Just after the breakfast, the group will visit the Hemis monastery for the festival and about 3 p.m. in the afternoon the group will move back to Leh and on the way, the group will visit two more famous monasteries i.e Shey and Thiksey.
This is biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh. It is situated 49 kms to south of Leh, a little off the main Leh-Manali road. It was built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family. Hemis is the headquarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it. It also trains Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo. In the 19th century it faced a siege by General Zorawar Singh. The Gompa was saved to the skillful handing of the situation by the head Lama. In 1956 the head Lama Hemis Gompa disappeared mysteriously never to be seen again. A 12 years old boy was brought from Dalhousie. In 1976 to be appointed as head Lama. He will assume authority after his training period is complete. The monastery contains quite a few gold statue and stupas decorated with precious stones. It has a superb collection of tankhas, including one, which is supposed to be the largest in existence and is exhibited only once every 11 years. The monastery has annual festival, is a big tourist attraction. Masked dances are held on that day.
En route to Hemis Gompa, the Thiksey monastery is a most imposing structure providing a panoramic view of the green Indus valley from its vantage atop a hill. It has chambers full of statues, stupas and tannkhas.
Shey Palace and Monastery:
Also on the way to Hemis Gompa and 15 kms from Leh is the summer palace of the erstwhile, Raja of Leh, set upon a hill sitting Buddha wrought with copper and gold that leaves one lama before hand. Many chortens can be seen to the east of the monastery.
The whole day is dedicated to the shopping and to discover some interesting things about Ladakhi art and cultural by the visiting the Tibetan refugees camp Choklamsar, Library and Ecological Development etc. The women's vegetable market in the afternoon and some interesting place to visit. And the evening the Sankar monastery.
It is situated above the Leh Palace and was built in 1430. It contains a 13.7 metres high statue of the Buddha which the Ladakhi call Chamba. According to the Lamas this splendid statue is the future Buddha. A butter burns day and night in front of this statue.
Just 3 kms from Leh is this monastery that has a formidable collection of miniature of pure gold and a number of exciting painting. It is well lit and may be visited in the evening as well.
5th Day: Tourists will back to Delhi.
Drass 3230 metres, 60kms west of Kargil on the road to Srinagar, are a small township lying in the centre of a valley of the same name. It has become famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world by virtue of the intense cold that descends upon the valley along with repeated snowfall during winter. Winter temperature is sometimes known to plummet to less than 40 degree Celsius. During the spring and summer, however the valley around the township becomes very picturesque as the gently undulating hillsides turn into lush green pastures splashed with a variety of fragrant wild flowers. Its inhabitants are mainly of Darad stock, an Aryan race believed to have originally migrated to the high valleys of the Western Himalayas from the Central Asian steppes.
They speak Shina which, unlike the Tibetan-originated Ladakhi dialects spoken elsewhere in Ladakh region, belong to the Indo-European linguistic family. Their ancestral sport, Horse Polo, which the Darads play with particular zeal, resembles our modern polo. The Drass vallley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. For centuries its inhabitants are known to have negotiated this formidable pass even during the most risky period in the autumn or early spring, when the whole sector remains snowbound and is subject to frequent snow storms, to transport trader's merchandise across and the to help stranded travelers to traverse it. By virtue of their mastery over the pass they had established a monopoly over the carrying trade during the heydays of the Pan-Asian. A hardy people enduring with fortitude the harshness of the valley's winter, the inhabitants of Drass can well be described as the guardians of Ladakh's gateway.
The caravan move toward the Kargil and the way passing through the: Kargil :
the valleys of Suru, Drass Wakha and Bodkarbo lie midway between the alpine valleys of Kashmir, and the fertile reaches of the Indus valley and Ladakh. The region is politically part of India, ethnically part of Baltistan and geographically and integral part of Ladakh. Geographically, there is little doubt that one has crossed the Himalayan watershed. The steep barren hills now stretch to the snow line. As the snows melt, the waters flow freely down into the heavily irrigated valleys. Here Tibetan-style settlements thrive. Whitewashed mud and stone houses contrast with deep-green barley fields.
Between Kargil and Shergol you cross the dividing line between the Muslim and Buddhist areas. The small village of Shergol has a tiny gompa perched halfway up the eastern slope of the mountain. In the afternoon tourists will reach to Kargil.
There are two gompas on the hillside above the village of Mulbekh. As in other villages, it is wise to Enquire if the gompa is before making the ascent. Just beyond Mulbekh is a huge Chamba statue, an image of a future Buddha, cutting to the rock face beside the road. It's one of the most interesting stops along the road to Kargil.
After exploring villages around the area, it comes as a surprise to find that Lamayuru is a scruffy little place. The gompa, is the completely overshadowed and most famous spectacular monastery in Ladakh.
Hemis Monastery :
This is biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh. It is situated 49 kms to south of Leh, a little off the main Leh-Manali road. It was built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family. Hemis is the headquater of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it.
Shey Palace and Monastery :
Also on the way to Hemis Gompa and 15 kms from Leh is the summer palace of the erstwhile, Raja of Leh, set upon a hill sitting Buddha wrought with copper and gold that leaves one lama before hand. Many chortens can be seen to the east of the monastery. After the Shey tourists reach to Leh, Main Centre of Ladakh. With the inhabitants of 50,000, Leh is located in small valley just the north of Indus valley.