Ladakh is a center for Buddhist art and culture – unique in India. Shakti Himalaya – committed to immersing its guests into this civilization – has developed a range of experiences for small groups and families to tap into this cultural heritage.
From May – September, guests can enjoy this series of creative and sporting activities:
- Archery – the traditional game of Ladakh, archery is played in every corner and village. It is a vital component in the social activities of the Ladakhi people. Shakti guests, young and old, will be invited to participate in an arrow shooting competition, shooting at the ‘isa ga’ (bull’s eye) in the local village. Winners will lead the traditional dance at the end of a day’s competition.
- Textiles and fashion – the making of textiles is deeply embedded in Ladakhi creativity with fabrics being produced for everyday as well as rich timeless costumes. Guests will be invited to the Ladakhi textile museum in Leh, owned by local designer Jigmet Coture, to observe the intricate handloom work from start to finish and even have a go to create their own designs from nomadic weaves to silk brocades.
- Pottery – famed for pottery and gompa, Likhir is a locally famous pottery village found along the dusty Indus road. Here guests can discover the art of ancient pottery, and Likhir’s 1000-year-old monastery, which houses a small museum filled with ancient artefacts. With only 3 potters who continue to produce work in the ancient style, Shakti guests are invited to learn this ancient technique.
- Painting & Sculpture – for those interested in art, Shakti will arrange a meeting with a local Thanka (religious silk flags) painter or sculpture maker to gain insight into this sacred art that dates back to the 7th century – an important and highly developed means of expression.
These insightful cultural activities all take place to the backdrop of Ladakh’s extraordinary landscape – a high altitude, rocky landscape dominated by rugged, snow-capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes. The region is one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth, and a fascinating experience for any traveller.
Staying in a combination of Shakti’s village houses, every itinerary is created individually, building a bespoke holiday, including trekking, camping and relaxation in this magical kingdom. Accompanied by local porters and guides, guests will walk between villages, visit local schools, temples, monasteries and markets, to get a full understanding of the culture of Ladakh, its people, religion and customs. The walks are the perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in, and can be completely tailored to suit the pace and fitness of the traveller.
Shakti Ladakh (available from May to end September annually) offer 7-night journey from US$ 6,507 (£4,559) per person based on 2 sharing, and including private accommodation in village houses on a fully inclusive basis including all meals and beverages, all activities including two raft trips, an accompanying English speaking guide, private chef, support guide and porters, car at disposal and taxes with transfers between Leh Airport and the village experience. Flights not included. For booking or information contact: www.shaktihimalaya.com / +44 203 151 5177 / email@example.com