Experience

The Himalayas: A Spiritual Adventure

You only need to spend a few days in the northern Indian region of Ladakh before you succumb to the spiritual powers of this ex-Buddhist Kingdom. On this 12 night luxury holiday to India, you’ll discover the symbolism of peace and freedom in this fascinating part of the world. Hole up at the luxurious Chamba Camp, where you’ll have the opportunity to reconnect with your spiritual side and immerse yourself in local communities as you embark on a rejuvenating nomadic journey in the heart of the Himalayas.

LIFE IN THE HIMALAYAS

Touch down in Delhi where you’ll be whisked straight to The Imperial. Rejuvenated by a good night’s sleep, the following day we’ll jet you to Leh and the heart of the Himalayas. At 3,332m, your first stop is a traditional village house in Nimoo. Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the beautiful village characterised by stunning mountain scenery. With a courtyard and roof terrace, your hotel is the perfect place to relax as you acclimatize to the altitude. Immerse yourself in local life with a lesson in Ladakhi cooking with a local family, then for some spiritual insight, visit the charming Phyang monastery. If you’re feeling more active, our guides can also take you on a hike through the stunning scenery to enjoy the views.

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MORNING PRAYERS AT THE MONASTERY

By the end of the day you’ll be at the pop-up Chamba Camp in Thiksey, where you’ll receive a warm Ladakhi welcome. Surrounded by the stunning scenery, lie back in your luxury tent and unwind in an aura of unmatched beauty and serenity. An enlightening day in the monasteries tomorrow will help you understand the region’s Buddhist heritage as you join in the Morning Prayer ceremony at Thiksey Monastery at sunrise with its two-storey high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. From there, it’s onto Hemis Monastery, built in a secluded valley and belonging to the Dragon Order of Mahayana Buddhism. The monastery has taught young lamas literature, history, philosophy, yoga and tantra since the 13th century so enjoy the ornate statues and mural paintings as you wander around.

RIVER RAFTING ON THE INDUS

In the afternoon, delve into nature with a gentle rafting excursion down the ancient Indus River. You’ll bob past traditional Ladakhi villages and savour the enchanting views. The contrast between the emerald shades of the Minoo village on one bank and the stark barren landscape on the other has to be seen to be believed. As the sun sets over the mist-shrouded mountains by your camp, you’ll be entertained by a traditional dance performance, Zyabro, into the night.

HILLTOP VILLAGE HIKE

After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll head to the village of Eego where you’ll make your home in a Shakti village house. After an insightful tour around the village, you can take a picnic by the stream and breathe in the beauty of the area. The following morning you’ll then walk over to Aazo watching the scenery change from scrubland to lush grazing pastures. The walk takes four hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the little shrines and summer dwellings. Fully rested, you’ll head east the next morning to the village of Nang on a hike where you’re unlikely to see another soul as you go. By the afternoon, you’ll reach the Ganspar campsite at the top of the village, a stop completely off the beaten track, so enjoy the tranquillity of this unique destination. Sleep in domed tents under the stars, and on the clearest nights, you’ll even be able to see the Milky Way.

THE ANCIENT CAPITAL

For your final home-stay, you’ll be driven to the Shakti village house in Shey. On the banks of the Indus River, Shey was once the capital of Upper Ladkah under the Namgyal rulers. There’s a magnificent palace and spectacular Gompa here with your village house boasting views of the Palace, Thiksey monastery and surrounding mountains from the roof terrace. Enjoy a tour around the village, hearing interesting facts and local tales. Then, in the evening a Buddhist monk will come by and share stories with you about the Buddhist way of life. Take the new few days to enjoy the landscape and hiking through the narrow valley to the Cangma’s tea house and enjoying stunning views of the Stok range. On your final day, you’ll be driven to the airport for your flight back to Delhi, where you can connect to your international flight home. With your spiritual side reawakened you’ll loathe leaving, but happy and content with all the memories you’ve made.

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