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Trekking in the Himalayas…

 


 

 

 

 

 

Day 01: Arrival / Delhi

Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.

Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.

Welcome to India, or as we say ‘atithi devo bhava’ (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!

Overnight at The Connaught – a 4* Downtown Hotel

Day 02: Delhi / Leh (9W 609 – 0540 / 0655 Hours)

Early morning transfer to the airport to board your flight to Leh

On arrival the advice is to lie down for a day, until your body catches up with the altitude.

 Photographer Mike Prince. Day is free for leisure & independent activities.

Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span

Day 03: Leh

Day is at leisure for your independent activities. You may gently stroll out to visit Leh's wide street bazaar that runs east-west. Together with the labyrinth of adjoining side streets and alleys, the bazaar is the center of business and shopping -- particularly for visitors who find the plethora of antiques (and not-antiques) shops worth checking out.  The bazaar is an incredible example of traditional Ladakhi lifestyles. Watch out for the pavement vegetable sellers and the traditional homes that exist on top of the stores which sell only the very basic provisions

Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span

Day 04: Leh / Shey / Thiksey / Hemis / Leh

This morning we proceed on a guided tour of Shey, which is a small town in comparison to Leh. Shey Palace was built in early 17th century AD by Deldan Namgyal as a memorial for his father, Singay Namgyal. The palace houses a three storey copper statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Overlooking the Shey palace are the ruins of the fort built by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Spalgigon. Shey also has a very large scattering of stupas all across its landscape

From here we drive to Thiksey Gompa (monastery), it is located 17 km on the main highway from Leh in the direction of Manali. The present day monastery founded by Paldan Sherab, overlooking the village below, was not the original location. It was originally built at Stakmo. This monastery hosts the festival of Thiksey Gustor.

Later we drive to Hemis Gompa (monastery) which is the most important and the richest Gompa in the whole of Ladakh and is dedicated to Guru Padama Sambhava the great Indian teacher & philosopher. This monastery located among the beautiful landscape of the Hemis National Park was founded in 1630 AD. It is located at a distance of 45km from Leh and is one of the most popular monasteries visited by travelers. It is also famous across the world for the Hemis Festival hosted by it.

Evening we drive back to our hotel in Leh

Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span

Day 05: Leh / Likir (Drive) / Yangtang (4/5 Hrs Trek)

Following a leisurely breakfast we drive to Uletokpo Visiting the Likir Monastery on the way. The journey itself through spell bounding scenes of natural beauty is worth the effort. Snow capped Himalayas dot the background while craggy dusty mountain ranges and the swiftly flowing Indus river as well as patches of farm make up for the fascinating foreground.

At Nimu we witness the magical confluence of the two main rivers of the region – Indus & Zanskar.

Another interesting aspect of our journey would be the opportunity to travel past several Ladakhi Villages where time has stood still. We will walk into these villages and experience traditional Ladakhi Villages, lifestyles and occupations.

We make a brief stop at the Likir Monastery that houses many gigantic clay statue of Buddha in various forms. The primary attraction is, however, their 1000-year old wall painting which make a visit more than worthwhile.

After visiting the monastery, we commence our trek  as we walk past Likir village leaving behind the last houses. We enter an arid terrain, and, start ascending towards a small pass PobeLa, arriving at Sumdo village where we  cross the river and leaving Sumdo on the right side, continue in the valley for about an hour and finally reach at the summit of the CharastseLa.. 

Overnight in Tents

Day 06: Yangtang - Hemis Shukpachen (3/4 Hrs Trek)

Proceed to Wulle valley, (very close - 15 minutes only), then ascend for one hour to SermanchanLa and then descend towards Hemis Shukpachen a big village. Here Cedar is found in plenty, hence the name of the village. There is a beautiful gompa (Monastery) here.

Overnight in Tents

Day 07: Hemis Shukpachen - Tingmosgam Trek 3/4 Hrs Trek - Uletokpo

After crossing the village, there is flat land, then, a  steep descent. Keeping to the right side climb a steep slope to the summit of the Meptekla. It is 2 Hrs. hike from Hemis Shukpachen. Descend for half an hour and you are in Ang village. Continue walking towards to Tingmosgam, It is the richest fruit valley in Ladakh - Apricots, Apples, Nuts are in plenty. The houses here are beautiful and unique. From here we will be driven to Uleytokpo.

Upon arrival at lunch time we check into tented accommodation at Uleytokpo. This place is heaven on earth ! the accommodation here are lovely fixed camps run by a Ladakhi family. The tents have attached toilets and beds, and are set amidst apricot orchards. The place is right in the lap of nature and you would very much enjoy the feel of the breeze, the scent of flowers, delightful nature walks, views of the snow capped Himalayas and the gentling rolling sound of the Indus river.  If you are a bird lover there are great possibilities of viewing a variety of birds.
Just 4 kms away is Ridzong, the most isolated monastery of all the monastery of Ladakh. One can still find the small caves where Lamas used to meditate for years cutting themselves from the rest of the world except for an one feet square outlet window from where they accept the one time meal of the day.  Also close by is a nunnery. Food and clothing besides shelter is provided to the Nuns. There are a few very old retired Nuns. A visit here shows us the day to day living of the Nuns, as well as the trainings they receive here and also an opportunity to witness the performance of the evening prayers.

Overnight in Tents

Day 08:  Uletokpo / Lamayuru / Uletokpo

A half day excursion through paradise as we visit Lamayuru. Every twist and turn brings to you new vistas of natural beauty. But, wait till you get to the ‘Lamayuru Moonland’. We look down on this landscape which appears to be a dusty surface of the Moon itself with craters & hills . The snow rising in the backdrop of this sandy script reminds you that you are in Ladakh.

The landscape around Lamayuru monastery is one of most spectacular things one could see on earth.

Lamayuru monastery popularly known as, "Yangdrung Gomp" is situated 126 km west of Leh, on the Leh - Srinagar highway. In ancient times there was a huge lake in this place. The great saint Nyimagung, made a prophesy saying: " May a monastery be founded in this place" and he then offered a votive water offering to all the naga serpent spirits who were the guardians of that place. The grains of that corn that formed part of this offering were carried by the waves of different places along the cliff side by the edge of the lake and when they had become mixed with the earth they sprouted forth as corn in the shape of a swastika. At the time when a monastery was later founded there it was called Yangdrung "swastika". In the 11th century the mahasiddha Naropa came to this place and the cave where he resided and meditated is still to be seen today. Then Rinchen Zangpo, the Translator came and built many temples and stupas and so the teachings of the Kadampa School came to flourish greatly there. Thereafter, for many years the monastery was administered by the Red Hats order of the Tibetan Buddhism., but later it was taken over by Digungpa order. Then the rituals and observances of the Digung Kargud School were introduced and the monastery received the name of Yangdrung Tharpaling.

We return to Uletokpo by lunch time.

Afternoon is at leisure for nature walks . Alternatively, your 24x7 guide would be happy to walk you to the neighbouring Mangyu village (3hrs).  This would be another opportunity to witness traditional Ladakhi country life unchanged from time immemorial. We will  interact with locals and also learn more about Ladakhi living.

Overnight at Tented Accommodations

Day 09: Uletokpo / Alchi / Leh

After breakfast we drive back to Leh visiting Alchi on the way.

 Photographer Mike Prince. The village of Alchi in lower Ladakh is to be considered one of the most important cultural sites throughout the Himalayas. Consisting of four separate hamlets, the village contains numerous historic monuments of different ages and in various states of repair, the oldest and most famousof which is a monastic complex. The 1,000-year-old  three-storied Himalayan temple, with its unique murals and iconography, is a fragile wooden structure. Confirmed a World Heritage site by UNESCO, this is one of only four surviving monasteries of the 108 founded by the Great Translator, Lotsava Rinchen bZangpo in the later 10 th and early 11 th century. The temple preserves some of the finest examples of Kashmiri art of the period

Following the tour of Alchi, we continue drive to Leh and get there by lunchtime. Upon arrival, transfer to your Hotel Spic n Span. The afternoon is at leisure and you may wish to walk into the bustling bazaar or catch up with your reading and postcards.

This evening we are invited to a typical Ladakhi home for high tea and interaction with different members of the Ladakhi family. The kitchen is the heart of the Ladakhi house. These are people for whom food is so central it forms the basis of their all-purpose greeting, "Julay", an economical word used for hello, goodbye, please and thank you. Its literal translation is "good digestion"; it reflects their philosophy that if you have good digestion, you have everything.

Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span

Day 10: Leh / Delhi (9W 610 – 0735 / 0850 Hours)

Early morning transfer to the airport to board your flight to Delhi

Meeting & assistance upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to your hotel The Connaught

A Home Visit & a Farewell Dinner with an Indian Family: Upon arrival we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a ‘feel’ and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.

Overnight at The Connaught – a 4* Downtown Hotel

Day 11: Delhi / Departure

Transfer to the International airport to board your flight back home

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We do hope the flavor of India will remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you for being our guest, and as we say in India ‘Please Come back Soon”.



 

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