is one of the ancient trekking routes of the region. The trek is demanding one as you have
to ford mighty nullahs and cross a high pass the Shinkun-La, alti 5090 m.
|Name of Trek
KEYLONG PADUM OVER SHINKUN-LA
kms By bus
2, 3 Halt at Darcha for acclimatisation and arrangements of mules etc.
kms On foot
Following the left
bank of Barsi river pass a spectacular gorge to reach the camping ground. Before reaching
Palamo you have to cross a ford called Patanam phu.
kms On foot
Continue on the
left bank until you reach, a second (major) ford. From this confluence go up the right
bank. Sometimes, local people fix a Jhoola bridge across the ford. This bridge is unsafe
and should be avoided. There are good bridle paths on either side of the stream, but are
taxing. Good camp at Ramjak in small meadow, spring. A mountain hut Lakhang may also be
seen during summers. From camp you have a very good view of the virgin Ramjak Peak.
18 kms On foot
moderate slopes and crossing several easy streams, involving a trek of 4 hrs, the ground
flattens out and the track zigzags through a moraine as far as the pass. Ice and fallen
rocks make descent dangerous, especially for horses. After crossing a final firn, reach
the famous yak meadows, cross several easy streams, then go down an escarpment towards a
fiat area for camping. Offers nice view of peak Gumbaranjan. Ibex is often seen in this
Gumbaranjan-Kargyak, 13 kms On foot
Climb down a mess
of fallen rocks and cross several streams. The descent to Kargyak (4100 m), becomes
gentler once you have passed beneath the face of the Gumbaranjan peak.
Kargyak is the first village in Zangskar. The houses are made from sundried bricks, Adobe,
and are flat roofed as in Lahaul. High altitude dry vegetation can be seen around this
Kargyak-Teta, 16 kms On foot
Follow the right
bank for 2 hrs to reach table. Another half hour's walk brings you to a small village
Tanze. A short distance from Tanze, cross the bridge to follow the left bank. Before
village Karu, once again there is some climb but beyond Karu an excellent path gently
leads to the beautiful village of Teta.
Teta was the seat
of Teta Thakur during the reign of Zangskar king. There is a ruin of a fort believed to be
of the king of Zangskar.
Teta-Purne, 9 kms On foot
Follow the left
bank. Pass village Jal followed by steep descent towards a bridge which you cross to reach
Purne. Leave horses in Purne and climb into the splendid gorges of Tsarap river. About 2
hrs. trekking brings you to a ledge which leads to the small plateau on which the famous
Phulktul monastery is built. This gompa is "like a honey comb, cut into a rock under
a giant grotto..." The gompa was founded by Gangsam Sherap. In the caves over the
monastery there is a water hole Whose water level never changes. This gurgling Spring is
out of bounds to women. You may also see the stone tablet left by the Hungarian historian
Alexander Cosma de Koros who stayed at the gompa over the winter of t825-1826. The gompa
belongs to the Gelukpas, the yellow hats.
Purne-Ichar, 16 kms On foot
From Purne go back
down, cross the bridge and follow the left bank. The trail over hangs Tsarap and is hard
going. Leave behind the villages of Cha, Kaydang, Hamuni and Surle. Then cross a big
bridge to reach Ichar. Way to Ichar is difficult for trekkers and horses. Good campsite.
Ichar-Mune, 18 kms On foot
Gradually climb to
a major tributary. Descent down to Reru. From Reru the trail becomes rich in flowers upto
Mune. Camp opposite Mune gompa. One trek from this village leads to Pangi valley in
Mune-Padum, 14 kms On foot
From the gompa
climb down a steep incline to the main track. Two hrs. trek brings you to Bardan gompa a kagyud-pa
gompa famous for its 180 cm high mani prayer wheel. From this place a dusty motorable road
leads to Padum (3650 m)
Bardan gompa was founded by Shabdru, who also founded Hemis gompa in Ladakh and later went
to Bhutan. Padum is the administrative headquarters of Zangskar. Palace of the king of
Zangskar is in ruins destroyed by the Dogras