Spiti – An Unknown country!!

Spiti means "Middle Country". It lies between Tibet, Ladakh, Kinnaur, Lahaul & Kulu. The Spiti river flows fast through deep gorges at some places. The valley is not wide but there are villages and some fields where people grow barley, buck- wheat, peas & vegetables. It has an area of 4800 sq. kms. Some inhabitants have adopted Buddhism as their faith and Bhoti is the spoken language. The people are simple and honest. The main Spiti valley is split into eastern and western valleys. They are connected with Ladakh & Tibet on eastern side & Kinnaur and Kulu on western side through high passes. This very special adventure takes you into the heart of one of India's best kept Himalayan secrets. This trip is a great way to explore the wonders of Spiti. You will travel / trek in some of the remotest regions of the country. Lahaul & Spiti valley is still untouched by the impact of tourism and not too many people are aware of its surreal existence. The landscape of this valley is stark and spectacular and challenges one’s idea of beauty at all stages. This valley is open only for a few months every year (July, August and September) as the high passes leading to it get blocked by snowfall. There is little or no rain in monsoons. The climate remains dry & invigorating. The days are hot and nights are cold. Along the trip, as you drive, ride, & hike through the wonderful vistas of this valley you come across small settlements with ancient monasteries, chortens, mane walls, fluttering flags, prayer wheels & Buddhist monks, leaving an image which is sure to last a lifetime. Rafting in the Spiti River is a life time experience. We set out on the Spiti left bank trek which will take us to remote villages and ancient monasteries. Last but not the least you will drive and then few km walk brings us to Chandratal (Moon Lake). Chandratal is a spectacular high altitude lake with turquoise green water and snow capped mountains all around. You will camp here for a night before moving to Manali. You will get an evening in Manali to explore the markets and do some shopping Like all our trips this itinerary is pretty flexible and one can play around with the difficulty level of each activity to suit one’s requirements.

Ladakh:

Ju’ le, ju’ le,” welcome to Ladakh ! When one travels to remote Ladakh, the innocent, smiling tribal natives eagerly welcome one with the all- purpose Ladakh salutation of “Ju’le”. This enormous magnificent region, located on the Indian side with its high, arid landscape and Buddhist culture is geographically and culturally an extension of Western Tibet. Ladakh is made up of three administrative districts: Ladakh, Zanskar, and Kargil.   Ladakh District is made up of the ancient Indus valley and Nubra the area North of the valley. Valley.  Zanskar is a huge rugged, mountainous area South of Ladakh and north of Lahoul in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.  Kargil District is the  Suru River Valley and the valleys of  its tributaries, a regionjnown as Purig and Baltistan.

Located in the Western Himalayas and in the Karakoram mountains, Ladakh is fed by the headwaters of the Indus across a distance of 460 km.  On the West of Ladakh  is  Kashmir.  In the North lies the trans Himalayan portion of the State of Jammu and Kashmir covered by the Kargil range.  To the south of this Kargill range are the  Karakoram mountains.  Ladakh lies South of these mountains with Holy Tibet in  the east. To the South of Ladakh are the Himachal Districts of Lahaul and Spiti, and to the north the Chinese districts of Yarkand, Kashgar and Khotan. Further north are Chilas, Darel, Gilgit Hunza, Yagistan and Chitral. Ladakh is known as the “Desert of the Himalayas”.

Ladakh, “Little Tibet”  as it is known is one of the most remote areas of India, lying to the north of the Himalaya on the Tibetan Plateau and to the south of the Karakorams.  This high mountain desert has remained isolated for centuries to the outside world due to its inaccessibility, and the strategic position it occupies in the northern frontier. Ladakh has a rich cultural and religious heritage as can be seen from the centuries old monasteries, some of them built on sheer cliffs and still actively functioning. Ladakh offers the tourists not only monasteries to visit, but also some rare sights like the expansive high altitude lakes of Tsomoriri surrounded by snow capped mountains at an altitude of 4600 meters ; the 40 mile long Pangong Lake 1/3rd of which lies in Tibet; and the Nubra valley which you reach after crossing Khardungla (5600 meters) the world’s highest motorable pass.

The whole culture of Tibet and Ladakh is inspired by religion. Ladakh has the largest concentration of Buddhists in India. Ladakhis belong to the Tibetan race with an admixture of the Aryans.  Scattered over the region,   there are over 239 villages in Ladakh in the area of 96300 sq km bare crags and granite dust, soaring peaks giving the eerie effect of both elevation and isolation. Midst the endless mile after mile of sun beaten and windswept mountains, there is no sign of a human being, bird or even tree. In a region like this and a religion built on endless warfare between good and evil, one would expect the people to be gloomy and devil ridden but they are the reverse, known for their cheerful , honesty and hard work. Like Tibetans , they are a happy little people full of child like humour, grateful for any opportunity to laugh!!  You get an insight into the simple lifestyle of these happy people and understand their culture in an environment of wild beauty.

Trekking is an extra ordinary experience in ladkah. The treks from Spituk to the Markha valley and Lamayuru gompa to Chiling village alongside the Zanskar River are the most popular treks in the region. Another trek route is from Likir to Temisgam. Treks are open from the June end upto mid October. However in october it starts getting very cold. The passes for trekking are as high as 5,000 m in altitude. Besides trekking, polo is also equally popular in Leh. From July to September, one might also take fun of rafting in the Zanskar River. A white water river rafting expedition along the 26-kilometre stretch from Fhey to Nimo along the mighty Indus River is a thrilling experience. It is the highest river rafting point in the world. The high altitudes and the surrounding mountains make Ladakh an ideal spot for paragliding, mountaineering and  trekking. 

We can provide  trekking options range from short, day-long walks up and down mountain slopes to visit monuments or monastic settlements (or across a ridge to enjoy the sheer beauty of the lunar landscape), or long, trans-mountain treks involving weeks of walking and camping in the wilderness. An ascent to the Trekking Peak “Stok-Kangri” remains the favorite of our Trek Leader Rohit.

Leh is directly connected to Delhi through regular flights.  There is an overland route to Leh-the road from Manali which is operative from July to September. 

Best season:

Due to very high altitude of Ladakh, the visiting season is confined to only four months.  It is best to visit between Mid-June and Mid-September.  The rest of the year Ladakh is freezing cold and covered in snow.

Grading of the tours

Once we hear from you with your querries for trekking in a particular region, we shall be pleased to send you the programme along with our gradings!! All our trekking tours are graded and should be taken as a guide line only. Our grades take into account a combination of the distance walked , the toughness of the terrian, the altitude, the remoteness, climate and the overall length of the whole tour and the degree of comfort to be expected. This all will be incorporated with our programmes sent to you.

When you are sending your trekking querries ,   please let us know what grade trekking holiday you are looking for.

In order to make it easier for you our trek gradings are as follows:

A - Easy : - For anyone of any age. Plenty of stops and time to enjoy the local scenery. The trip will not solely consist of  walking each day but allowing time for sightseeing and touring the area using the transport .

B - Moderate : - For anyone who is a 'regular" hill walker and is looking forward  walking on rugged terrain on longer stretches.

C - Fairly strenous : - This is for the keen hill walker. Trekking is sustained, often involving high mountain passes, but still with plenty of time for rest and relaxation at the end.

D - Strenuous and at time challenging : - These trips are meant for real physically fit people with lots of experience in the high mountains and who are willing to rough it out under adverse conditions

 
     
 
   

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