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The trekking segment has been designed for those who enjoy walking and want to have a chance to explore village life. Come and experience the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas as they tower over the scattered green village fields in the midst of this otherwise rocky and arid terrain. This tour provides a wonderful introduction to the region. We visit a number of Buddhist monasteries, traditional homes, and villages as we trek through the fascinating Indus river valley.


Day 01: Delhi
You are met at the airport in Delhi and transferred to your hotel. The day includes a sightseeing tour of Sir Edward Lutyens' 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 ancient castle perched above the main bazaar. People are friendly and are quick to say "Julley!" (hello). From the women selling vegetables in the main bazaar to the laneways studded with stupas and the green agricultural fields above the town – Leh is a lovely place for walking and exploring. After taking a day to acclimatize to the altitude we do just that! Some of the Buddhist Gompas (monasteries) we visit include Sankar, Spituk and Phyang. The Gompas are all different and all fascinating. 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! You will also get a chance to see the traditional local architecture, dress, and jewelry up close. In order to get fit for our trek we hike up to the Ladakh Palace and also climb the many stairs up to Shanti Stupa – the "peace" stupa overlooking Leh. In Leh we stay in a simple but charming local hotel.

Day 05: Likir
Today we begin the trekking part of our journey. We travel along the Indus River to Likir where we set up camp. In the afternoon we have plenty of time to visit the Likir gompa and the village it towers over.

Day 06-09: Trekking
We are woken in the morning with tea or coffee in bed – it's a pleasant way to start the day and will continue throughout the trek! You are also provided with warm water for washing and three hot meals every day. On our first day of walking we journey to Yangtang village. From Likir the trail crosses over a small pass, Pobe-la, to the village of Sumdo and then continues to Yangtang village where we camp for the night. The next day we take an easy walk over the Sermanchan-la before making a gradual descent towards Hemis-Shukbachan. Hemis-Shukbachan is a small but locally important village. The name comes from the conifers (shukpa=Cedar) that are found in this valley. There is a beautiful gompa on the way that we explore at leisure. On our third day we have a short stage of walking over two low passes to get to Ang village. We have the afternoon to explore this small village and meet with local people. On our fourth and final day we walk to Themisgam where we explore the village and are met by our jeeps. By jeep we continue to Alchi, where we have the afternoon to explore the fantastic Alchi monastery with its thousand year old paintings. We stay overnight in the simple cottage style Alchi resort

Day 10: Leh
In the morning we continue back to Leh by jeep. The rest of the afternoon is free for individual activities, such as visiting the Tibetan Refugee camp in Choglamsar, the Ecology center, or simply exploring the bazaar for interesting trinkets and gifts.

Day 11-12: Agra
We return to Delhi by early morning flight. We are met at the airport by our deluxe coach and continue by road to the Mughal splendor of Agra. Agra is, of course, home to the unforgettable Taj Mahal as well as the majestic Red Fort. The Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world. It 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.

Day 13: Delhi
Today we drive back to Delhi visiting Govardhan en-route. This site, near where Krishna is said to have been born, is significant as according to legend Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill on the tip of his finger to shelter the inhabitants of Braj from a deluge. The entire hill is circumambulated by thousands of pilgrims every year. The tanks where devote Hindus come to bathe are said to have been manifested for Krishna's cleansing after he killed the demon bull Arishta. It's a fascinating place to visit. Back in Delhi we visit the Old city, where we take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the narrow laneways to the Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India.

Day 14: Delhi
Our tour finishes with breakfast and transfer to the airport for your international departure.