Trip Inspiration

10 Days of Luxury Camping in India

Discover Ladakh in Northern India

Ladakh offers a spectrum of stunning, vibrant colors, ancient monasteries, cobalt blue lakes, high altitude passes and nomadic tribes, trekking with their goats across the arid landscape, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Make your way through the dramatic countryside as you venture from one luxurious campsite to the next.

Trip Highlights

Locations

  • 2 nights at The Imperial Hotel in Delhi
  • 7 nights in various tents by The Ultimate Traveling Camp throughout Ladakh

Activities

  • Camping
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to India might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Delhi, India

Welcome to Delhi, the capital of India. Upon arrival, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to The Imperial Hotel, where you will spend one night.

With its intricate streets, elegant mosques, forts, monuments, and bazaars that sell a variety of goods, Old Delhi speaks volumes about its Mughal past.  With its multi-ethnic, multi-cultural population, New Delhi is truly cosmopolitan.

One of the most iconic hotels in Asia, The Imperial was built in the 1930’s as part of Lutyens’ New Delhi. Immaculately maintained, it showcases Delhi’s imperial past and the elegance of the colonial era. The swimming pool and spa are perfect for unwinding in between sightseeing or recovering from jetlag after a long flight. High tea on the lawn or the colonnaded veranda is among the essential experiences of Delhi, but make sure you leave room for dinner in the award-winning Spice Route restaurant. You may choose to unwind in the spa, composed of intricate architecture highlighting the influences of Mughal and Indian motifs.

The Imperial Hotel Meals: N/A

Day 2

Delhi

After breakfast, your driver will pick you up from the hotel. As the city wakes up, you will be transported to the times of the grandeur and subsequent ruin of the Mughal Empire. Colorful, vibrant, noisy and chaotic are words that best describe what many call Old Delhi. The empire was built by the mighty Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Here you will visit India’s second largest and most aesthetically designed Mosque, the Jama Masjid. Walk through the streets and markets of this 17th century imperial capital city of the Mughal empire where royalty once descended. Savor the fragrances of the boisterous Spice Markets, one of Asia’s largest, and be dazzled by the glitter of India’s largest jewellery markets. Catch a glimpse of the once-glorious havelis (royal mansions) of Old Delhi. Discover hidden gems while exploring the narrow alleys and 350-year-old markets of the city built at the acme of Mughal Empire, India’s most glorious monarchy.

Zoom across the city, seemingly further back into time, using the metro to reach where the beginning of this city took place in the 8th century, at Mehrauli. The most unique thing about Mehrauli is that it has been able to sustain itself for over 1200 years without any of the multiple empires ever abandoning it! This medieval village has seen numerous kings, emperors and conquerors enjoy her charm, from the early native Rajputs of the 8th century to the Turks of the 12th century to the later British conquerors of 19th century.

Your walk will begin under leafy trees in the wild jungle-like environs of Mehrauli as you hear the tales of Delhi’s humble origins. Notice the beginnings of Islamic architectural influences merging into native Hindu architecture with a visit to the beautiful ruins of 13th century tombs and a magnificent mosque. Visit the Baolis (multi-story subterranean step-wells) which provided relief from the Delhi heat many centuries ago. Wind up this pre-lunch session with a quick visit to one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Qutub Minar.

Grand Dragon Hotel Meals: Breakfast

Day 3

Delhi to Leh

This morning after breakfast, your driver will meet you for your transfer to the Delhi airport where you will fly to Thiksey.

There will be no planned activity when you arrive, as it is medically mandated that you relax and undergo minimal exertion to enable you to acclimatize to the rarefied oxygen levels at this high-altitude. The excursion specialist at Chamba Camp will meet with you to help you plan your excursions according to your interests.

The Chamba Camp at Thiksey provides a range of unforgettable experiences – raft down the Indus river, watch a game of polo, enjoy picnic lunches amidst picturesque locations, hear stories from specialists and guests over fire-lit evenings or relax in your individually designed tent, taking in the sights and sounds of Ladakh.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Thiksey Meals: Lunch / Dinner

Day 4

Leh

Morning free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and walk around the camp site, taking in the sights and the atmosphere where each tent opens out on to alfalfa pastures , enjoy the view of the willow trees as the wind gracefully brushes the branches and the rustling sound of the poplar trees create an aura of unmatched beauty and serenity, making you unwind and relax. Or, if you are an early riser, may we suggest setting out on our optional bird watching sojourn, with camp naturalist, spotting and identifying a variety of birds of the Trans Himalayan region. This afternoon following lunch, proceed on a gentle orientation tour of Leh, located approximately 22 kilometres (1 hr) from your camp. Visit popular landmarks which in clude the magnificent Leh Palace. Built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, the palace has nine storeysǯ, some of which are in ruins. Some of the sections display fine traces of Ladakhi architecture. From the palace continue by foot to the LAMO [Ladakh Arts & Media Organisation] Centre on a short walking tour passing some enchanting old houses. The centre is housed in one of the most important heritage houses, Munshi (Togoche) House situated at the foot of the Leh Palace. Enjoy a view of the old city from the terrace of the Munshi House as you sip the special Ladakhi tea with light snacks. The Heritage exploration continues from Munshi House through the old city ending in the bazaar. Conclude your tour at the Shanti Stupa, perched upon a great vantage point over Leh, with spectacular views of the stone strewn landscape, as you relish a hot cup of traditional Ladakhi butter tea watching the setting sun. Stay overnight in TUTC tent.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Thiksey Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 5

Leh

An early morning start with tea and coffee followed by a visit to the Thiksey monastery, which stands about a kilometre from your camp. This beautiful monastery houses a two storey statue of
the Maitreya Buddha seated on a lotus and boasts of a spectacular view of the valley. At the monastery, you will have the privilege to participate in the Morning Prayer ceremony at sunrise. Continue on a guided tour of the monastery, visiting the beautiful prayer room which has many handwritten and painted books as well as the temple dedicated to goddess Tara with her 21 images placed in glass-covered wooden shelves. You will also see small shrines devoted to the guardian divinities including Cham-Sing, the protector deity of Thiksey. Return to the camp for a leisurely breakfast. The rest of the morning is free, allowing you time to relax and take in the pristine beauty around you. Or, you may like to indulge in our optionalcycling trip in the vicinity of the Thiksey village and its surroundings. Or, you could also choose to drive to the Saboo village for a séance session with the Oracle. [Note: This optionalexcursion willbe confirmed a day prior subject to theoracle willing to give an audience]This afternoon, embark on an exploration of the monastic treasures of Ladakh. Driving through picturesque landscape along the River Indus, arrive at the fabled Alchi Monastery,built in the 11th century. Founded by Ringchen Zangpo, the Great Translator, the Alchi Gompa displays a Kashmiri influence in its art and architecture. Within the monastery you will see beautiful Tibetan and Gandhara style murals of Ladakh, frescos and images of the Buddha. Relish a picnic lunch in a picturesque setting. On your way back from Alchi, you will stop by at the Basgo fort, built in the 16th century. Basgo, literally “Bull’s Head” in the local language, was the center of power and politics in this region at one point of time and houses a copper-gilt Buddha statue in one of its prayer halls. The ruins of the fort bear the horrific evidence of the invasions of the Mongols. Alternatively combine your visit to Alchi with our optional rafting excursion. The day begins with a drive through the pastoral countryside, arriving at the put-in point. Take a gentle rafting trip down the Indus River, floating past traditional Ladakhi villages, enjoying the mesmerising views, and the contrast between the greenery of the Nimoo village on one bank and the stark barren landscape of the other. Following a picnic lunch continue to the fabled Alchi Monastery.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Thiksey Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 6

Leh to Nubra

Following breakfast this morning, your exciting journey continues through the regionǯs most awe-inspiring and dramatic landscapes, passing through the Khardung La Pass (5580 mtrs), considered to be the highest motorable road in the world.From the pass one gets to see the Indus Valley and rich agricultural lands interspersed with poplar and willow trees, giving the landscape a lush green look. Relish your packed lunch as you drive through picturesque anddramatic landscapes, driving past the famous sand dunes of Nubra. Arrive at the village of Diskit and check into your camp. An evening exploration to the local village school, which lies in the furlong of our Campsite is highly suggested. This school was established under the auspicious aegis of H.H.Dalai Lama on the 4th November, 1980.This school had a very humble beginning; Rev Lobzang Zotpa, lovingly also referred locally as Dzgyen laydz, instituted this school with only eight students. Today,Lamdon proudly attests to the fact that over 5,000 students have passed through its portal. Other than just imparting formal education, the school is also very instrumental in social works like cleanliness and sanitation of its immediate and fragile eco zone, preservation of its rich cultural legacies etc. Currently, the school houses over 150 students coming in from various far off places of the Nubra frontier. Itǯs an incredible experience to meet and understand the untold little stories of these amazing children. TUTCChambaCamp,Diskit: Cradled by jagged mountains on the northern route from the Leh Valley, meet two ancient rivers – Nubra and Shyok .They form the enchanting Nubra Valley – an
oasis of forgotten tales of merchants, mercenaries and monks who trudged these high -altitudes trans-Himalayan sand dunes in search of gold, glory and God. Continuing the expedition through dramatic landscapes of enormous glaci ated peaks and arid thoroughfares, reach the tranquil yet thriving village of Diskit. Untouched by the mainstream mayhem, the village has beautifully preserved its sanctity despite being the commercial hub of Nubra. Nestled in a quiet corner Chamba Camp, Diskit invites you on a nomadic voyage sewn with canvas luxury. Travel across this historical landscape surrounded by the soaring Himalayas, sand dunes and mysteries of a bygone era.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Diskit Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7

Nubra

After an early morning wake up call, we drive you up towards the Diksit Gompa. Perched on a hill in the village of Diskit and considered to be the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley, it belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism.It is a sub-gompa of the Thiksey monastery and has a statue of the Cho Rinpoche Dzthe crowned Buddhadz in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. An elevated cupola of the monastery depicts a fresco of The Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet. Start the day with a special prayer high up near the towering Maitreya Buddha. Return to the camp for a comforting breakfast. Morning at leisure. After a sumptuous lunch at Camp, we suggests an adventurous ride on the double hump Bactrian camel on the high altitude cold desert .Relive the dreams and glories of merchants, mercenaries and monks as they trudged these very sands in search of Gold, Glory and God in the days of yore. The sand dunes also whisper lost stories of the bygone Great Game played out in these frontier wildernesses. Option of driving to Chamba House, Hunder .You will be privy to an old heritage home which used to belong to a rich Silk Route era trader. His house walls and ceilings are filled with exotic wall frescos, evident of the Silk Route passing through these very landscapes. Also, do not miss seeing the peculiar statue of the Crying Buddha.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Diskit Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8

Nubra to Leh

Post breakfast, we present you with an option of immersing yourself toa leisurely time at Camp or alternatively , walking /cycling through the village fields bordered with water cannels and make our way to the Yak Breeding Centre and Fishery. These units are vital to Nub ra as it ensures a continuous supply of quality animal husbandry, winter after winter. We could then guide you towards the main village boulevard, along the old mani walls (elongated, almost artfully arranged mounds of stones engravedwith Buddhist prayers and mantras) and whitewashed chortens (dome-shaped monuments housing Buddhist relics) to experience the magic of this frontier town.
Get ready for your journey back to Leh (with packed lunch). On arrival in Leh, check into the camp Thiksey. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax and unwind in the environs of the camp.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Thiksey Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 9

Leh

The day is at leisure. Or, you may choose to embark on a journey to one of the most scenic passes in Ladakh – the Wari La, which is also the world’s fourth-highest motorable road. This pass connects the two most exotic and most travelled valleys in this Trans-Himalayan region. You get a breath-taking view of the Nubra valley, which lies beyond the pass, as well as the many villages dotting the Indus valley. This route opened up only in 2008 as an alternative route into the Nubra valley. After a short safety briefing at the top you will cycle down the best track the Ladakh Himalayas have to offer. The road criss-crosses its way on the mountain side into the green oasis of Shakti village, where we will end our trip and then drive back to camp for a late lunch. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the local village oracle. Buddhists are firm believers in the influence of the spirits on the material world. This is taken into consideration when any new venture or major activity is to be initiated. The lamas associated with the monasteries play the key role of a mediator between the world of the humans and the spirits. Not only do they perform the rites necessary to propitiate the gods, but they also take on the role of astrologers who can predict an auspicious time for starting any work, whether ploughing the fields, or taking in the harvest, arranging a marriage or going on a journey. Today you have the opportunity to drive to the village of the Oracle for a s éance session in Ladakh.

TUTC Chamba Camp, Thiksey Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 10

Depart India

Today you bid farewell to the enchanting and breath-taking mountainous and rugged terrain of Ladakh. Transfer to the airport to board your flight to Delhi. Meet upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel for wash and change. Later on time departure transfer to International airport to board the flight to onward destination/ Home

Overnight Flight Meals: Breakfast