Itinerary Details: 8 days/7 nights
Day 1: Delhi Arrival
Namaste. Welcome to India! Arrive at Delhi International airport and meet our representative, who will transfer you to your hotel. Delhi is a bustling metropolis that incorporates the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers, the monuments stand as a silent reminder to India's legacy. Driving from the airport, you will be impressed with Delhi's spacious, tree-lined streets and garden parks. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2: Delhi - Leh
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Leh. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Located at 11,975 feet, Leh was once the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. The town boasts a strong religious co-existence of Tibetan Buddhism and Islam. Afternoon at leisure to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. We advise you not to indulge in physical activity, as the high altitude and rarefied air could result in physical discomfort or illness. Overnight in Leh.
Day 3: Leh
Day at leisure for rest and acclimatization. Overnight in Leh.
Day 4: Leh
After breakfast, explore the lovely Saboo Valley and its rural landscape on foot (3 hrs with shorter options), learning about the Ladakhi way of life. Your walk into the Saboo Village takes you through cultivated lands passing through the traditional houses and then walking through the valley climbing up along the old castle where you are rewarded with a spectacular view of the the Indus Valley. Lunch at with a local family at their home.
After lunch you will proceed on a gentle orientation tour of Leh. Visit the popular landmarks, which include the magnificent Leh Palace. Some of the sections display some fine traces of Ladakhi architecture. From the palace continue by foot to the LAMO [Ladakh Arts & Media Organisation] Center on a short walking tour passing traditional houses. The center is housed in one of the most important heritage houses, Munshi (Togoche) House, situated at the foot of the Leh Palace. Following a tour of the house there will be a short presentation or talk by a Ladakhi scholar on the architectural heritage of the Old City. Enjoy an overview of the old city from the terrace of the Munshi House as you sip the special Ladakhi tea with light snacks. The heritage exploration continues from the Munshi House through the old city ending in the bazaar.
Later in the afternoon, enjoy a drive to Shanti stupa for a sunset view across the Indus Valley. Overnight.
Day 5: Leh
Today after an early tea/coffee, drive to Thiksey Monastery. It is located towards the East of Leh picturesquely on a hill-lock, which also houses a two-story stucco statue of Maitreya Buddha seated on a lotus. Upon arrival you witness the monks gathered in the assembly hall for the morning prayer ceremony, which begins before sunrise at 7 am. After you will be guided to visit the other parts of the monastery followed with a breakfast.
Continue to Thiksey Monastery for a photo halt along the banks of River Indus and then you will drive to visit Hemis Monastery; Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. After that, return to visit Shey Monastery, the summer capital of Ladakh in the past. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Day 6: Leh
Morning optional visit to Stok Village at Dhamma House to meet with the teacher, who will guide you to a one-hour meditation class.
After breakfast, drive to Alchi through the Ladakh countryside. Upon arrival, you will visit the one of the oldest monasteries or Alchi Gompa, known more as a monastic complex of temples in Alchi Village. The complex comprises four separate settlements in the Alchi Village in the lower Ladakh region with monuments dated to different periods. Of these four hamlets, Alchi Monastery is said to be the oldest and most famous. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Day 7: Leh
This morning, travel outside Leh to Lamayuru Monastery. Lamayuru is one of the largest and oldest gompas in Ladakh, with a population of around 150 permanent resident monks. It has, in the past, housed up to 400 monks, many of which are now based in gompas in surrounding villages. In the afternoon, an optional visit can be arranged to the Women's Alliance of Ladakh. The alliance of 3,500 Ladakhi women are concerned with raising awareness on traditional agriculture, preserving the status of women, and creating an alternative development model based on self-reliance. Instead, you may visit the Ecological Center, which focuses on generating awareness on the environment and alternative technology in the community. Evening at leisure and overnight in Leh.
Day 8: Departure
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, connect to your onward flight. Bon Voyage!