Ladakh Village Experience

Ladakh has long been on the map for backpackers, mostly staying in and around Leh, it is has not yet come on the radar of the adventurous luxury traveler. As such, Shakti Himalaya has designed a 'village’ experience that avoids the commercialized capital, Leh and takes you off the beaten track to these untouched villages in the Indus valley.

Shakti Ladakh

Situated in the far north of the sub-continent, over 3500 meters (11,500 feet) up on the
high plateau, Ladakh is often referred to as 'little Tibet'. Ladakh's geography protected it
from the ravages of the Chinese Cultural Revolution as a result of which it contains
one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth. With a high altitude desert
dominated by rugged snow capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes it is one of
the most picturesque places on earth.

Village Experience

Village walks are at the heart of any Shakti Experience, enabling you to enjoy the villages and rural life in remote mountain regions. Accompanied by local porters and guides, you step out of the modern world, walking between villages that are remote, and staying in traditional village houses, which Shakti has spruced up to provide proper comfort without compromising their authenticity. We will arrange visits to local schools, monasteries and markets to enable you to get a full understanding of the culture of each region, its people, religion and customs. Providing authentic experiences of local life, our walks are the perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in. For the more active walker we offer trekking and camping in remote but beautiful locations. Our treks require a reasonable level of fitness and are in remote areas at altitudes of 11000 -14000 ft. Shakti uses dome tents with all the usual Shakti service and style.

Sample Journeys

Every journey is private and tailored to individual requirements, preferences and timings, but these sample itineraries are intended to give you a taste of all you might see and do in Ladakh.

7 night / 8 Day package
for USD 5892 per person
on 2 Person travelling basis

Includes private accommodation in village houses on a fully inclusive basis including all
meals and beverages, all activities including two raft trips, an accompanying English
speaking guide, private chef, support guide and porters, car at disposal and taxes with
transfers between Leh Airport and the village experience. Flights not included.

Sample Journey

01.Shakti Ladakh Village Experience
Tariff & Information

Shakti has six village houses in Ladakh, each with its own unique charm. The itinerary below is a brief
example of what we offer in Ladakh, however, each client’s itinerary is tailored specifically to suit
his/her interests. The itinerary does not in any way reflect the ‘best’ possible routing and is simply
a sample.

Day 01

Fly from Delhi to Leh and be met and driven to the Shakti village house in Nimoo where we
recommend complete rest, to aid your acclimatization. Nimoo (3190m/10463ft) is a large village
situated 36km west of Leh along the Indus valley at the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus
rivers. The village is characterized by impressive mountain scenery, srrounded by lush green fields
and apricot, apple, and walnut orchards abound. As you will be acclimatizing today, we
recommend that you spend the day taking it very easy relaxing at your house.

Day 02

After breakfast go on a leisurely walk of the village of Nimoo with your guide for a fascinating
insight into rural Ladakhi life before returning to the village house for lunch. After lunch, relax
in the village house or visit the Basgo Fort in the late afternoon. At Basgo (3295m/10808ft) there are
three ‘Future Buddha’ monasteries completed in the 16th century, interesting for its Islamic
architecture. Relaxing evening under the stars this evening before dinner in the charming
Ladakhi kitchen.

Day 03

After a leisurely breakfast, you will drive up the Zanskar canyon to the village of Chilling
(3236m/10614ft), around an hour from Nimoo. Chilling is a settlement that is traditionally home
to metal smiths and has provided copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron work to Leh through the
centuries.You will get the chance to see the local metal smith at work before rafting for two hours
to the shores of the village of Nimoo where you will be served a picnic lunch. After lunch, relax at
the village house, or if you are feeling ready to do so, either take a hike this afternoon with your
guide or a cooking lesson in the kitchen with your Shakti private chef.

Day 04

This morning head out to Alchi(3120m/10233ft), a fascinating monastery and the only one in
Ladakh to be built on flat ground, unlike the others which were always on hilltops. The temple
was founded in the 11th century and is particularly interesting for its Indian and Kashmiri
influences. Drive for about 20 minutes and enjoy a picnic lunch at Saspol.Afterwards drive to the
village of Likhir from where you have the option of walking in to our next village house over
looking the village or journey by car. The remoteness of the house is best understood in the true
clarity of the stars overhead.

Day 05

Today you will visit Lamayuru, 2½ hours away. Lamayuru monastery is the most ancient monastery of Ladakh, founded in the 10th century. According to popular folktale Lamayuru was once a lake. Your guide will take you on a walk around Lamayuru monastery. After lunch visit Rizong Monastery, which is noted for its extremely strict rules and standards followed by each monk who meditates here.
Alternatively, for keen trekkers there is the option of taking a moderate level trek to the village of Yangthang. This is a portion of the delightful ‘Sham valley’ trek.

Day 06

Visit Phyang, located 1½ hours away from Likhir. Stop here for lunch and to visit the dramatic monastery with your private guide. The monastery houses a 900-year-old museum and contains numerous sacred shrines and frescoes dating from the royal period. You will then be driven for an hour to the River House, located in Stakna’s neighboring village Ranbirpur. It is Shakti’s first 4 bedroom house, located by the bank of river Indus, offering spectacular views of the Stok Kangri range of mountains and three monasteries – Stakna, Matho & Thiksey. We will arrange for a visit to the local oracle later this evening.

Day 07

For those who are prepared to get up at around five am, we recommend starting early and driving for 30 minutes to Thiksey monastery (3400m/11152ft) to experience the early morning Buddhist prayers. Next you will visit Ladakh’s largest monastery, Hemis (3500m/11480ft). Alternatively for those keen on hiking you have the option of a full day hike. The hike we are recommending is the first day of the four day return trek to the top of Stok Kangri, which is the highest mountain in the Stok range and Ladakh’s most famous mountain.

Day 08

This morning after breakfast you will be driven for an hour to the domestic airport for your flight to Delhi.

Introduction

9 night / 10 Day package
for USD 8745 per person
on 2 Person travelling basis

Includes private accommodation in village houses on a fully inclusive basis including all
meals and beverages, all activities including two raft trips, an accompanying English
speaking guide, private chef, support guide and porters, car at disposal and taxes with
transfers between Leh Airport and the village experience. Flights not included.

Sample Journey

02.Shakti Ladakh Village Experience
+ with Indus Valley Trek
Tariff & Information

As with all Shakti journeys, this is only a sample but showcases our Shakti Ladakh Village
Experience combined with a 3 night trek, Shakti style. Shakti has two houses in the village of
Nimoo, so again this journey will start in one of those.
From here, head west towards our house in Stok and onwards for the trek. Round off the Ladakh visit with time spent in one of Shakti’s beautiful houses.

Day 01

Fly from Delhi to Leh and be met and driven to the Shakti village house in Nimoo where we
recommend complete rest, to aid your acclimatization. Nimoo (3190m/10463ft) is a large village,
situated 36km west of Leh along the Indus valley at the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers.
The village is characterized by impressive mountain scenery, surrounded by lush green fields and apricot,
apple, and walnut orchards abound. As you will be acclimatizing today, we recommend that you spend the day
taking it very easy relaxing at your house.

Day 02

After breakfast go on a leisurely walk of the village of Nimoo with your guide for a fascinating insight into rural Ladakhi life before returning to the village house for lunch. After lunch, relax in the village house or visit the Basgo Fort in the late afternoon. At Basgo (3295m/10808ft) there are three ‘Future Buddha’ monasteries completed in the 16th century, interesting for its Islamic architecture. This evening you could take a cooking lesson in the kitchen with your Shakti private chef.

Day 03

After a leisurely breakfast, you will drive up the Zanskar canyon to the village of
Chilling (3236m/10614ft), around an hour from Nimoo. Chilling is a settlement that is
traditionally home to metal smiths and has provided copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron
work to Leh through the centuries. You will get the chance to see the local metal smith
at work before rafting for two hours to the shores of the village of Nimoo where you will
be served a picnic lunch. After lunch, relax at the village house, or if you are feeling
active, take a hike this afternoon with your guide. Relax this evening under the stars
before dinner in the charming Ladakhi Kitchen.

Day 04

This morning visit the charming Phyang monastery, which is 45 minutes away by drive.
Take a hike around the surrounding area, which will end with a picnic lunch at a lovely
spot with the monastery in the background. You will then be driven for 1.5 hours to your
next village house in Stok. The glorious village of Stok (3650m/11972ft) lies at the foot
of Stok Kangri which at 6120m (20,073ft) is not Ladakh’s highest mountain, but one of its
most beautiful. Later today, you may walk a walk or cycle around the royal village of Stok.

Day 05

Start a 3 day trek, setting off by foot towards your first campsite at Moncarmo. You will
follow a small river up a narrow valley for around two hours until you reach Changma where there is a tea house. Continue to walk for another hour to Moncarmo (4250m/13,727ft), where you will camp for the night. Accommodation will be in dome tents, though Shakti’s usual standard of food and service will make up for the simplicity of the accommodation.

Enjoy light and healthy snacks during the trek. Lunch and dinner will be served at the campsite.

Day 06

Begin walking in an easterly direction from your campsite to cross a glacial stream and gently
begin climbing uphill for about an hour and a half to get to the Matho La (Matho pass) at an altitude
of 4900 m/16,076 ft. You will continue walking downhill for about an hour and a half till you reach the
high altitude pasture and summer settlement of Matho village 4400m (14436 ft) which is your campsite for the second night.

Enjoy light and healthy snacks during the trek. Lunch and dinner will be served at the campsite.

Day 07

Walk down the valley for about an hour and cross a glacial stream. You will continue to climb up the trail
for another hour to reach a small pass, and then begin to descend to the valley. Put a prayer flag in the stone
cairns at the pass before walking for another hour down a narrow valley to reach the high altitude pastures of
Shang village (4500 m/ 14764 ft).where you will camp for the night.

Enjoy light and healthy snacks during the trek. Lunch and dinner will be served at the campsite.

Day 08

After breakfast, walk down for an hour to Shang village, where a Shakti car will be waiting for you. You will
then proceed to Hemis monastery, which is 45 minutes away. visit the monastery and the museum with your guide, you
will have a picnic lunch. After lunch, you could take a short walk around the monastery.
You will then be driven for 45 minutes to The River House, which is located in Stakna’s neighboring village Ranbirpur.
It is Shakti’s first 4 bedroom house, located by the bank of river Indus, offering spectacular views of the Stok Kangri
range of mountains and three monasteries – Stakna, Matho & Thiksey.

Day 09

For those who are prepared to get up at around 5 am, we recommend starting early and driving for 30 minutes to Thiksey monastery to experience the early morning Buddhist prayers. After a picnic breakfast, you will explore the historic village of Shey. Return to your village house for lunch. Later today, if you are feeling active, you may take a walk to the interesting Stakna monastery located across the river from the River house.

Day 10

This morning, you will be driven for an hour to Leh airport for your flight to Delhi.

Introduction

Information

Late May – End of October

Ladakh is a high altitude desert with little rainfall and as such sunshine is almost guaranteed. It is extremely
dry (making it feel warmer than it is) and the main change in seasons is down to temperature. By May,
Ladakh’s cold winter should finally be over and late spring brings pleasant clear days with average highs of
around 20˚c, nights can still however be cold dropping well into single digits. May and early June, though
still cold in the evenings and nights, are particularly beautiful as so many of the mountains are still snow
covered. By June, both the days and nights are getting warmer with maximum temperatures of up to 30˚c on
hot days in July and August. By September the temperatures are cooling off with those of the first half of
October being similar to those in late May. In the lower end of the valley at Nimoo where the altitude is less
than Leh, the temperatures are several degrees higher throughout the year. Our houses have wood stoves in the bedrooms which can be lit for your comfort on colder nights. Please ask
you house staff if you need your stove lit in addition to the hot water bottles which will be placed in
your bed.

  • Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India all have daily flights from Delhi to Leh (1 hour) during the summer months (with Jet cutting their schedule to three to four times a week outside of this period). Flights depart from both Delhi and Leh in the mornings between the hours of 0530-1045.
  • If you are flying into Leh allow 2 days to acclimitise – which is best spent on a Shakti Ladakh village house roof soaking in the view…
  • Drive from Leh to Manali (480 km approx) taking around two days or longer if you take your time.
  • The land journeys are memorable but please note the accommodation en route is very simple and the journeys long.
  • Drive from Srinagar to Leh (450 km approx) taking around two days or longer if you take your time.
  • There are also flights operating only on Wednesdays.
  • The land journeys are memorable but please note the accommodation en route is very simple and the journeys long. If you are flying into Leh allow 2 days to acclimitise – which is best spent on a Shakti Ladakh village house roof soaking in the view…