Lamayuru Trek
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Lamayuru Alchi Trek

(Lamayuru To Alchi – The Monasteries Trek)


Around 125 kms. west of Leh, on a spectacularly beautiful road, lies the earliest surviving monastery of Ladakh, known as Yung-drung or the Swastika. The Gonpa is remarkably built on sand stone and dates to the 11th Century. The monastery has a remarkable history and the surrounding area presents an interesting topography that is spread with yellow loess formation. The Alchi monastery lies 69 kms. west of Leh, the most famous and largest of all the Gonpa built by Rinchen Zangpo in 11th Century. The monastery houses some of the best murals and frescoes representing the Kashmiri style of Buddhist iconography. Each monastery in Ladakh is distinct in itself and for those who wish to experience the uniqueness of Ladakhi monasteries this is an ideal opportunity.
Day -1 : Travel from Delhi to Leh by air. The early morning flight from Delhi gets to Leh in less than two hours. From the airport guests would be transferred to a three star city hotel where they would be housed on full board. Leh is at an altitude of 3500 mts. And all guests are advised to rest for the entire day. A successful trek in Ladakh requires you to acclimatize well.
Day -2 : This day is meant to provide an opportunity to get a feel of the place. Guests will be driven to the Leh Palace, which houses old relics that belong to the sixteenth century ruler of Ladak. Later in the day a trip to the monasteries at Shey, Thiksey and Hemis will also be arranged.
Day-3: Leh to Lamayuru (125 kms.) : A four hours drive by taxi from Leh brings us to Lamayuru. Below the monastery there is a nice camping ground where we camp for the night.
Day-4 : Lamayuru to Wanla across Pritikingi La (8 kms; 4/5 hours) : Today is a short and easy march. From Lamayuru (3450m) the trail goes down to the stream, and then the track winds its way up through a barren gorge of yellow loess clay to the Pritikingir La (3506 m) pass. Across the pass a steep descent leads you to a gorge which further takes you on to the entrance of village Wanla (3200m). The village houses a monastery dating back to the Lamayuru period. We camp at Wanla for the night.
Day-5 : Wanla to Hinju (10 kms. ; 5/6 hours) : From Wanla we follow the jeep track upstream towards Panji La Pass (3400m). Across the pass the trail descends to a stream and further ahead lies the village of Hinju (3750m). There are several campsites beyond the village and we camp here for the night.
Day-6 : Hinju to Sumdha Chenmo (8 kms. : 4/5 hrs. ) : It’s a relatively easy climb for the first two hours above Hinju through several summer pastures. The trail leads upwards from the stream as we ascend to Kongske La (4900 m). The views from the top are worth the climb. Looming in the South are the peaks of Zanskar while in the north one can see the Nubra-Shayok peaks. The descent from the pass to the village of Sumdha Chenmo takes around two hours. The campsite (3900 m) is just below the vast grazing ground amidst hundreds of yaks, sheep and goats.
Day-7: Sumdha Chenmo to Sumdha Chun (5/6 hrs.) : Today’s walk follows a trial that goes past many grazing areas with several stream crossings. The main trail involves four river crossings. The village of Sumdha Chun has a beautiful gompa from the Alchi era. The village also has a settlement of metal workers who migrated here from Nepal nearly two hundred years ago. Our campsite is just beyond the village.
Day-8: Sumdha Chun to Alchi across Stakspila (10 kms., 7 hrs.) : From our campsite to the pass involves a steep climb for almost four hours with the last stretch over rocky ground. The view from Stakspi La (4950m) is wonderful. The decent to the north is sharp over rocky terrain to the grazing grounds. Another three hours trek leads to Alchi, our final destination, where we spend the night.
Day-9: Alchi to Leh (69 kms.) : The morning would be spent in visiting the Alchi monastery which has some of the rarest frescoes in the world. In the afternoon there would be a taxi to take back everyone to Leh.
Day-10: Depart for Delhi by the morning flight. For the more adventurous a drive to either Manali or Srinagar can also be arranged on request. The road journey is covered in two days with an overnight halt at either Sarchu, which lies on the Leh-Manali highway, or Kargil, which lies on the Leh-Srinagar highway.
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