Sojourn with Copper Artisans of Ladakh

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7 days
Markha Valley

Centuries-old art and heritage hidden in valley of Ladakh

Learn about the centuries-old heritage and Tibetan art hidden in the villages of  Markha Valley

Why this experience is unique?

  • Copper art from medieval era
  • Live a village lifestyle
  • Hike in Himalayan valleys
  • Stay in authentic Ladakhi house
Experience Details

The copper artisan’s villages in Markha Valley are where those Tibetan copper jars, utensils, and prayer wheels are made! Villagers of Sumda Chenmo, Sumda Chun, Tsogty, Chilling are the descendants of the most skillful copper artists who moved from Nepal to Ladakh back in time. They came here with their skills of making copper artifacts for the monasteries and never went back. Their skill of making ancient copper art of Ladakh is now left in only a few villages. We will take you to these last remaining Himalayan villages where this art is still practiced. Try this art with your own hands as the artisans teach you this skill. Stay at our beautiful village homestays and experience what it’s like to live closest to the real Himalayan culture.

Your Day by Day Journey
Day 1 and 2: Arrive and acclimatize
  • Arrive and acclimatize
  • Explore Leh

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 3 and 4: Journey to explore local art
  • Visit copper artisans region
  • Stay at Apple Orchid Homestay
  • Hike through scenic mountain valley

Day 3Copper Artisan's Village

You will drive today to Chilling, a beautiful village inside the Hemis National Park. In this village, you can see the work of local copper artisans who have been doing this art for centuries. Chilling is the last remaining major hub of copper handicrafts with at least 10 artisans who do this work full time. Meet the experts of copper handicraft and learn about the history of this beautiful handicraft which is centuries old. After visiting the artisan’s workshop, drive to village Tsogty and relax in a homestay. Try your hands-on archery, see local apple and apricot farms in the village.

Day 4Hike to Sumda-Chenmo

Post breakfast, you will drive to Rangdoh and trek to the third copper village, Sumda-Chenmo. It is about 11 Km hike. You will trek at a comfortable pace with sufficient breaks in between. The trail is alongside a river stream through a beautiful valley. Total trek should take 5-6 hrs and you will reach the village by evening. Stay tonight at our homestay in Sumda Chenmo.

Day 5 to 7: Learn the art from the expert
  • Hands-on copper art making
  • Stay at ancient village
  • Short hike in Hemis National Park

Day 5Explore and learn the copper art

Sumda-Chenmo is the main village that has 4 copper artisans who still practice this ancient art. You will do a study of this art interacting with the artisans, learning the techniques and the tools and also try making a copper artifact. Sumda-Chenmo also has ancient Buddha statues that date back to the 11th century. The copper artists were settled in this area many years back to make beautiful artifacts for the monasteries in the region. These wooden statues were excavated in 2008 by a team of Archeologists.

Day 6Trek back to Rangdoh

After trekking down till Rangdoh you will visit Sumda-Chun, an ancient village that has lost this art. The village is also home to one of the most ancient and beautiful monastery. After interacting with the villagers and visiting the ancient monastery, you will drive back to Leh. You can spend rest of the day exploring the Leh market. You can buy Pashmina and other local crafts from the market.

Day 7Goodbye Leh

We’ll drop you to the airport as per your flight schedule. Or one can keep exploring the beautiful land of mountain passes.

What it includes?

6 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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