Lamayuru to Stok

No of Days

08 DAYS

Higest Point

Konske La Pass At 4900 Metres

Grade

Moderate

Attraction

Lamayuru Monastery And Hemis National Park

Perfect for adventurous spirits, the Lamayuru-Stok trek will take you to four major passes such as Konski-La at 4900 metres, Dungdungchen La at 4700 metres, and GandaLa and Stokla. These passes will offer you breathtaking views of the Ladakh, Karakorum and Zanskar ranges. This trek will not only take you through a stunning landscape of mountains, you will come across a number of villages like Chilling, Wanla, Lamayuru, Rumbak and Shingo, before you reach Stok finally.

The trek will commence from the Lamayuru village where the monastery of Bon tradition has a stronghold. This tradition was customary in Ladakh before the dawn of Buddhism. When you reach Wanla, you will come across a castle that was the stronghold of the kings in Ladakh. An important treaty was signed here as well. The Chilling village is where the first part of the trek will end. You should know that the inhabitants of Chilling are considered as the descendants of men and women who were brought to Ladakh in the 17th to 18th century by King Deldan Namgyal. This was to consecrate the renowned Shakyamuni Buddha of Shay who came from Nepal. The villagers at Chilling are experts at brass works and well-known for their traditional beer kettle or Chabskyan as it is known in Ladakh. They can craft other religious instruments too.

The next part of the trek begins from Chilling and will culminate in Stok where the present king of Ladakh lives and has his palace. You can also take a tour of the palace and admire ancient Ladakhi memories.

Route Map of Lamayuru to Stok

Lamayuru to Stok - 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 next day.

  • 06

    Day

    Chilling (3250 metres) to Shingo (4150 metres), 6 hours
    • You have to follow the Zanskar River upstream from Chilling, for half an hour till you reach a bridge. It the bridge is not completed, you will need to use a trolley to cross the river. Your guide will arrange for the trolley. Follow his instructions carefully for your own safety. Never touch the cable when you cross the river and stay away from the rope affixed to the trolley. There will be ponies waiting for you on the other bank. After keeping your heavy luggage with the ponies, start following the trail. You will reach the village Kaya in about 2 to 3 hours. Either enjoy your lunch here by the river side or visit the parachute cafes which the local women run. Sip on refreshing colas if you want. Afterwards, after you go a little beyond the village, turn left to enter a narrow valley. Use an umbrella or sunscreen to prevent sunburns. 3 hours after you leave Kaya, you will come across the village called Shingo. Rest here for a while and walk for half an hour to reach the Shingo camp, which is at the foot of Gandala.

  • 07

    Day

    Shingo (4150 metres) to Rumbak (3800 metres) via Ganda-La (4850 metres), 4 hours
    • After you start from Shingo in the morning, it will take you 2 hours to climb to the fourth pass called Ganda-La at 4850 metres or 15,910 feet. The climb is gentle. From the summit, you can catch beautiful glimpses of the Zanskar range, Ladakh range, and the Stok Mountain. You will also be able to see the fields of Shingo far down. At the top there is a stupa with prayer flags on it. Enjoy rest here and dig into some light snacks to regain energy. Argali or rNyan, the largest wild sheep in the world can be found here. Descending from the top will be easy and until you reach the valley, you will pass Yurutse, a village with only one house. After you pass the house, follow the left bank till you arrive at the bridge from where you have to cross to the right bank of the river. Then walk along the right side of the river till you catch sight of a parachute café. Turn right from the cafe and after walking upstream for half hour you will come across the Rumabak village. Snow leopard safari is conducted in this village during winter. Your campsite is half an hour away from this village.

  • 08

    Day

    Rumbak (3800 metres) to Stok via Stok-La (4800 metres), 6 hours
    • After you start early in the morning, climb towards the Stok-la Pass slowly. The valley is gently sloping and breathtaking. But a challenging footpath will come up shortly with sharp zigzags, leading you to the Stok-La at 4800 metres or 15,750 feet. You will get to enjoy an enchanting view of the south face of Stok Peak from the summit. You can enjoy a light snack at the top as well. From Stok-la, a sharp descent will take you to Lchangma, where you can have lunch and get a refreshing cola from a parachute café. Here, you will get to see the river which descends from the Stok-Kangri at 6153 metres. After taking some rest, go down along the left bank of the river till you reach the pastures owned by Stok inhabitants. This pretty village with the Ladakh range in the background makes for some great photos. You will also see barley, wheat, peas and other vegetables being grown on the fields. Then, the path becomes easy. Once you reach the Stok village, you can take a tour of the Stok Palace, which was built in 1814. This palace is inhabited by the present king of Ladakh. There is a museum too which houses rare jewels and ornaments from the royal family, as well as traditional clothing and tangkas. And then, you can go back to Leh from Stok.

Things to know before you start trekking

  • First get familiarized with the altitude and trail and start slowly before you gain speed. This will prevent accidents.
  • Bring good trekking shoes, slippers for crossing rivers, warm apparel and a walking stick.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen are a must as they will protect you from the sun.
  • Take water bottle and water filter with you everywhere.

What is a usual day of trekking like?

After having bed tea early in the morning, you have to start packing your belongings for the trek. After you finish breakfast in the dining tent, you have to get ready for the day. Your guide will lead you on the trail and you have to carry a light backpack with essentials like camera, water bottle, lunch and sunscreen with you. You will stop for lunch at noon and get some rest as well. The trek will then continue and the kitchen staff will lead the way to make the campsite ready. When you reach your campsite, you can enjoy tea and juice and light snacks. Your leisure time is your own then and dinner will be served at 7pm. After dinner, the guide will brief you on the activities of the next day and clear any doubts you might have.

For breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will get to enjoy a variety of cuisines starting from Indian, and Tibetan, to Chinese, Continental, Ladakhi, and Italian.

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