Sitting at a height of 3500 metres, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Shakti Ladakh is located in one of the most picturesque places in the world; surrounded as it is by snow-capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes. This arid desert region between the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges is often referred to as “little Tibet” and contains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth.
At the very heart of any Shakti Experience are the village walks which enable guests to go off the beaten track far away from the commercialised world, accompanied by porters and guides, to visit the stunningly beautiful distant valleys and villages in the Indus valley. A seven night itinerary includes overnight stays in the villages of Stok, Likhir and Shey. To help guests get a full understanding of the culture and religion of the region, Shakti Ladakh will arrange visits to schools, markets and monasteries, where they can meet with the local people and perhaps take in early morning prayers. It is also possible to camp in some of the really remote areas. However, do not think basic camping, the domed tents are accompanied by the Shakti service and luxuries such as handmade soaps, towels and colonial style wash stands, all of which add to the pleasure of experiencing some of the clearest night skies anywhere.
Water levels permitting river rafting is included in all of the programmes and is a wonderful way to explore Ladakh, on both the Indus and Zanskar rivers. Fed by glaciers, these offer challenging rapids. In addition there is also the opportunity to go bicycling, participate in archery or just simply relax on a hot sunny rooftop, with a good book, drink in hand and marvel at the beautiful scenery.
Open between May and September, Shakti Ladakh offers the perfect antidote to the frenetic world in which most of us live.
A flight from Delhi to Leh is followed by a 20 minute drive to one of seven sympathetically restored village houses scattered around the villages in the valleys. Each provides comfortable accommodation, complete with linen sheets and modern facilities, but without compromising their authenticity. They all have staff, including a chef, on hand to tend to guest’s every need. Delicious gourmet dinners are served each evening, while breakfast could be an al fresco delight served on starched white tablecloths laid out in the morning sunshine.