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Monasteries Tour Ladakh
Duration - 14 Days
In Ladakh these have always been the centre of
religious, social, economic and even political functions. They are a living
institution, especially because of their ecological position in a country where
the barren mountainous character of the landscape forces the economy to function
on a collective basis. Most of the gompas lie on majr ancient trading routes
extending from Tibet to Ladakh, among them Hemis, Thiksey, Alchi, Lamayuru,
Ringdom, Karsha, etc. Almost all the gompas follow a code of architecture.
Ever thought of trekking on a
frozen river? A part of the Zanskar River freezes during the winter and is used
as trekking route by many seasoned trekking enthusiasts. The trek is one of its
kinds in Leh Ladakh. If you are a novice when it comes to climbing mountains and
negotiating treacherous treks, it is better to hire a seasoned mountaineer or
trekker. A guide with experience and with fairly good knowledge of the area is
of great help.
14 Days Tour
Trek + Lake Safari + Monastery Tour
Trekking Season :
June to October
1: Arrive Delhi :-
Arrival to Delhi and check in the hotel for overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 2: Delhi - Manali :-
Morning drive to Manali(505Km/8hrs). Arrive late evening overnight stay in the
Day 3: Manali :- After breakfast proceed for sightseeing and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 4 & 5: Manali - Leh (Jeep
Safari)-Two days drive towards Leh on Day 5.
Considered as one of the highest roads in the world, Manali-Leh highway is the
most popular and spectacular approach to Ladakh. From the months of end June to
October this highway is open. Itís a very scenic route, full of adventure and
rugged beauty. The road was closed for the civilian use till 1990, but now the
adventure and nature lovers worship it, for this road gives closest contact with
nature and thrill of being on the top of the world is enormous.
Day 4 : Sarchu -First day we cross Rohtang Pass (3978 m), Keylong (3350 m), Baralacha Pass
(4890m) with overnight stopover at Sarchu (4253 m), border of the states of
Himachal Pradesh (Lahaul) and Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh). In Sarchu, we stay
overnight in tented campsite.
Day 5 : Leh-
On Day 5, the road from Sarchu crosses high mountain Passes of Namika La and
Lachalung La to reach the army camp in the Pang valley. The dry barren mountains
around Pang are eroded in very spectacular way. They look like giant fortress
like structures with spires, pinnacles and windows. From Pang, the road climbs
up and reaches a different world altogether. Here is the flat high desert of
More Plains, 50-60 km of road bisecting it. This is Rupshu, an extension of
Changthang plateau of Tibet. The road then climbs for Tanglang Pass (5415 m),
the second highest mountain Pass in Ladakh and then finally reaches Leh. This
475 km Himalayan journey is a visual delight with not one moment of boredom en
Overnight stay in the hotel at Leh.
Day 6: Leh:-
After breakfast proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour. We start with a visit
to Shey, the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge
gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front
of the statue. Then we visit Thiksey Gompa, an impressive complex rising tier
upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high
gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future. Drive further
to visit the famous Hemis Gompa, founded in 1630's by Stag-tsang-ras-pa under
the royal patronage of Sengge Namgyall. Hemis is one of the largest and richest
gompas of Ladakh. The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised
the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru
Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading
Buddhism in the Tibetan world. Later we visit the Stok Palace, the Royal
residence of the King of Stok & the Museum that has a rich collection of Ancient
Ladakhi artefacts including old Thangkas, precious stones, arms and armoury, the
Queenís necklace and the crown of the King of Ladakh among others. Overnight
stay at the hotel in Leh.
Day 07 : Leh - Likir - Yangthang:-
After breakfast drive from Leh to Likir for 2 hours. At Likir you will meet all
your trekking staff and ponies. One can visit Likir monastery situated on a hill
towards the village (Trek 5 hrs). Start your trek through a barley field to cross a small
stream and then to village Sumdo. Then gradually trek to village Yangthang to
Day 08 : Yangthang - Hemis Shukpachan: -
Trek to Wulle valley and then ascent for one hour to Shemchan La and then
descent towards Hemis Shukpachan, the highest village in this route. Itís a big
village and is famous for Cedar trees found in plenty here, hence the name of
village. We will visit a family house and have some butter tea and Ladakhi chang
(the local beer) There is a small but beautiful monastery just outside the
village that we can visit. Camp for overnight stay.
Day 09 : Hemis Shukpachan - Timosgam - Khalse -
We trek 5to 6hrs through the Apricot rich village of Ang and reach Timosgam, the
historical village, where one can visit the monastery and the Palace. This
valley has warm weather as compared to Indus valley and hence conducive to thick
vegetation and hence there are plenty of apricots, apples and nuts making it one
of the richest valleys in Ladakh. Since people are rich they have beautiful
houses with wonderful interior.
From Timosgam we drive to Khasltse and Lamayuru.
Lamayuru monastery was founded by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century. This gompa
is located amidst the massive mountains. The spectacular setting of this gompa
and its renowned collection of carpets, thangkas and frescoes has been
attracting many people over a long time. It is believed to be the oldest in
central Ladakh. Overnight stay in tented camp in Lamayuru.
Day 10 : Lamayuru - Alchi - Leh:-
In the morning we visit the Lamayuru monastery to be part of the morning
religious ceremony. Itís a very soothing and spiritual experience to be there
among these warm and friendly monks.
Then we drive for Alchi and cross the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh's most
loved monastery. Over a century old, its wall paintings are very similar to
those of the Tabo gompa in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Unlike other monasteries
which are usually on a cliff top or cling to a mountainside, Alchi is at ground
level and is nestled in the shade of a garden.
We also have an option to visit the impressive Ridzong Gompa near Alchi, reached
from the road head after a 30-minute uphill walk. Itís an impressive monastery
well hidden in the lap of the mountains until youíre face to face with it. It is
situated on the mountainside wedged in between 2 ends of a ridge. It is about
100 years old and the name means 'mountain fort' aptly describing this isolated
gompa. It also has a nunnery of female monks also.
On our way to Leh we can visit the Basgo monastery also, famous for its Buddha
statue. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 11: Leh - Upshi - Tso Moriri (Karzok Gompa):-
After early breakfast, we drive to Karzok (4,572 m) the only village near Tso
Moriri Lake. From Leh we reach Upshi on Leh-Manali road and then we turn to
another valley and drive along the Indus River. It is one of the most
interesting areas and goes through narrow valleys, sandy deserts, rocky paths,
and our vehicle crosses number of mountain streams. Little before Tso-Moriri
Lake we drive past a small green valley of wild Marmots locally known as Phya.
Arrive at Korzok village and check in at the camps (9Hrs). Situated at 15,000 ft (4,572
m), it is the only permanent settlement in Rupshu region with an approximate
population of 500 people. The few barley fields at Karzok must be among the
highest cultivation in the world. In the evening we visit Karzok monastery.
Overnight stay in the tented camp.
Day 12: Tso Moriri Lake (Karzok gompa):-
Day free to explore the Lake area and the village. The clear blue Tso Moriri
Lake is one of the most breathtaking lakes in Ladakh. This brackish water lake
is considered sacred by the locals. The Lake is surrounded by beautiful. The
Lake is a breeding ground for numerous species of birds like Great Crested
Grebe, the Brahmini duck, Bar Headed Geese, etc. This region also has large
number of Kiangs, Tibetan wild ass and itís not difficult to spot them.
Overnight stay in the tented camp.
Day 13: Tso Moriri Lake - Tso Khar Lake - Tanglang
La Pass - Leh:-
In the morning we drive to reach Tsokar via Puga by covering 75 km in 3-4 hours.
Tso Khar Lake (4485 m) is also called White Lake because of salt deposits around
it. It is approx 45 km northwest of the Tso Moriri Lake. Tso Khar is so salty
that salt extracted from its margins are still sold all over Ladakh. We continue
to drive and reach Manali-Leh highway and drive down towards Leh via Tanglang-la
(5415 m) the 2nd highest motorable road in Ladakh. En route, drive pass
beautiful villages of Rumtse, Gya, Miru and Lato. Arrive Leh and check into
hotel for overnight stay.
Day 14: Leh - Delhi (Fly)-
In the morning transfer to the airport to board the flight to Delhi. Transfer
and check in
hotel in Delhi.
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