Whether you are an experienced river runner or it’s your first time, the excitement of pushing off on a multi-day river trip is the same. It is a feeling of huge excitement, anticipation and childlike joy. A river journey is a time to cast off from your current life and embrace living in the moment. With the Zanskar River, located in the pristine northern region of India known as Ladakh, pushing off amid snow capped Himalayan peaks, the thrill is enhanced with the downstream promise of sandy beaches, spectacular canyons and beautiful white water to enhance the journey. The trip begins with a flight into the trans Himalayan region of Ladakh then continues with a spectacular drive through most of western Ladakh, visiting monasteries, palaces, and villages along the way. Ladakh has a vibrant, rich Buddhist culture and the trip provides many opportunities for culturally enriching exchanges with the local people. We make our way south into the Zanskar Valley where we begin the self-contained 7 day river trip through the spectacular and scenically unique Zanskar river gorge – known as the “Grand Canyon of the Himalaya”. The whitewater is big volume, moderate and fun! The river canyon is rugged and deep with big sandy beaches for camping under the starry skies. Undoubtedly a classic, this is a great opportunity to experience exotic wilderness, traditional Himalayn culture, and the trip of a lifetime! .
Day 01: Delhi – Leh An hour-long flight from Delhi to Leh will take you over the Himalayas where you will be able to see many breath-taking views, K2 amongst them. After transferring to the hotel we rest and acclimatize. Overnight stay at Leh hotel.
Day 02: Leh Acclimatize to the altitude of 11,000 ft. Many options for the day, such as visiting the Thikse and Hemis monasteries, the Ecological Centre, or walk around Leh and get a feel for the culture of the region. You could also check out the Tibetan market for souvenirs. You can take in the magnificent sights of peaks across the horizon and get ready for the drive to Kargil the next day. Overnight stay at Leh hotel.
Day 03: Leh – Kargil The drive to Kargil over the Fotu La Pass at 14,000 ft. is spectacular with stops at the Lamayuru monastery and the stone statue of the Maitreya (the future Buddha) at Mulbek. Overnight stay at Kargil hotel.
Day 04: Kargil – Rangdum Drive from Kargil to Rangdum. As we go through Panikar and Parkachik, we take in awesome sights of the twin peaks Nun and Kun, both above 7000 meters, numerous hanging glaciers and lush meadows. Camp overnight.
Day 05: Rangdum-Remala This is the last day of driving before we get on the river. We travel over the Pensi La pass at 14,000ft. to enter the Zanskar valley and get some amazing views of the Drung Durung glacier and the Zanskar range. The starting point for the expedition is on the Stod River, a tributary of the Zanskar, at Remala. Get a good night’s sleep as one anticipates the first day on the river. Camp overnight.
Day 06: Remala–Karsha The river begins with a class 2-3 section, a great way to warm up and get the rafting teams prepared for the whitewater to come. Raft for about 4 hours with a lunch break on the river. Set up camp at the confluence of the Doda & the Tsarap Chu rivers. One can choose to rest and enjoy the camp or hike to the Karsha Monastery. Camp overnight.
Day 07: Karsha-Honia Get up at sunrise to see and photograph the morning light on the Karsha Monastery, and then launch on the river to head out to Honia. Enjoy practicing your paddling skills on class 3 rapids and get ready to enter the Zanskar Canyon. Take in the amazing sights of the Zanskar range and the greater Himalayan ranges as the valley starts to narrow down. Camp overnight.
Day 08: Honia-Nyerak Pack up and get moving for about 25 km on the river & enter the canyon to reach Nyerak. This is a class 3 section before we reach Honimul, the last village, then enter a breath-taking canyon. The banks of the river now give way to mountain walls that rise thousands of feet above you. This campsite is one of the few sites in the canyon where one can camp & is perfect for a Layover day to explore the area.
Day 09: Layover Day This is a day for rest and relaxation. You could choose to hike to the Nyerak village, mingle with the locals and visit their homes, or relax and enjoy a break under the weeping willows, splash about in the camp stream and get ready for another exciting day on the river. Camp overnight.
Day 10: Nyerak-Lamaguru A 35 km river journey takes us through the core of the Zanskar canyon and brings us to Lamaguru at the confluence with Markha River. Here we will encounter class 4 rapids in the rugged canyon. Break for lunch at a beautiful site by a waterfall from the canyon wall. Paddle further through the stunning Red canyon and camp for the night. Get ready to be amazed by some of the most extraordinary sights and colors today, all courtesy of Mother Nature. Camp overnight.
Day 11: Lamaguru-Nimu Raft class 4 rapids until the take out at Nimu. Past the Chilling village we will encounter excellent whitewater as the Zanskar prepares to meet the Indus. This is the end of your river journey. Drive back to Leh. After a hot shower and some last minute shopping we will gather for a festive farewell dinner. Overnight stay at Leh hotel.
Day 12: Leh-Delhi The flight back to Delhi will take you over the Himalayas and allow you to bid farewell to the mythical land of Ladakh until next time!
|Trip Length:||11 Days|
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- Scenic flight over the Himalayas from Delhi to Leh
- Multi-day journey through Ladakh, the pristine region in northern India
- Visiting monasteries, palaces, and villages
- Culturally enriching exchanges with local people
- 6 days of class 3-4 whitewater rafting on the Zanskar River
- deep, rugged gorge, sandy beaches, amazing scenery
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