Indus Valley Trek in Ladakh
Location Covered :Leh - Likir - Yangthang - Hemis Shukpachan - Themisgam - Leh
Season :Mid June to Mid September
Grade :TM 3
2 hours: Our destination is Likir. The gompa was established around the 15th century and early in its history, became responsible for the oversight of Alchi gompa, to which it has posted lamas up to the present day. Likir belongs to the yellow-hat sect of Buddhism and currently houses about 120 lamas. It is set on an isolated ridge a few kilometers north of Saspol. The road approaching the gompa makes a wide semi-circle around its base, affording beautiful views of the gompa from different vantage points. Likir's head lama, a younger brother of the Dalai Lama, has married (against the rule of the sect) and is permanently absent from the gompa. Overnight camping.
Today we cross two small passes - Chhagatse la (3,600 m) and Phebbe la (3,580 m) to reach the campsite at Yangthang.
Rest day. Take a day trip to Rizong gompa (5 to 6 hours round-trip). The gompa is in a truly beautiful mountain setting. The path leads to the buildings of Chomoling, a nunnery set in the midst of a lovely apricot grove and part of the Rizong gompa. The area around Chomoling is called Julichen meaning many (chen) apricot trees (juli).
Chomoling itself does not have any temples as the chomos (nuns) worship at the temples in Rizong gompa. The chomos also work all the fields belonging to Rizong, take care of the animals and make the butter needed by the lamas both for their butter tea and for the butter lamps lit in the temples. The chomos believe that by selflessly serving others, instead of themselves, they are serving Buddhism. Keeping the nunnery's buildings on the left, walk on a clearly marked path for a few more minutes. At a fork marked by a tall prayer flag pole, turn left. Walk on this trail for about 30 minutes through arid gorges that produce a beautiful effect of solitude and serenity. After one last curve, Rizong gompa will suddenly appear, set between two barren rock walls. Rizong is a relatively new monastery, founded in 1829 by Tshul-khrims Nyi-ma and presently has about 30 lamas attached to it. It also has the reputation of being the best disciplined monastery in Ladakh. Return to the campsite at Yangthang for overnight stay.
We go over the Hemis La (3,650 m). Hemis Shukpachan is a beautiful village famous for its juniper trees. On the far east one can see the unclimbed Hemis peak, some 60 km as the crow flies. Two small passes - Aang La (3,650 m) and Meptak La (3,700 m) are also crossed. Overnight camping.
The trek ends at Themisgam. There is time to explore the palace and village. Overnight camping.
Vehicles await you here for the 100 km drive to Leh.