Padum – Phukthal - Stongde

No of Days

6 Days

Higest Point

Stongde La (5178m)




Phukthal Monastery, Number Of Small Valleys And Hamlets Stongde La, Stongde Monastery

An interesting trek that will first take you through beautiful villages and monasteries and then a dramatic river gorge, as well as a wild uninhabited valley. You will have the taste of remote high mountain trails of Ladakh.

The trek consists of two parts. The first part of the trek is easy. You will pass villages frequently. Phukthal Monastery is the highlight of this part. On the second part of the trek, the terrain will become relatively difficult and crosses a high pass of ‘Stongde La’ towards the end of the trek.

Padum – Phukthal - Stongde - Trip Detail
  • 01


    (5 hours, 38km) Padum (3669m) to cha (5800m)
    • The route for the first day is nowadays a paved road. It is undertaken by car from Padum to Purne. In between you will have the opportunity to visit the two prominent monasteries of Zanskar. Bardan Monastery is a 17th century Buddhist monastery of the Dugpa-Kargyud order of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the first monasteries of this sect to be established in Zanskar. It is 12km down south from Padum. Further 3 km lies the Mune Monastery. It is affiliated to the Gelugpa order. After visiting these monasteries, you will reach Purne. From here the road ends and the trail crosses a bridge to reach to a beautiful village of Cha.

  • 02


    (4-5 hours, 8km) Cha to Phugtal (3950m)
    • From Cha, the trail first leads along the south bank of the Tsarap Chu (also called Lungnak River). After a bridge crossing and continuing for few minutes along the north bank, the dazzling image of Phugtal Monastery greets your eyes to sheer amazement.

      The sight of the Phugtal Monastery never fails to impress any visitors. You will see a large cave above the Monastery, where holy men found it to be a perfect setting for meditation and spirtitual knowledge. It is one of the only Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh that can still be reached only by foot. The Hungarian historian Csoma de Koros stayed here over the winter of 1825-26 and translated the Buddhist texts from Ladakhi into English. Inside the Monastery is an inscription dedicated to him. The day ends here. There is a well-appointed campsite (3900m) just below the monastery.

  • 03


    (5 hours, 8km) Phugtal to Thangstak (4100m)
    • From Phugtal Monastery, follow the path which is well marked but sometimes precarious. Crossing a small pass and then going down, continue the trail along the bank of the Tsarap Chu until you come to a side stream. At times the trail is precarious and elevated. Follow the trail along the southwest bank of the side stream until you reach Thangstak Monastery. Overnight stay at Thangstak.

  • 04


    (6 hours 15km) Thangstak to Shadey sumdo (4050m)
    • This stage is quite easy. You will have to continue the trail up and down the valleys and gorges. Going to the valley floor, the valley narrows and you will reach three stupas that marks the entrance to the village. Visit the village of Shadey and camp overnight for good acclimatization before the challenging ascend to Stongde La pass.

  • 05


    (7 hours, 12km) Shadey Sumdo to Doksa (4390m)
    • Stongde La which is the next highlight of the trek is about 5 hours from Doksa. The trail crosses several streams and slowly ascends to Stongde La. Upon reaching the pass, the challenges that you have been facing is compensated by the overwhelming views over the Zanskar and the Ladakh ranges. After having a good rest, start the trail down which is easy. You will come across pasturelands and the trail heads down to Stongde Monastery perched above the main Zanskar Valley. Views from the monastery are quite impressive. Camp overnight at the village of Stongde.

  • 06


    Day (7 hours, 12km) Doksa to Stongde (3450m) via Stongde La Pass (5140m)
    • From here the trail becomes quite challenging. The trail ascends along both the sides of the stream. So expect some river crossings. You will have to be mentally prepared and start the trail early in the morning before the water level in the stream rises after 12 pm. The first section of the trail crosses steep slopes and passes through a gorge. The trail continues along the river as it climbs the slopes of the valley, until finally dropping to the valley floor. Continuing further for 3 hours, you will reach Doksa. The villagers from Stongde have their summer encampments here where they tend to their animals. There are number of good campsites.

Important Things You must know before the starts of the Trek

  • You must be well acclimatized before the start of the trek. As starting trek, without taking precaution leads to untoward incident.
  • You must bring warm clothes, good trekking shoes, Slipper for river crossing, Walking stick.
  • Sun cream is very important to protect your skin.
  • Sun glasses
  • Water bottle and water filter.

How is a usual day of Trekking?

Early in the morning you are serve bed tea in the tent with morning wishes. After bed tea, you start packing up your things. Breakfast is served in the dining tent. After breakfast, you are ready for the day. Guide walks with you but before living make sure your bag contains all the important things you need during the day like Camera, sun cream, water bottle, lunch box etc. You carry a light backpack containing all these important things required during the day and the other things come of the horse back. At noon, you stop for lunch at a nice location, and have some rest. Trek continues, and the horseman and kitchen staff leads you on the way. Before your arrival at the camp, our team would be ready tent and tea, juice and light snacks to refresh your tiredness. After the arrival at campsite, you can enjoy your leisure in your own way. The dinner is served around 7 in the evening. Post dinner, our guide brief you about the next day and decides the timing for next day with your insights and suggestions.

The food menu in breakfast, lunch and dinner keep switching from Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Ladakhi, Continental, and Italian.

Padum – Phukthal - Stongde - Photo Gallery
We introduce different expeditions for the all kind of tourists depending on the time, budget and interest of guests We offer a...

Copyright © 2017 - zanskarkanishkaexpeditions - All rights reserved.

Developed By Aj Infotek