa is a mere 20Kms from Leh. It belongs to the Gelukpa order. The monastery is also known as ‘Mini Pota La’ of India as it resembles the Palace of PotaLa which is in Lhasa, Tibet. In whole of Ladakh, probably the most striking statue of the Maitreya (future Buddha) is located here and covers about two floors. Secondly, it provides a spectacular view of the landscape including the Indus River. The Monastery has many temples including the protected temple, the Tara Devi with many very precious statues and artifacts.

    Shey Gonpa and Palace: Shey is around 15kms south of Leh and was the seat of power of the first king of Ladakh, LhachenSpalgigon, who constructed the hill top fortress. The ruins can be seen further above the present Shey Palace. There are hundreds of Chortens (stupas) and DresthangGonpa built around the palace, which are under the Thiksey Monastery. King DeldanNamgyal built Shey Palace in the beginning of the 17th century AD. The main image in the monastery is the three-storey statue of Buddha Shakyamunimade of copper guilt, which was made by DeldanNamgyal in the memory of his father SingayNamgyal. The statue is the only of its kind in the region. DresthangGonpa near the palace was built during the reign of king SingayNamgyal, with a three-storey statue of Buddha. "SheySrubla" festival is also held here at DresthungGonpa. The Rock-carved statue of five Buddha can be seen below the palace on the roadside, which was probably carved during the reign of SingayNamgyal.

    Night stay is at the hotel with all meals.

    Overnight stay at hotel (B, L, D)

  5. Day 5 Drive Leh – Kargil (3,000 Meters)

    Leh Ladakh

    It is going to be a long day of driving today. Set out after an early breakfast, traveling west of Leh towards Kargil. 36 kms from Leh, we reach Nimu, the confluence of the ZanskarRiver with the Indus River. We pass the derelict fort at Basgo, the painted caves at Saspol, to reach Khalsi where the road crosses the Indus River and slowly winds its way for 27kms up-to the beautiful gonpa at Lamayuru. Set against a spectacular lunar landscape, this most ancient of all monasteries in Ladakh is indeed picturesque.

    Continue to cross the Fotu La (4108m) and then the Namika La (3700m) to reach the village of Mulbekh where there is the statue of the Buddha. 41 kms further is the town of Kargil which marks the transition into a predominantly Shia Muslim area. Overnight and dinner is in the hotel at Kargil.

    Overnight stay at hotel (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Kargil to Pannikar and start trek to Doksa (3,580 Meters).


    An early start from Kargil as the road snakes up the Suru valley past the settlement of Sankhoo. Arrive at Pannikarlocated at a height of 3,200 Meters and three hours drive from Kargil and start the trek to Donara(3,770 Meters). Follow the Cholong River for about 5-6 hours in-between crossing many side streams till we reach Doksa, where we camp for the night.

    Your days walk starts with a gradual climb on a four wheel dirt track following the ChalongNala for about two and half hours up to the stream running down the cliff on the right. A little further up we come across some grassy patches with streams running across. Continue walking and the trail passes through some wide clearings where we set-up camp for the night.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  7. Day 7 Doksa camp to high shepherd’s camp (3,917 Meters)

    High Shepherd’s Camp

    After break fast start climbing and ford the stream over the boulders (if water level is high we may have to wade through the water) . After a short walk, you will see the Chalong La spread over an open valley with a few crossing through the icy waters of the streams. Water is not very deep, but it is cold.

    From here the trail climbs to the right of the shepherd settlement. Be careful of the shepherd dogs. Continue climbing over a hump followed with gradual ascent to the day’s camp in an open meadow looking back down the valley and at the junction of two valleys. Large glaciers are located to the right of the valley. Hanging Ice walls run almost from the top to the bottom of the mountain.Over night in camp.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  8. Day 8 High shepherd’s camp to Kannital (3,800 Meters)


    Trek to Kannital(3,600 Meters) via BoktolPass (4,980 Meters), this day we start very early in the morning for our longest day’s walkon this trek (15 km, around 10 Hours). After leaving the camp at the high shepherd’s camp we start our uphill walk towards the Boktolpass at 4,980 Meters. The trek to the pass is a mix of easy and hard walk for about 4 hours, on the top of the pass from where there are beautiful views of some 6,000 Meters high unnamed mountain peaks and a huge hanging glacier coming of the Nun massif, which gives a great view. From the top of the pass there is a long descend on the main Boktol glacier for about 4 to 5 hours, till we get to a beautiful camp at Kannital.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  9. Day 9 Kannital to Humpet (3350 Meters)


    The 10 km long walk from Kannital to Humpet is an easy walk all along the Boktol river which will need a few crossings of streams including the Boktolriver. Due to the strong current it takes time to wade through Boktol River. The other streams are small and one either hopsover the stones or walk through shallow waters. We camp in an open meadow at Humpet and today’s walk can take up-to 6-7 hrs.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  10. Day 10 Rest day at Humpet


    A leisurely day with options of some day hikes through the valley or, enjoying a relaxation day at the camp with the views of the beautiful surroundings!

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  11. Day 11 Humpet to Rangmarg (3,000 Meters)


    From Humpet we start our downhill walk through some beautiful birch trees whereon some section of the trail there is a need to be a bit careful, till we get to Wankadal. Here we cross the Boktol River on a wooden log bridge and soon start climbing uphill with the trail towards our right traversing a long hill, which will take us to our beautiful campsite at Rangmarg. Today’s trek covers a distance of 14 km and can take up-to 7-8 hours.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Rangmarg to Sheeshnag (3,590 Meters)


    Rangmarg to Sheeshnag(3,590 Meters) over GolalGali pass at a height of 4,450 Meters. This is the second longest day on this trek (7-8 hours) and we gain about 1,400 Meters to the pass from our Rangmarg camp. It is a long uphill trek with a steep climb towards its end to the GolalGali pass from top of which we get some beautiful views of snow covered Himalayan mountains surrounding us. We descend to our campsite after walking 8 km located near the beautiful lake Sheeshnag.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13 Sheeshnag to Chandanwari (2,890 Meters)


    Today we walk all along the Baba AmarnathJipilgrimage trail covering a distance of 10km which is extremely holy for Hindus as at Amarnath is an icy Shivling. From here drop down a height of about 750 Meters to the Chandanwari road head. It is a beautiful walk hitting Pissu Top from where we get the best views of the Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva mountains. At Chandanwari we board the vehicles to drive to Srinagar with some time to spend at Pahalgam. On this day we enter the Kashmir Valley, which is home to the Sunni Muslims. Overnight in wooden houseboat on the Dal Lake, which are reached in the quaint little wooden rowboats called Shikaras.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 In Srinagar (1,585 Meters)


    After breakfast visit the Khanqah of Shah Hamdan It is also located in the old city of Srinagar on the eastern bank of the river Jhelum between the FatehKadal and ZainaKadal bridges which were first built in 1395 AD. This is the oldest mosques in the Kashmir Valley, It is one of the best examples of Kashmiri wooden architecture, decorated with papiermache where paper is moulded to make beautiful and highly decorated art objects. After the visit to Khanqah of Shah Hamdan we visit Budshah tomb also known as the Tomb of Sultan ZainulAbidin, this tomb is the final resting place of the mother of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin (1,420 AD to 1,470 AD). Later we visit the spice market of Gad Kocha of ZainaKadal. In the afternoon we go for the sightseeing of the Mughal Gardens, visiting NishatBagh (Abode of Pleasure) Built by Asif Khan, the Brother-in-Law of Emperor Jahangir in 1,632AD and Shalimar Bagh (Abode of Love) build by Emperor Jahangir in 1,416 on the banks of the famous Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountain in the background.

    Overnight stay at Camp (B, L, D)

  15. Day 15 Fly To Delhi


    The flight back over the Himalaya usually takes off early morning therefore much of the morning in Delhi is free to rest, relax and reflect, or available for shopping or sightseeing. On arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your Delhi hotel.

    Overnight stay at hotel (B)

  16. Day 16 Fly To Onward Destination


    You will be transferred to the airport for the international flight to the onward destination.


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