• India: Ladakh Sampler

    Trek through Ladakh, India's “Little Tibet,” with an insider's perspective

    Experience the vastness of the Ladakh region in India, an extremely remote and unexplored area along the northern border. Trek along off-the-beaten path trails and through the high valleys and mountains of this mysterious region, which was isolated from outside contact for centuries until 1974.

    best times to go: July - September

    departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

    pricing: from $3,395 see detailed pricing

    India

    Moderate
Avaliable as a private trip. Call for details

Trek through Ladakh, India's “Little Tibet,” with an insider's perspective

Often called “Little Tibet,” Ladakh is one of the most remote regions of India. On the vast Tibetan plateau, 20,000-foot Himalayan ramparts tower to the south with the mighty Karakoram range to the north. A spectacular landscape: sweeping open sandstone valleys are punctuated by emerald oases and turquoise lakes, with Buddhist gompas (monasteries) perched high above. Take a leisurely three-day trek through local villages, including Tingmosgaam (10,496'), the ancient capital of Ladakh, and visit Ladakh’s most outstanding monasteries.

Activities

Moderate hiking at medium elevation (maximum 12,200'), moderate touring

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Signature MTS guides lead you on a 3-day trek through Ladakhi villages, where you'll have the rare opportunity to visit local homes
  • Visit ancient monasteries set against a harsh but breathtakingly stunning landscape
  • Explore Old Delhi and Leh, ancient capital of Ladakh

Duration: 10 days Start Location: Delhi End Location: Delhi

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Las_day1cow
    Day 1 : Arrive in Delhi

    Arrive in Delhi, India. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free to rest and relax. Meals on your own.

     

    Note—It takes two to three days (depending on your airline schedule) to travel to Delhi. The date and time of arrival in Delhivaries greatly from carrier to carrier. Most flights arrive in Delhieither very late in the evening (between 10:00 p.m.and 1:00 a.m.) or early in the morning (between 2:00and 3:00 a.m.). We are holding reservations for you at the hotel in Delhistarting the afternoon of Day 1. We will make arrangements to meet your flight at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. We encourage you to arrive a day early to have time to rest before the adventure begins. Extra hotel nights are at additional cost.

  • Las_day1
    Day 2 : Leh (12,000')

    Transfer to the airport for the early morning flight to Leh, the ancient historical capital city of Ladakhand once a stop on the Asian “Silk Route.”This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular one-hour journeys on earth as the Airbus 320 jet flies out of the scorching Indian plains over a virtual sea of snowcapped Himalayan peaks before landing at the ancient city of Leh in the Indus River Valley. Situated at an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet in elevation, Leh is in stark and spectacular contrast to the urban intensity of New Delhi.

    Because of the early departure as well as the dramatic elevation gain, your first day in Ladakh will be a restful, easy one. You may wish to stroll in the Leh bazaar, where there are many shops selling Ladakhi, Tibetan, and Kashmiri goods.

  • Las_day3
    Days 3 - 4 : Monasteries around Leh

    Ladakh’s monasteries have played a pioneering role in preserving the ancient Buddhist culture and spreading the message of peace and non-violence in this trans-Himalayan region. They once were the center of all cultural, social and religious activity, and the wealth of rich art and culture remaining in these gompas are witness to the material richness of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Today you’ll visit the monasteries of Shey and Thiksey. Shey, the former palaceof Upper Ladakh, is situated at the top of a hill and commands a breathtaking view of the IndusRiver. The palace contains a massive gold-plated copper statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha—the biggest of its kind in Ladakh.

    You’ll also visit famous Thiksey monastery, said to be a blessed site and the most well known “Gelugpa,” or yellow sect, gompa of all. The monastery covers a whole hillside, much like the PotalaPalacein Tibet. Like the Potala, too, this monastery has maintained its murals and paintings very well. The oldest portion of the building is reputed to date back to the 11th century. Housed in one of the temples is a huge three-story Maitreya Buddha, and the library is replete with old scriptures. Venturing to the rooftop of the monastery, you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Indusvalley and the Stok range of mountains.

    Next day is another day for further acclimatization—we’ll walk from our hotel to the town center and walk gradually through the Old Town of Leh to Lehchen Palkhar, the ancient palace of Leh built in 1600 by King Singge Namgyal. Above the castle is the “Red Chapel,” which houses a statue of Maitreya (the future) Buddha as well as three-story-high statues of Avalokitesvara and Manjushri on either side. Above this chapel is the Namgyal Tsemo, “Tower of Victory,” which was built during the reign of King Tashi Namgyal. We then walk down to the village of Chubi to visit the Women’s Alliance Center and return to town for lunch. In the evening, we drive to Shanti Stupa, a Japanese peace pagoda to watch the sun set over the Indus Valley. We’ll drive a short distance to tour Changspa, one of the most popular places in Leh, and explore its many restaurants, bakeries, internet cafes and shops.

  • Day 5 : Alchi Monastery

    After breakfast, we’ll drive to Alchi. En route we stop to visit the recently renovated fort at Basgo. A jagged skyline of ruins dominates the village of Basgo, which was capital of Ladakh during the 15th century. The citadel is in complete ruins, and within the fort there are three temples dedicated to the Mairtreya Buddha. Built by King Jamyang Namgyal and his son Singge Namgyal, these are the only ancient temples in Ladakh with murals still intact. Alchi, built in the 11th century, is one of the few monasteries that survived the restoration during the 16th century. The complex consists of a group of five temples. The Dukhang is entered through a finely carved wooden archway and a door embellished with wood carvings depicting the five buddhas. The three-tiered Sumstek shows a strong influence of Kashmiri traditions, a unique feature in this monastery. Overnight in Alchi.

  • Day 6 : Balukhar – begin trek to Tingmosgang (10,495')

    We’ll drive for an hour from Alchi to the road head at Balukhar (10,496'). The walk begins with a steady climb for an hour, after which the trail ascends gradually to the top of Bongbongla (11,906'), a total of about 3 ½ hrs. Descend steeply from the pass for about half an hour, then cross a stream on a wooden bridge. We’ll then walk through terraced farmland between the villages of Tia and Tingmosgang to a road, which leads us to our hotel. We’ll spend the night in a small, comfortable hotel in Tingmosgang, the ancient capital of Ladakh in the early 15th century. (about 5 hours hiking.)

  • Day 7 : Tingmosgang (10,495')

    You’ll be treated to a traditional Ladakhi breakfast in the home of the Namras family, who own the hotel. Today, we’ll take a day excursion around the villages of Tingmosgang and Tia. We drive a short distance about 15 to 20 minutes from the hotel to Tsere, where we begin following a dusty trail in the valley on the left side of Tingmosgang village. It’s a lovely walk with scenic views of Tingmosgang and Tia. We then continue onto Tia Choskyab, where we’ll have lunch then visit the ruins of the ancient fort and 15th century temple at Chenrizig. Here we’ll see a small, unique marble statue of Avaloketesvara fabled to have been brought by a pilgrim from Assam in Northeast India. Late afternoon return to hotel. (4 hours hiking)

  • Day 8 : Hemi Shukpachen (11,795') - drive to Leh

    We’ll drive a short distance to the village of Ang, where we begin climbing gradually to Meptakla Pass (1,202') for spectacular views of the valley. As we walk toward the pass, we’ll stop to look for baharl, or Himalayan blue sheep, in the rocky cliffs. Descending on a narrow zigzag path, we’ll follow a gentle path before climbing a short distance to Ronglila Pass, which leads us gradually down past streams and willow trees to the large village of Hemis Shukpachen. We’ll have lunch, then drive to Leh. (2 hours driving; 3 hours hiking)

  • Day 9 : Delhi

    Fly to Delhi(weather permitting!). Upon arrival in Delhi, transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city on your own.

  • Las_day10
    Day 10 : Delhi

    If the Leh flight is not delayed, you’ll have a morning tour of old Delhion cycle rickshaw. Sights include Jamma Masjid (The Great Mosque), the largest mosque in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan; Chandani Chowk, the main street of old Delhi; the Red Fort, built by the builder of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan, who started the construction in 1638 and completed it in 1648; and Raj Ghat, where the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was cremated.

     

    The afternoon is free to relax. Late evening transfer to the airport for departure on homeward bound flights.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: July - September Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.

PRICING:

2014 & 2015 Prices
$3,395 (2 or more members)
$800 single supplement
$4,695 (solo traveler)
$350 internal airfare

  • Claridges Hotel
    New Delhi

    Graceful architecture, elegant décor, and a seamless blend of old-world charm and contemporary facilities have earned The Claridges Hotel its esteemed reputation. Distinguished guest rooms, personalized service and proximity to shopping and local culture make this the ideal accommodation for the discerning traveler.

  • Namra Hotel
    Tingmosgang

    A very simple hotel run by a Ladakhi family

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

photo credits: ©MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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