Overview


MIYAR VALLEY KANG LA PADUM TREK IN LADAKH, HIMACHAL PRADESH – INDIA

MIYAR2

The Miyar Valley is located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, at the border to the region of “Zanskar”. It starts north of the small city Udaipur” and winds itself up for about 100km towards the “Kang La Pass” (5.350m), where you can get to “Padum”. Miyar, is a very remote and fairly inaccessible valley at the extreme western corner of the large district of Lahaul and Spiti, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. Miyar Nala, as it is often known, is an exceptionally long valley, with the Miyar River running down into the Chandra Bhaga River at Udaipur over 50 kms below the Miyar Glacier. This glacier stretches a further 24 km up to the high Kang La Jot (5468m) and beyond it to Zanskar valley in Ladakh. Above a narrow gorge at the bottom of the valley, the Miyar Nala widens to support twelve small farming villages at altitudes between 9,300 and 11,500 feet, with about 3,000 current inhabitants in total. Most of the people of the Nala are Buddhists and there is a small gompa (monastery) at the village of Urgos This demanding trek offers one a chance to trek through wilderness and high altitude and a wonderful insight into the local culture as you get to see Hindu culture at its best in the temples of Kulu ,Manali and Udaipur which are a contrast to the culture across the pass in the remote Zanskar valley which remains cut off from the rest of the world for 6 months of the year from November until May. All passes leading to this valley are snowbound and the only way for the locals to commute to Leh, the district headquarters of Ladakh is to walk across the frozen Zanskar River in the month of January until mid February.

Highlights

♦ Glacier trekking in the Indian High Himalaya
♦ Rarely visited villages and spectacular mountain scenery
♦ From Manali to Zanskar through the Miyar Valley
♦ The Hindu culture of Kulu-Manali and Buddhist Zanskar and Ladakh

Quick Itinerary

Day 1: Train Delhi to Chandigarh & Drive to Manali (2050mt.)
Day 2: Rest and acclimatization at Manali.
Day 3: Drive across the Rohtang Pass (3978mt.) to the village of Udaipur.
Day 4: A short drive to Changut (3000mt.), trek to Urgos (3320mt.)
Day 5: Trek beside the Miyar River to the bridge at Chhaling, then ascends to the village of Khanjar (3685mt.).
Day 6: Trek to Gumba Nala (3,900mt).
Day 7: Trek to Phaplu (3985m) close to the Miyar Glacier.
Day 8: Trek to CAMP I (4390mt.) in the middle of the Miyar Glacier.
Day 9: Continued glacier trekking to a camp II (4870mt.) Base of Kang La Jot.
Day 10: Trek to the Kang La Jot (5450mt.) other base camp (4410m).
Day 11: Glacier camp to Bardan Gompa (3670m).
Day 12: Drive to Padum, then trek to Karsha. The monastery here is the largest in Zanskar.
Day 13: Drive to Rangdum via Penzi La.
Day14: Drive through spectacular mountain scenery to Mulbekh, with its rock carvings of Buddha.
Day 15: Drive via Alchi Monastery to Leh.

 

Itinerary

Day 01: DELHI - CHANDIGARH – MANALI (2,050mt./Train / Drive.)
Early morning transfer to New Delhi railway station to catch train for Chandigarh. After 4 hours train ride we board a car for Manali. This is a 7hrs scenic mountain drive. Manali, a beautiful Himalayan hill station nestled near the Northern end of the Kullu Valley in the Beas River Valley. Evening explore the surroundings followed by the opening dinner and overnight stay in hotel.

Day 02: DAY EXPLORE THE MANLAI LOCAL.
To help with our acclimatization before we start trekking we spend the day in Manali at just over 2000 mt. This is a very popular tourist town and we will visit some of its famous sights while we are here. We can visit the colourful 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. We spend a second night at our hotel in Manali.

Day 03: MANALI – RHOTANG PASS – UDAIPUR (2650 mt./ Drive 8 hrs.)
We travel along the Manali to Leh road, a journey which has almost legendary status among Indian travellers and which includes a crossing of the Rohtang La (3978m.), one of the highest road passes in the world. From the summit of the pass there are superb views of the Himalaya and we shall certainly stop for some photography before descending the long switch backs down to Keylong at 3100 mt. At Keylong we leave the main highway and follow a rough access road deeper into the mountains as far as the village of Udaipur. We may stay in a basic lodge here or we may opt to set up our camp.Overnight in tent & dinner.

Day 04: UDAIPUR – CHANGUT – URGOS (3210mt. / Drive/ Trek 5 hrs.)
From Udaipur we drive for about an hour on a rough dusty jeep road following the Miyar Nala (river). The road becomes quite slow and there are several small river crossings which the jeeps will ford until about 2 km before Changut (3000m), After all the driving it will be good to stretch our legs and begin the trekking. We continue along the rough road through this highly scenic valley to the village of Tingrit which as we are now in Buddhist country, is marked with chortens and stupas and with a small gompa or monastery. We cross the river by a wooden bridge and pass through terraced fields and pastures. We make our camp tonight a little before Urgos village.Overnight in tent &dinner.

Day 05: URGOS – KHANJAR (3685mt./ Trek 6hrs.)
Walking through Urogs village, then continue along the jeep track for about an hour before crossing the Miyar Nala on a bridge in the scenically located Chhaling village. On the other side of the river the trail is rocky and we have to cross a field of boulders for about half an hour before the going gets easier as we follow the wide valley gently uphill. We reach the small village of Khanjar which will be the last habitation we encounter until we cross into Zanskar. From the village we climb steeply through alpine pastures to camp in a beautiful spot by a stream and surrounded by snow capped and jagged rocky peaks.

Day 06: KHANJAR – GUMBHA NALA NORTH (3840mt./ Trek 5 hrs.)
Shortly after leaving camp, we cross a small river by a wooden bridge and trek through terraced fields against the backdrop of an unnamed peak. We climb up a ridge to a chorten where we get a wonderful view of nearby and distant mountains. The walk continues through high grazing lands, passing two small lakes and crossing several small streams on a variety of footbridges to a large meadow with clear spring water. Beyond here we cross the wide Gumba Nala on a footbridge and then continue what is a delightful walk through meadows up the wide Miyar Nala valley surrounded by high peaks. We make our camp by a small stream some way to the north of the Gumba Nala. Overnight tent & dinner.

Day 07: GUMBHA NALA – PHALPU (3985Mt./Trek 6hrs.)
Climbing gently from camp we continue through grassy meadows past a shepherd's hut and lake. We hop across several small streams all along rewarded with an amphitheatre view of peaks and glaciers. After lunch we follow it for about 2 hrs to camp. There are several campsites but we continue to the farthest one which is a dry lake bed surrounded by mountains and several glacial lakes, Near from the snout of the Miyar glacier. Overnight in tent &dinner.

Day 08: PHALPU – CAMP I (MIYAR GLACIER 4390 mt./Trek 7 hrs.)
We make an early start for a longish day of trekking. Reaching the Miyar Glacier we have some awkward ground to cross as we negotiate the rubble of the moraine. Not many people come this way and the path is not very well defined on the rocky terrain. The climb continues over occasional snow fields and moraine debris, passing several glacial lakes to our camp which we will set up on a large snowfield in the middle of the glacier. This will be a tiring day with much rock hopping, but this evening we camp in a spectacular location, once again surrounded by snow capped peaks. Overnight in tent & dinner.

Day 09: CAMP I – CAMP II(BASE OF KANG LA JOT)(4870 mt./Trek 7 hrs.)
An early start to make the walk on snow easier (4hrs). The climb is gentle, but due to the crevasses it can take time after mid July. In early summer (from mid June) the crevasses are covered and walking is easier but in late summer the crevasses would be open so it l takes more time to reach camp which is in a field on the glacier with views of the snowcapped peaks and glaciers.

Day 10: CAMP II – KANG LA JOT (5450mt.) – OTHER BASE CAMP (4410mt./Trek 8 hrs.)
Leave camp by first daylight or earlier. We walk along the middle of the huge snow covered glacier at a gentle incline for about 3 hrs, then rope up. Climb steeply for about an hour until a small summit. We zig zag our way around some crevasses to Kangla Jot pass (5450m). You are rewarded with stupendous views of snow capped peaks and glistening glaciers all around. We descend along the right side of the valley to the river, the junction of 2 valleys where we camp in a small meadow.Overnight tent & dinner.

Day 11: BASE CAMP – BARDAN GOMPHA (3670mt./Trek 7 hrs.)
From our meadow camp at the valley junction, we continue our descent, initially quite awkwardly over rocks and scree for about an hour and then more easily on an improving path as we follow the Tema River downhill. We trek through grazing grounds and meadows with flowers and then the landscape becomes more arid and starkly stunning as we enter the Zanskar valley in the rain shadow of the main Himalyan range.We make our camp here in the school grounds. Overnight in tent & dinner.

Day 12: BARDAN – PADUM – KARSHA (Drive/Trek4 hrs.)
Late breakfast drive to Padum, the district headquarters of Zanskar (1 hrs). From Padum we trek for 3 hrs on a nice path through villages and fields to the large village of Karsha. Spread across a cliff side, Karsha monastery is the largest and most dramatic in Zanskar. Camp is in the Village's camping grounds.

Day 13: KARSHA – PENZI LA (4400mt.) – RANGDUM (Trek /Drive /7 hrs.)
A long drive on a rough jeep track to Rangdum where we camp near the monastery grounds. Enroute we cross the 4400mt. Penzi La(pass) with close up views of the Drung Drung glacier. We drive a bit beyond the pass to camp between Tashitongde village and Rangdum gompa. Overnight in tent & dinner.

Day 14: RANGDUM – MULBEKH (Drive 170 km./ 7 hrs.)
Today's drive takes us through the fascinating 'big sky' landscape of Ladakh to the village of Mulbekh, famous for its 9 metre-high rock carving of Maitreya Buddha, believed to have been sculpted in the 8th century by visiting missionaries spreading the word of Buddhism. Close by is the monastery consisting of two gompas, one of the Drukpa and one of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. Overnight in tent & dinner.

Day 15: MULBEKH – LEH (Drive 175 km./ 7 hrs.)
We complete our trans-Himalayan journey, driving on the National Highway to the Ladkhi capital of Leh. En route we will stop at Alchi Gompa, one of the oldest monastic complexes in Ladakh. Located on the south bank of the Indus River, there are four major structures including the three-story Sum-tsek, which contains a magnificent giant four armed Bodhisattva occupying two of the three floors. After our visit here it is a further 70km to Leh where we check into our hotel and can enjoy the trappings of civilization with a clean up before sitting down to a celebratory dinner. Overnight in hotel & dinner.

Day 16: Leh – Delhi (flight)
We have an early breakfast before we transfer to the airport to catch our flight across the Himalaya to Delhi. Arriving at the domestic airport in Delhi, we transfer to our hotel in time for lunch. In the afternoon, a complimentary guided sightseeing tour of some of the city's highlights is provided. Overnight in Hotel & dinner.

 

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