Sham Valley Trek In Winters
Sham Valley Trek in Ladakh is perhaps the easiest yet so beautiful trek to be done in the land of high passes. The altitude of the trek stays within the limits of 4000 meters and involves a few mountain pass crossings which are very easy.
Starting from Leh, the drive to the road head for the trek itself is such a beautiful experience on the winding roads of the magical valley. Passing by the Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Magnetic hill, Sangam ( Confluence point of Indus and Zanskar rivers ) and the historically important village of Basgo on the Leh - Srinagar Highway. The Sham Valley trek starts from Likir.
Likir hosts one of the ancient monasteries of Ladakh and holds a significant place in the religious faith of Tibetan Buddhism. Before we start our day's trek, we visit the monastery and offer prayers in the traditional way. Likir monastery also has a small school of monks and spending some time with the little kids will be one of the most treasured and enlightening experiences of your travel plan.
The Sham Valley trek is a short one and one can finish it in 4 days at leisure. The trek route passes touches some of the most beautiful villages and monasteries of Ladakh. Passing by the photogenic villages of Hemis Shukpachen, Ang and Temisgam, this trek can even be done on homestays. Probably, homestays are the best ways to do this trek as it involves you much more with the locals exposing you to an in-depth cultural understanding and exchange of knowledge.
The trek is very interesting with continuously changing landscapes and villages. The scene alters frequently between greens valley and barren mountains. While on the trek, you sight with few houses, old monasteries and very fertile fields growing spinach, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, coriander, onions, apricot trees, and walnut trees guarded by the tall poplar trees. On the other end, you witness the barren mountains of the Ladakh Himalayas too, which have their own colour and charm.
Staying in homestays will allow you to stay with the local family and their way of life. The most important room of any household is the kitchen which will house a few traditional Tibetan vessels and a Bukhari (firewood container ) right in the centre of the kitchen. It's the place where delicious meals are cooked and stories of the day are shared.
Sham Valley is also popular for sighting the mighty Snow Leopard and other wildlife of the region, especially Lynx and red fox.
The trek is extremely beautiful and is a photographer's delight, as most of the places in Ladakh are. If you are trekking here, do not forget your cameras, especially some portrait and wide-angle lenses.
Beautiful green farmlands of Ladakh