Three-week experiential journey to Little Tibet
Starting point of our journey is Leh in Northern India, a town in 3 500 meters above the sea level in the Indus valley. Having flown into Leh, we will ensure proper acclimation to the altitude and local culture. Then we will set of for a Journey across the Mountains. We will discover many magical places of Zanskar Range that belongs to Himalayas, experience Tibetan community, Buddhist temples or taste meals cooked on fire fueled with yak feces.
We are also going to visit several educational missions, e.g. school in the town of Mulbek or Sun School in Kargyak, where we learn more about the specifics of education, community life we can also offer helping hands.
We are going to travel on foot, horse, with local buses and
jeeps. Enjoy encounters with Tibetans, pure nature, vast mountains and
ourselves. Visit energetically strong places that invite for meditation,
wilderness and adventure.
Zanskar Trek is a popular trek in the remote area of northern India. There is only one route connecting Padum, Zanskar administration center, and Darcha, village in Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. We will trek through several picturesque Buddhist villages up to the Phugtal gompa. This most isolated Zanskar monastery is also the highlight of the trek. We will also visit the Sun School in Kargyak set up by a Czech NGO and where I spent 6 months as a teacher and temporary director. We are going meet the community, who will be busy with their harvest by the time of our visit, and we will have a unique opportunity to help with their effort and gain firsthand experience of life in Zanskar as it will be preparing for the next tough winter.
The trek will lead us through stony dusty paths used by locals and their animals, there is no need to be concerned of technically demanding passages. We will walk 10-18 kms per day, 4-8 hours (incl. breaks) with a small backpack. The most demanding part is reaching Shingo La pass, 5 090 m above sea level, with harsh conditions not only due to the elevation, but also proximity to glaciers. However difficult, the view of surrounding mountain tops is worth the effort! Shingo La pass is a natural boundary between Zanskar and Himachal Pradesh and we are most likely going to enjoy the first snow here!
We need to be mindful of the high altitude and thin air, which causes breathing difficulties until the body gets accustomed to it, but we are going to carefully acclimatize to the conditions to minimize their effect. We will learn respiratory, meditation and yoga techniques to increase our resistance. While trekking, we are going to be supported by horses to carry our baggage and food and if needed also ourselves. Nevertheless, be prepared for lower trekking speed adjusted to the conditions. In several places, we are going to cross waters of streams, hence it is recommended to have spare sandal shoes.
Required trekking equipment includes: hiking boots, tent (one for two persons), clothing protecting from strong sun as well as cold since temperatures vary between 0-30 degree Celsius. Details of the equipment are available in Member Area of this website.
The journey is
appropriate for anyone with mind and heart open to new experiences and
cultures. Basic experience with mountains and good physical condition are a
plus. However, the main components of a joyful journey are humility to the
mountains and openness to the group.
The group size is 6-9 persons with respect to the safety in the mountains and affordable costs. In case the group is smaller, the journey will be cancelled.
Group language is going to be English.
You will be guided by myself, Stepan Pastula, and during the trek also by local guide with horses.
will meet once before the journey to get to know each other, share our
expectations, experience and check readiness to travel. There will be also connection between us by Skype calls or other communication channels just to support you before our trips and offer some recommendation (gear, mental and physical preparation) and support with necessary steps to get there (Indian visa, fly ticket).
Together we are about to visit powerful places, share our experience from
the journey, sing mantras and read stories of the Himalayas.
Final date depends on availability of flight tickets. Targeted dates are September 1st - 21st, 2018.
Day 1: Arrival to Leh (3 480 m above sea level). Accommodation, acclimation, visit of an oxygen bar, evening info session about Himalaya, altitude sickness, culture, daily life and religion.
Day 2: Acclimation continued, Short walks in the areas, visiting local monastery, Leh palace and meditation center. Morning yoga.
Day 3: We take bus direction Kargil (2 075 m above sea level). On the way we will see in monasteries Alchi and Lamayuru, and visit a cave of important Buddhist spiritual leader Milarepa, which has become a place of pilgrimage. We are going to visit a Czech school in Mulbek, where we stay overnight.
Day 4: Walk around Mulbek will lead us to a mountain meditation cave and a hidden montastery.
Day 5: Bus to Padum (3 550 m above sea level), the administration center of Zanskar.
Day 6: Trip in Padum area to monasteries Karsha, Shila and Stongde.
Day 7: Journey to Ichar, starting point of our trek.
Day 8: Trekking from Ichar to Cha. Camping in the tents.
Day 9: Trekking from Cha to Phugthal Gompa (3890 m above sea level). In Phugtal Gompa we will stay with the monks through the day, sleep in the monastery overnight and also visit the morning puja ceremony.
Day 10: Trekking from Phugthal to Yal.
Day 11: Trekking from Yal toTantse.
Day 12: Trekking from Tantse to Kargyak (4100 m above sea level). In Kargyak village we will stay in homestays with local families and visit Sun School.
Day 13: We will take a rest day in Kargyak. You can spend it helping the school, playing with children or helping the locals with their harvest.
This place is very close to me as I have already spent more than year in this area. Only half year of teaching at local school changed my life forever. Just imagine: no electricity, no phone singal, no internet, no news, being completely disconnected! A paradise... or hell, it is up to you to decide.
Day 14: Trekking from Kargyak to Lakang. 4500 (m above sea level)
Day 15: Trekking from Lakang to Zanskar Sumdo. Crossing pass 5100 (m above sea level)
Day 16: Trekking from Zanskar Sumdo to Darcha 3350 (m above sea level).
Day 17: Taking a bus from Darcha to Leh.
Day 18: Rest day in Leh. Shop for souvenirs, visit places that you have not yet visited.
Day 19: Pangong Lake
Day 20: Pangong Lake
from Leh in the morning hours.
Total estimated price: 1 700 - 2 000 EUR (depending on the flight costs)
Get the budget for this journey
Further information: please contact me directly by e-mail.
Application period: closes on May 30 th, 2018