This journey of self-discovery, will introduce you to the very heart of Tibetan traditions. Your stay will include, among others, a shamanic session, a meeting with a Tibetan doctor of the ancient Himalayan culture and a shared meal with a Tibetan family.
During this trip you will encounter the Tibetan community and learn the customs of the local population through organized activities.
Breathtaking landscapes and authentic encounters will be waiting for you in this journey to the heart of the Himalaya.
- Experience the exceptional hospitality of Tibetans and Ladakhis in a region where happiness is a way of life.
- Visit the Tibetans-in-exile community and Ladakhi villages to understand and appreciate both cultures.
- Discover fascinating old Tibetan monasteries erected in amazing landscape, including Alchi, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Interact with a Rinpoche, shaman, yogi and amchi for an authentic culture living experience.
- Set off on a mountain safari and take in the incredible beauty of the snow-capped Himalaya.
- Be supported by Omalaya’s friendly and caring guidance.
Monday 1st of July 2019
Arrival at India’s capital, Delhi, and transfer to the hotel for your first night.
Tuesday 2nd of July 2019
The early flight from Delhi to Ladakh, “Little Tibet”, will be a spectacular experience overlooking the Himalaya. Ladakh, located on the northern tip of India, is nestled between two of the highest mountain ranges in the world, the Karakoram and the Himalaya.
This will be a day to acclimatize to the altitude and rest, enjoying the sun and the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayan landscapes.
Wednesday 3rd of July 2019
In the morning, you will explore the heritage of old Leh, with its maze of alleyways and hidden temples. Later at Tsemo Temple, which overlooks Leh and houses powerful deities, you will undergo the first initiatory experience of your trip – participating in a monastic protection ritual, in an environment of trust that will allow you to overcome your fears and suffering.
Later in the afternoon, your guide will take you to meet an amchi, doctor of Tibetan medicine, for a holistic consultation. There you will discover the benefits of this 2,500-year-old science, which restores mental and physical balance via natural remedies.
Thursday 4th of July 2019
You’ll have a morning visit to Thaktok Monastery, constructed around the cave where it is said that Padmasambhava, who introduced Buddhism to Tibet and is considered to be the second Buddha, went into retreat.
Friday 5th of July 2019
In the morning, you’ll attend your first shamanic session with Lhamo Tsewang – a very intense experience.
Lhamos are powerful healers and expert diviners, widely consulted across the Himalaya. After a series of purification rituals, Tsewang will enter into a trance and connect with the deities Lhamo Palden and Tara, thus creating a sacred space for healing and divination, during which you will be invited to ask simple and direct questions.
Thereafter you will visit the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school. Opened in 1960 and placed under the guidance of the elder sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, its aim was to house and educate 51 children
of Tibetan refugees in India. Today there are several establishments ranging from North to South India with over 17,000 students from all backgrounds. A school dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan identity, TCV transmits Tibetan values, beliefs, and culture. During this joyful experience you will be surrounded by children. You can join them in their activities and admire their innocent curiosity. Omalaya is proud to support the children at TCV by creating a difference in their quality of life through various charitable activities.
Saturday 6th of July 2019
Dalai Lama Residence. Thiksey.
Today you will visit the summer palace of the Dalai Lama on the banks of the Indus River. You will discover Tibetan hospitality over meal at his residence.
On July 6, the whole of Ladakh, where the Dalai Lama is revered and respected by Ladakhis and Tibetans alike, will be in festive mood due to His Holiness’ birthday. The ceremony will begin with a long-life prayer for His Holiness and an incense-burning offering. The programme will include speeches from invited dignitaries and traditional dances performed by Tibetans and locals alike, marking their mutual respect and friendship. After the function, the crowd will relax and enjoy picnics with family and friends. Food and drink will be available from stalls at the site.
Thereafter, you will visit Thiksey Monastery which is perched on a rock-strewn hill and resembles the Potala in the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The monastery houses a huge statue of the Maitreya Buddha, the purity of whose gaze invites reflection and silent meditation. This majestically perched monastic complex dominates the Indus River and houses an impressive statue of the future Buddha.
Sunday 7th of July 2019
This morning you will visit the site of Alchi, a gem along the Indus River. The oasis of Alchi, one of the oldest sites of Ladakh, is the paramount location for Indo-Tibetan art. Its splendid temples erected in the plain are home to frescoes and sculptures created by artists from Kashmir. Dating from the 12th century, Alchi is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the afternoon you will explore this lush oasis starting with a walk through the maze of pedestrian streets in the village of Alchi, visiting its hidden temples and the ancient stupas worshipped by locals.
Next, you will visit the temple of Tsa Tsa Puri. Recently restored and rarely visited by tourists, it boasts elaborate murals. This place that captures the true essence of Indo-Tibetan traditions.
Later, travel onward to the charming village of Tingmosgang where you will spend the night.
Monday 8th of July 2019
This morning you will head through the legendary moonscapes to discover one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh founded in the 10th century, Lamayuru. The site is absolutely magnificent and is an opportunity for a nice walk. Lamayuru overlooks an ancient lake that has been dry for hundreds of years and dominates the village on the valley floor. You will be received by a yogi who will invite you to tour his monastery and will introduce you to his monastic way of life.
In the afternoon, discover Atisey Hermitage, where Saint Naropa retreated to meditate. There you will receive teachings on the popular Chenrezig Mantra –the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ love and infinite compassion for all beings.
Tuesday 9th of July 2019
Timosgam. Tia. Leh.
To start the day, you will be greeted by Tingmosgang nuns. They will provide a tour of their nunnery and you will witness scenes of their daily life, including prayers. This moment is a highlight of your trip thanks to the exceptional hospitality of the nuns. Omalaya feels a special connection with the residents of the Tingmosgang nunnery and has for the last several years endeavoured to support them through various contributions and projects. The Omalaya team has assisted the nuns with the construction of a new kitchen and provided them with beds, blankets and warm clothes for the very difficult and long winter seasons.
Today you will also visit the village of Tia with its old houses, narrow streets, and vaulted passages. Little known to tourists, it majestically overlooks the valley. Enjoy the opportunity for exchanges with villagers and discover their traditional way of life.
Then you will visit a local family who will introduce you to tsampa, roasted barley flour (a staple in Tibetan cuisine), accompanied by butter tea and chang, a local beer made from barley.
Afterwards we will travel back to Leh.
Wednesday 10th of July 2019
Leh. Sumur. Nubra.
You’ll depart for the Nubra Valley, also called the valley of flowers. Isolated from the rest of Ladakh by the Khardung-La (the highest motorable pass on earth) and located in the northern region of Ladakh, the Nubra Valley is surprisingly fertile thanks to a microclimate suitable for agriculture. Located south of the Silk Road, the Nubra Valley is home to an ancient trade route. The valley still bears proof of its past business activities as evidenced by the presence of Bactrian camels that roam the sand dunes in the wilderness of the Shyok valley.
At the pass, you’ll hang the prayer flags. These flags will be hoisted high above so that the wind can blow through them, carrying their sacred prayers in all directions and toward all beings. Thus, by raising the flags, you will liberate your wishes for peace, harmony and prosperity.
Later, you will visit the village of Sumur with its stupas (mound-shaped structures containing Buddhist relics), mani mandang (stone structures containing mantras), and old houses. In the evening, enjoy Sumur villagers’ culture show.
Thursday 11th of July 2019
Sumur. Diskit. Hunder.
Today, you will visit Diskit and its imposing statue of Maitreya (Buddha of the future), inaugurated in 2010 by the Dalai Lama. For lunch, you will be welcomed into a Ladakhi family to discover the local dishes.
In the afternoon, you will visit the sacred Tso Yarab Lake. Local legend tells that the subtle movements of the waves invoke visions for visitors.
Friday 12th of July 2019
Sumur. Leh. Phyang. Leh.
You will head to the village of Phyang where you will participate in the monastery mask dance festival, held by the monks only once a year. A traditional Buddhist celebration, the Phyang Tsesdup festival is a colourful commemoration of life and death. You will witness the devotees dancing in charming masks and performing various rituals to the captivating sound of drums and singing monks. This rich experience will allow you to discover Buddhist culture in a truly authentic way!
Saturday 13th of July 2019
Leh. Delhi. Home.
Today you will leave Ladakh by plane to explore the capital of India, New Delhi. Enjoy a visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, which is the most famous Sikh house of worship in Delhi.
You will also visit the Tibet House. treasures of Indian culture. Finally, you will discover the life of Delhi’s Tibetan community before you take your flight back home.