Lamayuru - Kanji - Rangdum

No of Days

01 - 06 Days

Higest Point

Kanji La Pass At 5150 Metres




lamayuru and rangdum monastries

The trek trails through remote gorges and over high passes. A trek that will take the intrepid trekker from the moonscapes of Lamayuru (3430m) to Rangdum (3980m). Lamayuru is a small village in Ladakh, on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Its claim to fame is the Moonlike landscapes which provides a stunning view to any traveller. A unique feature of this trek is the two famous monasteries situated at both the ends of this route. Perched atop an upcast landmass, the Lamayuru monastery offers a beautiful view of the Indus River that drains the valley. Rangdum on the other side of the trail is located in an isolate region of the Suru Valley. Its chief attraction is the 18th century monastery atop a central hillock, surrounded by vast meadows, running streams, colourful hills and glacier coated rocky mountains. The monastery stands guarded at the crossroads of the three valleys of Zanskar, Pir Panjal and Kargil flowing to meet at Rangdum.

Lamayuru - Kanji - Rangdum - Trip Detail
  • 01


    (3-4 hours, 10 km) Lamayuru (3430m) to Shila (3,200m)
    • A hot trail in summers, better to start early. As it is the first leg of the trek, an early morning start to the sound of birds chirping and temple bells ringing would greet your anticipation with sheer joy. The trail will first lead north for about 1km and to the east through prayer flags and small gorges to the Prinkiti La (3650m). Barren landscapes of the Zanskar Range offer you a mesmerizing view. At this point the trail leads you down through a narrow gorge to the confluence with the Shilakong Valley and then to Shila village (3200m). A further 1km descent would offer you the village and monastery of Wanla. Camp overnight just north of the bridge at an established campsite over the Wanlah River.

  • 02


    (5-6 hours, 15km) Shila to Shilakong(4030m)
    • Ascending the trail through the impressive Shila Gorge over the outer rim of the Zanskar Range, the trail will give you a sense of remoteness that is hard to equal on the second day out of any other trek in Ladakh. In places the sun only penetrates for a few hours each day. About 2km on the trail, hot springs with medicinal benefits of the waters greets you. Beyond, the trail enters a narrow gorge to river crossings. After 5km the gorge splits and lead the trail left towards north. Another 5km through silver birches, the gorge widens for the final ascent to the camp at Shilakong.

  • 03


    (31/2-41/2 hours, 9km) Shilakong to Kanji village(3790m) via Yogma La(4650m)
    • Crossing the side stream of the camp to a gradual ascent through scree slopes and tiny meadows, the trail leads to Yogma La (4650m). Fine views of the Zanskar Range together with a delightful descent to the outlying fields of Kanji village is a remarkable feature of the Yogma La, which provides a contrast to the confines of the Shila Gorge. From the pass the trail gradually descents across scant pastures of Kanji(3790m). The village of Kanji supports around 40 families. Solar panels and greenhouses dots most of the households. The campsite is about 500m above the village. Time from the pass to the village is about two to 21/2 hours.

  • 04


    (3 hours, 8km) Kanji Village to Base Kanji La(4200m)
    • Head up the main valley for 3km before crossing a bridge over the main stream. Continue for further 1km to a yak herders’ camp. Follow the main river course for a further 2km to a large open grazing area followed by a gorge on the north. Head up the gorge for 3km to the confluence of two tributaries. Follow the tributary on the left to a small, grassy campsite (4200m).

      But before that, it is a day to explore the village and its more remarkable gorges as well as visiting encampments where villagers tend to their yaks in summer.

  • 05


    (51/2-6 hours, 14km) Kanji La Base to camp via Kanji La (5150m)
    • The Kanji La is literally the highlight of the trek. The trail ascends a steep 300m to a prominent ridge top. Appreciate the route that winds up to the pass. The trail crosses a broad plateau for about 3km before a steep, tiring ascent. Time from the base camp to the Kanji La (5150m) is around three to 31/2 hours. From the pass the views stretch north-west as far as the East Karakoram. A short climb above the pass will afford views of the world’s second highest mountain of K2 and other 8000m peaks. Towards north the snow-capped Ladakh Rage provides an inspiring panorama while to the south are the countless rugged ridges and jagged peaks of the Zanskar Range. A long descent from the pass leads the trail to a narrow gorge which leads to a small campsite (4150m). The confluence of the Kanji stream and the larger river flowing from the east towards Rangdum makes your stay memorable.

  • 06


    (5 hours, 13km) Camp to Rangdum (3980m)
    • Crossing the main stream, a well-defined trail which also links Rangdum and Lingshed village, climbs up on the south side of the valley to quite a thrilling experience. Further 2km down to a side valley will provide you with good water and an alternative campsite. Continuing 5km to 6km down to the left, the snow-capped ridges of the Himalayan Range as well as Rangdum monastery could be seen in the distance. The trail descends to the main valley floor and continues down to the monastery and the Kargil to Padum road.

      The nearest settlements around Rangdum are Tashi Tuntse, about 2km to the south and Juldo, 5km to the north on the road leading to kargil. These villages consider themselves part of Zanskar.

      What could be a more fulfilling trek, where at both the ends you can take in the aura of ancient Buddhist culture soaked in serenity and tranquillity.

Lamayuru - Kanji - Rangdum - Photo Gallery
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