Ladakh Monastic Festivals
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PROGRAM : 04                LADAKH FESTIVAL (September)

31st Aug, 2003 : LEH

On arrival at Leh airport, you will be met by the representative at the airport and escort you to Hotel which is just 15 minutes drive from the airport. Complete day for the acclimatization which is 3500 Mtrs above sea level. In the evening short walk around Leh bazar. Overnight at Hotel.

1st Sep, 2003 : LEH

After breakfast leave to enjoy the opening ceremony of the Ladakh festival with colorful dress and different kinds of dances walking and through the decorated main bazaar of the Leh town and end at Polo ground. Return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon  leave  for  Phyang which is just 22 Kms from Leh ( forty five minutes drive). The monastery is remarkably built on the hilltop, similar to the Lekir monastery. This monastery belongs to the Degungpa order. On the way back visit to Spituk monastery which was founded by Od Lde, in the 11th century AD. In those days the gompa belonged to the Kadampa school but Gelukpa order was introduced during the region of King Dragspa Bum ilde, when Lama Lhawang Lotus restored the monastery. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.


Leave after breakfast and continue drive to Hemis. Enjoy the second day festival at the monastery. Leave afternoon and drive to Thiksey  gompa which is situated on the top of the hill and part of Gelukpa order the disciple of Jangson Tsongkhapa, Sherab Zangpo of stod, first built the temple of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of Stagmo Lakchung at the top of Thiksey. On the way back  to Leh visit  Shey Palace which was constructed by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon and of successive kings. Around 12 feet Shakyamuni Buddha’s statue made by cooper guilt is the largest in the region. After dinner short walk to Polo ground and enjoy the cultural special program. Overnight at Hotel.

3rd  Sep, 2003 : LEH – DAH HANU - ULETOKPO

Leave  early in the morning and  three hours drive will take you to Khaltsi. The area  along the Indus between Khaltse and the Shayok Indus confluence, live people known as Drokhpa belongs to the purest of Pure from Aryan race. They are tall, handsome and hospitable. Drokhpas are belived to have migrated to this area via Gilgit around 1000 year ago from central Asia. They are different with large, beautiful eyes, sharp aquiline noses. They are culturally distinct from the rest of the Ladakhis. The greatest attraction in this area are the villages of Biama and Dah. The route follows the Indus down from Khaltsi which is just 66 Kms passing the village of Domkhar, Skurbuchan and Achinathang, along a fairly good road. In the gorge of the Indus the sun’s heat, reflected off bare rocks and cliff is frequently intse. The same heat makes it possible to take two crops every year from the fields, fruit is also grown apricots and apples. The special interest of this region is less the landscape than its Drokhpa inhabitants, their features are pure Indo Aryan, and they appear to have preserved their racial purity down the centuries. Camp at Biama which is the beautiful place for the camping. Afternoon  visit to Dah to see the real Aryan village. It is quite interesting to spend some time with the inhabitants of this region. In the evening return back to the camp.


Leave after breakfast  and two hours drive will take you to the Lamayuru. The view on the way to Lamayuru is the most spectacular known as Moon Land. The history of the monastery begins with the visit of Arahat Nimagung to this place, when there was merelya lake here. It is said that Arahat made a prophecy that the monastery will come up at this spot and he made offerings ( Prayer with grains of corn) to the Nagaserpent spirits. The corns mixed with the earth and formed in the shpare of Swastika (Yungdrung) later it came to be known as Yungdrung monastery. The great translator Rinchen Zangpo constructed a temple here in eleventh century. Visit the monastery and enjoy the festival which is celebrated for two days but the first day is the most interesting and enjoyable. In the evening return back to the Uletokpo. Overnight at Camping.

5th  Sep, 2003 :ULETOKPO – ALCHI – LIKIR - LEH

Leave after breakfast  and short drive will take you to Alchi  monastery which is the only monastery in the Ladakh on flat ground. Largest and most famous of all of them  temple and built by the particularly Kashmiri influences. The monastery comprises of Dukhang (Assembly Hall) visit the Alchi monastery and its surrounding areas. Continue drive to Likir monastery belong to the Gelukspa Order. The Alchi monastery is also a branch of Likir. This monastery was founded in 1065 AD by Lama Duwang Chosje during the reign of king Lhachen Gylapo, which was named Klu Khil Ga Ldan Dar Rgyas Ling and a monastic community was  introduced. Another 53 Kms drive will take you to Leh which will take nearly 2 hours drive from Likir. By the lunch time you will reach Leh. Afternoon free for personal activities. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

6th  Sep,  2003 : LEH

Morning  visit to  Leh Palace, known as Lechen Palkhar was built by Singay Namgyal, around in the beginning of 17th Century A.D. The nine storey PalaceTsemo gompa (Namgyal Tsemo) victory peak was built by King Tashi Namgyal after the reunification of upper and lower Ladakh and victory over Hor and their bodies are places under an image of Mahakala, the guardian deities to stop further invasion of Hor. On the way back visit Leh Bazaar enjoying walking through the decorated narrow streets of the market.

Afternoon lunch short drive  to Shanker gompa  and Shanti Stupa  to enjoy the meditation in the monastery. In the evening return back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

7th Sep, 2003 : LEH

After early breakfast, transfer in time to the airport to connect onwards destination flight. Tour ends here.

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Last Updated April 8, 2003