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13 Days

 On Request

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Chasing The Zanskar Moon

13 Days

 On Request

Send Enquiry

Join us for a photography adventure led by pro photographer to chase the moon (quite literally) all the way to Zanskar. We will take this journey through the awe-inspiring oasis of Suru Valley. It will be a mix of bumpy road trips, short treks, camping by the lake and sleeping under a zillion stars. Expect wilderness, monastic escapades, local food and get an insight into the Zanskari way of life.

Total duration: 13 Days
Tour starts: Kargil
Tour ends: Kargil
Style of Trip: Trekkers, photographers, adventure enthusiasts, wilderness lovers
Max Altitude: 4100m
Difficulty: Moderate
Stays: Hotels on twin sharing basis/Organized Camping/Village Homestays
Food: BnB basis in Hotels, All meals on Treks and Homestays
Group Capacity: Max 10 min 6

Day-wise Program

Day1: Arrival in Srinagar/Leh & Journey to Kargil by road

- Leave from Srinagar/Leh to Kargil by shared taxi (we can arrange a seat upon request)
- Reach Kargil from Srinagar/Leh by evening, and check into Hotel (we will provide details of hotel after you book the trip). 
- You will meet a member of our team there upon arrival. 
- Rest and evening is for leisure.
- Spend the night a hotel in Kargil

Day2: Briefing session with Lead Photographer

- Today, we will regroup at our Café in morning at 10 am for an introduction and briefing session with our Lead Photographers
- Important travel tips and information will be shared over a cup of Kahwa. 
- Lunch will be arranged at the café. 
- Post lunch we will visit the Hundurman Border Village and Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum.
- Hundurman is village 10kms outside of Kargil town situated on the Indo-Pak Line of Control from where one can witness a village settlement across the border running along the ancient silk route.
- Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum is a small family run museum preserving the history of the Silk Route heritage of Kargil.
- After this, you are free to explore the market on your own. 
- Spend the night at a hotel in Kargil

Day3: Kargil to Penzila Lake via Suru Valley (6-8 hours)

- Highlights: Nun Kun Massif, Parkachik Glacier, Rangdum Monastery, Sunset at Stratso Lamtso Lake at Penzila 

- We will hit the road early today at 7 am after breakfast towards Zanskar.
- We will drive through the beautiful meadows of Suru valley. Some of the least explored places in Ladakh, you will get an opportunity to photograph breathtaking landscapes, mountain scapes, ancient Islamic & Buddhist sites dating back to 5th & 6th century BC.
- We will stop for a tea break at Parkachik with Mt. Nun in the backdrop.
- For lunch we will arrive in Rangdum, the first village at the mouth of Zanskar valley. As the landscape gets more and more dramatic after this point, we will continue our photography journey onward to Penzila Lake. 
- Enroute we can also visit the 200 years old Rangdum Monastery.
- A short walk up to the roof of the monastery will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Rangdum valley. 
- We will arrive at our campsite at Startso Lamtso lake at Penzila top by evening.
- After a quick tea, get some rest. Enjoy the bonfire and mingle. 
- Dinner will be served by 8pm. 
- Explore the surroundings and the let your camera do the talking.
- Overnight at camp by lake side.

Day4: Day Hike to Drang Drung Glacier

- Highlights: Drang Drung glacier walk, Marmot spotting, Dokspa people

- Rise early morning at 5am to capture the twilight and sunrise at the lake. 
- After breakfast we will set off for a day hike through the valley towards the majestic Drang Drung glacier.
- You will get an opportunity to photograph wild marmots.
- We will carry packed lunch. 
- Here we might also get an opportunity to meet a nomad family, living locally, known as “Dokspa” in the green patches close to the glacier. 
- They live in these temporary settlements for a good part of the summer, grazing their livestock such as goats, horses and mules and collecting their dung for fuel for winters. 
- If we are lucky, they might offer us some “churphey”, a local favorite, dairy based snack. It is a great source of nutrition and energy, much needed in these high mountains.
- Return to camp by evening. tea and snacks will be served. 
- You are free to hang around by the camp getting to know your fellow team members or you can choose to wander off on a photography stroll around the campsite. 
- Do inform your trip leader before leaving 
- Dinner will be served at the camp by 8pm.
- Spend the night in tents at the Lake.

Day5: Penzila Lake to Padum (Journey time: 3 to 4 hours)

- Pack your bags early today and leave for Padum, the capital of Zanskar.
- Padum is the central point where you will be able to stock up and re-fuel.  
- En route we will take a quick stop over at Sani monastery, considered as the oldest monastery in Ladakh dating back to the time of Kushans. 
- Check into the hotel and freshen up. Tea will be served upon arrival. 
- Spend the evening at leisure. You can do some personal shopping in the market. Although your options are limited, you can get all the basics such as toiletries, snacks and so on. 
- Local dhabas and eateries are available in the market. However, the market closes down soon after it gets dark. 
- Dinner will be ready at 8pm. 
- Spend the night at a hotel in Padum.

Day6: Day tour to Zangla and Karsha (80kms round trip)

- After breakfast, we will move towards Karsha and  Zangla and spend the whole day exploring these villages.
- First half of the day we will visit Zangla village. Leave at 8am
- Zangla, known as the royal village of Zanskar boasts of the historical Zangla fort and a nunnery. 
- Zangla fort houses a small room known as CSOMA’s ROOM dedicated to Alexander Csoma, a celebrated Hungarian Scholar (
- We might get a chance to have conversation over lunch and a cup of local tea with the family of the erstwhile King of Zangla who still reside there in a modest home. 
- Return to Padum by Lunch.
- After lunch we will leave for Karsha which is home to one of the most photographed monasteries in Zanskar known as the Karsha Chamspaling. 
- Wedged into a mountain face overlooking the village and Doda river snaking through it, this monastery is the largest and the oldest in Zanskar and houses about 100 monks. 
- Take hike up to the Karsha Monastery from the village
- We will take a walk around the village photographing the landscape and Himalayan village life in action.
- We will try tpo reach here in time to witness the evening prayers at the monastery. 
- The setting sun and the monastic setting will give you an opportunity to get some memorable shots. 
- After spending a couple of hours here, we will be back to the hotel by late evening. Tea will be served followed by dinner. 
- Spend the night at a hotel at Padum.

Day7: Padum – Icher (by road, 2 hrs) and Trek from Icher to Anmu

- Drive from Padum to Icher in the morning (2 hours), after breakfast. 
- Early lunch at Icher and start the trek to Anmu.
- Explore the Icher Palace and village
- The trail starts on a straight path along a motor-able road till Anmu which is broken in parts 
- The road runs along Tsarap River on the left bank and is lush and scenic.
- Spend the night at homestay. 
- Savour on some local delicacies like Tingmo and Thukpa

Day8: Anmu – Cha (trek, 2-3hrs)

- After a healthy breakfast, trek from Anmu to Cha.
- The trek  goes along the Tsarap River on the left bank
- The trail is fairly flat with a few minor ascents and descents. You definitely won’t get bored of the view.
- If you are lucky you might be able stop some wildlife such as the Asiatic Ibex, Himalayan Brown Fox.
- As you approach the village of Cha you will greeted by a series of Stupas at the entrance
- After freshening up and a cup of black tea you can explore the village with the group or on your own.
- Spend the night at a home stay in Cha.

Day9: Cha to Phuktal (trek, 3 hrs)

- Start the day with first light and trek up to Phuktal from Cha.
- The trek starts with a 45 minutes gradual uphill to the top of Cha
- You will pass the highest point on this trek at 4100m
- From here the trail becomes flat with few steep descents
- The route offers some interesting and dramatic rock formations along the beaten foot trail to Phuktal monastery
- the final descent towards Phuktal is a gradual 1 hour  trail.
- Don’t miss the old school swinging footbridge over Trarap river as you approach Phuktal
- Arrive at Phuktal Monastery by afternoon
- Check into the Monastery guest house
- After a quick refreshment, visit the monastery to attend the afternoon prayer with the little monks
- After paying your respects to the monastery, explore and photograph the spaces in the monastery
- Lunch and evening tea will be served at the guest house
- Wait for the full moon to rise at you witness the sheer beauty of the ancient Phuktal monastery
- Indulge in photography and the landscape along with the team
- Dinner will be served at the guest house
- Overnight at Guest house

Day10: Return Trek from Phuktal to Anmu via Cha

- We have a cover a long distance today so we will begin at 7 am after an early breakfast
- We will take the same route back so the initial 2 hours will be mix of gradual ascents with short steep ascents and then a half hour descent to Cha
- At Cha we will have lunch at the homestay and then head towards Anmu
- Reach Anmu by evening.
- Tea and dinner will be served at the homestay
- Evening is free for leisure and photography

Day11: Anmu to Icher and on to Padum by Road

- Post breakfast, trek back to Icher from Anmu through the same route
- Grab lunch at Icher and catch a jeep to Padum.
- Reach Padum by evening, get some rest and freshen up
- Tea and dinner will be served at the hotel
- Spend the night at hotel in Padum

Day12: Padum – Kargil (by road, 10-12 hrs)

- Leave from Padum by 5 am for Kargil. 
- Take a breakfast and Lunch stop on the way and reach kargil by evening.
- Spend the evening at leisure and get some rest before your departure. 
- Spend the night at hotel in Kargil

Day13: Depart from Kargil to Leh/ Srinagar

- Check out of hotel and depart from Kargil.
- Taxi bookings can be made for Srinagar/Leh upon request.


Cost Includes

- Accommodation: Hotel/Guest House/Home stays in Kargil on twin sharing basis
- Transport: Transfers from trek points and campsites to hotel in Kargil
- Meals: Breakfast & dinner at guest house/hotel in Kargil. While on the trip all meal & snacks will be provided. Meals will be freshly prepared on camps. Only vegetarian food will be served.
- One professional trekking guide and kitchen staff would accompany the group.
- Expert Lead Photographers and monastery guide
- Trekking permits
- Equipment: sleeping bags, tents, gaiters, mattresses, MTBs, cycling gear, rafts, wet suits and other safety gear, oxygen cylinders.

Cost Excludes

- Personal equipment such as walking sticks, rain coats, gloves etc
- International & Domestic flight fares, visa charges
- Accommodation & food in Srinagar/Leh
- Taxi from Leh/Srinagar to Kargil
- Travel/Medical Insurance
- Medical emergency and evacuation
- Monument/monastery and Museum visit fees. . 
- Any expenses of personal nature such as mineral water, laundry.  
- Additional porter/mule. You can request for one in advance while booking @800/day x 4 trekking days
- Tips to porters, camping team, driver, guide, etc. 
- Cost incurred due to change / extension in the itinerary due to roadblocks, bad weather condition, flight delays, vehicle breakdowns, medical emergencies etc.

Fixed Departure dates

Trip specific information

- The visibility of the moon is subject to weather conditions.
- You are free to stroll in the vicinity for photography but for your own safety, don’t stray too far from the campsite.
- Camera equipment will be your own, get extra batteries 
- We will provide solar charging points at the campsites, but you can also carry your own portable chargers
- Kargil and Padum will have electricity
- Phones will not work at any of our camping locations except in Kargil and Padum
- Due to the remoteness of the locations, it is not possible to have up to date information about trekking trails. Therefore, itinerary is subject to change based on decisions taken on the spot by team leaders and photographers due weather and trail conditions. 
- Roots Ladakh reserves the right to use photographs taken by participants for promotional purposes through online and print media.

Trip Essentials

What to carry? If you want to enjoy the trek, Travel Light!

- Valid ID proof (Passport/Voter ID/Drivers Licence) 
- No suitcases. Opt for 70 to 90 litre backpacks
- Water-proof trekking shoes
- One down jacket or warmer for chilly nights
- Rain poncho or jacket/windcheater (a must!)
- Thermal inner (not advisable to wear it while trekking)
- Trekking pants (one spare)
- Sun block
- Hat
- Sun goggles
- Trekking pole
- Spare under garments and socks (three pairs max)
- Flashlight with extra batteries (preferably wearable)
- Water bottle, preferably wide mouthed, with at least one litre capacity
- Personal toiletries
- Power bank (if you want to use phone camera)
- That book you’ve been meaning to read

Booking & Cancelation

Booking a trip with us – How it works?

For scheduled trips, you can directly send a booking enquiry by clicking on Book Now next to each event. Send in your basic details asked for in the booking form. We will get back to you with the detailed itinerary, trip essentials and payment details.

Booking a trip with us is a two step process.

Step 1:
Pay 10% in advance and secure your seat. You are required to send us a confirmation email with the copy of the bank payment slip to

Step 2:
In order for us to secure your booking, pay the remaining 90% prior to the date of departure. Upon payment, you are required to send us the following details by email to

- Scanned copy of the Medical fitness certificate attested by a certified medical practitioner
- Scanned copy of Payment slip from the bank for payment of 90% of the booking amount.
- Please specify if you need a mule/porter so that we can arrange for one in advance. You can make the payment once you are here
- Specify if you want a single room for yourself. Cost will be communicated to you upon request

Upon receiving these details, we will confirm your booking and the receipt of our payment by email. You can correspond with us over the same email id for any further queries. We are happy to help!

- Booking is secured temporarily upon payment of 10% of the amount
- Bookings will be confirmed after the 90% payment is received prior to date of departure.
- For bookings made within less than 15 days of the date of departure, the full amount must be paid in advance.

All payments must be made by (online) bank transfer/cheque/demand draft to the following account:

Account Name: Roots Ladakh
Account No: 35030436859
Account Type: Current
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Kargil
IFSC Code: SBIN0001390

Cancellation – How it works?

For scheduled trips, we reserve the right to cancel any trip because of inadequate enrolment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate or because of our concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants.
If the trip is cancelled due to inadequate enrolment, you will be intimated at least a week in advance. We will cancel the trip if the group size is less than six, one week before the start of the journey.

In case of voluntary cancellation, send us a notice by email to with the subject line “Requesting cancellation --”

- 30% of the total amount will be retained as cancellation fee if the trip is canceled 30-21 days prior to date of   journey.
- 50% of the total amount will be retained as cancellation fee if the trip is canceled 21-15 days prior to date of journey. 
- 70% of the total amount will be retained as cancellation fee if the trip is canceled 15-07 days prior to date of   journey.
- No refund will be granted on cancellation done within one week of the date of journey.
- No refund will be granted for portion/portions of the journey not performed by the traveler.
- No refund will be granted in case of non-performance of journey due to external and natural events.
- The refund process will take atleast 10 to 15 days working days.
- In the event of any dispute, the matter shall be resolved under the jurisdiction of the District Court, Kargil.

Terms specific to scheduled trips:

- If the remainder 90% is not received 15 days prior to the date of departure, the booking will be considered as cancelled and will be made open for other interested participants. The 10% advance will be retained as cancellation fee
- Full refund will be made for trips cancelled by us due to inadequate enrollment

Services included in the cost is subject to the individual trip. You can refer to the trip itinerary details to see what services are included in the cost. Following are the services that are usually excluded from the cost, unless specified in the particular itinerary:

- International & Domestic flight fares
- Travel Insurance
- Accommodation in Srinagar/Leh
- Taxi from Leh/Srinagar to Kargil
- Monument/monastery and Museum visit fees.
- Any expenses of personal nature such as mineral water, laundry.
- Any kind of insurance, such as accident, theft, medical, evacuation etc.
- Tips to porters, camping team, driver, guide, etc.
- Cost incurred due to change / extension in the itinerary due to roadblocks, bad weather condition, flight delays, vehicle breakdowns, etc.

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