Snow Leopard & Matho Tour Package

Duration : 14 Days / 13 Nights

Destination : Delhi » Leh » Delhi

The very name evokes all that is most wild, mysterious and elusive in nature – for this is an animal that comes cloaked not just in the subtle beauty of its own coat but also in all the high drama of the harsh and magnificent environment that it dominates.
An attractive contrast is between these stone-hard mountain people and the gentle and cheerful Buddhism that they practice. You will have time to visit some of their great monasteries as well as their picturesque villages.

Please note : The Snow Leopard being an elusive and a very shy cat, it is very difficult to get a sight of it during the summer months, but during the winter it comes down for water and prey, and we have chosen the month of February as this is the time when they start mating, marked by a noticeable increase in marking and calling. Above all we have the locals from Rumbak accompanied with us all throughout.

Highest pass : No passes involved/except while tracking, in Hozing & Rumbak you may have to climb uphill, depending on the movement.

Grade : Moderate/strenuous (may have to climb a ridge)

Best period : End of November – December and Starting of Februarary – Mid April

Festival Date : 18th & 19th February

 

Matho Nagrang is celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of Tibetan calendar, at Matho monastery, the only monastery of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. During these two days of festival mask dances are performed by monks of the monastery wearing colorful silk brocaded robes and mask in different forms of God and Goddesses. The festival is famous because of appearance of the two oracles during the festival after full month meditation in complete isolation. The two oracles appear in the courtyard accompanying mask dancers and predict future events and people from far and away come to seek advice to perform ritual to tackle with disasters

Accommodation : During the trek the accommodation in Tented camps, but we also have an option of staying in Homestays at Ule & Rumbak valley.

Weather : Due to peak winter season, the weather conditions are very cold during early morning & evenings, therefore you are requested, carry warm clothings & sleeping bags.

Day 1 :

Fly Delhi – Leh
Fly Delhi / Leh (0545 / 0700)
Arrive Leh
Proceed to your hotel
Rest of the day spent in acclimatization
Overnight at the hotel

Early this morning after a quick cup of tea/coffee you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Leh. This one-hour flight from the Indian capital to Ladakh’s capital will be something that you might remember for the rest of your life.

Welcome to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Meet and assist on arrival and proceed to your hotel. There will be no activity on your first day of arrival as it is recommend for tourists to relax and undergo minimal exertion to enable them to get acclimatized to rarefied oxygen level in this high-altitude region ensconced in the high Himalayan plateau.

Day 2 :

Explore Leh – A Tour of Thiksey, Hemis & Shey Monastery
Early morning tea and coffee at the hotel
Drive to Thiksey Monastery and witness the morning, prayer ceremony
Explore the rest of the monastery and enjoy breakfast at the Thiksey monastery restaurant
Continue touring and visit the Hemis monastery and Shey Monastery
Rest of the day at leisure or an optional walk towards the surrounding
Overnight at the hotel

Today after early tea/coffee, we are driven to Thiksey monastery situated towards the East of Leh picturesquely on a hill-lock, which also houses a two story stucco statue of Maitreya Buddha seated on a lotus, upon arrival we witness the monks gathered in the assembly hall for the Morning for a Prayer ceremony, which begins before sunrise at 6AM, we hear the monks chant their prayers with the beats.

After that you will be guided to visit the other parts of the monastery followed with a breakfast at the Thiksey monastery restaurant. Thereafter drive two kilometers ahead of Thiksey monastery for a photo halt along the banks of River Indus and then you will drive to visit Hemis monastery another 30 kilometers southwest of Thiksey; Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh.

Hemis festival is considered amongst the biggest and most famous of the monastic festivals, and is dedicated to Padmasambhava. Every 12 years, the gompa’s means a (monastery) greatest treasures, a huge Thangka, is ritually exhibited. After that, return to visit Shey monastery, Shey was the summer capital of Ladakh in the past.

The palace, mostly in ruins now, was built first in 1655, near Shey village, by the king of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal, also known as Lhachen Palgyigon. It was used as a summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh. The Shey Monastery was also built in 1655 on the instructions of Deldan Namgyal, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal, within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is so named since Buddha was the sage (muni) of the Sakya people who resided in the Himalayan foothills and their capital was Kapilvastu. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh.
Rest of the day at leisure or an optional walk towards the surrounding

Day 3- 7 :

Drive to Ule Village::
Our next 4 days are in Ule Village is 2 ½ hours drive from main Leh city, passing through small village Likir, Yangthang village and to Ule Phu, situated in a gorge with seven house in existance. Ule is also known as the home for the Elusive Snow leopard in the Sham Valley. The Village is in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges. Its an ideal valley to begin the spotting before we venture out in the Rumbak valley.

Overnight in Tented Camps / Home stays

Day 7-11 :

Drive to Hozing Valley (3700mtrs)/ Rumbak Valley (3800 mtrs)
Early morning drive to Hozing Valley/Rumbak Valley
En route stopping at Zingchan Village
Arrive and proceed to your camp
Overnight at the tented camp
Average driving time approximately 1
Average walking time 2 hours to reach Hozing Valley / Rumbak valley 4 ½ hours
Early morning, transfer to Hozing Valley, which is known for various sightseeing’s, but then again, it all depends on our luck, we continue our walk back to the jeep able road and then continue towards our right to reach Zingchan Village, which again consists of two – three houses, we continue further off the road along the path and the stream crossing the Wild life Dept, office with no one around and then crossing the small bridges, before we finally reach our base camp just below Hozing valley, the base camp is marked with a Buddhist flag, although not a very good campsite, but the best we can figure around the valley.

Later in the afternoon, a visit to the surrounding area, followed with briefing by our guide. Hozing Valley, is a very interesting spot, for the Snow Leopard, as the valley again has good winter grazing, where again you will find the Bharal an delicacy for our cat, feeding with spring waters running all throughout the winter, as the other stream water are frozen, apart from that the valley gives a complete camouflage, to the Snow Leopard with its rocky, stark jagged mountains.
The moment of the Snow Leopard is known and informed by our guides and the horse man (locally from the Rumbak village) and accordingly we follow every morning.

Day 11 :

Rumbak – Zingchan – Leh
Early breakfast at the camp
Depart the camp and walk to Zingchan Village
Board your vehicle and drive to Leh
Overnight at the hotel
Average walking time : 2.5 – 3 hours
Drive to Leh : 1 hour
Today an optional visit in search of the elusive cat before we depart, our camp staff will begin with the packing and then walk towards Zingchan village, where we will have our vehicles waiting to pick us up and then we return to Leh.

Day 12 & 13th :

Attend the Oracle Matho Festival ( Both the days are different & NO photography of the Oracle).
Breakfast at the hotel
Depart for Matho Monastery- one hour drive
Lunch will be at the monastery
We return in the evening back to Leh
Matho Nagrang is celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of Tibetan calander, at Matho monastery, the only monastery of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism. During these two days of festival mask dances are performed by monks of the monastery wearing colorful silk brocaded robes and mask in different forms of God and Goddesses. The festival is famous because of appearance of the two oracles during the festival after full month meditation in complete isolation. The two oracles appear in the courtyard accompanying mask dancers and predict future events and people from far and away come to seek advice to perform ritual to tackle with disasters.

Day 14 :

Leh – New Delhi
Depart for the airport
Connect with your flight to Delhi 9W 610 (0740 / 0855)
Or CD 432 (1050 / 1205)
Today you will be woken up early in the morning, after a hot cup of tea/coffee you will be driven to the airport to connect your flight to New Delhi, this will be your last opportunity catch the spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges.

Our Quote includes the following :
• Accommodation; Includes The Grand Dragon Hotel – 4 star category with heating facility 24 hours
• Meals; Inclusive of Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner in Leh & during treks;
• Transportation; Using Toyota Innova as per the itinerary; with pick-up / Drop from trekking point
• Luggage van; Includes luggage van to drop/pick-up from the trekking point
• Guide; Inclusive of Accompanying English speaking Naturelist guide for
• Trek staff; Includes accompanied Sherpa cook with assistance and accompanied experienced guide
• Equipment; Includes three-season mobile tent; dining tent; kitchen tent; toilet tent all the furniture and crockery’s throughout the trek.
• Ponies; Includes a service of ponies for carrying the provision all throughout the trek
• Water; Includes bottled mineral water in rooms & during sightseeing; boiled filtered water while trek
• Spotting Scope; A common Spotting scope
• Binoculars; A common Binoculars
• Heating facility; Includes Heating in Dinning tent followed with Hot water bottles in bed
• First Aid; Includes first aid kit with oxygen cylinders

The above cost does not include:
• Airfare charges / Extra baggage charges.
• Insurance of any kind, Camera fee, and laundry charges, alcoholic beverages, Mineral water with meals, please note: we don’t encourage bottled water during trek). Items of personal nature, tips and gratuities.
• Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
• Anything not mentioned

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