Explore And Trek in Leh-Ladakh

Mercury Himalayan Explorations
  • 13 days
  • Moderate
  • 4.9
  • Hilly

Explore And Trek in Leh-Ladakh by Mercury Himalayan Explorations



  • Day 1:

    ARRIVE IN LEH Land in Leh. You will be met at the airport by an MHE representative. Spend the day...doing pretty much nothing. You've flown in directly to an altitude of 11,562 feet. Acclimatization is key. Drink a lot of water, take short walks, but otherwise, just chill.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 2:

    SIGHT-SEEING IN LEH After breakfast drive up along the scenic Indus valley. Enroute, you stop over to visit the famous Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries. Packed lunch will be organized on the way.

    SHEY PALACE AND MONASTERY: This summer palace of the erstwhile King of Leh set upon a hill. The monastery itself has a 7.5 meter high, copper statue of a sitting Buddha, wrought in gold. This is the largest of its kind in the world. THIKSEY MONASTERY: Thiksey Monastery is one of the largest and most impressive Gompas of Ladakh. The Thiksey monastery provides a panoramic view of the green Indus Valley from its vantage point atop a hill. It has chambers full of statues, Stupas and colorful Tankhas. HEMIS MONASTERY: Situated just off the Manali-Leh Highway, this is Ladakh’s biggest and wealthiest monastery. The annual festival held here in summer is a spectacular and stunning experience. The festival coincides with the Buddha’s birthday and falls on July 7th and 8th this year. Unfortunately you will miss this spectacle by just a few days, but the visit to Hemis will still be worth it!
    Overnight will be back in Leh.

  • Day 3:

    DRIVE TO ULEYTOKPO The 70 KM drive should take you around 90 minutes. You will go over “Magnetic Hill” – supposed to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill, while in fact, it is purely an optical illusion caused by the layout of the surroundings! Drive to the village of Nimo - where you can spot the confluence of Zanskar and Indus river! Stop by the way side to take some amazing photographs and then drive on. On arrival, you will check-in at Uleytokpo Camp and head out for rafting on the Indus river.

    Overnight at Uleytokpo Camp.

  • Day 4:

    VISIT ALCHI MONASTERY Alchi Gompa is only 9 KM from Uleytokpo and one of the most beautiful Gompa of Ladakh and a jewel in Ladkah’s crown! The Buddhist Monastery complex here is known as Chos-Kor, and comprises of five temples known for their massive Buddha statues and lavish woodcarvings and art work. The murals here date from the 11th and 12th centuries – older than the Tibetan style of painting that is present in all the other Gompas in the area. Head back to Leh.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 5:

    FIRST DAY OF THE SHAM VALLEY TREK. LEH - LIKIR - YANGTHANG Often referred to as the Likir-Tingmosgam trek, it goes by the more popular moniker - Sham Valley Trek, because it runs through Sham, the lower part of Ladakh. The more experienced trekkers also call it the "baby trek" because of its short distances and low altitudes. It's the perfect trek for you if you've got kids or are a first time trekker.

    You will move from Ladakhi village to village and it's a great opportunity to see several ancient monasteries and villages that are rich in agriculture, especially fruit. This is one of the easiest treks to acclimatize to, as the trail rarely rises above 4000 m.

    You need to start the day early from the Leh. It is a 2-hour drive from Leh to Likir following the Indus River. After visiting the famous Likir monastery you begin your trek below a mountain nearby the monastery. It's a 4 - 5 hour walk, with a well-laid out trail and easy ascents. The trail is dotted with little Ladakhi hamlets and you cross over two low altitude passes before you reach your camping site for the night.

    Overnight at Yangthang camping site.

  • Day 6:

    SECOND DAY OF THE SHAM VALLEY TREK. YANGTHANG - HEMIS SHUKPACHAN VIA RIZONG MONASTERY It's a 6 - 7 hour walk today and you will walk alongside the river and plantations of apples and apricots, through village homes, and amidst the gorge. An hour and a-half through the gorge, and the Rizong monastery emerges almost like magic! This is the most isolated monastery in all of Ladakh with a natural amphitheater at the back and three main rooms - two with large Buddhas and third with a large stupa. A visit to the monastery kitchen isn't mandatory, but we'd recommend one to have a cup of butter tea. It's not butter and it's not tea, and it's salty rather than sweet. Enough with the poetry already! It's an acquired taste - and we do suggest you acquire it while on this trip:-)

    After visiting the gompa, we ascend gradually to the Shushut pass at 4000 m. From the pass we have a view of Hemis Shukpachan as well as surrounding peaks. An easy descent towards our camp at Hemis Shukpachan takes a couple of hours. It is one of the major villages of Sham, and the name of the village is derived from the conifers.

    Night at camp.

  • Day 7:

    THIRD DAY OF THE SHAM VALLEY TREK. HEMIS SHUKPACHAN - TINGMOSGAM Four hours walking today. From Hemis Shukpachan we trek on flat ground as far as an ill-defined pass alongside the Chortens (stupas). A steep descent will then lead us to the right side of the mountains and you will climb steadily towards the Mebtak La at 3720 m.

    Enjoy the view from the pass, take a short breather and then head down to the village of Ang. From Ang, we head towards the south on the dusty jeep road to the village of Tingmosgam - famous for its monastery, and perhaps the most affluent village in the Sham Valley for its apricots, apples, nuts and beautiful houses.

    Night at camp.

  • Day 8:

    FOURTH DAY OF THE SHAM VALLEY TREK. TINGMOSGAM - LEH After a night at Tingmosgam, you drive back to Leh. It's a 3-hour drive and if you feel like it, you could pop in and see the Alchi monastery again - your last monastery visit before you leave this magical land!

    Night at hotel

  • Day 9:

    DRIVE TO PANGONG TSO Make an early start and drive east of Leh via Chang-la Mountain Pass (18,000) feet to Pangong Lake at 14,270 feet. The 214 KM trip is a 5-hour drive and the views all around Chang La are simply spectacular. Mesmerizing vistas with the changing hues of the waters of the lovely lake are a photographer’s dream come true.

    The lake is an endorheic basin, which means it is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or ocean. The lake extends from India to Tibet where the actual line of control passes through, in fact 1/3rd of this beautiful blue water body lies India and the remaining with Tibet. The lake, an important breeding ground for a variety of migratory birds., changes colors from a pale green to dark blue and sometimes simply seem crystal clear!

    Overnight at camp.

  • Day 10:

    DRIVE BACK FROM PANGONG TSO TO LEH The next day’s journey you will retrace the route via Spangmik, a village close to the banks of the Pangong Tso and home to a small population of the nomadic Chang-pa, a race endemic to South East Ladakh and Tibet.

    Overnight in Leh.

  • Day 11:

    DRIVE TO NUBRA VALLEY After breakfast you will drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla – the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 feet. Lunch will be packed for you to have on the way. It's a 116 KM trip and should take you around 4 - 5 hours - depending on how many time you want to get off at take pictures on the way!!

    Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh and its head quarters is at Diskit, home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Monastery. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 feet.

    You will need an inner line permit to enter this area and Hundar used to be the last point beyond which non-locals were not allowed to go. Just a little beyond Hundaris the village of Turtuk - unseen by tourists until 2010 . Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and the two-humped bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring "forests" of seabuckthorn. If you want a ride on one that can be arranged.

    The beautiful village of Baigdandu is also located in this area. There is a marked presence of people with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and rosy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis. Local lore has it that they were a Greek tribe who came in search of Jesus Christ's tomb and eventually settled here.

    Overnight at camp.

  • Day 12:

    DRIVE BACK FROM NUBRA VALLEY TO LEH Enjoy your stay in Nubra Valley. Post lunch, you will leave for your journey back to Leh.

    Overnight at hotel.

  • Day 13:

    DEPART LEH Time to head back home. You will be taken to the airport for your flight back home.


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