Duration: 6 days
Best time: Follow the Tibetan Calendar
Thousands of devotees converge at the courtyards of Leh Palace to witness the mask dance 'Chams' performed by the monks on the occasion of the winter festival 'Dos Mochay'. The two day festival ‘DOSMOCHAY’ is the largest Buddhist ‘winter gathering’ in the capital Leh. The festival is also widely celebrated in Likir village of Ladakh. Dosmochay also marks the celebration of the coming Tibetan New Year. Held on the 28th & 29th of the Tibetan 12th month, the New Year follows a day after throwing of ‘dos’ (Ling-Dzi-Che–Do) on the second day of Dosmochey celebration. The monks perform such chams and make stormas ‘dos’ to evade bad omens which are the result of three traps -- ‘hatred, jealousy and desire’. Buddhists believe that the deities are in the realm of sadness, as humans are stuck in place because of these three traps, or maras. As a way of seeking pardon or absolution we perform such rituals. The festival also offers the youths of Leh an opportunity to hang out in the markets, which are put up especially for the festival. The scenario in the main Leh bazaar reflects glimpses of a typical Indian festival.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN LEH. On arrival transfer to your Hotel. The rest of the day is free to get used to the altitude. You can start exploring Leh in the evening. If you feel fine, take an easy walk to the market. Overnight in Leh (hotel)
DAY 2: LIKIR DOSMOCHAY. Today in the early morning you will drive to Likir via the mesmerizing confluence of two rivers: the Indus and the Zanskar. Further you will attend the Likir Festival. Dosmochay was started by the rulers of Ladakh, during the kingdom of King Lhachen Gongdup/ Lha-chen-Dnos-grub (1295-1320). He fought two battles with invaders from Nyungti (Kullu of Himachal Pradesh) to protect his realm. Sacred mask dances, known as Cham dances. These are also carried out in Leh in the courtyard of the old chapel, which sits below the gates of the Leh Palace. Lamas are drawn from different monasteries from across Ladakh on a rotation basis for this festival.
Dosmochay is the last event of the New Year celebrations and is held on the 28th and 29th day of the 12th Tibetan month, which normally falls in the second half of February. Dosmochay is one of two New Year festivals; the other one is Losar. It is also held in the Likir (Indus Valley) as well as Diskit (Nubra valley) monasteries. Overnight in Leh (hotel).
DAY 3: SHEY, THIKSEY AND HEMIS MONASTERIES. The first place we visit along the Indus valley Monastery tour is the Shey Palace. It is only 13km from Leh and is the former palace of the Ladakhi royal family. The Palace houses a 350 year old copper and gold statue of the Lord Buddha. Thiksey, a neighboring village of Shey, will then be visited. Thiksey Monastery is perched imposingly on a hillock from which its red and white buildings can be seen from many kilometers away. This Gompa is famous for its 15 meters high seated statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Driving further along you will reach the famous Hemis Gompa, founded in 1630 by Stag-tsang-ras-pa under the patronage of King Sengge Namgyal. In the afternoon, a visit the Stok Palace will enlighten you about the royal family. It also houses a museum that has a rich collection of ancient Ladakhi artifacts: old thangkas, arms and armory, royal jewelry and the crown of the King, among many others. Overnight in Leh (hotel).
DAY 4: NUBRA . To arrive at Nubra valley, you will be passing through the Khardung La (18,380 ft), the highest motorable road in the world. From the pass, the road descends down a spectacular gorge through the Khardung village and on down to the valley floor where you can opt to camp or stay in a hotel. In the evening, you will be driven to Diskit and Hunder Monasteries. Further down the river you will head towards the scenic village of Hunder which is the home of pleasant sand dunes and the two-humped Bactrian camel. Camel Safaris are always exciting to try out. Overnight in Nubra (hotel/camp).
DAY 5: NUBRA –LEH. After breakfast, you will drive back to Leh. Overnight in Leh (hotel).
DAY 6: FLY TO DELHI. You will have an early morning transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Delhi with sweet memories and love of Ladakh.
LAND COST: on request
- All accommodations with breakfast and dinner
- All monastery entrance fees, wild life fees.
- English-speaking guide.
- All transportation.
- Innner line permit
- Oxygen cylinder in car
- Medical and evacuation insurance
- Miscellaneous expenses and tips for the staff
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food.
- International/Domestic Air ticket to and from Delhi, and air ticket to Leh.
- Laundry and other services not mentioned in the package.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay or baggage loss insurance.
- Charges incurred as a result of delays, natural calamities beyond the control of Yama Adventures.
CANCELLATION: 20% cancellation fee will be applied if cancelled 60 days prior to departure. Cancellation in less than 60 days is non-refundable.
© Yama Adventures, 2019.