Stok Kangri is one of the most beautiful peaks in Ladakh. The climb is technically not difficult, and requires no special mountaineering skills. It gives you a real opportunity to climb a 6150 m mountain in less than a week, which is not possible in any other part of the world. The summit presents one of the most spectacular views of the Saser peak in the Karakoram Range, where the K2 lies.
Welcome in traditional Ladakhi style and transfer to our pre-arranged hotel, rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight stay at hotel
Leh City: The capital of Ladakh, at one time was a major stop on the Asian "Silk Route". A stroll along the main bazar, observing the varied crowd and peering into the curio shops, is an entrancing experience. Behind the main bazar is the old Leh intriguing little shops selling curios and jewelry like pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, lapis and many other kinds of semi-precious stones, as well as curiously carved Yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls etc.
Evening we visit Shanti Stupa A magnificent white-domed structure, The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights. A large number of tourists come to Ladakh every year to visit this amazing stupa.
Excursion to Shey, Thiksey, Hemis
Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour. We will start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue, built in the memory of King Singee Namgyal by his son lDeldan Namgyal in 1633 A.D. It is the only kind of statue made of Gold, Gilt and copper in entire Ladakh.
Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh.
Drive further to visit the famous Hemis Gompa, This is the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Most of the other Drukpa monasteries are the branch monasteries of Hemis. It was built during early 17th century with the blessing of Lama Stagtsang Raspa (Shambunatha), by famous Namgyal dynasty king Singee Namgyal.
The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading Buddhism in the Tibetan world.
We leave from Leh in a jeep in the morning. At Stok the pony man will load our big backpacks on the horses that are waiting for us. With our small daypacks we head off for Mancarmo through a beautiful valley, where there are unusual rock formations that point skywards in orange, purple, green colors. Mancarmo (4250 m) is the summer pasture of Stok villagers.
Gradually we go higher into a desolate area, which is inhabited only by marmots and blue sheep. Surrounded by high mountains, we, at base camp (5020 m), will prepare our self mentally and physically for the big day.
Depending on weather and snow conditions, we leave early around 1:00 am or 2:00 am. Usually conditions are better in the night/morning, when the sky is clearer because it is colder and the snow will be harder to walk on. We just take a cup of tea and bring our lunch bag, before walking into the night with our torches.
However, if it is a full moon night, the moon will guide us in its silvery glow. It is a strenuous walk, and in the last part we will most likely use not only ice axes, but also crampons and, maybe, even rope, depending on snow conditions. However, by the time we come close to the top, you will forget about the hardship as you are surrounded by one of the most beautiful sights in the Himalayas, lighted up by the slowly rising morning sun. In good weather conditions we can see the Saser group in the Great Karakoram Range, where K2 lies. To bring good fortune, we leave our Khatag, a religious scarf, on the mountaintop with prayer flags. Leaving the peak, we go down to Base Camp and by the time we arrive, the only thing running in our mind is diving into our sleeping bags for a rest.
This morning we will not hurry and by the time we open our eyes, you realize that you have scaled a peak higher than any mountain in Europe or North America. After breakfast we will walk down to Stok, retracing our footsteps. Upon arrival transfer to Leh by Jeeps.
Complete day at leisure to explore the beauty of leh city on your own and time free for last day shopping.
Or one can take an optional excursion to KHARDUNG-LA-PASS (the highest motorable road in the world) at 18,390 ft, around 39kms from Leh.
PANGONG LAKE, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China.