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ladakh Jeep Safari

Culture of Ladakh

Rich Cultural background makes Ladakh interesting land for the lovers of art, culture and civilization. Abundant Monasteries, centuries old towns and markets, roots and remains of age old religions like Buddhism make it a mystic land to explore. Abundant ancient monasteries makes Ladakh an ideal ground for pilgrimage journeys to these age-old pillars of Tibetan Buddhism. It is also a region where ancient trade caravans once passed through on their way to the teeming markets of Central Asia. Numerous monasteries lie within easy driving distance from Leh while others are more remote and require a few days to reach. Each region and almost each village in Ladakh has its own monastery. Home to student monks and nuns many of these edifices stand on rugged mountain sides high above the valley floor and provide religious sustenance to the local populace strengthening their beliefs and traditions. All our pilgrimage journeys are undertaken by Jeeps that provide easy access even to remote areas. We offer four selective pilgrimage journeys that very much take in the major accessible monasteries and the villages that once hosted traders of the fabled silk route. Friendly and extremely hospitable; a natural joie-de-vivre; ancient traditions; wizened monks; ancient famous monasteries; Tibetan form of Buddhism; socio-religious festivals; fertile fields ripening for harvest; Archery; Polo; dance and song. This is what Ladakh's culture is all about.
There are the ancient pure Aryan race of Drok pa, a small colourful community; the cheerful and hardy Changpa nomads with their herds of Yak, goat and sheep. Ladakh is rich in culture and our tours take you to experience this wide diversity of ethnic wealth.

A Village Experience in Ladakh staying at Village homes with Rafting & Mountain Biking.

GoLadakh Zanskar offers a rare opportunity to discover compellingly beautiful and remote regions of Ladakh, combining an honest and sustainable approach with sophisticated simplicity and style. Staying in village houses offers the visitor a rare chance to experience a rural way of life in the homes of the Ladakhi people. The terrain in Ladakh is also very different as compared to other hill stations of India, and the journeys between the houses here will be on foot, by river raft, by mountain bike and by vehicles with stops at Buddhist monasteries and on ther significant places. For someone who is more interested in hiking/trekking we offer them Trekking and camping in remote and beautiful locations. Our treks require a reasonable level of fitness and are in remote areas at altitudes of 3000m to 45000m. GoLadakh Zanskar tented camps tents which provide a night under canvas, with all the usual all dreamladakh usual services. Enjoy outstanding mountain views and some of the clearest night skies to be found in the world. River Rafting is an included activity which is a wonderful way to explore Ladakh. This is offered on the Indus and Zanskar rivers, both of which are fed by glaciers. The rafting is varied with rapids ranging from Class 1 to Class 4.

Day by Day itinerary



Day 1.....
Arrival at Leh airport, to be received by our representative and transferred our village house at Matho here you will have a complete day of rest for acclimatization, there we will serve tea/coffe on arrival and all meals l. Around 4 PM you can have a easy walk in the serene village atmosphere. Overnight at Matho.

Day 2......
After your breakfast our guide will meet you, and take you around to Explore Matho Village and monastery, Later we will serve delicious picnic lunch at a beautiful spot nearby. Return to the house and relax on the terrace with a drink in hand while enjoying the stunning views.

Day 3......
Early this morning you will attend the morning prayers at Thiksey monastery there you will witness monks begin their day with prayers and chanting. You can even meet a local Ladakhi medicine man called "Amchi" at the monastery and learn about traditional cures. Thereafter enjoy a picnic breakfast in the charming village of Sakti. Than later we will return to the village house for breakfast and to freshen up. Later in the day you will visit the beautiful Hemis monastery which was built in 1630 and is the largest monastery in Ladakh. You will have this evening at leisure.

Day 4......
Today we will drive you to the charming village of Stok. Visit the Stok Palace, which is home to the king and queen of Stok. The fascinating Museum exhibits old and unique Ladakhi artefacts. Later savour a delicious picnic lunch at a beautiful spot nearby. After lunch visit Leh Market, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. Overnight at village house.

Day 5......
This morning drive up to the entrance of the Zanskar canyon, to the village of Chilling, where you will see the local metal smith at work. Walk down to the river bank for an adventurous and exciting rafting trip down the Zanskar River, through the rugged canyon and to the shores of the village of Nimoo. Here, a scrumptious picnic lunch will be laid out for you. Later drive for about an hour to your next village house in Ney.

Day 6........
Today after breakfast we will walk down from Ney Village House to Basgo down the valley amidst the wheat, barley and mustard fields, and with stunning views of mountain with amazing rock formations. After two hr walk we will have the glimpse of fascinating Basgo Castle. Basgo is a historical town situated on the bank of the Indus River. It was once an important cultural and political centre and is frequently mentioned in the Ladakhi History. It is known for its historical ruins. Later we will serve delicious picnic lunch at a beautiful spot near Basgo than we will drive you to Alchi and Likir before Driving you back to Village House at Matho.

Day 7.......
Drive to Pangong Lake (160 Kms) After early Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft.,it is the third highest motor able road in the world. 1200 hrs, arrive Pangong,it is the highest salt water Lake in the World, shared by two countries India & China. Packed or Hot Lunch will be provided. Enjoy the beauty of the lake on the Banks of Pangong while appreciating the changing colors and fascinating high altitude of the Lake. Overnight camping near the Lake at a remote and scenic spot called Man.

Day 8.......
Man to Matho(160 Kms) After Breakfast drive back to Leh, enroute visit Chemrey & Takthok monasteries overnight at village House.

Day 9......
Transfer to airport and fly back to Delhi with Sweet Memories of Ladakh Village Experience.



Monasteries of Ladakh

Spituk Monastery

The Spituk Gonpa "Exemplary"; 7km. to southwest of Leh, was founded by Od-Ide, in the 11th century AD; when the monastic community was introduced. Meanwhile, Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo (the great translator) visited this monastery. In those days the Gonpa belonged to the Kadampa School but Gelukpa order was introduced during the reign of king Dragspa Bum-Lde, when Lama Lhawang Lotus restored the monastery. The "Spituk Gustor" takes place in the courtyard of the monastery, on the 18th and 19th of the 11th month of Tibetan Calendar.


Shanti Stupa

The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch.


Tsemo in Leh

King Gragspa Bum-Lde built the "Red Gonpa" known as Tsemo Gonpa in 1430 AD. The monument has three-storied Maitriya Buddha's statue and a one-storied statue of Avaloketesvara and Manjushri. The Tsemo Sungbum Chenmo (sacred text) was written in gold and silver, Tisuru Stupa consist of 108 temples, which were remarkable work completed in the reign of king Graspa-Bum-Lde. The Namgyal Tsemo (victory Peak) was built by King Tashi Namgyal after the reunification of upper and lower Ladakh and victory over Hor. Their (Hor) bodies are placed under the image of Mahakala, the guardian deity to stop further invasion of Hor. The Leh palace known as 'Lechen Palkhar' was built by Singay Namgyal in the beginning of 17th Century A.D. The nine-storied palace is now deserted, and the ASI (Archeological Survey Of India) has taken up the renovation work.


Stok Gonpa and Palace

Stok, 14 kms southeast of Leh, is a place, where the present day royal family resides. The three days trek from Stok to Spituk and the 8 days trek of Markha Valley starts from here. King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal built Stok palace & Museum in the year 1825, after Zorawar Singh's annexation of Ladakh. The royal family resides here since Ladakh lost to Zorawar Singh. At present the palace has a collection of royal dresses, old Thankas, King's crown etc. that is open for visitors. Gurphuk Gonpa, a branch of Spituk Monastery is a little away from the palace, which is famous for its festival "Guru Tsechu" held on the 9th and 10th of the 1st month of Tibetan Calendar.


Hemis Monastery

The Hemis Monastery is around 45 km. south of Leh, which is one of the largest and most famous monasteries, belonging to the Drukpa order. The monastery founded by the first incarnation Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso in 1630, who was invited to Ladakh by a king Singey Namgail, and offered him a religious estate throughout the region. The youngest son, Nawang Namgail, became a monk and his name was changed to Zamling Drags. The Monastery was named Changchub Samling and the community was introduced. The Hemis festival is held in the month of June.


Thiksey Monastery

Thiskey Gonpa, 17kms. south of Leh the most beautiful of all the Monasteries in Ladakh, belongs to the Gelukspa order. The Gonpa was first built at Stakmo by Sherab Zangpo. Later the nephew of Sherab Zangpo, Paldan Sherab, founded the Thiskey Gonpa on a hilltop to the north of Indus River. The Thiskey festival (Thiskey Gustor) is held in the month of October- November. Around 80 Monks resides here at present. Dukhang Karmo is a huge long assembly hall, which consists of the image of Shakyamuni and Maitriya Buddha statues. Chamkhang at the top near the courtyard contains the three storey Maitriya Buddha's statue, constructed in recent years. Dukhang at the top, consists of thousand armed Avaloketesvara, Shakyamuni Buddha and Bodhisattavas, Gonkhang contains the statues of Vajra Bhairava, Mahakala & Dharmakaya, the goddess Paldan Lhamo and Cham-sring.


Phugthal Gonpa

Phugthal is the most spectacularly located monastic establishment anywhere in Ladakh. The Phugthal complex spills out of the mouth of a huge cave high up in the sheer mountain face of a lateral gorge through which a major tributary of the Lungnak River flows. Perhaps the most isolated monastery in Zanskar, its foundation dates back to the early 12th century. The monastery has frescos and ceiling decorations reflecting strong Indian artistic and oceanographic influence.


Karsha Monastery

The largest monastic establishment of Zanskar, Karsha Gompa is an imposing complex of neatly white-washed adobe blocks comprising several chapels, besides residential rooms for its nearly 150 resident monks. Karsha is 4-6 Km from Padum. Built picturesquely along the steep gradient of the mountainside above the Stod river, the monastery can be seen from far and wide. The Gompa, founded by Phagspa Sherab in the 11th century, has the largest library (Kahgyur Khang) in Zanskar and even beyond, there are eight temples and two assembly halls in the complex, which also houses a famous, large and priceless Thangka and smaller but valuable scrolls and precious idols.


Mulbekh Chamba & Monastery

Mulbekh is 25 Kms ahead of Bodh Kharboo, as we travel on the National Highway from Leh to Kargil, but another way, it is 45 Km from Kargil. It is 190 Km, from Leh. The monastery itself has been built atop at high rock, 200 Mtrs. above the main road. It contains precious relics, however, right next to the road there is a 9 Mtr. deep relief idol of the Maitreya Buddha, carved out of a rock. This is the future Buddha. Maitreys is also known as Chamba. The sculpture dates to the time which the missionaries who brought Buddhism to Ladakh were from Kashmir, not Tibet, it was probably carved in the 8th century AD. This explains why where are shaiite influences in the Idol and the artwork in the monastery, which was built a few centuries later. There is a monastery at the other end of the valley. It is at the bottom of a large phallus-shaped rock. Wakha (Rigyal) is a twin village of Mulbekh. It has nunnery (Chomo-Gompa) – called the Jungchup Chosling monastry, very close to the highway. If you are traveling from Leh, Wakha comes just before Mulbekh, it is located in the Wakha river valley.


Sani Monastery

Emperor Kanishka (Aka Kanika) had got 108 chortens constructed in the first century AD. One of them is in Sani. The holy site at Sani is called Turtot Gyat and is one of the 8 holiest Buddhist sites in the world. That is why most of the Luminaries of Himalayan Buddhism including Padma Sambhava, Naropa and Marpa have visited Sani. This venerable monastery had ancient and medieval frescoes.




We can arrange Jeep safari tours and Trekking tours covering these monasteries based on Your Requirment. For any Enquiry Email : tibettrail@gmail.com