Visit the oldest hamlet of Zanskar Valley

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11 days
Min Age : 12
Max People : 20

Visit the pristine and beautiful hamlet Marling, a hidden gem of Zanskar valley of Ladakh.

Why this experience is unique?

  • Most scenic drive through Zanskar Valley
  • Visiting medieval heritage
  • Hike to the oldest village
  • Stay with locals
Experience Details

Take yourself somewhere in the mountains – where water flows freely, where the birds sing the songs of freedom and caged around mountains doesn’t advertise captivity. Smelling the wild dandelions connecting to the earth, find yourself close to the nature. Meet the home away from home, families unknown yet seemingly known.

Marling a Hamlet of some 8 families, is one of the many small hamlets scattered over the diverse valley of Lungnak region of Zanskar. this small village standout from the rest, as this village is the first village which makes it literally the oldest village of Zanskar. The first inhabitants of Zanskar are believed to have settled here, The place which the nomads choose to settle.

The journey you will be taking
Exploring main towns: Day 1 – Day 3
  • Arrive in Leh and acclimatize
  • Know Leh town’s history, geology and local culture
  • Drive via Moonland and 10th century old monastery

Day 1Acclimatization in Leh

You will be picked up at the airport to take you to the hotel, where you can just relax and take it slow for better high altitude acclimatization. No activities for today are necessary for the adjustment to the thin air. Take a stroll to the local market in the evening if you like to. Overnight stay at your hotel in Leh.

Day 2Sight seeing around Leh

Today we will explore some of the monasteries around Leh. After breakfast ride for 15 km, visit the monastery and palace of Shey. A gilded copper statue of Shakyamuni Buddha here is a must-see. Later we’ll visit the Potala palace – resembling monastery of Thiksey, Hemis Monastery – the largest monastery of Ladakh. The museum here walks you through the history of Ladakh’s Buddhism.

Day 3Leh to Kargil

Post breakfast, drive to Kargil via Lamayuru. On the way, we visit the 10th century built Alchi Monastery to see the ancient Gandhara arts statues and wall paintings. Continuing the journey, we visit the dramatically located Lamayuru monastery and the adjoining “Moonland” hills. After a drive of 5-6 hours, we’ll reach Kargil city. Stay overnight at the Hotel.

Begin the scenic journey: Day 4 – Day 6
  • Long drive through high passes and glaciers
  • Spend a day in spiritually rich town – Padum
  • Explore Tibetan art and architecture

Day 4Kargil to Padum

Today we embark on our journey to the Zanskar valley. We ride through the scenic roads of Suru Valley. The valley very well symbolizes the beauty of the mountains. We pass by Penzi La, the gateway to Zanskar. On our way, the Drang Drung Glacier greets us to the eastern flank of Penzi La. We reach Padum after a long journey. The town holds a good amount of population in so much seclusion too.

Day 5Sight seeing around Padum

Padum, named after the Great Odiyana Padmasambhava is the only town and administrative center in Zanskar. Several notable Buddhist monasteries are located near Padum including Bardan Monastery and Karsha Monastery and the newly built Dalai Lama Photang. We will be exploring this spiritually rich town that is on the verge of being a big town.

Journey to the remotest village: Day 7 – Day 9
  • Hike to the oldest village of Zanskar Valley
  • Explore the village and have local delicacies
  • Live a local life for a day

Day 6Padum to Anmu

From Padum we’ll drive alongside Tsarap River to reach village Anmu. We’ll halt at Barden monastery by the road to take a visit and watch some beautiful Tibetan arts. After having freshly cooked Lunch, we go for a stroll around the village to watch the different activities performed by the villagers. In the evening return to the homestay and have a delicious Ladakhi dinner.

Day 7Anmu to Marling

After having a healthy breakfast we will drive towards Cha village, which is a half-hour drive from the village of Anmu. From Cha, we have to walk for 3 to 4 hours to reach the oldest village of Marling. Here you will be welcomed by the villagers in the homestays. Take a good rest and after having tea we’ll go to explore the village. You can try activities like making butter and dry cheese.

Day 8Marling to Padum

With beautiful memories to cherish, leave back Marling village and start walking back towards Cha village. Continue on the road until Purne and then cross the bridge to start climbing towards Cha. The pickup taxi would be waiting at Cha as the trekking comes to an end. Another 3 to 4hr ride through the dusty road and you will be at Padum. Stay overnight at the Hotel in Padum.

Return journey through Suru Valley
  • Drive through the most scenic roads
  • See the nine meters tall statue of Future Buddha
  • Back to Leh town and spend relaxed evening

Day 9Padum to Rangdum

After morning breakfast proceed to the Rangdum Monastery. A few hours of drive from Padum you will be climbing the Penzila pass(4200m). This area is very scenic and you will find many shepherd’s huts here. Rangdum Monastery is an important temple of Zanskar. Built in the 18th century, the monastery belongs to the Gelugpa order of Buddhism and home to some 40 monks.

Day 10Rangdum to Kargil

Today we will drive towards Kargil. After a few hours of drive from Rangdum, we enter into the Suru valley, where you will enjoy the view of massive Nun and Kun peaks and the Parkachik glacier. There are many other unnamed glacier peaks on the way. By noon you will be at Kargil the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. In Kargil stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 11Kargil to Leh

Today is the last day of the journey. After breakfast, riding some half an hour en-route visit the monastery and the nine meters tall statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha at Mulbekh. Ride for 3 hours to reach Likir monastery the splendid three stories Dharma Wheel Gompa. Our 7-day journey finally comes to an end as we reach back to the hustle-bustle of Leh town.


Price Includes

  • 3 nights in village family homestay
  • 3-star guest house/hotel on other days
  • All transportation in destination location
  • All meals included
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees

Price Excludes

  • Air Fare
  • Visa fee and Travel insurance
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees