Itinerary for our Ladakh Journey« Back to Trip Overview
This is a winter tour as the time we visit Ladakh temperatures will be below freezing. However that is when the locals are not working in the fields but out enjoying the festivals & there is hardly any other tourists around so we will be right in there culturally. We will also be staying in a hotel with heating and the Delhi and Taj Mahal legs of the tour will be much warmer.
Also, please note the altitude of this journey. We recommend discussing taking Diamox on this trip – do talk to your doctor about it.
March 6th – Delhi
Individual arrivals into Delhi. Option to pay a visit to the Tibetan Quarter of Delhi in the evening time where you can get your first taste of this incredible culture and their delicious momos.
March 7th – Delhi to Leh
Early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. Acclimatization and trip orientation. Leh is at an altitude of 3524 meters (11,562 ft) so it is essential to take the necessary time for our bodies to adjust so we are fit and healthy for the duration of our trip.
March 8th – Leh
Spending time visiting local spots in a leisurely manner as our bodies adjust to the altitude which is needed due to us flying directly into the locality.
March 9th – Leh
Visit the scenic Leh town & Tsemo-Leh the old heritage town. Together we will hoist Tibetan prayer flags, an act which is believed to blow all fears away. Attend a talk with a local expert on the tradition of oracles.
March 10-11th – Stok Guru Tsechu festival
Two local members of Stok village enter into a long hermitage of meditation where they are prepared by monks to receive the spirit of the deities & make offerings to the spiritual guardians. When this is complete the spirits embody them and they assist the local people with predictions of the future and blessings.
During the process the monks of Spituk monastery and Stok monastery in Ladakh perform a series of Cham (sacred dances) inside the monasteries. These ceremonies stem from the shamanic tradition Bon which existed in Ladakh before the arrival of Buddhism. We will also have lunch with a Ladakhi family to deepen our experience of this incredible culture.
March 12th – Choglamar
Visit the beautiful residence of the Dalai Lama. Then onto the Tibetan Childrens Village which was set up to provide children with an authentic Tibetan education that is currently denied to those living in the Chinese occupied Tibet.
Attend a shamanic session with a local woman where if you choose to, you too can ask for assistance. We will also have lunch with a Tibetan family to deepen our experience with all the cultural facets of this incredible place.
March 13th – Thiksay
Morning prayers at Thiksay Monastery and a meeting with a Rinpoche for a Green Tara mantra ceremony so every time we recite the mantra of this Tibetan goddess it has more power. Green Tara is known to assist in protection & generating swift action in any area of our lives. She is considered to be the female emanation of Buddha. Join a Tibetan family in the evening for the recitation prayers to Tara where you can chant your new mantra along with them.
March 14th – Full day at leisure
Time to journal, relax, read or go for a long walk up into the rolling hills of Ladakh if you fancy it.
March 15th – Matho Nagrang Festival
During this festival two oracles from Matho monastery, who have been meditating in isolation for an entire month, make a public appearance and enter into a state of trance. Every three years these oracles are chosen and are considered to be very special. The Rongsten Karmar divinity takes possession of their bodies and they fall into trances as they make religious prophecies and give blessings to remove obstacles.
Whilst blindfolded they perform amazing feats such as running over high rise monasteries, executing acrobatic moves and jumping from one balcony to the next. Matho monastery was built in the 16th century and devotees fill it to the brim from far and wide to have their future predicted and problems answered and we will be right there in the thick of it with them!
March 16th – Matho Nagrang Festival
The second day of the festival starts in the late afternoon. Beforehand we will meet with a local Tibetan Yogi who will hold a CHOD session for us. The initial founder of the CHOD practice was a woman and it is the only high level Buddhist practice that originated in Tibet. It is believed to assist in cutting through the ego and self-grasping.
March 17th – Leh to Delhi
Fly back to Delhi and check into our hotel situated in the heart of Old Delhi. This particular date is the Holi festival to celebrate the start of spring. It is said that the naughty and mischievous Lord Krishna started the trend of playing with colors.
He applied color on his beloved Radha to make her blue like him. The trend soon gained popularity amongst the masses. So people on the streets will be covered in colored dust. Be prepared to end up looking just like them!
March 18th – Your choice!
Lots of people who travel to India want to see the Taj Mahal so for those of you that do, you can opt for our cultural day trip to see this wonder of the world & other historic sites of Agra. Or you can stay in Delhi with tour host Lisa. There we will attend a morning tour “Street Life by Street Children” where you will be taken into the realities of local Delhi life by its most vulnerable people and in doing so, you will be supporting them.
We will take a rickshaw ride to the Tibetan Quarter of Delhi so you can experience the city like a local. Visit a Buddhist temple dedicated to your new friend Green Tara so you get the chance to check in with her just before you head back home. And if we are lucky the monks there might have time to do a Green Tara puja especially for you, to give you a powerful Tibetan send off.
March 19th – Home
Exchange contact details with your new global family and then transfers for individual travel arrangements.