“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ― David McCullough Jr. And if you are searching for a slice of the world to hold in your eyes, then Ladakh is where you ought to head. What is it about Ladakh that made it such a dreamy destination for so many years at a stretch? Year after year throngs of tourists’ head to one of India’s premier mountain destination. If you are looking to experience Ladakh for yourself but in the mood for something a little more adventurous and with a little less crowd, then how about a trek? Explore Ladakh by letting your wanderer’s soul wander about on foot in Digar La.
How to reach: You can fly down to Leh directly but there are limited flights and they are also on the more expensive side. So, you can as an alternative fly down to Srinagar and then travel by road to Leh. Keep an extra day in hand for this. From Leh travel by road till Saboo village where your trek shall commence.
Best time to trek/visit: April to June
Duration: 5 – 6 days
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trek route: The route will of course depend on what you decide with your local trekking guide, but possible options include:
- Saboo – Digar La Base – Digar La – Chumik Yokma – Digar – Rongjok – Khalsar
And if you have more days in hand, you can conclude your trek and then travel by road to explore Hunder, Wari La, Chang La and Pangong Tso. If you’re going to Ladakh, you may as well see more and more of it!
Click here to read about Vasuki Tal Trek in Uttarakhand!
Day 1: Saboo – Digar La Base
Altitude – 4,200 m
Approximate Distance – 15kms drive, 5 kms trek
Your trek starts off with an easy beginning. In the village of Saboo you can witness the lives of the locals living at this altitude. As you slowly proceed above you will begin to see the magnificent Stok range. Stok Kangri has become one of India’s most popular mountains which has now fortunately been put under restriction by the government for reviving it. But don’t be bummed about missing out on Stok as on the day when you trek from Saboo to Digar La Base, you will catch glimpses of the mountain range. Rugged peaks with sprinkled snow on top, now that’s the view one wants as they walk further and further up! Adding to this are the pika, marmots and migratory birds who welcome you as you kickstart the trek. Your day concludes by reaching a point where you can see the confluence point of two valleys.
Day 2: Digar La Base – Digar La – Chumik Yokma
Altitude – Digar La (5432 m), Chumik Yokma (4650 m)
Approximate Distance – 12kms
It is a steep climb today, so get ready to dig your shoes and your heart deep! And every point where the climb starts to feel tiresome, remember that day 2 gives you the chance to witness not just the Stok Kangri range but also Saser Kangri and Karakoram ranges. At the height of Digar La take in all the might and magic of the mountains surrounding you. And if lady luck is in your day’s weather forecast, you may even spot a snow leopard or Tibetan wolves! When you start to descend you will pass through big fields overlooking those peaks.
Day 3: Chumik Yokma – Digar
Altitude – 3,950 m
Approximate Distance – 7kms
This offbeat trek rewards you as you get an immersive Ladakhi experience. On day 3 you will be trekking down the rocky terrain for a rich scenic experience. And as you approach Digar, you cross a stream or two. Tell me who’s got the itch to dip their feet? No no, we aren’t talking about just any steams after all. We are talking about chilly streams at this altitude! But hey what’s an adventure without doing something crazy? It isn’t just about visiting Ladakh, it’s also about what you do in Ladakh whether you dance in the middle of a trek, sing amidst the stargazing nights or let your silly side slide in some serene streams.
Day 4: Digar – Rongjok
Altitude – 3,150 m
Approximate Distance – 15.2kms
While this is the longest distance you will be walking up until now in this trek, you shall find your pace by this point. You will be walking through an open area in the Shyok Valley. With the mountains on one slide, the clouds above making a picture amongst themselves and then, best of all there’s the Shyok river flowing below. A tributary of the Indus river, this one actually originates from the Rimo glaciers. Let the sound of the roaring river be the rhythm to which you walk. And at night, try your luck at stargazing. You are in Ladakh, it is one of the best places ever to do some stargazing! They say that the regions around Nubra have an incredible number of shooting stars too. So, who’s in the mood for a starry night? ?
Day 5: Rongjok – Khalsar
Altitude – 3,150 m
Approximate Distance – 15.4kms
From the Shyok Valley perched eastwards, the end of your trek has you moving towards the pretty village by the name of Khalsar. The village is reached by the Leh-Pranamik road. The village rests in humble conditions but that doesn’t lessen the smiles of the villagers inhabiting it. There are prayer flags strewn about which flutter in the wind every other minute. Interact with the locals, look around at the view enveloped within the hills. Warm your palms and yourself at the bonfire, rest your tired feet but smile wide as you look at all the pictures you took, remembering the memories you made.
From Khalsar, the next day you can drive down to Leh if you wish to return. In case you are looking to explore other places in Ladakh, you can hire a taxi accordingly.
Click here to read about Satopanth Lake in Uttarakhand!