Shakti Ladakh Village Walk: An Indian Himalayan Tour
15 days from £9,000 per person
Situated in India’s far north, and perched at over 3,500m (11,500ft) on the plateau, Ladakh is often referred to as 'Little Tibet' and is home to one of the best preserved Tantric Buddhist societies in existence. Rugged snow-capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes dot this high-altitude desert making it one of the most otherworldly, picturesque places on earth. Ladakh has long been on the map for backpackers, mostly staying in and around the capital, Leh. However, the Shakti Village Experience avoids the over now-crowded hub of Leh and takes you off the beaten track to unspoiled, traditional villages in the Indus valley. The perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in, the Village Experience can include arranged visits to local schools, monasteries, craft workshops and markets to give you a full understanding of the culture, people, religion and customs of the region.
The best way to experience these villages is a combination of walking, rafting and driving between them while overnighting in some of the beautifully quaint homestays along the way. Traditional Ladakhi houses are built with sun-baked mud bricks and wooden beams of poplar and willow. The bricks are plastered with clay giving a striking whitewash appearance. The interiors of the overnighting houses on the Village Experience have been spruced up by local craftsmen with local materials. Tibetan carpets adorn the floors and Ladakhi coffee tables sit on the roof terrace – a perfect place to enjoy a well-earned drink after a day’s trekking. Although simple, the level of comfort in the houses is truly surprising and yet does not compromise their authenticity.
For the more active walker, trekking and camping in even more remote and beautiful locations can be arranged. The treks require a reasonable level of fitness and reach altitudes of up to 4,250m (14,000ft). The tented camps provide an atmospheric night under canvas with all the usual service and style of the village houses while enjoying outstanding mountain views and some of the clearest night skies to be found in the world. The Village Experience includes river rafting on the glacier-fed Indus and Zanskar rivers. The rapids vary from Class 1 to Class 4 and offer a thrilling change of pace.
There is no standard itinerary as every trip is tailored to the individual travellers ensuring the best possible experience to suit their tastes. Depending on preference, the walking can range from very light to genuinely strenuous. It is also possible to arrange motorised transport if walking is not desired. The Shakti Village Experience is available from early May to late September.
15 days from £9,000 per person
- Day 1 - Trident Gurgaon - Delhi
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 2 - Shakti Village House, Nimoo - Ladakh
Morning flight from Delhi to Leh. Private car transfer to Nimoo (1 hr). Spend the day at rest acclimatising.
- Day 3 - Shakti Village House, Nimoo - Ladakh
Morning walking tour of Nimoo village. Afternoon visit to Basgo Fort.
- Day 4 - Shakti Village House, Nimoo - Ladakh
Day trip to visit Alchi monastery, Basgo fort & Likhir. Afternoon 2-3 hour walk.
- Day 5 - Shakti Private Luxury Camp, Agyam - Ladakh
Drive Nubra Valley, (Hunder). Rest of the day at leisure.
- Day 6 - Shakti Private Luxury Camp, Hunder - Ladakh
Explore Nubra valley - Camel safari. Visit Disket monastery.
- Day 7 - Shakti Village House, Egoo - Ladakh
Drive to Egoo village crossing the Wari La pass. Enjoy a picnic lunch by a stream and spend the day unwinding.
- Day 8 - Shakti Village House, Egoo - Ladakh
Walk around the village of Egoo and process to Hemis monastery. Picnic lunch followed by a walk and return to your village house.
- Day 9 - Shakti Private Luxury Camp, Pangong Tso - Ladakh
Drive Pangong Tso (6 hours drive). Walk around Pangsong Lake, a stunning turquoise lake 130km long.
- Day 10 - Shakti Private Luxury Camp, Pangong Tso - Ladakh
Private walking tour and visiting the lake. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 11 - Shakti Village House, Shey - Ladakh
Drive to Shey (6 hours). Short walk around the village of Shey. A Buddhist monk to come visit you this evening to share stories of his way of life with you.
- Day 12 - Shakti Village House, Shey - Ladakh
Morning prayers at Thiksey at 6am and return to your village house for breakfast. Cycle or walk through Stok village. Private lunch at The Ultimate Travelling Camp, Chamba Camp in Thiksey. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 13 - The Imperial Hotel - Delhi
Transfer to Leh and fly back to Delhi. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon privately guided sightseeing.
- Day 14 - The Imperial Hotel - Delhi
Half day sightseeing in Delhi.
- Day 15 - In transit.
Transfer to the airport and fly home from Delhi.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Anonymous, India