Ladakh, the ‘Land of High Passes’, is a cult among the travel mongers. Jotted with snow-clad peaks, gorgeous valleys, gurgling rivers, and much more, this pristine land is also known for its holy monasteries and their spirituality. This Leh Ladakh Monastery Tour is a gateway to the sacred monasteries in Ladakh. Join this spiritual tour with family and friends to witness, experience and adorn the mystical charm that exists in them!
Day 1 : Arrival in Leh
The essence of the this Leh Ladakh Monastery Tour begins with your arrival at the Leh Airport! As you arrive at the airport, our experienced tour representatives will welcome you in traditional Ladakhi style and will transfer you to a pre-booked hotel. Post checking-in, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. Come evening, you will be guided to the first spiritual landmark of this tour; a visit the Shanti Stupa! Built by religious preachers from Japan, this white-domed structure is located atop a small hill in Changspa, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. A testimony to world peace and harmony, a visit to Shanti Stupa is the best way to unravel the beauty and charm of Ladakh and its monasteries overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 2 : Excursion in Leh
This day will be divided into two excursions – pre and post lunch. The pre-lunch excursion will begin after your breakfast, and will take you to the 15th century Spituk Monastery in the Spituk settlement which is around 5km from Leh. In addition to the religious importance and essence of Spituk Monastery, it also boasts of being the first Gelugpa monastery in Ladakh! On a visit this religious enclave, enjoy its serenity, architecture brilliance and other aspects. Within the monastery, you can also find an ample of courtyards and several temples at different levels. Post this visit, your Leh Ladakh Monastery Tour will take you towards the Hall of Fame which is located within a close proximity to the city limits of Leh. A museum that belongs to the Indian Army, this is one such museum in the country that showcases war memorabilia, war photos, arms and ammunitions used in the war, military uniforms, seized belongings of the rival army, and much more. Completing this visit, you will be driven back to the Leh for your lunch; time to get started with the post-lunch tour. Beginning with the post-lunch tour, you will be first driven to the pious SankarGompa which is around 3km from the heart of Leh. An extension of the Spituk Monastery, Sankar Monastery in Ladakh also belongs to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect of Buddhists and is the official residence of KushokBakul who is the head of the Gelugpa Sect. Since this monastery follows the time schedule of 07:00-10:00AM and 05:00-07:00PM, your visit will be arranged accordingly. After a visit to the Sankar Monastery in Ladakh, you will be driven to the historic Leh Palace located at the edge of the captivating Namgyal Hill. Resembling much to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, this ancient palace overlooks the Leh town and is a major attraction in all the Leh Ladakh tour packages! The once an official residence of the royal families, it was built somewhere in the 16th century by Singe Namgyal, the then ruler of Ladakh. Built in medieval Tibetan style, a visit to Leh Palace will get you acquainted with the history of Ladakh. Post this visit, you will be driven back to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 3 : Drive from Leh to Alchi (via Phyang, Likir and Basgo)
Following your breakfast in the hotel, our representatives will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to Alchi village. The drive will take you through Phyang which is around 6km off the Srinagar-Leh Highway and almost 17km from Leh. Built by Lama KungaDragspa in the 15th century, Phyang Monastery belongs to the Dri-pung Kagyu sect of Buddhists and is adorned with picturesque murals and wall paintings of Vajradhara and the five DhyaniBuddhas. You can also witness the images of Vairocana and Shakyamuni in Phyang Monastery. After this religious visit, your Leh Ladakh Monastery Tour will head towards the profound Likir Gompa or the Likir Monastery in Ladakh. Headed by the younger brother of HH Dalai Lama, this monastery dates back to 11th century and was once a Bon centre. It also houses a museum that has magnificent collection of ancient coins, armours, thankas, seals, and several other antiques. Post this visit, you will be driven to the Basgo Fort in Ladakh. Though on ruins, this historic fort serves as a major landmark to Ladakh and also attracts a large number of tourists while on their Leh Ladakh tours! Within the perimeter of the Basgo Fort, you can find two ancient temples and a shrine that has images of the Maitreya Buddha. Among these temples in this fortress, ChambaLha-Khang or the higher Maitreya temple, is the most attractive. Moving ahead of the Basgo Fort, this spiritual Leh Ladakh Monastery Tour will take you further across the Indus Valley, and then to the Alchi Monastery in Alchi Village. With a century old history, this is the only monastery in Ladakh that is constructed on a flat land. After a visit to the Alchi Monastery, you will be checked-in into a campsite or a guesthouse in Alchi village for your overnight stay.
Day 4 : Drive from Alchi to Leh (via Lamayuru and Ridzong)
Waking up in the morning, enjoy a delicious breakfast at the campsite or guesthouse, and get ready to be driven back to Leh. On your way back, you will be visiting the pious Lamayuru Monastery followed by the Ridzong Gompa. The Lamayuru Monastery that belongs to the Dripung Kagyu or the Red-Hat sect of Buddhist, was built by RinchenBzangpo who was the founder of Alchi Lotsava. On the other hand, the RidzongGompa is known for its serenity, tranquillity, and is a popular meditation ground among the religious preachers in Ladakh. The gompa has numerous caverns that are ideal for meditation while being secluded from the rest of the world. It is also one of the most disciplined monasteries in Ladakh. Following your visits to these monasteries, you will be driven back to Leh, and will be checked-in into a hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 5 : Excursion to Matho, Stakna and Stok Monasteries
This day will begin with your breakfast in the hotel and will be followed by an excursion to the Matho Monastery which is around 26km towards the south-east of Leh. Located on the banks of the Indus River, this sacred monastery dates back to the 16th century and was founded by Lama DugpaDorjay; it is the only establishment in Ladakh that was initiated by Sakya-pa. Visiting this monastery on the 14th and 15th day of first Tibetan month; late March or early April, you can witness the annual Naghrang Festival. Post this, the drive will continue to the Stakna Monastery. Adorned in new Tibetan style, this pious monastery is the home to a 7ft gold plated stupa that was set up by Lama Stakna Rinpoche. Other attractions in Stakna Monastery include images of the three Drugpa Lama and much more. Following this, you will be driven to the Stok Monastery in Ladakh. Located in the Stok village, this sacred monastery is a part of the historic Stok Castle that was built by king TsepalTondupNamgyal in 1825. If your schedule falls somewhere between the 9th and 10th day of the first Tibetan month, you can participate and enjoy the Guru Tshechu Festival in Spituk Monastery in Ladakh. After visiting the Stok Monastery, you can also visit the Gurphu Monastery, which is a branch of the Spituk Monastery. With this, the day will come to an end, and you will be driven back to Leh for your overnight stay.
Day 6 : Excursion to Hemis, Takthok and Chemdey
After today’s breakfast, you will be drive towards the monasteries in the Indus Valley; the first in the list will be the revered Hemis Monastery. A 17th century monastery, it was built by king SingeeNamgyal and was blessed by Lama StagtsangRaspa. One of the most sacred monasteries in Ladakh, this devout monastery is also the host of the auspicious Hemis Festival that is organised during June-July and is true riot of colours and fiesta. While attending this monastic festival, you can also enjoy the ‘Chham Dance’ or the Mask Dance of Ladakh. After the Hemis Monastery, our representatives will drive you towards the Takthok Monastery. Located in a village called Sakti;a round 46km from Leh, the Takthong Monastery was once an earnest meditation ground of the Mahasidhas. With its roof and walls made of rocks, this holy enclave is also called the ‘Rock-Roof Monastery’, and it serves as a home to around 55 lamas. The day will wind up with a visit to the Chemdey Monastery, where you can witness images of Stag-TshangRaspa or the founder of the Hemis and Chemdey monasteries. The monastery is adorned with ancient murals, paintings and artefacts that belong the pre-historic era, and is a true delight for the visitors. Upon completing this tour, you will be driven back to the Leh hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 7 : Excursion to Indus Valley
Today after having breakfast in the hotel, you will be driven towards the scenic Indus Valley. The day will begin with a visit to Shey that was once the capital of Ladakh. Here, you will be visiting the renowned Shey Monastery, where you can witness a gold-plated statue of the Sakyamani built by IdeldanNamgyal to commemorate king SingeeNamgyal in 1633AD. A one of its own kind, the statue was constructed with varieties of materials and has a large silver lamp. After experiencing the serenity of Shey Monastery, you will be driven towards the Thiksey Gompa. Located in the Thiksey village, Thiksey Gompa seats on a hill that overlooks the entire vicinity and has a 30m high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. Post this, you will be driven back to Leh; en route, you will be visiting Mahabodhi. Located at the heart of Leh, Mahabodhi is the only centre in Ladakh where various meditation programs and ‘Dharma’ talks are conducted throughout the week in summer; except Sundays. Upon completing this visit, you will be finally driven back to Leh; overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Day 8 : Excursion to Sabu
This day will be reserved for an excursion to Sabu oracle to visit the deity of holy Maitreya Buddha. This site holds high historic significance as it was once a ground where the bodies of the defeated Mughal soldiers were offered during the medieval era. With the completion of this visit, you will be driven back to Leh city; the rest of the day will be spent at leisure. You can either take a stroll through the local market for shopping or can just laze around your hotel room overnight will be spent in the hotel.
Day 9 Departure from Leh - Tour Ends Here
Waking up in the morning, enjoy a heartfelt breakfast at the hotel and wind up all your luggage and belongings. Our tour representatives will pick you from the hotel and will drop you to the Leh Airport with your drop, this tour will come to an end.