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Herb, Healing and Happiness in the Himalayas – Walking retreat in Valley of Flower

Your Trip


This journey of the local learning experience will introduce you to the very heart of Tibetan healing traditions. This tour will be a walking retreat in the valley of flowers and famous sacred lake Sapi to have a hands-on learning experience of medicinal plants and wildflowers with renowned Tibetan medical scholar, teacher, writer and healer Dr Tsering T. Drungtso. This tour will include seven days of moderate trekking in the Ladakh in Himalayan region of India.

There will be a great opportunity to meet and have sessions with Shamans, Tibetan Yogis and local Ladakhi Amchis as well.

Breathtaking landscapes of little Tibet will be waiting for you in this journey of transformation and healing in the heart of the Himalaya.

Highlights

  • 7 days field trip and herbal excursion in the sacred lake of Sapi and Valley of Flower – Ladakh
  • Offers mantra healing and chanting practice
  • Experience exceptional hospitality of the Tibetan and Ladakhi communities based on Buddhist culture of compassion.
  • Offers Constitutional examination (psycho-somatic nature) of individual and lifestyle guidelines per constitutional assessment and health consultation.
  • Hike to Phokar Dzong, one of the holiest Buddhist cave temples in Ladakh and visit Alchi -a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Interaction with Rinpoche, Shaman and Yogi to learn and experience ancient wisdom of Tibet and Ladakh.

TIBETAN MEDICINE
A Meeting of Science, Nature and Philosophy

Sowa Rigpa – the art of Tibetan medicine, astronomy and astrology – is a highly developed, scientific, philosophical and natural system. It takes a holistic approach to health care and follows a systematic framework based on an understanding of the body and its relationship to the environment. Sowa Rigpa practitioners make their diagnoses using creativity, insight, subtlety and compassion, and embrace the key Buddhist principles of altruism, karma and ethics.

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TRADITIONAL TIBETAN MEDICINE

Tibetan medicine is the human civilization’s longest surviving medical system and is used to treat all manner of ailments. Central to its practice is the interconnectedness of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space – which manifest in the body as the three principal energies of rLung, mKhripa and Badkan.

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These energies exist in a state of constant harmony and disharmony, due to internal and external factors including diet and lifestyle. Tibetan medicine uses simple but unique techniques, such as pulse, tongue and eye readings, urine analysis, and special consultation methods, to restore harmony to the body.

Most medical disorders are primarily caused by poor diet or lifestyle, but if correcting these fails to restore harmony, the use of medicine is considered. Tibetan medicine places an emphasis on gentle treatment, with the prescription of small doses of decoctions, powders, pills and syrups.

Sowa Rigpa is an integral part of Buddhist philosophy and emphasizes the cultivation of love, compassion, joy and equanimity to achieve optimum health and happiness. Physicians are expected to observe high moral and ethical standards and adopt an altruistic attitude to patient care, with no discrimination over caste, creed or colour.

« From the balance of the elements, good health comes. »
Tai Situpa

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SAPI – VALLEY OF FLOWERS

in Kargil – Ladakh

Sapi is the valley of flowers which is well known for its diverse medicinal and high altitude wild plants and also as a home for wild animals. Local Amchis visit the valley in the month of August to pick herbs for preparation of Tibetan medicine. The lake, situated at 4300 m is a holy lake revered by both the Buddhist and Muslim community of Sapi. An annual festival is celebrated at the lake during October where the villagers gather to pay their respect. The lake is known for changing its colour as through the year.

Sapi was a popular summer destination for local royalties seeking leisure and entertainment. The men would indulge in polo game and hunting while the women would entertain themselves admiring the natural beauty of the landscape.

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LADAKH KARGIL
Little Tibet

Ladakh and Kargil, at the northern tip of India, is a spiritual and energetic land of amazing. Situated on the roof of the world, its high plateau and moonlike landscape remain a wonder unmatched anywhere in India. Leh served as a crossroad for the silk route trader in high Asia. The holy Indus (lion river) inspired a nation’s name, meaning land beyond Indus, INDIA, flowing through a majestic Himalayan valley. It is dotted with oasis like villages, walled by two mighty mountain ranges. The Indus brings the message of the centuries-old spiritual relationship between Ladakh and Tibet, a stronghold of ancient Buddhist culture in the cradle of Indus valley civilization. Ladakh still holds the knowledge of life, springs of happiness and the seed of peace in the land of Arya, noble beings. Tibetan refugee community in Ladakh is a valued treasure that boosts the culture and spiritual life in Ladakh. Dalai Lama visits Ladakh every year since last seven years for an extended stay and at Gephleling Prodang, the only official resident outside Dharamsala. Let join us as we take small steps to absorb the healing in this little Himalaya.

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Day 1

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Arrival in Delhi.

Arrival in Delhi, city of a thousand contrasts

Arrive late evening at New Delhi and transfer to hotel.

Day 2

Monday 5th of August 2019

Delhi. Leh.

In the heart of Little Tibet

Early departure from Delhi to Ladakh by a spectacular flight over the Himalayas. Little Tibet, as Ladakh is known is dotted with oasis-like villages in the mountainous Indus valley, nestled between two highest mountain ranges on the roof of the world, the Karakoram and the grand Himalayan chain. Acclimatize to the altitude, get some rest, enjoy the sun and the breathtaking beauty of Himalayan landscapes. In the evening we will take a short walk and talk about the journey to Ladakh and meeting with Amchi.

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Day 3

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

Leh.

Early morning, we will be standing at the Tsemo Temple overlooking Leh town and Indus valley. Tsemo temple is dedicated to the powerful protective deities of Ladakh and is home to one of the oldest Maitreya Buddha stupas in the region. We will go on the heritage walk of the old town of Leh with its labyrinth of narrow streets and hidden temples. We will have tea and introduction to works of Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF). It is a community-based, non-government organization dedicated to promotion and conservation of Himalayan indigenous, natural and historic heritage. In the afternoon, we will visit the museum of Men-Tsee-Khang Tibetan Culture Center that presents a thousand years old healing tradition of Tibet.

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Day 4

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Choglamsar.

We will have the privilege of attending a session with Lhamo/Shaman in the morning. It will mean immersing into the experience of Tibetan culture in exile and potentially life-changing moment, for they are medium beyond the human realm. Tibetan community regularly consults oracles for divination and healing.

Some of us could ask questions and get a group blessing. Later, we will visit the summer residence of the Dalai Lama, only official residence outside Dharamsala. We will feel the energy of universal compassion, in presence of the statue of Chenrezig, symbolized as the incarnation of thousand arms and eyes Avalokiteshvara in the Dalai Lama private temple. Within the residence, compound is holy stupas representing eight important events in Buddha’s life. These stupas or Chortens inaugurated by the Dalai Lama, transmit the blessing of the Buddha and his Dharma.

Afternoon : Introduction to Tibetan medicine.

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Day 5

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Leh. Sangam. Alchi. Timosgam.

Discover the oasis of Alchi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

We will drive along the Indus river and catch a glimpse of holy Sangam – the confluence of two different coloured rivers – Indus and Zanskar river. The Alchi Temple represents the height of the Indo-Tibetan art of Himalaya. Its splendid temples with beautiful frescoes and sculptures were created by artists from Kashmir in 10th to 12th century. The monastery is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will walk across the village to visit the temples of Tsa Tsa Puri and see rare wall Kalachakra mandala painting, one of the most important yogic tantra image used in the initiation of the powerful wheel of time initiation. In the late afternoon, we will drive to Temisgam village where we will spend the two nights in the beautiful Ladakhi village.

Day 6

Friday 9th of August 2019

Timosgam. Lamayuru. Phokar.

We will drive to the broken moon land of Lamayuru, a magnificent landscape and home to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, founded in the 10th century. Lamayuru monastery overlooks an ancient dry lake. We will have the privilege of being received by Yogi Dawa, who led a life-long retreat dedicated to spiritual practice and meditation. The yogi will lead us on a guided tour of Lamayuru monastery. The monastery main hall was built over a sacred cave where the saint/yogi Naropa meditated. We will walk to the edge of the village where Yogi Dawa will perform a ritual of protection of Tibetan yogic traditions and sing the experiential songs of the saint/ yogi Milarepa.

We will have lunch at the Yogi retreat centre.

We will visit the Shergole cave nunnery.

Day 7

Saturday 10th of August 2019

Phokar. Urgen Dzong Cave. (2-4 hours walk)

Tibetan medical Herb training in nature

After breakfast, we will trek to Shargol Phokar village, a picturesque village in the area. It has a mixed population of Muslim and Buddhist.
Today, we will embark on an exciting hike. The trail is fairly easy and a bit adventurous as you walk along the water stream between deep gorges. It’s a 3-4 hours hike to Phokar Dzong. Phokar Dzong is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the entire Western Himalayas. This is where the great Tantric guru Padmasambhava meditated. You will be astonished to see the branched cave system, which is said to be the body of this Tantric.

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Even today, monks retreat into meditation here. This is one of the most impressive cave temples in the Western Himalayas we have ever visited.

After lunch, we will drive ahead across Sapi La to Sapi.

Day 8

Sunday 11th of August 2019

Changyul. Sumdho Thang.(trek 4 to 5 kms/ 2 to 3 hours)

Tibetan medical Herb training in nature

The botanical trek today will have us crossing Shagaran bridge and walking to Spanglung and Rdzamlung with the view of countless flowers and medicinal herbs on the way. The trail today will begin with a descend till the river stream below Changyul following a stream with traditional water-run grinding mills. After crossing the stream and a gradual climb will lead us to Spanglung hamlet camp at Sumdhothang, in a sanctuary surrounded by medicinal and aromatic plants. Today’s trek may extend to six hours or more as we stop to photograph wildflowers. Fully bloomed in summer, Sapi becomes dotted with a wide variety of flora all along the hiking trail. Continue to climb towards Sumdothang and explore the flora along the trail and camp overnight at Sumdothang.

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Day 9

Monday 12th of August 2019

Sum Dhothang. Sapi lake. (4 to 5 kms/3 to 4 hours)

Tibetan medical Herb training in nature

You will be gradually climbing a slope of 30 to 50 degrees till you reach the ridge of Sumdothang. Flowers and medicinal herbs, rare and unusual with their characteristics changing with the altitude, cover the landscape. From here, Sapi lake will be visible at the glacial snout below the Gangchenmo peak (5900m). Close to the north edge of Rtabresthang and the glacier lies Sapi lake, 50 meters down a steep and slippery trail. The sacred lake is surrounded by a carpet of wildflowers and medicinal plants. Locals, through generations, had seen the colour of lake change from milky white to turquoise blue.

Day 10

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Sacred Sapi lake (4 300m). Valley of flower.

Tibetan medical Herb training in nature

Sapi is a region gifted with diverse medicinal and aromatic high altitude plants. We will spend the day exploring and learning about the rich fauna in the area around the lake. We will be hiking towards the glacier and surrounding valleys. Sapi Lake (4300m) is a holy lake revered by both the Buddhist and Muslim community of Sapi. An annual festival is celebrated at the lake during October where the villagers gather at the lake to pay their respects. The lake is known to change its colour based on the time of the year.

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Day 11

Wednesday 14th of August 2019

Sapi lake. Changyul. (8 to 9 kms/3 to 4 hours)

Tibetan medical Herb training in nature

We will descend through an alternate trail after crossing the river stream and walk on a beautiful trail, dotted with beautiful flower and hike up to Changyul. We will stay with the local community and explore the village.

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Day 12

Thursday 15th of August 2019

Drive back to leh. (with lunch at Nimmo House)

We will visit and have lunch at Nimmu House. It is a royal Ladakh house which is set in a traditional Ladakhi-style from the 1900’s. The house surround by permanent tents surrounded by trees is a serene seasonal hotel in the Himalayas where one can enjoy the local Ladakhi hospitality.

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Day 13

Friday 16th of August 2019

Leh. Hemis. Thiksey. Leh.

At the distance of 50 km from Leh, off the highway and Indus river, we will arrive at the Hemis Monastery, one of the most famous places in Ladakh for the study of Buddhism. The off-limit temple storeroom holds the mystery of lost Buddhist text on the life of Jesus in Himalaya and his encounter with early Buddhist missionary. This sacred place was built after the arrival of a saint/yogi who came to Ladakh to meditate with a promise that he will not come out of cave until the bird, the mountain and himself becomes one. We will witness the impressive collection in the museum of Himalayan Buddhist art. There will be an introduction to the practice of meditation in one of the ancient temple. We will then drive towards Thiksey monastery. Built on top of a rocky hill, the monastery resembles Potala, the residence of Dalai Lama at Lhasa in Tibet. In the room dedicated to the deity Tara, Tashi will present an introduction to the feminine energies in the Tibetan wisdom. Another highlight will be the opportunity to stand in front of the of one most beautiful statues of Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha of hope.

Day 14

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Leh. Delhi. Home.

Journey home

Last day of your trip and transfer to Leh airport for your flight for Delhi. Transfer to the international airport according to your departure times.

 


 

By signing up for a trip with Omalaya, you acknowledge that you have voluntarily applied to participate in this trek and that you have read the description of the trip as it appears on the website and the information below:

• You are expected to carry your own luggage. If you need a porter/mule during treks, please inform us in advance.
• Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations, we may have to compromise on the campsite & adjust to these situations then & there. The final call will be taken by our Lead Guide on location.
• The itinerary should be viewed as ideal & we may have to make some spot changes due to various unavoidable reasons.
• The distances & altitude mentioned in the above itinerary are to the best of our knowledge & information; marginal variance in the actual distances & altitudes is possible.
• You are expected to be in reasonable shape and fitness, being able to walk for several hours at a normal pace as well as to take care of your own equipment.
• You are required to produce a Medical Fitness certificate before starting the trip.
• The minimum age restriction for this trip is 18.
• All outdoor related activities involve a certain level of risk. You are expected to sign an Indemnity Form in agreement with the risks involved through partaking in such outdoor activities.
• Omalaya reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals and photographs submitted by them on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes.

 

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TREKKING CONDITION
For Day 7 to 11

• Roundtrip with daily hikes of 2 – 4 hours. Some trails are steep.
• The hikes are easy to moderate (analogue red-white marked mountain trails), at worse
• Weather can be slippery, good hiking boots are recommended.
• During the hikes we carry the daypack ourselves.
• Overland trips of 2 – 6 hours.

 

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Your Guide


Tsering T. Drungtso is the former Chairman at the Central Council of Tibetan Medicine (CCTM) and a traditional Tibetan doctor graduated from Tibetan Medical and Astrological College (Men-Tsee-Khang) Dharamsala, India. He is well known author, teacher and healer. His 20 years of experience as a teacher and practitioner projects a deep understanding of modern and traditional medicines while he continues travelling extensively around the globe to heal through his seminars.

He has been the editor for many noted Tibetan magazines on themes of Health and Well-being.

He was awarded the status of Visiting Research Associate Scholar as a designated member at the Darwin College, Cambridge, UK in 2005. He has also given lectures on Tibetan Medicine at various international conferences and workshops in Europe as well as in India. He has been the editor for many noted Tibetan magazines on themes of Health and Well-being.

Tsering is a compassionate traditional practitioner while keeping in mind the values of a changing modern world. He believes that Tibetan Medicine, which is among the four famous traditional medical sciences in the world, has been revitalised in recent years through the support of the government as well as its innovative inheritance of practitioners.

Herb, Healing and Happiness in the Himalayas – Walking retreat in Valley of Flower

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The Journey Mandala

Details


Date


From 4th to 17th of August 2019


Price


2 390€/2 820 USD per person


The Price Includes


  • All the food and accommodation during the journey
  • Entry fee to Monastery and Museums
  • Tips to hotel staff
  • Dr. Tsering company throughout the tour.
  • Transportation throughout the tour.
  • Flight Delhi - Leh - Delhi.
  • Visits and the session with Dr. Tsering mentioned in the program.

The Price Excludes


  • International flight tickets.
  • Visa fees.
  • Taxes to the bank or Paypal during the payment.
  • Tips to the Guide and Driver.
  • Donation if its needed anywhere.
  • Anything which is not mentioned in «what is included»

Accommodation


  • 1 night in 5*****hotel in Delhi (only breakfast).
  • 5 nights in guesthouse in Leh (full board).
  • 6 nights in camping during trekking (full board).
  • 2 nights in 2** hotel in Timosgam (full board).

Transport


  • By plane from Delhi to Leh and from Leh to Delhi.
  • In a comfortable SUV taxi in Ladakh.

Further Information


  • This itinerary may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen events.
  • Because the shaman and the yogi are also active community figures, there may be times when the itinerary will be altered to accommodate their community obligations.

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