13 Days - Ladakh Cultural Tour
Enjoy the hilltops with amazing sightseeing and get ready to get enthralled with exquisite culture and tradition in wake of trekking. In fact, the culture of Ladakh has been enriched with monasteries and trekking makes it more than significant and worthwhile. This special itinerary is designed to give you utmost fun and frolic in the vicinities.
Day at leisure for acclimatization. Leh is the Headquarter of Leh District and the largest Town in Ladakh region. It is located to the north of Indus River at an altitude of 11,500 ft.
These are a couple of kms away from Leh. Sankar Monastery belongs to the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism and is a branch of Spituk Monastery. Shanti Stupa at the Hilltop was built by the Japanese for World peace, and was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1985. Leh Palace was built by King Singey Namgyal in the beginning of 17 century AD. The nine-storey palace is now deserted and has been taken over by ASI. A /N At leisure to explore Leh town. O / N in hotel.
Hemis monastery is one of the most famous and largest monasteries in Ladakh, located 45 Km South of Leh and was founded in 17th century belongs to the Drukpa order. The monastery founded by Stagsang Raspa who was invited to Ladakh by King Singee Namgyal.
The king offered him religious estates and attended him as his principal guru. Hemis Tsechu (festival) assemble annually from 9th to 11th day of the 5th Tibetan month. The Gompa has well preserved Thangkas, copper gilt statue of the lord Buddha, various Stupas made of gold and silver and many auspicious objects.
The largest Thangka in Ladakh over 12 Mts. long is at Hemis Monastery. Visit monastery and drive back to visit Thiksey, Shey & Stok Palace. Thiksey Monastery was built in 1630 and is one of the most famous, largest and richest monasteries in Ladakh.
Shey 03 Km from Thiksey and 18 kms South of Leh and was the seat of power of the first King of Ladakh who constructed the hilltop Fortress. The ruin Fort can be seen above the present Shey Palace. Shey Palace was built in the beginning of 17th Century AD. The main image in the monastery is the three-storey image of Buddha Shakyamuni made of copper gilt. O/N hotel at Leh
Drive to Liker via Basgo. THE CASTLE OF BASGO Basgo lies at a distance of 42 Kms west of Leh.The castle known as Basgo Rabtan Lhartsekhar is situated there on a hill of clay. The Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial and Singay Namgial, father and son built it.
The Principal image there is that of the so-called’Golden Maitreya,’ a sacred copper-gilt image of the Buddha Maitreya, two storey in height. The Dharmaraja Singey Namgail as funerary build it to his father, king Jamyang Namgial.There is also an image of the Buddha Maitreya made of clay three storeys in height, which can be seen at the top of the castle.
The ruins of a temple and a stupa build by Rinchen Zangpo, the translator can also be seen. Likir lies at a distance of 62 Kms west of Leh. During the time of Lhachen Gyalpo, the fifth king of Ladakh, a religious estate and the land on which to build the monastery was offered to Lama Duwang Chosje, a great champion of meditation. The Lama blessed the site and in 1065 the monastery was built.
The monastery was encircled by the bodies of the two great serpent spirits, the naga- rajas (Nanda & Taksako) and so its name became widely renowned as Likir (The Naga - Encircled). In the 15th Century the disciple of Khasdubje known as Lhawang Lodos Sangphu caused the monastery to flourish.
The monastery was brought into the order of the great Lama Tsongkhapa and up till present times the ritual and observances of the three basic Pratimoksa disciplines, which from the basic of Buddhist teachings, are preserved. There are many blessed shrines in this monastery and there resides a protective deity wearing golden armour and of stern command.Every year from the 27th to 29th of 12 th Tibetan month the votive offerings known as Dosmochey are assembled and sacred dances are performed.
The successive reincarnations of Naris Rinpoche act as the incumbents of the monastery.ALCHI MONASTERY Although there are a great many temples, caves and stupas built in Ladakh by Rinchen Zangpo, Translator, Alchi Choskor is the large and most famous of all of them. Alchi is situated at a distance of 67 Kms west of Leh, founded by Rinchen Zangpo, Translator, in 1000 AD. The sacred temples, to be seen there include the Principal one of the Rinchen Lhakhang, at Lotsa Lhakhang, the Jamyang Lhakhang (Manjusri temple) and the sumtsag Lhakhang.
The main image is that of Vairocana but there can also been seen the five Buddha Families together with their attendant deities, The paintings are not like the Tibetan style but rather they are executive according to the Indian tradition. In order to build these temples Rinchen Zangpo, the Translator is said in the various biographies to have brought with him from Kashmir (thirty-two sculptors and wood carvers).
Other temples built by Rinchen Zangpo, Translator are to be found at Mangu and Sumda each containing a sacred image of Vaironica, various most beautiful images of the Buddhas and Bodhisatvas and many kinds of lovely paintings.
They are also included among the 108 temples built by Rinchen Zangpo, the Translator, within the province of Naris Skorsum. Drive futher towards Leh.O/N in hotel at Leh.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and proceed to Nubra Valley via Khardongla Pass (5580m), the highest motorable road. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldomra or the Valley of Flowers. Visit the Diskit Gompa, Samstanling Gompa and Palanmik Hot Spring. Also enjoy a Safari of the Double Hump Camel, River Rafting, Trekking and Sunbath at Hunder. Overnight stay at the Camp.
Morning visit Chamba monastery of Hunder and then start the Camel Safari on the shabby double-humped (Bacterian camels), which in olden days were the main mode of transport in the Ladakh-Yarkhand (Turkmanistan) trade route.
The Safari goes along the soft white sandy deserts with rolling sand dunes to reach Deskit, the sub-divisional head quarter of Nubra.Please note that camel safari will charge extra cost. If you are not interested in camel safari, you have a walk around beautiful Hunder village .
Afternoon proceed to visit Panamik and Samstaling Monastery via DESKIT MONASTERY .Deskit Being the main town of Nubra valley, it has a small market bustling with activities. Also visit the Gompa, situated on a rocky spur above the village providing a commanding view of the valley. Visit the monastery and drive back to Hunder Over night camp
Begin trek with gradual upstream climb along Hundar Tokpo to Skarchen Tokpo through some narrow gorges to camp at Wacham which is located on a plateau. The trek is not well defined at many places and therefore always takes the route used for animals and avoids negotiating difficult rocks. 6-7 hours trek. We won't camp at Skarchen because Skarchen to Wachem is hardly 02 hours trek.
Gradually walk up to the pastures of Hundar Dok (summer grazing ground) for about 03 hours and continue for another 02 hours to camp at the beautiful grazing grounds of Thanglesgo.
Trek along a beautiful stream and pastures covered with wild flowers and up the valley to camp at the base of Lasermo La. The trek is well defined except at a few places where it is stony. 05 hours trek
Climb gradually to the top of Lasermo La (5200 Mts). The trek from camping place to bottom of the pass is stony. One has to negotiate a snow file from the bottom of the pass to the top. There are several routes to the top depending on the snow condition and the season you are crossing the pass. The horses have to be led from left side trek which leads to a higher ridge of the pass. The climb is rewarded with wonderful views of the mountains and valleys below. The descend to Morubuk, a small settlement is steep and have to walk on loose sand and stony trail. Have to cross a stream several times. 5-6 hours trek.
From the camping ground walk downstream upto a triad. Cross the stream coming from Lasermo La at the sumdo and come to the right hand side leaving the main stream to your left hand side. Then walk on even and defined trail upto the village of phyang. 3-4 hours trek. Pick up and drive to Leh (45 minutes).