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The valley of Sham, in the lower part of Ladakh, is celebrated for its beauty and richness during the harvesting season.
This trek follows the old caravan route to Lamayuru, which diverges from the Kargil – Leh road at the Phatu La. According to legend, Lamayuru was once a lake, which miraculously disappeared by the hand of Lotsawa Naropa.
Region : Ladakh
Altitude : 4950 mts / 16236 ft
Trekking Routes : Leh - Wanla - Hinju - Sundo Doksa - Chilling
The monastery at Lamayuru, built in the 10th century, is one of the oldest in Ladakh, and belongs to the Kargyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This trek offers not only view of the many natural beauties of Ladakh, but also some of its most famous monasteries and the traditional lifestyle of the natives.
Leh – Lamayuru 3420m – Wanla 3250 m (3 hrs) We will leave Leh by taxi in the morning for Lamayuru, following the Indus River, through Sham Valley. After visiting Lamayuru monastery, we will pack our backpacks and set off for our first day's adventure. We will follow a stream for some time, and gradually climb up to the pass of Prinkti La (3750m). We will later pass through the small village of Shilla (3700 m) before reaching our campsite at Wanla (3250m), where we will spend the afternoon either relaxing in the sun or visiting the monastery.
Wanla – Hinju 3720m (4-5 hrs) Following a dusty road we will reach the small village of Phenjilla (3410 m) and the scattered village of Ursi. We will then walk through a narrow gorge until we reach a traditional Rangthak (flour mill) at the far end of the village. The trail will then cut through the village of Hinju (3720 m), roughly 2 km below our campsite in a yak herder’s encampment.
Hinju – Sumda Doksa 4430m (5-6 hrs) From the encampment, we will continue along the trail and ascend the ridge below Kongskil La (4950m). If lucky, we will get glimpses of some wildlife. We will then climb gradually until we reach Kongskil La, where we will be surrounded by dizzying views of the Karakoram and Stok ranges. The descent down the trail is quite steep, with loose moraine causing the difficulty. The trail then follows the left side of valley floor, passing a yak herders’ hut (4500m), before we reach our campsite. This valley is occupied mainly by the villagers of Sumda Chenmo.
Sumda Doksa – Dung Dung Chan la base 4430m (4-5 hrs) After a short walk and a few river crossings, we will reach the village of Sumda Chenmo. From there we head towards the true left side of the valley, which provides us a beautiful view of the village, with its lush greenery. Further on, the trail cuts through the valley’s wild rose bushes and leads us to another river crossing. This stream originates from the high snow-capped peaks of Photoksar (5685m). Before making a steep, challenging ascent over Lanak, we will see Edelweiss and some of the other rare wild flowers of Ladakh. From the campsite, we get to see some splendid views of Konskila.
Dung Dung Chan La base – Chilling 3550m (5 hrs) We will begin the day with a straightforward climb to Dungdung Chan La (4820m), which offers views of the beautiful vistas of the Stok Range in the east, and the Zanskar Range in the south. From the pass, the trail gradually descends down a ridge toward the valley, continually tapering before reaching the village of Chilling. Chilling is the only village in Ladakh that has provided metal works such as copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron to the Leh market through the centuries. From Chilling, we will drive for about 3 hours along the Zanskar River. We will eventually reach its confluence with the Indus and the easy road back to Leh.