Pilgrimage to Ladakh

5-8 October 2019

Join us in this rare spiritual adventure to “Little Tibet,” where we’ll experience one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth; meditate in ancient, powerful Buddhist temples and monasteries; take leisurely walks in nature, winding through small Ladakhi villages; and share joyful satsang with other like-minded souls. This trip combines Indian and Western pilgrims, and will be led by Keshava & Daya Taylor of Ananda Delhi, and Krishna Das & Mantradevi from Ananda USA.

An extension of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is a separate world from the rest of India, yet just over an hour flight from Delhi. This is one of the most beautiful flights in the world, flying directly over the Himalayas. The spiritual heritage of Buddhist mystical teachings travelled from India to Ladakh, then to Tibet. They’ve been preserved and practised uninterruptedly for the last 1,200 years, and today remain a vibrant reality that we can experience.

Our home base for three days is one of Central Asia’s most scenic towns, tranquil, historic Leh, the capital of Ladakh, and long an important stopover on the old Silk Road connecting China, India, and Europe. Our hotel in Leh is within walking distance of the main bazaar—a mixture of Tibetan and Kashmiri curio shops and trekking provision stores, street vendors, and restaurants.

On this pilgrimage, with our Ladakhi guide, we’ll wend our way up and down the Indus valley, bordered by two of the world’s highest mountain ranges—the Himalayas and the Karakorams. We’ll meditate in temples and prayer halls—spiritual havens where Buddhist monks have meditated, prayed, and chanted for centuries; and discover exquisitely detailed wall murals, thangkas (religious paintings), and sculptures, amazingly preserved by Ladakh’s rarefied air and dry climate. These old monasteries contain rich collections of paintings and artefacts, and the tangible power left by centuries of spiritual masters meditating there. And we’ll dive deep into the silence of Divine Mother’s majestic nature.

In Hemis monastery—one of Ladakh’s richest and most renowned—we’ll meditate where some say Jesus studied during his “lost years.” We’ll follow the Indus River downstream to the charming ancient village of Alchi, containing deeply peaceful 11th century temples with wall paintings done in Kashmiri style. The Buddha’s teachings were brought from India first to Kashmir, then to Ladakh, then to Tibet in the 9th century. Ladakh’s continuous and still vibrant tradition of meditation, introspection, and Dharma dates from this time.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Saturday, October 5
Morning flights to Leh, Check in, rest in room, snack on your own
2:30 pm Opening Satsang
4:00 pm Optional visit to Shanti Stupa for the view over Leh and Indus valley
7:00 pm Dinner at hotel
Sunday, October 6
6:00 am Depart for morning prayers, chanting at Tikse monastery
Forenoon Box breakfast & Visit Tikse
Drive to Hemis monastery, visit
Afternoon Visit Stakna monastery after Lunch
Free time to rest or visit bazaar
7:00 pm Dinner at hotel
Monday, October 7
6:45 am Energisation Exercises
7:00 am Meditation
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Drive to Alchi, visit ancient temples
  Lunch at Alchi
  Visit Likir monastery, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
6:00 am Closing satsang
7:00 am Dinner at hotel
Tuesday, October 8
You are free to fly back to Delhi in the morning.

Accommodations, Meals, and Transportation

We’ll stay at the ‘A’ rated Spic-n-Span Hotel in Leh (similar to 3-star), with heated rooms. Breakfast, dinner, and two lunches are included, at the hotel or at simple dhabas. Transportation in Ladakh will be by Tempo Traveller.

About the Altitude

Leh is at an elevation of 3500 metres. Arriving by flight requires a 12 to 24 hour acclimatisation period to adjust to the elevation and thin air. We’ll spend our first day resting, drinking extra water, and having light, optional activity within the town of Leh. By taking this rest period, most people have little discomfort. You should consult your doctor if you have a chronic problem that could be affected by elevation. There is no need to walk long distances; however visiting monasteries involves climbing many stairs. Those with asthma or heart conditions should consult a doctor and may need to limit their activity. This is not a suitable trip for those of fragile health.

Reaching Leh

You would fly Delhi-Leh-Delhi, a flight of just over an hour each way. Flights currently start about ₹ 6000/- round trip. Price increases close to departure. You’d book your own flight, arriving morning of 5 Oct, departing morning of 8 Oct. We can let you know airlines others are using.

NEW DELHI TO LEH : AVAILABLE FLIGHT OPTIONS AS ON FEBRUARY 2019
GOAIR G8715 8:30 AM 9:55 AM
GOAIR G8203 6:30 AM 7:55 AM
SPICEJET SG121 6:15 AM 7:35 AM
VISTARA UK601 7:00 AM 8:25 AM
AIRINDIA AI445 6:45 AM 8:20 AM
LEH TO NEW DELHI : AVAILABLE FLIGHT OPTIONS AS ON FEBRUARY 2019
GOAIR G8194 10:25 AM 11:55 AM
GOAIR G8220 11:20 AM 13:00 PM
SPICEJET SG122 08:10 AM 09:45 AM
VISTARA UK602 09:00 AM 10:30 AM
AIRINDIA AI446 11:55 AM 13:35 PM

Programme Fees

Double occupancy: ₹ 21,000 per person, plus airfare.

Single occupancy: ₹ 29,000 plus airfare.

If you wish double occupancy accommodation and you don’t know another pilgrim, you’ll be assigned a roommate if possible.

Programme fee includes group ground transportation; lodging; dinner, & two lunches are included; mineral water; entry fees; all necessary tips to hotel & bus.

Not included in fee are airfare, snacks, beverages other than water; medical insurance, or medical care should you need it; donations at monasteries; optional tip to our guide; personal hotel expenses such as laundry or room service.

Payments

Completed application form and payment both needed to confirm your space.
We ask for full payment at time of application.

 

Complete Application Form