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Kashmir e Ladakh - Crucible of Spirituality

A journey in the north of India, between the mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Karakorum, where some of the oldest traditions and spiritual cultures in the world were born. The program includes an immersion in the most impressive nature and in the most profound mysticism, two aspects that are reflected in each other. For this reason the journey is an experience for travelers interested not only to places and cultures, but also to the inner transformation. In fact, there will also be a chance to meditate and practice yoga. The structure of the trip is designed to allow everyone to integrate the experiences: times are not tight, you do not go on the run, there's ease to stay in the sensations and places, to breathe in those places, absorbing a bit of magic and spirituality that inhabits them.

The trip includes flying from Delhi to reach Srinagar (Kashmir) and return from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. The 434 km of road that connects Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, to Leh, the capital of the district of Ladakh, that we will cover by car, are part of the collective imagination of all travelers.

Srinagar is a pleasant town nestled on the banks of the picturesque Dal Lake, and bathed by the waters of the river Jheulm. The average altitude, the pleasant climate and the typical mountain landscape, rich in forests and meadows have always made the area a great summer getaway from the heat of the Indo-Gangetic lowland. Already the Moghul kings used to spend the summer in Srinagar, is in fact in this region that the gardens' architecture developed by the Moghul reached its peak.

Even the English very appreciated the cool climate of the region, but the local Maharaja forbade them to own land in the valley and so, to avoid this, at the end of 800 they began building houseboats on the lake, a brilliant expedient that today has made the luck of touristic Kashmir. Anyone who comes and spend a few relaxing days in this region, in fact, stay in one of these elegant boats from the flat keel, long up to 20 meters and equipped with every comfort: spacious bedrooms, dining rooms and a comfortable veranda to admire the slow flow of life on the lake.

Here begins the road that through carriageable pass at unreasonable heights and glimpses of heartbreakingly beautiful landscape leads from the green of the Kashmir valley to the barren landscape of high mountains of Ladakh (little Tibet). So narrow and thin as to oblige the alternating one-way, it is a dusty strip linking the Muslim culture to the Buddhist one. The first stop is Sonamarg then Kargil, already Ladakhi territory. From here the road climbs again, the wheat and barley crops give way to a dusty area, almost desert. We reach Shergol and then Mulbeck, which with its monastery and the giant statue of the Buddha of the future, 8 meters high and carved into the living rock, marks the end of a predominantly Muslim area.

Continuing on the way, we cross the pass of Namikala at 3750 meters and then the pass of Fatula at 4180 meters and we enter the valley of the Indus River, reaching Lamayuru. Its gompa perched in a position on top of an outcrop eroded by wind with behind the imposing mountain ranges is a unique spectacle.

The road follows the river in a succession of monasteries, prayer flags, "mani walls" and chorten, a celebration of spirituality. The spaces are immense, the sky low and clear with the typical high mountain light.
Is here that the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas meet. Wanla, Alchi and Likir, with their monasteries, are the main places we visit along the Indus valley towards Leh.

Leh is a good starting point for two excursions:

  • The Nubra Valley
  • The Thiksay and Hemis monasteries - Hemis, located just 45 km, nestled in a beautiful valley, surrounded by mani walls and by waterways is one of the most famous monasteries, the site of a major festival in June.

Finally, the Nubra Valley, north of Leh, can be reached crossing the highest pass of Kardungla (5602 meters). The valley is a space nestled between the mountains that holds very interesting monasteries and villages, where even the natural beauty is a great reason to go. The backdrop of majestic mountains has at its center unsuspected white sand dunes lapped by two rivers, home to the Bactrian camels, hidden lakes and hot springs.

Go to the travel schedule.


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