Darcha Padum Trek
One of the more popular treks leading up to the Zanskar Valley is the Darcha Padum Trek. It is a trek that needs to be on the to-do list of every trekker. A part of Himachal Pradesh, the trek goes up to the Zanskar valleys and its many monasteries. You will end up enjoying a plethora of scenic landscapes of views from Manali to Leh on the trek from Darcha to Padum. The beautiful mountain ranges are a photographer’s heaven. The beauty of the mountain mixed with the traditional and cultural villages are a treat for sure.
Take the trek path towards the north and cross the Shingo La. You will keep going towards higher altitudes and get closer to the pass before descending to the Tsarap River, the soul of Zanskar. Keep following the river to continue on the Darcha Padum Trek. On your trek, you will come across isolated villages and apparent monasteries that complement their backdrops. All of this combined makes for a rich and soulful experience. The most prominent monasteries are based at Phuktal, Lingshet and Lamayuru. If you’re not done with your trek hunger after this giant of experience, head over to the capital city of Leh.
A trekking trip calls for personal camping equipment from every participating member.
Eateries may not be as easily available on the trip so carry as much food for yourself as you may need.
The water from the streams is clean. So you will have a lot of those bottle-filling options. But also try to carry your own water before you begin the trek.
General Tips and Tricks
- Even if you are travelling in the month of May, carry an adequate number of warm clothes with you.
- Always come prepared with your own trekking and travelling gear.
- Equip your travel with essential medicines and a medical aid kit.
- Opt for a solid and durable pair of trekking shoes.
- While on vacation during monsoon, carry your raingear too.
- Go through the list of all permits required for the said trek thoroughly and make sure all documentation gets done before you begin.
- No electricity will be available so carry your own pair of extra batteries and old school film rolls.
- An experienced guide is a big must. Clarify all doubts and questions at the base to avoid any hassle later on.
How to Reach Darch Padum Trek
- Rail: The nearest narrow gauge railway station to Kasol is Jogindernagar, located at about 135 km from the base. Bus and cab options are available from there onwards. Otherwise, you can also go for the broad gauge Chandigarh railway station at about 310 km. From there too, you can choose from buses and cabs.
- Road: Manali serves as the base camp for the trek and a number of buses are scheduled for Manali from Delhi (521 km). Other cities that reach Manali through state transportation and private travel services are Shimla (247 km), Chandigarh (285 km) and Ambala (331 km)