Parang La Trek (5600 Meters)
This remote trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. It begins in the high altitude meadows of Kibber, the breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses and also called the Snow Leopard country, climbs over the Parang la (5600 mt), the source of the Pare Chu river, the only one of its kind to have its source in India, flow into Tibet and enter the country again in Spiti, reaching Tso Moriri (15,000 ft), a high altitude lake 27 kms long and nearly 8 km wide. This lake is also the breeding ground for the bar-headed geese, black-necked crane and the Brahmini ducks. Parang la connects the Spiti valley to parts of Ladakh. On the Spitian side of this pass, flows the river Parilungbi and the track runs on its side, climbing up the pass towards Ladakh. There is a glacier about three kilometers on the northeast of this pass.
Day 01: Delhi – Manali
Fly to Kullu. Drive to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure/sightseeing.
Day 02: Manali – Kaza
Drive for 7-8 hrs over Kunzum La (4590 mtrs) and Rohtang La (over 3970 mtrs) to Kaza. The landscape changes starklingly over a matter of a few hours from lush green forest to meadows to barren moonscape as you move towards cold deserts of Spiti. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 03: Kaza
After a leisurely breakfast, visit the Ki monastery and Kibber village. Also visit the Comic village; the highest village connected by road in Asia should the time permit. Overnight stay in Kaza.Kaza is the capital of Spiti Valley. Rudyard Kipling describes Spiti in “Kim” in these words: “At last they entered a world within a world – a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains… Surely the Gods live here.
Day 04: Kaza – Dumla – 22kms /4hrs Drive Kaza – Kibber (18 Km)
Drive through Ki (one can visit the monastery here to Kibber village at 4205m, is one of the highest inhabited settlements in India. The famous Ki gompa is just 10 kms away and can be visited before beginning the trek. Kibber to Dumla is an easy walk but take your time, as these Spitian gorges are renowned for being hard-going.
Day 5: Dumla – Thaltak Meadow (4875M) – 7km/5hrs
Descend to the gorge bed and start the climb towards the pass, a steep walk to Thaltak Meadow where you camp for the night. The scenery is wild and the gorge is deep. Even at this height the sunlight reflected from the walls of the gorge causes the temperature to soar.
Day 6: Thaltak – Jagtha – Bonrojen (5180M) – 14km/7hrs
This is a long and strenuous day walking to Jagtha – 8kms at 15,700 ft. and then 6kms to Bongrojen at 17,000ft.
Day 7: Bongrojen – Dak Karzong (4940M) – 10 kms/5hrs
Leave early for the pass. The final 4 kms is a steep 2-hour climb to Parang La at 18,300 ft.. The pass lies on the trade route between Ladkah and the Spiti valley. There are some great views of the Spiti and the Changthang valleys from the pass. Parilungi, a conical peak, is the first Ladakhi peak visible from Spiti. From the pass, we descend to the source of the Pare Chu river. After the pass, the landscape changes dramatically from steep gorges to broad plains. Camp at Dak Karzong
Day 8: Dak Karzong – Datang Yongma (4725M) – 12 km/ 5hrs
The route for the next 3 days is in a fairly open valley with a well-marked trail on the left bank of the Pare Chu. Camp overnight at Datang Yongma.
Day 9: Datang Yongma – Chumik Shilde – 16 km /5-6 hrs
Today we follow the trail to Racholemo (14000 ft.) then Norbu Sumdo (14400 ft.) and across to Chumik Shilde. Start early, as the winds can be strong in the afternoons.
Day 10: Chumik Shilde – Tso Moriri (4510M) – 14 km /5hrs
Today we walk across the plains to the southern edge of the oval-shaped Tso Moriri at Kiangdom, named after the Kiang (wild Tibetan asses) which roam here freely. The lake breaks into several channels here to create a vast wetland, the breeding ground of several rare species of birds.
Day 11: Tso Moriri – Karzog (4527M) – 15 Km /6-7 Hrs
The last day of the trek passes along the shore of Tso Moriri. The view of the lake with Lungser Kangri (6666m /21,871ft.) in the background is unforgettable. The walk is longer than it looks and with the afternoon winds you will be tired when you reach Karzog. Visit the ancient monastery in Karzog, where the Changpas roam the pastures with their flocks of pashmina goats and still live in yak-skin yurts.
Day 12: Karzog – Leh – 213 km /8-9 hrs
Drive to Leh via Mahe Bridge. Overnight in Leh
Day 13: Leh
Rest day in Leh/ visit the Leh palace, Shey, Hemis and Thiksey monastery. Leh is the capital of Ladakh. Ladakh remained close to visitors until 1973 when it was opened for Tourism. Leh was an important station on the silk route from China. Overnight stay in Leh
Day 14: Leh – Delhi – Fly Back.