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.
Arrival in Kaza
Kaza to Ki | Ki to Dumla (18 km approx./ 4 hours)
Arrive in Kaza and make yourself comfy by researching Town and become acclimatized. It’s the administrative center of the Spiti Valley. After becoming used to the atmosphere, you can start your Parang la Trek by traveling from Kaza to Kibber.
Kibber is located at a fantastic elevation of 14000 ft above sea level, and it is counted among the highest villages in the world.
Ki monastery is located near to Kibber, which is renowned for its design, wall paintings and images of Lord Buddha. Afterwards begins the first stage of this Parang La trek and we all shall proceed towards Dumla. It’s a little hike but you ought to be careful because of the rigidity of this terrain of this Lahaul and Spiti area. Cross a number of profound and narrow river gorges about the way to Dumla, also on reaching your destination traveling into the campsite for an overnight stay.
Dumla to Thaltak Meadow (14990 feet approx./ 3-4 hours)
Scale down the coastal slant slopes while finishing this particular stretch of this Parang La Trek expedition and get to the base part of a narrow plateau. After finishing the descent, finish the climb to the meadow of all Thaltak. As you arrive at the elevation, pitch your pajamas and revel in a calm camping.
Thaltak Mto Jagtha | Jagtha to Bongrojen (16780 feet approx./ 7 hours)
In the morning, start the lengthy and rough period of the trekking to Parang La by strolling for about 8 km involving Jagtha and then farther towards Bongrojen. In route, come down the slopes towards the ground using a river and follow it. In route to Bongrojen, you’ll walk through hordes of both little and large rocks that are sprinkled on the Parang La Trek. On coming in Bongrojen, move to the campsite for an overnight stay.
Borochen - Parang La – Datang Yongma
A gradual walk from the base camp on moraine till the base of the pass crossing after which steep ridges will lead the path all the way up till Parang La. There is no snow on the Spiti side, and the descent towards the other side is entirely on snowfields and glacial channels until you arrive at the riverbed. After that, there will be a long walk till you reach the point of base camp.
Datang Yongma to Chumik Shilde (14869 feet approx./ 5-6 hours)
As you proceed with the Parang La trek, you would be hiking early morning along the swift and plateau-ish path up to the Racholamo Valley.
From here, the track comes downhill considerably, passing by the grounds of Norbu Sumdo, which was the place of the congregation of the Ladakhi monarchs. Cross a waterway out there in Norbu Sumdo on your way to Chumik Shilde.
On reaching the destination, travel to the camps for another overnight stay.
Chumik Shilde to Tso Moriri (15075 feet approx./ 5 hours)
This section of the Parang La trekking is mesmerizing to the core because of its ethereal natural beauty.
Tread on large and flat plains to reach Tso Moriri — Also a mesmerizing glacial lake with an elevation of roughly 15075 feet. In route, should you just happen to be lucky, you could see some Tibetan wild asses around the lake together with hordes of migratory birds.
Upon arriving at the heavenly location, Have a Look around and Dip into the chilly water should you dare!
Click lots of pictures and walk around the lake to explore the area more. Later, transfer to the camps for an overnight stay.
Tso Moriri to Korzok (14850 feet/ 6-7 hours)
Begin the wonderful part of the Parang La trek by walking along the shores of the magnificent Tso Moriri. It’s a widely Recognized Place to click Countless pictures Of those snow-clad peaks of this Ladakh Mountain Range.
Since you reach the Korzok Village, get an optional trip to Korzok Monastery, which houses statues and elaborate wall paintings of varied Buddhist deities. After this, you will be transferred to your lodging to rest at night.
Korzok to Leh (211 km approx. 5 hours)
Travel from Korzok to Leh by road thus ending the Parang La trek. You can choose between exploring the town or traveling further to Srinagar or Manali to catch a flight to Delhi.
The modes of transportation from your location to Kaza (and if you choose to visit the village of Kibber) will all be by car or jeep. Hard, dynamic and sturdy-wheeled cars will be chosen which are suitable to the terrain that the driving will be happening in. The occupancy of the vehicles would be 5 to 6 people per car including the driver. The standard Bolero or MAX or some SUV are among the popular ones used for a drive on such a terrain as this. The cars will be non-AC.
There may also be some parts of the journey that will take place on horses or mules, especially during the trek.
Warm and comfortable clothes (layering in such weather is extremely necessary) Cotton T-shirts, Fleece T-shirts, Fleece jackets, (Alternative: a woollen sweater), a windbreaker and a waterproof jacket, thermal inners (upper and lower, at least one pair), Trek pants (two, avoid shorts, fitting denim, capris) Also carry good quality trekking shoes with great durability, slippers and an extra pair of socks (mostly woollen)
Also, keep handy a set of amenities for your personal use that might prove useful in the course of the trek:
Keep handy Sunscreen lotion or any other skin moisturizers along with hand sanitizers.
Water bottles, trendy backpack, and energy bars/snacks
A pair of sunglasses and camera
To protect your head from the sun or the snow, whatever weather conditions prevail during the time of your trek, carry adequate clothing and protection: caps or hats. Sun cap (One that covers the neck as well), Woollen cap, Balaclava, Neck-gaiters
Sunglasses, Dark with side cover, it should be U/V protected.
People who wear spectacles-
(A)- Contact lenses
(B)- Photochromatic glasses.
Apart from this, keep handy Personal toiletries and basic medication (if required), Flashlight (with spare batteries), Insect repellent and emergency medical kit.
The Climatic conditions in the high altitudes vary from the plains; so take adequate time to get acclimatized to surviving at high altitudes.
Make sure you read a lot about high altitudes and survival in those conditions.
Pay heed and attention to the guidelines and instructions of the tour leaders or instructors in order to enjoy a safely sound experience.
Avoid trekking or roaming during the nights, as you may get lost or suffer some crisis.
Carry basic medications and a first-aid kit during the tour, along with being completely aware of your health and physical fitness.
The excursion occurs through eco-friendly zone; we don’t promote littering the regional websites or campsites.
While visiting the religious sites, please obey proper dress-code and do not hurt the sentiments of the people of the local places.
The temperature varies from -20 to 10 degrees. In the daytime the weather is clear, the temperature is around 11 degrees, but in night times it gets cold and the temperature drops up to 0 to -6 degree. This is one of the toughest treks as temperature wise also. The months of July – August are the best months to plan the Parang La Trek. During this time, the peaks are snow clad and the trail offers a beautiful striking, rocky side of the mighty Himalayas and Tso Moriri. Otherwise, it seeps in a nearly or completely sub-zero temperature atmosphere. Currently, the weather conditions are at a freezing temperature of -20 degree Celsius.