|Ladakh||Shakti Village Stays|
Ladakh has long been on the map for backpackers, mostly staying in and around Leh, it is has not yet come on the radar of the adventurous luxury traveler. As such, Shakti Himalaya has designed a Ladakh Himalaya ‘village’ experience that avoids the commercialized capital, Leh and takes you off the beaten track to these untouched villages in the Indus valley.
Shakti has six village houses in Ladakh, each with its own unique charm. The itinerary below is a brief example of what we offer in Ladakh, however, each client’s itinerary is tailored specifically to suit his/her interests. The itinerary does not in any way reflect the ‘best’ possible routing and is simply a sample.
Arrive at Delhi Airport. Meet with our company representative, warm welcome with fresh flower garlands & then transfer to hotel. Overnight stay.
Post breakfast transfer to airport to take flight for Leh.
Fly from Delhi to Leh and be met and driven to the Shakti village house in Nimoo where we recommend complete rest, to aid your acclimatization. Nimoo (3190m/10463ft) is a large village, situated 36km west of Leh along the Indus valley at the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers. The village is characterized by impressive mountain scenery, surrounded by lush green fields and apricot, apple, and walnut orchards abound. As you will be acclimatizing today, we recommend that you spend the day taking it very easy relaxing at your house
After breakfast go on a leisurely walk of the village of Nimoo with your guide for a fascinating insight into rural Ladakhi life before returning to the village house for lunch. After lunch, relax in the village house or visit the Basgo Fort in the late afternoon. At Basgo (3295m/10808ft) there are three ‘Future Buddha’ monasteries completed in the 16th century, interesting for its Islamic architecture. This evening you could take a cooking lesson in the kitchen with your Shakti private chef
After a leisurely breakfast, you will drive up the Zanskar canyon to the village of Chilling (3236m/10614ft), around an hour from Nimoo. Chilling is a settlement that is traditionally home to metal smiths and has provided copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron work to Leh through the centuries. You will get the chance to see the local metal smith at work before rafting for two hours to the shores of the village of Nimoo where you will be served a picnic lunch. After lunch, relax at the village house, or if you are feeling active, take a hike this afternoon with your guide. Relax this evening under the stars before dinner in the charming Ladakhi Kitchen.
This morning head out to Alchi(3120m/10233ft), a fascinating monastery and the only one in Ladakh to be built on flat ground, unlike the others which were always on hilltops. The temple was founded in the 11th century and is particularly interesting for its Indian and Kashmiri influences. Drive for about 20 minutes and enjoy a picnic lunch at Saspol.Afterwards drive to the village of Likhir from where you have the option of walking in to our next village house over looking the village or journey by car. The remoteness of the house is best understood in the true clarity of the stars overhead.
Today you will visit Lamayuru, 2½ hours away. Lamayuru monastery is the most ancient monastery of Ladakh, founded in the 10th century. According to popular folktale Lamayuru was once a lake. Your guide will take you on a walk around Lamayuru monastery. After lunch visit Rizong Monastery, which is noted for its extremely strict rules and standards followed by each monk who meditates here. Alternatively, for keen trekkers there is the option of taking a moderate level trek to the village of Yangthang. This is a portion of the delightful ‘Sham valley’ trek.
Visit Phyang, located 1½ hours away from Likhir. Stop here for lunch and to visit the dramatic monastery with your private guide. The monastery houses a 900-year-old museum and contains numerous sacred shrines and frescoes dating from the royal period. You will then be driven for an hour to the River House, located in Stakna’s neighboring village Ranbirpur. It is Shakti’s first 4 bedroom house, located by the bank of river Indus, offering spectacular views of the Stok Kangri range of mountains and three monasteries – Stakna, Matho & Thiksey. We will arrange for a visit to the local oracle later this evening.
For those who are prepared to get up at around five am, we recommend starting early and driving for 30 minutes to Thiksey monastery (3400m/11152ft) to experience the early morning Buddhist prayers. Next you will visit Ladakh’s largest monastery, Hemis (3500m/11480ft). Alternatively for those keen on hiking you have the option of a full day hike. The hike we are recommending is the first day of the four day return trek to the top of Stok Kangri, which is the highest mountain in the Stok range and Ladakh’s most famous mountain.
This morning after breakfast you will be driven for an hour to the domestic airport for your flight to Delhi.
Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to hotel, overnight stay
Time to say good bye. After breakfast transfer to the airport to connect your flight back home.