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Little Tibet and the Nubra Valley .

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Destinations : Leh, Lamayuru, Deskit, Delhi .

This trip takes you to the capital of “Little Tibet” as Ladakh is known for its Buddhist dominated culture. After sightseeing trips follow the Royal Palace in Shey and the famous Buddhist monasteries of Thiksey and Hemis. You gain a deep impression of the contrasting landscape with its rugged, desert-like mountain ranges and green oases. Visit “enlightenment monastery” Ridzong. The more adventurous journey leads in the extreme north of the Ladakh scenic Nubra Valley. You cross the Khardung La Pass, 5660 meters one of the highest motorable passes in the world. In Nubra Valley easy hikes and a visit to the hot springs of Panamik decide the intense experience of the Buddhist culture of Ladakh.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP

  • Culture and Monastic Life in Ladakh “Little Tibet” .
  • Visiting some of the Himalayan monasteries, Thiksey, Hemis, Lamayru
  • Experience a day’s hike in the Himalaya .
  • Green oasis in the Nubra Valley .

 View on map

LITTLE TIBET

Day 01: Arrival in Delhi .
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Transfer to Hotel and sightseeing in Delhi. These may include the 17th century Red Fort with its splendid palaces and the Jama Masjid Mosque. It is India’s largest mosque, one of the largest worldwide, offering more than 20,000 worshipers. Visit the Arc de Triumph, India Gate .

Day 02: Flight from Delhi to Leh, 3500 m .
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In the morning we fly to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Arrive Leh and the rest of the day is at leisure and is adapting to the unusual height. Drink more than your thirst, avoid colds and go slowly aware: All this contributes to better acclimatization. A short stroll through the bustling bazaar in in the evening .
Day 03: Hike with sightseeing in Leh .
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After breakfast you can explore on foot, the picturesque old town of Leh. Visit the former Royal Palace and enjoy the view of the city and the surrounding area. For lunch, you return to the hotel. Then take a walk to the Shanti Stupa, just on the edge of Leh town, located on a hill with great views of Leh and the surrounding area. The Shanti Stupa is a modern Peace Pagoda, which was inaugurated in 1985 by the Dalai Lama. The sides of the pagoda are ornately decorated with scenes from the life of Buddha. In the late afternoon return to the hotel. Allow about 3 hours .
Day 04: Royal Palace in Shey and Thiksey and Hemis monasteries .
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The day gives a first impression of the culture of Little Tibet, Ladakh as (‘Land of Passes “) is named because of its Buddhist coinage. We drive along the Indus River to the Crystal Castle (Khar Chung) in Shey, the former summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. At the beginning of the 17th century allowed Senge Namgyal, the most influential king of Ladakh, built the monastery. Due to strictness of rulers and thanks to it, you will find here more stupas than houses, for in due season one had to build a stupa as a punishment for a misdemeanour. It now belong to the Yellow Hats sect. Thiksey Monastery, about 20 km from Leh. It is the most beautiful monastery in Ladakh and is picturesquely situated on a steep rocky ridge at the edge of an oasis on the right bank of the Indus.

The monastery was built in the mid-15th century. It impresses with large prayer halls and a huge figure of seated Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. The ground plan of the monastery complex is modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa. From the monastery one has a beautiful view of the so typical of Ladakh contrasting landscape of green meadows and fields on the one hand and the rocks of the high mountain desert on the other. We continue to Hemis, about 50 kilometers from Leh, the largest and richest monastery in Ladakh. The origins of this date back to the third century before Christ. The monastery houses temporarily several hundred monks, is known for its extensive collection of thangkas, the Buddha bronzes from the 12th century and the great library. Each year, it hosts the colourful mask dances the famous Tscham-mystery plays in honour of Padmasambhava, the patron saint of the monastery instead.

Day 05: Drive to Likir and then walk to Yangthang, 3470 m .
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By now you are well adapted to the altitude. A two-hour drive takes you to Likir where your first Ladakh walk begins. The journey continues on the road from Leh along the banks of the Indus river along by a mighty gorge up to the point at the confluence of the different coloured waters of the Indus and Zanskar River. Follow the Indus until after Basgo with it’s built on rock castle and temples. Here branches off a gravel road to the north and brings you a few more kilometres to the village of Likir at 3500 meters altitude. Here it is worth a visit to the monastery, which was built in the 11th century, making it one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh. Then you begin your walk. You leave Likir westwards. The path leads down to the river and then Likir Tokpo up to Phoebe La (La = Pass) at 3550 meters. Here let the green plant life behind and enter a barren, desert-like lunar landscape, to then reach the green fields of Sumbo. You cross a small river and then get down to the slight ascent to La Chartse to 3650 meters. From here you can hike down to the village at 3470 meters Yangthang where to spend the night. From the storage space you can enjoy a wonderful view over the village and facing south to the glaciers of the Zanskar Mountains.
Driving time is about 2 hours driving distance about 50 km, walking time 4-5 hours, ascent 250 meters in altitude, descent approx. 150 meters, guest house or tent
Day 06: Hike to “enlightenment monastery” Ridzong, 3220 m and drive to Alchi, 3260 m .
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After breakfast we head to yellow Hat Monastery of Ridzong. The trail leads through a beautiful canyon along the river Ulley Tokpo. Then we reach the monastery built in the steep hillside. Ridzong was built only recently and is due to its remoteness and its strict monastic rules as enlightenment monastery.From here our transport picks us and we head to Alchi, a fertile oasis on the south bank of the Indus.
Allow about 4-5 hours, ascent / descent approximately 250 meters of altitude

Day 07: Day hike to the monastery Mangue, 3600 m .
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In the morning we first drive along the Indus, west to the starting point of the hike. A leisurely ascent leads us to Mangue, a remote mountain village with about 200 residents. We visit the monastery, which is among the oldest of Ladakh and has the remains of wall paintings from the 11th century .

Then we return to Alchi, where we can visit the temple from the 11th century with old wall paintings and life-size statues of Bodhisattvas.
Walking time about 3 hours, ascent / descent about 400 meters

Day 08: The famous monastery Lamayuru and back to Leh .
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This day trip takes us by car/jeep to Khaltsi, where we leave the Indus valley to the south and go up in numerous switchbacks to Lamayuru to 3,600 meters. The monastery Lamayuru with its gleaming white buildings as Alchi built in the 11th century. It belongs to the school of Red Hats. In the monastery village there are about 150 monks one of the largest communities of Ladakh. Visit the ornate main building from the 16th century and surround the large chorten. From a vantage point above the monastery you have a wonderful view of the erosion forms of “Moon Land”, yellowish deposits that originate the legend of a lake below the monastery. Then we drive back to Leh.

Driving time is about 5-6 hours

Day 09: About the Khardung La, 5660m, after Tiger, 3100 m, in Nubra Valley .
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Early in the morning we set off in a northerly direction along the trade route that connected in earlier times Ladakh with Central Asia. Spectacular highlight is the Khardung La, with 5660 meters one of the highest motorable passes in the world. Enjoy the vast views of the mountain ranges of Zanskar, Ladakh and the high mountains of eastern Karakoram glaciers, particularly the striking Saser Kangri (7672 m). After a pause, we enter the Nubra Valley, where the river empties into the Nubra Shyok flowing again into the Indus. Nubra means “garden”, which is one out before your eyes when you see the green fields and forests in the valley, forming the so pretty for Ladakh contrast to the barren mountain deserts. In the area of the deltas of the rivers are most of the settlements in the valley. In Tiger you refer comfortable tents for two nights.

Driving time is about 5 hours driving distance about 140 km, comfort tent .

Day 10: Day hike to the monasteries of Samstanling and Ensa and the hot springs of Panamik .
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In the morning we visit the monastery of Samstanling near Sumur. There is a monastery recent and only about 150 years old. The large complex of seven temples houses an impressive collection of thangka and restored frescoes. Then we take a long walk to Ensa Monastery near Panamik. There are hot springs, which we are great for relaxation. This archaic form of healing thermal bath is used here since ancient times. On the old trade route to China in the north, the travellers made a stopover here and trusted the healing powers of the water on. Then head back to Tiger

Walking time 5-6 hours, comfort tent.

Day 11: Visit Diskit Monastery, 3080 m and return to Leh, 3500 m .
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The monastery of Diskit is situated on a steep mountain slope above the small village and is inhabited by 80 monks. With 600 years it is the oldest monastery in the Nubra Valley and is subordinate to the main monastery in Thiksey. During the ascent to the monastery we pass striking engravings on the Mani walls and chortens particularly beautiful. From the monastery we have a wonderful view over the valley. Then we drive through the beautiful oasis of Nubra Valley continuing upto up to the Khardung La Pass at 5660 m and return to Leh .

Driving time is about 5 hours driving distance about 140 km

Day 12: Flight to Delhi .
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Early in the morning you will fly back from Leh to Delhi.
Day 13: : Depart Delhi .
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Transfer to Delhi airport and return flight to home.