Rupshu is a huge area in Ladakh on the road linking Kulu & Leh. This hike begins from Hemis, moving down into the heart of untouched Rupshu. Explore some of the most celebrated and oldest monasteries of Ladakh like, Thiksey, Shey and Hemis. Trek down towards Martselang and then follow the valley. This valley tapers at some places and goes ahead along the riverbed to Shang Sumdo. The route leads from Chukirmo village to narrow gorges. Scale to the base of Kongmaru La.

There are exciting views, if you trek to north and towards eastern Korakoram and China, whilst the southern view is ruled by Kang Yatse and the Ladakhi range. Take a ridge trail and descend to the Nimaling summer and the Markha valley, the most beautiful valley in Ladakh. Trek upwards until the valley divides; from here the pass follows a route that follows the edge leading to another pass and then go down to the valley. Reach to Manis and chortens, which are sprinkled on the path leading to Sara and Dat rivers. An easy climb will bring you to the pass; a remarkable sight over the Rupshu can be seen.

When you move further, the landscape changes completely and converts into a huge arid plain where the Zara Chu flows. The path leaves the river and leads up to a gorgeous flat terrain located at an altitude of 4500m. Climb up gently to the last pass which leads to Takh. Interesting meetings with the tough Chang-pa at their black tented camps make this trek unquestionably the finest trek.

Major attractions

Shey Palace: Situated around 15 km from Leh, Shey is a settlement in Ladakh. It has an ancient palace of the Ladakh kings. This old palace comprises of the largest golden Buddha statue.

Thiksey monastery: Located 20 km from southeast Leh, Thiksey monastery is fascinating and an exquisite work of architecture. It is surrounded by colorful murals and walls. The top of this monastery houses a huge statue of Buddha. The monastery offers stunning views of surrounding landscapes.

Hemis monastery: A well known town Hemis is famous for its Hemis monastery. It is located around 40 km southeast of Leh. The monastic Hemis festival is also celebrated in early June. It holds the feature of being the most affluent and greatest monastery of Ladakh. The Thangka of the monastery is exhibited every twelve years.

How to get there

By Air: An airport in Leh is a domestic airport, which connects directly to important cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Srinagar. Major airlines like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways run regularly from this airport.

By Road: Leh-Ladakh has very well network of roads to Srinagar and Manali. From June to October, the 434-km Leh-Srinagar road is operative, while the 473-km Leh-Manali road remains functional from July to September.

By Rail: The prime rail head is Jammu Tawai in Jammu, about 690 km away and linked with several major cities across India.

Best time to visit: Mid May to September


  • Special permits are not required for trekking in the Indian Himalayas, with the exception of certain restricted areas.
  • Maintain silence to cherish the close proximity of the natural habitat.
  • Do not exert much or strain your self, as this will not let you enjoy the trek.
  • While trekking in this area, make sure that you do not dirty the surrounding places.
  • Rupshu trek is demanding and needs better physic.

Things to Carry

  • Walking stick
  • Binoculars and camera
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking shoes
  • Woolen clothes
  • Water, juices, snacks
  • Electric torch
  • Medical kit
  • A good compass
  • An extra pair of clothes

Other Attractions in the Vicinity

Phyang monastery: Phyang Monastery of Ladakh is set at a distance of around 40 km to the west of the Leh town. Its 900 years old museum is the main attractions. Its rich collection has many idols, thankas, etc.

Spituk monastery: Three-chapel monastery, Spituk is located nearly 8 km from the Leh. Three other monasteries of Ladakh, explicitly Stok, Sankar and Saboo, are branches of Spituk Gompa.

Korzok village: The only settlement on the Tso Moriri Lake is Korzok. Korzok has a picturesque monastery. The Korzog celebration is held around end of July, and at the beginning of August.