The healer in the mountains
The healer in the mountains
Experience the world of spirituality by surrendering yourself to the spirits of the mountains
We will pick you up from the Leh airport and transfer you to your eco-friendly homestay in Leh (11,500ft). 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 we step into the villages of Ladakh we would acquaint ourselves with the Ladakhi culture, heritage, and lifestyle. As per your choice, you can pick local places to visit. Hall of Fame, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Central Asian Museum – these are the places we recommend you to visit. Come back after spending a day doing sightseeing and rest in the same homestay.
After a relaxed breakfast, drive to Kargil via Lamayuru. On the way, you can visit the 10th century built Alchi Monastery to see the ancient Gandhara arts statues and wall paintings. On the way, you can visit the Lamayuru monastery and the adjoining “Moonland” hills. After a drive of 5-6 hours, we’ll reach Kargil city. Stay overnight in a homely accommodation in Kargil.
Today we embark on our journey to the Zanskar valley. We ride through the roads which only leaves one speechless. Suru valley very well symbolizes the beauty of the mountains. We pass by Penzi La, the gateway to Zanskar. In the middle, the Drang Drung Glacier greets us to the eastern flank of Penzi La. Padum town holds a good amount of population in so much seclusion too. Rest in a homestay after reaching Padum.
Padum, named after the Great Odiyana Padmasambhava is the only town and administrative center in Zanskar. Several notable Buddhist monasteries are located near Padum including Bardan Monastery and Karsha Monastery and the newly built Dalai Lama Photang. Padum is a spiritually rich town surrounded by splendid mountains. Stay at the same homestay for tonight.
After an early breakfast, we ride towards Zangla along the Zanskar river. Zangla palace was the ancient capital of Zanskar kingdom. We’ll drive further to Pidmo village. From here we have to trek for 2-3 hours to reach village Hanamur. After a quick snack break, its finally time to visit the healer, Meme Rangdol (shaman with miraculous powers). Stay tonight at solar-powered village homestay.
After a homecooked breakfast, bid a goodbye to the Shaman and the villagers. Stay on the track towards Pidmo village for 2-3 hours. After reaching Pidmo village go towards the suspension bridge to cross the Zanskar river and board taxi to Padum. On the way, visit the 11th-century old Stongday monastery. Later we’ll continue towards Padum. Rest in the homestay for the night.
After morning breakfast proceed to the Rangdum Monastery. A few hours of drive from Padum you will be climbing the Penzila pass(4200m). This area is very scenic and you will find many shepherds huts here. Rangdum Monastery is an important temple of Zanskar. Built in the 18th century, the monastery belongs to the Gelugpa order of Buddhism and home to some 40 monks.
Today we will drive towards Kargil. After a few hours of drive from Rangdum, we enter into the Suru valley, where you will enjoy the view of massive Nun and Kun peaks and the Parkachik glacier. There are many other unnamed glacier peaks on the way. By noon you will be at Kargil the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. In Kargil stay overnight at a homestay near Kargil.
The last day of the tour starts on a little relaxed note. After having breakfast and enjoying the view of the river and some historic mountain peaks, the journey begins towards Leh. The easy driving day will permit us to stop at a couple of iconic spots on the way. The journey will end once we reach Leh. Return to the same homestay in Leh and relax for the day.
Today you will be visiting some popular attractions around Leh. You will visit the famous Hemis Monastery & Shey Palace after having breakfast in homestay. 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. Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past. The original palace was built near the Shey village by Lhachen Palgyigon, the king of Ladakh (then called Maryul), in the 10th century. After the sightseeing, you can spend a relaxed evening in the Leh market in one of those cozy cafes before heading back to the homestay.
On the last day, the tour ends post breakfast in the hotel. One can fly back or keep exploring Ladakh for next few days.
11 nights in village family homestay
Responsible Traveller’s Kit – Towel, toiletries, women’s hygiene products, sanitizer, 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!