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Glimpses of Ladakh

Glimpses of Ladakh
Click to Enlarge

Duration: 8 Days

Trip Grade: two star

Day 1Arrive at Leh 

Arrive at Leh airport by morning flight. You will be met and assisted on arrival. Transfer to hotel. The whole day is free to acclimatise the body to the high altitude.

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 2: After breakfast proceed for a full day’s sightseeing of the Shey Palace, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries, and the Stok Palace.

Shey Palace Monastery: Until the sixteenth century it was the royal residence; kings of Leh were supposed to be born in monasteries. This Palace Monastery has the largest statue of Maître Buddha (Buddha to Come) in Ladakh. Erected in the mid-seventeenth century, worked out of gold and gilded copper sheets, with blue hair, it stands 17.5 metres high.

Thiksey Monastery  is an imposing monastery and one of the finest example of Ladakhi architecture, known for its resemblance to the Potala of Lhasa. This gompa is situated on the top of a hill and forms part of the 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 many precious objects to be seen. The successive reincarnations of the Skyabje Khampo Ringpoche act as in-charge of the monastery. The main prayer hall has a 15 m high seated Buddha figure.

Hemis Monastery is one of the richest, biggest, and most famous gompas 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 Padmasambhava's birth anniversary. Every 12 years the thanka with his portrait 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, a 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-nineteenth century. The Palace Museum has on display fabulous period costumes and jewelry of the royalty along with exquisite thankas representing the life of the Sakyamuni Buddha. Interesting historical objects like coins, seals, armour, weapons, and precious jade and porcelain can also be seen here. The royal family still continues to live here.

Overnight in hotel.

 

Day 3: 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 ft. Enjoy unbelievable but true spectacular views of the snow-covered Himalayas. Return by the afternoon. The afternoon is free to explore the local markets on your own.

Overnight in hotel.

 

Day 4: After breakfast, drive to Alchi, en route visit Basgo Palace and Likir Monastery. Arrive in Alchi by the afternoon. Visit the monastery at Alchi; spend the afternoon exploring the village. 

Basgo: It was the seat of power of a branch of the Namgyal family. It is here in 1680 AD that invading Mongol and Tibetan armies were held in check over a three year long siege. The original sixteenth century murals and other artworks at Basgo are well worth a visit.

Alchi Monastery: On the banks of river Indus is Alchi gompa dating back to the eleventh 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 eighteenth 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.

Overnight in camp.

 

Day 5: After breakfast, return to Leh; visit the monastery at Lamayuru en route.

Lamayuru has fascinating caves carved out of the mountainside. Also known as Yung Drung (Swastika) it is sited on a high promontory overlooking the village and valley. For sheer spectacle value no other gompa can match Lamayuru.

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 6: After an early breakfast, drive for a visit of Pangong Lake via Chang La pass (17,350 ft). The drive takes you through spectacular, amazing scenery, with breathtaking views of the snow-covered mountains, recalling your journeys to the Alps of Europe. The lake is the highest (4267 m/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, provides a spectacular backdrop to the blue and green expanse of its brackish water.

Overnight in camp.

 

Day 7: After a leisurely breakfast, return to Leh.

Overnight in hotel.

 

Day 8: Transfer to airport to catch your return flight to Delhi and fly back with sweet memories of Ladakh. Tour ends. 

Book Glimpses of Ladakh to experience in an ancient culture!

 

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