(Zanskar – Kulu Valley Trekking)
North of the Great Himalaya Range, amongst a tangled knot of jagged mountains, lies the once independent kingdom of Zanskar. Sandwiched between the Indus Valley and the main crest of the Indian Himalaya, this is a vast area what at over 3000 square miles, is larger then the Indian state of Sikkim. In its remote and inaccessible setting, well guarded by snowy mountain passes, Zanskar has kept alive an archaic form of Tibetan Buddhism which flourishes in a chain of far- flung monasteries, most of which occupy spectacular fortified locations, high on rocky ridges in isolated valleys. We start our trek from the alpine pastures of the Kulu Valley. We travel in easy stages to the rarely visited Chenab valley, just south of the main Himalayan barrier in the Tibetan Buddhist kingdom of Lahaul.
Our trek follows the old trade route by which our destination, Zanskar, was invaded by the forces of Zorawar Singh in the 19th century, the legendary, and challenging, Umasi La, and we have plenty of time to explore both the high pastures and the high glaciers leading to the pass, before trekking through the beautiful villages of Zanskar in all their summer splendor to our trek's end, the wild way out, the 5350m Phirtse La. These isolated valleys are linked across high passes by a number of long established pathways, which also give access to the many picturesque villages of the hardy and cheerful Zanskari people.
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