Dates: 20th August, 2018 to 12th September, 2018
Route: Ladakh (Kanji) to Himachal Pradesh (Brandinala)
Duration: 24 days
Destination Covered: Leh | Lamayuru | Kanji | Lingshed | Shun Shaday | Barandinala
Grade: Difficult

Zanskar Valley's Shun Shaday trek is one of the most challenging but beautiful treks. The trek offers you various occasions to discover ancient monasteries of Ladakh and Zankar, interact and learn from Buddhist monks and explore typical and aloof Himalayan Villages. This trek takes you through some of the most important and remote regions in Ladakh. The trek starts from Ladakh, goes through Zanskar and ends in Himachal Pradesh.
The trek route crosses three important regions of the Himalayas: Ladakh, Zanskar and Himachal Pradesh.

Ladakh: The land of passes takes you to discover some of it's important villages and monasteries including Alchi (known all around the world for its ancient Persian arts and paintings), Lamayuru (with its moon-like landscape.

Zanskar: is the treasure house of Buddhist monasteries and known for its typical villages that resonates the pure mountainous lifestyle. The villages here are charming and ancient.

Himachal Pradesh: Witness the drastically changing landscape of the Himalayas. Himachal is touched by monsoon and is lush green with ample pine trees all around. The arid, bare and colorful mountains disappear here.

Day 01: Delhi to Leh

Our representatives will receive and assist you at Leh Airport. Transfer to the Hotel. We suggest that you utilize this day to rest and acclimatize. jeep-safari

Day 02: Leh

Sightseeing East Indus Valley (Shey,Thiksay,Hemis)


A small village not far from Leh that adorns a monastery and a palace. The name 'Shey' which means 'looking glass' has been bestowed due to the reflection of the Palace in the small lake situated below. Shey is known for having the first fort constructed by the first King of Ladakh. The fort ruins can be seen even today right above the present Shey Palace.


Founded by Paldan Sherab on a hill-top, situated north of Indus river, Thiksay monastery belongs to Gelugpa order. The monastery has a long assembly hall consisting of the image of Shakyamuni and the Maitreya (future) Buddha statues. It also comprises beautiful statutes of thousand armed Avalokiteshvara, Shakyamuni Buddha and Bodhisattvas. The Gonkhang has the statue of Vajra Bhairava, Mahakala, Dharmakaya, the goddess Paldan Lhamo and Chamsring.


Hemis is the largest monastery of Ladakh situated south of Leh. It belongs to the Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddism. The monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso in 1630, who was invited to Ladakh by King Singey Namgyal, who offered this Buddhist saint a large religions estate spread all over the Ladakh region. The monastery was named Changchub Samling and a monastic community was introduced.

Day 03: Leh to Kanji (Drive 140 km)

After a good breakfast in the morning, we will drive from Leh to Kanji village. On the way we will visit Alchi and Lamayuru Monastery. We continue our drive until Khaltse village where we will stop for lunch. Lamayuru: Lamayuru monastery was originally founded by the famous Indian scholar, Naropa (956-1041 AD). Allegedly, he caused a lake to dry up which had previously filled the valley. The oldest surviving building at Lamayuru is a temple called Sengge-sgang which is attributed to the famous monk-builder, Rinchen Zangpo. During the time when General Zorawar Singh, invaded Ladakh from Kashmir, the monks smuggled all the valuable work of art out of the monastery and hid them in the mountains until the invaders turned back to Kashmir. These were then brought back to the monastery and are there to this day. Lamayuru belongs to the Red-hat Sect of Buddhism, and in the past it housed up to 400 lamas. Today there are about 50 lamas living here. In the 16th century Ladakh's king, Jamyang Namgyal, was cured of leprosy by a lama from Tibet. In gratitude, the king gave the Gompa to this lama and also bestowed other privileges. No taxes were to be collected, and the area surrounding the monastery was declared a sanctuary where no-one could be arrested. This is why today Ladakh still refers to Lamayuru as Tharpa Ling, "the Place of Freedom".

Alchi: The temples in Alchi Monastery are among the most important in the whole of Ladakh. They were built by the great translator, Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055 AD). The wall paintings are some of the oldest surviving in Ladakh, and it also has some massive statues of Buddha. The architecture here depicts the influence of Kashmiri artistic style. Alchi Gompa is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is quite fantastic to think that these incredible temples have survived a thousand years and escaped destruction by ravaging armies and natural disasters. In the evening we will meet the trekking staff including our horseman, cook, helpers/porters. Overnight in Camp.

Day 04: Kanji to Kanji la Base (5250m) (6-7 hrs trek)

Today is the first day of our long trek. We start our trek right after breakfast. Today is an easy day trek and will help us warm up for the coming days. We cross a few streams and nomadic settlements. We will walk along Kanji valley before we reach the base of Kanji la Pass. Overnight camp at this side of the base of Kanji Pass.

Day 05: Kanji-la base to Kanji-la Base (5150m) (5-6 hrs trek)

Today we cross the first pass of our trek. Crossing Kanji la will be a little strenuous. We have to start early in the morning because we have a long way to climb. It will take around 3 hours to reach the top of the pass. The hardwork in reaching the top of the pass comes with a sweet and magnificent reward, the pass presents to us the beautiful and mighty Nun Kun peak, Ladakh range and Zanskar range. After some rest, we descend down till the river bank of Rangdum River. Overnight camp at the bank of Rangdum River. jeep-safari

Day 06: Sumdo to Dipling village (trek)

After a hearty breakfast and refreshing sleep, we set on our way. We have to cross the river and walk along the right side of valley for about three hours. We then cross Pudzong-la pass. The view of Dipling valley from the pass is breathtaking. We continue our walk down till Dipling village. Leaving the pass, snow slopes, rocks and along a zigzag path we reach fascinating rock walls and towers on either side of the wide valley. The view throughout is superb - snowy peaks in every direction, though it may be cold and windy and we may want to hurry on. We reach our camp which is amongst an area of cluttered small trees and bushes with fabulous views. Ahead and framed at the end of the valley is a distant pointed rock peak. We may chance upon wolf tracks early in the day. Overnight in the camp.

Day 07: Dipling village to Sumdo (3870m) (5 hrs trek)

Leaving the camp, we have an easy stroll down the left-hand side of the valley, past some deserted houses and some barren fields before reaching the river. Here we can choose to either wade across the river or cross riding on a horse. Another hour from here will bring us to the pretty village of Dibling where there are only about 14 families and a gompa (monastery). The monastery, as with virtually all Ladakhi villages, sits above the village. It is well worth to walk up to the monastery and have a look around. The monastery here is a Yellow-hat temple, the main figures are Shakyamuni Buddha, Chenrizig (Buddha of Compassion), Maitreya (Buddha of the Future), and Zongkhapa (founder of the Gelukpa Yellow Hat Sect). We leave the village and follow a relatively newly-built footpath for a little while. We then find ourselves walking along the river and have to cross it several times. Moving on, we will camp on a lovely area overlooking the river below, this is Sumdo, also the base camp of Barmila pass. Overnight in camp.

Day 08: Sumdo to Lingshed (4010m) (7 hrs trek)

A three hour trek today leads us to the Barmila pass. The path is easy and gradual until the last 300 meters which is a little steeper. There are one or two places where you would want to be careful and not slip on the narrow path. Looking back, the views are inspiring with a range of snow peaks. The pass itself is broad, with chortens and prayer flags. The view of from the pass down onto the valley with village and monastery of Lingshed is exciting, while the peaks march off into far distances. The descent is long and hard, but the view of Lingshed becomes more and more splendid. We continue descent past a number of old houses and fields to climb back up again to reach the monastery. The camp site is just above that. Overnight in camp.

Day 09: Lingshed to Youlchung (7 hrs trek)

Today the path winds its way from the monastery, we climb for about 30 minutes steadily under huge rock walls to a chorten. We have a great view of the whole valley from here, we then continue to climb to another large chorten. A trek of about an hour and a half will lead us to Murgum La (4370m), from here valley below is deep with a small hamlet at the bottom and a steep mountainside blocking the way forward. If we look closely, we will see the path zigzagging straight up this to the Kiupa La/Pass. The village, or hamlet, at the bottom is Kyumpata. First we have to drop right down to the river, (4,040m), this descent is three to three and a half hours from Lingshed. Just before reaching the river, there is a nice little shelter with a small shop. We cross the river and start the long haul over the Kiupa La Pass. We go slow and steady. This is almost like a secret path and it brings us out above the village of Yulchung. Coming down towards Yulchung, we see only one large house standing above a patchwork of field, and above it there is a small temple built near the top of a pile of rock which clearly drops into a gorge on the other side. We have a rejuvenating rest after having explored this beautiful region. Overnight in camp.

Day 10: Youlchung to Base camp Labarla (4700mtrs.) via Nerak village (3470mtrs.) and Zanskar River.

Physically, today will be one of the hardest days of the trek, but it will be equally rewarding. The day starts easy, traversing above the fields to the large house ahead of us. As we get closer to the house, we come across other houses and this is Yulchung. This place is magical. We trek as we hope to get invited into the large house and this will provide us a truly beautiful glimpse of a typical Ladakhi village farmhouse. It has a particularly impressive shrine room, and large kitchen. Behind the house, the path rises easily and it looks down into a deep gorge. The path then undulates along a broad "shelf" of rolling hillsides which are basically the top of our side of this stupendous gorge. The path takes us to a small pass, the Chuchokhuri La (4,005m) which is about an hour and a half. We now have a steep descent to the Zanskar River far below, the path is a series of zigzags virtually all the way down. As we get lower, we will be able to see the river which is a very pretty color of turquoise blue, twisting its way through the gorges. We will now come to the ancient wooden cantilevered bridge high above the river which is crossed. We are about 2 hours from camp. We now have the big climb in front of us! It takes approximately an hour to get to the village of Nyerak and actually the main village is just below a small temple. From here, we just have to grit our teeth and put ourselves on autopilot, and trek slowly upwards. It is one of those paths where you think the camp must be after the next rise, only to find that it isn't! If this makes us weary we stop, turn round and admire the absolutely fantastic view behind us. Overnight in camp.

Day 11: Cross Murgum la/pass (4370m). Trek from Labar la base to Namtse Sumdo (3810m) via Labar la (4925m) (7 hrs trek)

We start by heading down into the depths between imposing rocky mountains and slopes on either side, made more dramatic by the feeling of complete remoteness. We will head over a small pass with impending cliffs ahead of them that looks like they are blocking the way forward. Reaching this pass, we see mountains with gigantic contorted strata and now we have a steep narrow descent between two unusual white cliffs. The cliffs literally look torn in half. It takes a little under four hours to be between the jaws of these two cliffs. Having passed through, we find ourselves suddenly out of the mountains and into a sharp valley with a river running in its flat base. The place has abundance of stunted willow and bushes, and on either sides there are eroded conglomerate strata very often shaped as pinnacles with large improbable boulders perched on the tops of the pinnacles. We wander happily down the valley to find even more weird pinnacles the further down we go.

We then suddenly come to a very narrow gorge and there is a steep rock step to clamber up. We avoid this route and take the route through the river which lies below. The path is occasionally one of those that is very narrow and where we need to place one foot in front of the other carefully. Some places we see the horses in the river below. Further on the horses pass through an incredible canyon, barely one animal-width, with completely vertical sides. It is, maybe, 200 yards long and an incredible natural feature. The river, of course, flows through it. The path takes us over the top and, coming down the other side; we traverse past some amazing slabs of rock: smooth, flat, gigantic, coming straight out of the earth. A little further on from this is a place where stone steps have been built up a short cliff. It may be possible to get the baggage animals up these steps without unloading them, though it may be necessary to unload and carry our baggage past this point. We finally leave the gorges and trek through the valley. Today is a long day, but the adrenalin and excitement should keep us going. Overnight in camp.

Day 12: Cross Namtse la pass (4430m) and descend to Honia (3525m) (6 hrs trek)

We will leave the camp behind for an easy small pass. Ahead we have an expanse of a delightful small valley no more than three or four hundred yards. The scenery is as splendid wnad we are surrounded by giant cliffs. We carefully walk across a stony underfoot almost all the way down. As we get closer to the bottom of the gorge, there are phenomenally impressive 1,000 to 1,500 ft high vertical walls on our right. Honia is a place with one house and a lot of stone-built yak pens. Just as we get out of the gorge, there is a well-built wolf/bear trap. The exit from the gorge is sudden and the Zanskar valley and river is spread out below. This is our perfect arrival into Zanskar Valley. Overnight camp in Honia.

Day 13: Honia to Zangla (4hrs trek)

After the many strenuous trekking days, today we have a much deserved easy and short trek day. The trek today is almost without any ascend/descend till Zangla. On the way we can visit the Nunnery of Zangla Village and enjoy hot tea with the nuns. The nunnery has almost 50 nuns of all age in the monastery. We can visit the nunnery school at Zangla and visit important prayer rooms of the monastery. Next to the nunnery is the beautiful Zansla village. The village has around 80 habitants. During the end of September we will find that people are busy searing. People live peacefully here with their animals like yak, female yak, horses, dzos, dzomos etc. After a 15 minute walk from Zangla we will reach our campsite. The camp is on a beautiful meadow. Overnight in camp.

Day 14: Zangla to Stongday (5-6 hrs trek)

We have to walk along the road till Stongde Monastery today. The trek is also flat till Stongde village and finally we will be required to climb up to Stongde Monastery. Stongde Monastery gives us a reat view of Stongday village, Karsh village and monastery and other village like Rinam, Tsazar, Chiling skit, Kumik and many other villages around Padum. From Zangla to Stongde we will cross villages like Tsazar and Chilingskit. Visit Stongday Monastery in the evening. Overnight in camp near monastery.

Day 15:

Today we rest in Stongday and explore the village.

Day 16: Doksa to Shaling (6-7hrs trek)

This day we have to cross the stream several times while walking along the valley. Twenty minutes after we walk from the camp we have to start crossing streams. The water here is ice cold because of the weather as well as the narrow valley. The valley has several ascends and descends. We will be in the valley for about 4 hours crossing a number of streams one after the other. We camp in a beautiful meadow with beautiful spring water and nice scenery. Overnight in the camp.

Day 17: Shaling to Thangtak (6-7 hrs trek)

Today's trek is again along the valley, the landscape does however change. We trek for a long path along the banks of the river. We have to cross the little river before Shade and continue through a main road until we reach beautiful Shade village. The rocks here form a gate like structure. The village is very isolated. Villagers in this season are busy harvesting, collecting potatoes, collecting grass for animals. We then have to descend from Shade village and we will see one family village with a little monastery called Thangtak. We camp for the night by the river.

Day 18: Thangtak to Phuktal (6-7hrs trek)

Today we will visit the famous Phuktal monastery. After breakfast, we will cross the little river and continue to Phuktal. Usually it is possible to see snow leopard on this way and if we are lucky enough, we might spot one too. After 1 hour walk from the camp we meet Tsarap River. We follow the Tsarap River till Phuktal Monastery. On the way there are some up and down ways. The ways are good because it was repaired last year only. On the way we will find a lot of Shukpa (Juniper) which is used as local incense. Phuktal Monastery is famous for its structure. It is built in a cave on the side of soft rock Mountain. The monastery is built by Changsem Sherap Zangpo, disciple of Gyalwa Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight in the Monastery guest house/camp.

Day 19: Phuktal to Thangthak (6-7hrs trek)

Today we will go back to Thangthak through the same ways.

Day 20: Thangthak to Normotse.

Today will be the longest trek-day from the whole trek. We have to start very early in the morning. It will take almost 4 hours to reach the first pass called Nyalokuntse (44850 m), we then continue to the second pass Gothunda-la (5100m). In between these two pass we have a beautiful view of a lake. The landscape is here is totally different. From the top of the pass we the descend till Shun village. On this day we may spot animals like Fox, ibex, wolf etc. We will arrive at the camp late. Shun is an old village with very few inhabitants as people are migrating to Chumikgyasa. Overnight in the camp near a small monastery (4300m).

Day 21: Normoche to Satak (5-6hrs trek)

Morning after breakfast as usual we start our trek, we will see Shun village on the other side of the Tsarap River. The village is big enough but we will find nobody there. There is also a Nunnery which is close to our camp. After half an hour of trek we have to cross a little river and then we walk along a pasture land with gentle ups and downs. In the evening we will camp at Satak village. Satak is a village of one house but nowadays no one lives there as the villages have migrated to Chumikgasa. We will find barren fields. Overnight in camp.

Day 22: Satak to Tsokmetsek (6hrs trek)

We have a few ascends and descends on this day and the landscape continues to be stunning. The trek till Tsokmetsek is comparatively easy. The campsite is full of plants. Overnight in camp (4220m).

Day 23: Tsokmesik to Brandinala. (4200m) (4/5hrs)

Today is the last day of the trek and we have an easy walk following the narrow valley passing through a river and bushes and gradually up to the camp which is set at a height of 4450m). Overnight in camp.

Day 24:

Brandinala to Leh/Manali (by car)

Details: Cost In Euros

Cost: 1680 Euros | person for a private trek of 3 Pax
Cost: 1225 Euros | Person for a group of 4-8 Pax
Size Of group: Min 2 & Max 8

Cost Inludes

Transportation for the entire trek duration (from the starting point and end of the trek): Car, Horses.
All camping equipments: Tents, Mattresses, Sleeping Bags, Cooking equipments.
SkyWalker Team: Horsemen, Guide, Cook, Porter.
Accommodation through the trek: Camps or Homestays.
Food throughout the trek.
Fees: Wildlife fees, Camping fees, Monastery fees, Inner-line permission.

Trekking Menu:

Our trek-cooks prepare meals with your enjoyment in mind. The food will be traditional Ladakhi cuisine and will primarily be vegetarian with some meat or protein in the form of canned fish or tofu. You can let us know of any particular specifications, requirements or restrictions in your food prior to the trek and we will mindfully modify the menu accordingly. Our staff will provide rehydrating liquids in large quantities throughout your trek. At altitude it is typical not feel too hungry or thirsty. Make sure you stay adequately fed and drink plenty of fluids, both at meals and along the trail. During the summer, heat can be a real factor requiring significant intake of liquids while you trek.

Drinking Water:

We highly discourage the use of plastic and encourage you to kindly carry reusable water bottle instead of plastic mineral water battles. We cross a number of clear fresh and in-fact medicinal streams where we can refill our bottles or we can also provide you with sterile boiled water for refill. This will help us to keep the trekking routes/environment clean. For the first day we will provide 2 bottles of boiled water and from 1st evening of the trek our staff will supply boiled water, the source would be either glacier or spring and the supply will continue till the end of trek.



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