Mountains and Monastries

Mountains and Monastries

Delhi - Thiksey - Diskit - Thiksey - Delhi 10 days/9 nights


From white deserts to blue lakes, ice-capped mountains to lush valleys, Ladakh or ‘Little Tibet’ is a heavenly place to visit during the Indian summer. Surrounded by spectacularly jagged, arid mountains, this magical Buddhist ex-kingdom is often described as being ‘the roof of the world’. This luxury private journey takes in the spectacular highlights of the region. Begin in Thiksey, just a short drive from the frontier capital of Leh, where you’ll discover whitewashed stupas, rocky outcrops and picture-perfect gompas lined with fluttering prayer flags. Then cross to Nubra Valley, through some of the region’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic landscapes, where you’ll hike to a hidden lake, ride on a camel across the Hunter desert and discover the Balti dynasty in the quaint hamlet of Turtuk. Finally, return to Thiksey, past fascinating scenes of rural mountain life, where your tour ends. This is a suggested itinerary and can be combined with several of our other programs. We will be happy to discuss the possibilities and tailor-make your holiday to India. There are endless possibilities that can be fitted in depending on your interests.


Day 1 

Arrive in Delhi (Stay at the Imperial)

Your luxury tour of India begins on arrival in Delhi, where you will be met by a member of our team at the airport and chauffeured to The Imperial, a beautiful combination of Art Deco, Victorian and colonial architecture. The Imperial is reminiscent of life in the 1930's colonial times when it was built for Viceroys and other dignitaries during the British Raj and is definitely the right choice for those wanting to relive history. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps going for a stroll through verdant Lodi Gardens or just relaxing in your luxurious hotel to unwind from the long flight. We advise you get at least 24 to 48 hours of rest in Delhi before flying to Leh which is at a very high altitude and needs to be approached after good rest to avoid altitude related illness. 


Day 2


Day at leisure to relax and perhaps a short drive around Delhi to see the the India Gate, President's Palace and Connaught Place. Evening at leisure.


Day 3


Early this morning you will be taken to the airport to board your flight from Delhi to Leh. On arrival you will be met and checked into Chamba Camp, Thiksey, at the base of Thiksey monastery in an idyllic meadow setting. Framed by rugged, snow-capped mountains, there are 14 luxury tents, replete with four-poster beds, fine furnishings and bathrooms with copper fittings. After check in an excursion specialist will visit you at a suitable time to discuss the excursions. Today, there will be no activity as it is mandatory to undergo minimal exertion, to enable you to acclimatise to the rarefied oxygen levels at this high altitude. Nevertheless, if you feel energetic you can also go for a stroll through the hamlet of Thiksey and chatting with the locals.


Day 4


Start the day with an optional bird watching tour with the resident naturalist or walk through the lush farmlands of Nyerma nunnery, learning about medicinal herbs, agriculture, and religious life. Return to the camp for lunch before visiting Matho monastery, located at the mouth of a deep gorge running out of the Zanskar Range and across the River Indus. Finish with a tour of the last big frontier town of Leh, where everything from locally spun woolen clothing to yak fur and ritualistic items can be sourced. At the end you will be taken to a vantage point to view the breath-taking landscapes. 


Day 5


Today sees an early morning start with a visit to Thiksey monastery. This stunning monastery is home to a two-storey statue of the Maitreya Buddha seated on a lotus and boasts mesmerizing views of the valley. At the monastery, you can participate in the sunrise prayers before visiting the prayer rooms which have many handwritten and painted books. After a feast of a breakfast, the rest of the morning is spent at leisure. In the afternoon, proceed to Hemis Monastery, the biggest monastic institution of Ladakh, with monastery halls adorned with murals where young lamas are taught Buddhism and yoga. We recommend an optional tour to Wari-La Pass the most scenic point in Nubra Valley and you can cycle down the mountains.


Day 6


This morning, you’ll be driven to the Nubra Valley, through some of the region’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic landscapes, along with the Khardung La Pass, considered to be the highest motorable road in the world at 18,381 feet high. Upon arrival, you’ll check into Chamba Camp, Diskit, which has all the same luxurious comforts of its sister camp. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, soaking up the views of the mighty mountains and cloudless blue skies.


Day 7


Today, you’ll visit the picturesque village of Sumur, located across the Shyok and Nubra Rivers before hiking towards the hidden lake - Yarab Tso – one of the sacred and high-altitude lakes in the Nubra Valley. We recommend the optional river rafting excursion on the Shyok river. After lunch in a local farm, visit the house of the Kalon family which gives a glimpse into this region’s rich history before finishing the day with a ride on the double hump Bactrian camel across the sand dunes of the Hunter desert.


Day 8


Following an early morning breakfast, embark on an adventurous journey driving through spectacular landscape into the realms of the Balti dynasty, to the quaint frontier hamlet of Turtuk. Here, you can admire the traditional houses called ‘nangchung’, unique traditional kitchen implements and savor the delicious apricots grown in the region. Following a packed lunch, return to the homely comforts of your luxurious tent in Diskit.


Day 9


This morning, you’ll be driven up towards the Diskit Gompa, which is considered to be the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley. Start the day with a special prayer high up near the towering Maitreya Buddha. Return to the camp for breakfast and after breakfast get ready for your journey back to Leh Valley through picturesque landscape traversing through Wari - La (5,300 mtrs / 17,384 ft) the fourth highest motorable pass in Ladakh. You’ll then head back to Thiksey – a scenic journey, through scattered mountains villages, spotting shepherds with their herds of pashmina goats and the region’s famous yaks grazing in the meadows along the streams. Upon arrival, check into Chamba Camp, Thiksey and spend the evening at leisure.


Day 10


Today, your luxury private journey ends as you bid farewell to the ‘Land of the Lamas’ and fly back to Delhi in time for your onward flight or continue your tour to your next chosen destination in India.


This tour is purely a suggested itinerary for what your trip to India could include. Treat our Mountains and Monasteries tour as inspiration. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget and interests with an absolute commitment to quality.


The price shown includes hotels on double or twin sharing basis, breakfast, sightseeing, transfers, internal flights or trains, private guides, monument entrances, activities and excursions and chauffeur-driven car. On request, we can include international flights, too. In other words, we take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. The price is a guide and subject to change based on hotels, dates of travel and number of people travelling. During the low season (April to September), the costs are significantly less yet this season remains a great time to travel with smaller crowds and more affordable rates. During the high season, particularly over Christmas and New Year, prices are higher however there are lots of great festivals and the weather is excellent.