KASHMIR & LADHAK 2016 – Traveling in Beauty and Gnosis


See the Photo-Contest of the Tour


Within the framework of the educational programs, the Indo-Hellenic Society for Culture and Development organizes a cultural journey to the beautiful areas of Dharamshala, Kashmir and Ladhak in Northwest India, which over time have become the cradle of the most sophisticated philosophical and spiritual traditions of India.

According to the Indian tradition, this journey includes some of the most important places of astonishing beauty and spiritual power (tirthas)  that inspire even for a short while to forget the mundane concerns and step towards spiritual liberty (moksha).


Date: 7 – 26 July 2016.


Duration of the trip: 20 days (18 days in India plus 2 days international journey).

The total duration of the trip in India is 20 days. Those who have limited time available can register for the first 11 days which include travelling to Dharamsala, Jammu and Kashmir, the remaining 9 days include the trip to Ladhak.


The Program of the Journey has been configured as follows:

map-kashmir-ladhak-16

Day 1 (July 7). Departure from Athens International Airport at 13:40 and arrival in Doha at 18:00. Departure from Doha for New Delhi at 19:55.

Day 2 (July 8). Arrival at IGIA in New Delhi at 2.00 am.  Boarding to a private bus for DharamshalaThe route (490 km. 10 hours) is considered one of the best in India and passes through Kurukshetra, where took place the great battle of Mahabharata, the Jyotisar, where Lord Krishna taught Arjuna the Bhagavad Gita, and Chandigarh the capital of Punjab and Haryana. Arrival in Dharamshala in the early afternoon. Relaxation and and overnight stay at McLeod Ganj.

Day 3 (July 9).  After breakfast, visit to St. John church, to the Temple of Dalai Lama, to Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Studies.  Overnight stay at McLeod Ganj.

Day 4 (July 10). After breakfast, graphic walk to Bhagsu Waterfall and Bhagsunag Temple (2 km.) and sightseeing in Dharmasala. Later visit to Tibetan market. Overnight stay at McLeod Ganj.

Day 5 (July 11). After breakfast, proceed to Katra. On the way visit to Raghunath Mandir & Shiv Temple in Jammu (182 km. 5 ½ hrs). Later continue to Katra. On arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Katra.

Day 6 (July 12).  After breakfast, full day visit to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi by trek.  Return and overnight stay at Katra.

Day 7 (July 13). After breakfast, transfer to Srinagar (295 km). On arrival check-in at Hotel. Evening enjoy Shikara Ride at Dal Lake, to see vegetable market, Char Chinar, floating gardens etc. Overnight stay at Hotel in Srinagar.

Day 8 (July 14). After breakfast, visit to Ishvara Ashram of Swami Laxmanjoo followed by visit to Mughal Garden Nishat and Shalimar. Overnight stay at Hotel in Srinagar.

Day 9 (July 15). After breakfast, visit Shankaracharya Temple, the museum, old city and sightseeing in Srinagar. Overnight stay at Hotel in Srinagar

Day 10 (July 16). After breakfast, transfer to Kargil (234 km.) with a stop in Sonamarg via Sidhu River and the Dras Valley. Overnight stay at Hotel in Kargil

Day 11 (July 17). After breakfast, drive to Leh (234 km.) On arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel in Leh (altitude – 3524 m).

Day 12 (July 18). After breakfast, enjoy sightseeing of Leh, visit the palace and Buddhist sites. Later visit the confluence (sangam) of Indus and Zanskar rivers. Overnight stay at hotel in Leh.

Day 13 (July 19). After breakfast, optional full day excursion to Lake Pangong (140 km, altitude – 4350 m). The route to Pangong Lake passes through the beautiful Ladakh countryside, over Chang La, the third highest motorable mountain pass (5.289 m) in the world. Return and overnight stay at hotel in Leh.

Day 14 (July 20). After breakfast, optional full day excursion to Khardungla Pass, the second highest motorable mountain pass (5.359 m), later back to Leh. Overnight stay at hotel in Leh.

Day 15 (July 21). After breakfast, visit to the Tibetan Hemis Monastery, which is particularly important for those who claim that Jesus studied in India and Tibet, and the Hemis National Park, inhabited by snow leopards. Return and overnight in Leh.

Day 16 (July 22). After breakfast, transfer to Kargil (245 km.) with stops at Alchi and Lamayuru monasteries. Overnight stay at Hotel in Kargil

Day 17 (July 23): After breakfast, transfer to Srinagar with a stop at Sonamarg. Overnight stay at Hotel in Srinagar.

Day 18 (July 24): After breakfast, transfer to Srinagar airport to board the flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel in New Delhi.

Day 19 (July 25): After breakfast, enjoy sightseeing & shopping in Delhi. Overnight stay at Hotel in New Delhi.

Day 20 (July 26): After breakfast, transfer to Delhi International airport to board the flight for Athens at 10.05 am. Arrival in Athens at 19:20 and end of the journey.


Services included in the tour package:

  1. Hotels – Double rooms in 3 star hotels extra charge for single rooms. The hotel names are given below for reference.

03 nights in Mcleod Ganj –  Hotel Holiday Hill.

02 nights in Katra – Hotel Rani Maa.

04 nights in Srinagar – Majestic Houseboat.

02 night in Kargil – Hotel Caravan Sarai.

05 nights in Leh – Hotel La Buddha.

           02 nights in Delhi –  Hotel Krishna or similar.

 

  1. Meals – Daily breakfast in Hotels. Dinner can be included, the rates are given below.
  2. Transportation –  A 35 AC seater coach from Delhi to Dharamshala. 2 Tempo from Srinagar-Ladhak Srinagar.
  3. Availability of Horses – For Vaishno Devi and Amarnath Yatra, take horses on the spot charge is not included.
  4. Communication – wi-fi will be available free or at a reasonable charge  in most of the hotels. In some places no communication available due to the high altitude. Indian sim cards are available with presentation of the required documents, see HERE.
  5. Shikara ride – Exclusive Shikara ride at Dal Lake Srinagar for one hour.
  6. English Speaking guide / s – One local experienced tour guide in all mayor cities.
  7. Lectures and Seminars – Lectures by local teachers and monks in ashrams and monasteries. Introductory seminars on “Kashmir Shaivism” and “Mahayana Buddhism” by Indologist Dr Dimitrios Vassiliadis.
  8. Cultural Programs – To be advised later which folk programs will be available.

Requirements:

  1. Sound physical condition. Read the Health Advisory HERE
  2. Medical Tests: Ask your doctor about your fitness for traveling to high altitude.
  3. Proper clothing: Suitable for trekking and living at high altitude.
  4. Simple living and basic knowledge and understanding of Indian culture.
  5. All participants should be members of ELINEPA. If you are not a member yet, please download the Membership Form HERE
Download and read the book of Medex with instructions for traveling at high altitude HERE
travel-at-high-altitude

Cost: The exact cost will be adjusted in accordance with the transportation, hotel and service prices we shall face (including international airfare). Based on double rooms with a supplement for single rooms and optional dinner at hotels.

………………………………..

Not Included:

Visa cost

Any entrance fee, temple donation

Tips and gratitude to drivers, bellboys, representatives etc.

Optional sightseeing in New Delhi

Any beverages and extra meals

Laundry, telephone calls and personal expenses

Travel or any insurance


Registration:

For more information write to indohellenic@gmail.com or call 0030-6977874652

Maximum number of participants 20 completed.

The program is being developed. Write your suggestions and follow our website for updates.


Dalai Lama’s talk to tourists in Dharamshala


See the documentary “Kashmir the Land of Divine Love”


See the documentaryLife in Leh”