Witness the impact of climate change on natural resources
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Witness the impact of climate change on natural resources
The mountain ecosystem of the highlands of Leh-Ladakh is fragile. It gets affected by the stressful changes the planet goes through and shows the evident impact of it. Glaciers are a prime example of it. It takes forever for their formation but just a few years to destroy them. Their abundance and beauty can only be seen in person to understand what we will lose if we don’t work towards making it better. Take a tour to see some most affected yet the most beautiful glaciers in the world. Throughout the trip, you will be staying in homestays that will reduce your carbon footprint, give the opportunity to connect with communities, and understand the impact of climate change on their lifestyle.
We will pick you up from the Leh airport and transfer you to a local homestay in Leh (11,500 ft). You will be resting today and acclimatizing yourself to the High-Altitude environment amidst the picturesque Himalayan landscape. This day is called the Acclimatization day and is required to adjust your body to the low oxygen levels of this altitude.
Before you step into the villages of Ladakh you should acquaint yourselves with the Ladakhi culture, heritage, and lifestyle. Take a tour to Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Central Asian Museum & Leh Market today. Enjoy the beautiful views of Leh city from Shanti Stupa and roam around in the market. Come back and rest in the same homestay before you start the journey to remote regions.
Once acclimatized to the high altitude, it’s time to gain some more altitude and drive towards glaciers. The road to the world’s second-largest glacier goes through Kargil. The town is connected with Leh by a highway, which means you are up for a wonderful and smooth journey. It will be a long drive for 6 hours. On the way, you will stop at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. You will also stop to see the moon land – a patch considered extraterrestrial. The journey will pass through the curvy roads and beautiful landscape on both sides. After the long drive, check-in to another homestay in Kargil. Spend a relaxed evening in the homestay and interact with locals to understand their lifestyle.
The day will start early and the drive will go through the most scenic road of Ladakh. The journey will end at one very authentic homestay of the region near Rangdum Monastery. The Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect, situated on top of a small but steep sugarloaf hill at an altitude of 4,031 m (13,225 ft) at the head of the Suru Valley. By this time in the journey, you would have reached the most remote region of the valley. The communities living here still live their traditional lifestyle and you will get to experience it by staying with them.
Have breakfast in the homestay and drive to reach Drang-Drung glacier at an altitude of 15680 ft. It is the second-largest glacier after Siachen in the Karakoram Ranges, India. The glacier is a source of the Stod River that is a tributary of the Zanskar River. Zanskar River further merges with Indus River that is a source of drinking water for locals and eventually for the civilization existing in lower lands of North India & Pakistan. Witness how this glacier has been changed drastically in just the past two decades. Continue the journey moving deeper into the mountains and reach Rangdum. Stay in a beautiful Ladakhi homestay and hear some interesting stories and local beliefs related to glaciers.
After spending a night in the most scenic valley, start the return journey. On the way, you will stop at Nun-Kun glacier point. Nun and Kun are two high peaks (both above 7000m). You can enjoy a cup of tea while gazing at the peaks and the glacier expanded between the gully of two peaks. You will also make multiple stops on your return journey. Reach Kargil and stay overnight in the homestay.
After a healthy breakfast, you leave for Leh. On the way to Leh, you will visit the famous Lamayuru monastery. The Drikung history states that the Indian scholar Naropa (956-1041 CE) allegedly caused a lake that filled the valley to dry up and founded Lamayuru Monastery. The oldest surviving building at Lamayuru is a temple called Seng-ge-sgang. After visiting this spiritual town of Ladakh, head to see a massive statue of Buddha at Mulbekh. Later, journey continues towards Leh and stay in a homestay in Leh.
Once back in Leh, come back to the homestay and get back to some comfort. In the afternoon, visit some iconic places such as Hemis Monastery & Shey Palace. Hemis Monastery is a Himalayan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage, in Hemis, Ladakh, India. Situated 45 km from Leh, the monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. After sightseeing, spend a relaxed evening in Leh market for shopping or in one of the cafes. Stay back in the homestay.
On the last day, the tour ends post breakfast in the homestay. One can fly back or keep exploring Ladakh for next few days.
8 nights in village family homestay
Responsible Traveller’s Kit – Towel, toiletries, women’s hygiene products, sanitiser and a local trail mix
All transportation in the destination location
Travel visa and insurance
Any private expenses
Are you travelling because you need some time away from your urban life? Does living a village life in the mud house in the mountains excite you? Are you ready to truly live the local lifestyle? If your answer is yes, take up this experience that will transport you to a different world. You might not get the internet here but you will also not feel the need for it as you will be busy exploring the unique sites, mountain views, and village life. The luxury here is living at the beautiful mountain destination, getting freshly cooked organic food at every meal, and having happy locals offering their warm hospitality.
Guests like to eat our Ladakhi food. They say it is delicious, even when it is prepared by an elderly ama (mother) like me. I always make sure I serve them the cleanest and healthiest food. My husband is a copper artist. When guests leave us, they say ‘Julley’, and hug us. It makes us feel happy.
I became a Mountain Homestay Host in 2018, and I have hosted many travellers since then. Running a homestay has helped me and my family a lot. Not only is the solar set up in our house useful for us, but even travellers prefer to stay in our homestay because of it.
The training we got in astronomy turned out to be a life-changing experience for our village. I felt happy and proud while mapping the position of the planets and sharing the secrets of the universe with the tourists. Tourists told me that even they didn’t know so much about the dark skies!