Cultural Tours India
All our cultural tours go towards exploring the local traditions and customs of the local people. We visit the local temples and monasteries which constitute the mainstay and stabilizing factor in the local people’s lives. We also take time to visit a local family’s home and experience their lifestyle that radically differs from that of city life. On all our cultural tours our main emphasis is benefiting the locals of that particular area by focusing on no or low impact tourism. We generally attempt at buying local produce and handicrafts, employing local staff and sensitising our clients to the local traditions and customs. By doing this we not only bring economic gain to the locals but also respect their customs. On all our cultural tours our guides wear the local dress and interact with the locals so that you get a real feel and ambience of that particular region.
Ladakh’s entire way of life revolves around the numerous Monasteries in and around Leh and Zanskar. The monasteries around Leh are relatively in close proximity to each other compared to the ancient monasteries in the Zanskar region which are spread out over a vast area and quite isolated and need to be reached by foot. Among the more well known monasteries in Ladakh Hemis, Spituk, Phyang, Lamayuru, Likir, Alchi, Basgo and Stok palaces, Shey and Stakna. We visit all of them as per your schedule. We then take a day off in a village to spend time with a typical Ladakhi family to interact with them with the help of a local guide and spend the day with them experiencing their way of life and customs.
Zanskar also has its share of ancient monasteries except that unlike Ladakh monasteries which are relatively close to each the Zanskar monasteries are at quite a distance from each other perched high up on cliffs. Some of the more famous monasteries we will visit on our culture tour are Zangla, Rangdum Karsha, Bardan and Stongde. The Zangla palace is now in ruins but well worth a visit. After a fruitful 4 day trip we stop over at a typical home in Zangla to spend the day with a Zanskari family and experience the difference between the Ladakhi and Zanskari way of life. Return to Leh after the tour.
Spiti is very similar in its landscape with Ladakh and Zanskar. The same kind of hills and sparse vegetation the same kind of archicture and ancient monasteries are found here. Of the monasteries the Tabo Monastery unlike other monastery is just off the main road on flat ground. The group of temples are a dusty brown but the interiors are something else. Inside the main temple are some of the most exquisite paintings and stucco images found anywhere in the world. Tabo has been declared a world heritage site and after visiting this amazing complex of monasteries we head on towards the dramatically located Dhankar monastery once the fort of the Spiti rulers. Later we visit the ancient Ki monastery known for its exhaustive library of scrolls and religious scriptures. We spend a day with a family in the Pin valley which is just off the main Kaza road to get a look into the Spitian culture. From Kaza we drive down to Manali from where you can access Delhi by bus or air.
The entire area of Garhwal is known for its rich culture and heritage. Local traditions and customs have been followed for centuries and the people besides being traditionally religious are warm and friendly. There are numerous Hindu pilgrimage spots in the region and Garhwal offers some of the holiest of places in India . The sources of two great rivers the Ganga and the Yamuna emanate from here. On our culture tours we take you to the Hindu places where you get to see the religious customs of the people. Besides we also take you for a visit to remote villages and local homes where you can experience the lifestyle of this simple mountain community. Ashrams abound in the area and offer an insight into the religious culture of the local people. The art and architecture is another interesting feature of our culture tours.
The numerous festivals in Sikkim are an intrinsic part of Sikkimese culture. Here on our cultural tours experience the interwoven fabric of Vajrayana Buddhism, Hinduism and traditional animistic customs of the Lepcha tribe. Sikkim is home to numerous monasteries the most famous of which are the Rumtek and Pemayangtse. It is here that the colourful festivals are held. Masked dances and melodious music played by the lamas all decked up in ornate costumes give added attraction to these events. There are three New Year celebrations held in Sikkim – Sikkimese, Tibetan, and that of the Lepchas. There are flower shows and cultural programmes held in the months of April and May each year. Here you will get to experience the harmony among all the ethnic groups that reside in Sikkim . We also take you to traditional Sikkimese and Lepcha homes to meet local families and share a meal with them. A local translator-guide accompanies you on all our cultural tours.
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