Zanskar Cultural Tour

12 Days / 11 Nights (0)
from/per person USD 20
  • North India

Destination

Delhi –Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil – Padam – Kargil – Leh – Delhi

Best Time : July – August – September


Trip Highlights

The Zanskar sub-division of Kargil district is centered around its main settlement at Padum Four main routes over passes up to 500m converge here from Lahoul in the Chenab valley, Kishtwar, the Suru valley and Leh. Truly one of the most desolate places in the Himalaya, Zanskar is known for its spectacular scale, hardy mountain folk and extreme winter when the Zanskar River freezes to from the “chador” over which mail runners operate.

Highlights

Delhi: Old Delhi sight seen
Leh: Shey , Thiksey , Hemis Monastery
Lamayuru: Alchi, Lamayuru Monastery,
Kargil: Mulbek Monastery
Padum: Zhaskar Festival Visit Rangdum, Thongde, Karsha, Zonkhul Cave and Bardan monastery..


Day Wise Plan

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Met on arrival at the International airport and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02: Delhi – Leh

Morning after an early breakfast transfer to domestic airport to board one of the most spectacular Trans- Himalayan flight to Leh. Welcome on arrival at Leh airport (3500 mt) and transfer to hotel.

Rest of the day free for high altitude acclimatization. In the afternoon proceed to visit Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and later drop at the main Bazaar and walk down to the hotel.

Day 03: LEH – ALCHI / 62 km Drive

Morning after breakfast proceeds to Alchi. Enroute Upon arrival check-in at Hotel.In the afternoon visits Alchi Gompa. Overnight stay at hotel.

The Alchi village is famous for existence of one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh mainly known for its wall paintings of the 11th century. The monastery was built by one of the great translator “Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo”. The wall paintings in Alchi Monastery represent one of the oldest painting depicting the both artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir.

Day 04: ALCHI – LAMAYURU – KARGIL / 17 2 KM DRIVE

Morning after breakfast proceed to Kargil. En route visit Lamayuru Monastery and Stone Mountain of Mulbek.

Lamayuru is the largest and oldest Gompa in Ladakh with a population of around 150 permament monks resident. It has, in the past, housed up to 400 monks, many of which are now based in gompas in surrounding villages. Lamayuru is host to two yearly masked dance festivals, in the second and fifth months of the Tibetan lunar calendar, when all the monks from these surrounding gompas gather together to pray.

Arrive Kargil in the afternon and check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 05: KARGIL – RANGDUM – PADUM / 230 KM Drive

Morning after an early breakfast proceeds to Padum via Rangdum. South of Rangdum stands the Pazila watershed across which lies Zanskar, the most isolated of all the trans Himalayan Valleys. The Panzila Top (4401 m) is the picturesque tableland adorned with two small alpine lakes and surrounded by snow covered peaks. As the Zanskar road winds down the steep slopes of the watershed to the head of the Stod Valley, one of Zanskar’s main tributary valleys, the majestic “Drang-Drung” glacier looms into full view. A long and winding river of ice and snow, the Drang-Drung” is perhaps the largest glacier in Ladakh,

Arrive Padum in the evening and check-in at Hotel for overnight stay.

Day 06 : PADUM – STHONGDE –  ZANGLA – PADUM

This day we explore the Monastrey of Thongde situated on rocky outcrop. One of the main attractions is the Gon Khang “the chambers of the protectors” of the monastery. Explore the other prayer halls of the Gompa.

In the afternoon proceed for excursion to Zangla. Zangla is believed to being ruled still by a the king whose palace stands on hill top, here visit one of the last remaining suspension bridges a remarkable example of primitive engineering. After Palace visit drive further 5/10 minutes to visit the Zangla Nunnery monastery.

In the evening, drive back to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 07    PADUM – KARSHA – PADUM

Today we visit the important Monastery of Karsha. Karsha is the largets Geluks-pa  Monastery in Zanskar which is believed to be founded by the great translator Lotsava Rinchen Zangpobt 10-11th century AD. In the many halls of Karsha one can find some of the best specimens of Mural art. Also visit the Nunnery next to Karsha Gompa.

Later drive back to Padum enroute we stop to visit the Kalachakra Gompa where His Holiness Dalai Lama performed Kalachakra initiations.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 08: PADUM – ZONGKHUL – SAINI – PADUM

After an early breakfast proceed to visit Zonkhul Cave Monastery the Founding of which is ascribed to Naropa. The monastery is associated by legend with the famous Indian Yogi, Naropa, who is believed to have used for meditation the two caves around which the monastery has been developed. A footprint on a stone near the ingress of the lower cave is highly revered as that of the yogi. The frescoes on the cave walls are very old and reflect a high degree of artistic achievement.

Later on the return journey visits the Saini Gompa enroute. The main attraction here is the castle-like monastery, which unlike other monasteries of Ladakh, is built on level ground. By legend its origin is associated with Kanishka (Kushan ruler of 2nd century AD) on account of the Kanika Stupa, which stands in the backyard of the walled complex. The main building comprises a huge multi-columned central prayer hall housing an array of statues of popular Buddhist divinities and Kargud-pa high lamas, while the walls are covered with frescoes and adorned with Thangkas.

Later on drive back to Padum for overnight stay.

Day 09: PADUM – BARDNA – PIBITING – PADUM

Morning after breakfasts proceed to visit Bardan Monastery. Located 12 kms south of Padum, Bardan is an isolated monastery with about 40 Dugpa- Kargyud lamas in residence. Founded during the 17th century as the first ever center of the Dugpa-Kargyud monastic order in Zanskar, Bardan controls several smaller establishments in the region, including the famous Sani monastery.
Return to Padum and in the afternoon visit Pibiting Monastery.

Evening back to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10: PADUM – RANGDUM – KARGIL / 230 KM DRIVE

Morning we drive back to Kargil. En route visit Rangdum Gompa. Arrive Kargil by evening check in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 11:  KARGIL – LEH / 250 KMS DRIVE

Morning after breakfast we drive to Leh. Arrive Leh in the afternoon and check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 12: LEH – DELHI / DEPART DELHI

Morning after breakfast transfer to airport to board flight to Delhi. Met on arrival at delhi and transfer to the hotel. Later do a sightseeing of Delhi. Evening back to the hotel for overnight stay or transfer to International airport to board flight for onward destination.


Inclusions

Later on the return journey visits the Saini Gompa enroute. The main attraction here is the castle-like monastery, which unlike other monasteries of Ladakh, is built on level ground. By legend its origin is associated with Kanishka (Kushan ruler of 2nd century AD) on account of the Kanika Stupa, which stands in the backyard of the walled complex. The main building comprises a huge multi-columned central prayer hall housing an array of statues of popular Buddhist divinities and Kargud-pa high lamas, while the walls are covered with frescoes and adorned with Thangkas.


Exclusions

Later on the return journey visits the Saini Gompa enroute. The main attraction here is the castle-like monastery, which unlike other monasteries of Ladakh, is built on level ground. By legend its origin is associated with Kanishka (Kushan ruler of 2nd century AD) on account of the Kanika Stupa, which stands in the backyard of the walled complex. The main building comprises a huge multi-columned central prayer hall housing an array of statues of popular Buddhist divinities and Kargud-pa high lamas, while the walls are covered with frescoes and adorned with Thangkas.


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