Parang la is the most famous trek route of Spiti from the ancient times and connects people of Spiti to that of Ladakh after crossing the mighty 18600 ft pass. This trek has a fantastic view of the mountains and Pare Chu river. This is a photographers paradise as it takes you through the deep gorges and desert environment of Spiti valley to vast landscapes of Ladakh and ending at Tso Moriri Lake. This lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.This remote trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. It begins in the high altitude meadows of Khibber, the breeding ground of the famous Spiti horses (Chumur) and also the homeland of Snow Leopard. The trail descends the Khibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 m), the source of the Pare Chu River, the only one of its kind to have its source in India, flow into Tibet and enter the country again in Spiti. Across the pass, the trail follows a broad valley till the confluence of the Pare Chu with the Phirtse Phu at Norbu Sumdo. A river crossing here brings one to an almost incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang, known for the abundance of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass).
This classic Trans-Himalayan trek retraces the historical trade route between Spiti, Changthang, and Tibet. The trek begins in Kibber, a high village popular for spotting of the highly enigmatic and elusive snow leopard. The meadows here serve as the breeding grounds for the noted horses of Spiti. Due to its proximity to Tibet; this region has only recently been opened to trekkers and still has many unclimbed peaks and hidden valleys. We drive to Kaza the district headquarters and spend an extra day to acclimatize.
The trail descends the Kibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 mtrs), the source of the Pare Chu River, the only one of its kind that emanates from India, flows into Tibet and re-enters India again in Spiti. Across the pass, we witness an incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang plateau (the eastern-most tip of the Tibetan Plateau), known for a very high population of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass). For the last two days, we camp by the breathtaking campsites, one of them being located on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri Lake at 15,000ft.msl which is 27 km long and nearly 8 km wide. The lake hosts nesting grounds for a variety of birds like Brahminy ducks, black-necked cranes and the bar-headed geese.
A fairly demanding trek across harsh terrain, this trip offers a variety of landscape from the narrow reddened gorges of Spiti to the massive open spaces of Changthang, to expansive lakes set in the high plateaus with views of mountains far into Tibet.
Talk about trekking in the corners of the world or shall we say talk about another world! This is what this remote trek is all about. Get set to be transported to a world of barren mountains with snow-clad peaks, vast arid landscapes, expansive azure blue lakes and ancient monasteries dramatically perched high on top of cliffs. This landscape was inaccessible until not so long back due to its proximity to Tibet.
This remote trail follows the traditional trade route taken by the people of Spiti, Changthang and Tibet. It starts from the high altitude meadows of Kibber then leads into the Kibber gorges and from here the trail climbs to Parang La (5490m). Uninterrupted views on all sides from the pass is a big attraction on this trip. This high altitude pass is the source of the Pare Chu river. The landscape changes drastically on the other side of the pass as we hit the Changthang plateau, a land of high arid plains, snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes of Tso Moriri & Tso Kar. These plains are only inhabited for a few months every summer by the hardy Tibetan Changpa nomads and their herds of yaks and pashmina goats. The region is also home to rare wild animals such as wolf and kiang (wild ass)
The trek ends at Korzok, a permanent settlement of the Changpas on the banks of Tso Moriri. Tso Moriri Lake is at an altitude of over 4000 m, it is 28 km long and about 8 km at its widest. The view of the lake with Lungser Kangri (6666 m) in the background is unforgettable. From Korzok an enjoyable drive will get us to the town of Leh, capital of Ladakh region
This trek is for experienced trekkers as it involves crossing a high Himalayan pass and previous experience of camping at around 4500 -5000m will help
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
- Crossing a 5000m+ Himalayan pass
- Walking a remote trail with contrasting landscapes of valleys on either side of the pass
- Stark Himalayan landscape of Spiti region challenging our very ideas of mountain beauty
- Camping on the banks of Tso Moriri Lake
- Opportunity to visit ancient monasteries of Ladakh & Spiti and look into the ancient Buddhist culture from close proximity