About the trek-
Parang La Trek is the most famous route of Spiti from the ancient times, forming a connecting link between the people of Spiti and the people of Ladakh after crossing the mighty 18600 ft pass. This Parang La trek has a fantastic view of the mountains and Pare Chu river and is a dream for the photographer, as it takes one through the deep gorges and desert environment of Spiti valley to the vast landscapes of Ladakh.
This timeless Trans-Himalayan trek retraces the historic trade route involving Spiti, Changthang, and Tibet. The Parang La trek is initiated in Kibber, a village which is known for the spotting of the enigmatic and exotic snow leopard which is otherwise elusive. The popular horses of Spiti are residents of the meadows that are found here. Because of its proximity to Tibet, this region has only fairly recently been opened up for trekking and thus a lot of this stretch remains undiscovered, sheltering beautiful hidden valleys and much more. There is first a drive to the Kaza, the district headquarters, and an extra day is spent in acclimatizing.
The trail goes down the Kibber gorge and then ascends over the Parang La at 5,600 m which is the source of the Pare Chu River, a rare one which flows out from India into Tibet and re-enters India again in confluence with the Spiti. Across the pass, one sees a breathtaking landscape and picturesque scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang plateau (the eastern-most point of the Tibetan Plateau), known for a very high population of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass). Throughout Parang La trek, the camp is set near some of the most breathtaking spots, one of them being located on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri Lake at 15,000ft. which is 27 km long and nearly 8 km in width? The lake hosts nesting grounds for a variety of birds like Brahminy ducks, black-necked cranes and the bar-headed geese.
A pretty strenuous trek across a trying terrain, Parang La Trek offers myriad landscapes; from the narrow reddish gorges of Spiti to the gigantic free stretches of Changthang, to the expansive lakes that lie in the high plateaus with views of mountains far into Tibet. The altitude is at 5,700 m ie 18,600 ft which is dynamic and intimidating but definitely worth it. The Parang La is really a weird trek, extensive and gloomy often times however, it redeems itself constant days at elevated altitudes of over 4000m and mind boggling perspectives of Tso Moriri towards the ending.
The nomads and gypsies of Changthang used this route during earlier times to extensively attend the La Darcha trade fair in Spiti where the Changspa nomads set shop to barter wool and barley in exchange for salt. Even in contemporary times, several locals use this foot trail as the fastest and cheapest way to get across between Spiti and Ladakh. Parang La trek helps you experience a slice of the local way of life. The same as this Chadar becomes the path for the individuals of Zanskar to achieve Leh during winters, then this particular course joins individuals of Spiti and Ladakh during summers.
This trek, being another of the many ones, to be at an unforgivably high altitude, can render one breathless due to lack of oxygen and AMS can also hit the inexperienced trekker. Parang La trek offers myriad kinds of views. There is a chance you might come across several fossils belonging to the Tethys Sea and enjoy scenes of the stunning Mt. Kanamo, towering over the landscape. When you cross the 5500 m high pass, there comes a deep gorge that has to be crossed and there is a climb along a punishing moraine to reach the base camp where furious winds can rip apart your tents before subsiding. Being a high altitude trek through a difficult terrain, the weather conditions are not all too suitable. The cold before sunrise can be extreme and the oxygen-deprived high-altitude can cause certain physical health issues but nothing too unmanageable for an experienced hiker.
Interesting Places –
The most awaited Portion of Parang La trek is obviously the Tso Moriri lake, that comes at a height of 15000 feet! Even the “Mountain Lake” is really a pond at the Ladakhi area of this Changthang Plateau (literally northern sands) from Jammu and Kashmir in northern India.
The lake is at an elevation of 4,522 m (14,836 feet). It’s the biggest of these high elevation lakes completely within India and completely within Ladakh inside this Trans-Himalayan biogeographic area. It’s approximately 16 miles (26 kilometers) north to south in length and 2 to 3 kilometers (3 to 5 kilometers) wide. The lake has no outlet at also the water is brackish though not too observable to the flavor.
Most water enters the lake into two big flow systems, an entering the lake in the north, another out of the southwest. Both flow techniques incorporate extensive bogs in which they enter the lake. It previously had a socket to the southwest, but it is becoming obstructed as well as the lake has come to be a more endorheic lake.
En route one’s journey may get beautified by several snowfields and glacial streams. Hiking on top of brittle ice formations, over channels of water that cross beneath the feet can be exhausting and tiresome because of the monotonous activity and often times harrowing but the lure of a distant campsite along the riverbed is to cherish and make the assiduous task worth its while.
One of the major highlights of Parang La trek must definitely be hiking in the incredibly picturesque Changthang region of Ladakh, one of the rarer regions there with such lush greenery and an abundant wildlife. The Bar Headed Geese that fly higher than Mount Everest roost there and are frequently spotted along with Kiangs, the endemic Tibetan Wild Asses of high Himalayas. There are also the alienated Marmots, which are not very used to human presence in this region. The landscape that adorns the surroundings of the Tso Moriri is a visual treasure to behold forever. The sunrise appears like gold-plating to a beautifully brown jewel. One can warm oneself up near a bonfire t moonrise watching the many glacial streams that light up the picture and the clear night sky that is beautiful beyond measure.
Parang La trek has many highlights and is one worth setting out on. The usual precautions that apply to most high-altitude treks apply here too. Several respiratory problems can affect a trekker because of the lack of oxygen and the rarefied air at the high altitude. Also, one should be sure of one’s physical fitness as the Parang La is on a terrain that can prove challenging. Apart from this, its offers of scenic views are amazing and make it worthy of completing.