JUNE 11th – 23rd 2023


Priority Registration is Now OPEN!
Secure Your Place with the Early Bird Discount Before Normal Registration Begins Jan 15th…


Overview


Ladakh is an exquisite landlocked region nestled between the imposing mountain ranges of Karakoram and the Himalayas. Ladakh is renowned as a prominent spot of Buddhist religion in India. It is also one of the most significant and outstanding Buddhist centres of religious teaching and spirituality.

Surrounded by tall arid mountains, Ladakh gives you the feeling of nature’s power. Numerous 500 to 1000 year old monasteries which are nestled in the valley of Leh and Ladakh offer us an insight into the traditions and culture of people inhabiting the land. These monasteries provide the perfect atmosphere for meditating, as many meditation masters such as Milarepa, Naropa and Padma Sambhava have graced these lands.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Monastery Visits



Visit the ancient Buddhist Monasteries of Alchi, Likhir, Lamayuru, Diksit, Thiksey, Hemis etc. Discover the rich history of the myriad of Buddhist traditions and meditation masters. Receive the spiritual transmission and teachings from the magnitude of these ancient places



Meditation


Immerse in meditative practices amidst places of rich vibration. The land and monasteries of Ladakh are world famous for their peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that connects one with the essence of who you are. Learn the contributions of Buddhist meditation masters for the liberation of all beings.

High Altitude Himalayas



The environment of Ladakh is one of the most unique on the planet. Travel across the highest motorable mountain passes in the world, visit glacial rivers and lakes, trek thru sand dunes, and witness yourself amidst enormous peaks. We will be exploring at minimum altitudes of 11,500′. Discover how human beings have adapted and lived in such sublime yet harsh conditions.

Ladhaki Culture

The cultures of the high Himalayas in India are like any other in the world. The Ladakhi culture is centered around Buddhist practices and daily rituals, as well as deep respect for the natural order. This pilgrimage includes the incredible Yuru Kabgyat Festival, masked dances done by monks that honor the Yama, the God of Death and Padma Sambhava, the Second Buddha


PHOTO/VIDEO GALLERY

Lamayuru Festival
A Typical Drive Thru Ladakh
Prayer Wheels for Good Wishes

ITINERARY

Day by Day Schedule (subject to change)
  • DAY 1 – June 11th – Arrive Delhi

    • Pickup at Delhi Airport
    • Stay Overnight at Delhi Hotel to rest and recuperate
  • DAY 2 – June 12th – Fly to Leh, Ladakh

    • Dropoff at Delhi Airport
    • Fly to Leh, Ladakh in the early morning
    • Free time in afternoon
    • Welcome Dinner
    • Stay at Leh Guesthouse
  • DAY 3 – June 13th – Leh Tour & Acclimatization

    • Morning Hike to Shanti Stupa
    • Leh Palace
    • Leh Market Wandering with Free Time
    • Stay at Leh Guesthouse
  • DAY 4 – June 14th – Leh to Lamayuru Monastery

    • SECMOL campus visit
    • Zanskar River Sangam (Confluence)
    • Visit to Alchi Monastery
    • Stay in or around Lamayuru Monastery
  • DAY 5 – June 15th – Lamayuru Monastery

    • Visit the Lamayuru Festival
    • Stay in or around Lamayuru Monastery
  • DAY 6 – June 16th – Likir Monastery Stay

    • Depart Lamayuru
    • Visit Drukpa Nunnery & Khatsa Gompa Tia
    • Likir Monastery School Visit
    • Stay in or around Likir Monastery
  • DAY 7 – June 17th – Likir – Nubra Valley

    • Full day Travel
    • Drive over Khardong La Pass (Highest Pass)
    • Stay in Nubra Valley
  • DAY 8 – June 18th – Nubra Valley Exploration

    • Diksit Monastery and Hunder Visit
    • Stay in Nubra Valley
  • DAY 9 – June 19th – Nubra Valley Exploration

    • Yarab Tso
    • Meditation Retreat into Nature
    • Stay in Nubra Valley
  • DAY 10 – June 20th – Nubra to Leh

    • Full Day Travel
    • Stay in Leh Guesthouse
  • DAY 11 – June 21st- Hemis & Thiksey Monastery Exploration

    • Visit Hemis and Thiksey Day Tour
    • Return to Leh
    • Stay at Leh Guesthouse
  • DAY 12 – June 22nd – Leh to Delhi

    • Late Morning flight to Delhi
    • Stay in Delhi Hotel
  • DAY 13 – June 23rd – Depart Delhi

    • Breakfast at Hotel
    • Depart Delhi for further travel

YOUR GUIDES

Khushi Malhotra (USA & India); E-RYT, YACEP, MSW, MPH

Khushi received her training from the Himalayan Institute, the spearhead humanitarian organization of Swami Rama of the Himalayas, where she lived for 18 months. Her love of the Himalayan masters brought her right to their holy feet. She has been with APV School for more than 10 years, and has been teaching Yoga/Meditation for 15. Her style is rooted in the Tantras, classical yoga sutras and vedanta, hatha yoga, and the teachings of the Buddha. She loves to wander around nature, and play with kids and animals any chance she gets.

Mohan Panwar (Anjanisain, Uttarakhand, India)

Mohan is a native of the Himalayas and has lots of experience taking people deep into the grandeur and peace of the Himalayas. Growing up himself as a child of the local ashram, he has dedicated his life to helping children less advantaged find the care and love they so desperately need. He helped start APV school and has been a mindful educator for over 17 years. He will serenade you with his flute while taking you on hikes, and make you laugh with his wonderful stories. As he likes to say, “Discover Yourself in the Himalayas!”


REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Deposit: $800

Early Registration by Jan 15th, 2023: – Save $200

  • Shared Room: $2299

Regular Registration by March 31st, 2023:

  • Shared Room: $2499

Single Room Supplement – $600

Register Now:

For more information:

Email: contact@khushyoga.com

what’s included:

  • Transfers to/from Delhi to Leh (by air)
  • Airport transfer to/from the hotel in Delhi
  • All transfers and travel in Ladakh
  • Accommodations in Delhi and Ladakh: double occupancy (single occupancy available for additional fee)
  • Breakfasts in Delhi; All breakfasts and dinners in Ladakh
  • Meditation Guidance
  • All Cultural and Environmental Activities including Guided Treks, Village Visits, Temple Visits, and more
  • Local Ladakhi Guide for certain monasteries and excursions

extras to plan for:

  • 30 Day e-Visa (~$25) 
  • International Airfare to DEL (Delhi)
  • Meals other than breakfast in Delhi; Lunch/snacks during Ladakh portion
  • Tips for Guides, Cooks Drivers etc. (~$50)
  • Further Travel in India (please let us know, we can arrange for you

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

Q: What is the nature of this pilgrimage?

A: This is a meditation and himalayan excursion designed to invigorate your mind and body and awaken your spirit in one of the most spiritually charged and majestic places on earth – Ladakh.

Q: Is there any trekking?

A: There will be light walks through the monasteries and sites. In Nubra Valley we may have an option for a 3-4 hour trek.

Q: What will the weather be like? Should we expect rain?

A: June in Ladakh is a lovely time to. The skies are mostly clear, with afternoon clouds, the day times are pleasant reaching temperatures between 60-75 degrees F (21 Celsius with sunshine, and the nights are still cool to cold with temperatures between 45 – 50 degrees F/8 Celsius). However, weather can change rapidly in the mountains so it’s always good to be prepared with waterproof jackets and lots of layers.

Q: What is the climate of Ladakh?

A: The climate of Ladakh is of a high altitude arid desert. Most find that the skin gets easily burnt, and extremely dry, so please bring appropriate skin protection and hydration items.

Q: What is the method of travel?

A: You will be traveling by air to Leh where you will meet Mohan and Khushi. The rest of the tour is done by a comfortable van.

Q: How long are travel days?

A: Generally 5-6 hours usually when we have to cover long distances, including many stops in between

Q: What altitudes will we travel?

A: Our travels will take us from around 11,000 feet to 18,500 feet.

Q: Should I worry about altitude illness?

A: The trip is designed to allow us to gradually acclimate with a rest day in Leh, and we will discuss ways to maintain your body, mind, and breath to support the ascension. None-the-less, we recommend consulting with your doctor regarding this.

Q: How can I prepare for this pilgrimage?

A: Physical fitness and overall good health are important elements for a spiritual excursion like this. If you haven’t already, we suggest that you begin a regular practice for conditioning your body. Aerobic exercise is especially helpful to prepare for trekking and high altitudes. One method is fast walking, building up to a steady pace on inclines, hilly terrain, or stairs, and increasing distance* Also, the yogic breathing techniques (pranayama) of kapalabhati, bhastrika, and nadi shodhanam (alternate nostril breathing) are also good preparation, as is the practice of agni sara to energize the solar plexus and help sustain vitality. These practices are best done regularly, starting with a few repetitions and progressing gradually according to your capacity. If you don’t know these techniques, we recommend that you take a pranayama or hatha yoga class with a qualified instructor.

Q: What will be be practicing?

A: This pilgrimage focuses on letting participants deepen in their meditative practices. Khushi will also share about Buddhist and Yogic techniques for those that are less familiar with meditation or are needing guidance. There may be a chance here and there to do some asana together, but our focus is on meditation and having daily opportunities to sit in the monasteries or out in nature (or both!)

Q: Are children allowed?

A: This trip because it is meditation focused, can only allow older children that are quite mature and actually interested themselves by the premise of the tour. There will be times of silence, meditation and reflection along with long travel days that requires more stamina and motivation towards these practices. Please contact us to assess whether your child may be ready.

TRAVEL, PASSPORT, VISA

Q: What airport do I fly into?

A: You will fly into New Delhi, India, otherwise known as DEL

Q: When should I book my airfare?

A: Once the tour is confirmed as running with enough participants (you will receive a notice April 1st)

Q: Do I need a passport or visa?

A: Passports and visas are required for travel to India. Passports must be valid for at least six (6) months after your return date from India. It is also recommended that you have at least 3 blank pages in the back of your passport. A valid passport must be submitted with the visa application and your passport must be signed where indicated.

Q: Where do I apply for my visa?

A: You may apply for an e-visa directly on the Governement of India website. You can apply for this visa 30 days before you travel. You will receive an email copy within 3 days – once you arrive into India, you will get a stamp in your passport for the actual visa.

Q: What are the COVID protocols for entering the country?

A: As of now, if you have a vaccination card you are allowed to enter the country after uploading the card online in the Air Suvida Travel Portal. If you do not have a card, you are required to get a RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to travel. We personally do not require our participants to be vaccinated.

HEALTH

Q: What immunizations do I need?

A: No immunizations are required for the areas we are traveling to in India. You’re welcome to check the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization websites for their list of recommended vaccines. These vaccines are optional and the decision to get them is strictly a personal choice. We encourage you to discuss immunization with your health professional in order to make an informed decision based on your own personal preferences and health history.

Q: Are there natural ways to enhance my health before going to India?

A: Amla (Amalaki) is one of the world’s most concentrated naturally occurring sources of antioxidant Vitamin C. Also ashwaghanda can help with maintaining good energy levels and is adaptogenic in nature.

Q: Is the water safe to drink?

A: Reverse Osmosis (RO) water or bottled (mineral) water is recommended when staying in hotels in India and it can be purchased directly from the hotel or other local sources. Boiled and filtered water is also safe.

Q: What medicines should I bring with me?

A: If you are taking prescription medication, bring an adequate amount with you. Although some medicines are available in India, their supply and quality are not reliable. Bring homeopathic or herbal remedies of your choice. Consult in advance with your health practitioner regarding other medications and recommendations for known allergies, possible altitude sickness, diarrhea, or general stomach upsets. We will also carry an array of the most necessary allopathic and homeopathic medicines, as well as a first aid kit.

ACCOMODATIONS & MEALS

Where will we be staying?

A: Accommodations will vary from hotels, monastery guest homes (very simple), and guest houses (there may also be a chance we camp in nice quality tents for 1 night in Nubra Valley to be more connected to nature). See itinerary for day to day details. Accommodations are based on single or double occupancy shared rooms/tents depending on your reservation.

Q: What type of meals can I expect? Is alcohol allowed?

A: Freshly prepared vegetarian meals will be served throughout the trek, as well as some Ladakhi local foods. Inquire about special dietary needs. This is a spiritual pilgrimage with a focus on meditation so we ask all guests to refrain from all intoxicants.

Q: Will I be able to do laundry?

A: It may be possible to do hand laundry on portions of the pilgrimage when there are stays of more than one night, and weather conditions are favorable for drying.

PACKING

*Baggage allowance – one carry-on and one suitcase*

The following items are essential:

  • Daypack
  • Comfortable, waterproof hiking shoes/boots
  • 2–3 active wear T-shirts
  • 2–3 long sleeve trekking/activewear shirts
  • Medium thermal base layers (tops and bottoms)
  • 1 medium or heavyweight fleece jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Wind and waterproof layers (jacket with a hood and pants)
  • 2–3 trekking pants
  • Gloves (consider bringing a lightweight and warm pair)
  • Warm hat
  • Hiking socks (4–5 pairs)
  • Lightweight travel or pack towel
  • Two 1 – liter or one 2 – liter water bottle or hydration bladder*
  • Thermos for hot water
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Walking stick / trekking poles if you have difficulty trekking
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (vaseline)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Personal toiletries, including soap and shampoo
  • Wet Wipes or other hand sanitizer
  • Prescription medicine, if required
  • Lightweight stuff sack or bag for excess items you may want to purchase**
  • Plug adaptor
  • Items for meditation (cushion, rug etc. – can be purchased in Leh)

**On domestic flights within India, baggage is restricted to 1 carry-on and 1 23 kg bag

Other things to consider:

  • Vest (down or fleece)
  • Sleeping bag silk liner
  • 1 Long dress/long skirt
  • Stole/scarf/shawl (can be purchased in Leh, Ladakh)
  • Waterproof liner for inside your duffel (or a large garbage bag)
  • Slip-on shoes and/or rubber sandals/flip flops
  • Rain poncho
  • Extra Zip Lock or plastic bags
  • Camera and accessories
  • Power bank (portable charging device) (kept in carry-on not checked bag)
  • International converter kit for rechargeable items, or bring extra batteries
  • TSA luggage locks (locks keep zippers closed during handling, and help prevent accidental opening)
  • Pocket knife (packed in checked baggage, not in carry-on)
  • Toilet paper and/or pocket tissues (can be purchased in Leh, Ladakh)
  • Laundry soap (for hand laundry- can be purchased in Leh)
  • Eye mask/Earplugs
  • Electrolyte drink mix
  • Snack bars, trail snacks (can be purchased in Leh)

Q: Where can I change money?

A: Change currency into Indian rupees before exiting the Customs area at the Delhi airport. Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted, therefore, plan to bring cash for exchange. State Bank of India, near the baggage claim area (across from carousel 14) and before the Customs exit, is recommended for currency exchange. Count your rupees before leaving the window and be sure you are given an encashment certificate for your transaction. Retain this encashment certificate to use for exchanging any excess rupees at the end of your travel.

Q: Will we have access to a phone or internet?

A: Phone connections and service in the mountainous areas is unreliable and generally poor. Phone connections in the city of Dehradun are stronger and generally more reliable. Several local telephone carriers are located in the international arrivals area of Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Inquire about options and cost at Airtel or Idea upon arrival in India. Outside of Delhi, these services will likely be unreliable and not work. If you plan to use a local SIM card in your GSM mobile phone, have your local service provider unlock the phone before your departure for India. CDMA phones may require additional attention to avoid roaming charges with a local SIM card. Check details with your service provider.

INDIAN CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Indian culture is drastically different than what one might be accustomed to in the West, especially in rural India. Mountain culture is dictated by hardship and hard work, as well as communion with the environment. Participants might be amazed and surprised by the amount of work women do in the community. Please be respectful to the traditions and customs, and practice being an observer. Some things you see might be contrary to your beliefs; however, we ask that you maintain an attitude of acceptance and curiosity. Any questions you might have along the way, please feel free to ask Mohan or Khushi and they will advise you accordingly, or just follow their lead. Please note the following cultural considerations:

  • CLOTHING
    • Participants are expected to dress modestly and in line with local cultural norms. Shorts (long shorts for men are ok), tank tops, and other tight or revealing clothing is not appropriate at the retreat site. Tight yoga leggings are not permitted without longer tops to cover the backside.
    • No tank tops or spaghetti straps worn in public
    • Temperature variation from the valley regions to mountain sites is considerable therefore clothes for warm bright days and cool nights is advisable (light fleece, shawl or jacket). If you are visiting local villages Indian traditional clothes are the best, and western clothing (jeans/t-shirt etc.) is acceptable as long as it is not revealing.
    • What is more important is to keep your body well covered. For women it is advised to bring a light stole to cover the chest region
    • Modest clothing, not showing legs (above calves) or armpits.
      • Women are advised to wear a stole or light shawl (known as a chunni or dupatta).
  • SOCIAL ETTIQUETTE
    • If visiting someone’s home, please do not enter any kitchen unless invited by the elders in the family
    • Public display of physical contact between males and female (like holding hands) is not culturally appropriate
    • If you are entering a religious place like – a temple, mosque and gurudwara – you must take off your footwear outside. Most homes also follow this tradition
    • Julley is the traditional greeting in Ladkh region. Namaste (with folded hands) is the traditional hello and goodbye greeting as well. A more respectful version of Namaste is Namashkaar
  • FOOD:
    • If you are eating with local people and you have your own food, it is customary to share it with everybody
    • Wash your hands with water or sanitize before touching food
    • Don’t touch any food with your hands that is not already in your plate
    • Unlike the West, it is seen as highly disrespectful to share something that has touched your mouth with others (i.e: sharing your water bottle with the others etc.). You make share water if the water bottle has not touched your mouth, or food that you haven’t already bitten into. Also, while cooking, in India we never taste with the same spoon again and again. Please use a new spoon for any tasting.
REGISTRATION & CANCELLATION

 How do I register?

A: Register online above and submit your deposit or full payment (Khushi will contact you with best way to pay for y

Q: What if I need to cancel?

A: Requests for cancellation must be made in writing to the Khushi. 2 months or more before the start date of the retreat, full refund is possible minus $150 processing fee. Any in country closures due to COVID – full refund is given minus $150 processing fee. As a non-profit we are unable to offer exceptions to our cancellation policy – we therefore highly encourage participants to purchase trip cancellation insurance in the event you need to cancel your reservation due to any reason.

Q: What is the minimum number of participants needed to run the tour?

A: Minimum is 6 people. If we do not have enough, participants will be refunded their deposits.