Kanji - Lingshed - Photoksar

No of Days

10 days

Higest Point

Kanji La Pass at 5271 metres

Grade

Difficult

Attraction

Lingshed Monastery and Dibling Village

This trek is an extremely remote and challenging one, but will bring you face to face with the breathtaking Ladakh landscapes and unforgettable sceneries of Zanskar. Take up this trek only if you love solitude, nature and wilderness. It will take 4 hours to drive to the starting point of the trek, which is the Kanji Village. At a height of 3875 metres, this village is home to only a few families who survive on farming. Memorable landscapes will greet you on the way and you will cross some pretty rivers as well. Not only will you see many wild flowers, but you might also catch glimpses of Snow Leopards, Himalayan Ibex and Marmots. The serene meadows and beautiful vales on your trek will give you the break you need from your busy city life.

Route Map of Kanji - Lingshed - Photoksar

Kanji - Lingshed - Photoksar - Trip Detail
  • 01

    Day

    Leh - Kanji village (3800 metres), 6-hour drive
    • The village of Kanji is home to around 20 farming families and can be reached via the Heniskot village that is situated on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway. Heniskot acts as the boundary between Kargil and Leh and comes right after the Fotula, which is the highest pass you will find on Leh-Srinagar highway. It is a wonderful village between Heniskot Valley and Lamayuru valley. Kanji is the starting point for the trek towards Kanji la and Shilakong gorge. Kanji is also at a distance of 163km from Leh and on the way you can check out the beautiful monasteries at Likir, Phyang or Alchi. You can also enjoy lunch at a restaurant on your way from Leh to Kanji. Your first night will be spent at a tent in Kanji, where your guide and the rest of the crew will wait with trekking equipment and groceries.

  • 02

    Day

    Kanji campite (3800 metres) - to base of Kanji-La (4350 metres), 6 hours
    • This is the day your trek begins. Post breakfast, your guide will share with you the trail and what all you will do. You have to make sure that you are carrying essentials like camera, lunch box, water bottle, sunglasses and sunscreen with you. Then, from the beautiful green fields of Kanji, you will walk south. You will stop for lunch and photo breaks depending on your time and choice. After lunch, you can rest a while and then resume the trek. Today, you will scale gently sloping meadows and you will reach the base camp smoothly for overnight stay.

  • 03

    Day

    Base Kanji la - Kanji-la (5271 metres) - Junction of Kanji-La & Pingdon-La (4370 metres) 7 hours
    • On the 3rd day, you will need to climb continuously till you reach the Kanji Pass. From here, you can admire the beautiful Himalayas and the renowned Nun Kun twin mountains. The panoramic views will leave you mesmerized. To reach your campsite amidst rocks, you have to descend till you arrive at the union of two streams. It is also possible to reach Rangdum from here, as the Kanji-Rangdum trail was very famous in the bygone days. Often, locals use this path to transport horses and yaks.

  • 04

    Day

    Junction to base Pingdon la (4579 metres), 4 hours
    • Day 4 is easy and you will have a great time walking along a stream that flows gently from Pingdon-la. Since there will be no trek involved, you can start spending the day as you please from the afternoon onwards. Relax in the lap of nature or click hundreds of photos.

  • 05

    Day

    Base Pingdon la - Pingdon la (5029 metres) alias Pudzong-la - Dibling (4700 metres), 7 hours
    • Though the path to the pass will be snow-laden, no ice axes or crampons will be needed. You will find it an easy climb too. From the summit of Pudzong-la or Pingdon-la, you can admire snow-capped mountains in all directions. Then, you have to descend along a snowy slope to reach a rocky trail. This zigzag path will take you to unique rocky towers that lie on both sides of the valley. After 900 metres of descent, you will come across some bushes and small trees. When you start walking down the left side of the valley, you will come across uninhabited houses and wild fields and finally a wide river. You can either ride a horse to cross it or wade your way across.

      After trekking for another hour from here, you will see the charming village of Dibling, with its gompa and a few houses. In West Zanskar, it is the most isolated village, thanks to high passes on all sides. The monastery here is perched above the village and requires a good climb. This Yellow Hat Monastery houses the divine figurines of Maitreya (Buddha of the future), Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrizig and Tsong-khapa (founder of the Gelukpa Yellow Hat Order). Dibling will wow you with pretty houses, green fields and the local people working in the fields. You will get to camp either at the village or 2km from it and you will find that the locals are very warm and friendly. They might invite you for tea and cosy chats.

  • 06

    Day

    Dibling - Lingshed sumdho (3680 metres) - Base Barma la (3890 metres), 8 hours
    • On the 6th day, you will leave the Dibling village and resume your trek along a narrow and rocky trail. The path will lead to a gorge and you will fall in love with the rocky landscape. Finally, you have to cross the main river and go back to its left bank. Eagles, pigeons and sharp cliffs will greet you now. You might meet some folks from the Dibling village too as they come to Lingshed to shop for daily necessities.

      You will leave the valley of Oma Chu or Milk River and enter a gorge at Lingshed. You will have to walk up to Barma-la’s base. If you look back now, you will see beautiful snow-capped mountains framed by the gorge walls.

  • 07

    Day

    Base - Barma la (4694 metres) - Lingshed Gompa (3900 metres), 6-7 hours
    • On the 7th day, it will take you about 3 hours to reach the pass from the base. Though the trail can be a little zigzag in pattern, the pass itself is broad and dotted with prayer flags. The view of the valley of Lingshed and its monastery from the pass is truly memorable. The path from the pass connects with the Padum route on the right and goes through fields and houses to reach the Lingshed Monastery. Your campsite will be there too. You will also find some decent toilets and a shop there. The shop might stock beer too!

  • 08

    Day

    Lingshed (3900 metres) to the foot of Sengi-La (4700 metres) via Murgum-La (4370 metres) and via Kiupa-La (4430 metres), 6 hours
    • Things can get a little tasking since you will have to conquer 2 passes in a single day. The eighth day will start with a simple climb that will take 4 hours and you will reach the first pass soon. At a height of 4370 metres or 14,330 feet, the summit of the Murgum-La will offer you stunning views of the valley of Neyrakon. This lies on the other bank of the Zanskar River. There will be a gentle descent towards the villages of Gongma at 4000 metres and Skiumpata at 4060 metres. Then, a very steep climb will begin till you reach the summit of the Kiupa-la at 4430 metres or 14,530 feet. When you reach the summit of the pass, you have to continue till the Sengi-La which is at 4430 metres or 14,534 feet. Here is your base camp where you will halt for the night.

  • 08

    Day

    Base of Sengi-La (4700 metres) to Photokasar (4130 metres) via Sengi-La (4900 metres) and Bumiktse-La (4200 metres), 7 hours
    • The climb to the highest pass will take about 2 hours as it is steep. But the view from the Sengi-la summit at 4900 metres or 16,070 feet will make up for it. You can explore the pass, capture great views on your camera, and then go along a gentle slope to reach the valley. Next, a gentle climb will lead you to a second pass called Bumiktse-La at 4200 metres or 14,430 feet. The descent from the pass will take you to the charming Photoksar village which is at 4130 metres. This is where you will halt for the night. Surrounded by lofty mountain walls, a 20 minutes’ climb from this village leads you to a deserted monastery. Since it is the last night of your trek, your crew will organise a small party for you as well!

  • 08

    Day

    Photoksar – Leh
    • You will be driven back to Leh from Photoksar. After this refreshing trek, you will find peace and energy to deal with daily life. And all the beautiful moments will be captured in your camera forever.

Things to have before you start trekking:

  • Taking the right precautions and getting acclimatized can help you do the trek successfully.
  • You must carry along warm clothes, proper trekking shoes, slippers for crossing rivers and a walking stick.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are important for protecting your skin and eyes from UV rays.
  • Pack water bottle and water filter too so that you can stay hydrated at all times.

What does a usual day of trekking look like?

After having early morning tea in your tent, you have to pack your essentials and other belongings. Then, breakfast will be served in the dining tent and afterwards your guide will lead the way on the trail. You must ensure that you are carrying things like water bottle, lunch, sunglasses, and camera with you. A light backpack is enough for these as the horses will carry the heavier load. You will get rest and lunch break at noon and the trek will resume again, with the kitchen staff and horsemen leading the way. By the time you arrive at your campsite, snacks and tea or juices will be ready for your refreshment. You can spend your leisure time then at your will and enjoy dinner at 7pm. The guide will then share all timings and things to do for the next day.

The menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, Continental, Ladakhi, or Italian.

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