Meet the Mountain Shaman

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12 Days
Zanskar Valley

The healer in the mountains

Experience the world of spirituality by surrendering yourself to the spirits of the mountains

Why this experience is unique?

  • Journey through scenic towns of Ladakh
  • Exploring the spiritual town
  • Meeting local healer
  • Live like local
Experience Details

This journey takes you to the enchanting Zanskar Valley of Ladakh that has some of the hidden treasures unexplored by the rest of the world. The village of Hanamur is a unique village, full of warmth and hospitality. The journey through some of the remotest roads of India through pristine mountains, glaciers, and river streams that will mesmerize you. On this journey, in the deep valley of Zanskar, you will meet a healer who is a go-to person for locals for any medical assistance. He is a knowledgeable person in Buddhist Tantras & Mantras. This ancient knowledge is based on prayers, local medicinal plants, and diet to treat any medical issues. It is an experience to see the shaman treating his patients came from different villages across the valley. 

Your Day by Day Journey
Day 1 to 3: Arrive and acclimatize
  • Arrive in Leh
  • Visit main attractions around Leh
  • Drive to Kargil via ‘Moonland’

Day 1Acclimatize in local homestay

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.

Day 2Shanti Stupa & Leh Market

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.

Day 3Leh to Kargil

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.

Day 4 to 6: Journey through most scenic valley
  • Drive through Suru Valley
  • Visit monasteries and meet monks
  • Trek to interact with the healer

Day 4Kargil to Padum

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.

Day 5Sight seeing around 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.

Day 6Padum to Hanamur (via Zang-La)

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.

Day 7 and 8: Explore the valley
  • Spend a day in village
  • Visit a medieval monastery
  • Stay at a splendid remote location

Day 7Hanamur to Padum

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.

Day 8Padum to Rangdum

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.

Day 9 to 12: Drive back to main town
  • Drive to Kargil via Suru Valley
  • Spot glaciers and highest peaks
  • Back to Leh to spend a relaxed evening

Day 9Rangdum to Kargil

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.

Day 10Kargil to Leh

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.

Day 11Visit Hemis and Shey Palace

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.

Day 12Goodbye Ladakh

On the last day, the tour ends post breakfast in the hotel. One can fly back or keep exploring Ladakh for next few days.

What it includes?

11 nights in village family homestay
All meals
Responsible Traveller’s Kit – Towel, toiletries, women’s hygiene products, sanitizer, and a local trail mix
Tour Guide
Entrance Fees
All transportation in the destination location

What it excludes?

Air fare
Travel visa and insurance
Bottled water
Room service
Any private expenses

Is this Experience right for you?

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.

Hear from communities

  • 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.

    Tsering Dolkar
    Mountain Homestay Host - Sumda Chun
  • 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.

    Rigzin Dolkar
    Mountain Homestay Host - Photolalok
  • 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!

    Tsewang Dorjey
    Astropreneur - Maan
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