Zanskar Electrification Expedition

Bring solar energy to the quaint village of Yal

today 01 Sep 2019 to 14 Sep 2019

access_time 14 Days

Grade : 2

? Grade 1 : Easy
Grade 2 : Moderate
Grade 3 : Challenging
Grade 4 : Hard

place Ladakh, India

Available Slots : 14/20

Expedition Costing :

The Expedition cost will include

1. Cost of Solar Panels and Batteries 

2. Participation Logistic Fee

The exact cost will be shared upon selection only. 

Brief :

The village of Yal is located in the middle of the Lungnak valley and is a central point for camping while trekking into the valley. Home to more than 7 households, the villagers are very warm and are used to welcoming trekkers on short stays. But this time, your visit will bring a remarkable change to the lives of the villagers by bringing light and life to Yal. Soak in the hospitality of the villagers and take short treks around the village by climbing some small hills behind the village.  

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Trip Highlights :

  • Bring light to the quaint village of Yal
  • Connect with a cultural heritage and an authentic local experience 
  • Multiple days of trekking into the remote valleys surrounded by mountains. 
  • Visit the 2500 year old cave monastery of Phugtal 
  • Crossing the Drang-Drung glacier, the largest glacier of the region
  • A lifetime experience with 15-20 amazing travellers from all over the world

Overall Expedition Journey :

  • 6 Days by Vehicular Journey
    • Leh To Padum
    • Padum to Leh
  • Total Car Distance One Way – 400 Kms
  • 1 Day of trekking into a beautiful valley
    • Total Trek distance: 8 Kms
  • 4 Nights of Homestays and Camping in Villages
  • Average Altitude of Journey – 13200 ft 
  • Highest Mountain Pass During journey- 15300 Ft

Route Map :


Itinerary Details :

  1. Day 1 Arrive in Leh, Acclimatize
    Arrive in Leh, Acclimatize_Day 1

    You will fly into Leh from New Delhi. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Himalayas and the Karakoram, Leh lies at an altitude of 12000 ft. You will be received at the airport by the GHE team leaders and welcomed with the traditional Ladakhi silk scarf “Khatak”. You will then be transferred to your hotel where you will be stationed for the next two days. The remainder of the arrival day is for you to relax or explore the local market and the Leh city. 

  2. Day 2 Acclimatize and Cultural Immersion in Leh
    Acclimatize and Cultural Immersion in Leh_Day 2

    Today begins with a visit to the Leh City and a learning experience on the background of the ancient heritage. We will take a tour of the Old City and visit a Monastery, where we shall get in touch with the ancient religion of Buddhism and its ideologies

  3. Day 3 Mountain Biking (Optional) and Leh to Kargil
    Mountain Biking (Optional) and Leh to Kargil_Day 3

    Biking on the dirt trails of Ladakh, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and powered by the will to keep paddling forward, you will indulge in an experience which cannot be matched in any way. It will be perfect opportunity to unwind your body and soak in the terrain at a leisure pace. 
    Biking Distance – 30 Kms 
    We will then get into vehicles and move towards the town of Kargil where we will be staying for the night. 

  4. Day 4 Kargil to Rangdum
    Kargil to Rangdum_Day 4

    From Kargil, we will move onwards and leave behind the tar roads to travel on dirt road for more than 250 Kilometers. The going will be slow, but the conditions of the road will be overcome by the beautiful sights of snow capped mountains and glacier river streams. We will reach the open valley of Rangdum and camp at the foothills of the Rangdum Monastery which was electrified by GHE in 2017

  5. Day 5 Rangdum to Padum
    Rangdum to Padum_Day 5

    From Rangdum, we begin our journey as we enter the Zanskar valley and cross multiple villages along the way in our vehicles. The journey is going to be long and along with way we will cross the famous Drang Dung Glacier, the biggest of the valley. Our destination will be the town of Padum which will be the last place where we can get some supplies and phone signal

  6. Day 6 Padum to Yal
    Padum to Yal_Day 6

    From Padum, we will continue in vehicle till Anmu which marks our entry to the beautiful valley of Lungnak in Zanskar. The trek route will be along the glacial streams surrounded by mountains all around us, a treat for the photography and nature lovers. We continue to walk along the valley crossing multiple villages that GHE has electrified before reaching our destination village at Yal. The villagers will be greeting us with Chang and Khataks and thank us for our efforts to electrify their villages. Once you settle down in the village, we will form teams and begin our survey work of electrification

  7. Day 7 Yal Village, Solar Electrification Work
    Yal Village, Solar Electrification Work_Day 7

    You will be working as small teams and begin the work of electrification of the village. The day is going to be long, but you will be supported by GHE Engineers and the villagers. Be prepared for an overwhelming experience, as you enter the rooms of the villagers and discuss with them on where they want the light bulbs to be put up. You Carry the solar panels to the roof top and set the panels while understanding the practicalities of where the sun rises and sets in different seasons. 

  8. Day 8 Yal Electrified
    Yal Electrified_Day 8

    Today is going to be a very special day. Our team will bring light to this centuries old remotest village, ending eons of darkness that it was immersed in for ages. After breakfast, the Team shall get started to set up the solar panels and do the final touches. The installed grid will then be inaugurated by the villagers in the evening after which we shall have a celebratory dinner with the villagers, and not to forget, the tasting of the famous local Chang! 

  9. Day 9 Yal to Cha
    Yal to Cha_Day 9

    After celebrating with the villagers, it is time to pack our bags and begin our trek back down the valley, moving towards the village of Cha. Enroute, we shall pay a visit to the 2500 year old cave monastery of Phugtal and offer prayers. The breathtaking views of the valley as we cross multiple villages before reaching our destination at Cha will be a treat to the eyes. After 6 hours of trekking, we shall camp at Cha village and share stories of the electrification and the villagers with our fellow travelers. 

  10. Day 10 Cha to Phey
    Cha to Phey_Day 10

    A short trek and a ride, today is a leisure day and gives time to reflect back on the expedition while bonding with the fellow travelers. From Cha, we shall proceed to the last motorable point where our buses will be waiting for us. It will be a 4 hour ride before we reach our destination of Phey, where we shall rest for the night in camps. You will have enough time to relax and unwind after the long hard days of the expedition. 

  11. Day 11 Phey to Kargil
    Phey to Kargil_Day 11

    Today will be a long day on dirt road as we move from Phey to the town of Kargil. Enroute we will be stopping at the Rangdum Monastery and offer prayers.  We will be crossing the famous Drang Drung Glacier along the route and will be stopping multiple times along the way for you to take pictures, since this part of the journey is the most scenic as well. Once we reach Kargil, we will check-into the hotels and finally you will get a much deserved hot water shower

  12. Day 12 Kargil to Leh
    Kargil to Leh_Day 12

    The day with the most amazing and expansive scenery is the journey from Kargil to Leh. Winding roads, open valleys, closed mountains, coloured rocks, there is nothing that this route doesn’t offer in terms of the spectacular views. It will be a 6 hour ride from Kargil to Leh and we will check into hotels once we reach Leh and connect back with our families. 

  13. Day 13 Leh: Experience Sharing and Shopping
    Leh: Experience Sharing and Shopping_Day 13

    Today is going to be a day of reflection. We shall begin early and visit the Hall of Fame to pay tribute to the brave Indian Army soldiers. Towards the afternoon, the team will have time to go to the market and buy souveniors for their loved ones. In the evening, our team will reflect back on the journey and share their experiences sitting around a bonfire. 

  14. Day 14 Departures
    Departures_Day 14

     “The mighty mountains beckoned and we answered the call“
    It’s time to say our farewell all around and make our way back to the airport with the GHE Team Leaders who will assure your safe departure! 

Inclusions :

  • Airport Transfers in Leh
  • All breakfast, lunch and dinner all days
  • All accommodations including hotels, homestays and camping on shared basis
  • All local transportation including coaches and taxis
  • All meals as per itinerary (excluding drinks)
  • Boiled clean drinking water in Village 
  • Mountain Bikes included

Exclusions :

  • Flight tickets to and fro Leh
  • Visa Fees 
  • Travel Insurance 

Important Notes

  • There are a couple of days of long travel in the Bus on mountain roads. However the jaw-dropping scenery should take away the fatigue of bus travel 
  • Since we will be at an average altitude of 13000 feet or 3500m, it will help if you are at good fitness level overall. Also smoking and drinking is prohibited.
  • The weather can be very unpredictable in the mountains. Kindly refer to the instructions in the Expedition essentials document you will find on this page.
  • The homestay in the village will have very basic facilities, you will being staying with the local community and experience life from their point of view.  

Physical Rating: 2 (Moderate)

The trek is relative short and is of moderate gradient. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel. Running daily and cycling along with doing long walks or climbing long staircases is a good preparation to enable you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.

Arrival and Departure Details

The expedition shall begin from the city of Leh in India, and will also end in the city of Leh. 

The Expedition begins on 1st September and ends on 14th September. This implies that you are to arrive in Leh on 1st September and can depart from Leh on 14th September. 

Please note that due to the high altitude, we Include the days of acclimatization in the overall expedition itinerary. You don’t need to come early for acclimatization.  In case you would like to extend your trip beyond the expedition dates, please feel free to do so at your own discretion and cost. 


Kindly note that even though we have conducted many successful expeditions, we need to be mindful of the conditions we are in and there may be a chance that we have to change the itinerary or the village we electrify due to inclement weather or local conditions. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. You can be rest assured that we will take full care of the impact experience that you get despite the modification in plans.  

Health and Safety

We trust that when you join us for the trip, you are in an overall good physical condition and not suffering from any medical conditions. Due to the remoteness of the areas, there are very limited or no medical hospitals at times, e

Please make sure that you have read through the itinerary carefully and assessed your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GHE reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should also consult your doctor for any health risk associated with altitude, including asthma, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more. 

We recommend that you carry your personal first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. We do have a certified medic on each expedition but they can administer only medicines for general ailments such as diarrhoea, motion sickness or basic high altitude symptoms. 

Food and dietary requirements

On our expeditions, we ensure that the food that you get in the hotels or during the camping or inside the village is unique but at the same time, simple and basic as possible for everyone to eat while also taking care of your gastronomic appetite. Enjoy the local food in the villages but in case you don’t find the appetite for it, we will be having something for you in our menu as well. In case you have any dietary requirements, please inform us beforehand so that we can carry appropriate food for you on the expedition.

Money during the Expedition

Since the trip is already paid for in advance, you can carry some cash to buy souvenirs or to buy some local food. While some areas do have card machines where you can swipe your debit or credit card, in some areas only local currency in cash works. 

Tipping is a basic expectation of all the expedition staff and the hotels that we engage during the expedition. However, we do not encourage tipping directly. We collect the entire tip amount from all our participants and then distribute it fairly in front of the travellers to the expedition staff and any other people from whom we have taken any services during the course of the expedition. We recommend a minimum amount of at least INR2000 per participant for the purpose of tipping. 

Also please note that we try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to at least $300 or equivalent with you in case of any emergencies. 

Phone and internet access

In majority of the cases, we will be travelling to remote communities where there will be no access to any cellular or internet connectivity. Once you land in Leh, we will inform you on the exact number of days that we will be in zero connectivity and you can inform the same to your family and friends so that they don’t have a reason to worry. Our

Expedition Leaders will be able to inform our office staff about your whereabouts on a daily basis and our staff will be sending a collective email to your loved ones updating them about the status of the team.

The most memorable part of our expeditions according to the travellers is being disconnected from the rest of the world and building true meaningful relations with the communities and with the fellow travellers.

Expedition Leader

GHE Impact Expeditions are led by some of the most dedicated and passionate individuals who are committed to the cause of leveraging tourism as a force for good while making the trip as smooth as possible for you. 

The Expedition Leader will provide you information on the places you will be travelling to while also offering their insights into the local communities. We request you to follow the Expedition Leaders instructions as they are trained into conducting expeditions and working with the local communities to maximize the impact

Some Rules

The expeditions get together a diverse set of people from all over the world who come together with the common mission of electrifying the remote communities. Please be mindful of the diversity of the group and do not engage in any bias or groupism during the expedition. Use the opportunity to understand various cultures and the experiences that all the participants have from their lives. 

Use of Alcohol, smoking and possession of any drugs is absolutely not acceptable on our expeditions. In the village, you will be served local beer which is allowed since that is a mark of respect from the villagers to us, but consume responsibly and adhere to the instructions from the Expedition Leader. 

By joining our expeditions, you agree to adhere to the instructions mentioned by the Expedition Leader and in case you are found to misbehave in any manner, the Expedition Leader has the right to remove you from the expedition and there shall be no refund. 

Need any Help?

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact us at


Carbon Offset :

The expedition to electrify the village of Yal will offset 56 Tons of Carbon from the environment by replacing 1200 Litres of kerosene through setup of 6 Solar microgrids. 

Our estimates suggest that the entire 14 days expedition Carbon footprint, including carbon generated during camping, hotel stay and through the participants return flight tickets, will be around 45 Tons. 

Your trip to the Himalayas will be Carbon Negative!


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