White Water Rafting and Kayaking on Indus and Zanskar River
Zanskar River, a remote Himalayan tributary of the Indus harbors one of the most spectacular navigable gorges in the world. Hailed as the ” Grand Canyon of the Himalaya ” a journey down the Zanskar features an excursion through a geologic paradise, submersion into a culture (Zanskari) virtually unknown throughout the contemporary world and a thrilling whitewater adventure. The trip however is not for the faint of heart – or for those short on time. Paddling the Zanskar consists of four days air time, a bone-jarring multi-day jeep ride through spectacular Himalayan wilderness, and at least five days of intense rafting, not counting layovers. As of yet, relatively few westerners have visited the land of Zanskar, but Global Descents offers one deluxe catered expedition to and through the gorge every Himalayan summer. This journey exceeds the expectations of the world’s most experienced adventure travelers – if you are prepared to experience the cultural and the physical adventure of a lifetime, than go ahead.
Mentioned below are the rafting trips that we conduct on Zanskar River :
Day trip Zanskar Grade 3 Plus
- Cost: 50 dollars/ person for a group of 2 Pax
- Cost: 40 dollars/ person for a group of 3 – 6 Pax
Day trip Zanskar Grade 2
- Cost: 40 dollar/ person for a group of 2 Pax
- Cost: 30 dollars/ person for a group of 3 – 6 Pax
11 Days Zanskar Rafting Expedition Grade 4 plus
- Cost: 950 dollars/ person for a group of 2 Pax
- Cost: 850 dollars/ person for a group of 3 – 6 Pax
More exciting on the Zanskar river from Chilling finishing at Nimo after the confluence of Indus and Zanskar river.
Day by day itinerary :
- Day 1 : Our representative will pick up you from Leh airport and transfer to the hotel. Have the rest of the day to check out the extraordinary market center of Leh, where charismatic shops, restaurants, and taverns aligns the streets; where people of at least a dozen different languages and cultures intermingle; and from where one can view spectacular mountain ranges, the precariously perched Leh Monastery, and a must see place the famous sunset point Shanti Stupa.
- Day 2 : A Complete day of visit to the monasteries (104 Kms). After breakfast drive to visit the Shey Palace, Thiksey, Hemis monasteries and Stok Palace Museum. Packed or Hot Lunch will be provided. Return to Leh in the evening. Overnight Hotel.
- Day 3 : Today we will drive the Surgren-Leh Road over two mountain passes, the highest of which, Fotu La, is over 14,000 ft in elevation. Along the winding course we stop at the Lamayuru monastery, one of the oldest gompas in the Himalaya. After eight hours on the road, we reach Kargil where we check into a nice hotel- have a healthy dinner of Indian cuisine, and rest up for another day of travel.
- Day 4 : This is one of the most spectacular drives in the world! Heading out of Kargil, we ascend up the Suru River Valley, passing through quaint farmlands stretched out beneath colossal glaciated peaks, the highest of which, Mounts Nun and Kun 7135meters in elevation. Tonight we make our first camp in a vast meadow, surrounded by dazzling geologic formations, high in the upper reaches of the Suru drainage. Three miles across the meadow we can make out the remote Rangdum monastery, perched precariously atop a minute crag at 4000mts.
- Day 5: The last leg of our drive takes us over 4400mts foot Pensi-La Pass, affording breathtaking views of the Zanskar Mountain Range and of the Zanskar River headwaters. Tonight we set camp at our put-in location on the river, framed by the massive peaks of the Himalayan Zanskar Range, eat a spectacular dinner of Indian fare, and rest up for the river portion of our expedition.
- Days 6-9: We spend these days rafting the Zankar River! This is one of the most dramatic river canyons in the world. We begin our downstream journey with small rapids, drifting through spectacular mountain backdrops and alongside remote Zanskari villages. The whitewater becomes progressively more difficult as we move downstream. We’ll navigate several narrow Class III and IV mini gorges; and will scout at least one section aptly named “The Pinch!” The scenery is spectacular, with massive cliffs opening up to lush side valleys, waterfalls streaming directly out of the canyon walls, and glimpses of glaciated mountaintops in the distance. Each afternoon we’ll set up camp on the riverbank and work together to create delicious meals. Every camp allows opportunities for hiking and for further exploration of the gorge and its many side canyons. We’ll also spend one layover day exploring Neiraq, an ancient Zanskari village and monastery accessibly only a foot.
- Day 10 : Today we encounter the last of the Class III and IV whitewater, and float past the enormous and dramatic confluence with the Indus River. We take-out, load up, and drive a short distance and hike up to the thousands’ year-old Alchi Monastery. After a quick visit we drive back to Leh (1 hr)). Overnight Hotel.
- Day 11 : Transfer to the airport and fly back to Delhi with sweet memories of Ladakh.