9 DAYS LADAKH PACKAGE
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- Trip duration : 9 days
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Time less land’ and ‘the last Sangri- la’ are names which have been applied to Ladakh,both with a degree of truth. Ladakh is a high- altitude plateau North of the Himalayas situated geographically in Tibet. It’s a miniature version of Tibet, the people are Tibetan in their culture and religion, and there are many Tibetan refugees living there
The Himalayas are a very effective barrier to rain – few clouds creep across their awesome height and as a result Ladakh is barren beyond belief. Only where rivers, running from faraway glaciers or melting snow, carry water to habitation do you find plant life – hence the moonland label, Ladakh is as dry as the Sahara.
Ladakh could well be a last Shangri-la, in the mid-70s Ladakh was opened to outside visitors. Its strategic isolation is matched by its physical isolation – only from June to September are the roads into Ladakh from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh not covered by snow although nowadays there are airline flights into Ladakh. The flight is one of the most spectacular in the world.
Ladakh is well worth the effort involved in getting there. It’s an otherworldly place – strange Gompas perched on soaring hilltops, ancient buildings clinging to sheer rock walls, and shattered – looking Landscapes splashed with small but brilliant patches of green. But most of all there are the delightful Ladakhis, friendly as only Tibetan people can be and immensely colorful.
At Kargil, on the Srinagar to Leh road, the Islamic influence diminishes and the region becomes predominantly Buddhist. The people follow Tibetan Tantric Buddhism which places much emphasis on magic and demons. All around Ladakh are Gompas, the Buddhist monasteries which are always fascinating to visit.
Permits: Three regions of Ladakh were opened to foreigners in 1994. They are: the Dahanu area, North of the Kargil to Leh road at Kahlsi; the Nubra Valley; and Pangong Tso ( Lake Pangong). For all of these places you have to be officially part of the group of four people with permits are issued at the police station in Leh.
Day - 01:
Arrive at Leh. Arrive at Leh airport by morning flight. (There are three flights to Leh operated by Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India). You will be met and assisted on arrival. Transfer to hotel. Whole day is free to acclimatize the body to the high altitudes. Overnight at hotel. (Welcome drink on arrival).
Day - 02
After breakfast proceed for a full day sightseeing of Shay palace, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries and the Stok Palace. O/N in hotel at Leh
Shey - Until the 16th century it was the royal residence, Kings of Leh were supposed to be born in the monasteries. This Palace Monastery has the largest statue of Maître Buddha (Buddha to come) in Ladakh. Erected in the mid 17th century, worked out of gold and gilded copper sheets with blue hair, it stands 17.5 meters high.
Thiksey - is an imposing monastery and one of the finest example of Ladakhi architecture. This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. The 12-storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings, there are sacred shrines and a many precious objects to be seen. The successive reincarnation of the Skyabje Khampo Ringpoche acts as in-charge of the monastery. The main prayer hall has a 15 mt high-seated Buddha figure.
Hemis Monastery - Is one of the richest, biggest and most famous gompa in Ladakh. Built in 1630, it belongs to the red sect. Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held during summer in honour of their Guru Padma Sambhava's birth anniversary, every 12 years the thanka with his photograph is displayed - the largest in the world. The monastery houses silver chortens studded with precious and semi precious stones, an impressive library of Tibetan style books, large number of thankas, various images of Buddha and frescoes including the famous "Wheel of Life".
Stok Palace - The palace of the banished royal family dates back to the mid 19th century. The Palace museum has on display fabulous period costumes and jewelry of the royalty along with exquisite thankas representing the life of the Sakya Muni Buddha. Interesting historical objects like coins, seals, Armour, weapons, precious jade and porcelain can also be seen here. The Royal family still continues to live here.
Day - 03
After breakfast drive to Alchi, enroute visit Basgo Palace and Likir Monastery. Arrive Alchi by the afternoon. Visit the monastery at Alchi; spend the afternoon exploring the village. Overnight Camp.
Basgo - It was the seat of power of a branch of the Namgyal family. It is here in 1680 A.D. that invading Mongol and Tibetan armies were held in check over a three year long siege. Original 16th century murals and other arts of Basgo are well worth a visit.
Alchi Monastery - On the banks of river Indus is Alchi gompa dating back to the 11th century. It is one of the largest and a famous monastery with a widely renowned collection of paintings. One of its walls features thousands of miniature-sized pictures of the Buddha. This monastery is maintained by the monks of Likir monastery and is no longer a place for active worship.
Likir - The present gompa in Likir dates back to the 18th century. It contains huge clay images of Buddha and various old manuscripts. It also houses an interesting collection of Thankas, old religious and domestic costumes and implements etc.
Day - 04
After Breakfast. Return to Leh; visit the monastery at Lamayuru enroute. Lamayuru - has fascinating caves carved out of the mountainside. Also known as Yung Drung (Swastika) it is sited on a high promonotory overlooking the village and valley. For sheer spectacle value no other gompa can match Lamayuru. O/N at hotel in Leh.
Day – 05
After breakfast proceed for an unforgettable drive to the top of the world's highest motorable mountain pass Khardungla, at a height of about 18,380 Feet. Enjoy unbelievable but true spectacular views of the snow covered Himalayas all around. Return by the afternoon. Afternoon free to explore the local markets on your own. O/N at Hotel in Leh
Day - 06
After early breakfast drive for a visit of Pangong Lake via Chang La pass(17,500 Ft). The drive takes you through specatular, amazing scenery, with breathtaking views of the snowcapped mountains . The Lake is the highest(4267M - 14,500 Ft)) salt-water lake in the world, situated along the India / China border. It is about 130 Km long and 5-6 Km wide. The Chang -Chenmo range surrounding it from the north provide a spectacular backdrop to the blue and green expanse of its brackish water. Overnight Camp.
Breakfast at the camp and spend the morning exploring the area. Return to Leh by the evening. O/N hotel at Leh.
Day - 08
Halfday rafting trip on Zanskar river. Afternoon free for personal activities. O/N in hotel at Leh.
Day - 09
Transfer to airport to catch the flight for Delhi with sweet memories of Ladakh.Tour Ends.