The Shakti village walks and experiences operate in India’s Himalaya foothills. These unique experiences were conceived to share the rejuvenating effects of remote surroundings – to provide privileged access to places far removed from the noise and clutter of the modern world, where space, peace and epic landscapes provoke the imagination and nourish the soul. In these places of intense beauty and their deep, soothing serenity the traveler can slow down for a while and simply “be”.
Situated in the far north of the sub-continent, over 3500 meters (11,500 feet) up on the high plateau, Ladakh is often referred to as ‘little Tibet’. Having been part of British India, it was subsequently absorbed into independent India in 1947. Ladakh’s geography protected it from the ravages of the Chinese Cultural Revolution as a result of which it contains one of the most intact Tantric Buddhist societies left on earth. With a high altitude desert dominated by rugged snow capped mountains and deep turquoise lakes it is one of the most picturesque places on earth.
Ladakh has long been on the map for backpackers, mostly staying in and around Leh, however it is has not yet come on the radar of the adventurous luxury traveler. As such, Shakti Himalaya has designed a ‘village house’ experience that avoids over commercialized Leh and takes you out, off the beaten track to the untouched villages in the Indus valley.
Village walks are at the heart of any Shakti Experience, enabling you to enjoy the villages and rural life in remote mountain regions. Accompanied by local porters and guides, you step out of the modern world, walking between villages that are remote, and staying in traditional village houses, which Shakti has spruced up to provide proper comfort without compromising their authenticity. Shakti will arrange visits to local schools, monasteries and markets to enable you to get a full understanding of the culture of each region, its people, religion and customs. Providing authentic experiences of local life, Shakti’s walks are the perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most of us live in.
For the more active walker, Shakti offers trekking and camping in remote but beautiful locations. The treks require a reasonable level of fitness and are in remote areas at altitudes of 6000-14000 ft. The Shakti tented camps use dome tents which provide a night under canvas, with all the usual Shakti service and style. Enjoy outstanding mountain views and some of the clearest night skies to be found in the world. River Rafting can be included in a Shakti Ladakh programme and is a wonderful way to explore Ladakh. This is offered on the Indus and Zanskar rivers, both of which are fed by glaciers.
The rafting is varied with rapids ranging from Class 1 to Class 4 – so anything from very gentle to a little more challenging – depending on your preference.
Shakti Ladakh Village Experience is open from the beginning of May to the end of September annually