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Home » Festival Tours
The Ladakh Festival
Leh, the former Kingdom of Lakakh sits on the rugged Himalayan plain with Buddhist monasteries perched on soaring hilltops, shattered looking landscapes splashed with little but amazing patches of green and ancient palaces clinging to sheer rock walls. Join us to experience the colour and festivity of the annual Lahakh festival whilst discovering the sights of this magical city.
Day 1: Flight from Dehli to Leh
Sightseeing in LehSaturday 2013. Delhi - Leh. Early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. Flight prices do vary & when booked in advance start from USD$220. Flights can be booked with on the go or independently. On arrival to Leh onward transfer to your guesthouse where the remains of the day can be spent at leisure. Leh is the capital of the former Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh that now sits in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The region is a large highland desert sitting at 3524 metres above sea level, lying between the Karakoram and the Himalayan ranges characterised by a desolate moonlike landscape and snowy peaks. The town is still dominated by the now ruined Leh Palace, former mansion of the royal relatives of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace. The 28 000 residents of the the city are predominantly Buddhists and accordingly, Leh is the much the heart and soul of Buddhist culture in the region.

Our Accommodation This calm boutique guesthouse makes for a a pleasant and comfortable stay. Each guestroom offers wooden floors, en-suite facilities and simple decoration traditional to the region. Some rooms also offer an outdoor balcony. Overnight - Leh & Ladakh.

Day 2: The Ladakh Festival & city sightseeing tour
Ladakh Festival TourThis morning the monastic festival of Leh comes to life with the rhythm of drumbeats & dance. The streets & alleys are blazing hues of every colour & pulsate with life. Gathering at about 8am they take our spots to watch the inauguration procession of village people making their way down the mountain passes to the city wearing their finest gold & silver ornaments & exotic turquoise headdress.

In tow with the procession we’ll arrive to the main market area of the city where the celebration continues on a grand scale with various cultural troupes and village contingents participating in full ceremonial costumes or traditional Ladakhi dresses singing songs and performing various dances to the tune of village folk music. As the parade arrives at the Polo ground participants break in to a variety of folk and popular dances, presenting the best samples of the region’s performing arts and sporting events including archery and polo. Traditional Mask Dances of the monasteries may even be seen with monastery lamas wearing their ritual regalia in accompaniment to their elaborately decorated masks dance in slow, languorous movements to the rhythm of cymbals, flutes and trumpets. This is a wonderful sight.

It also may be feasible to watch a polo match of the ‘Ladakh Festival Cup’ comprising of various polo teams in the region (subject to festival scheduling). Here in the western Himalayas the game is played in its original form with fewer rules and frenzied crowd involvement. This afternoon offers a guided sightseeing tour of the town, dominated by Sengge Namgyal’s, nine storey palace. Sengge Namgyal a Buddhist and known as the Lion King was the King of Ladakh from 1616 to his death in 1642. His legacy lives in the lots of monasteries, palaces and shrines of Ladakh that were built under his reign. This grand nine story stone structure is of the most captivating architectural ruins of the region. Built in traditional Tibetan style it sits on the foothills of the barren landscape. Constructed in the 17th century as the residential palace for the King to mark the reunifying Upper and Lower Ladakh, it showcases excellent example of the medieval Tibetan architecture with its colossal inclined buttressed walls and protruding wooden balconies.

Above Leh Palace, on Namgyal Tsemo (Victory Peak) overlooking the town, are the ruins of the earliest royal residence at Leh a fortress type structure built by King Tashi Namgyal in the 16th century. In the bazaar the main sites to visit are the Jokhang, the new main Buddhist temple built in the 1980s by the Ladakh Buddhist association and an imposing mosque reflecting a mix of Islamic and Tibetan architecture that accommodating over 500 worshippers dating from the late 17th century situated opposite each other.

Visits will even be made to Sankar Gompa to view the picture of Avalokitesvara, inset with turquoise and shown with 1000 heads, arms and feet and 100000 eyes, Shanti Stupa - built to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and inaugurated by his holiness the Dalai Lama in 1985 and Stok Palace - a museum where in the Sengge Namgyal relatives heirlooms and relics are displayed. Overnight - Leh & Ladakh.

Day 3: Shey and Thiksey Monestories, Hemis Gompa
 Shey and Thiksey Monestories in LehToday offers guided tours of Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries. Shey monastery situated on a hilltop, 15km from Leh, was the summer palace of the royal relatives of the region. The monastery houses a storey high-seated picture of Buddha cast from copper & covered with gold leaf. It is also believed that Kings of Leh were born here in the monastery. Thiksey monastery is situated on a hilltop and the views of the green Indus valley from its rooftop are splendid. This monastery has various chambers filled with statues and stupas. Courtyard murals are bright and this imposing structure is in lots of respects a replica of Potala Palace in Lhasa. Hemis Gompa is the largest & wealthiest monastery in Ladakh which contains a sizable number of gold statues, stupas & thangkas, of which is reputed to be the largest in existence & is exhibited one time every 12 years. Overnight - Leh & Ladakh

Day 4: Leh to Delhi by flight
Tuesday 2013. Leh - Delhi. Early this morning (dictated by flight times) they transfer to the airport for our flight to Delhi (booked independently in addition to our tour cost) arriving at about 8:30am you will be transferred to the international airport for your connecting international flight.

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