Day 01: Arrival Delhi:
Met on arrival by Himalayan Vagabond Adventures representative and transfer to the hotel.
New Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines the ancient with the modern. Along with the fast spiraling skyscrapers, the city is dotted with many historical monuments that stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a spacious, garden city with roads lined by trees.
Day 02: Delhi:
Morning at leisure to recover from jetlag. Afternoon half day guided city tour of New Delhi.
The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals. It also marks the division in life styles. Old Delhi or The Walled City is all tradition where one gets a glimpse of a past life-style in all its facets and colours. New Delhi in contrast is a city trying to live upto the best of 21st century standards.
The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun. The tomb, an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, is said have inspired Emperor Shah Jahan to make the world famous Taj Mahal.
Overnight in Delhi.
Day 03: Delhi – Leh (By Flight):
Early morning transfer to airport to board the flight to Leh. Met on arrival by Himalayan Vagabond Adventures representative at Leh airport and transfer to the hotel.
Rest day at leisure for acclimatization. In the evening, a visit to the Leh Bazaar. Leh is the headquarters of the Ladakh region and an interesting town – colourful, with unusual people and food.
Note: Spending the first afternoon at leisure in the hotel is a must for acclimatization.
Day 04: Leh:
Morning at leisure for better acclimatization. Lunch at the hotel. Post lunch visit to Stok Palace, Matho & Stakna monasteries.
Stok Gompa and Palace is situated 14 km from Leh and is the present residence of the royal family of Ladakh. The palace was built by king- Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in year 1825 after Zorawar Singh’sannexation of Ladakh. The palace has a collection of royal dresses, old Thankas, King’s crown etc. that is open for visitors.
Matho Monastery is 25 kms south east of Leh is the only Gompa, which belongs to the Saskya order. Lama Tungpa Dorjay founded it in the 16th century and named the Gompa as Thupstan -Sharling Choskor. In order to introduce the Monastic community, the king offered religious estate in neighboring villages and the Nag-Rang festival was started.
Stakana Monastery was built by great scholar saint chosje Jamyang Palkar in 1580 A.D. during the reign of King Jamyang Namgyal. The monastery is 45 Km south of Leh and is founded on a hill shaped Stakna (Tiger nose).
Day 05: Leh:
Morning after breakfast visit Shey, Thiksey & Hemis Monasteries.
Shey Palace was built in 1645 by Deldan Namgyal as a summer residence for the kings of Ladakh. It is the oldest palace in Ladakh and above the palace is an even older, ruined fortress. In 1655, the same king built the two-storey Shey Gompa adjacent to the palace. The Gompa has a 12m high seated Buddha statue made out of gilded copper sheets and is the only biggest statue in the region made from metal.
Thiksey Gompa is the most picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus. Its buildings are arranged at various levels, leading up to the private apartments of the incarnate lamas on the summit. From here one commands a magnificent view of the valley. The gompa possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hundreds of hand-written or painted prayer books.
Hemis Gompa is one of the most important in Ladakh, the largest and also the wealthiest. It was built in 1620 by the architect king- Singe Namgyal, a great patron of Buddhism. He filled Hemis with golden statues, stupas set with precious stones and thangkhas brought from many places, including Tibet. The lamas of Hemis were associated with the Ladakhi royal family. Although only about a dozen lamas actually live here, Hemis has several hundred lamas attached to its subsidiary monasteries
Retune to hotel for lunch. Post lunch walk through the Leh Bazaar up to Shanti Stupa to have a panoramic view of entire Leh town.
Day 06: Leh – Likir – Yangthang (Drive 65 km/ 2 hrs + Trek 5 hrs):
After breakfast, we drive for two hours to Likir and met up with our trekking staff and the ponies that will carry personal luggage and camping equipment.
At Likir the monastery situated on a hill towards the village belongs to the Gelukspa order. It was founded in 1065 A.D by Lama Durwang Chosje during the reign of king Lhachen Gyalpo, which was named ‘Klu-Khil-GA-Ladan-Dar-Rgyas-Ling’.
After visiting the monastery, we start the trek through a barley field to cross a small stream and then to village Sumdo. From Sumdo the trek is gradual to village Yangthang (3700 m) which would be our first night halt on this trail. Overnight in tents.
Day 07: Yangthang – Tsermangchan La – Hemis Shukpachan (Trek 12 km/ 5 hrs):
After breakfast, we start the trek to Wulle valley. As we enter the valley there is an ascent of one hour to Tsermangchan La (4000 m) and then a descent towards Hemis Shukpachan (3596 m), the highest village on this route. It’s a big village and is famous for Cedar trees which are found abundance, hence the name of village. In the evening visit the beautiful monastery just outside the village and a family house for some butter tea and Ladakhi chang (the local beer). Overnight in tents.
Day 08: Hemis Shukpachan – Timosgam – Leh (Trek 5-6 hrs + Drive):
After breakfast start the trek through the Apricot rich village of Ang and reach Timosgam, the historical village, where one can visit the monastery and the Palace. This valley has warm weather as compared to Indus valley and hence conducive to thick vegetation. The valley has plenty of apricots, apples and nuts plantations thus making it one of the richest valleys in Ladakh. Since people are rich here, they have beautiful houses with wonderful interiors.
At Timosgam, we board our waiting vehicle and drive back to Leh. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Leh – Stok trekking point – Mankarmo (4200m, Drive 1 hr & trek 4 hrs):
Morning after breakfast drive to Stok village, which is the road head for trekking to Stok Kangri base camp. Start trekking to reach the campsite at the small shepherds’ village of Mankarmo located on the pastures near the steam flowing from Stok Kangri. Overnight in tents.
Day 10: Mankarmo – Base Camp (4900 m, trek 1 ½ hrs):
Morning after breakfast, start the trek on to the left side of the valley to reach the base of Stok Kangri and establish the camp. The camp is in a basin with a lovely view of the massif of Gulep Kangri. Stok Kangri is hidden behind a ridge. Overnight in tents.
Day 11: Stok Kangri Base Camp:
Full day at leisure for acclimatization.
Optional: Trek towards Stok Kangri/ Gulep Kangri for height gain. In the evening return back to the base camp.
In the mountaineering parlance, a trekking peak is the name given to a summit that does not require any technical knowledge for climbing or any equipment for the ascent. But 6,250 m does require fitness and stamina.
Day 12: Summit Stok Kangri Peak (6153 M):
Today a long, arduous walk awaits us. We start our day at 02:00 hrs climbing up and switch backing to the top of the ridge in front of our camp. The ascent to the ridge is tough and takes an hour. Thereafter we follow a narrow trail to reach the moraine coming down from the glacier. We climb up over the moraines for an hour and then cross the glacier to reach a basin in another hour. From here, we now go up the east face over more loose rocks for four and a half hours to reach the East- ridge. At the ridge we stop a while to breathe our self at ease before taking a grueling ninety minutes climb to the summit. At the summit we will get a magical 360 degree view of the whole of Ladakh – the twin peaks of Nun (7,086 M) and Kun (7,132 M) to the east, the Karakorams to the north, the plains of Changthang and the Tibetan plateau to the west and the Zanskar range to the south.
After spending some time at the summit, we descend back to the Base Camp. Overnight in tents.
Day 13: Stok Kangri Base Camp:
Extra day at the base for the summit if incase the weather does not permit us to make the summit or if some people are note well acclimatized. Overnight in tents.
Day 14: Stok Kangri Base Camp – Stok village – Leh (Trek 05 hrs & drive 01 hrs):
Morning after breakfast wind-up Base Camp and trek down to reach Stok. On arrival board the waiting vehicle and drive back to Leh for lunch at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15: Leh:
Day at leisure for independent activity. Optional: Rafting on Indus River (Pheyang to Nimu) or drive to Khardung La – the world highest motorable road at 5600 M.
Day 16: Leh – Delhi (By Flight):
Delhi – Onward destination: Transfer to the airport to board the flight back to Delhi. Transfer to the hotel. Rest day at leisure. Late evening transfer to the international airport to board the flight for onward destination.