Freezing beauty, Ladakh
Snowleopard, Oracle and more…
15 Nights/16 Days
Day 01: Flight to Delhi
Day 02: Delhi - Leh
Day 03: In Leh
Day 04: In Leh
Day 05: Leh - Spitok
Day 06: Trek
Day 07: Trek
Day 08: Trek
Day 09: Spitok - Leh
Day 10: Oracle festival in Matho
Day 11: Oracle festival in Matho
Day 12: Village Chilling & the frozen Zanskar river
Day 13: Leh to Delhi:
Day 14: Delhi - Agra
Day 15: Agra - Delhi
Day 16: Fly back home
Day 01: Flight to Delhi
Depart overseas and arrive Delhi the same day, change to the terminals to take our domestic flight to Leh.
Day 02: Fly Delhi to Leh
Early morning flight to Leh. On one of the most beautiful flights in the world, we cross the mighty Himalaya and enjoy the view of the snowy peaks. In the afternoon we take a stroll through the town of Leh, a former caravan and trading town. The name derives a Tibetan word meaning an oasis. Compared with the summer months it is very quiet in Leh during the winters, but we have all the chances to meet the locals around and see how they spend their winters. Overnight hotel.
Day 03: Spitok Monastery and the village around
We take it easy for the first couple of days in order to get ourselves well acclimatized to this thin air & high altitude. After a leisurely breakfast we visit the Spitok monastery. The origin of this one is traced back to over 1000 years. Today Spituk is the main monastery of the Gelugpa sect, the Yellow Hat sect. After the visit, we will walk down to the village of Spitok and stroll around a bit before heading back tour hotel for lunch. In the evening we head back to the main market again for a short walk. This also helps us in our acclimatization. Overnight hotel.
Day 04: Oracle festival in Stok
After an early breakfast we head to Stok Village, it is going to take us around an hour to reach there.
The beautiful village of Stok is these days’ residence to descendants of the former royal dynasty which ruled Ladakh for centuries. Just next to the old royal palace is the small monastery of Stok, which for most of the year is in a kind of hibernation; but that’s not the case today. Locals from all over flock this small monastery to witness the first of the two mystical oracle festivals in Ladakh. We let ourselves be fascinated by the colorful mask dances and the appearance of two oracles in the courtyard. Overnight hotel.
Day 05: Drive Leh to Spitok trekking point and trek further to Zinchen
After an early breakfast we head towards the trekking part of our trip. We start our day with short half an hour drive to the trekking point near Spitok village and from there we start our trek of 4 hrs to Zinchen village. Overnight Camp.
Day 06 - Day 07 – Day 08: Trek from Zinchen to Rumbak and walking around in search of the elusive wild cat
After an early breakfast we start our trek of around 4 hrs to Rumbak village. Our camping crew has already set up our base there, after a refreshing cup of tea we head out to the village in search of the Ghost of the Mountains, the very elusive cat, the Snowleopard. We spend these three days walking around the village, looking out for the footprints and other possible signs which are going to lead us to the Snowleopards. And during the sightings you can capture this beautiful creature through your lens, it is altogether an experience. Apart from the main attraction here, we will get an excellent opportunity to mingle in with the local villagers and to see how they live under these extreme conditions. Overnight Camp.
Day 09: Trek back to Spitok and further drive to Leh
We say goodbye to our camping crew and head back to Spitok for a trek of around 5-6 hrs. Our vehicles will be waiting for us and will drive us back to our comfortable hotel. Overnight Hotel.
Day 10 to Day 11: Oracle festival in Matho
After an early breakfast we head to Matho Village, it is going to take us a little more than an hour to reach there.
Apart from the Snow leopard, certainly another highlight of this trip is the 2 day Oracle festival in Matho. This is one of the most important occasions in this region, when the oracle predicts many things varying from the state of the country, the future of the region, population and so many other things. After months of meditation the resident monks take part in this festival. Dressed with armory, the ritual dance of ecstasy is performed in the courtyard and daredevil jumps & stunts are performed in the premises. This festival is a truly unique spectacle to witness in the Indian Himalayas, which we are going to remember for a long time. Overnight hotel.
Day 12: Day trip to Village Chilling & the frozen Zanskar river area
Today we drive to Chiling (around 2 hrs drive). This small village on Zanskar river is the starting point of the winter route to Zanskar. This former kingdom of Zanskar is cut off in winters for many months from the outside world. During the coldest period here, which is the end of January to early February, the Zanskar river freezes and makes a way between Zanskar & Chilling, thus allowing the people from Zanskar to come down to Leh after going through a long & strenuous trek of walking over the frozen river. The trek is famously know as "Chadar" trek, Chadar in local language means a blanket. We try our hands, rather feet, at the Chadar, which is not so easy. After a while, with much of effort we will able to take control of our gait on this slippery ice blanket and that’s when we start to enjoy this unique experience even more. We might encounter the locals traveling from or back to Zanskar. Overnight hotel.
Day 13: Fly Leh to Delhi
An early morning flight to comparatively warm Delhi is very delightful. In the afternoon we take up of a short city tour of the big city. We start with Old Delhi, visiting Jama Masjid & Chandani Chowk area and continue to the center and looking the India Gate, Presidents House, Parliament House & the city center. Overnight hotel.
Note: These of days act as reserve days in case there are delays with our flight Leh to Delhi. Due to weather conditions in the winters flights are sometimes postponed to the next day.
Day 14: Delhi to Agra
After an easy breakfast we start our 4 hour drive to Agra via the newly built Expressway. We visit the majestic Taj Mahal, the Red Fort & Itima-u-Daula, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Free time in the evening to stroll around in this busy city. Overnight hotel.
Day 15: Agra to Delhi via Fatehpur Sikri
After a leisurely breakfast we drive to Fathepur Sikri (around 1 hr from Agra). This former capital of the Mughal Empire is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch we head back to Delhi and check in to a hotel near the airport, we take a shower, have the dinner and then drive to the airport.
Day 16: Fly back to home with amazing memories to cherish.