Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Independent, Private

Summer in a Mountain Desert (9 days)

Banyan Tours & Travels - India

Delhi, India To Agra, India

Valid for Departures: 01 May 2018 - 30 Sep 2018

Summer in a Mountain Desert (9 days)

Day 3

Delhi, India Leh, India →Nimoo, India

Day 4

Nimoo, India

Day 5

Nimoo, India→Likhir, India→Alchi, India

Day 6

Nimoo, India→Stok, India

Day 7

Stok, India


Day 1
Delhi, India
The Leela Palace New Delhi None

Arrive Delhi. You are met as you exit the aircraft and you will be taken by buggy to the immigration hall and will have a fast track immigration clearance through the diplomatic track. You will be assisted with collection of your baggage. In the arrival hall you will be introduced to your tour host who will accompany you to the hotel and will discuss your plans for the following day.


The capital of India, Delhi is home to 16 million people, making it the third largest city in India. The strategic location of the city made it an attractive location for invading armies, and it served as the capital for many great empires that ruled India. Many of these Empires built significant monuments, and whilst the Mughal and the British are the most visible, while driving through the city you will see ruins from previous capitals, the earliest dating back to the 12th century.

Day 2
Delhi, India
The Leela Palace New Delhi Breakfast

Your guide to the fascinating history and culture of the area will be Sohail Hashmi who is a Sufi scholar, historian and author and documentary film maker. His best known documentary is called “the history of Urdu”. He comes from a family of scholars and poets – his father was a professor of History and his mother completed her Masters in Persian at the age of 75 and edited a volume of his grandfathers Persian Poetry. His sister is a very well known social activist. Sohail was born in the Old City and is a walking encyclopedia on the social and religious fabric of this area.

You will tour the Old City with Sohail in the morning and later visit the sites of the new city with your tour manager

Tonight we will make a reservation for you at at Jamavar, the Indian speciality restaurant at the hotel. The menu will be a light degustation selection chosen by the chef.

Day 3
Delhi, India
Leh, India
Nimoo, India
Shakti Indus Farmhouse Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You will be transferred to the airport and you will depart for Leh taking Go Air flight G8 217 (8:40 AM/10:00 AM).

On arrival at Leh Airport (3332m/10928ft), you collect your baggage and register yourself at the foreign registration counter

(we will send you the form in advance). You will be met by our representative from ‘Mountain Trails’ outside the terminal. You will then be driven to the Indus House for around an hour from the airport where you meet your Shakti Guide.

You will continue a further 45 minutes to your next village house – Nimoo. Nimoo (3190m/10463 ft) is a large village situated along the Indus valley at the confluence of the Zansker and Induas rivers. The village is characterized by impressive mountain scenery and is considered exceptionally fertile in Ladakhi terms – lush green fields and apricot, apple and walnut orchards.

The Indus House has been renovated by Shakti into a 3 bedroom house overlooking the river. There is a small cabana by the river where you can sit comfortably and read a book or simply relax and listen to the sound of the river.

Day 4
Nimoo, India
Shakti Indus Farmhouse Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning after breakfast, depending on how you are feeling, you will be taken on a two hour walk of the village of Nimoo by your guide. You will get a fascinating insight into rural Ladakhi life before returning to the village house for lunch.

After lunch, relax in the village house or visit the Basgo Fort in the late afternoon. At Basgo (3295m/10808ft) there are three ‘Future Buddha’ monasteries completed in the 16th century and the ruins of a fort that is interesting for its Islamic architecture. You could also take a short walk around Basgo village, depending on how you are feeling.

This evening relax at the village house. We have beautiful terrace patios at our rooftops where you can sit comfortably and read any of the books from our small library collection at the house. Later today, we will organize a cooking lesson with your private chef this evening. Try your hand in learning how to make a few local dishes.

Day 5
Nimoo, India
Likhir, India
Alchi, India
Shakti Village House, Nimoo Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You will continue to Alchi, the only monastery to be built on flat ground. This 11th century temple is particularly interesting for its Indian and Kashmiri influences.

You walk or two and a half hours to the pretty village of Saspol where a picnic lunch is laid out for you. You can also opt to drive to the village.

After lunch you drive to the village of Likhir. It has school where approximately 40 monks study. The Shakti village house you stay in today is located at the head of the Likhir valley, high above the monastery with its famous giant gold Buddha. It was chosen for its magnificent valley views with a range of snow capped mountains beyond.

Later today should you wish to trek, you may walk up to the grazing grounds of Likhir. Walk upwards for about half an hour till the road disappears and you come across a small glacial stream. Cross over the stream to the other side and start ascending a trail for about an hour till you get further upstream to the Likhir summer pastures. There is only one settlement in the grazing ground, where an old lady spends her entire summer at this settlement grazing her yaks and sheep and looking after them.

Alternative option of the day: (Rafting)

After breakfast, you will be driven for an hour up the Zanskar canyon to the village of Chilling (3236m/10614ft) .Chilling is a settlement that is traditionally home to metal smiths and is the only village in Ladakh that has provided copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron work to Leh through the centuries. Your guide will take you for a walk around the village of Chilling and you will get the chance to see the local metal smith at work.

You return to the village house and later you have the option of cycling around the village either walking or on bikes.

Day 6
Nimoo, India
Stok, India
Shakti River House Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we recommend starting early and driving to Thiksey monastery (3400m/11152ft) to experience the early morning Buddhist prayers (you would need to leave at five thirty). This is subject to monastery timing.

Built around 600 years ago, Thiksey monastery is one of the finest examples of Ladakhi religious architecture. The monastery consists of twelve levels ascending the hillside crowned by the current lama’s private residence. Below the monastery proper are chapels and houses stretching down the hillside where one hundred monks of the Yellow Hat Buddhist sect reside. You could spend some time the Amchi who is a Ladakhi medicine man.

You will be driven to your next village house – the River House – for breakfast.

After breakfast you take a full day hike. The hike is the first day of the usually four day trek to the top of Stok Kangri. You will follow a small river up a narrow valley for around two hours until reach the tea house at Changma. The higher you climb, the more impressive the scenery gets with some beautiful and unusual rock formations and stunning views of the Stok range. You can also end your hike at Changma and after a picnic lunch brought up by porters returning the way you came. If you are able, it is worth working another hour and a half to Moncarnmo (4250m/13,727 ft) where there is a tea house and the most magnificent views.

This evening, we could arrange for you to visit an oracle close by. Oracles in Ladakh are said to have healing powers and are fortune tellers as well.

Day 7
Stok, India
Shakti River House Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The full day hike today takes you to Syhang Phu. “Phu” in Ladakhi means summer pastures. After an early breakfast, you will be then be driven an hour to the beautiful village of Sumdo (3700m/12138 ft), where will begin the hike; in an hour you will reach the green pastures of the remote village of Chogdo, where there is a single settlement.

Continue to hike up for 2 hours into a valley where the occasional blue sheep gather to graze and the marmots come out of their burrows to enjoy the sun. You will gradually ascend higher for an hour and reach the Chogdo pass (4600 m/ 15092 ft). From the Chogdo pass, one can get great views of the enchanting snow peaks and a few villages nestled below the Ladakh range of mountains. Upon your gradual descend from the pass, you will cross a little meandering glacial stream and as you walk for an hour further you will reach the high altitude pastures of Shang village (4500 m/ 14764 ft), known as Shang Phu.

A picnic lunch will be served to you at a lovely location in the Shang pastures. After lunch, you will walk down for an hour to Shang village, where a Shakti car will be waiting for you.

Day 8
Leh, India
Delhi, India
Agra, India
The Oberoi Amarvilas Breakfast

You will depart for Delhi by Jet Airways 2367 (08:20 AM/09:45 AM). From the airport you will drive three and a half hours to Agra.


This was the seat of the mighty Mughal Empire before it shifted its capital to Delhi, and it is home to some of their most inspired architectural creations including the Taj Mahal. In the 16th and 17th century, the Mughal Courts were at their most powerful, and were great patron of the arts, and Agra attracted artisans, poets and musicians from across India as well as Persia and Central Asia, transforming Agra into a cultural and architectural paradise.

In the evening you will watch sunset either from the balcony at the hotel or you can visit the lovely Mahtab Bagh gardens, away from the crowds who visit the monument at sunset

Day 9
Agra, India
Delhi, India
None Breakfast

This morning you visit the Taj Mahal when it is at least crowded. This monument was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 12 years to build this sublime garden tomb, an image of the Islamic garden of paradise. It’s perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship was the work of artisans from both India and overseas. The Taj Mahal represents the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in architecture.

You return to the hotel and have time at leisure to enjoy the hotel and perhaps use the spa.

Later you will drive to Delhi International airport and will be assisted with checking in for your onward flight

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


Extraordinary privately organized tours for you.

Note: This Tour is available between May to September

About Us

Banyan Tours & Travels was established in 1996. The objective was to provide travellers to India the highest standard in luxury travel arrangements. Banyan is widely recognized as one of the truly specialist companies in India, with the knowledge and understanding of how to deliver the perfect holiday. Consistently. We enjoy extremely high levels of client satisfaction, especially from those who operate the most demanding programmes in India.

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By: anonymous

Reviewed on: 04 Feb 2017

We loved our tour guide, Shivraj, and everything about Banyan. They took very good care of us.
Travel Advisor:  Valerie Ann Wilson