Zanskar, the major river of Leh Ladakh is popularly known for both trekking in winters and rafting in the summers. In the winters, you can experience the joy of trekking on the frozen river Zanskar, which is full of excitement and challenges. While in summers, this river is mighty and perfect for rafting. The place offers you the ultimate enjoyment each moment that you spend there.
All set for a complete experience that fills you with confidence and built to face the might, the place has plethora of offerings. The peace of monasteries, strength to endure the physical strain of rafting, pleasure of seeing natural beauty in real, the serenity of mother earth, happiness to be surrounded by peaks and meadows, love for nature is something you cannot miss up on.
The valley of Zanskar is located at a height of approximately 12000 feet above sea level. You can see Zanskar (originally known as Tsarap or Tsarap Chu, where Zanskar river is the combination of the two rivers The Tsarap River and the Stod River) originating from Sarchu Plateau (border of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh) flowing through it. If you are adventurous and enthusiastic enough to take on the rapids then allow us to tell you, river rafting on Zanskar is also famous for scale grade 3 and 4 rapids.
In addition to this, Canyon of Asia or the Zanskar Canyon is one spot for you to explore. It is truly breathtaking and beyond one’s imagination.
Time Duration: The total time duration in which you would be able to complete your river rafting is approximately 11 nights and 12 days.
Best time for rafting expedition: Starting from July till September end
Time as we raft and explore – Days covered in points:
You will reach the Leh Airport covering an hour long journey from a flight (from New Delhi) getting an airplane view of the beautiful Himalayas and Mount Karakoram ranges. It would be far more worth the time you invest in taking an hour longer to arrive in Leh. As you reach there, you need to acclimatize for rafting in Leh.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh (historic kingdom), you would always want to get lost somewhere in this extremely beautiful labyrinth. Get familiar with the rich culture, the quaint market and the winding streets. You will also come across the shops lined in a row and located on the main street that is airy and open. On your second day, you may visit places such as Shanti Stupa, the Leh Mosque and the Leh Palace.
Spend a day in Leh visiting other sites, such as – Shey, Thiksey, Stok and Hemis monasteries. Spend overnight at the hotel.
Following morning, drive from Leh to Kargil, which is at a distance of 180 kms taking almost 8-9 hours to reach Kargil. Here you will enjoy the views of spectacular moonscape. Drive to Kargil over the high mountain pass of the Fotu La, en route exit to the valley of Indus and enter the Suru Valley. On your way, experience the serenity of Redzong and Lamayuru monasteries. For continuing your journey, one requires to pack the meal. Dinner would be arranged at the hotel where you will stay overnight.
On day five, you will drive to Rangdum from Kargil (i.e. at a height of 1200 ft taking a total of approximately 8 hours to reach), past Panikar and Parkachik. Enroute witness the breathtaking heights and utter beauty of massifs of Nun and Kun (Approximately 7000 meters). On the way, you will also experience the beauty of flowery, lush green meadows and glaciers. You will camp here overnight.
On the sixth day, you will drive from Rangdum to Remla that is at a distance of 95 kms and will take 6 hours to reach. On the way, one will drive over the Pensi La situated at a height of 14, 500 ft. This has enabled the stunning views of peaks of Zanskar at the bottom where you will find the Drung Durung glacier, source of Zanskar river that flows 40 km below the glacier. On day seven, you will raft in Zanskar. For stay, camp overnight.
Today you would initiate your rafting expedition from Remla to Kersha Gompa that is situated near Padum. In the time frame of five hours, you raft 30kms and that includes your lunch and hot beverages as well. In Kersha Gompa, you will be surrounded by high peaks as high as 6000 meters. You will get through Grade 2 rapids and that is good for novices to understand the river well. In the noon, camp for further hiking to Karsha Gompa for enjoying your evening.
You will initiate your raft in the late morning from Karsha to Pidmu that is 30 km and in between you will find grade 2 and 3 rapids. By the mid afternoon, camp nearby the villages of Hanomil and Pidmu.
From Pidmu, you will raft 20 km to Nyerak for experiencing Grade 3 rapids. With your rapid move, you will see the gorge narrowing and that is the Grand Canyon of Asia. Below the Nyerak village, you can camp overnight.
This would be so far the second longest rafting section in your rafting journey i.e. 35kms from Nyerak to Lamayuru. In this section, you pass through Zanskar's core. You will see continuous rapids of grade 3 and a few grade 4 rapids. Grade 4 rapids will occur when the river is squeezed between the 18ft gap. You take lunch near the confluence of Zanskar and the Markha river where you will see a huge waterfall. Your trip would be more interesting as you see spires, rocks, and palette of colors. Camp here overnight.
Now comes the longest raft you do in Zanskar on the last day of your rafting expedition where you raft 40 km in the rapids of grade 3 and 4 from Lamayuru to Nimmu today. Your trip ends at Nimmu and on your way back to Leh that is at a distance of 60 km, you visit Alchi monastery. Stay overnight here in the hotel.
Fly back to Delhi
It will surely be unforgettable trip of 12 days, a trip that challenges your spirit of rafting. Be here, to experience it!