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With its snow covered peaks, remote villages, and ancient Buddhist monasteries – Ladakh transports you to another world. This hour takes you to some of the most beautiful villages and fascinating gompas on a lesser known trek through this breathtaking region. Come and find out why some of the most well traveled people consider Ladakh the most stunning place on the planet!

DETAILED ITINERAY

Day 01: Delhi
You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The day includes a sightseeing tour of Sir Edward Lutyen's New Delhi, the garden city built in 1911 by the British. We also visit the Birla Mandir (Lakshminarayan Temple), the President's House, Humayun's Tomb (the forerunner of the Taj Mahal), and India Gate.

Day 02–04: Leh
Today we travel by air over the gorgeous snow-covered Himalayan peaks to Leh (3521m) -- the capital of Ladakh. Leh is a bustling little town that is dominated by the ruins of the towering castle perched above the main bazaar. People are friendly and are quick to say "Julley!" (hello). Village women sell vegetables along the main bazaar, laneways are studded with stupas, and green agricultural fields form a tapestry above the town – all making Leh a lovely place for walking and exploring. The first day we relax and acclimatize. In Leh we stay in a simple but charming local hotel. From Leh we visit two gompas (monasteries) -- Spituk and Phyang. You will see the lamas (monks) both young and old as they go about their daily rituals and prayers. We also visit a traditional Ladakhi home where you will get a chance to sample the local barley beer called "chang", the staple food "tsampa" a roasted barley flour, and the famous butter tea made with butter and salt! In order to get ready for our trek we hike up to the Ladakh Palace and climb the many stairs up to Shanti Stupa – the "peace" stupa overlooking Leh.

Day 05: Alchi
Today we travel by jeeps along the Indus river to Alchi. We pass through a number of lovely villages including Nimu and Saspol. The scenery is fabulous with the Stok Range to the south and the Ladakh Range to the north. Near Nimu we view the point where the Zanskar River flows into the Indus. Alchi is a wonderful village with one of the most beautiful gompas in Ladakh. The paintings at Alchi Gompa are almost a thousand years old, and have been designated a world heritage site. We spend a night to give us time to explore.

Day 06: Lamayuru
Today we continue to Lamayuru – the starting point for our trek. From Khalsi the road begins a steep ascent involving nearly 30 switchbacks in the last 25 km to Lamayuru. We set up camp in Lamayuru and in the afternoon visit the Lamayuru Gompa. In the 16th century it was declared a holy site in which even criminals could seek sanctuary making it known as a place of freedom.

Day 07: Wanla (average walking 4 hours)
Today the trek begins. You are woken up with tea in your tents – a pleasure that will continue throughout the trek, (along with three hot meals and warm water for washing)! After a gentle climb we go down a little valley towards the Prinkitla pass (3750m), which we cross after a short climb. From here we descend into a narrow gorge to the village of Shilla. We cross the river and make our way to Wanla. In Wanla there is an interesting monastery belonging to the red sect. A monk from Lamayuru looks after the Gompa. It is a typical village monastery, well worth a visit.

Days 08-09: Hinju (average walking 7-8 hours)
Today we make our way along the Yapola River to the village of Phenjilla where we ascend to a small valley before reaching our camp at Hinju. We also take a rest day in Hinju to explore the surroundings.

Day 10: Sumdo (average walking 7-8 hours)
From Hinju we go up the main valley, past the last mountain pasture before making our steep ascent up to the Konzkela Pass (4900m), which affords fantastic views of the surrounding peaks. From the pass it is a long descent to the river below. We continue along the river to our camp at Sumdo. Along the way we can see some blocked up caves used for meditation by Buddhist oracles.

Day 11: Base of Dundunchenla (average walking 5 hours)
From Sumdo we carry on in the main valley until we start ascending the Dundunchenla Pass (4800m). We camp at the base of the pass (4400 m).

Day 12: Chilling (average walking 6 hours)
Today we continue up to the Dundunchenla Pass. Weather permitting, our efforts in ascending the pass will be rewarded by the beautiful panoramic views! We continue down the steep slope through a valley that continues to narrow until we reach the village of Chilling. Chilling is an interesting little village. The people here are the only ones in the region to work with metals (copper, tin, and silver), making ladles, tcheng, and teapots.

Day 13: Shingo (average walking 6 hours)
Today we follow the Zanskar river upstream and then cross the river in a cable cart. We continue on to Skiu village where we follow a gradual ascent through a gorgeous rocky ravine filled with wild rosebushes and trickling mountain streams. We camp just above Shingo village (4400m).

Day 14: Rumbuk (average walking 7 hours)
Today we follow a long gradual ascent up to the Gandala (4850). Weather permitting we should have a fantastic view over the Himalayan peaks. After crossing the pass we descend into another valley. We continue pass Yurutse (a tiny settlement – essentially a large home) and then continue down to our camp near the village of Rumbak.

Day 15: Khilchay (average walking 5 hours)
From our camp we continue through this beautiful valley until we begin the steep ascent to the Stok-la (4900m). From this pass we have views of the Stok Kangri Range. We have a short descent to our camp (4200m).

Day 16: Shepherds camp – Stok Base camp (average walking 5 hours)
Today it is a gradual ascent of 600 meters to the base camp of Stok Kangri. The landscape is fantastic and we take the afternoon to plan our next day's climb.

Day 17: Base camp to summit (6100m)
Early morning a steep climb will take us to the summit of Stok Kangri (6100 m). This peak does not require any technical mountaineering capability; a pair of good boots, crampons, and rope are enough. For those who choose not to climb the peak they can relax at the base camp. After the summit we return to the base camp and continue walking to the Stok village. Our jeeps meet us here and we return to Leh by road. We stay overnight in our hotel.

Day 18: Leh
We have a full day free for individual activities. Some people may choose to go for an optional rafting trip, others may want to visit the Tibetan Refugee village in Choglamsar, some may want to visit the gompas at Thiksey and Hemis, and some may just want to explore the bazaars for interesting trinkets.

Day 19: Delhi
We return to Delhi by early morning flight. The rest of the day is free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 20: Agra
We travel by Shatabdi express train to Agra today. Agra is, of course, home to the unforgettable Taj Mahal as well as the majestic Red Fort. The Taj Mahal was built in 1652 by Emperor Shah Jahan. It took 22 years and 20,000 skilled artisans to complete. The Agra Fort lies across the river Jamuna. It was here that Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah Jahan, kept his father under house arrest. One can get a fantastic view of the Taj from the little octagonal tower in the Fort. We return to Delhi by train and overnight stay at our hotel.

Day 21: Delhi
Our tour finishes with breakfast and transfer to the airport for your international departure.

 

 

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