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Ladakh Village Trails

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Ladakh Village Trails

1-Join tour in Delhi
We begin our journey in Delhi, India’s vibrant and historic capital. The city’s cultural highlights are spread amongst the old Mughal monuments of Old Delhi and the imposing creations of the British Raj of the 1930s and include some of the country’s most iconic architectural treasures. Our hotel is based in the Karolbagh area of the city, close to the metro and, after a tour briefing this afternoon, the rest of the day is free to explore the city at your leisure.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

2-Morning flight to Leh (3524m); rest of day is left free to acclimatise
Our early morning flight to Ladakh takes us across the Himalaya with stupendous views to a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River, where towering peaks of ice and snow dominate the surrounding landscapes. Nestling amongst this spectacular scenery is the town of Leh, the largest in the region and once an important trading centre for goods travelling across Central Asia along the Silk Route from China. Dominated by the nine storey Lhachen Phalkar Palace, Leh is a small, picturesque town at 3524m above sea level. It’s important to acclimatise for the days ahead and today has been set aside to relax and break ourselves in gently to life amongst these beautiful Himalayan valleys.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

3-Walking tour in and around Leh including Samkar Village and Tsemo Castle
Today we have a chance to explore a little farther afield, and continue with our acclimatisation, on a short walking tour of Leh, with its narrow alleys and bustling markets. Then we head out towards Samkar Village and on to Chanspa, where we stop to visit the Shanti Stupa before continuing on to explore the ruins at Tiseru. The people of this region migrated here from neighbouring Tibet, bringing with them a strong sense of culture and tradition that has endured and strengthened amongst these harsh landscapes. Monastic ritual and religious festivals abound in this region and women enjoy an elevated status that is in sharp contrast to some of India’s other, more conservative regions. The final visit of the day will be to the 15th century Tsemo Gomba, a hilltop stronghold which affords us some stunning views out across the valley. Total walking time approximately 2 hours.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

4-Drive to Stok; hike in the Stok Valley and visit Stok Palace
Leaving Leh behind this morning we drive to the village of Stok (3580m) where we will stay in a simple family-run guesthouse. Our hike today takes us on a gentle climb along the course of the Stok river valley and will include a visit to the Stok Palace, a Buddhist monastery founded in the 14th century by Lama Lhawang Lotus. Used for a while as a residence by the Ladakhi royal family, the monastery today is home to a notable library that includes all 108 volumes of the Kangyur, a collection of sacred Tibetan Buddhist texts. Total walking time approximately 3/4 hours.
Overnight: Simple Guesthouse
Single Rooms Available

5-Drive to Hemis via Matho; visit Hemis Monastery
This morning we depart for Hemis, travelling south-east by way of Matho, home to the only example of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism in the region. The journey takes us along a valley that lies at the mouth of a deep gorge that runs out of the Zanskar Range and across the Indus to Hemis Monastery. We will camp overnight nearby. Whilst our campsite is basic, we are fully supported by our local crew. This afternoon we plan to visit the spectacular Hemis Monastery, the richest and most important in Ladakh. Belonging to the Drukpa (Red Hat) sect, the monastery is a treasure trove of golden statues, gem-studded stupas and rare books. It is also the site of the annual Hemis festival, which honours Guru Padmasambhava, regarded by many as the ‘Second Buddha’.
Overnight: Basic Camping
Your own tent available

6-Day hike from Hemis to the monastic retreat at Kotsang
This morning we hike up to a hermitage lying amongst the rocky slopes above Hemis Monastery. Established as a meditation retreat by Gyalwa Kotsang, the spot is home to a sacred shrine and a rock that still bears the handprint and footprint of the Buddhist saint. On our descent we will also visit the spectacular setting of Hemis Monastery itself, the richest and most important in Ladakh. Belonging to the Drukpa (Red Hat) sect, the monastery is a treasure trove of golden statues, gem-studded stupas and rare books. It is also the site of the annual Hemis festival, which honours Guru Padmasambhava, regarded by many as the ‘Second Buddha’. This evening we will spend another night camped on the outskirts of Hemis village. Total walking time approximately 2 hours.
Overnight: Basic Camping
Your own tent available

7-Drive to Eego and hike over a 4572m pass to the small village of Sakti near Chemrey Monastery
Driving to the other side of the Indus this morning, we head for the village of Eego whose name translates as ‘The Valley with Nine Bends’. We hike past the small community of Khaspang, where there is a retreat for the monks of the Hemis Monastery before we ascend to the pass into the next valley. Our highpoint today will be over 4570m and the views from up here are simply breathtaking – in more ways than one! Descending into the Sakti Valley we head for the monastery at Chemrey near to which we will camp overnight. This is a wide valley that connects the Indus, Nubra and Shayok Valleys via the Wari La Pass. Total walking time approximately 4/5 hours.
Overnight: Basic Camping
Your own tent available

8-Visit Chemrey Monastery; hike over the Kildeyrmala Pass (4651m) to Nang
Today’s hike is the longest of the trip, a five to six hour trek over the Kildeyrmala Pass and into the Nang Valley. We begin with a visit to the 17th century Chimrey Monastery, home to around 20 monks, a valuable collection of scriptures and an impressive statue of Padmasambhava. Following our visit we then begin our ascent to Kildeyrmala, a 4651 metre high pass from where there are magnificent views across the Indus Valley. The following descent then takes us down towards the head of the Nang Valley, presenting us with sweeping panoramas of a landscape that is over 45 million years old. Our final destination for today is the small farming community at Nang, where we camp for the evening. Total walking time approximately 5/6 hours.
Overnight: Basic Camping
Your own tent available

9-Visit Thiksey Monastery at early morning prayer time; drive to Nimoo with option to try whitewater rafting on the Indus River en route.
Early this morning we drive to the nearby monastery at Thiksey for the special opportunity to join the monks at their morning prayers. Similar in design to the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa, Thiksey belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) order of Tibetan Buddhism and is notable as the largest gompa in central Ladakh. After our packed breakfast, we then drive on to either Phey or Scorpohey, the starting point for a whitewater rafting trip along the Indus River for those who may be interested. The rapids along this section of the river are predominantly classed as Grades II and III, providing an exhilarating but not too scary a ride through the incredible Ladakhi scenery. We set off along a stunning 25km stretch of river that carves its way through a spectacular landscape of mountains, tiny hamlets and imposing monasteries. The journey ends at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers at Nimoo, from where we transfer to our village homestay for the evening. Those not rafting will be free to enjoy time in the village.
Overnight: Simple Homestay

10-Drive to Ney and hike to Likir Village and visit monastery
This morning we drive to the village of Ney (3590m) where we visit the village’s giant Buddha statue. From here we hike up to the small settlement of Likir close to one of the oldest and richest gompas in Ladakh. The trail takes us up along the left hand side of the valley, crossing a barren landscape that stretches out towards the National Highway far into the distance. After checking into our overnight guesthouse in Likir we take a short drive up to its famous monastery. Belonging to the Gelugpa Sect, the monastery was founded in the 15th century and provides a spectacular setting for a wealth of precious statues and priceless murals, as well as housing a huge statue of the Maitreya Buddha. Total walking time approximately 2/3 hours.
Overnight: Simple Guesthouse
Single Rooms Available

11-Hike to Yangthang; drive to Alchi
Today’s hike to the village of Yangthang, crosses over the Phobe La (3580m) and the Changatse La (3650m). The distance today is relatively short but we take time to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, taking in the solitude and beauty of this timeless landscape. From here we drive back over the other side of the Indus Valley to the village of Alchi where we overnight in a simple guesthouse. Alchi is spectacularly set in a side valley and surrounded by fields of barley, wheat and apricots. Total walking time approximately 3/4 hours.
Overnight: Simple Guesthouse
Single Rooms Available

12-Visit the fabulous Kashmiri frescoes at Alchi Monastery; drive to Leh and enjoy a free afternoon
This morning we plan to visit the historic Alchi Gompa. Dating back over 1000 years and renowned for its magnificent Kashmiri Buddhist artwork, the monastery is home to a remarkable collection of early frescoes that differ markedly from those found amongst the other monastic retreats in Ladakh. After the visit we drive back to Leh, where we have a free afternoon to explore a little more of its fascinating backstreets and enticing shops. Even though the yak caravans that once plied their trade through the Karakoram Pass are now a distant memory, Leh still retains an exotic frontier feel and its markets buzz with the sounds and smells of trade.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

13-Fly to Delhi where the afternoon is left free for sightseeing
We take an early flight back to Delhi this morning. After checking into our hotel the rest of the day is free to explore more of Delhi’s bustling streets, bazaars and monuments.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

14-Tour ends in Delhi
Our tour ends in Delhi this morning after breakfast.

Tour includes:

Included meals:
12 Breakfast
8 Lunch
10 Dinner
Bus, Flight
2 nights Simple Hotel
3 nights Standard Hotel
3 nights Simple Guesthouse
4 nights Basic Camping
1 night Simple Homestay
Tour Staff:
Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Activity Guide(s), Camp Crew
Maximum Altitude on Trek (m):
Group Size:
Generally 10 – 16

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