MONKS & MOUNTAINS

Ladakh is an fascinating and entrancing region of India.

Monks & Mountain

Ladakh is an fascinating and entrancing region of India. A literally breathtaking high altitude landscape, the religion and culture here is decidedly Tibetan, with incredible Buddhist monasteries everywhere and a vibrant history of forts and palaces..

Journey to Ladakh

Awe-inspiring Ladakh is a striking moonscape of 20,000-foot peaks sheltering stone-built villages and an ancient cultural heritage.In this Buddhist land hidden in the Western Himalayas, we take day hikes to traditional villages under a cobalt-blue sky, discover the grand hilltop monasteries of the Indus Valley, including 11th century Alchi, with its rare frescoes, and witness a vibrant festival.

Tour Highlight

  1. Experience Ladakh’s breathtaking landscapes.
  2. Discover the once-forbidden Nubra Valley.
  3. Witness the Lamayuru Festival (June)
    or Leh Festival (September).
  4. Stroll the atmospheric Leh bazaar,which still retains a Silk Road atmosphere

Itinerary

Delhi – Leh- Hemis- Nubra-Lamayuru-
Padum-Zanksar-Kargil-Alchi

Day 01 : Arrive Delhi

Arrival Delhi at Indira Gandhi International airport. On arrival proceed to the group hotel. Standard check-in is 14:00
Although there are no official events on this day, just after lunch you will be heading to the crazy streets of Old Delhi, to see the spice market, and also a Sikh Gurudwara. Any one who has arrived in Delhi by this time is welcome to join him, at their own expense. We will be taking the Delhi Metro to get to the Spice Market, and heading back on autorickshaws.
Around 7pm, we will be meeting out India Travel Pundits Leader for an introductory meeting before dinner, and an early night, ready for our early flight in the morning.

Day 02 : Delhi - Leh

Today will be an early start to return to the airport for our 08:40 flight to Leh.

The flight into Leh is quite literally breath-taking. The vioews are stunniing and you will be struck ny the feeling of hading to somewhere truly special! We will be met on arrival at Leh airport and transferred to our hotel.

Leh is at an altitude of 3500 metres, and some people feel a little breathless. You are advised to take it easy today, and officially the rest of the day is free for acclimitisation.

We will probably have a late afternoon walk through the market area of Leh to shoot some portraits, and explore the town.

Day 03 : Leh

Today we will be sghtseeing in Leh. Those that feel up to it can get up for the sunrise, otherwise we will have an early breakfast and head out to see the sights, starting with the Leh Palace. Leh Palace is a former royal palace modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. Shanti Stupa was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. Sankar Gompa belongs to Gelukspa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This small Gompa is a branch of Spituk Monastery, founded by the first incarnation of Skyabje Bakula (head monk monastery).

We will set a project in the afternoon, and give people free time for further exploarions around the enchanting tower of Leh. In the evening we will reconvene at the top of the Shanti Stupa to photograph the sunset. This is a fantastic vantage point, and will give you the chance to photograph the shadow creeping up the rocky outcrop towards the Leh Palace.

Day 04 : Leh - Hemis

This morning will involve a very early start to drive to Thiksey monastery to photograph one of the most entracing rituals in Ladakh; as monks greet the sunrise by blowing conch shells as a call to prayer.

Thiksey Gompa is one of the largest and most impressive of the central Ladakh gompa, a complex of buildings on a carg rising in tier upon tier above the village, which is at the same time, dominates and completes.

Shey, on the main road up the Indus was the ancient capital of Ladakh and even after Sengge Namgyal built the more imposing palace at Leh, the kings continued to regards Shey as their real home.

Hemis is one of the most famous Gompas in Ladakh, with beautiful and atmospheric prayer halls and a fantastic museum of Buddhist art. We will aim to see Hemis this afternoon, before photographing the sunset in the Leh Valley.

Day 05 : Hemis - Nubra Valley

This morning we will be able to get up early to witness the morning prayers at the Hemis Gompa. This is a hauntingly beautiful ceremony and something that you will never forget.

After the prayers, we will commence or drive to the Nubra Valley through stunning scenery. The plan is that we will head on the Shakti Route, but this is not always possible for operational reasons. Special permissions are needed to drive this route, and it depends on the border situation with China. If we cannot drive this route, we will double back towards Leh and drive to Nubra over the Khardung La Pass.

Evening enjoy the camel safari at the sand dunes between Deskit & Hundur Village. The camels in this part of the world are hairy Bactrian Camels, so this will be a great photo-opportunity whether you re daring enough to ride one or not!

Day 06 : Nubra Valley

Morning Proceed for full day excursion to Diskit Monastery and to explore the Valley.

Diskit Monastery is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery has statue of Cho Rinpoche (Crowned Buddha) in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities.

Day 07 : Nubra - Leh

Today will be a big day: driving over the fabled Khardung La pass! This will probably be the greatest altitude that most people will ever reach in their lives. Khardung La is considered the highest motor able pass in the world. Laying at an altitude of 5,602 meters above sea level the pass was built in 1976 and opened to motor vehicles in 1988.

This is a tourist site in itself. There is a small teashop and stupa at the summit, and the chances are that there will be snow too. We will stop to look around and enjoy the views and hopefully make a few snow angels and have a snowball fight, before continuing down the winding road to Leh.

After a few days in more remote parts of Ladakh, Leh will see like a metropolis! We should have some time to explore, shoot a few more pictures and do a bit of souvenir hunting before enjoying a good night out!

Day 08 : Leh - Lamayuru

Today we will drive along the start of the Srinagar-Leh Highway, visiting a number of monasteries on our way.

We will start by visiting the Phyang Monastery, a short way out of town. The name of the monastery is derived from the blue mountain (Gang Ngonpo) behind the monastery. It was established by Choje Denma Kunga Drakpa in the 16th century with the sponsorship of his disciple Chogyal Tashi Namgyal, the 21st Dharma King of Ladakh.

Alchi Monastery is a Buddhist monastery, known more as a monastic complex of temples in Alchi village. These are noted for their fantastic wood carvings and quiet and charming atmosphere.

Likir Monastery is situated at the head of the village of the same name, which straggles down the valley of a side-stream flowing into the Indus between the Basgo and Saspol.

On this road, we will pass the confluence of Indus and Zanskar Rivers at Nimu, and also the out of this world scenery at Moonland, just outside of Lamayuru. We hope to arrive at Lamayuru in time to be able to see the sunset over Lamayuru Gompa.

Day 09 : Lamayuru - Padum

Another chance to witness morning prayers; this time at the Lamayuru Gompa, followed by a chance to look around the Gompa itself. We won't be able to linger for too long though, as today will be a long driving day to get to Padum. We will stop to take pictures on the way, but essentially today will be a driving day!

Day 10 & 11 : Padum ( Zanskar Festival )

home to around 100 lamas. This festival is celebrated remembering the victory of good over evil, at this largest Geluk-pa (Yellow Hat) monastery that is located on the slopes of Zanskar Mountains, right high above the Padum plain. During the festival, a Black Hat Dance is performed. Then there is also a masked dance (performed by the monks) on the same line as Chaam.

In quiet moments of the festival, we will be able to explore the town, Gompa and surrounding areas. This will also be a good time to practice shooting star trails!

Day 12 : Visiting Zansakar Valley

Today we have a full day to explore some of the villages and monasteries in the Zanskar Valley. Driving from Padum, we will have options to trek, but also to take the vehicles to explore more hidden corners of this fascinating place.

Day 13 : Zanskar - Kargil

Today we drive to Kargil, exploring glaciers, monsateries and other sites en route.

Day 14 : Kargil - Alchi

We will drive along the Indus River Valley, exploring some of the remote villages and monasteries until we reach the peaceful town of Alchi, where time permitting we will be able to explore the ancient wooden monasteries.

In the evening, we will enjoy our final dinner together.

Day 15 : Leh - Delhi

Today we will have an early start, for our drive to the airport at Leh to cath our GoAir flight to Delhi. We will have a transfer to the hotel in Delhi and a day room for those catching a flight later in the evening. 

Prix TTC par personne en hôtels 3 étoiles

Base 2 participants à partir de 1 355 €
Base 4 participants à partir de 1 205 €

Ce prix comprend :
Les vols réguliers Paris / Delhi / Paris en classe économique.
Les taxes aéroport.
Les transferts aéroport / hôtel / aéroport.
Une voiture climatisée avec chauffeur, avec frais du chauffeur et de la voiture.
Les services de guides locaux francophones ou anglophones.
L’hébergement en hôtels 3* (normes locales), en chambre double standard (hôtels 4 ou 5*, nous consulter pour tarif), en chambre double standard.
Les petits-déjeuners.
Les entrées des sites mentionnés au programme.
La montée à dos d’éléphant ou en Jeep au fort d’Amber.
Les frais de visa indien (60 €).

Ce prix ne comprend pas :
Les 2 repas principaux : déjeuner et dîner.
Les permis photo et vidéo sur les sites.
Les dépenses personnelles, pourboires, boissons…
Les assurances.

  • Janvier : Climat sec et frais. Gelées possibles la nuit.
  • Février : Climat sec et frais. Températures agréables.
  • Mars : Climat sec. Températures agréables.
  • Avril : Climat chaud et sec. Températures élevées.
  • Mai :Climat chaud et sec. Températures très élevées..
  • Juin :Climat chaud et sec. Températures très élevées.
  • Juillet : Début de la mousson. Climat chaud et humide.
  • Août : Mousson. Climat chaud et humide.
  • Septembre : Fin de la mousson. Températures agréables.
  • Octobre : Climat sec. Températures agréables.
  • Novembre: Climat sec. Températures agréables.
  • Décembre :Climat sec et frais. Gelées possibles la nuit.

The highlights of this trip

Leh:
Few places in India are at once so traveller-friendly and yet so enchanting and hassle-free as mountain-framed Leh. Dotted with stupas and crumbling mudbrick houses, the Old Town is dominated by a dagger of steep rocky ridge topped by an imposing Tibetan-style palace and fort.

Nubra:
Known for its orchards, scenic vistas, Bactrian camels and monasteries; Nubra Valley is the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir. Situated about 150 km from Leh, Nubra Valley is known as the Orchard of Ladakh and was originally called Ldumra which meant the valley of flowers.

Padum:
The village of Padum is located in a remote valley of the Zanskar area, making it an ideal location for travellers who want to escape the usual busy and crowded touristic areas. In the recent years, it has become a center of interest for the trekking community, as there are approximately 32 trekking routes to be explored starting from Padum.

 

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Lamayuru :

Slow-paced Lamayuru is one of Ladakh’s most memorable villages and an ideal place to break the journey from Kargil to Leh. Set among mountain-backed badlands, picturesque homes huddle around a crumbling central hilltop that’s a Swiss cheese of caves and erosion pillars topped by a photogenic gompa

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Alchi:

Known for its beautifully delicate painted shrines, some of which date back to the late 11th century, these temples contain some of the rarest and most extensive examples of Buddhist art in the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakhi regions. The murals are painted with diluted semi-precious stones, so remain vivid and detailed.

  • Cultural 90% 90%
  • Landscape 95% 95%
  • Monasteries 100% 100%
  • Local Experience 85% 85%

Educational !!

The trip was very interesting and the itinerary was educational and varied. As usual, an excellent trip that I would recommend to others. .”

Jeff & Hary, California

Highly recommend !!

“Our trip was just magical, and I would highly recommend India Travel Pundits to anyone considering a trekking tour in India. I don’t know how it could have been better, and I can’t wait to book another trip through India Travel Pundits again.

Thanks so much for all your help.” – .”

Philippe & Margot, Nice, France.

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