Ladakh Pilgrimage (12 Days and 11 Nights)
Located near the north-east border, Ladakh is the western Himalayan region of India. It is spread over an area of 97,000 square kilometres with an altitude range of 8000 to 14000 feet. It is a high altitude semi-desert, which experience subzero temperature in the winters. At certain places, temperature goes below minus thirty degrees Celsius.
Ladkah comprises five valleys: Indus, Zanskar, Nubra, Suru and Dras. These valleys are named after the rivers flowing through these valleys. The mountain ranges in Ladakh consist mainly of the great Himalayan ranges and Karakoram ranges. Central Ladakh lies in the area between these two ranges which is known as the trans-Himalayan region.
Buddhism is the major religion of Ladakh. Buddhism in Ladakh has been greatly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. The great yogi Padmasambhava, who was a direct disciple of Lord Buddha, travelled through Ladakh to visit Tibet. There are many monasteries in Ladakh which date back to hundreds of years. These monasteries have beautiful and colourful murals and thangkas which depict Lord Buddha, angels and other Buddhist incarnations in various postures. Monasteries like Hemis and Likir have museums which showcase articles used by royal families of Ladakh and monks. Even though Ladakh is a dry area with scant vegetation, the never ending series of bare mountains gives Ladakh its own identity; the unique landscape of Ladakh has its own charm. The warmth and hospitality shown by Ladakhi people, adds to the overall experience of tourists and pilgrims. No surprise that Ladakh, which is often referred as Moon-land, has become one of the most sought after pilgrim and tourist destinations of India.
Ladakh Pilgrimage is an endeavour to acquaint you with the spiritual and cultural heritage of Ladakh. We will visit monasteries which were associated with Guru Padamsambhava and Naropa and other monasteries which were once the centre of learning and religious practices. Our visit will take us to the valleys of Nubra, Shyok and Indus. These journeys will allow you to behold the breathtaking landscapes and scenery of the three valleys. The time spent in the oasis of Hunder and Lamayuru will be a nice way to connect with the inner-self. A visit to Pathar Sahib where the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, had meditated and freed the locals of the menace of a demon will deepen our faith. This enrapturing pilgrimage will culminate with a visit to serene Pangong Lake. This pilgrimage to Ladakh is of 12 days and 11 nights duration. It starts and ends in New Delhi.
You will arrive in New Delhi. We will receive you at the airport and take you to the hotel for check-in. There will not be any excursions today.
After breakfast, we will visit Gandhi Smriti Museum which showcases the relics of Mahatma Gandhi. He was killed at this place when he was on his way to attend evening prayer. Later, we will visit the magnanimous Akshardham Temple which is an architectural marvel. Akshardham Temple was founded by Swaminarayan Trust. Through thoughtful exhibitions, visitors are acquainted with the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of India. For dinner and overnight stay, we will be back to the hotel.
We will fly to Leh by morning flight. The flight journey will take 80 minutes. In Leh, we will check-in at the hotel and have our breakfast. Later in the day, we will visit Stok Palace and Shanti Stupa. Stok Palace is a three storey structure which was constructed in 1820 by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. It used to be the summer palace of the royal family. After 1835 invasion of Ladakh by Dogra, the royal family was sent to live in this palace in exile. After the visit to the palace, we will proceed to visit Shanti Stupa. Shanti Stupa was built in 1991 as part of Peace Pagoda mission. It enshrines relics of Lord Buddha at the base.For dinner and overnight stay, we will then return to the hotel.
Today we will visit two of the most beautiful and important monasteries of Ladakh: Hemis and Thikse Monasteries. Hemis Monastery is located at a distance of 48 km from Leh. It was founded in the year 1630. It has the largest number of resident monks in the whole of Ladakh. Hemis Monastery is especially popular because of its annual festival which is held in the month of June or July. The date of the festival coincides with the birthday of Guru Padamasambhava.
Thikse Monastery has an impressive structure which follows the concept of tiers. It was founded in the 15th century. The shrines of monastery have images of Sakyamuni, Avlokiteshvara and a giant sized idol of Maitreya Buddha. From the terrace of the monastery, one can see the panoramic view of the nearby mountains and valleys. After the day’s excursion, we will return to the hotel.
We will check-out from the hotel and proceed to Lamayuru. On the way to Lamayuru, we will visit the shrine of Pathar Sahib and Likir Monastery. Pathar Sahib is a shrine dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev. He was the founder of Sikhism. When he arrived at this place in 1517 AD, he came to know about a demon that was troubling the local people. The Guru sat in meditation at this place. In order to kill him, demon attacked him with a boulder. The boulder turned into wax and the Guru was unhurt. Eventually, that demon apologized to the guru and promised to lead a pious life thereafter.
Likir Monastery was established in the 12th century. In the 15th century, the monastery was restructured and it came under the Ge-lug-pa sect of Buddhism. The main prayer hall of the monastery has images of Sakyamuni, Maitreya and Tsong-kha-pa with his two disciples. The murals and thangkas of the monastery are very impressive.
After a journey of two hours, we will reach Lamayuru. We will check-in at a hotel where we will be put up for two nights.
Yumdrung Monastery is a few metres away from the hotel. It is also known as Lamayuru Monastery. It is believed to be founded in the 5th century and thus considered as the oldest monastery in the whole of Ladakah. The monastery houses the cave where Lama Naropa had meditated. The prayer hall of the monastery has very peaceful ambience. There will not be any excursion in the day. You can plan your activities like going for a long stroll, interacting with local villagers, reading a book, spending time by the river etc.
We will proceed to Leh after breakfast. On the way, we will visit the monasteries at Alchi and Basgo. Alchi Monastery is on the left side of the river Indus. It belongs to the Ge-lug-pa sect of Buddhism. The Assembly hall (Du-khang), new temple, Jampal Lha-khang and Lotsava Lha-khang are the main attractions of Alchi Monastery. Chortens (Buddhist shrines) of Likir Monastery has ancient paintings.
Basgo Monastery was founded in 1680. It is located on a hilltop and is now in poor condition. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site. Hopefully, the reconstruction work will commence soon. It has three shrines out of which Chamba Lha-khang is the biggest. The wide expanse of the beautiful Basgo Valley can be seen from the monastery.
Once we are in Leh, we will check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will proceed to Shyok Valley which is located at a distance of 126 km from Leh. Our destination in the valley will be Hunder, where we will stay for the next two nights. Hunder is a serene village located on the banks of Shyok River. In order to reach Shyok Valley, we will have to go past Khardung La Pass which has the distinction of having the highest motorable road in the world. Visitors need permit to visit any place beyond Khardung La Pass.
The journey to Shyok Valley will be through breathtaking and awe-inspiring landscapes. Before entering Shyok Valley, we will pass through the valley of Nubra. By afternoon, we will be in Hunder where we will check-in at the hotel. Post lunch, we will head for the sand-dunes where we will ride on the back of camel for a safari. We will then return to our hotel for much-needed rest.The Himalayan Pilgrimage
Today we will visit the monasteries of Hunder and Diskit. Diskit is the district headquarters of Nubra. Diskit Monastery is located on a mountain ridge. It was established in 1420 and belongs to the Ge-lug-pa sect of the Buddhism. Sherab Zangpo, who was a disciple of Tsong Khapa, laid the foundation of this monastery. The Gon-Khang (the shrine of the guardian deity) of the monastery is believed to have the severed hand of a Mongolian invader who invaded the region. Short distance away from the monastery is a 106 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha erected on a platform. The construction of the statue was complete in 2010. It is the biggest statue of Maitreya Buddha in Ladakh. One can behold the panoramic view of the mountains, valley and Shyok River from the platform.
Hunder Monastery is a small one located on a hill close to the main road. There are series of chortens near the path which leads to the monastery. You will have plenty of time to engage yourself in the activities of your choice. You can go for long walk, sit beside the river and read a book, meditate or do any other thing which pleases you.
After breakfast, we will proceed to Pangong which is famous for its beautiful lake, Pangong Tso. Pangong Tso is located at an altitude of 4246 meters in the region of Changthang. This lake is 130 km long and a major portion of it lies in Tibet. Due to the height and absence of vegetation, high altitude sickness is very common amongst the visitors. The journey of 167 km from Hunder to Pangong, will be completed in five hours. We will check-in at the hotel there for overnight stay. ‘Acclimatise, relax, enjoy and meditate,’ will be our mantra in Pangong.
Day 11Thakthok Monastery
After unhurriedly enjoying the beauty of Pangong Tso, we will proceed to Leh to conclude our journey of Ladakh. Leh is located at a distance of 140 km from Pangong Tso, which will be covered in approximately five hours. On the way to Leh, we will visit Thakthok Monastery which is located in a village called Sakti. Its foundation was laid in the 16th century and it belongs to the Nying-ma-pa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the only monastery belonging to the Nying-ma-pa sect in the whole of Ladakh. It is constructed around the cave where Guru Padmasambhava had stayed and meditated on his way to Tibet. Although the monastery’s structure is not impressive like other monasteries of Ladakh, it is spiritually vibrant, especially due to the cave. After our visit to Thaktok Monastery, we will proceed to Leh where we will check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.
We will board an early morning flight to New Delhi. Once in New Delhi, we will check-in at the hotel. You will have the option of shopping. In the evening, you will proceed to the airport to fly back to your country.
For a group of 8 persons:
- The travel cost per person on a twin sharing basis is Rs 163,000.
- The travel cost per person on a single occupancy basis is Rs 214,000.
For a group of 4 persons:
- The travel cost per person on a twin sharing basis is Rs 186,000.
- The travel cost per person on a single occupancy basis is Rs 237,000.
To know the travel cost in your national currency, please visit the following link: Currency Converter
- Cost of transportation in a MUV (multi-utility vehicle) segment car used during the trip.
- Cost of domestic flight tickets for the travel specified in the trip itinerary.
- Cost of accommodation at standard hotels in New Delhi, Leh, Lamayuru, Hunder and Pangong Tso with complimentary breakfast.
- English speaking tour leader and guide charges.
- Entrance fee for the monasteries.
- Service Tax.
- International airfares.
- Cost of lunch, dinner and any other meal/ snacks/ drinks ordered at the hotels/restaurants apart from those mentioned in the inclusions.
- Expenses of personal nature like tips, laundry, phone calls etc.
- Anything apart from those mentioned in the inclusions.
Prices can increase in future. Book early to avail the benefit of current low prices. There is an option of paying in two installments. For booking procedure or any other query, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +91-95007 68635.
- 1st – 12th June
- 1st – 12th July
This is a group pilgrimage for a minimum of 4 persons.
- Temperature at some of the places covered in the itinerary may range between 5 to 15 degree Celsius, so it is important to carry warm clothing.
- It is important that you read about the places mentioned in the itinerary. This will allow your mind to be more receptive when you visit those places.
- We request women travelers from the western countries to give thoughtful consideration to the fact that the dress culture is on the conservative side in this part of the world and thus dress accordingly to avoid unwanted attention.
- We strongly recommend you to carry air pollution mask, sunglasses, umbrella and of course, a good camera.n Pilgrimage