Culture and jeep safari
This tour is specially tailored for people who are interested in meditation. Mahabodhi is the only centre in Ladakh to conduct Dhamma talks and meditation programs. Situated in the center of Leh city (which is away from the main bazaar and not too noisy) daily meditation courses are conducted for the benefit and happiness of the people those who come from within and outside India. At this centre, Mahabodhi conducts yoga and meditation classes (Monday through to Saturday) throughout the summer months.
Duration: 8Nights / 9Days
Day 01 : ARRIVAL IN LEH
Upon arrival at Leh Airport you will met by Mountain trails representative and Welcome in traditional Ladakhi style and transfer to our pre-arranged hotel, rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight stay at hotel
Leh City: The capital of Ladakh, at one time was a major stop on the Asian “Silk Route”. A stroll along the main bazar, observing the varied crowd and peering into the curio shops, is an entrancing experience. Chang Gali, behind the main bazar is less bustling but has intriguing little shops selling curios and jewelry like pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, lapis and many other kinds of semi-precious stones, as well as curiously carved Yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls etc.
Evening we visit Shanti Stupa A magnificent white-domed structure, The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights. A large number of tourists come to Ladakh every year to visit this amazing stupa.
Day 02 : LEH
AM: Excursion Spituk & Hall of Fame
PM: Excursion to Sankar Gompa & Leh Palace
Post breakfast we depart for AM Sightseeing tour to Spituk
Spituk monastery was built in 15th century during the reign of Grags ‘bum-lde, these new Gelug-pa monastery was built like fortress on the summit of crags. Spituk lies some 5 kms south of Leh. Nesting at the foot of the crags are the flat-topped houses which go to form the village of Spituk.
Spituk or dpe-thub mean ‘effective as an Example’ and this is thus a suitable name for the first Gelug-pa monastery in Ladakh. Inside the monastery, which includes several courtyards and temples of various sizes, has been built at different levels, following the shape of the rock.
And also visit Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defence personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during Kargil war and belongings of enemy soldiers found at war site. Another section of this building is entirely dedicated to Siachen and its heroes. On display are attires, multi layered shoes to keep their feet from frost bites, their daily instruments, their day to day food mainly frozen and packed, which is heated by lighting small balls of Hexamycin tablets, as fire is difficult to ignite at a temperature dipping -30 deg to -50 deg centigrade. It is mentioned on a board that 97% of the casualties in Siachen are due to cold and terrain.
Later we drive back to hotel on time for lunch
Later in the afternoon, guided sightseeing tour visiting Sankar Gompa, located at a distance of approximately 3 km from the town of Leh. A subsidiary of the Spituk Gompa, it belongs to the Gelukpa or the Yellow Hat Sect. The monastery also serves as the official residence of the Ladakh’s head of Gelukpa Sect, known as The Kushok Bakul. There are time restrictions for visiting the Sankar Monastery of Leh Ladakh. You can also go either between 7:00 am and 10:00 am, or between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. These restrictions have been placed because a few of the monks, of the yellow-hat sect, attached to the monastery reside here permanently.
Leh Palace is one of the most captivating architectural ruins that attract the attention of the tourists almost immediately with its majestic setting at the edge of the Namgyal hill and overlooking the town and at once looks like a reminiscent of Lhasa’s Potala Palace. The Palace was built in the middle of the 16th century by King Singe Namgyal and still belongs to the royal family that now lives in the Stok Palace. The nine-storeyed monument is now in ruins. The palace remains locked and may be opened at request by a monk
Leh Palace is also an excellent example of the medieval Tibetan architecture. It features colossal inclined buttressed walls and protruding wooden balconies.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 03 : LEH
Excursion to Matho, Stakna & Stok
Post breakfast we take an excursion to few more interesting monasteries of leh and start with Matho, lies 26 Kms south-east of Leh on the opposite bank of the Indus river. The monastery was founded by Lama Dugpa Dorjay in 16th century. Matho is the only Sakya-pa establishment in Ladakh.
Matho monastery is renowned mainly for its yearly festival, which takes place on the 14th and 15th of the first Tibetan month thus in late March or early April. It is known as Nag-hrang after the name of the local god (sa-bdag). Following drive to Stakna
Stakna is a small monastery, comprising the private apartment, all newly decorated in good Tibetan style, a Du-khang and the roms of monks and attendants. The Du-khang contains a silver gilt stupa, some seven feet high, set up by the present Head Lama Stakna Rinpoche. Other items of interest were the images of three Drug-pa lamas, Padma Karpo, Ngag-dbang rNam-rgyal, the stone man of Bhutan in 17th century, and of Ngag-dbang rGyal-mtshan.
After covering above two monasteries we drive back to leh and visit Stok Palace on the way, Stok lies south south of leh on the opposite side of the singe Tsangspo River. The castle was built on a hill at the end of village in about the year 1825 by king Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. In stok there is also the sacred monastery of Gurphug, a branch of Spituk Monastery. On the 9th and 10th days of the first tibeten month of the festival called the “Guru Tshechu” is held during which the monks of Spituk Monastery come to perform the sacred dances. At that time two gods make their appearance.
Day 04 : LEH
Excursion to Shey, Thiksey, Hemis
Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour.
We start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue, built in the memory of King Singee Namgyal by his son lDeldan Namgyal in 1633 A.D. It is the only kind of statue made of Gold, Gilt and copper in entire Ladakh.
Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh,.
Drive further to visit the famous Hemis Gompa, This is the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Most of the other Drukpa monasteries are the branch monasteries of Hemis. It was built during early 17th century with the blessing of Lama Stagtsang Raspa (Shambunatha), by famous Namgyal dynasty king Singee Namgyal.
The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading Buddhism in the Tibetan world.
Day 05 : LEH – CHUMATHANG – TSOMORIRI (240 kms)
In the morning leave for Chumathang stop, which is famous for medical hot spring and people visit to this place for medical bath. From here a short drive will take you to Mahey bridge, the main checking point to enter to this new area. On the way visit Sumdah village and another 55 kms drive will take you to Tsomoriri.
The Tsomoriri Lake is a beautiful mountain bounded expanse of water, around 240 Kms. from Leh in Rupsho Valley. The Lake is located at 14,000 ft. near a small village of Korzok. Recently opened to foreigners due to the proximity of the Chinese boarder, the Changthang is a land of wilderness and magnificent landscapes. This region is characterized by high arid plains, remote villages, snow-capped peaks and beautiful high altitude azure-blue lakes, the largest being Tsomoriri at 4,500 m.
The Tsomoriri Lake is also the breeding ground for numerous species of birds, like the bar headed goose, crested grebe, the Brahmini duck (ruddy sheldrake) and the brown-headed gull. The Tsomorir Lake is 8 kms wide and 28 kms long.
Upon arrival we check in at our camp for two nights
Day 06: TSOMORIRI
In the morning visit Korzok village with its houses and its gompa appearing like a mirage. The few barley fields at Korzok must be among the highest cultivation in the world. In the afternoon visit around the Lake. Dinner and overnight at the camp
Day 07: TSOMORIRI – LEH
The day will start with a drive to Mahey village, a picturesque village with spurting fountain and white clouds hanging upon. From there, you will proceed towards Puga Valley, famous for Butan gas. Thereafter, you will continue towards Tsokar via Polokongka pass (at 13500 ft.). After visiting the Tsokar Lake, you can also see Thugke gompa. The place is quite known for wild Asses, seen grazing and moving in flocks. From here, you will drive towards Leh. On the way, you will stop to Tanglangla pass, the second highest motorable pass in the world at 5350 m.
Upon arrival in leh check in at your pre-arranged hotel for two nights.
Day 08: LEH
Complete day at leisure for own activities and Last day Shopping. Overnight stay at the hotel
Day 09: DEPART LEH
Tour concludes. Mountain Trails thank you for your patronage and ensure a punctual transfer to Domestic Airport to catch the flight for your onward Destination