Ladakh the land famously known for high passes has always been an ideal place to capture the raw beauty of nature undisturbed by too much development. This land not only gives food for eyes; it gives food for once mind and soul. This unique destination is well-known for its monasteries too. Every village in Ladakh has a monastery with its own distinct history, and they also belong to different sects of Buddhism prevailing in Ladakh. The monasteries are under the guidance of respective lama/Rinpoche. With this spiritual pilgrimage to Ladakh, we will visit the precious monasteries including our visit to the famous Hemis festival. This travel will live you in awe by seeing the unique architecture and knowing the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh. This is a unique tour to expanse your knowledge regarding the culture, history and beliefs of the local people.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Upon your arrival, our Local representative will greet you at the international airport and help you transfer to the hotel.
After having early breakfast, leave to the Domestic Airport and board flight to Leh, the land of Himalayas and numerous passes. Witness the unmatched beauty of nature so raw and so much to offer to the eyes and soul wandering for naked beauty of nature. You will get a glimpse of K2, the world’s second highest peak on the northern horizon and Nun and Kun the highest peaks in Ladakh on the other side. On your arrival, you will be welcomed by our representative and transfer to your hotel. For the remaining day you will stay at ease to adapt with this high altitude land. In the evening there will be meet and greet with your tour teacher and fellow travellers’.
Today we’ll drive to one of the most famous and largest monasteries in Leh, Known as Hemis Monastery, located around 45kms away from Leh. This monastery belongs to Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 1630 by the first incarnation if Stagsang raspa Nawang Gyatso. On your arrival at the monastery you will witness the famous Hemis festival. The monks will perform cham on that occasion. One of the special features of this monastery is to display the special Thangka after 12 long years. Last time this precious Thangka was unfurled in the year 2015. Thousands of spectators have come to witness the mask dance by monks which depicts to bring peace, prosperity and harmony on the surface.
Today also we’ll drive to visit Thiksey Monastery, situated 17kms away from Leh. This is one of the most picturesque monasteries in Ladakh. It is located on a hill top, showing the elegant beauty at its best amidst greeneries and surrounded by mountain ranges from the roof. Due to its resemblance with Potala Palace in Tibet, it is also known as mini Potala. It belongs to the Gelukpa (yellow hat sect) order, and is built in the traditional Tibetan style, housing 10 shrines, one containing a 15 meter-tall statue of Buddha.
The 500 year old Sakya school monastery is known for its two augury oracles. Local people ask for their divination and prediction during the annual festival.
Nearby Stakna, which belongs to the Drukpa order has a marvelous collection of Thangka and frescoes, as well as a small marble statue of Buddha donated by an ancient King of Assam. Check out the small museum containing various ancient relics, weapons, and the human bone musical instruments. Stakna means Tiger nose and it was founded by Lama Chosje Jamyang Palkar during the reign of King Jamyang Namgyal in 1581.
Shey Palace is the oldest capital of Ladakh. Shey which literally means looking glass, owing to the reflection it gets from the river beneath this age old palace. It is situated around 15kms away from Leh; it was built by Deldan Namgyal in the early 17th century AD. The main image in the palace is three storey statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, the precious statue was only one of its kind in the entire Leh region. After visit we’ll drive back to your hotel.
Today we’ll drive 45kms away from Leh to visit Takthok or Dak-Thok which means “rock ceiling” belongs to the Nigma order, the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Owing to the natural rock ceiling of the shrine of monastery, it is called Takthok. The monastery came into existence when the tantric teacher Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) meditated in the cave. You can still see the footprints. This monastery has three shrines, Kangyur Lakhang, Tuphuk and Urgyan Photang.
We’ll then proceed to visit Chemday Monastery belongs to the Kargut pa sect. during olden times it’s used as palace for King Singe Namgyal. Later on he offered it to the monks to form monastic community under Shamo Natha( Nawang Gyatso). It is presently under the 6th Stagsang Rinpoche. The highlight of this monastery is the gold plate image of Guru Padmasambhava in it. After visits we’ll drive back to hotel.
We will today visit Spituk monastery, located atop a crag right at the end of the Leh airport’s runway, thus providing dramatic sights of the planes taking off, and a panoramic view of the Indus and the Stok range to the south. It was founded by Od-Lde I in the 11th century AD. It has three shrines, one with very intricate decorations. Of late, the monastery has fallen into disrepair and a large section collapsed during a landslide. Moreover, a strong Hindu patronage has all but converted the 1000 year-old temple dedicated to the Dalai Lama’s protector, goddess Palden Lhamo, into a Kali temple–with the apparent blessings of the monks themselves!–explaining the mound of empty whiskey bottles staked besides the shrine.
After visiting Spituk we will drive to visit Phyang Gompa. It belongs to the Drikung Pa order. This monastery was founded by Chosjey Damma Kunga during the reign of King Jampyang Namgyal in the 16th century AD. Situated slightly off the Leh-Srinagar highway, it has an impressive number of wall paintings along with a number of shrines. Check out the dark, all-enclosed Tantric hall. Not overrun by tourists. After that we’ll head back to Leh.
We will visit the 11th century Alchi monastery, situated 69kms away from Leh. Recognized as one of the largest and the earliest the monasteries built by Lotsava Rinchen Sangpo, the greatest translator, in the 11th century. To build the monastery, he brought in 32 sculptors and artists from Kashmir and signed a treaty with the King of Tibet, who agreed to provide a few artisans. Consequently, the famed paintings of the monastery, though depicting Tibetan and Buddhist themes, reflect a distinct Kashmiri style of painting.
We will then visit to Liker monastery, belongs to the Gelukpa order. The monastery was founded in 1065 by the Lama Duwang Chosje during the reign of Kind Lhachen Gyalpo. After that we will vivit Tingmosgang, situated around 90kms away from Leh. It has a palace built by King Grangspa Bum, who ruled the Sham area. The remaining of the ruins fortress wall can also be seen. Since the way back to Leh will be too late, hence we will spent the night is in Tingmosgang Guest House.
Today we will be visiting Lamayuru monastery, it was miraculously built on natural pillar like formations of sandstone. The Kagyupa monastery at Lamayuru is attributed to Naropa, the 11th century Indian Buddhist saint who is said to have spent many years meditating in the cave connected to the prayer hall. The area was supposedly a lake until Naropa caused a split amidst the surrounding hills and all the water was emptied out. Overnight is in Tingmosgang Guest house.
Today we will head back to Leh, Enroute we visit Rezong monastery. It is dutifully set in the valley of a gorge. It was founded by Lama Tsulthim Nima and belongs to Geluk School. The isolation of this monastery amidst the hub of nature gives the monastic practitioner a better and a peaceful stay. Beside the monastery there is a nunnery with approximately 20 nuns enrolled in it.
After visiting Rezong monastery will then visit Bazgo Palace. The Castle of Bazgo contains two amazing future Buddha statues and beautiful paintings. It was built in 16th Century by King Jamyang Namgyal and Singe Namgyal, father and son. Overnight is in Leh.
Today we won’t be travelling far from Leh. The whole day you will explore Leh town, you can either go for a shopping or just observe the beauty of Leh in the evening.
You will drive to Airport to board flight back to Delhi. After arrival our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Observe this day as full day rest and at night transfer to International Airport, board flight to homeward. Your spiritual tour ends today.