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Itinerary:  Cultural Expedition To Ladakh



A land of mystery and folk lore, of Silk Route legends and ancient villages perched high above gushing rivers. Ladakh and its remote Zanskar region, scattered amongst the glorious Trans Himalayan expanses, will endlessly engage the visitor with its dramatic natural scenery, its Buddhist gompas with their painted murals and beautiful icons and its wild landscape rich in promise of adventure activities and cultural experiences. With the fall of the great Tibetan empire, the kingdom of Tibet was, in 1020, split up amongst the three brothers of the ruling clan. One of the brothers moved into the southern region of the Tibetan Plateau and occupied the wild expanses of Ladkah. With him he brought the rich cultural elements of Tibetan Buddhism which slowly amalgamated with the local Bon religion. Many of the old local shrines were converted to Buddhist monasteries. To counter a Tibetan-Mongolian invasion its ruler Deldan Namgyal (ca 1620-1660) appealed to Kashmir for help. The invasion was stopped but from that time forward Ladakh was to come under the sway of the great Mughal rulers of India. Today this harsh but dramatic land, with Leh as its capital, is the base of exciting adventure activities such as trekking, rafting, jeep tours and bird watching. Its monasteries, a repository of ancient art and scriptures, draw culture enthusiasts from around the globe.

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Day 1 - Arrive

Meet and assistance on arrival at Delhi’s International airport arrival lounge and transfer to the Red Fox

Day 2 - Delhi/Leh

Early morning transfer to Delhi's domestic airport to board flight to Leh, capital of Ladakh region (11,500ft/3,521m). Met on arrival and transfer to hotel Omasila or available alternative

Remainder of the day at leisure to begin acclimatisation.

Overnight at Omasila or available alternative

Day 3 - Leh

Today is at leisure in Leh. Rest and acclimatisation.

In the afternoon visit Leh, the capital of the historic kingdom of Ladakh and the present district of the same name. The town is a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The main street is open and airy, lined with rows of shops. On either side of the market, long lines of Ladakhi women in traditional dress and colourful jewellery of coral and turquoise can be seen seated behind enormous baskets, selling vegetables. The spectacular eight-floor Leh Palace looms above the town, dominating the landscape. It was built in the 16th century, about the same time as the Potala in Lhasa, which it resembles. Stroll through the town, followed by a visit to Sankar gompa, a little over a mile from the market. This gompa is a subsidiary of Spitok gompa, having the same head lama. Sankar is easily visited on foot from Leh, lying as it does in Leh’s suburbs.

Overnight at hotel Omasila or available alternative

Day 4 - Leh

Morning excursion to Spituk and Phyang Monastery. Spituk Monastery is on the hill top near Indus, around 18 Kms from Leh. It was founded in 11th century by Od-De the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub-od, the Gompa named Spituk (exemplary) when Rinchen Zangpo translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially it belonged to the Kadampa school then during the life time of king Gragspa Bumide made it Gayluk Pa order.

Phyang is 17 Kms west of Leh on the blue hill, belongs to Dingung order, founded in 15th century by Chosje Danma Kunja Dragpa in the time of king Jamjang Namgyal. Phyang monastery is also called Tashi Chosang, which mark the first established of the Dingung to teachings in Ladakh.

Afternoon free.

Overnight at Omasila or available alternative

Day 5 - Leh

Morning excursion south visiting Shey palace, Thiksey and Hemis Monasteries. Shey Palace is on the eastern bank of Indus river up a stone path. Until the 16th century, Shey was the royal residence, located at an important vantage point in the Indus Valley. Kings of Leh were supposed to be born in the monastery. Thikse is on a crag overlooking the flood plain on the eastern bank of Indus river. It is one of the most imposing monasteries in Ladakh and was part of the original Gelugpa order in the 15th century. Hemis Monastery is built on a green hillside surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, is hidden in a gorge. It is the biggest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh and is a ”must” for visitors.

Overnight at Omasila or available alternative

Day 6 - Leh

Morning excursion to Khardong La Pass (35 Kms) which is second highest Motorable Pass in the world at 5600 metres. One can witness beauty of snow capped mountains from the top.

Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at hotel Omasila or available alternative

Day 7 - Leh/Delhi

Morning transfer to Leh airport for flight back to Delhi.

(Check In is three hours prior to departure)

Suggested Adaptations to this tour

Pangong Lake-with overnight camping. This beautiful Trans-Himalayan expanse of brackish water, located at an altitude of 4350 m, north east of Leh is accessed by the Changlang Pass (5486m). Pangong Tso is 5/6 km wide and over 144 km long, with half of it running along the other side of the Indo-China borderlands. The stark mountains act as a backdrop to the ever-changing colours of the iridescent lake. Along the way are a string of remote villages and shepherd enclaves set against a stunning landscape.

March to November


TOFTThe Hotels covered in this Itinerary are:
Hotel Omasila

Hotel Omasila

At Just a 15 minutes drive from Leh airport and 2 minutes drive form main marker,bank & post office , in the capital of Ladakh, "Hotel Omasila" will make your stay a pleasure in the unique Himalyan Kingdom. Leaving behind the city pace, unwind yourself in the clean fresh air. Omasila gives you a panaromic view of the Himalyan Ranges and the best of Indian Cuizine.

Map of India


Day 1 - Arrive
Day 2 - Delhi/Leh
Day 3 - Leh
Day 4 - Leh
Day 5 - Leh
Day 6 - Leh
Day 7 - Leh/Delhi

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