Indus Valley Odyssey
If you can only visit Ladakh for a short time, but want a full experience of travel to remote villages, spectacular monasteries, dramatic scenery and unspoiled cultures, this is the right trip. Enjoy meeting local people, travel to remote villages and touring a part of India few people have visited, Explore the terrain, cultures and heritage of Ladakh without extensive hiking. Choose tour dates or plan travel on your independent travel dates.
Trip Itinerary: ANTICIPATED ITINERARY, ACTUAL ROUTE MAY VARY
Day 01: Delhi :
Upon arrival in Delhi , you will be met at the international airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 02: Delhi - Leh :
Transfer to the Delhi domestic terminal for your flight to Leh, the capital of Ladakh and situated among the hills on the north side of the Indus Valley . Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel to begin your adaptation to high altitude. You will have an afternoon orientation with your guide.
Day 03: Temisgam :
Drive to Temisgam (4 hours), one of our favorite villages in Ladakh. You will find your camp set up in a beautiful apricot grove beneath an ancient palace and monastery with a cold rushing stream nearby. Off the main roads and trails, this village is seldom visited by Westerners and you will have several days to explore the extensive fields and villages. You may even be invited into several houses for tea or local beer called chang. The climb to the monastery and old palace, as well as the nights here at 10,000' elevation will aid in your acclimatization. The trip continues to become more remarkable for the cultural experience that unfolds. You have the sense that your long journey to Asia , over the Himalayas and onto the Tibetan Plateau has taken you to a place so beautiful, remote and pure, that the effort has been worth it.
Day 04: Lamayuru - Temisgam :
Make the exciting trip to the ancient Lamayuru Monastery and spend time exploring the extensive buildings of this ancient Buddhist sanctuary. This extraordinary gompa is perched on top of a beautifully eroded crag, complete with rock pinnacles and caves above the Indus. Return to Temisgam for your overnight.
Day 05: Dha Bema Valley :
Drive to the remote Dha Bema valley, a special place few outsiders have experienced in a part of Ladakh only opened to visitors in 1994. This area is characterized by deep, sheer-sided valleys, high mountains and long glaciers and the local residents are noted for their use of flower-decorated headwear and bright clothing. There must be a group of four to obtain the special permits. If there are fewer, this day will be spent exploring another village near Temisgam.
Day 06: Ridzong - Chulican :
Drive to Ridzong Monastery, the favorite Buddhist site of many visitors to Ladakh. You go back in time to an era when Buddhist Canons ruled the affairs of men and religious scholarship was the most important task of society. Overnight camp will be at Chulican.
Day 07: Ridzong - Alchi - Leh :
Today you will drive along the Indus River to the famous monastery at Alchi. This monastery preserves some of the most spectacular Buddhist wall paintings ever created. Also visit Likkir Monastery where the monks are of Gelukpa order and the kushok is the Dalai Lama's younger brother. Return to Leh for your overnight.
Day 08: Thikse - Shey - Hemis - Leh :
Visit Thikse Monastery, the largest gompa in Ladakh that is situated on top of a craggy hill. Here you will find an important collection of Tibetan books and some excellent artwork. Afterwards, visit the palace at Shey, which sits in a strategic position on a ridge overhang out into the Indus Valley . If time permits, you may also visit Hemis Gompa, the richest and most powerful monastery in Ladakh. Return to your hotel in Leh for your overnight.
Day 09: Fly to Delhi :
Return to Delhi on an early morning flight. Your driver will meet you at the domestic airport and take you to your hotel for your overnight. Due to unpredictable weather in Leh and frequent flight delays, we recommend two overnights in Delhi before departing on your international flight.