Lamyuru to Chilling

No of Days

05 DAYS

Higest Point

Konske La Pass 4,900 Metres

Grade

Moderate

Attraction

Lamayuru Monastery And Sumda Village

If you are an adventurer at heart, the Lamayuru-Chilling trek is definitely for you. During the trek, you will come across two major passes at Dungdungchen La at 4700 metres and Konski-La at 4900 metres. From these passes, you can admire the stunning views of the Zanskar Range, the Ladakh Range and the Karakorum Range. The trail of this trek will take you through historically significant villages like Chilling, Lamayuru and Wanla.

You will start from the Lamayuru village, where the age-old monastery of Bon tradition had its stronghold. The Bon tradition was the religion followed in Ladakh before the rise of Buddhism. When you reach Wanla, you will come across a mighty castle that was once the stronghold of the kings in Ladakh. Your trek will end when you reach the Chilling village. It might interest you to know that the villagers here are considered to be the descendants of those who were guided into Ladakh by King Deldan Namgyal during the 17th to 18th century. This was done to sanctify the renowned Shakyamuni Buddha of Shay from Nepal. The inhabitants of Chilling are great at brass craftwork, creating religious instruments and preparing the traditional beer kettle of Ladakh, known as Chabskyan.

Route Map of Lamyuru to Chilling

Lamyuru to Chilling - Trip Detail
  • 01

    Day

    Lamayuru (3450 metres) to Wanla (3200 metres) via Prinkiti-La (3720 metres), 4 hours
    • Lamayuru lies along National Highway 1D on the Srinagar-Leh Highway, and is 120km to the southwest of Leh. You will arrive here once you cross the beautiful gorge of Lamayuru. Now, the Lamayuru village banks on rainwater to grow crops and other produce, as it is the only village in Ladakh that lacks its own glacier for water supply. The village is also well-known for the stunning monastery atop a ridge and the picturesque landscape. During winter, the monastery hosts an annual festival called Yuru Kyabgyat and the monks perform holy mask dances or chams, mainly dedicated to Gonbo or Mahakala. The monastery is a follower of Drigung school of Buddhism.

      Lamayuru is renowned for its moonland landscape where everything is believed to glow magically when the moon shines. Your trek will start from Lamayuru village in the early morning. Begin by walking slowly, so that you get comfortable with the altitude in time. Once you cross the barley fields, you will come across a narrow rivulet that you have to cross. Then you will see a trail with two white stupas and your climb towards the first pass will begin. You will reach a small valley after a while and this will lead you to Prinkiti-La, the first pass at 3720 metres or 12,140 feet. A short and easy climb will take you over the pass. Then you have to descend into a narrow gorge and continue till you reach the Shilla village. Here you have to cross a river by taking the bridge and continue on the right bank till you come to the Wanla village. This is a charming village with a Gompa that is set high atop a crag and makes for a serene place to halt for the night.

  • 02

    Day

    Wanla (3200 metres) to Konzki-La base camp, 5 hours
    • The picturesque village of Wanla has a skyline that is dominated by a castle that looms over the village. It is here that the well-known Wanla agreement was signed. The castle has been transformed into a monastery now and features beautiful Indian artworks inside, done by Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo and his team of craftsmen. You will also hear tales of the late minister of Wanla, Wanlai Lonpo, whose spirit is believed to take care of the village till today. Villagers always remember to reserve a special seat for him during festivals and his statue can also be seen in a chapel in the palace. Wanla is also home to sulphur hot springs and they are just a few kilometres away. Villagers believe that if you drink the water of hot springs at certain times of the year, many ailments can be cured.

      On day 2, you have to walk for 3 hours after breakfast till you reach the Shilla village. Then, you have to continue along the River Yapola for about 2 hours till you come across the village of Phanjila at 3300 metres. At this village, one trail will take you to the Zanskar valley trekking path and to the Hinju village. You can also enjoy butter tea and refreshing cold drinks at the parachute cafes, which local women run. If you continue walking upwards, you will see that the valley will become more breathtaking. Dense growth of willows and stunning skyline views will greet you. You will then cross the Hinju village at 3750 metres and camp for the night at the base of the next pass.

  • 03

    Day

    Konze-La base camp to Sumda Chenmo (3900 metres) via Konzke-La (4900 metres), 6 hours
    • On day 3, you have to climb to the highest pass and you have to start early after breakfast. The climb to Konzke-La at 4900 metres or 16,080 feet is very challenging, but when you reach the top, you will enjoy amazing views that extend to Prinkiti-La, the earlier pass. There are chances of meeting locals and other trekkers here too. You can say Juley or Hello in Ladakhi to keep the spirit up. In summer, the Hinju village shepherds cross Konzke-La to let their livestock graze in the valley. On your way, you will pass small huts or Pullus where locals make cheese, curd and butter. You might see the cheese spread out to dry on the ground, roof or foothills. The cheese is dried till it becomes small nuggets which can be preserved for years.

      The long descent from the top of Konzke-La will take you through pastures, but try and avoid the muddy trails. Also remember to make way for the tourists and ponies coming from the other side. You will then get close to the river, where there are plenty of decent campsites. If you continue along the river’s left bank, you will reach Sumda Chenmo at 3900 metres or 12,795 feet. The village is very self-sufficient in nature and at the camp, you will have juice or tea to feel refreshed. Then, you can explore the surroundings or rest as you please.

  • 04

    Day

    Sumdha Chenmo (3900 metres) to Dundunchen-La base camp, 3 hours
    • You have to start early on day 4, take the path on the right of the river and walk till you reach the Sumda village. Here, you will cross the river. It might interest you to know that Sumda is a major village known for its handloom carpets and brass products. The monastery in this village has a wooden statue of future Buddha or Maitreya, and is renowned in Ladakh. You can talk to the villagers to know more about their lives and visit a local family too. Now, the trail will be on the left side of the river and you will continue till you reach the valley’s end. Then you have to cross the river once more. Then the path will become taxing as you scale the Dungdunchen La, which is 4700 metres or 10,660 feet at the highest point. After crossing Lanak-La, you have to camp. The camp site resembles an oasis and gets water from a spring. Rocks provide shelter here.

  • 05

    Day

    Dundunchen-La base camp to Chilling via Dundunchen-La (4700 metres), 6 hours
    • Since day 5 will be a long day, you need to start early. The climb from the camp to the third pass will be quite steep. But from the top of the pass, you can view the magnificent Stok Kangri at 6153 metres, Kang Yatse at 6400 metres and the beautiful Zanskar River spanning the valley. The descent from here to Chilling is strenuous as well. Remember to smile, greet and make way for other trekkers coming from the other side. Once you arrive at Chilling, you can take a bath and relax. Though it is at a height of 3250 metres or 10,660 feet, the village is warmer relatively. The villagers are experts at working with silver, copper, tin, and they make beautiful pots too. After dinner, you can rest or chat with the team and prepare for your journey back to Leh the next day.

Things to know before you start trekking

  • To avoid accidents, breathing problems or other untoward incidents, start slow and get familiarized with the climate and landscape.
  • Carry along warm clothes, shoes for trekking, slippers to cross rivers and a sturdy walking stick.
  • Make sure you bring sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.
  • Have water filters and water bottles with you to stay hydrated all the time.

What is a usual day of trekking like?

Your morning starts with warm wishes and bed tea. Then you have to start packing all that you have brought with you. Remember to keep essentials like sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, lunch and water bottle with you. The rest can be carried by horses or ponies. You will then have breakfast in the dining tent and the guide will start leading you on the trail next. You can rest awhile at noon and have your lunch. The trek will then resume and the kitchen staff will lead so that they can keep the campsite ready for you. When you reach the camp, you will get light snacks, tea or juices to get your energy back. Afterwards, you can enjoy your time the way you wish. After dinner at 7pm, the guide will share with you the next day’s plan and ask for suggestions.

As far as food menu is concerned, you will get to taste Indian, Chinese, Continental, Ladakhi or Italian for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lamyuru to Chilling - Photo Gallery
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