Ladakh is a mixture of culture – although geographically in India (and so has Indian influences), Ladakh takes its real essence and cultural backbone from Tibet – in fact Ladakh is often referred to as ”Little Tibet.” Historically Ladakh remained an independent Kingdom until the middle of the 19th century and then became part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Buddhism is the main religion in Ladakh – and there are many examples of monasteries, Stupas and historical Buddhist artefacts to see and explore.

The architecture is typically Tibetan-Ladakhi, the houses are built mainly from natural resources – using wood frames and roofs, mud bricks and daub. A typical home will often house their livestock animals like cows and sheep in the basement, kitchen and living areas on the next floor and a dedicated Pujah (prayer) area on the roof. The majority of families are still largely self sufficient so there are field of vegetables and terraced land ready for planting. Mainly Ladakhis are now vegetarian, but they do include some meat dishes. Typical tasty foods are Momos – small parcels of either vegetables or meat served with a dipping sauce – and why not wash them down with local chang beer or even salty Ladahki tea?!

Traditional Ladakhi dress is still worn by many older locals and incorporates colorful couture with practical warmth – women and men can be seen wearing long dark coats called Kos decorated with lively colored beads, curled toed shoes and decorative hats.

Ladakh still has a lot of craft stalls, markets and bazaars to peruse – from jewellery to woolly hats and pashminas there are plenty of items to look at or buy. Throughout the summer there are lots of local and religious festivals to enjoy the local dancing, food and celebrations. And in September you can enjoy watching the famous local-derby polo match (the army verses local teams) on the highest polo ground in the world.

There is so much to see and do in Ladakh that you definitely won’t be stuck, bored or hungry! We have included a diary so you can see when the local festivals are – but there is always something going on to enjoy!

10 days monastic package-Known and unknown about Buddhism in Ladakh

 

This package is especially created for the people interested in Buddhism culture. Through the ancient footprints placed all around, Ladakh offers a return to the ancient time. We propose you 3 important old palaces and 21 monasteries and gompas in a 10 days tour.  These places (dated from 11th century-20th century) can offer you an over-time image about evolution of culture.  

 Day 01

Arriving to Leh. We’ll transfer you to the hotel and let you have a day of recovering and acclimatization.

Day 02                

Our tour will start with a visit to monasteries of Leh and around it: Soma gompa, Shanti stupa, The Old Palace and Namgyal Tsemo monastery. During this day-tour you will enjoy, on the one hand the cultural part consisting of old architecture and heritage (old palace and namgyal monastery -1430) and the modern one (Shanti Stupa was blessed by HH Dalai Lama in 1985) and on the other hand, a very spectacular view of Leh and the surrounds.

Day 03

On the second day we’ll take you to the one of the most spectacular and famous monasteries in Ladakh among the Indus River: Stok Palace and monastery, the actual residence of the ladakhi royal family-a place where you can see a collection of royal dresses, old Thangkas and King’s crown. Shey palace and monastery, our second stop is the first residence of the king of Ladakh. King Deldan Namgyal built Shey Palace at the beginning of the 17th century AD and it used to be the summer palace of the king. This monastery posses the three-storey statue of Buddha Shakya Muni, made of copper guilt, which was made by Deldan Namgyal in the memory of his father Singge Namgyal. The statue is the only one of its kind in the region.  It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh.  Our last destination of the day is Thiksey monastery-one of the biggest monasteries in Ladakh. It is also called “the small potala” because of the similarity with the Tibetan capital.

Day 04

Our journey will continue with 3 monasteries situated 45 km far away form Leh. Hemis monastery is one of the largest and most famous monasteries, belonging to the Drukpa order. Takhtok monastery is the only Nyingma monastery in Ladakh ( belongs to a sect of Tibetan Buddhism –Nyingmal.  A small cave behind is believed to be the place where Padmasambhava lived and meditated for three years. The monastery also has the 108 volumes of the Kanjur  of Buddha’s teachings.  Chamday monastery is our last stop of the day.

 

Day 05-06

For the next two days will take a trip to Alchi and Lamayuru monasteries, 70 km far from Leh. On the way will visit Spituk and Phyang monasteries. Once we are arrived at Alchi will see also Likir and Rizong. Likir is situated on a top of a   windy cliff overlooking the beautiful village of Likir. It was founded in the 12th Century although the present construction dates back to the 18th century as the original one was destroyed by fire. In its courtyard is a yellow colored 3 storey high mammoth statue of the Buddha, which was constructed by a resident monk. The top floor has an impressive museum containing old thangkas and weapons used many centuries back. Lamayuru Monastery is one of the most popular and magnificent monasteries of Ladakh. It is known to be the oldest monastic establishment in Ladakh and was founded by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century. This Monastery is located amidst the massive mountains. The spectacular setting of this Monastery and its renowned collection of carpets, thangkas and frescoes has been attracting many people all over the world over a long time. Alchi Monastery is also an ancient one and you can enjoy the mixture of Kashmiri and Tibetan paintings. We’ll drive back to Leh.

Day 07- 08

Next day we’ll drive to Nubra Valley for seeing the main monasteries of this area. On the way we’ll pass through Kardungla, known as the highest motorable pass in the world (5600m). Diskit monastery is the oldest and the largest monastery in the valley, belonging to the Gelupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. We’ll also visit Hunder monastery, Lachung temple, Samstanlang, Insar and Sumoor monasteries, located nearby. On demand, we can organize a camel safari for you.

Day 09

Last day in Leh we’ll let you do the final shoppings and and free spending time.

Day10

We’ll transfer you to domestic airport in Leh

End of the trip!

Meditation allows people to relax and recharge away from our modern and hectic lifestyles. It is a way to de-stress the mind and learn to live in a stress free life. Imagine being stress-free!  Learn to focus your mind and leave stress behind forever – this could be the best thing you can ever do for yourself.

Ladakh is world renowned for its meditation and Buddhist culture. There are many Buddhist centres in the area which offer courses, classes and retreats both in Vipassana or mindfulness meditation and philosophy.

The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre offers periodic courses and meditation camps in Ladakh. We can arrange courses and retreats for our clients who are interested in taking time for meditation.

This is a fantastic way to really meet and understand the Ladakhi way of life and culture. A cultural exchange offers firsthand experience of the wonderfully friendly local people. You can live with a family, eat and sleep the culture, walk and learn to talk the language. You will truly get to know how life is for the locals. From waking up in the morning, you will be involved with the daily chores like collecting water, making breakfast, working in the field, looking after the livestock and children, preparing the food and finally bedding down at night, maybe after a drink of the local chang beer which is made in local villages from barley. This is an exchange so the local people will also be interested in your way of life too and the different way and environment in which you live.

Visiting local villages in a day trip and spending time with a local Ladahki family is a fun way of understanding the local culture, daily life and people. The people in Ladakh are extremely friendly – you won’t be able to walk down the street without someone saying “Jullay!” to you! So visiting their home will really enable you to gain an insight into real Ladakhi life and swap stories of your daily routine. Have a cup of chai or even sample the local Ladahki tea – made with yak butter and salt.

MOST FASCINATING VILLAGES OF LADAKH

Village Of Magyu: The most beautiful village of Ladakh lies off the Leh-Srinagar Highway into the mountains at an altitude of 13860 ft. This petit village has few houses and nearest accommodation is at Uleytokpo and Alchi. The village is approachable by walk from Uleytokpo.

Chulichan: Chulichan, the nunnery is around 1.5Km below the Rizdong monastery; around 20 Nuns resides at Chulichan. They provide food and cloths to the monks and perform morning and evening prayers.

Dha-Bema: (The twin village of the Aryans): These villages are famous for its people and are called the Drokpas (The pasture people), settled in the lower Indus valley are the descendants of “Aryans”. They are Buddhist but also worship the nature Gods and Spirits as well as Dha & Tseringma protectors as their tutelary Gods.  Perhaps the most unique feature is their revulsion for Cows, Onions and Water, they believe bathing will drive their Gods away. Dha is 162 Kms and Bema is 158 Kms from Leh. These villages have been opened in recent years for the tourist and have been the study field for Anthropologist, Photographers and Historians of the world.

Ladakh is bursting with interest, whether it is culture, geography, adventure, history, religious, arts, and photography – there is just so much to offer. We can arrange school, university, individual or group tours specializing in all areas of interest. We can arrange specific visits to specific areas of interest, help you meet important contacts for your study or even put together a programme for you to get to understand your subject even more.

If you are a passionate photographer, Ladakh is the place to be. Here not only that you have some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, but there are some of the oldest traditions that are still alive. Ladakh is the perfect place for landscape, extreme sports, documentary, human interest and cultural photography. You can have all of these in one general photographic tour, or depending on your interest, we could arrange for you some specialized tours, on your choice: landscape, culture, extreme sports.

Because of the high altitude, most of the time the air in Ladakh is clear, so you would catch on your camera some amazing colors. Also, during the night, the sky is full of stars and sometimes you could see the Milky Way too. Shortly, if you love photography, mountains and culture, you just found your paradise.

Contact us to plan a personalized tour for you and your camera and be prepared to buy new memory cards for it, because you’ll need it.

Note: These tours are addressed to amateurs and we do not provide photography information or workshops. If there are professional photographers who want to organize their workshops through our agency, we could offer full support and logistics.

If you let us chose for you based on our experience and knowledge about the place, we propose you some of the following tours:

 

Back to nature 10 days tour

Unlimited adventure 10 days tour

Cultural paradise 10 days tour

Explorer’s dream 10 days tour

 

 

 

BACK TO NATURE- 10 days tour

This is a tour tailored for nature lovers, who seek to fulfill their artistic spirit in nature photography. It would take you to the most mesmerizing places in Ladakh, where the light and the colors are combining so beautifully that you just have to press the button and you have a piece of art.

Leh, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Tsomoriri Lake, Tskar Lake, Manali

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival in Leh

Welcome to Ladakh! We will wait for you to the airport and transfer you to the hotel and give you time to discover the city, to acclimatize to the climate and altitude. You will have time to accommodate to the local culture and get a glimpse of the region.

Day 02: Discovering Leh

In order to acclimatize to the high altitude and dry climate, this day is reserved to the surroundings of Leh, which could be a very interesting ciry, with beautiful panoramas around.

Day 03 and 04: Nubra valley

In the next 2 days we’ll take you via Kardung La pass, on the highest motorable road in the world in the amazing Nubra Valley, the valley of flowers. We would do some trekking around. You’ll have enough time to find the perfect angles to photograph the amazing nature that reveals in front of you.

Day 04 and 05: Pangong Lake

We would continue our photographic adventure with Pangong Lake, the lake that changes its colors several times in a day. You will photograph the lake and the surroundings and the wildlife that surrounds it.

Day 05, 07 and 08: Tsomoriri Lake

From Pangong we’ll go back to Leh where we’ll spend the night and early in the next morning we’ll go to Tsomoriri Lake, a lake that is habitat for many rare species of birds and animals. You will have here the perfect subjects to photograph, since the nature reveals at its best. On our way we’ll stop to some springs.

Day 09: Tsokar Lake

After Tsomoriri you’ll discover also Tsokar Lake, another beautiful, but different lake in the same region.

Day 10:  On the way to Manali

The trip ends with the trip over land to Manali. The landscapes are stunning and you will cross one of the highest roads in the world. Your trip will end with your memory cards full with photos and your heart filled with beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNLIMITED ADVENTURE- 10 days tour

Kangyatse peak via Markha Valley

If you want to photograph adventure at its best, we offer you some adrenaline by climbing Kangyatse peak after 6 days of trekking in Markha valley. During this tour you are completely surrounded by nature. You wouldn’t hear even one engine around you. You’ll cross some remote villages and you’ll fill yourself with amazing nature. Some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ladakh are in Markha Valley. After this trek, you’ll push your limits up to Kangyatse peak, that it doesn’t require advanced technical mountaineering skills, but offers some breathtaking views.

After this adventure you’ll definitely want to come back again and to try some more.

Itinerary:

Day 01: Leh

Day 02: Trek from Zingchen to Ganda La Base

Day 03: Trek from Ganda La base to Skiu via Ganda La

Day 04: Skyu to Markha

Day 05: Markha to Thachungtse

Day 06: Thachungtse to Kangyatse Base Camp

Day 07: High camp – Summit- Nimaling

Day 08: Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmarula 5200 m

Day 9: Shang Sumdo to Leh via Martselang

Day 10: Leh

 

 

 

 

 

 

CULTURAL PARADISE- 10 days tour

Authenthic villages and monasteries

We designed this tour for people interested in cultural and documentary photography. We will take you to some of the most important Buddhist monasteries and villages in Ladakh, offering you insights about the Ladakhi culture. You will also have some trekking in order to reach some remote villages that would bring you a glimpse in the authentic Ladakhi culture.

You’ll photograph in and around Thiksey monastery, Hemis monastery, Stok Palace, Taktohk village, Chemray village, Likir monastery, Lamayuru monastery, Tingmosgang village, Wanlah village.

Itinerary:

Day 01: Leh

Welcome to Ladakh! We will wait for you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel and give you time to discover the city, to acclimatize to the climate and altitude. You will have time to accommodate to the local culture and get a glimpse of the region.

Day 02: Thiksey monastery

This monastery is called little Potala, as it is as important as the Potala of Tibet. There is a school for young monks here and you’ll find many subjects to photograph. We gave one day just for this monastery as you need time to find the best light and to explore all the corners.

Day 03: Stok Palace and Hemis monastery

Today you’ll go to the place where the Ladakhi Royal family lives in and after that you’ll have a look at Hemis monastery, the most popular in Ladakh, for its festival, where people from across the world come.

Day 04: Taktohk and Chemray village

Today you’ll go to 2 of the most beautiful remote villages where you will photograph authentic village life and people that still keep their traditions alive in everyday life.

Day 05: Leh- Likir monastery

This day you’ll go to explore Likir monastery via Leh, with it’s famous huge Buddha statue.

Day 06: Tingmosgang village

For this village you have to trek for some hours, having a glimpse of mesmerizing nature. At the end of the trek you’ll find a remote village called Tingmosgang. You would think time went back and you’re somewhere in the past.

Day 07: Lamayuru

Another beautiful monastery, Lamayuru has also a lot of corner with good light to offer.

Day 08: Wanlah village

This village is also a remote village with a lot of authentic things to offer. You could make amazing photographs easily, since everything is so poetic here.

Day 09: Exploring Leh

This day you’ll go to the monasteries around Leh and you’ll exercise your skills in the city too. Leh has also a lot to offer and it would be a pitty not to take advantage of it.

In the evening you could also do some shopping and enjoy the city life before leaving Ladakh.

Day 10: Departure time

We would take you back to the airport after saying goodbye to your hosts. You’ll go back to Delhi with a big smile on your face and your memory cards full.

See you next time!

 

 

 

EXPLORER’S DREAM- 10 days tour

Monasteries, villages, Tsomoriri and Tsokar Lake

This tour is built for the ones that are not happy with just glimpses of Ladakh, but want more. It starts with two of the most important monasteris in Ladakh, Thiksey and Hemis. You’ll also see Stok palace, where the Ladakhi royal family lives. After this cultural insight, we take you to Tsomoriri Lake, a fabulous place where rare birds and animals live. Also, nomadic Changpas people and their huge livestock that rely on the pastures around the lake. So you would have here culture, landscapes and wildlife.

After Tsomoriri, we take you to Tsokar, another beautiful lake with mesmerizing landscapes and local people villages.

At the end we take you back to Leh, where you’ll have time for shopping and putting in order your memories and photos.

Itinerary:

Day 01: Leh

Welcome to Ladakh! We will wait for you to the airport and transfer you to the hotel and give you time to discover the city, to acclimatize to the climate and altitude. You will have time to accommodate to the local culture and get a glimpse of the region.

Day 02: Thiksey monastery

This monastery is called little Potala, as it is as important as the Potala of Tibet. There is a school for young monks here and you’ll find many subjects to photograph. We gave one day just for this monastery as you need time to find the best light and to explore all the corners.

Day 03: Stok Palace and Hemis monastery

Today you’ll go to the place where the Ladakhi Royal family lives in and after that you’ll have a look at Hemis monastery, the most popular in Ladakh, for its festival, where people from across the world come.

Day 04, 05, 06 and 07: Tsomoriri

This days we’ll take you to Tsomoriri Lake and you will have the day to wonder around the place, to make friends with people and to find the best angles for your photos. There are amazing things to discover here, from nature to wildlife and the culture of nomadic people.

Day 08: Tsokar Lake

Like Tsomoriri, Tso-kar an another important lake surrounded by wetlands and lush green meadows in not only home to many birds but also form the main pasture of the Samad-Rokchen nomadic community living in tents around the lake.

Day 09: Exploring Leh

This day you’ll go to the monasteries around Leh and you’ll exercise your skills in the city too. Leh has also a lot to offer and it would be a pitty not to take advantage of it.

In the evening you could also do some shopping and enjoy the city life before leaving Ladakh.

Day 10: Departure time

We would take you back to the airport after saying goodbye to your hosts. You’ll go back to Delhi with a big smile on your face and your memory cards full.

See you next time!

Ladakh boasts some of the most outstanding scenery and wildlife in the world. It has everything from the majestic mountains to deserts, fabulous lakes, snow, sun and scenery. There are also so many species of animals and birds to see – some of them now endangered like the distinguished Snow Leopard. The tours we offer will take you to the best places to explore some of the most amazing places in the region, and if there is something you would like to see, like seeking out the Blue sheep, then we can take you to the right place – to increase your chances of viewing these animals in their natural habitat. Tours can be tailored to take in a number of our wonderful sights like bird watching at Tsomoriri lake, visiting Nubra valley with its famous high altitude desert and double humped camels or even to camp in the hills and sleep under the stars.

 

WILDLIFE IN LADAKH

Ladakh has a distinct alpine, flora and fauna variety. Several flowering plants, a dozen important mammals and over a hundred species of birds are found here in this rugged terrain. Lots of the species here are classified as endangered or rare.

The wild yak is only found here. Other animals include the ibex, blue sheep, bharal, docile marmot and mouse hare. Black necked crane, bar-headed geese, ducks and several other water birds breed near the lakes in thousands. The avid bird watcher can spend fruitful hours by observing Bactrian magpies, grey tits, chough, raven, sparrow, kite, kestrel, Turkoman rock pigeon, chukor, finches, buntings, larks, desert wheat eaters,  woodpeckers,  partridges, barbets, kingfishers, parakeets, swifts eagle, owls a many more varieties of birds.

The snow leopard is Ladakh’s most rare animal. Another unique breed is the kiang or the wild horse; while at lower altitudes the musk deer is also a rare sight, precious by virtue of its expensive musk. Visitors are likely to spot many marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, bharal and shapo during the course of their journey but the habitat of the nyan (big horned sheep), chim (Tibetan antelope famed for its fleece-Shatoosh), goat (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kiang (wild horse) and brong dong (wild yak) are still outside the tourists’ domain.