Lakes & Monasteries Tour – 9 days
Lakes & Monasteries Tour Duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days Destination: Leh – Monasteries – Tsomoriri Lake – Monasteries – Pangong Lake – Monasteries – Leh
Minimum number of people : 3
Lakes & Monasteries Tour Itinerary
Day 01. Leh Kushok Bakula Airport
Arrival at Leh Kushok Bakula airport LIFE on the PLANET LADAKH will meet & Greet you and transfer to the Hotel.
This flight is one of the most sensational flights in the world.
On a clear day from one side of the aircraft can be seen in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and on the other side of the aircraft, so close that you feel you could reach out and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif.
You would take a little time to settle in and acclimatize since you have gone from a relatively low elevation in New Delhi to over (Altitude 11,000 feet)
During the afternoon, you can walk through the old town, beneath the Leh Palace, to allow you to get oriented to this fascinating city.
Overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 02. Indus Valley – Monasteries Tour
After breakfast Leave for full day tour of Monasteries is as follows below Indus Valley.
(Details: – The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and continued to dominate the region for at least 700 years, from 2600 to 1900 B.C. It was only in the 1920’s that the buried cities and villages of the Indus valley were recognized by archaeologists as representing an undiscovered civilization)
Stok Palace & Museum
(Details: – Built in 1814, the Stok Palace, which used to be the home of the Kings of Ladakh is situated opposite Leh on the other side of the river Indus.
It is the only inhabited palace, the other two – Leh and Shey Palace are in ruins.
There are more than 80 rooms of which only 5 are open to the public.
The palace museum has a unique display of tangkhas, old weapons, kings’ armour, queens’ ornaments and perak (turquoise-studded head gear), traditional clothing and silver jewellery.)
(Details: – Situated 15 kms south of Leh towards Thiksey, the ruins of this former summer palace of the kings of Ladakh is perched high up on a rocky cliff.
The 12 m Sakyamuni Buddha statue made of gold-plated copper by King Singge Namgyal’s son Deldan Namgyal, is the largest in the area.
There is a small library in the lower chapel and a collection of tangkhas.
To the left of the gompa is a huge chorten (stupa) with golden spires, and to its right are the ruins of a fort.
Scattered across the nearby fields and along the hill range, are a large number of disintegrating chortens, perhaps the largest collection seen in Ladakh.)
(Details: – Located about 17 kms south of Leh, this monastery of characteristic beauty is probably the most photographed, and also the best place around Leh to see a puja.
It is a magnificent complex with its red and yellow main building rising grandly above the numerous monk cells.
The Chamba lhakhang (‘house of God’ for the Buddha to come) was built in 1980 in hnour of the Dalai Lama and houses an impressive two-storey Maitreya Buddha.
This gompa that houses about 500 monks belongs to the Gelukpa sect, and exhibits excellent works of art.
The roof of this monastery provides a panoramic view with the Zanskar range in the backdrop.)
(Details: – Hemis monastery is one of the most famous and largest of all monasteries in Ladakh, 45 Kms south of Leh founded in 17th century belongs to the Drukpa order.
The monastery was founded by Stagsang Raschegn who was invited to Ladakh by king Singee Namgyal.
The king offered him religious estates and attended him as his principal guru.
Hemis Tsechu (festival) assemble annually from 9th to 11th day of the 5th Tibetan month.
The Gompa has well preserved Thankas and copper gilt statue of the lord Buddha, various stupas made of gold and silver and many auspicious objects.
The largest thanka in Ladakh over 12 Mtrs. Long is at Hemis), after return back from sighseeing to Hotel Overnight stay
Day 03. Leh – Chumathang – Tsomoriri (240 Kms 5-7 Hours Drive Altitude 4525 Mtrs.)
Leave in the morning and drive to Chumathang stop at Upshi for passport checking.
From here the road turns towards left and reach Karu.
Chumathang is famous for medical hot spring and people visit to this place for medical bath and visit Chumathang monastery.
From here a short drive upto Maha bridge the main checking point to enter to this new area.
From here the road is rough.
On the way visit Sumdah village and another 55 kms drive will take you to Tsomoriri.
The Lake is breeding grounds for numerous species of birds.
Chief among them are the bar headed goose, found in great numbers, crested grebe, the Brahmin duck (ruddy sheldrake) and the brown headed gull.
The Lake is 8 Kms. Wide and 28 Kms long.
Overnight in Deluxe Camp.
Day 04. Explore Tsomoriri
In the morning visit Korzok village with its houses and its gompa appearing like a mirage.
The few barley fields at Korzok must be among the highest cultivation in the world.
In the afternoon visit around the Lake.
Dinner and overnight in Deluxe Camp.
Day 05. Korzok – Puga – Tsokar – Tanglangla – Leh (Altitude 5350 Mtrs. 245 Kms 5-7 Hours Drive)
Drive to Mahe village and the road turns left from here towards Puga Valley.
The village is an unforgettable scene of shooting fountain and white clouds hanging upon.
This is Butan gas for which Puga valley’ is famous.
Continue drive to Tsokar via Polokongka pass (13500 ft) and visit Tsokar (small Lake) and one can also visit Thugke gompa.
The place is famous for wild asses are generally seen here grazing and they seem moving in flocks.
From here short drive and reach on National Highway route (Leh – Manali).
Continue drive towards Leh via Tanglangla pass(5350 Mtrs.) which is the second highest motorable pass in the world.
Arrive Leh in the evening check inn Hotel dinner & overnight stay.
Day 06. Leh Local Monasteries
After breakfast Leave for full day tour of Monasteries is as follows below
(Details: – 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.
At that point of time, the Spitok Monastery of Leh Ladakh was under the Kadampa School.
Slowly and gradually, as time passed, the monastery started functioning under Dharmaraja Takspa Bum – Lde Lama Lhawang Lotus.
He brought about the restoration of Spituk and introduced the stainless order of Tsongkhapa (Gelukpa).
Even today, the monastery functions under the Gelukpa order only.
Three other monasteries of Ladakh, namely Stok, Sankar and Saboo, are considered to be the branches of Spituk Gompa.)
(Details: -Phyang Monastery of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 40 km to the west of the Leh town.
It belongs to the Red Hat Sect of Buddhism.
The site where the monastery now stands was once a part of the numerous monastic properties, offered during the time of Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial to Chosje Damma Kunga.
The hill of Phyang served as the venue of a monastery, known as Tashi Chozong, established in the year 1515.
A monastic community was introduced to the monastery and with this started, the first establishment of the Digung teachings in Ladakh.
The traditions of the Digung teachings began with Skyoba Jigsten Gonbo.
In the present time, the Phyang Gompa of Leh Ladakh is under Apchi Choski Dolma.
The monastery is served by the successive reincarnation of Skyabje Toldan Rinpoche.
There are a number of sacred shrines situated inside the monastery complex.
Also, there are some exquisite wall paintings, dating from the royal period, adorning the monastery.)
In the afternoon, visit by foot to Kings Palace, Leh Mosque, Leh Gompa, Shankar Gompa and Leh bazaar, return back to Hotel dinner & overnight stay
Day 07. Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh (Altitude 4300 Mtrs. 140 6 Hours Drive)
Early morning leave after breakfast to Pangong Lake which is the largest brackish lake in Asia, with a larger part of it extending into Tibet.
The lake is 130 km long and 5 km at its widest point with half of it running to the other side of the Indo-China border.
Despite of being a salt-water lake, it freezes completely during winter.
There is no marine life here, save for a few migrating birds now and then like gulls and brahminy ducks. Being at the border, the furthest point one is allowed to go to, is Spangmik, about 7 km along its western bank, but it is enough to take back the most beautiful memories of Ladakh.
The very barren-ness and vastness of the area contributes to its striking beauty.
Spangmik offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, and their reflections in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake’s brackish waters. Above Spangmik, one can see the glaciers and snowcapped peaks of the Pangong range.
Late evening return back to leh dinner & overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 08. Leh Local Monasteries
After breakfast Leave for full day tour of Monasteries is as follows below
(Details: -Stok Gompa of Ladakh is situated at a distance of approximately 15 km to the south of the Leh town.
It dates back to the 14th century and was founded by Lama Lhawang Lotus.
Stok is a subsidiary of the Spituk Gompa and belongs to the yellow-hat sect of Buddhism.
As you enter the verandah of the monastery, you will come across bright friezes, depicting the Guardians of the Four Directions.
The Dukhang of the monastery was repainted, not a long time back, and displays a rich collection of banners and thankas.
The left-side wall is adorned with the images of Vajrapani (Vajra-in-Hand) and Avalokitesvara (Lord of All He Surveys), in his four-armed manifestation.
At the same time, the right-side wall stands proud with the images of Sakyamuni (the Historical Buddha) and his two disciples, Amchi (the Buddha Medicine), Tara (the Saviouress) and Nangyalma.
There are two thrones inside the Dukhang.
The central one has been reserved for the Dalai Lama, while the one on its right is for the head lama of Stok Monastery.)
(Details: -Lama Dugpa Dorje founded the Matho Gompa of Ladakh in the 16th century.
It is situated on the opposite bank of the River Indus, at a distance of approximately 26 km to the southeast of Leh town.
Matho is the only gompa of Ladakh that belongs to the Saskya order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The oracle of the monastery is a priest, who resides in the monastery itself.
Also situated near the monastery, are a number of sacred shrines, of which one is dedicated to the guardian deities.
Matho Monastery of Leh Ladakh hosts the Matho Nagrang Festival, on an annual basis.
The festival takes place on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar.
All the monks participate in the sacred dances, performed at this annual event.
It is believed that, during Matho Nagrang Festival, two gods, known as the Rongtsan, descend to visit the monastery.
Matho Monastery also boasts of housing an amazingly rich collection of four hundred years old Thankas.)
Afternoon return back to Hotel rest & relax dinner & overnight stay.
Day 09. Depart Leh – Kushok Bakula Airport
Morning after breakfast, transfer to airport board your flight towards Destination Covered, to enjoy yet again, a beautiful flight over the great Himalayas.