Indus Valley Trek

Duration: 12 Nights & 13 Days
Places to see: Leh – Shey – Stok – Likir – Yangthang – Ang – Wanlah – Lamayru – Leh – Delhi

Day 01: Delhi – Leh

On arriving at Delhi, you will be met by our representatives and helped in taking a flight to Leh. Our representative shall pick you at the Leh airport and help you to check into a hotel. New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India. Narrating the city’s Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj. Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 02: Leh Sightseeing

After having breakfast, you will be visiting the various places of tourist interests in Leh. Sankar Gompa This is small but more interesting place to visit than the Leh Gompa and can easily be visited on foot. The Sankar Gompa is an under Gompa of Spitok Gompa. At the most only 20 monks live here and few are permanently in residence although the monastery itself is fairly active. Thus the Gompa is only open to the public from 7.00 am to 10.00 am and from 5.00 to 7.00 pm. It is, however, well lit, so an evening visit is worthwhile. At these times the monks will welcome the visitors and may offer one yak butter tea, ‘Tsampa’ and boiled and spiced mustard plant. Jami Masjid When one had enough of the bazaar, head past the new green and white painted Jami Masjid at the top of the street, and follow one of the lanes that lead into the old town. Apart from the odd electric cable, nothing much has changed here since the warren of flat roofed houses, crumbling ‘Chortens’, ‘Mani’ Walls and narrow sandy streets was laid down late in the 16th century – least of all the plumbing. Chamba Temple One place definitely worth walking through the putrid smelling puddles to visit, however, is the Chamba temple. It’s not easy to find on your own; ask at the second row of shops on the left after the big arch for the key keeper (gonyer), who will show you the way. Hemmed in by dilapidated medieval mansions, the one roomed shrine houses a colossal image of Maitreya, the Buddha to come, and some wonderful old wall paintings. Leh Palace The old palace of the kings of Ladakh overlooks the town from the southwest slope of the Tsemo hill. It has eight storeys and was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century, at much the same time as the famed Potala of Lhasa – which it resembles. The damage to the palace, one side is gaping open, stems from the Kashmiri invasions of the last century. Like the Shey palace the Leh palace still belongs to the Ladakhi royal family, who now live in their palace in Stok. Leh Gompa The Leh Gompa stands high above the palace and also overlooks the ruins of the older palace of the King of Tagpebums. The Red Gompa also known as Namgyal Tsemo Gompa was built in 1430 by King Gvags-Pa-Bum-Ide and has a fine three-storey high seated Buddha figure flanked by Avalokitesvara on the right and Manjushri on the left. In all there are three Gompas at the top of the hill, the topmost one is in a very ruined condition but offers extremely fine views over Leh and the surrounding countryside. To the right of the palace one can see a Buddha painted on the rocks, a remnant of an earlier monastery. Shanti Stupa A relatively new addition to the rocky skyline around Leh is the toothpaste white Shanti Stupa above Changspa village, 3-km west of the bazaar. Inaugurated in 1983 by the Dalai Lama, the “Peace Pagoda”, whose sides are decorated with gilt panels depicting episodes from the life of the Buddha, is one of several such monuments erected around India by a “Peace Sect” of Japanese Buddhists. Return to hotel for overnight stay.


Day 03: Leh – Shey

In the morning, you will be leaving for a visit to the Shey, Tikse and Hampi Gompas. Check into a hotel as soon as you reach Shey. 15 km southeast of Leh and once the capital of Ladakh is now deserted. The royal family which resided here was been forced to expel this place by the Dogras in the midway through the nineteenth century. Only a semi-derelict palace, a small gompa and a large amount of chortens remain gathered around the bleached spur of rock that juts into the fertile floor of the Indus Valley. The ruins face the main highway, and from there one can hitch on the frequent minibuses between Leh bus stand and Tikse. Alternatively, you could walk to Shey from Tikse monastery along a winding path that passes through one of Ladakh`s biggest chorten fields with hundreds of whitewashed shrines of varying sizes scattered across the strange desert landscape. The palace is a small ancient monument that is decaying and is situated across the edge below an ancient fort. It was installed in the year 1633, the twelve meter icon is allegedly said to be coated with hoard of precious stones, mandalas and powerful charms. This palace is crowned by a golden chorten spire and its pride and joy is the huge metal Shakyamuni Buddha housed in its ruined split level temple. When you enter from the lobby you will get face to face with the lord Buddha`s huge feet, soles pointing upwards. Upstairs there is a balcony surrounding the statue`s chest where the immense statue of Buddha is seen in light. This is existing from centuries which are now covered by thick filth from the votary butter lamps but the gold coloured murals coating the walls are some of the finest works in the valley. Overnight stay will be in hotel.


Day 04: Shey – Stok

Today, you will be visiting Stok. Check into a hotel on arrival. Later in the day, you will be visiting the various places of tourist interest in Stok, Stok palace,built King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in 1825 AD, is an outstanding eye catching palace where the ancient and modern architectural styles are making their lively presence. This palace is famous for beautiful gardens apart from the architectural beauty. The view of the sunrise and sun set are wonderful from the palace, the glowing sunlight makes here sceneries quite enjoyable. At present the palace is open to visits and presents a collection of royal attires, crown and other royal materials. Spitok Gompa : Spituk Gompa of Ladakh dates back to the 11th century. It owes its inception to Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od. Od-de led to the establishment of a monastic community at this place. A three-chapel monastery, Spituk is located at a distance of approximately 8 km from the town of Leh. The name “Spituk”, meaning exemplary, has been derived from a statement of a translator, Rinchen Zangpo, about the monastery. He said that an exemplary religious community would develop there, providing the name Spituk for the monastery. Overnight stay will be in hotel.


Day 05: Stok – Likir

On this day, you will be visiting the Basgo, Alchi, and Likir Gompas. Likir monastery is the highlight of Likir. Likir means “The Naga – Encircled”. The reason behind this naming of Likir Gompa of Ladakh is that it stands surrounded by the bodies of the two great serpent spirits, the Naga-rajas, Nanda and Taksako. The monastery is situated at a distance of approximately 62 km to the west of Leh town. Lhachen Gyalpo, the fifth king of Ladakh, offered the site where the monastery now stands, to Lama Duwang Chosje. The Lama, a great champion of meditation, blessed the site offered to him, after which the construction on the monastery was undertaken. The Likkir Monastery of Leh Ladakh was founded in the later half of the 11th century, around the year 1605. It belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect, founded by Tsongkhapa. It consists of a number of shrines inside its complex. Presently, it serves as the residence of approximately 120 Buddhist monks. The monastery also has a school, in which almost thirty students study. In the 15th century, Likir Gompa came under the influence of Lodos Sangphu. A disciple of Khasdubje, he made efforts to see that the monastery flourished and prospered. Check into a resort on reaching there. Overnight stay will be in hotel.


Day 06: Likir – Yangthang

The day will see you trekking over Pobe la (3,550 m above sea level) to go to Yangthang. Check into a hotel as soon as you reach there. Yangthang is a Village in Ladakh and is 4 kms from Likir which is a popular trekking destination. Yangthang is located in the Western part of Ladakh. This village is often frequented by trekkers who pass through it while going to Hemis sukhpachan. Overnight stay will be in the hotel.


Day 07: Yangthang Sightseeing

After having breakfast, you will be trekking to Rizong Gompa of Ladakh was founded by the great Lama Tsultim Nima in the year 1831. It belongs to the Gelukpa Order, and is situated at a distance of approximately 73 km from the Leh town. The monastery serves as the residence of approximately 40 monks. However, they have to follow some very strict rules. The inmates of the monastery are not permitted to have anything on their person, except for religious robes and books. Rizdong Monastery of Leh Ladakh consists of a number of shrines inside its complex. The gompa also has quite a rich collection of the painting blocks of Lama Tsultim Nima’s biography as well as a number of objects made and books composed by the first Sras Rinpoche. Serving as the incumbents of the Rizdong Monastery, are the successive reincarnations of Lama Tsultim Nima and his son, Sras Rinpoche. A nunnery, known as Chulichan (Chomoling) is located near the monastery, at a distance of approximately 2 km. comprising of about 20 nuns, the nunnery is under the control of the governing body of Rizong Monastery only. The nun, known as Chomos, worship at the temples of the monastery itself. They also perform a number of chores for the monastery like spinning wool, milking, extracting oil for the temple lamps, etc Evening return back to Yangthang. Overnight stay will be in the hotel.


Day 08: Yangthang – Ang

In the morning, you will be trekking over Sermanchan la (3,750 m above sea level) and Lago la (3,750 m above sea level), to reach Ang. a bowl shaped village. Trek along Wullu valley and after coming over Shemchan La, arrive at the village of Hemis-Shukpachan. This village is popular througout Ladakh for its aromatic Shukpa (Cedar) which is used as incense for religious purposes. Visit the small gompa Check into a hotel on arrival. Overnight stay will be in hotel.


Day 09: Ang – Wanlah

Today, you will be trekking first to Temisgang makes a leisurely two-day hike, which takes in three major monasteries (Likkir, Rhizong and Temisgang) and a string of idyllic villages. It’s a great introduction to trekking in Ladakh, the perfect acclimatizer if you plan to attempt any longer and more demanding routes. Ponies and guides for the trip may be arranged on spec at either Likkir or Temisgang villages and then, over Bongbong la (3,630 m above at sea level), to Khaltse. After that, you will be taken to Wanlah by jeep. Overnight stay will be in the camp at Wanlah.


Day 10: Wanlah – Lamayru

On this day, you will trek from Wanlah, over Prinkiti la (3,725 m above sea level) which is crossed after a short climb. Go down a narrow gorge to the village of Shilla. Cross a river on a bridge, to Lamayuru. Check into a hotel as soon as you reach there. Lamayuru is known for the oldest and splendidly set 10th-century Lamayuru monastery Lamayuru Monastery is situated in Ladakh, in between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che, on a steep rock mountain. It lies at a distance of approximately 127 km to the west of Leh town. Lamayuru Monastery belongs to the Red-Hat sect of Buddhism and houses approximately 150 Buddhist monks. The monastery is made up of a number of shrines and also has a very rich collection of thankas and magnificent wall paintings. At the outset, the Lamayuru Monastery consisted of five buildings, out of which only the central one exists today. and also has man-made caves, carved out of the mountainside. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.


Day 11: Lamayru – Leh

The day will be spent in driving back to Leh. Check into a hotel on arrival and spend the rest of the day at leisure.


Day 12: Leh – Delhi

The day will be spent in driving back to Leh. Check into a hotel on arrival and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay will be in hotel.


Day 13: Departure from Delhi

Morning after breakfast at Hotel visit Old & New Delhi such as Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Akshardham Mandir, India Gate, etc. In the evening, you will proceed towards the airport, for the flight to your onward destination..


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