Kargil | Aryans Villages

Aryans villages are situated near the India – Pakistan Line of Control ( LOC ), it is a 65 km drive from Kargil, after crossing over the Humboting-La pass. Just before the villages on the banks of river Sindhu (Indus) a road goes up to Batalik village on LOC it is a restricted area.  Darchik village is on the left bank of river. there are other Aryans villages within 45-50 km Garkon , Dah and Hanu and few more at some distance on the banks of Sindhu river.

Red Aryan Lady from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryan Lady from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

 

Red Aryan Man from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryan Man from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Settlers of these villages are different from other villagers in neighboring villages , they are Brokpa, Dard people claim to have migrated from Gilgit , they have lived in isolation in their inaccessible villages , they claim to be pure bloodline of Aryans, they also claim to be the descendants from Alexander’s army solders who never returned with their contingent while retreating in 326 BC from the banks of river Indus ( Sindhu) , they also call them self “Minaro”. According to a legend there were three brothers Dulo, Galo and Melo who came in search of fertile land and got settled here and people from these villages are their decedents.

Lady from Red Aryans Darichik village, Batalik, Kargil

Lady from Red Aryans Darichik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village , Garkon, young man , Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village , Garkon, young man , Batalik, Kargil

 

These people are tall, high cheek bone, green or blue eyes, fair complexion and few have blonde hair, they are not shy of wearing the modern cloths but their traditional dress men wear a long maroon gown a cloth tied on waist, woolen trouser , women weat a long gown made of goat skin without arms , decorated with shells, silver and pearl ornaments . The headgear called “Tepi” is with silver base decorated with fresh and dried flowers from the mountains , they wear sheep wool shoes.

Red Aryans village, Darchik, Buddhist monastery, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village, Darchik, Buddhist monastery, Batalik, Kargil

 

They are nature lovers strict vegetarians except for their festival “Bon Na” when they sacrifice a goat to their God “La”, they follow “Bon” which is older than but similar to Buddhism of Tibet , they follow the Tibetan solar calendar and celebrate the “Lohsar” the Tibetan New Year , they also use “Swastika” sign in their celebrations probably this is the one of the identity their being Aryans. Ibex are sacred for them

Red Aryans village Garkon, school kids, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village Garkon, school kids, Batalik, Kargil

 

These villages are in a narrow valley with warm weather due to low altitude, dry rocks on higher reaches but these villages are green due to their positions near the drains pouring their water in Sindhu river. they grow Millet, Barley, Apples, Apricot, Walnut, grapes, tomatoes , they take two crops in a year. they extract oil from Apricot seed which is therapeutic and used as medicine, their staple food is roasted barley flour with salted butter tea (cha tsampa) . they do not consume Cow milk or its products , eggs and chicken, they take goat milk,  Festivals are celebrated with wine of grapes ( gunchang), they are experts in making Apricot red and white wine . Dancing and singing is part of any celebrations with drums and pipe called “Dingjangs”

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Ladakh the Moonland, Last Shangrila, Little Tibet

Ladakh is located in the North-Eastern part of Jammu & Kashmir state in India , it is a remote Tibetan plateau, primarily Buddhist and Tibetan in its culture and in a very clear contrast to rest of Kashmir, indeed to the rest of India as well.

Small Ladakhi girl

Ladakh is located in the North-Eastern part of Jammu & Kashmir state in India , it is a remote Tibetan plateau, primarily Buddhist and Tibetan in its culture and in a very clear contrast to rest of Kashmir, indeed to the rest of India as well.Little Tibet , The Moonland and The Last Shangrila are the alternate names for Ladakh, Himalayas are the most effective barrier to rain. A very few clouds creep across their massive height and as a result this land is barren beyond belief, The Plants and green belt are near the river’s bed that carry water from glaciers in the peaks of the Himalayas. A land of freezing winds and burning hot sunlight, this land is completely different from the green landscape of many parts of the Himalayas. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karokaram, it is a land which has no match. In this region there is a long narrow valley known as Zanskar even more isolated than Ladakh Valley.

The Moon Land Ladakh

This land is connected to rest of India by a 434 km road from Srinagar, passing through Zozi-la Pass with an overnight stop at  Kargil , the first village after the Zozila is Drass the second highest, coldest habited place in the world , Kargil was once an important trading post. It was from here that one could turn south to Zanskar or go to Ladakh, en route to Leh one passes through village Shergol which is the dividing line between Muslim and Buddhist areas. Around Leh are the Age old Budhist Monastries and two highest motorable roads in the world the Chang – la Pass ( 17586 ft) the Khardung – la pass    ( 18400 ft) the crystal clear water lakes , Pangong, Tsmori, Tsokar etc. with breath-taking views.

 

Dry barren land and Popular tree of Ladakh

Another famous route to reach Leh is from Manali connected by road 479 km, road opens from mid June till September end every year , one is to stop at Keylong after crossing the Rotang-la ( Pass) 13051 ft  or at Sarchu or the last village of Himachal Pradesh before entring the Ladakh and Jispa in Ladakh  region, one is to cross the Baralacha- la ( Pass) 16050 ft, Lachulung -la (Pass) 16598 ft and Tanglang – La ( Pass) 17470 ft  . Due to low oxygen and high altitude many travelers face mountain sickness , this road was the main trading route  to Yarkand till 1962,

Leh is located in the Indus valley at an altitude of 11562 ft from sea, once very important trading route as it is on the junction of trading roads to Tibet, Kashmir and Kashgar. There is no recorded history before 7th centenary but the history of surrounding Arabs, Mangols and Chinese  indicate that  of a Greater Ladakh was once a kingdom spreaded from Kailash Mansarover till Dardistan and Baltistan . The original inhabitants were Dards the Indo-Aryan Race but migration from Tibet since 10th centenary is now of Tibetan features , it was a strong hold of Buddhism and it reached Tibet from here . There were small scattered group of villages and their rulers  it was brought under one control by  King Bhagan of Namgyal dynasty and expelled most of the Central Asian raiders and united  it to form Ladakh , the Moguls in India who were ruling Kashmir in 17th centenary helped the Ladakhi ruler on a condition to build a Mosque in Leh and converted the ruler to Islam. In 1834 General of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab , Zoravar Singh annexed it to the Dogra State of Jammu & Kashmir and the Namgyal family was given the Jagir of Stok, which it nominally retains to this day, in 1947 the Dogra Ruler Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with Govt of India and since then it is part of India. Before partition, Baltistan, was a district in Ladakh now under Pakistani control. Skardu was the winter capital of Ladakh while Leh was the summer capital.  China closed the border of Nubra and Xinjian in 1949 and closed the trade route, India constructed 434 km the Srinagar-Leh highway 16 days journey is now reduced to Two days .

Snow covered high mountains and passes all over Ladakh

Indus River is the back bone of Ladakh major historical towns are Leh , Shey , Basgo and Tingmosgang where as Kargil is on the banks of river Suru , the other two rivers are Zanskar and Shayok , Ladakh is a high altitude desert , the monsoon clouds are unable to cross the high Himalayan ridges, the main source of water is the winter snow fall in the region, Drass, Suru and Zanskar region in the north flank of Himalayas remains cut of most of the time  from the other part of India by road due to heavy snow fall temperature ranges from -20 to -30 degree centigrade , summers are short with temperature rages between 3-35 degrees Centigrade

Indus River , Green patches and Cold Desert

One can reach Leh by air from Delhi and Srinagar operating daily flights.

There are regular Jeep taxi service from Srinagar and Manali when high passes are open during the summer months , from Srinagar the pass opens in early May till October, while Manali side road opens little late end May  and closes early.

Places of interest in and around Leh

Shanti Stupa – It is the most impressive structure visible from  almost every where in Leh. it is on a hill top north of Leh.

Spituk Gompa – It is the temple about 1000 years old on a hilltop above the Indus river near the airport

Leh Palace – It is a mini version of the Potala Palace in Lhasa , Tibet , built in 16th century.

Leh Gompa – Little above the ruins of palce is Red Gompa built in 1430 AD

Sankar Gompa – This is a little gompa is an impressive representation of Avalokkiteavara with 1000 arms and heads.

Choglamsar – It is an important Tibetan refugee center for the study of Tibetan literature and history.

Shey – This was the old summer palace of the kings of Ladakh built  around 1450 AD

Tikse Gompa – It is about 17 kms from Leh , visible from Shey. It is very picturesque and superbly sited on a hiltop overloking village and Indus river . This gompa has an important collection of Tibetian style books and some excellent artwork , one can watch religious ceremonies.

Hemis Gompa – It is one of the largest and most important in Ladakh, about 45 kms from Leh on the other side of Indus , It is famous for Hemis festival which usually falls in second half of June or early July. It has excellent library and well-preserved paintings.

Stok Palace – Close to the Choglamnsar bridge , on the left bank is the 200 years old Stok Palace where the royal family still lives.

Beacon Highway – If one gets the chance to visit the Nubra valley , it is the highest road in the world , the Khardung – la highest point 18500 ft. from sea level road only opens in July end, August to October , rest of the time it is under snow and thick fog .

Mulbek – Just beyond Mulbek village is the huge 9 meters Chamba statue,  an image of future Buddha , cut into rock face beside the road , there are two gompas on the hillside above the village Mulbek. these gompas are made into the rock .

Lamayuru – After crossing the Namik- La pass and Futu-La pass 13600 ft higest pass on Srinagar – Leh highway is the first of the typical Ladakhi gompa .

Alchi – Just before Saspul this Gompa is built on a low land , it has massive Budha statue and lavish wood carvings and art work.

Likir Gompa – It is shortly after Saspul it has a monastry school and a fort which is damaged , Basgo gompa has intresting figures of Buddha ,wall paintings are damaged due to water .

Gurudwara Pather Sahib –  Guru Nanak Dev Ji traveled to Tebet passing through Ladakh and stayed here for some time , the image in the rock is said to be of the Guru when he was hit by a rock which turned soft as wax upon touching his meditating body .

Sindhu Ghat – The river Indus ( Sindhu) flows through the Ladakh before entering Pakistan , every year a Sindhu festival is celebrated upon the banks of the Sindhu river.

Ma Kali Temple – It is an old temple dedicated to Ma Kali .

Chang-la – It is the second highest road in the world passing through the pass while traveling to Pangong Lake.

Pangong Tso lake –  This salt water lake  154 km from Leh , after crossing the Chang la , 4 km wide  about 136 km long , only 25% of it is in India rest is in Tibet / China at a height of 4250 meters .

Tsomoriri lake – This lake is 215 km from Leh, 19 km long and 3 km wide one of the largest high altitude lake situated at a height of 4595 meters in India .

 Khardong-la – It is the highest road crossing the pass ( 5359 mtrs.) in the world about 1 hr. drive from Leh city towards Nubra valley .

Nubra Valley – It 150 km from Leh , after climbing the Khardong-la pass the beautiful valley, Cold desert and home for Double hump camel, it extends as far as Seachin Glacier, it is also the fruit and food bowl of Ladakh

Fotu-la –  It is the highest point 4108 meters on Srinagar Leh highway .

Kargil – It is the second big town in Ladakh which got more popularity after the 1999 war , it is on the highway from Leh to Srinagar, from here one can travel to Zanskar Valley.

Drass Valley– It is the second coldest inhabited place on earth after Siberia in Russia one can have the beautiful views of Tololing and Tiger Hill famous after the Kargil war and pay a visit at War Hero’s Memorial.

Zanskar Valley – The most isolated , accessible in summers for four months only , kept the original Tibetian Budhisim alive.

Zoji-la – It is the dividing pass, on the one side is the Ladakh and the other side is the Kashmir valley.

For more information and packages contact +91-9810506646 

Office contact Delhi 011 – 45725562, 45725563, 45725564

Callers from Outside India + 447700093414

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

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Sindhu Ghat , Leh , Ladakh

Sindhu Ghat is situated at 10 km up stream the Indus River from Leh near the Shey , it is a peaceful river bank   The Sindhu          ( Indus ) river originates near Mansarover lake and  Mt. Kailash in Tibet enters in to India and flows through the Leh Valley and the enters into Pakistan , Sindhu is Sanskrit word and its translation is ” Large water Body” . The importance of this river to us is it has given our country the name India and people living here are called the Hindu which is the distorted name of Sindhu in the Arab world. It is one of the seven most sacred rivers in India .

 

Sindhu (Indus) Ghat Leh

Sindhu Darshan festival is celebrated every year on Guru Purnima ( Full moon of June)  Festival which takes place over three days every year is the perfect time to visit the remote regions of Leh and Ladakh. The Ghat is in Shey Manla, about  8 km from Leh. People travel for a Darshan and Puja of the River Sindhu (Indus), this festival is also a symbolic salute to the brave soldiers of India who have bravely fought the odds at Siachin, Kargil & other places. Mr. Lal Krishan Adwani( then Dy. Prime Minister) who migrated from Sindh in 1947  now in Pakistan, visited Leh in 1995  he started the Sindhu Darshan Abhiyan as Sindhi’s worship Indus ( Sindhu).  Festival was first time organized in the year 1997 and now it is a regular feature . In 2006, this popular spring festival of Ladakh was renamed ‘Ladakh Singhey Khabab Spring Festival’ to bring in more Ladakhi flavor and local involvement. The ceremony is conducted by a joint association of Ladakh Buddhist Association, Shia Majlis, Sunni Anjuman, Christian Moravian Church, Hindu Trust and Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. As a part of the ritual, fifty senior Lamas conduct a prayer on the banks of the river.

 

Sindhu ( Indus ) River and snow cap mountains Leh

 

The Greeks called it Sinthus , Romans called it Sindus,  Chinese called it Sintow and Persians called it Ab-e-Sindh , It originates from Tibet enters into India and flows in between the Himalayas and Karakoram , it enters into Pakistan in the Baltistan region flowing through the Skardu , having tributaries from Hindukush , Gilgit and  Naga parbat, Jhelem meets in Kashmir of Pakistan side  it enters Pakistan Punjab plains where it meets Ravi , Satluj and Vyas rivers before meeting the Arabian Sea at Karachi forming the Delta in Sindh .

For more information and packages contact +91-9810506646

Office contact in Delhi 011 45725562, 63, 64

Email : promark@promarktravels.com

Visit our website www.promarktravels.com

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Stok Palace , Leh , Ladakh

Stok Palace was built in 17th centenary by King Sengge Namgyal but after some time Royal family shifted to Shey Palace which was constructed in 1655 . When the Dogras army under Zorawar Singh of Jammu invaded Ladakh in 1842, the Namgyals shifted back to Stock across the Indus river  and made it their permanent residence.

Stok Palace Leh, Ladakh

It is located at 14 km from Leh across the  Choglamsar bridge on river Indus.

The Royal Palace is a four-story structure , sporting a mix of ancient and modern architectural style,  on top floors are the Royal family residence , the lower floors which were used as stables and stores are now converted into a museum having rich collections of royal jewels, an 8 prong engagement ring, ornaments, ceremonial dresses , crowns and centuries-old pieces of royal jewellery. Sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old paints prepared by crushed and powdered Gems and stones , the brightness of colors give a look of a new ,  the ancient headdresses still worn on important occasions , thought to have originated in Tibet, are encrusted with slabs of flawless turquoise, polished coral, lapis lazuli and nuggets of pure gold interesting collection of Buddhist art, weaponry, coins, seals, antique ritual objects are at display. The best display is the knotted swords , legend is once someone questioned the credentials of the Royal Oracle in the presence of the King , to display his supernatural powers he pulled out the sword of the King and tied a knot with it .

 

Stok Palace main entrance and Building

The location of Stok palace is gives excellent views of Stok – Kangri mountains in Zanskar range to the south across the Indus River and Ladakh range is in the south behind the palace. The Stok Palace is the best place to view sunrise and sunset from its roof top.

The Stok Kangri and Markha valley treks starts from here .

For more information contact +91-9810506646

Email : www.promark@promarktravels.com

Website : www.promarktravels.com

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Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from Kathmandu for Indian nationals

Holy Mt. Kailash

Every year thousand of pilgrims from believers of  Sanatan Dharma Hinduism , Bon, Buddhism and Jains pay their respectful visit to Holy Mount  Kailash , Lake Mansarovar and Lake Rakshas Tal in Tibet region of China following thousands of years traditions of their faith.

According to Hinduism it is abode of Lord Shiva with his consort Maa ParvatiBon religion believe the sacred mountain to be the place where the founder of the their religion landed from the sky.  Tibetan Buddhists believe Kang Rinpoche ( Snow Mountain), is a natural mandala representing the Buddhist cosmology on the earth . It is called  Mt. Sumeru or Meru Parvat in Jainism , next to the Mt. is Ashtpada the site where the first Tirthankar Rishabhdev attained the Nirvana .

One must remember that it is one of the most difficult pilgrimage travel  where the trek ( Kora )starts from Darchen at a height of 15000 ft. and one is to climb up to 18600 ftDolma La  Pass where the oxygen is thin and it is very cold in the snow , one must get a through checkup and must get a Certificate from a family doctor about the body fitness to face the harsh weather. One must start physical exercises , yoga Pranayam breathing   exercises along with walking with good waterproof  boots at least two months before taking the pilgrimage as  two-three  nights yatris are to stay in tents, walk for the Circumbulation  (day 1 , 12 km and day 2, 21 km) the mules and Yaks are available if one want to take. This journey is strictly NOT for the people with Heart  and Breathing problems .

The Mount Kailash range is source of four rivers of Asia , Indus , Satluej , Karnali and Brahmaputra , the holy mount has the outer circumbulation ( Kora) of 52 km. Buddhist and Hindus travel Clockwise while the Bonpos do it counter clockwise , it takes three days to complete the Kora . It is surrounded by five Five Temples / Monasteries  , each is endowed with different legendary stories and decorated by distinctive sculptures, statues, murals, Thangkas and other Tibetan cultural objects  .One trek around Mt. Kailash and enjoy the grand views  of the valley and Mt. Kailash from all directions.

Trekking route Mt. Kailash

We have tied up with experts in Nepal and China to take care of the sacred Mt. Kailash – Mansarovar Yatra for the Indian nationals to travel from Kathmandu . We have been successfully organizing Yatra Chardham in Himalayas for the past 25 years along with high altitude  trekking in Ladakh ,  Sri Amarnath Ji and Everest Base camp trekking  in Nepal .

Our all pilgrimage tours are accompanied by not only the experts in the Himalaya  but also the Purohits  who help you perform the puja in the way as mentioned in our Vedic Texts. It is said that performing a puja at Mt. Kailash on a full moon day is the most auspicious , please select your dates accordingly .

All our packages are of 12 nights with arrival in Kathmandu and then  departure for yatra  by bus to Tibet the China region .

From the year 2013 Govt. of China is not allowing to travel by  Jeeps in Mansarovar and Kailash area .

We have fixed departures for the following dates , if there is group of 15 or more we can workout the suitable dates as per requirements.

Arrive Kathmandu       Return journey

30 JUN 2014                      12 JUL  2014

13 JUL 2014                       25 JUL 2014

27 JUL 2014                      08 AUG 2014

11 AUG 2014                     23 AUG 2014

29 AUG 2014                     10 SEP 2014

10 SEP 2014                       22 SEP 2014

For more details please contact  Mobile no. 09810506646

Callers from Overseas contact  +447700093414

Email: promark@promarktravels.com

Website : www.promarktravels.com

‘Leh’ Jayenge ‘Leh’ Jayenge – Let’s go to Leh!

Frozen lake along Chang La [pass]

Pangong Tso Panorama

When friend Anil Rajput knew that I was planning on two options for this summer holiday, Conoor in Tamil Nadu and Leh, his shocking expression was ….”What comparison! You must go only to Leh!”.
I was desperate for a date with Leh for the last four years, but my travel team was giving me the most impossible rates and dates. Anil came to my rescue and made our dream-plan, a reality!
Our Delhi friend Anjali quickly decided to join us and more the merrier it was!
With a lot of anticipation spiced up, wife Jayashree, daughter Nishkamya and I set off from Chennai by the evening SpiceJet to Delhi. Night halt was at Anjali’s place and catching up with years and years of talk, we then hit the Delhi airport at 4am for the Go Air check-in. Prompt to take off, we had a very comfortable touchdown at the Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport at Leh, on the dot at 8.15 am. I am sure you are aware that it is the highest altitude commercial airport in India at some 3500 metres. Jayashree rightly quipped, “There is no great height for the plane to descend here at Leh!” Continue reading…