The Booking of your participation in any journey takes place in three stages:
First step: Filling the application form for participation in the tour. Be sure to include your full name, We work officially and all accounts are registered. Please write your contact so that we have the communication wit you. After your application come to our website - the site administrator will send you a bill at your name for a advance of the tour. Maximum response time: 6 hours. Usually responsible for 1 hour.
Second stage: The reservation to participate in any tour takes place when you make the advance payment of 30% of the tour price to the account of an Indian travel company INCREDIBLE HIMALAYA. The advance is transferred via bank payment systems in any bank, account details will be sent by the administrator to e-mail of participants after getting the application form for participation.
ATTENTION Booking the tour takes place only when the advance payment transferred. If, after receiving of the invoice for advance payment, you do not make a payment within three working days, your application form for participation is automatically canceled by site. If you still want to participate in the tour, you have to apply the form again. When we receive an advance on our bank account we sent payment receipts confirming your participation, as well as a contract for the provision of travel services on this tour. The administrator sends you the electronic copies of receipts and contracts with digital signature and seal by e-mail and if necessary - to the postal address - the original documents. The remaining amount is payable as ayou arrive at the beginning of the trip, in India.
The third stage: Preparing for the journey. We also have a verbal communication on Skype with members of our travels. 2 weeks before the tour we gather the whole group in Skype and discuss preparations for the journey. Also welcome verbal individual consultations on Skype, it helps us to answer all your questions maximized. Because the most of the year we are in India, the main communication with us is Skype.
Attention! You don't need to register on our site to join the tour. If you are unable to fill the application form, please just send your application in letter (free form) - by mail: email@example.com
Attention! If you have not received a response to your letter within 6 hours (maximum response time for a request), please look at the spam folder. Perhaps, our letter got there by mistake. We always reply to requests in a maximally short period of time.
Photo tour Legends of Tibet: Zanskar.
Day 1, September 19: Delhi - Leh (air flight). Leh. Acclimatization.
Day 2, September 20: Leh. Old city. Opening of the festival of folk art. Parade of Masks. Walk along the old Lech, Lech Palace.
Day 3, September 21: Leh - Temisgamp Village - Domkar Village (Da Khan).
Day 4, September 22: Domkar Village - Takmachik Village - Kargil through Sanjak.
Day 5, September 23: Kargil - Rangdum Gonpa Monastery - Padum, Zanskar.
Day 6, September 24: Monasteries of Zongkul Gonpa and Sani Gonpa.
Day 7, September 25: Padum. Karsha Gompa. Dorjetzong Convent.
Day 8, September 26: Padum. Stongdei Gompa, Zangla Gompa.
Day 9, September 27: Padum - Muni Gonpa. Mooney Gonpa, Bardan Gonpa.
Day 10, September 28: Padum - Kargil.
Day 11, September 29: Kargil - Lamayuru Leh.
Day 12, September 30: Leh - Delhi (air flight).
Optionally - a tour of Delhi, in the evening transfer to the airport and return to your homeland.
The cost of the tour for reservations before February 1 is 974 USD,
The cost of the tour for reservations after February 1 is 1170 USD.
Reservation of places for participation in the photo tour to Zanskar occurs when a deposit of $ 120 is paid to the account of the Indian travel company INCREDIBLE HIMALAYA PRIVATE LIMITED.
A security deposit is transferred by a travel participant using payment banking systems in any bank, the details of the current account are sent by the administrator to the participant’s email after receiving an application for participation in the photo tour.
When paying the deposit, a payment receipt is sent to the participant confirming the deposit of money and the reservation of your participation in the trip, as well as an agreement on the provision of travel services for this tour.
The remaining amount is paid by the participant upon arrival at the start of the photo tour, in this case, upon arrival in Leh, Ladakh.
1. Transfers from / to the airport to the hotel in Leh.
2. Movement along the entire route (from the gangway to the gangway of the aircraft) in comfortable cars.
3. Accommodation in double rooms in hotels and guest houses along the photo tour route.
It is possible to stay in a single room, surcharge of USD 302 for the entire route.
4. Information support by the organizers of NCREDIBLE HIMALAYA throughout the tour.
5. Excursion escort of the local (culture bearer) English-speaking guide of the NCREDIBLE HIMALAYA Team along the entire tour route to Zanskar.
6. Registration of permits to the border zones of Aryan villages Da Hannu.
7. Lecture on the basic values of the culture of Tibetan Buddhism in Zanskar and Ladakh.
8. Lecture on ethnographic and landscape photography in Zanskar.
9. A picnic with ethnic ethnic cuisine in the village of Domkar, Da Hanu.
10. Participation in the festival-festival of folk art Ladakh.
11. All fees and taxes on the tour route.
1. Flight to Delhi airport and back.
Air travel from Europe to Delhi and back is very inexpensive:
You can buy these tickets at a cost of about $ 300 in both directions.
2. Flight Delhi - Leh - Delhi. Estimated airfare from $ 80 to $ 120.
These tickets are redeemed immediately after making a deposit to participate in the trip:
PhotoTour Project administrators assist tour participants in purchasing these tickets at the lowest cost.
It should also be noted that the sooner tickets are bought, the cheaper they are.
3. Tourist visa to India 25 $, is issued online 7 days before arrival in India.
4. Meals during the photo tour, about $ 140 for the entire trip.
5. Entrance fees to monasteries, about $ 10 for the whole time.
6. The cost of permits to the closed border zones of Ladakh (the road through Sanjak, the Aryan villages of Da Khan), $ 20 per permit.
7. Medical insurance: issued by each participant individually.
8. Mandatory tips for drivers and the English-speaking tour guide at the rate of $ 1 per day.
9. Everything that is not listed in the list of "The price includes a tour."
Zanskar photo tour focused on active photographers and travelers.
This photo tour does not have special requirements for physical condition and health.
You should also not worry about altitude acclimatization:
we are able to carry out acclimatization and, almost all of our tourists, easily tolerate the climate and heights of Zanskar and Ladakh.
The tour has age restrictions: from 15 years to 64 years.
APPLICATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PHOTO TOUR IN ZANSKAR IS POSSIBLE TILL AUGUST 20, 2020.
But recording in a photo tour can be stopped earlier - as soon as a group of 12 people is typed.
The number of participants in the photo tour is fixed, including transport.
If you want to go on a photo tour of Zanskar, please reserve places for participation in advance.
The conditions on the tour are as comfortable as possible for Ladakh:
- in Leh: a cozy warm hotel with hot water, with a bathroom and a toilet in the room, wi-fi in the room.
- in the village of Donkar: a new cozy guest house, showers and toilets in each room. Homemade Tibetan food.
- in Kargil: hotel, in-room amenities, hot water and internet. Clean and comfortable. Excellent cuisine: delicious and very satisfying.
- in Paduma: the best hotel in Paduma with hot water, with an en suite bathroom and toilet.
But it makes sense to understand that this is the remote (transcendental in the literal sense of the word) kingdom of Zanskar, and this means that:
hot water is supplied from the solarium and will only be in the evening in fine weather.
Electricity is supplied only after 19.00 pm.
- on the territory of Ladakh (to Kargil) - a comfortable spacious pace traveler,
All cars are new and comfortable.
For those who want to ask questions about organizing and participating in the Zanskar photo tour, please contact us:
Phones for communication:
+ 91 94 19 274 735 (India) - Ilona Kryzhanovskaya, Project Manager PhotoTour, India.
+ 91 95 96 796 372 (WhatsApp, Vacap) - PhotoTour Project, India.
il-il-il (or search the email address firstname.lastname@example.org) - Ilona Kryzhanovskaya, Head of the PhotoTour Project.
Brasilia3090 - Nina Lozenko, Director of the PhotoTour Project.
email@example.com - Ilona Kryzhanovskaya, Project Manager PhotoTour
firstname.lastname@example.org - Nina Lozenko, Director of the PhotoTour Project
A team of organizers is working on a photo tour in Zanskar:
Ilona Kryzhanovskaya - PhotoTour Project Manager, ethnographer, professional photographer.
Sonam Rinchen is a partner and co-founder of the PhotoTour Project.
Otzer Rinchen is the head of the PhotoTour Project Guides team.
Nina Lozenko - Director-Administrator of the PhotoTour Project.
Our local Ladakh English-speaking culture guides, PhotoTour Project team.
A team of driver-guides along the entire route of the photo tour.
For participants in the Zanskar photo tour, we recommend that you read it,
there are answers to all questions on the conditions of the tour and preparation for it:
Recommendations and rules for photo travelers and travelers in Ladakh, Zanskar and the Spiti Valley (Little Tibet).
Traditionally, in September we conduct budget photo tours and tours to the most interesting places of Ladakh, and these trips have the marker "Legends of Tibet."
In September 2016, for the first time, we held such a budget tour in Zanskar in September, before that we went to Zanskar only in the summer.
And we really liked it.
It turned out that in September Zanskar not only does not lose its charm, but also acquires an incredible autumn charm, which highlights the Kingdom of Zanskar from a completely different, unknown side:
ringing autumn air - transparent, depicting every detail, a variety of colors, lilac twilight, and most importantly - silence, we were the only tourist group at that time, mild warm weather.
We repeated this journey in 2017 - 2019, we repeat in 2020, already in the PHOTO TOUR format.
ACCENTS OF PHOTO TOUR IN ZANSKAR:
- Art photography of the high valleys of Ladakh, glacial valleys and glaciers of Zanskar.
- Ethnographic and portrait photography in remote villages and monasteries of Zanskar, Ladakh and the Aryan valley of Da Hanu.
In some villages we will be the first tourists.
Phototour will be very interesting for photographers of any level - from pros to amateurs, and just active tourists.
For professional photographers, this journey is a great opportunity to collect material for an individual exhibition.
For amateur photographers, this is a good practical school for continuous photography in places where you can take pictures around the clock.
For tourists - this is an incredible journey, analogues which you will not find in more than one tour operator. And, as a bonus, learn the basics of travel photography.
The budget tour "Legends of Tibet: Zanskar" is an autumn replica of the summer Great Photo Tour to Zanskar,
but it is carried out at a completely different cost while maintaining the almost complete program of the Great Phototour to Zanskar.
Unconditional "highlights" of this trip to Zanskar are:
1. Photographing in the remote villages of the Aryans in the gorge of Da Hanu.
These are the Ladakh arias.
The Da Hanu Gorge itself is infinitely beautiful.
2. Zanskar valley - a lost world, a Buddhist kingdom lying in the heart of the Himalayas.
Zanskar is one of the highest and most inaccessible Himalayan regions of North India.
But precisely because of its isolation from the outside world, Zanskar still retained its primitive way of life - for example, it is here that polyandry (polythery) is still preserved - when all brothers from the same family marry one girl and live in a fractal family.
It also includes stunningly beautiful landscapes, the desertedness of those places and a visit to the most unusual nunnery in Indian Tibet.
Moreover - we will not just visit Zanskar, we will also visit the remote, unusual gompas (monasteries) of the Zanskar valley.
3. Landscape photography in four beautiful valleys: Ladakh, Zanskar, Lamayuru and Dha Hannah.
The places there are extraordinary, you can shoot around the clock, please look into our photo galleries and you will understand without words: Tibet photo gallery.
4. Taking pictures in the model village of Takmachik.
Photographing in the village of Takmachik, a specially recreated ancient Ladakh village located in a very beautiful place in the Dha Khanu gorge.
5. Photographing on the glacier and among the glaciers of Duck Tok Glacier lakes.
This is a separate and great song about incredible beauty.
No one but us takes tourists or photographers to this glacier; everyone usually just passes by and looks at the majestic giant from the road.
And in 2016 we found a trail that leads to glacier moraines in incredible places.
Not dangerous. Not hard. And impeccably beautiful.
The tour can also be attended not only by photographers, but simply by travel enthusiasts.
All the photos in the description of the photo tour were taken by us during our travels in Ladakh and Zanskar and these are the places that you really see and where you will visit, taking into account the tour schedule, weather, etc.
Photos are clickable to large size, just click on the photo and it will open in a new window.
In the description of each day of the Zanskar photo tour, the heading gives an approximate mileage for each day and the heights of the places visited.
Day 1, September 19: Delhi - Leh (air flight). Leh. Acclimatization.
Height is 3 600 m.
Arrival at New Delhi International Airport from your country of residence.
We issue an electronic visa, get luggage and go to one of the terminals of local airlines:
D3 is in the same building
D2 - a little further, you need to turn left from the building of the terminal of international airlines and walk 100 m through the tunnel.
This is a common practice on our tours in Ladakh:
flights on which participants of our tours arrive at New Delhi airport usually arrive at terminal D3 from 2 to 5 in the morning, immediately go to the departure terminal and fly off to Leh in one of the morning flights.
We take air tickets for the Delhi – Leh flight so that the time margin between external and internal flights is 3-4 hours.
Flight to Leh, 1 hour 20 minutes.
The flight Delhi-Leh itself is an exciting photo shooter for photographers, the plane flies over the most beautiful peaks of the Himalayas.
When buying airline tickets, we highly recommend immediately booking seats near portholes.
For those who want to photograph mountain ranges from an airplane, places 25F to 30F and 25A to 30A will be most successful.
Flight Delhi-Leh, 1 hour 20 minutes.
By the way, the Leh-Delhi flight itself is a stunningly beautiful sight, a real action for photographers, since the flight takes place over the magnificent peaks of the Himalayan Range.
Flight Delhi-Leh, 1 hour 20 minutes.
By the way, the Leh-Delhi flight itself is a stunningly beautiful sight, since we will fly to the Himalayan Range, a photo shoot in fact.
Arriving in Ladakh, the plane makes a beautiful U-turn over the Hindu river valley and lands at the only airport in the valley - in the city of Leh, altitude 3,600 m.
In Leh, the tour participants are welcomed right at the airport exit by a team of organizers with a large and cheerful poster FOTOTUR.
From the airport, we immediately go to our cozy, quiet hotel, settle down, relax after flights.
We meet all participants in the photo tour according to an individual schedule.
The first day in Lech - acclimatization:
we drink tea and coffee, we talk about the tour program, in the afternoon we will go on a leisurely adaptation walk in the center of Leh.
We have dinner at the wonderful Penguin cafe, we drink live fresh juices.
In the evening after dinner, our first lecture will be held on the basic foundations of subcultural values in Ladakh and Zanskar.
Hotel in Leh.
Day 2, September 20: Leh. Old city. Opening of the festival of folk art. Parade of Masks. Walk along the old Leh, Leh Palace.
Height 3 600 - 3 800 m.
We have a rather difficult trip to Zanskar and we need to go through acclimatization according to the full program, so that then during the photo tour the participants can safely take pictures for 10-12 hours a day.
And we will have fun acclimatization:
The first active day of our tour coincides with one of the most beautiful folk festivals of Ladakh -
Autumn festival of folk art and culture of the Ladakh region.
Today in the morning and all day we are present and taking pictures at the parade of Ladakh folk art festival.
This is truly an amazing sight:
a huge demonstration parade with dances, chants will stretch across the entire Leh and all the Ladakh ethnic groups in national costumes will take part in the parade.
This is one of the most beautiful holidays of Lech, and most importantly for photographers - it will be possible to shoot inside the festival - it is easy and affordable.
The parade also usually hosts the Sacred Masks and Snow Lions Parade.
In the afternoon, we go for a walk along Old Leh, this part of the city is under the protection of UNESCO.
Old walls, narrow streets.
Gradually we rise to the Leh Royal Palace, walk in the palace, and then escort the sun to the upper observation deck of the Royal Palace.
Hotel in Leh.
Day 3, September 21: Leh - Temisgamp Village - Domkar Village (Da Khan), about 148 km.
Altitudes 3,600 m - 3,400m.
Today we are already quite a working day:
early in the morning we set off on the road down the Hindu River to Temisgamp village.
Incredibly beautiful views await us along the way, for example, the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers.
Or - Basgo Gonpa Monastery, hanging in the burgundy rocks above the village of the same name.
Of course, we will stay in all such places.
Closer to dinner, we arrive at the village of Temisgamp.
This is a Ladakh village remote from tourist routes, where you can get acquainted with how real Ladakhs live in our time.
Everything was preserved here, like 200 years ago, such an age of the village.
There is practically no electricity, stone houses, kitchen gardens, in general, such an ethnic walk around in all its glory.
We wander around the village, take pictures.
In the afternoon we set off further - to the village of Domkar, in the gorge of the Aryans Da Khanu.
These are very unusual places:
here multi-colored vertical walls and white Buddhist stupas literally hang in the air on the small heels of a flat surface among these rocks.
A little about the Aryans of the mountain valley Da Khan:
It was in these places that Hitler organized expeditions "for Aryan blood", it was here that German ethnographic scientists, having made a lot of measurements of the facial bones, skulls, found those who later became known as "true Aryans."
Currently, there are two Dardic tribes in the territory of the former Ladakh kingdom that have preserved their native language: Dardas from Dra, and Dardas from Da (Dha).
The first became Muslims in the 16th century.
The most interesting case are the dards from Da (Dha - Hanu).
They did not accept the faith of Muhammad, but Buddhism was not fully accepted by them either - their religious practices more closely resemble the ancient pre-Buddhist religion of Bon.
Thanks to this, they were able to maintain their cultural uniqueness.
Their external dissimilarity and peculiarity lies not only in the shape and facial features, but also in the details of their ethnic clothes.
All men and women wear a hat, the main decoration of which is the red flowers of the physalis (wild strawberry), which protect against demons and bring wealth.
In all forms of art, drokpa has symbols of swastika and the sun: in carved decorations on houses, in ornaments of antique dishes and household utensils.
There are also many natural and astronomical symbols.
Drokpa surprisingly combines mixed traditions in relation to food - they do not eat poultry and cow meat, but keep them for eggs and milk. They eat only lamb.
About 2,000 people remained in Ladakh in Aryans and they live in 5 villages and marry only within their ethnic group.
And we are going to visit our friends in such an Aryan village.
After a busy day in Domkar, a real Ladakh picnic awaits us:
a magnificent dinner will be prepared for our arrival, consisting exclusively of dishes of Aryan cuisine Da Khan.
And we will have dinner not in the guest house, but in the house of our friends, in the guest room:
on special mattresses lying on the floor and covered with carpets, behind small wooden painted Tibetan tables.
And before dinner - an evening walk through the ancient ethnic village of Domkar.
And, of course, a lot of ethnographic photography, including in the old abandoned houses of the village.
Guest House in the village of Domkar.
Day 4, September 22: Village of Domkar - Village of Takmachik - Kargil via Sandzhak, about 160 km.
Altitudes 3,400m - 4,000m - 2,800m.
Early rise - to the regime light and we go to the village of Takmachik.
This is a model village in which the life and conditions of the village Ladakh community in original traditions are specially restored.
We wander around the village for some time, take pictures - the Takmachik village is located in a very convenient place for regime landscape photography.
And we continue our indirect (usually tourists go by a short road) Way to Zanskar.
But we will go to Zanskar by no means a tourist road:
The first part of the day we will spend on the local mountain road passing through the remote Ladakh villages and overlooking the Leh - Kargil highway only in the Sanjak area.
There are incredibly beautiful and wild places, almost no one except the locals comes here.
The road is unpaved and not always comfortable, but it's worth it:
this trip is almost into the Buddhist Middle Ages.
And a little about Zanskar.
Zanskar is a lost world lying in the heart of the Himalayas. This is the most inaccessible mountainous area in Ladakh.
Surrounded by high mountains that do not allow penetration there for almost eight months a year, this world preserves peoples with their original culture and traditions.
The only road to Zanskar starts from the city of Kargil and runs along the beautiful Sura valley along the river, past numerous Muslim villages, fields and gardens.
Muslims, mainly Sunnis, have settled here since the 16th century.
The majestic peaks of the Kun and Nun mountains, the highest in the region, open for viewing near the village of Tongul.
This is how the road to Zanskar begins,
we leave Kargil and mountain valleys begin to unfold in front of us gradually - we will see all this tomorrow morning:
And then, in all their pristine beauty, on the right side of the road, glaciers will alternate:
Pass Paracachic la is the gateway to Zanskar. The population of Zanskar, with very few exceptions, is Buddhists.
Sunni Muslims make up a very small fraction of its total.
Most of the peoples living in Zanskar are of Tibetan and Indo-European origin. These are dards and monas.
Already on the way, we will probably meet with Zanskari.
Given the isolation of this region, its inhabitants always tended to be independent, although foreign trade was necessary to purchase goods that local residents could not do on their own.
The main occupations of people are raising domestic animals and cultivating land, which is always insufficient.
Therefore, a system of complex irrigation is developed in Zanskar in order to carry enough water to the fields.
Due to the shortage of land suitable for plowing, the birth rate and population in Zanskar are small.
This, in fact, is what the Paduma Valley looks like, where we will go tomorrow with you.
The historical system of marriage and family, in which several brothers are married to the same woman (polyandry), was due to the need to preserve the population.
Buddhist monasteries in Zanskar are important monastic centers. Some of them date back thousands of years from their founding.
Here, deep in the Himalayas, they protect and preserve the purity of the ancient teachings of Buddha.
In the evening we arrive in Kargil, we are located in a very comfortable and respectable hotel.
Hotel in Kargil.
Day 5, September 23: Kargil - Rangdum Gonpa Monastery - Padum, Zanskar, about 250 km.
Altitudes 2,800 m - 5,080 m (Pencil pass) - 3,600 m.
And again, we spend the whole day on the road.
Numerous "landscape" stops are planned.
Today we have to overcome the Penzi La pass (4440 km).
Penzi La Pass - often called the gate of Zanskar, it connects the Suru Valley, where Kargil lies, and the Zanskar Valley.
A 240 km highway connecting Kargil and Padum leads through it.
The road is really very beautiful: numerous glaciers, trough valleys, edelweiss glades, alpine glacial lakes.
In the middle of the day we will reach the Buddhist monastery Rangdum Gonpa.
The village of Rangdum is a small village halfway between Kargil and Padum, the capital of Zanskar.
Rangdum is the farthest and most isolated small settlement of the Suru Valley.
5 km from the settlement is the Buddhist monastery Rangdum Gompa (XVIII century) - a typical monastery-fortress, overlooking the surroundings and guarding the path to the valley.
There are Buddhist relics in the monastery and several dozen monks live.
Due to its remoteness from other settlements, the Gangpa Rangdum is not often visited by tourists, but we will take this opportunity - it’s worth it: the monastery is surprisingly cozy and beautiful.
Around the monastery lies an endless clearing with edelweiss: there are so many of them, perhaps, only here.
And then the road goes down and we will see the Gate of Zanskar - a magnificent bright blue glacial lake, after which everything somehow elusively changes, as if you are in another world - Zanskar.
In the evening we arrive in Padum, Zanskar.
Hotel in Padum.
Day 6, September 24: Monasteries of Zongkul Gonpa and Sani Gonpa, about 80 km.
Height 3,800 m.
Today we will visit the Buddhist monasteries of Zongkul Gonpa and Sani Gonpa.
Zongkul Gonpa Monastery (Dzongkhul Gompa) is a cave monastery facing the Ating gorge.
The zonkul is associated with the name of Naropa, who is believed to have used two local caves for meditation, left an imprint of his foot on the rock, and in one of the caves - a sacred spring.
After this, the monastery became especially revered by yogis, and all the Mahasiddhi of Zanskar considered it their duty to conduct their meditation here.
Here enlightened masters such as Dubchen Kung Gyatzo, Dubchen Navang Tsering, Tsapda Dorzhe, Karmapa, Kung Choslang meditated.
The monastery has unique artifacts, including an image of Samvara from ivory, a crystal stupa, sacred manuscripts with texts of prayers and spiritual songs, information about outstanding mahasiddhas.
The gonpa is adorned with magnificent frescoes made by Jadpa Dorje three hundred years ago.
On the way back to Padum we call in the Buddhist monastery of Sani Gonpa.
Sani Gompa Monastery (Sani) is one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
The gompa does not stand on a hill or mountain, as is customary, but on a plain, like a castle.
Near the monastery there are plantings of ancient poplars - a rather rare occurrence in the treeless Zanskar.
Sani Monastery was founded in the VIII century, according to legend, by Padmasambhava himself and is also associated with the name of Naropa, who is believed to have meditated here.
Sani Gompa belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist school and is considered the oldest religious building of Ladakh and Zanskar.
This is the only monastery in Ladakh in which Nannari (lady monk) are allowed to live.
We’ll visit them - they’re wonderful and the young ladies are very wonderful, we have been friends for a long time.
In the gompa - a temple with beautiful frescoes and the Chorten Kanika, whose name is believed to be derived from the name of the legendary Indian king Kanishka,
who founded an empire with borders from Varanasi to Afghanistan.
The Sani Gompa also has an ancient cremation field for especially important occasions; stones with carvings made in the Indian style are installed there.
This is one of the eight most important cremation fields for Tibetan Buddhism.
From time to time, the monks of Sani Gompa, at the request of local residents, cook goat heads and some other offerings of local residents in a cauldron. Skulls of goats are given to the villagers and they hang them at the entrance to the house, as a talisman.
And even from this fragmentary description it becomes clear how unusual the place of the Sani Gompa is.
The village of Sani is an amazingly graphic place, here you can wander for hours among houses and fields and there is always something to photograph,
some kind of continuous maze - from houses with attached stairs to birds flying up into the sky.
We return to Padum. On the way - evening photography.
Hotel in Padum.
Day 7, September 25: Padum. Karsha Gompa. Dorjecong Nunnery, about 50 km.
Altitudes of the order of 3800 - 4000 m.
Karsha gompa or Kurcha gompa is the largest Buddhist monastery in Zanskar, according to legend, founded by guru Rinpoche by the holy Padmasambhava in the X century.
Belongs to the Gelugpa tradition, a large monastic community lives here - about 150 monks, there are numerous shrines and relics, including magnificent tanks painted with gold.
Wonderful 700-year-old frescoes are also preserved, similar to those that can be seen in Alchi.
The monastery has murals by Lama Dzadla Dorje, the relics of Rinchen Dorje and a statue of Lhaso Cho Rinpoche, taken here from Lhasa after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, are kept.
The statue has a golden crown and is decorated with turquoise and carnelian.
In the chorten near the monastery, according to the monks, the relics of Rinchen Zangpo himself are stored.
By tradition, the monastery is run by the younger brother of the Dalai Lama.
In fact, it is a monastery city.
Inside the monastery, the incredible beauty of the wall paintings has been preserved.
We will rise to the very top of the monastery of the city.
In the evening, we will also visit the Khagpsar, Purang and Phagspa gompas and located near the Dorjetzong Nunnery, in which there is a statue of the eleven-headed Avalokiteshvara.
We have always been welcomed very kindly at the convent and this is a wonderful opportunity to talk with nuns of different ages and talk about faith, Buddhism, and how they chose their Way.
Virtually all Nannari (Lady Lamas) speak excellent English.
From here, an incredibly beautiful view of the valley of Paduma opens, and if we are lucky and will rain, weather, then in the evening, in the low sun, a rainbow will unfold over the valley
(Please note, in the foreground is Karcha Monastery, where we were in the morning):
Hotel in Padum.
Day 8, September 26: Padum. Stongdei Gompa, Zangla Gompa, about 70 km.
Heights from 3,600 m to 3,800 m.
Buddhist monastery Stongdey gompa (Stongdey) - is considered the second most important monastery in Zanskar and is located 18 km from Padum.
Founded in 1052 by Lama Lhodak Marpa Choski Lodos and belongs to Tsongkhapa School.
The greatest prosperity was achieved with the assistance of Zangpo Shakya.
It is believed that the supreme ministers of this monastery are the reincarnation of Nari Tulku.
There are seven temples with magnificent wall paintings that adorn the interiors.
The monastery is located in wild places, and near Stongdei Gonpa it is likely that we will meet, for example, a herd of wild goats.
The observation deck of Stongdei Gonpa Monastery offers spectacular views of the Paduma Valley.
Especially if we are lucky with the weather.
In the afternoon we will go to the village of Zangla.
By the way, for the first time we will look at the Zangla valley from the Stongdei Gonpa monastery:
to the left - Padum, to the right - Zangla.
The Zangla Gompa Buddhist Monastery is an ancient monastery over the abyss, next to which are the ruins of a convent and an old castle.
And the Zangly gorge itself is something that destroys any stereotypes of perception of reality:
inverted chest folds, stone mushrooms, mountains of all colors of the rainbow.
Ethnographic photography is also planned in the village of Zangla.
Hotel in Padum.
Day 9, September 27: Padum - Muni Gonpa. Muni Gonpa, Bardan Gonpa, about 50 km.
Heights up to 3 800 m.
Early in the morning we set off up the gorge from Paduma to the Buddhist monastery of Muni Gonpa.
The places are still fantastic: you can use various synonyms for this adjective, but all one is that it is impossible to describe the landscapes of Zanskar with words.
The Muni Buddhist monastery (Muney Gonpa) is one of the remote places of Zanskar, it is not described in any guidebook.
The monastery belongs to the Gelug school, founded in the 12th century.
There is a school of young lamas at the monastery, which we will also visit if the circumstances are successful.
The walls of the Muni Gonpa monastery are very unconventionally painted.
But we will talk about this in the monastery itself.
On the way back we visit the Bardan Gonpa Buddhist monastery, located on a cliff above the river itself.
Inside the monastery there are very bright interiors, for those who take still lifes there is simply a paradise.
Today we return to Padum at 17.00.
In the evening - rest, because tomorrow morning we will have a very early rise.
Hotel in Padum.
Day 10, September 28: Padum - Kargil, about 270 km.
Altitudes: 3 600 m - 5 100 m - 2800 m.
A very interesting day awaits us today: we rise early in the morning and then go off on the way back to Kargil.
It is dark in order to get to the place with glaciers and beautiful glacial lakes in the shooting time.
In fine weather, we will take a short walk to the Drag Drock Gletcher Glacier.
A lot of landscape and panoramic photography.
After lunch in the vicinity of the glacier, we continue on our journey - to Kargil.
And the golden road awaits us in all plans - everything will be in orange and yellow colors.
Throughout the afternoon, there are numerous stops for landscape photography.
We will arrive in Kargil in the evening: further - rest, unhurried walks around Kargil.
Hotel in Kargil.
Day 11, September 29: Kargil - Lamayuru - Leh, about 260 km.
Heights: from 2 800 m to 3 600 m.
Early in the morning we leave towards Lech.
But we will return to Leh in a completely different way than we went to Kargil.
And again - the mass of everything interesting, for example, such a stone gonpa monastery:
And the golden autumn road:
Closer to the middle of the day we arrive in the Aryan village of Lamayuru.
Here we will see Lamayuru from the pass Fotu La.
We will spend about 2 hours in the village of Lamayuru and the Bon monastery of Lamayuru Gonpa.
Walks in the magnificent village of Lamayuru.
And we return to Leh not along the federal highway Kargil - Leh, but near the village of Lamayuru we will turn onto the upper old road.
Again this road, again, no one has been carrying tourists for 10 years already, and only the military use it.
But it is from here that incredible views of Moon Land open - Moon Earth, a place that is one of the main decorations of the Lamayuru Valley.
Landscape photography from the upper road.
And on the lower road we will look a little down):
But along such a road, along such a serpentine, we will descend from the military road down to the Indus Valley.
Toward evening we return to Leh.
Hotel in Leh.
Day 12, September 30: Leh - Delhi (air flight).
Early in the morning - transfer to the airport and flight Leh - Delhi.
And again - incredible pictures of the Himalayan mountains.
Upon arrival in Delhi, optionally - a tour of Delhi, in the evening transfer to the airport and return to your homeland.