Planet Way Round

Zanskar Extreme Rafting

 
Class: Grade III & IV
 
Best Season: August and September

Trip highlights

The magnificent Zanskar Gorge
7-days rafting expedition
Houseboat stay in Srinagar
Monastery visits
Sightseeing and Shopping in Leh
 
Introduction

The Zanskar Rafting Expedition takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscape on the planet as it starts from Srinagar and finishes in Leh (with a lot of road and river adventure in between), from the green hills of Kashmir, high up through the rocky terrain of the forbidden kingdom of Zanskar, rafting down three high altitude rivers of Stod, Zanskar and Indus, and landing up in the ancient Ladakhi capital of Leh.
 
Starting with a fairy-tale like overnight stay on a Srinagar houseboat, we take to the road for three days. With packed equipment in the rafts at Remala we head off on to the most exciting part of the trip. For the next seven days we are on the river, negotiating rapids up to grade IV and camping on small riverside campsites in the Zanskar gorge until finally reaching Nimmu, the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers before driving to Leh, the magnificent capital of Ladakh.
 
All are guides are fully certified with years of experience under their belt, and food is prepared by our tried and trusted expert camp chefs who can rustle up a tasty feast even in the isolated wilderness of Zanskar.
 
Location Chart

Delhi/Mumbai – Srinagar – Kargil – Rangdum – Remala – Karsha – Pidmu – Nyerak – Lamaguru – Nimmu – Alchi – Leh – Delhi/Mumbai
 
  • Itinerary

    Day01: Fly from Delhi/Mumbai to Srinagar. Overnight stay at a houseboat.

    After reaching Srinagar, we shall spend a night in a deluxe houseboat on Dal Lake. Over a sumptuous dinner and a few drinks you get to meet your fellow expedition members, and we brief you on what to expect from the upcoming adventure. Overnight stay in a deluxe houseboat
     
    Day02: Drive from Srinagar to Kargil (10050ft), 220km, 6 hours. Overnight stay at a guest house.
     
    Today is the first leg of the drive to our rafting departure point, where we drive 220 km. On the way you will pass through the alpine village of Sonamarg, the snow bound pass of Zoji La and the coldest inhabited place on earth – Drass. Arrive at the frontier town of Kargil where we check into a small but very comfortable guest house for the night. Overnight stay at a guest house. 
     
    Day03: Drive from Kargil to Rangdum(12,000ft), 105km, 5-6 hours. 
     
    Today we leave the Srinagar Leh highway behind us and enter in to the heart of Zanskar: a spectacular drive past Panikar and Parkachik, with magnificent views of the Nun and Kun massifs (7000m), hanging glaciers and sprawling meadows. We stop to make camp in the lush green meadows near the Rangdum monastery for our first night in tents. Overnight stay in tented camp.
     
    Day04: Drive from Rangdum to Remala(11,925ft), 95km, 5 hours.
    We drive over the Pensi La which, at 14,500ft is the highest altitude we will reach on the expedition. The pass offers spectacular views of the Zanskar peaks, at the bottom of which lies the Drung Durung glacier that feeds the Stod and Zanskar rivers. We set up camp at Remala, which is the start point of our rafting expedition. Overnight stay in tented camp.
     Day05: Rafting from Remala to Karsha(11,466ft), 40km, 5 hours
     
    After breakfast we gather around for a detailed safety briefing after which we pack up the camp and load up the rafts. We raft approximately 40km in 5 hrs, including a break by the riverside for lunch and a hot drink. Today’s rafting section is a scenic run down the Stod River surrounded by 6000m high peaks and the stark barren landscapes that make Ladakh so unique. The stretch includes a Class II section providing an ideal training ground for first time rafters. The rafting finishes at Karsha early in the afternoon so that we can hike to the ancient Karsha monastery near Padum, the capital of Zanskar, after which we return to camp for a hot dinner and campfire. Overnight stay in camp.
     
    Day06: Rafting from Karsha to Pidmu(11,000ft), 30km, 4 hours
     
    Breakfast is followed by a scenic rafting run down from Karsha to the small hamlet of Pidmu, getting into camp by mid-afternoon. In the early evening we trek to the nearby villages of Pidmu or Hanumil, before returning to camp for dinner and overnight in camp.
     
    Day07: Resting day in Pidmu
     
    Following the non-stop action of the past week, we take this day off for rest and relaxation, for interacting with the local people in Pidmu hamlet and for short treks around the area. Alternatively we can even raft a short distance to the village of Honyo and set up camp over there for the night and take a short trek up and down the Honyo gorge. Overnight stay in camp.
     
    Day08: Rafting from Pidmu to Neyrak(10,780ft), 20 km, 4 hours
     
    Revitalised after the rest day at Pidmu, today is an action packed day with a series of grade III rapids. The river takes on a different beauty with the walls narrowing in with towering rock screes on each side, because of which the Zanskar Gorge is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of India”. We stop for the day to pitch camp in a small field below Nyerak village, before walking up to the village and enjoy local hospitality in Ladakhi homes. Today is a good opportunity to buy local hand woven Tibetan rugs and pullovers. Overnight stay in camp.
     
    Day09: Rafting from Neyrak to Lamaguru(10,530ft), 35km, 5 hours
     
    Each day gets more exciting than the last. Today we raft through a series of Class III and a few Class IV rapids. Rafting through the heart of Zanskar, several sections offer non-stop action with continuous rapids, and at one point the entire river squeezes through a gap of 16 feet.Our lunch stop today will be at the base of a breathtaking waterfall that surprisingly gushes out of a small hole in a cliff. The brave-hearted can enjoy a shower below the cold waterfall. Raft another couple of hours to the confluence of the Markha and Zanskar rivers where we will set up camp for the night. Overnight stay in camp.
     
    Day10: Rafting from Lamaguru to Nimmu(10,375ft), 40km, 4 hours
     
    Another exciting day of white water rafting on the river, covering 40 km of grade III rapids. Today you will see the Zanskar gorge gradually open up with more and more villages and hamlets on either side. We will set up camp on a small beach just before the confluence of the Zankar and Indus rivers at Nimmu. Overnight stay in camp.
     
    Day11: Rafting to Saspol, 2 km, 3 hours. Drive to Leh via Alchi. Overnight in hotel.
     
    Today you raft on the Indus and run parallel to the famous Leh – Kargil highway. After a short but exciting rafting session to Saspol (after here, the Indus cuts into another gorge and drops into Pakistan), we bid farewell to our rafts and river guides. We now drive for a short distance (7km) to the village and monastery of Alchi and then return to Saspol to drive 60 km to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Overnight stay in a hotel.
     
    Day12: Shopping and sightseeing in Leh. Overnight in hotel
     
    Our return to civilization is a return to the friendly and charming civilization of Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. There is plenty of time to visit nearby monasteries as well as do some last minute shopping. Leh was at one time was a major stop on the Asian “Silk Route”. A stroll along the main bazaar, observing the varied crowd and peering into the curio shops, is an entrancing experience. Chang Gali, behind the main bazaar is less bustling but has intriguing little shops selling curios and jewellery like pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, lapis and many other kinds of semi-precious stones, as well as curiously carved Yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls etc. Overnight stay in a hotel.
     
    Day13: Fly from Leh to Delhi/Mumbai
     
    After breakfast drive to airport on time to connect flight for onward destination.
  • Package

    Costs

    Price per person– INR67, 400/- (Booking)
     
    Price includes
    • Local transportation
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on each day
    • Rafting equipment: rafts, wetsuits, life jackets, helmets, dry bags
    • Camping equipment: tents, camping mats
    • Group escort, guides and safety kayakers
    • Accommodation on twin share basis in tents, guest house or hotel as per itinerary
     
    Price does not include:
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Expenses arising from unexpected fuel hikes, and other situations beyond our control such as landslides etc.
    • Medical or travel insurance
    • Costs towards evacuation of customers for medical or any other reason
    • Airfare from Leh to Delhi/Mumbai
    • Airfare from Delhi/Mumbai to Srinagar
    Transport

    Transport from Srinagar to Remala and from Saspol to Leh, will be either in jeeps or coach.
     
    Equipment

    Our tents are high comfortable and quality imported weather-proof expedition tents. You will also be provided with your own camping mat and you may prefer to bring your own sleeping bag, although we can also arrange sleeping bags for you on prior request. On the river you will have dry bags, which are attached to the rear of the raft, in which to keep your luggage. All expedition members are equipped with wetsuit, life jacket and helmet.
     
    Expedition Staff

    Your escort stays with you during the whole trip from take-off to landing from your city of departure. There is one rafting guide for each raft, and we also have expedition safety kayakers at a ratio of one safety kayaker for every client raft. It is said that nobody loses weight during the trip thanks to our expedition cooks are there to make sure of that.
     
    The River

    The icy Zanskar River originates from the high altitude plateau of Sarchu on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Originally known as the Tsarap, the river gorges a path out of the rocky mountains of western Himalayas, dropping in a continuous torrent of grade V rapids. The river then eases into the forbidden Kingdom of Zanskar and slowly flows past the capital at Padum. Here it joins with the Stod River which flows down from the Pensi La pass on the road from Kargil to Padum. It is from this confluence of the Tsarap and Stod rivers that the mighty Zanskar takes birth. This expedition starts on the Stod river and moves in to the Zanskar Gorge. The river expedition takes you through one of the most breathtaking gorges in Asia. The stark, barren and rocky massifs are interspersed with colourful bands of mineral deposits, which run through entire mountainsides giving it a picture book finish. The waters of Zanskar are cold at 6 – 7 degrees Celsius, making wet suits mandatory. A series of grade III and IV rapids make the Zanskar an ideal way to explore this river.
     
    Medical

    Flying into Srinagar means that, unlike expeditions starting from Leh, we do not have to spend the first couple of days inactive acclimatising to the high altitude, as the climb to the rafting departure point is more gradual. It is recommended, however, that you do take it easy for the first few days at high altitude. If you suffer from any medical condition you must notify us well in advance of your departure.
     
    What to Pack

    Please note that on the rafts we will be wearing wetsuits. You will only need other clothes for the 6 days we are not rafting, as well as something to change into at the camp.
     
    -Sweater/pullover, t-shirts, comfortable trousers/track pants
    -Thermal underwear and woollen or cotton socks
    -1 pair walking boots/trainers and 1 pair any closed shoes/trainers for rafting
    -Good water resistant jacket
    -Ski hat and gloves
    -Sunglasses and cap/brimmed hat
    -Sunblock and lip balm
    -Toiletries
    -Water bottle
    -Flash Light
    -Camera
    -Small Daypack
     
    Please carry only soft bags, not hard suitcases.
  • Contact US

    HIG 4 Housing Board Colony Nahan
    Contact
    Rahul Chauhan / Mat +91-9896165335
    +91-9466175335
    Ricky Singh / RICK +91-9781336000
    Mr Vivek / Vic +91-9872020056