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adventure travel trip to India
You will enjoy stunning campsites in northern Ladakh
  • Aug 7-19, 2014
  • Jul 13-25, 2015
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 13 days
    Group Size 2-12
    Land Cost $3,300 Details
    Single Supplement $350
    Lodging 1 star-2 stars
    Grade III
    Best Time

    Northern Ladakh Trek

    Hike among beautiful Buddhist villages on the Tibetan plateau of northern India

    Day 1      Delhi / Leh

    Fly from Delhi to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, situated among the hills on the north side of the Indus Valley. Upon arrival, you will be met by your trekking guide and transferred to your hotel to begin your adaptation to high altitude. You will have an afternoon orientation with your guide.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar

    Arrive in Leh, capital of Ladakh
    Day 2      Leh Town Visit and Acclimatization Day

    Today will be spent taking it easy and acclimatizing to Leh’s 11,500 foot altitude. The town is an interesting place to take a leisurely stroll. Your lodge is situated just on the outskirts of town, but you do not have too far to walk to reach the center of town.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar

    Visit the ruins of the Royal Palace in Leh
    Day 3      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 the local beer, 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.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Meet villagers and learn about their lives
    Day 4      Lamayuru

    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.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Discover Lamayuru's ancient hilltop monastery
    Day 5      Hemishakpatchan

    Walk up to Hemishakpatchan where you camp for the night. This is the home village of many of our staff, and they will certainly invite you to visit their families and homes. There is a very interesting monastery here where JOURNEYS trek participants have started a public library and built a nunnery as well. We also support other ongoing projects through our Earth Preservation Fund such as the large water-driven prayer wheel restored through the contributions of previous JOURNEYS travelers. There are excellent views of snowy mountains, and wild sheep can usually be seen grazing on a nearby slope.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Look for wild sheep and other creatures on the slopes
    Day 6      Hemishakpatchan to Yangthang

    From Hemishakpatchan you cross a small pass (12,500') and after about two to three hours of walking from Hemis, you reach the small village of Yangthang, where you set up camp for the night. The people here work the land for the Ridzong monastery.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Camp in the wild near the village of Hemis
    Day 7      Ridzong Monastery

    Hike to Ridzong Monastery, the most disciplined gompa in Ladakh. If there is firewood at the entrance path to the monastery, grab a limb or two and carry it to the monastery. It is a token contribution of your labor to the well-being of the institution. Here, scholarly traditions and rituals are strictly maintained, but you will be especially welcome. Past JOURNEYS groups have helped restore the monastery's stone stairways and contributed to building the student dormitory. Your guide may be able to arrange for you to see the spectacular three-dimensional wheel of life at the very top of the monastery. A visit to the adjacent nunnery will impress you with the simplicity of monastic life in Ladakh. Return to Yangthang for your overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Explore Ridzong monastery and meet its monks
    Day 8      Likkir

    You will hike on the upper edge of the Indus Plain and cross several small passes offering spectacular mountain views. Look for ancient campsites along the way. You may be able to observe eagles, marmot, fox, and deer in this area. In Likkir, visit the 750-year-old Likkir Monastery, where your guide knows some of the monks. In the past, we've observed the ceremonial construction of a sand mandala here. Your camp is in a flat, green meadow with views of peaks in every direction and the adjacent stream is the warmest one you will encounter in Ladakh, a great place for a bath.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping or guesthouse

    Camp in a green meadow among high peaks
    Day 9      Ney

    Your trekking route again skirts the high, dry Ladakh Range on the upper edge of the Indus Plain. Camp by a stream in a large meadow (11,000') at the long village of Ney. Visit the Bazgo Monastery, which holds a huge copper 17th Century Maitreya Buddha and many paintings of the same quality as those of Alchi.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Camp high and dry on the Ladakh range
    Day 10      Nimo

    Your path is somewhat steeper and crosses several small passes. It is a four-hour walk to Nimo, a very prosperous village with extensive gardens and fields. Camp in fields of your staff's relatives near the mighty Indus.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Camp out tonight near the Indus river
    Day 11      Return to Leh

    Sadly, the trekking is over, but there are interesting stops along the vehicle road that parallels the Indus River. One such stop is the Spitok Monastery, the first Yellow Hat monastery to be established in Ladakh. Return to your hotel in Leh, where the rest of the afternoon is free to explore.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar

    Himalaya Peaks of Ladakh
    Day 12      Thikse/Shey

    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. Afterward, visit the palace at Shey, which sits in a strategic position on a ridge overhang out into the Indus Valley. Your drive continues on with a visit to Hemis Gompa, the richest and most powerful monastery in Ladakh. Return to your hotel in Leh for your overnight. (Ask about Dakthok Tsechu Festival which usually occurs in August –add an extra day in Leh in order to witness this festival.)

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar

    Climb up the steep terrain to explore Thikse monastery
    Day 13      Fly to Delhi

    Return to Delhi on an early morning flight. This is where JOURNEYS services end. Due to unpredictable weather in Leh and frequent flight delays, we recommend two overnights in Delhi before departing on your international flight. We can assist with accommodations and excursions such as a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, near Delhi.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Bid farewell to Ladakh as you head onward

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