A summertime special Yoga retreat which includes 3 days of easy trekking staying at homestays and glamping safaris in the Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso in Ladakh.
We begin with acclimatization tours and hikes around Leh, including the most important points of sightseeing. Then we drive to the famous Nubra valley which is famous for the Bactrian camel safari along the bewitching sand dunes at Hundar. After Hundar we visit the last village of Northern India called Turtuk which lies in the Baltistan region only 7 kms from the Pakistan border. We come back to Leh and drive the following day to the Sham valley. A three and a half day of easy but breathtakingly beautiful trek takes us through the alluring villages along the way and staying at homestays gives us the opportunity to share the local lifestyle and experience their culture.
Ladakh, sometimes known as ‘Little Tibet’, is an ancient settlement in north-west India, bordering Pakistan and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Ladakh is famous for its out worldly landscapes, high altitude salt water lakes and majestic mountains, thus offering many breathtaking trekking and excursion routes. However, being 86,904 km² in area, Ladakh is not possible to be explored in one ordinary trip.
We have therefore selected the best that Ladakh has to offer and combined it in one trip to give you the best value trip in Ladakh.
The Sham Valley trek
The Sham Valley, also known as the “Apricot valley”, is a beautiful green and fertile plain with apricot orchards. This area offers pleasurable walks to some of the remote villages in the Ladakh region passing through small mountain passes, streams, shady willows and barley fields. The trek starts from Likir, passing en route a few moderate passes, the Phobe La at 3580 meters, Mebtak La at 3750 meters and Tsermangchen La perched at 3750meters upholding a uniform elevation to Hemis Shukpachen at 3700 meters. This trek is suitable for beginners as well as for family adventures and Yoga.
One of the highlights of this trek is getting to stay in small, family owned homestays and having the opportunity to savour more of the local culture. Typically homestays accommodate 6-10 people and offer basic facilities. However, we bring our experienced cook so that the food doesn’t get monotonous. We also carry a few extra amenities such as shower tent and portable stoves.
What makes the baby trek easier than other treks in the region is that you are not wading through streams, you are staying at homestays, and most notably you are only walking for a few hours per day rather than full days.
The Sham Valley Trek allows you to acquaint yourself with the simple life of the Indo-Tibetans – culture, cuisine and hospitality. Enclosed within the barren hillocks, these villages offers the best experienceof tradition and culture of the local peopla, leaving one to step into a blissful world.
In today’s modern world we are often caught in the compulsions of a stress-inducing lifestyle, resulting in the existence or the lack of certain physical and mental conditions or diseases. It very often takes a breakdown in our physical and emotional health to make us seek intervention.
We have handpicked the best possible locations in Ladakh surrounded with pristine nature and breathtaking views to practice Yoga and meditations.
What makes this trip special:
- Practice Yoga in some of the most beautiful and serene enviornment
- Explore the vibrant Leh Bazaar on a walking tour.
- Visit to Lamayuru, Alchi and Likir monasteries- some of oldest and biggest monasteries of Ladakh
- Double hump Bactrian Camel safari at Nubra valley
- Visit the beautiful salt water lake of Panging Tso at 4200m
- Stay at “glamping” safari tents at Nubra valley and Pangon lake
- Experience the beauty of nature at Ang Village, a charming village with apricot orchards
- Walk past the beautiful villages of Hemis Shukpachan and Tingmosgam
- Experience the car roll uphill on its own at Magnetic Hill
- Homestay at some of the beautiful remote villages of Ladakh
- You can combine this trip with visit to one of the 8 wonders of the world-Taj Mahal, followed by temple tours at Orchha and Khajuraho and ending with w trip to the oldest city in the world- Varanasi
Day 1: Arrive New Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel/ Welcome dinner O/N hotel
Day 2: Fly to Leh O/N hotel
Day 3: Explore Leh- acclimatization O/N hotel
Day 4: Drive to Nubra Valley via Khardung la (5600m) O/N Luxary safari tent “Glamping”
Day 5: Camel Safari/ afternoon drive to Turtuk village O/N hotel
Day 6: Explore Turtuk village and afternoon drive back to Leh O/N hotel
Day 7: Drive To Likir 58km Visit Monastery/ Commence Trek To Yangthang O/N Homestay
Day 8: Trek Yangthang To Hemis Shukpachen Across Tsermang-Chen La O/N Homestay
Day 9: Trek Hemis Shukpachen To Temisgam Across Mebtak La O/N Homestay
Day 10: Drive Temisgam To Leh/ En-Route visit Lamayuru monastery/ Optional rafting on Zanskar River From Skorpochay To Sangam O/N hotel
Day 11: Drive to Pangong lake O/N Luxury safari tent “Glamping”
Day 12: Drive back to Leh O/N hotel
Day 13: Fly Leh to Delhi. O/N hotel
Day 14 : Drive Delhi to Agra- Visit Agra fort O/N hotel
Day 15 : Visit Taj Mahal and drive back to New Delhi O/N hotel
Day 16: Final departure
Day 15: Train ride from Agra to Orchha O/N hotel
Day 16: Free day to explore Orchha, afternoon drive to Khajuraho O/N hotel
Day 17: Full day explore Khajuraho/ night train to Varanasi O/N train
Day 18: Explore Varanasi O/N hotel
Day 19: Fly to Delhi and connect to International flight
Added extension tour to Kerala, “God’s own country”- Ayurvedic special
Please note: You can have this trip as a seperate extension after Taj Mahal instead of Orchha/ Khajuraho/ Varanasi tour, OR you can have this as an added extension
Day 15 or Day 19: Fly to Cochin/ drive to Munnar/ Ayurveda spa package O/N Tree house
Day 16 or Day 20: Sightseeing / Spice plantation/ Ayurveda spa package O/N Munnar Tree house
Day 17 or Day 21: Drive to Kumarakom/ start house boat tour O/N houseboat
Day 18 or Day 22: At Kumarakom/ Half day Ayurveda Spa Package/ Evening at Leisure O/N Aveda Resorts and Spa
Day 19 or Day 23: Drive to Cochin/ afternoon departure to connect International flight
India, officially Republic of India, is the seventh largest country in the world by area. It also has the second largest population in the world with over a billion people, and prides in being the largest democracy on Earth. It is an extremely diverse country, with vast differences in geography, climate, culture, language and ethnicity across its expanse.The earliest archaeological traces are from 7000 BC in Mehrgarh, which grew to be the “Indus Valley Civilization”, which is one of the earliest civilizations in the world. By 3300 BC, this civilization had well-planned towns and well-laid roads.India’s culture and heritage are a rich combination of the past and the present. It offers the visitor a view of fascinating religions and ethnography, a vast variety of languages with more than 438 living languages, and monuments that have been present for thousands of years.From the tallest mountain range in the world, Himalaya, to sun washed beaches, dense sub-tropical jungles to deserts, tranquil temples and rich architectural ancient monuments to frenetic bazaars, lantern lit villages to software supreme cities, India has it all. There’s simply no other word that captures the enigma that is in India. With an ability to aspire, frustrate, thrill and confound all at once, India presents an extraordinary spectrum of encounters for the traveler. India also boasts on having one of the wildest and largest culinary varieties in the world, each region presenting their own specialty. This is one country that will definitely jostle your entire being. It’s a place that fires the imagination and stirs the soul like nowhere else on earth.
India at a glance:
- Area: 3,287,590 Sq Kms
- Population: 1.2 billion
- Capital city: New DelhiAbout
Ladakh, “The land of high passes”, is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Although, rock carvings found in many parts of Ladakh indicate that the area has been inhabited from Neolithic times, not much is known about Ladakh before the 1st century. During the 2nd century when much of eastern Ladakh and western Tibet was still practicing the Bon religion, Buddhism started to spread into western Ladakh from Kashmir. In 842 Nyima-Gon, a Tibetan royal prince annexed Ladakh after the break-up of the Tibetan empire, and founded a separate Ladakhi dynasty. During this period, Ladakh acquired a predominantly Tibetan population. Also known as “Little Tibet” Ladakh’s culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet.The largest town in Ladakh is Leh, followed by Kargil. Ladakhis are Tibetan-Mongoloid in appearance although traces of Kashmiri Moslem influence can also be seen. The predominant religion in Ladakh is the Tibetan form of Buddhism, although Islamic influences are found from the Kashmir Valley as far as Kargil, and there are some Christian families in Leh.
Some interesting facts about Ladakh
- Ladakh is the highest settlement in India.
- The fields at Korzok, on the Tso-moriri Lake, at 4,600m are widely considered to be the highest cultivated lands in the world.
- A Bailey bridge between the Suru River and Dras River in Ladakh, is the highest bridge in the world at an altitude of 5,602m.
- Only place in India where twin humped Bactrian camels can be found.
- Ladakh is home to the mystical Magnetic Hill, which is a so-called “gravity hill”. The alignment of the road with the slope of the background can give the illusion that cars are able to drift upwards.
- The Pangong lake in Ladakh is one of the highest salt lakes in the world
- Ladakh is also home to some of the rare species of wildlife including Snow Leopard, Kyang (wild ass), Black Necked Cranes, Himalayan Ibex and several other species of brids and animals.
Day 1: Arrive New Delhi/ Transfer to Hotel/ Welcome dinner:
On arrival to Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi and finish with the immigration and custom formalities, our representative will meet you at the Main Exit with a Hi On Life Adventures placard. It is about 15 to 20 mins drive to the Aerocity where we have chosen your hotel for the practicality for the next days early morning domestic airport transfer. When you arrive at your hotel you will be briefed about your trek and “do’s and don’ts” while your stay in India. In the evening we will have a welcome dinner to begin the taste of India at one of the finest dining in New Delhi.
Day 2: Fly to Leh
Flight duration: 1 hour 25 mins
Early morning drive to the domestic airport to fly to Leh. Be prepared for an extensive security checks for your own safety owing to the fact that Leh is strategically located close to Pakistan and China. Baggage allowance Delhi-Leh is only 15kg per person, unless you have a through ticket on the same airline internationally. However, excess baggage charges are only $5 per kilo. It will be an early morning flight to Leh which is a fantastic mountain flight. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 mins to Leh and approach to the airport at Leh is extremely scenic, so get your cameras ready. The airport at Leh is also an Indian Air Force Base, therefore it is heavily guarded and again extensive security checks. We will be received at the airport by a representative from Ladakh and will be transferred to our hotel. An important component of our trip that we must adhere to is the acclimatization required due to high altitude. Do not plan on heading out at all today. Rehydration is the key to cope up with the high altitude, so drink water regularly. We will take this first day at high altitude with leisure, maximum exertion should maybe be a small stroll outside to the neighboring shops.
Day 3: Explore Leh- acclimatization
Explore duration: 4 to 5 hours
Leh is the ancient capital of Ladakh. There are many hilltop forts and palaces in Leh, including the Royal Palace which overlooks the town. Today we visit some of these forst and palaces which is excellent also for getting acclimatized to this high altitude. In the morning we will begin with a walk to the small fort and monastery complex of Namgyal Tsemo (mid-16th century) which overlooks Leh. The complex is believed to be the earliest royal residence in Leh. Then after we will visit Leh Palace built in the 1630s by Sengge Namgyal. After lunch we will visit the gleaming white Shanti Stupa (“Peace Pagoda”) which is situated on a hilltop to the west of the city.Leh is situated on the old Silk Route and still has a trading tradition. It is well worth wandering around the colourful bazaar in the afternoon.
Altitude: 3050m – highest elevation 5400m (Khardung la)
Drive duration: 5 hours (160 kms)
The Nubra Valley is situated at the end of the road, at the cap of India, in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a hidden treasure with fine silver sand dunes cradled by gargantuan mountains. We will have obtained our Inner Line Permit to enter Nubra Valley and these will be inspected as we leave Leh. We begin to climb from Leh on a winding road upto Khardung La (5,400m) which is the highest motorable road in the world. After spending some moment at this pass we start to decend to Diskit. Diskit Monastery is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century. After passing Diksit we then continue into the Shyok Valley to Hundar, one of the few areas in the world where grazing bactrian camels are seen.The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The average altitude of the valley is about 3,050m above sea level. Overnight at Eco Safari Camp or Dessert Deluxe camp
Day 5: Camel Safari at Nubra Valley
Safari duration: 2 hours
Popularly known as the Valley of Flowers, the Nubra valley is a district comprising the valley of the Nubra river, and that of the Shayok both above and below their confluence. This lovely and fertile valley with meandering rivers was originally part of the trade route between Tibet and Turkstan. It was the envy of the rulers of Turkistan who tried to capture it several times. The main village in Nubra Valley is Deskit, which has a regular bazaar consisting of a single line of shops, and a beautiful Gompa found in the 15th Century. Native to the steppes of central Asia, the Bactrian camel has two humps, in contrast to the single-humped camels found in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The Bactrian camels were the main mode of transport when Ladakh was an important stopover on the ancient trade routes with Central Asia.Joyrides on the Bactrian camel through the sand dunes is a must do while you are at Hunder. Camel safari takes around two hours.After the camel ride we will drive to Turtuk village. The drive to Turtuk passes through the Shayok valley, which is 80km of scenic magnificence marred only very occasionally by military installations. The end of this valley briefly narrows near Changmar, the western limit of Ladakhi-Buddhist culture. Thereafter, the green splashes of village are culturally and linguistically Muslim Balti.Overnight at Turtuk Holiday Resort
Day 6: Explore Turtuk village and afternoon drive back to Leh
Exploring duration: 5 hours
Drive back to Leh: 6 hours- 200kms
Turtuk was discovered by two Turkish men namely “Chuli and Yangdrung” who wandered and came to this place and settled here. Today their generations here are known as Chulipa and Yangdrungpa. Turtuk was once used to be mainstream silk trade route across Baltistan. Also known as “Apricot County of India” the area have abundant fruits and vegetable cultivation.Turtuk is a raised patchwork of fields and houses on terrace ledges above the main road. In the summer locals can be seen carting huge bundles of barley straw on their backs between the apricot trees. Upper Turtuk has breath taking views towards serrated high peaks in Pakistan: the frontline is only 7km away. Turtuk itself was part of Pakistan until the 1971 war.After exploring the villages of Turtuk and Bogdang, we will drive back to Leh.
Drive duration: 58 kms (1 ½ hours)
Trek distance: 10.1 kmTrek duration: 3-4 hrs
Elevation gain / loss: +431m / -274m
After breakfast at Leh, we begin with a 58 kms drive to Likir village (3650m), which is the starting point of our trek. From Likir the route heads west up to Phobe La (3580m) and reach Sumdo village. From here, the trail goes steadily upwards till we get to Chagatse La (3630m). Across the pass is the village of Yangthang (3630m). Although the distance is short, the route can be warm, without any shade or water. O/N Stay at Homsetay .
Day 8 : Yangthang To Hemis Shukpachen Across Tsermang-Chen La
Trek distance: 10.4 km
Time: 3-4 hrs
Elevation gain / loss: +238m / -283m
The trail heads north, descending for a bit, crossing a stream before climbing up again to Tsermangchen La (3750m) which offers breath taking views of the surround landscape. After a short rest at the pass we head down to Hemis Shukpachen, which is considered as one of Ladakh’s prettiest villages. There are large barley fields and several running streams surrounded by shady willow trees providing a touch of green to the otherwise desolate, Rocky Mountains. It is an easy walk with gentle gradients crossing the passes. O/N Stay at Homsetay .
Day 9: Hemis Shukpachen To Temisgam Across Mebtak La
Trek distance: 11.3 kmTime: 4 hrs
Elevation gain / loss: +312m / -714m
It is another fairly easy trek today. The trail begins with a gentle climb between two hillocks west of the village until it veers south and climbs steeply up to the Mebtak La (3750m) marked by prayer flags. From the pass we descend along a gorge, passing through a charming village with apricot orchards and continue to our last night camp at Temisgam village.O/N Stay at Homsetay .
Day 10: Temisgam To Leh En-Route visit Lamayuru monastery and Alchi Monasteries
Drive from Temisgam to Leh: 90 Kms
On the last day of the trek, we will again go for an easy trek downhill all the way on the main road where our car will be waiting for us. We will drive towards Leh en-route we will visit the Lamayuru Monastery and Alchi Monasteries.
Day 11: Drive to Pangong lake
Distance: 223 kmsDriving duration: 6 hours approx.
Pangong Tso is one of the largest saltwater lake in Asia. It has very low micro-vegetation. Although there are no fish or any other aquatic life in the lake, you will still see numerous ducks and gulls flying over and on the surface of the lake. This lake also acts as a breeding ground for a variety of birds. In Summer, Bar Headed Goose and Brahmini Ducks are common to be seen here. In winter, water of the lake freezes completely; so much that you can easily walk over it. The route from Leh to Pangong Tso will also take you across mighty Chang La, a high altitude pass which was once considered as third highest motorable road in the world. On arriving Pangong lake, we will check in to Pangong Sarai Camp or similar
Day 12: Drive back to Leh
We explore the Panging Tso, absorbing the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the lake as much as possible. Afternoon we drive back to Leh.Overnight hotel
Day 13: Fly Leh to Delhi.
Flight duration: 1 hour 25 min
Sightseeing duration: 3 hours
Early morning drive to the airport to catch early morning flight to Delhi. Once again prepare for an extensive security checks. Lithium Batteries (eg spare camera batteries) – must be in your checked luggage for the return flight from Leh back to Delhi. On arrival to New Delhi we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon we take a Rikshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi- a “must do” fascinating trip.
Day 14 : Drive Delhi to Agra- Visit Agra fort
Drive: 5 hours
Sightseeing duration: 1 ½ hour
We begin early morning on a 233 km drive to Agra. The drive is comfortable and the road condition is of “Western standards” on the Express Highway. Before we go to our Hotel at Agra, we visit the Agra fort. Agra Fort is a massive and awe-inspiring fort built by the Emperor Shah Jahan during the Mughal reign in India. From here you can get the first glimpse of Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna. After visiting Agra fort, we check in to our hotel.
Day 15 : Visit Taj Mahal and drive back to New Delhi
Drive: 5 hours
Sightseeing duration: 2 hours
An early morning visit to Taj Mahal to get the beautiful views of the first lights on this fabulous monument and also to avoid the crowd, which get very heavy during the day. Taj Mahal is one of the 8 wonders of the world and is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. Neither any words, nor any pictures can justify the beauty of this amazing monument. We will spend a couple of hours at the Taj Mahal and then drive to our hotel. After breakfast, we drive back to New Delhi to our hotel. We arrive New Delhi early afternoon, so if you would wish to go to the main center for some shopping/ sightseeing, your guide can arrange or escort you.
Day 16: Final departure
Day 15: Train ride from Agra to Orcha
It is 255 kms from Agra to Orcha and takes about 5 hours by land. This ancient town seems frozen in time, with its many monuments continuing to retain their original grandeur even to this day. We will visit some of the most fascinating temples and palaces– it is truly one of the most fascinating ancient towns of India and it is truely travelling back in time!The picturesque city of Orchha is situated on the banks of the River Betwa. It was founded in 16th century by Rudra Pratap Singh who was one of the Rajput rulers belonging to the Bundela Dynasty. In the early 17th century, the mighty Mughal Army led by the then Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, fought a tough battle against the army of Orcha led by Raja Jujhar Singh. After a fierce battle, the destiny of Orchha went to the hands of the Mughal, who ruled the place for six years beginning from the year 1641 A.D.Then after Orcha have been ruled by many rulers, among whom Maharaja Pratap Singh(born-1854) was the most prominent as it was under his rule that Orchha experienced the maximum development. Most of the irrigation works and other related assignments were thoroughly designed and supervised by Maharaja Pratap Singh who died in the year 1930.In the beginning of the 20th century, Orchha was the most ancient and prosperous state in the Bundelkhand region.
Day 16: Free day to explore Orcha/ afternoon drive to Khajuraho
After breakfast, you are free to explore the town of Orchha until lunch time, and then after we will drive to Khajuraho which is 175 kms to Khajuraho which takes about 3 ½ hours. Upon arrival we will check in to hotel. Khajuraho temples are famous for the erotic scluptures made during the Chandela dynasty between 950 to 1050 AD. The sculptures are rather explicit and liberal, showing people in very intimate moments or scandalous positions.The Hinduism belief was that through a close embrace, one can reach moksha, or in other words, nirvana. So not only was pleasure and sensuality an essential part of human life, it was a way to be liberated from the cycles of birth and death. It was a way to reach purity of self, mental peace, and one’s union with God.
Day 17: Full day explore Khajuraho/ evening train to Varanasi
After breakfast we will take you on a tour to the famous temples all of which are built with intricacy and are ancient. The figurines, carved on the walls have an erotic representation of the Tantric sexual practices.In the evening you return back to the hotel and drive to the railway station to take the night train to Varanasi.
Day 18: Explore Varanasi
Upon arrival to Varanasi railway station, we will drive to our hotel. After lunch we will have our sightseeing tour of Varanasi.Varanasi is the oldest city of the world with rich educational and spiritual background. Commonly known as Banaras and Kashi, the city is located on the banks of the holy river Ganga. Some of the monikers bestowed to the city that highlight its significance are the ‘city of temples’, ‘holy city of India’, ‘ religious capital of India’, ‘ city of lights’, ‘ city of learning’, and ‘oldest living city on earth’. Besides housing a wide range of tourist attractions, the city is also an industrial hub. Overnight at hotel
Day 19: Fly to Delhi and connect to International flight
We will take an early flight from Varanasi to Delhi. If your international flight is in the afternoon then you can make a connection flight the same day. Else you need an overnight stay at Delhi.
Added extension tour to Kerala, “God’s own country”- Ayurvedic special
Please note: You can have this trip as a seperate extension after Ladakh instead of Taj Mahal/ Orchha/ Khajuraho/ Varanasi tour, OR you can have this as an added extension
Day 19: Fly to Cochin/ drive to Munnar/ Ayurveda spa package O/N Tree lodge
Flight time: 3 to 4 hours depending on connection flight
Cochin to Munnar (135km/4.5hrs)
On reaching Cochin, we will be greeted by our representative in Kerala. We will drive from Cochin and reach Munnar by afternoon. On the way we visit Kodanadu elephant care centre, Cheyyara waterfalls, Valara waterfalls, Attukadu waterfalls, Spice plantations etc. We will not rush to cover the sightseeing points but will allow you to take your time and will follow your pace to get the full enjoyment of each point you cover.
In the afternoon you will arrive your hotel which is a beautiful tree house.
Overnight at Tree house in Munnar
Day 20: Sightseeing / Spice plantation/ Ayurveda spa package O/N Munnar Tree lodge
Full day sightseeing
There are plenty of oppertunity for practicing Yoga in the morning.
Sightseeing destinations includes Eravikulam national park (Raja Malai), Mattupetty dam, tea estates, eco point, spice plantation, rose garden, tea museum etc. Again, we will not rush you to cover the sightseeing tour but we will let you grasp in the experience at your own pace.
You can also enjoy boating in the Lake, rock climbing, trekking (optional)
In the afternoon we will have booked your spa treatment. It will be a combination of Ayurvedic massage with essential oils and baths
Overnight at Tree house in Munnar
Day 21: Drive to Kumarakom and start house boat O/N Houseboat
Drive Munnar to Kumarakom: 4 h 3 min (152.9 km)
There are plenty of oppertunity for practicing Yoga in the morning.
We drive to Kumarakom after breakfast. On arriving Kumarakom we embark the houseboat.
Kumarakom is a is a sleepy little village on Vembanad Lake in the backwaters of Kerala. It’s laced with canals, where houseboats ply the waters. It offers wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating and fishing experience. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to many species including cuckoos and Siberian storks.
Enjoy the scenic houseboat ride through the lovely backwaters and canals lined with coconut palm trees.
Overnight stay at houseboat.
After a peaceful night in the houseboat we will enjoy a serene morning enjoying the beautiful vista form the houseboat. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and disembark the houseboat and checkin to Aveda Resorts and Spa. You will then receive a half day spa treatment at the resort. Evening can be spent at leisure.
Overnight stay at Aveda Resorts and Spa
Day 23: Drive to Cochin/ sightseeing / afternoon flight to New Delhi
Kumarakom to Cochin: 1 h 21 min (53.3 km)
There is amazing spots to practice Yoga in the morning. You can spend your morning at leisure. According to your international flight time, we will drive from Kumarakom to Cochin. We suggest you to have your flight back home from Cochin. There are very good connection flights from Cochin to any country in Europe. Having your return back flight from Cochin gives you the oppertunity to explore the vivrant city of Cochin.
Cochin sightseeing includes Fort Cochin, Navy museum, St. Francis church, Chinese fishing net, Santa cruz Basilica, Jewish synagogue etc. You can also find some time for shopping at Cochin. Or simply take a leisurely walk in the town.
If you have your international departure flight from New Delhi, will arrange your connecting flight from Cochin to New Delhi accordinly.
Recommended preparation:Although it is an easy trek, average fitness is essential, as we walk along gravel/ dirt paths. The trails are easy but have some uphill climbs as well as down hills. Walking or jogging 45 mins to 1 hour for at least two times a week on undulating terrain or on a tread mill for at least 3 months prior to departure. Cycling is recommended. Easy hikes on weekends with a daypack in variable weather conditions are also recommended.
A Day On Your Trek
Although each day is different, considering the weather, general pace of the group and length of the days walk, in general your day begins with a wake up tea at around 6 to 6:30 in the morning. You will then be provided with a bowl of warm water for washing. Then you will need to pack your duffel bag and your daypack and come to the dining tent for breakfast. After breakfast we will hit the trail and usually walk for about 2 to 3 hrs before we stop for lunch. Lunches are usually picnic packed lunch. We allow you about an hour rest during lunch, which will also give enough time for the staff to prepare lunch, wash dishes and have their lunch and pack. Usually after 2 to 2 ½ hrs of walking we finish the days walk by 4 PM. Tea/ Coffee and snacks will be served on arrival to the camp. Your Group Leader will often organize side trips in the afternoon.Your dinner will be served around 7 PM.
Food and water
While on the tours, we will stay at luxury “glampings” or hotels/ resorts, therefore all meals are provided by the hotels. On the trek we stay at local homestays. Although it is a great experience to share the local lifestyle and get to know them, food can be monotonous. Therefore we always send our experienced cooks on such trips. Our cook will help at local homestays to prepares hot food which is normally a very balanced diet comprising of fresh vegetables and breads, to pastas and sandwiches and occasionally even cakes and pizzas. Breakfasts are usually bread eggs and cereals, and lunch and dinner are a three course meals. We make sure that you get the required amount of carbohydrates and proteins and vitamins.
We provide boiled and treated water 4 times a day.
On this trip you will barely spend some minutes at 5600m on top of the Khardungla (5600m) while driving to Nubra Valley. The rest of the trip will be spent at moderate altitudes between 3300m to 4000m. Although it is not a serious altitude trek, it is still very important to understand the affects of altitude. The greatest provocation is going too high too fast. Hi On Life Adventures’s itinerary has been carefully designed to minimize the effects of altitude. We ascend slowly and surely allowing enough time for safe acclimatization. A close watch is kept on all trekkers by the group leader who is trained to recognize the symptoms of AMS which are severe headaches, nausea, lethargy, loss of appetite serious breathlessness even at rest. If any trekkers show such signs they will be descended to relatively lower and safer altitude. The Group Leader’s decision on evacuating such person to a safe altitude is final. Do not medicate yourself without first informing your group leader. Going to altitude slowly with adequate rest and adequate intake of fluid (3 to 4 litres per day), you will most likely have no problems apart from breathlessness on hills which is completely normal as the percentage of Oxygen in the air is relatively lower to that at sea level. The most important thing is not to worry about altitude because our team is there to take care of you.
Group leader: your most important member of your staff. Our Group leaders are highly trained in all aspects of the trek, conservation, first aid specializing onaltitude sickness, emergency procedures and have extensive knowledge of the natural history of the area.
Sherpas: Their job is to lead your way and distribute equal loads to the porters and also help clients and other staff when need arises.
Horsemen: They are responsible to transport your duffle bags and their job finishes once they reach the designated lodge. The loads are carried by their horses and they take care of the horses and our baggage.
The best time for this trek is June till August. It is summer time in Ladakh and the temperatures are pleasant at high altitude. Another typical thing about the climate in Ladakh is that the temperature varies enormously. It can be 28 C+ on a sunny day and within an hour the temperature could drop below 10 C if it gets cloudy. At altitudes above 4500m the night time temperatures could drop just below freezing.
Recommendations for things you should bring:
- Water bottle: 2 bottles min 1 liter each, (should be able to hold hot water)
- Day pack: small size 25-30 liters
- Sunglasses: Poloroid/ UV protection 2-4
- Duct tape: Small roll for emergency fixing of torn jacket/ sleeping bags etc.
- Stuff bags: Small stuff bags or plastic bags to organize you duffle bag
- Money belt
- Toiletries: Your essentials. We provide toilet papers
- Towel: Quick dry travel towel
- Torch: Preferably head lamp
- Disposable lighter
- Sewing kit
- Medical kit: As per your prescriptions. It should be noted that the group leader will be carrying a first aid kit.
- Walking sticks ( highly recommended)
- Knee guard for those with bad knees.
- Daytime snack (chocolates/ dry fruit trail mix)
- Trousers: 2 lightweight for easy walking, stretchable running trousers or comfortable evening wears
- Shorts: 1 (Not too high cut revealing ones)
- T-shirts: 2 to 3 light cotton
- Full sleeves T- shirts: 2 preferably poly propylene or wool.
- Hats: 1 Sunhat and 1 woolen one for colder days
- Buff (cover for your mouth and keeps your neck warm)
- Gloves: 1 warm woollen/ fleece
- Thermal underwear (baselayers): 2 pair light weight tops and trousers, preferably woollen
- Socks: At least 4 pairs (both thin and thick woollen ones)
- Jackets: 1 fleece/ wool and 1 Gore-Tex wind/waterproof. Please note that we provide down jackets.
- Walking boots: Preferably waterproof
- Gym shoes/sandals For evenings
Healthy and trouble free holiday
Please consult a doctor for vaccination against Typhoid, Meningitis, polio, and hepatitis. If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please give us a list of what you can and can’t eat so that we can provide proper food for you. If you are undergoing a course of prescription medicine, please ensure that you have sufficient supplies for the entire holiday. Some types of drugs including antimalarias have side effects at high altitude; therefore please consult your doctors regarding these drugs. The places you trek are mosquito free and there has been no report on malaria in Ladakh. However, if you add the extensions to Central and South India, please consult your doctor regarding Anti Malaria pills.
We highly recommend you to take a comprehensive Personal Travel Insurance before leaving home. This should cover for your loss of baggage, airline delays, sickness, and accidents. It should cover all incuring costs for evacuations.
The ideal currency to bring with you is USD or Euro. You can exchange them in Delhi or Leh. You can also draw money from ATM machines in New Delhi or Leh. The exchange rate is 1 USD = 62 Indian Rupees approx. (subject to change)
In Delhi and Agra: During the entire trip the all meals are included except for a couple of lunches and dinners while at Delh. Delhi has a wide variety of restaurants with a very wide range of price. Depending on where you eat, each meal will cost anything between 5 to 25 USD + drinks. Plus 20 to 30 USD for your taxis if you wish to go around the city.
On trek: Basically there are no place where you can spend money on the trek. However, in few places you might find small tea shops that sells cold drinks, chocolates etc. It is recomended to bring around 5 USD per day. This money is chocolates, soft drinks and beers etc and also for small donations in the monasteries.
On Central India and South India extensions: All hotels are on full board, therefore other than your expenses of your personal nature, all costs are covered.
Although tipping is entirely optional and personal matter the following is recommended as a guideline
In Delhi, Leh and all other cities: for bellboys, waiters and porters 50 to 100 Indian Rupees
On the trek: At the end of the trek it is a customary to tip the field staff. The recommended amount is 50-100 USD depending on group size. The Group leader will collect the tip and then split it between the staff and put it in envelops so that the trekkers can give it to the staff during the “Farwell Ceremonies”.
Please note- the Group Leader is not included in this tip. If you want to tip the Group Leader, you can do it separately.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Ladakhki people treat visitors as special guests. Although they will never rebuke you publicly for unknowingly offending them, we must consider their culture.
While in Ladakh please observe the following:
- Full or partial nudity is not accepted.
- Over display of affection between men and women, especially in temples and monasteries are discouraged.
- Please remove your shoes before entering monasteries and temples.
- Never point the soles of your feet at a person or shrine.
- Locals walk around the Mani walls and Stupas in a clockwise direction as a respect and they expect you to do the same although it is not compulsory.
- Please ask before taking pics of a person or his/her child
Some useful tips while travelling in Delhi and Agra
Dress code: Dress sensibly and don’t walk around alone at night. For men knee length shorts and t shirts and sandals are best to cope up with the heat but in some temple and mosques you need to wear long trousers. For women it would be wise to cover up and dress modestly to avoid unwarranted advances. Light cotton trousers or knee length skirts are ideal and avoid bare back dresses.
Personal space: The concept of personal space is almost nonexistent in almost all over India. Whether you’re standing in a queue or walking in a crowded Bazaar, get used to moving shoulder-to-shoulder.People in North India tend to stare a lot: Please don’t be offended because most of them do this out of curiosity. Easy way to deal with this is to not make direct eye contact with strangers and passersby. Get used to it and don’t let this make you uncomfortable.
Bargaining skills: In shopping malls the prices are fixed and you cannot bargain. However, in rest of your shopping adventure, it is inevitable that you will be exploited to a certain degree, the simple fact is that most vendors know you have money. Skillful bartering takes practice- a beginner’s rule of thumb is to cut thestarting price in half and then work your way to a middle ground.
Beware of Pickpockets: The streets of Delhi can become very crowded, exposing you up to a risk of being easily pick-pocketed. Keep your money in your money belt or in a forward facing backpack to avoid any thieves. If you need to take money out of your wallet, it is best to find a quiet spot and do it quickly to avoid being robbed.
Beggars: You will likely see things that strike your emotional core, but it is important to realize that these are deep rooted problems with no easy fix. Moreover if you give money to one beggar, within secs you will find yourself surrounded by a dozen other beggars from children to adults. Also keep in mind that beggar mafias control much of the inner city.
Street Hawkers: When you walk out of the sightseeing points you will meet several hawkers trying to sell you small souvenirs from pics and all sorts of things. Do not engage in a bargain or converstation unless you really want to buy them. They can be very pushy sometimes.
Go With the Flow: Despite the fact that the cities in India can be tiring with all the staring, crowded streets, beggars, pestering hawkers’ etc. try not to care about the small stuff. If you get caught up and stress about the little things, you will miss out on the bigger picture, which is that you are in one of the most distinctive and important cities in the world. The city will often come to feel like another planet entirely.
“Ayurveda teaches us to cherish our innate-nature – “to love and honor who we are”, not as what people think or tell us, “who we should be.”
“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.”
― Amit Ray, Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style
- All International and Domestic airport transfers in Private A/C vehicle
- All guided sightseeing tours in Delhi, Ladakh and Agra in Private A/C vehicles
- 5 Star hotel accommodations on bed and breakfast and twin sharing basis in New Delhi
- Welcome dinner in one of the finest authentic Indian dining in Delhi
- 3 Star category hotel in Leh on full board
- All sightseeing in private car with guide
- Eco Safari Camp or Desert Himalaya safari Camp in Nubra on full board and twin sharing basis
- Pangong Sarai retreat safari camp at Pangong Tso on full board and twin sharing basis
- Homestays while on trek on twin sharing basis
- All Monasteries entrance fees
- Wild life fee for the applicable area
- Services of English speaking guide during the entire trip.
- Services of qualified Yoga instructor during the entire trip
- Horses and mules for carrying bags and camping gears
- All three times meals during trek. (Picnic at lunch time)
- Hot beverages with biscuits and snacks on arrival to camp
- Use of personal trekking pack consisting of a duffle bag, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liners, and down jacket.
- Staff insurance and all applicable taxes
- Sightseeing and rickshaw rides in Delhi with all entrance fees
- Delhi to Agra and back on private vehicle with guide
- 5 star hotel in Agra on bed and breakfast and twin sharing basis
- All sightseeing in Agra with Taj Mahal with guide and entrance fees
- All transportaions on private vehicles
- All internal flights
- A/C class train from Agra to Orchha and Khajuraho to Varanasi
- 4 star to 5 star category hotels on all places on bed and breakfast and twin sharing basis
- Guided sightseeing with all entrance fees at Orchha, Khajuraho and Varanasi
- Daily Ayurvedic packages and guided sightseeing in Kerala
- House boat rides with all meals
- Insurance: Travel/Accident/Medical /emergency evacuation
- Private room accommodation in Delhi and Leh unless a single supplement is paid.
- Staff tipping
- Indian Visa
- Telephone, laundry, mineral water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
- Emergency rescue evacuation cost if needed
- All other personal nature expenses.