The Oracle of Ladakh
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An 8 day Kashmir addition is being made to this program and will be available on this site soon.
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The mountainous region of Ladakh is considered to be one of the last outposts of the religious and cultural empire of old Tibet. The earliest inhabitants were most likely nomads seeking summer pastures, but other groups such as Dards and people of the Indus Valley soon moved into the lower valleys. The town of Leh was founded as a trans-himalayan entrepot for traders and is today the capital of Central Ladakh. Leh is also a significant Buddhist center and is filled with ancient gompas, monasteries and the famous 'Oracle', a soothsayer and teller of fortunes.
Ladakh is one of the highest inhabited regions of the world and is surrounded by the towering Himalayas, the source of the mighty Indus and Ganges rivers and numerous other tributaries. Although the region survives on subsistence economies, it is rich in culture and tradition including some of the purest Tibetan that exists today. Lost Frontiers has worked over the past year with a local operator to craft a 19-day in-country program that visits many of the important religious sites as well as remote mountain pastures and valleys that are the summer home of Tibetan nomads. Spiti and its surroundings have only recently been open to travelers and it's here that we will hike to high passes and visit these fascinating people. Our travel will take us from sacred Buddhist centers to remote tribal villages and finally on to the 'Oracle' where fate and fortunes are foretold.
Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel. Morning visit to Moghul styled Red Fort, the Jama Masjid Mosque and the various bazaars like Chandy Chok where one can find everything from antiques to silver jewelry. Hotel
Early flight to the ancient Ladakhi capital of Leh. Day free for hikes in around local village and acclamitize to high altitude. Ladakh Sarai Lodge.
Visit the ancient city of Leh, with its winding streets, bazaar and hundreds of little shops. Leh lies near the Indus River in a fertile valley. The city is dominated by a 400 year old King's Palace and surrounding buildings as well as Buddhist gompas, stupas and cloisters. Ladakh Sarai Lodge.
Visit the Oracle of Sabu in the village of Ayu followed by Shey Palace and on to Thiksey Gompa which is one of the largest and best endowed monasteries in Ladakh. Ladakh Sarai Lodge.
Drive into the Indus Valley and visit ancient Dardic villages that were among the first to inhabit this area. Dards remain today animist and wear clothing very different from others in the area. We later move to the Chigtan Valley where we will camp. Camp.
Follow the Indus River to Lamayuru and to the Yung-drung monastery that dates to the 11th century. Camp.
Proceed to Likir Gompa believed to be 900 years old and then travel down a small river valley to Alchi Gompa that dates to the 6th century. Alchi Resort.
Returning to Leh, the day is spent visiting the area, the Handicraft Center and the Astro Medical Center known for its Tibetan holistic medicines that incorporates elements of Shamanistic Bonpo religion. Ladakh Sarai Lodge.
Visit famed gompas of Thicksey, Shey and Hemis and Leh area. Ladkh Sarai.
Early departure to the Nubra Valley known as the 'Garden of Flowers'. This used to be part of an ancient caravan route to Central Asia boasting the highest road in the world traveling over the 18,380' Khordong Pass. Camp.
Retrace our path to Leh taking the better part of the day to admire the fantastic mountain scenery. Ladakh Sarai.
Drive to Changthang region on the way to Tso Morari Lake. This is a different world of high altitude landscapes, mountains and little vegetation. It is also the home of nomads who live here. We camp at near Lake Thazang at the village of Korzok. Camp.
Return to Leh through some of the most wild regions seeing a few scattered nomad settlements. Ladakh Sarai.
Early morning flight to Delhi, or in the case of a flight cancelation, we will spend the day around Leh. The extra day in Delhi can be spent with an optional visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Hotel or Ladakh Sarai.
Sightseeing in Delhi. Hotel.
Transfer to airport for flight home.
Departure: Call for departure dates
Level of Difficulty: Moderate due to high altitude
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