Hidden Monasteries Tour for 7 Days
Morning arrive at Leh airport, On arrival met at the airport and transfer to the hotel.Day free for acclimatization, O/N stay at Hotel.
Morning free at leisure, In the afternoon you will drive to SABOO - 8 km from Leh, standing majestically on top of a hillock overlooking the Indus Valley. It is a less frequented gompa in Leh. On your drive back to Leh, you visit SOS Village (Choglamsar). Choglamsar is an important center for the study of Tibetan Culture and History. There is the "Central Institute of Buddhist Studies", a Tibetan library, medical center, shops selling handicrafts, books and plenty of restaurants. It abounds in greenery with Poplar and Willow trees dotting the landscape. There is a golf course, horticulture nurseries and a polo ground as well.
The days' tour of monasteries begins with a visit to TAKTHOK GOMPA in the morning. In the 8th century, the great propagator of Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava set out from India to journey across many lands en route to Tibet. Along the way, legends speak of numerous halts one of which was at a cave at Takthok ("a ceiling made of rock") where he meditated. Takthok monastery developed around this cave. Returning from Takthok, the CHEMREY GOMPA rises majestically on a hill with the residences of the lamas spilling along its contours. Though most of the books, including the Ladakh Chronicle, tell us that the great lama Stag-tsang-ras-pa, under the patronage of Sengge Namgyal, founded it, but Professor Luciano Petech has shown that it was actually founded after Sengge's death as a funeral act of merit for him. The building was started in March 1644 A.D. and completed in 1645 / 1646 A.D. Overlooking fields and houses, the monastery is perched picturesquely atop a small hill, down one side of which spill the monks' dwellings. Continue your drive to HEMIS GOMPA, crossing over the Indus River at the village of Karu. The most famous of Ladakh's monasteries, Hemis or Changchub Samstanling (The love palace of the compassionate person), dates back to the 17th century and was built over a period of 40 years (1602 - 1642 A.D.). Today Hemis is well known for its festival or Hemis Tsechu commemorating the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava. By the evening drive back to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
After breakfast you will be driving to ALCHI. En-route you would be taking a short diversion to visit PHYANG GOMPA, which is located on the right of the main highway to Alchi. Built on a large mound, with the village below, the setting is one of the prettiest in Ladakh with groves of Popular trees along the road leading up to the monastery . After visiting Phyang you come to BASGO, which lies astride the road to Alchi. The jagged skyline of the ruins of the 15th century capital of Ladakh dominates the village of Basgo. It was an important center in the old days, having been the capital of lower Ladakh when the kingdom was divided in the 15th & 16th centuries, and the seat of that branch of the dynasty, which eventually unified Ladakh and took the surname Namgyal. In the afternoon visit the ALCHI GOMPA. The complex of temples located within the village is the most celebrated of Ladakh's monasteries and dates back to the 11th century. The complex consists of a group of five temples as well as a number of chortens scattered around the complex. The Dukhang and the three-tiered Sumstek are the most significant. It is the seat of the Ngri Rimpoche, an incarnation at present embodied in the younger brother of the Dalai Lama. Alchi Gompa is the only monastery, built on flat ground. It is very famous for its paintings and architecture, which has an Indian and Kashmiri influence in them. O/N stay at hotel.
After setting out from Alchi en-route to Lamayuru, you take a diversion to visit the RIDZONG GOMPA, which is one of the less frequented monasteries of Ladakh. Hidden at the end of a steep valley, the first view of the gompa is dramatic. Relatively new (1840), it is beautifully set in a valley, deep inside a gorge and is the most isolated monastery in Ladakh. Lama Tsultim Nima founded this Gompa and a monastic community was introduced with strict rules and regulations. After this visit you proceed to the 11th century LAMAYURU MONASTERY, which is spectacularly located along the valley plain and surrounded by mountains on all sides. According to legend, the arhat Madhyantika, a disciple of Buddha offered "torma' (sacred food) and water to the spirits inhabiting the site to satisfy the O/N stay at night.
Finally, you drive back to Leh in time for lunch at the hotel. The afternoon is free to explore the town on your own. O/N stay at hotel.
Transfer to the airport to fly to Delhi. Tour Ends.
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Mingma! Julay!namestey! hope you are in good health. Sorry to write you lately. Our trip to Thiland made us busy so we were unable to write you back. Mingma the trekking was well organised and I had a wonderful time with you.. . Ladhak is a wonderful place and your guiding made it much much better. We all are very happy and eager to visit your country sikkim next time.
The way you describe sikkim, it really seems to be a nice place. We will promote for you wherever we go. Thanks for your support when the chips were down..
Convey our regards to Jigmee,Arun and Horse man. Hope we will meet then again. Harry,Dorris Michael and Gracy Switzerland 2009
Max, hope you are doing fine business. We are thankful for your warm guidance and wonderful trekking arrangements in a short time. Mingma the food was excellent. We will return to sikkim with friends and family someday. We would no doubt recommend your company mountain tours and treks to all of our friends who want to visit India and specially sikkim and Darjeeling. Adam and wanda Netherland. 2010
Mingma, thanks for your mail. We are still in kerela and doing familiarization trip. Its very hot out here. Mingma your trekking arrangements was good and we had no hesitation in recommending your company. Your guide and cook was very good. We had more than enough varieties of food everyday. We surely hope that you will do well.
Well take care and best of luck Andrew, Roben and David Switzerland 2011 feb