- Visit the Buddhist monasteries in the Indus Valley whilst acclimatising to the altitude
- Departure date is linked to a Buddhist festival at Phyang
- Pack horses carry your supplies and equipment as you climb ever higher into the Himalayas
- Meet a Tibetan population who live freely by their own traditions
Day 1 1: EUROPE - DELHIDepart from Europe on your international flight to Delhi. Flights are not included but can be booked on request. Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the domestic departures to board your onward flight from Delhi to Leh, which departs at 06:00 or thereabouts.
Depending on your flight arrival time, you may prefer to book into a hotel on this first night. Please contact us for more information.
Day 2 2: DELHI - LEH (3400 m) - No ridingYou will be met at Leh airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. To aid acclimatization to the altitude, it is advisable to rest quietly today in either the hotel garden or on the terrace.
Meet your fellow travellers and your guides.
Day 3 3: LEH - PHYANG - ALCHI (3500m) - No ridingJoin the pilgrims at Phyang for the opening festival of the monastery: a unique experience. In the afternoon, visit Alchi. Overnight in Alchi .
Day 4 4: ALCHI - LAMAYURU - LEH (3500m)Go to Alchi and then in the afternoon you visit the monasteries of Shey from the 10th Century and Thiskey resembling the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa. Last night in Leh before the start of the expedition.
Day 5 5: LEH - SHEY - THISKEY - LEH (3400) - No ridingThis morning, you will visit the 10th Century monasteries of Shey and Thiskey, said to be in the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa. Afternoon again at leisure.
Overnight in Leh.
Day 6 6: LEH - SPITUK- ZINGCHEN (3400m) - 3 hoursAn early morning departure to reach Alchi Monastery Spituk, the starting point for our journey on horseback. The small village of Zingchen is a green oasis surrounded by poplar trees and the gateway to the mountains. You will camp this evening.
Day 7 7: ZINGCHEN - YURUTSE - LARTSA (4500 m) - 4 hoursOn horseback, you penetrate deeper into the mountains. A narrow gorge means you have to cross several streams before reaching a vast plateau that will gradually lead to the base camp at Khanda La.
Day 8 8: LARTSA - SKIU (3400m) - 4.30 hoursCross the Shingo-La (4900 m): the view from the of the Zanskar range is striking. There is a long descent into a lunar landscape of lace rocks. Along the way , visit a small gompa (Temple). You will camp tonight on the banks of the Markha river.
Day 9 9: SKIU - MARKHA (3700m) - 5.30 hoursThere are several river crossings today, sometimes wading through fords, others over small bridges in order to reach the village of Markha, the largest in the valley. You will stop at the monastery overlooking the valley.
Day 10 10 - MARKHA-LANGHAND CHU (6200m) - 5 hoursYou follow the river towards the plains of Nimaling. You will get spectacular views of the Yatse Keang (6200 m). Then you veer south towards the high plateau of Rupshu .
Day 11 11: LANGHAND CHU - ZALUNG KARPO LA (5200m) - 5 hoursClimb steadily for two days from the bottom of very wild and huge valley, surrounded by jagged peaks. Cross the Karpo La, when reaching the summit the view is breathtaking . Beneath your feet lies a vast, green valley framed by jagged peaks. The night will be spent in the summer pastures of Tsokra
Day 12 12: ZALUNG KARPO LA - TSORKA (5200m) - 5.5 hoursSecond half of the journey as above.
Day 13 13: TSORKA - DAT - 4 hoursDescend along the river; continuing through beautiful gorges, sometimes very narrow, which then flare out, giving way to the barley fields. The village of Dat is the only inhabited place in this valley, which is occupied for only a few months of the year.
Day 14 14: DAT- LEHReturn by bus to Leh, using the impressive road from Manali, with a pass over 5,300 m high !
Day 15 15: LEH-DEHLIFly from Leh to Delhi. Leh has the highest airport in the world. So this flight maybe subject to adverse weather conditions, which can cause significant delays. Overnight flight back to Europe.
Optional transfer to Agra where the rest of the day is free - please contact us. NB : In case of a flight delay, the excursion to Agra maybe altered or canceled.
Day 16 16: DEHLI - HOMEReturn to Delhi, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Dates & prices
- Flights to Delhi are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates. The domestic flight is included.
- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin room/tent.
- The group is made up of 4 - 8 international riders plus guides
- There is a small group supplement payable if the group is less than four riders:
If 2 riders booked: c. £495 per person
If 3 riders booked: c. £220 per person
- There is a single supplement of c. £290 per person if you end up in a single room. This is refunded if we later find a sharer for you.
- A visa is required to enter India and is your responsibility.
- Weight limit is 100kgs/15.7st/220lbs
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.
1 English-speaking local guide in Dehli
Packhorses to carry your luggage
1 horseman in charge of the packhorses and his assistants for logistics
Private bus for land transfers
Internal flights to Leh
2 person per tent (3 men tent). Foam mattress.
Price doesn't include
Park, museum and touristic sites fees - approx. £30
Services in Agra (Guides and transfers) - approx. £20
Small group supplement - see price details for more information
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Weight limit is 100kgs/15.7st/220lbs
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Having previous experience of a riding a trail of several days would be an advantage but it is not compulsory. Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding across rough ground and in open spaces. You may be asked to dismount on particularly tricky parts and lead your horse on foot - please wear sensible footwear.
Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit
On the trail, two man tents, with mattresses. Communal toilet tent. Meals will be simple as you are carrying supplies with you to last the whole of the trip.
Contrary to popular belief, all Hindus are not vegetarians and strict vegetarianism is limited to the south. However, you are unlikely to be served beef steak as the cow is sacred. Some Muslim restaurants will serve buffalo.
Take care not to drink water from unknown sources. It is better to buy mineral water when staying in the towns. On the trail you will need water purification tablets such as Micropur.
There are two main seasons in Ladakh - the harsh winters can see temperatures as low as -30c. The horse riding trails only run in the summer months when the climate is very dry and rough with an intense sun.
Guide and local team
The expedition leader, assisted by mules, is responsible for the horses and route.
There is a cook to prepare the meals.
Be careful not to tip too much - being overly generous can affect the general standard of living and destablise the local economy. If children earn more money than their fathers by begging or asking for money for photos then this can create major distortions within the family.
- You should take two medium sized bags with you rather than one large bag so that they can be carried by the pack horses.
- Please pack in accordance with local religious and traditional cultures - it is important to keep your shoulders and knees covered when meeting local populations. Please do not wear shorts or strappy tops in towns and villages.
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Warm hat for cold nights when camping
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers
- Lightweight, comfortable trousers for non-riding days
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 10 celsius.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in
Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it with
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
You may wish to ask your doctor for some specific medication for travelling at High Altitudes. We recommend that you discuss this directly with your doctor who is best placed to advise on your personal medical history.
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar. The luggage limit on the ride is 15kg per person.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- Even if foam mattresses are provided, you may pack your inflatable mattress for comfort sake.
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Tall riders may benefit from taking a pair of long stirrup leathers with them (the local stirrups are adjustable but are sometimes limited in length)
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in Tibet, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling
- If you prefer travelling in a "light way" please choose a biodegradable soap or washing powder/liquid.
Visa & Health
A passport valid for at least 180 days and with at least two blank pages is required by all Australian, British, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals.
Visas for India are required by all nationals referred to above.
Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for India.
A Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme currently exists for the following countries: Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan , Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam. The visa is valid for up to 30 days and for tourism only. It costs US$60. From late 2014, this scheme is being extended to nationals of 180 countries, whereby tourists will be able to apply for the visa online and pick it up on arrival at an airport within three days; check with the consulate before you travel, as the exact date of this change has not been confirmed yet.
Certain parts of the country have been designated protected or restricted areas that require special permits and in some cases prior government authorisation. You should indicate your intent to visit a specific restricted region when applying for a visa and a permit will be granted to visit that region only. It is advised that you apply for the special permit for restricted areas when you enter India by visiting the FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office) which has offices in all major Indian airports and cities. You must complete an additional form, but there is no fee for a restricted area permit.
Passengers are advised to check with the consulate for up-to-date information before departure. You must fill in application forms completely, and with as much detail as possible, otherwise the application may be rejected and a new application only allowed after three months have passed.
Types and cost:
For UK nationals: tourist visa: £82 (up to six months), £277 (up to two years).
For other nationals listed above: tourist visa: £32 (up to six months), £52 (up to one year).
All visa applications are subject to a non-refundable £10.20 VFS service charge.
Visas are valid from the date of issue not your date of departure.
All visa applications in the UK now have to be filed online at https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/index.html . After the mandatory electronic filing of visa applications, applicants are asked to submit printed copies of their applications, photos, passports and fees to respective Indian Visa Application Centres (IVACs). Processing times vary at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. You should confirm your travel plans only after obtaining the visa.
Postal applications take a minimum of 10 working days (not including transit). In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Centre will contact the applicant and inform them of the date and time of the interview accordingly.
Addresses of consulates
- Ambassade de l’Inde
15, rue Alfred-Dehodencq
Tél. : 01 40 50 70 70
Fax : 01 40 50 09 96
- British High Commission in India
110021 New Delhi
Tél. : +91(11)24192492
- Ambassade de France en Inde
2/50-E Shantipath Chanakyapuri
110021 NEW DELHI
Tél. : +91 (11) 2419 6100
Fax : +91 (11) 2419 6169
- Ambassade d'Inde
217 Chaussee De Vleurgat
Tél. : +32 (0)2 6409140
Fax : +32 (0)2 6489638
- Ambassade de l'Inde
ChancellerieCase postale 406
3000 Berne 6
Tél. : 031/351 11 10
Fax : 031/351 15 57
Malaria prevention is strongly recommended so use insect repellent and wear protective clothing. Obtain anti-malarial medicine from your doctor before travelling.
Even seasoned travellers may find themselves at the mercy of travellers’ diarrhoea. Hygiene standards vary. If possible, travel around with soap or antibacterial gel in order to clean your hands. The culprits that cause diarrhoea are often the microorganisms found in local water supplies, so decrease your chances by drinking bottled or boiled water. You can have alcoholic drinks but say no to ice. Drink carbonated beverages or those with only boiled water like coffee and tea.
Carry rehydration solution packets, Pepto Bismol or Imodium in case you are afflicted. Before your travel, seek medical advice about what to take for self-treatment.
Wear adequate sunscreen or do like the locals to beat the heat and avoid the sun between 1200 and 1600 when it is at its harshest; don a cotton kameez to keep covered and cool.
Our recommendation :
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.
Budget and money
Note: The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Sometimes smaller vendors will not take bills larger than Rs 500. It is best to carry a range of rupee notes if you are shopping at bazaars and local markets.
In major cities, the full cadre of banks cards are generally accepted including debit cards, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. However, in smaller towns and villages, choice is generally narrowed to cash or MasterCard and Visa.
24 hour ATM machines can be found in all the major cities and most large towns. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus are amongst the most commonly accepted cards.
Telephone and jetlag
Dialling code +91
Did you know?
Did you know?
The Chang Pa nomads who live in the Rupshu plateau through which you ride on this horseback trail in Ladakh, are more closely related to Tibetans than Ladakhi's. Since the early 1960's, nomad numbers have increased as Changthang nomads flee across the border from Chinese-ruled Tibet. Since 2000 some of these nomads have abandoned the nomadic lifestyle and settled in Leh town and there are now about 3,500 Tibetan refugees in the Leh District.
The Chang Pa of Ladakh are high altitude pastoralists who mainly raise goats and yaks. Nomadic Chang Pa are known as Phalpa and they move their herds between the Hanley valley and the village of Lato. Historically these nomads would migrate into Tibet but this route has now been closed by the Chinese government.