Before the advent of modern transportation there existed an ancient trekking route – over the high mountains of Spiti, over long glaciers, through wind eroded valleys, above vast eastern plains – which connected the people of Ladakh to the rest of the world.
Yak and camel caravans would walk over Green Meadows of Dumla, climb down the gorge of Kibber nala, up the scree slopes to the top of the pass where prayer flags carried chants to Gods, on the other side they slid down a long river of ice, snaked oneself through the wind carved valleys, crossed waist deep streams, to reach the vast and beautiful plains of Kiangdom on the banks of Tso Moriri.
Ladakhis would bring salt, wool, gemstones, etc and Spitians would exchange that with barley, peas, potatoes. This traditional trade post existed until the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
Let us take you back in time over this age old trade route; once the highway to Ladakh – Parang La Pass from Kibber to Korzok.
Day 1: Kaza to Kibber – Drive, Kibber to Dumla – 2hrs trek.
We pick you up from Kaza and drive to Kibber to start first day of trek. Today’s is an easy trek for 2hrs from Kibber to Dumla. The trails descends down to the Kibber Nala initially and then ascends gradually till we reach the meadows of Dumla. Relax and acclimatize, lazing near the stream for rest of the day.
Day 2: Dumla to Thaltak – 5hrs trek
Today we gain altitude and ascend to the campsite of Thalthak. The trail climbs up from the meadows of Dumla for 4-5 hrs and the descends to a small stream near the meadows. Enjoy the amazing views of Snow Leopard country with Mt. Kanamo (5970m) in the backdrop.
Day 3: Thaltak to Bongrogen – 7hrs trek
This is the toughest day of the trek. The trail descends all the way down to Parilungbi chu first. After crossing the river over footbridge it continues along the river for 2 kms till you reach Jagtha, from Jagtha it’s a continuous ascent till we reach Bongrogen, the base camp for Parang La. Relax at the basecamp and reflect on the big day that awaits you.
Day 4: Bongrogen to Dak Karzong via Parang La – 7-8hrs trek.
This is what you were dreaming about since you heard about Parang La. We rise early, after having breakfast we start towards Parang La by 5am. The trail ascends gradually and then as we reach closer to the ridge the trails zigzags its way up to Parang La, where the prayers flags carry the chants to Gods. On the other side along river of ice awaits. Click as many photos on top of the pass. We walk over the Parang Chu glacier for 3-4kms till we reach it snout. As accomplishment overwhelms you the trail flattens out and continues on the west bank of the Parang chu river till you reach the campsite of Dak Karzong
Day 5: Dak Karzong to Datang Yongma – 5hrs trek
The first of many river crossing awaits you after breakfast. The Parang chu increases its flow as the day gets sunnier. We cross the Parang chu river and walk along its right bank till we reach a green meadow amidst the dry landscape – Datang Yongma. You will cross several streams along the way.
Day 6: Datang Yongma to Norbu Sumdo – 6hrs trek
Another day of trek where you walk in the wide valley of Parang chu. Walking on dry river beds and crossing several glacial streams in this region is one thing you’ll remember avidly from this trek. The trek continues till you reach Norbu Sumdo, Sumdo meaning junction of 3 trails – one from Spiti, one from Chumur, one from Ladakh.
Day 7: Norbu Sumdo to Kiangdom – 6hrs trek
The last and the biggest of the river crossings lies ahead of you. We cross the Parang Chu river for last time during this trek. Watch out for the mules crossing the river and use your camera to capture this amazing bond between, mules and mountains. The trail ascends to the left side as you leave the river and continue towards Changthang. Watch out for the ancient dilapidated post office building. The trail is flat from here all the way till Tso Moriri, stop for lunch at Chumik Shilde and continue ahead. Look for numerous Marmots peeking from their burrows, wild ass gallopping on marshes and may be a wolf. The vast plains of Kiangom lay bare constrasting its color with the lake in front of you. You will see the campsite and as you keep moving you’ll understand the deception that these mountains have for you.
Day 8: Kiangdom to Korzok – 7hrs trek
Last day of trek, but not the least. A long day of trek for 24 kms is what takes you to Korzok from where we can head to Leh. The trail though is no ordinary, as you walk along the shores of the Tso Moriri throughout the day, you see the lake changing its colors as move from one step to another. You’ll camp at Korzok for the night.
Day 9: Korzok to Leh – 8hrs Drive
Wake up early, your cab will be ready in morning to leave to Leh, where after a long trek you can enjoy some continental food, beer and warm weather.
6. Mules/Donkeys to carry rucksack – 15Kg per person