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Experience

of ladakh

Places Of Interest

Personalised picnics in landscapes that take your breath away. Journeys to discover quaint mountain villages and ancient monasteries. Hard riding the high passes on an Enfield 500 or soft cycling the hilly terrain. White water rafting on the mighty Indus or Zanskar rivers. Hiking through the Himalayas with an experienced guide to lead the way. At The Grand Dragon Ladakh, we offer you much more than just our luxurious hospitality. We promise you a holiday far above the ordinary.

Sites Of Worship

Likir Monastery

A Buddhist monastery just 52 kms west of Leh, perched atop a little hill by the Indus River, Likir is a repository of ancient artifacts: manuscripts, a significant Thangka collection, costumes and earthen pots. And on its roof, is a 75 ft. high gilded statue of the Maitreya Buddha.

Pather Sahib

A beautiful Gurudwara built in 1517 to commemorate the visit of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak to Ladakh.

Sankar Monastery

This small monastery is a branch of Spituk Monastery, and prides itself on a collection of miniature statues with pure gold paintings.

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985 and completed in 1991 by the Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. A repository of the relics of the Buddha, it was established for world peace.

Spituk Monastery

The Spituk monastery boasts of prized Thangkas paintings and enormous statues of Kali.

Thiksey Monastery

Famed for its impressive Potala-like location overlooking many picturesque villages.

Tsemo Monastery

Built in 1430 A.D., the monastery prides itself on statues of the Maitreya Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushree as well as ancient manuscripts and frescoes.

Leh Mosque

Located in the heart of Leh town, this is one of the major historical mosques in Ladakh, also featuring a memorial to the Sufi saint, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani.

Lamayuru Monastery

One of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh, Lamayuru is home to 150 resident monks, and hosts two annual masked dance festivals in the Tibetan lunar calendar, when all the monks from surrounding monasteries gather here to pray.

Hemis Monastery

The largest and the most important of all monasteries in Ladakh, this Tibetan Buddhist monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king, Sengge Namgyal. The annual Hemis festival in early June is a landmark event in the Ladakhi calendar.

Alchi Monastery

A monastic complex dating back to the 10th Century, famed for its gigantic clay statues of Buddha, and a painted ceiling of stupa from the 12th/13th Century.

Heritage Sites

Leh Palace

Built in the 17th Century, this is Sengge Namgyal’s imposing nine-story palace, jutting out of the slopes of Tsemo Hill overlooking the town of Leh.

Shey Palace & Monastery

Once the summer capital of Ladakh, Shey dates back to the 17th Century. The Monastery, with its vibrant coloured murals and its giant gilded statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha is a major attraction of Ladakh.

Stok Palace & Museum

The summer palace of royal family of Ladakh, this wonderful little palace is more intimate and welcoming than the Leh Palace, with its own museum showcasing artefacts and memorabilia associated with the dynasty.

Natural Spectacles

Magnetic Hill

A gravity hill about 32 kms from Leh, believed to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars and force aircrafts to increase their altitude in order to escape magnetic interference.

Nimo

This is the where the two mighty rivers, the Zanskar and Indus rivers meet and flow on as Indus, a popular spot for rafting. Amazingly the waters of the Indus are brown in the winters and blue in the summer, while Zanskar is blue-green in the winters and muddy brown ripples in the summer.

Nubra Valley

Cross the world’s highest motorable road at Khardongla at 18,380 feet into the Nubra, literally meaning the valley of flowers. Famously known as Treaty Road, this is the ancient caravan route to Central Asia where you can still see double humped Bactrian camels ride the sand dunes, and with their cute unruly mop of hair.

Pangong Lake

At an altitude of 4530 m, with a width of 5/6 kms and a length of 130 kms, the ethereal beauty of Pangong is breathtaking. It’s waters glistening in shades of deep blue, turquoise and azure form part of the border between India and China.

Sindhu Ghat

A peaceful ghat on the banks of one the seven most sacred rivers in India, the Sindhu (Indus) that originates near the Mansarovar Lake and Mt Kailash in Tibet, and enters India through the Leh Valley, before it flows through to Pakistan.

Tsomoriri Lake

The largest high altitude lake within India, Tsomoriri is a 24 km long expanse of salty water, fed by springs and snow-melt, and has only recently been opened to foreign trekkers.

Turtuk Valley

Liberated from Pakistan in 1971 war, this is the northern-most part of the Indian Territory, opened for tourism as recently as 2010. Explore its isolated landscape, the virgin culture of Baltistan and set your eyes on the famous K2 peak. Also get a delicious taste of natural apricots, Silajit, and shop for local art craft items such as Ibex horn stick, stone carved utensils, etc.

Out And About

CYCLE AWAY

Explore the terrain of Ladakh on your own terms as you pedal with the wind on German engineered Merida mountain bikes. Meander through quaint villages, with their little streetside shops. Buy homemade yak cheese, shawls and local varieties of tea. Stop to take in a stunning view. Breathe the fragrance of some wild flowers. Take a break to chat with the warm and wonderful people of Ladakh. And burn up some of those calories, while you’re having a great time.

Time For A Jeep Safari

Take the high road on a spectacular jeep safari through the mighty Himayalas. Ride on the highest motorable roads in the world. Get an amazing off-road experience on rugged desert tracks. Feel the cool mountain air on your face. It’s a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Safari On A Camel

While in the valley of flowers, Nubra Valley, don’t miss out on a chance to take a ride back in history on the cute double humped Bactrian camel, who has walked these mountain paths and trade routes since the 17th Century!

Sight The Wildlife

Ladakh in the winters is another kind of magic. Snow covered landscape, frozen lakes, arctic temperatures and a sense that it’s all your own because the tourists aren’t there. Perfect conditions to get a sighting of the Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep and Mountain Wolf. You can’t wait to get to Ladakh in the winter.

Play The Winter Sports

The freezing months of the Ladakhi winter, its cold desert extends a warm welcome to lovers of winter sports. Come, enjoy ice skating and hockey in frozen streams and high altitude lakes. Watch exciting exhibition matches in Leh. Are you game?

Go White Water Rafting

It’s an experience quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Riding the rapids of the Indus and Zanskar rivers in Ladakh. Feeling the vitality of the water in the midst of the stark desert landscape. Enjoying the beauty of the deep gorges, the towering snowcapped peaks, hilltop monasteries and villages. And enjoying rare glimpses of the unique wildlife of the region.

Get Biking Power

Ride a state-of-the-art motorbike on the highest motorable roads in world that wind their way through the mighty Himalayas. Breathe in the crisp mountain air. Feel the race of your pulse on this adventurous ride. Carry back memories of a lifetime.

Climb A Rock

On the roof of the world with its dramatic peaks and plateaus, climbing the rocks is an experience like no other. Explore the rocky outcrops with long sprouting strands of grass and wildflowers. Let experts guide you to natural footholds and handholds and help propel you upwards securely. While you will only be scaling a modest part of the mighty mountains, you’ll never forget the feeling from up there.

In-House Action

Yoga & Meditation

At The Grand Dragon Ladakh you have the rare opportunity to do yoga and meditate against the backdrop of the Himalayas with the fresh mountain air cleansing you inside, out. Conducted by Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, these sessions are held in groups to maximise the flow of positive energy created when more people do ‘dhyana’ together. Their approach is two-fold approach: ‘samatha’ to help calm the mind and body, and ‘vipassana’ for elevation to a greater consciousness. Get ready to set yourself free: mind, body and soul.

Barbecues & Bonfires

Every evening as the sun and the temperatures drop in Leh, The Grand Dragon Ladakh comes alive with deliciously inviting barbeques and heart warming bonfire. Come, gather around and enjoy to your heart (and stomach’s) content!

Get Cultural

You don’t have to leave The Grand Dragon Ladakh to get a taste of the local culture because there’s always something to inspire you within the hotel. Film screenings. Art showings. Exhibitions on local craft and textiles. Workshops on traditional calligraphy. You name it. And if you, your family or colleagues want something special, just ask and we will be happy to organise it for you.

Game Room

When you feel like some action without getting out of the hotel, take the cue and head down to the game room. Pocket a few holes at the pool table. Or smash some aces at table tennis. It’s time to play.

Shop For Souvenirs

At The Grand Dragon Ladakh, we have another real treat in store for you: the in-house Souvenir Gallery with its handpicked selection of Pashmina shawls, Buddhist masks, Thangka paintings, silver and turquoise jewellery, hand-woven carpets and rugs, Tibetan prayer wheels and intricately carved low tables, the Choktse. So come, discover their beauty and craftsmanship, and carry home a really special trove of gifts and memories.

Winters In Ladakh

When it’s time for a holiday like no other, head to Ladakh in the winter. A time when the snow-capped mountains, frozen rivers, still mountain air and silence of the breathtaking vistas, all seem to be waiting just for you. A unique experience with very few other discerning tourists in the area, and yet so much to do: explore the landscape and the sites, or adventure out to trek or walk the solid rivers. And returning every day to the warmth and hospitality of The Grand Dragon Ladakh.

Travel advisory

In January, temperatures in Ladakh range between - 8°C to -22°C (feels like -17°C to -35°C). So while The Grand Dragon Ladakh is cosily temperature controlled, please ensure you are well-equipped to brave the cold outside.

Your essentials should include:

  • Warm jackets, sweaters, trousers, gloves and caps (Please carry your jackets in your hand bag for easy access on arrival)
  • Adequate warmers/thermalwear and socks
  • Sports/mountain shoes
  • Sunscreen (Min SPF 50)
  • Sunglasses
  • You may ask your doctor if you should start a course of Diamox [Acetazolamide] two days prior to arrival in Ladakh.

Local Learning Experience

When it’s time for a holiday like no other, head to Ladakh in the winter. A time when the snow-capped mountains, frozen rivers, still mountain air and silence of the breathtaking vistas, all seem to be waiting just for you. A unique experience with very few other discerning tourists in the area, and yet so much to do: explore the landscape and the sites, or adventure out to trek or walk the solid rivers. And returning every day to the warmth and hospitality of The Grand Dragon Ladakh.

The Momo Story

A little bit of history, a little bit of art and a lot of heart

This culinary experience is designed to offer the complete experience of traditional Ladakhi momos with the cooking class lead by our local chefs. Our chefs will take you on tours of the local market, show you how to pick the best local ingredients and share their culinary secrets and Momo recipes with you. At the end, enjoy the healthy momos made by your own hands.

Path of The Tibetan Medicine

The Art of Sowa-Rigpa with Amchi Tempa

A centuries old Traditional system of Medicine, based on the teachings of Buddha. While the western medicine treats only symptoms with drugs and works on solitary parts of the body, the traditional Tibetan Medicine takes on a holistic approach by focusing on the whole, harmonizing the body, energy and mind through balancing the five elements. Encounter some of the most knowledgeable Amchis (Doctors) and get a real insight into the theory of Sowa-Rigpa, i.e. Science of healing.

Awakened Healing

Melodious balance of Nature and Inner-Being

Welcome to the sacred space of the most ancient and healing practices of Shamanism and Chöd. Align your energy through this transformative experience discovering peace, wellbeing and a feeling of communion with all life.

Chöd Healing

The sacred Buddhist chant and drum healing

Mystical healing that cuts through problems, hopelessness, and barriers between you and your True Self by connecting to the feminine wisdom energy. The sacred Buddhist chanting and the ritualistic beating of the drum purify the five elements of the body and mind, harmonizing matter with soul. The healing transforms by taking you beyond identification with the egoic self, bringing you in touch with your clear light. Come and experience this extraordinary power of the time-honored Tibetan Buddhist Healing and flow with the rhythm of divinity in and out of you.

Shamanic Healing

Connect with a spiritual guide

Get divine guidance for your life through the ancient practice of shamanic healing. Allow this timeless wisdom to heal your body, mind, and spirit. The session might help you find an answer to your questions or problems, using divination to clear your doubts through communication with the higher powers. After entering into an altered state of consciousness or trance, the spirit guide speaks prophetically through the Shaman as a medium, giving a personal insight and healing energy (or blessings), leaving us to feel protected in the warmth and compassion of the beings of higher dimensions through communication with the higher powers.

holistic wellnes

A visit to Men Tsee Khang

Come to learn about the holistic way of Tibetan healing at Men Tsee Khang. Watch a short documentary and be a part of an interactive discussion with an expert Doctor about the ancient therapy that emphasizes harmony and balance of body and mind. Take a guided tour of their museum & library and get a free consultation from a specialist.

breathe, pause, embrace

Harmonize your body, mind and spirit

Awaken your body and rejuvenate your mind with yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation. Our sessions are designed to enliven your spirits and renew balance to your body and mind. The teaching is held with great reverence, love and care. Come and connect with your inner most Self through our gentle yoga and meditation.

docu-dine

Feel the diversity of Himalayan roots through Films.

Immerse yourself in documentary films exploring cultures, heritage and people. Tendrel offers to screen films that expand the meaning of Himalayan philosophy. Discover the richness of these cultures and customs. Learn more through conversations with an expert post the viewing and end the session with delicious local food.

DOCU-DINE

Open screenings

An open for all event, with rich and varied documentaries on offer. Just walk in, grab a cuppa and let the magic of movies take over the night.

a slice of art

Cultural connections through local Art

Open doors to new ideas, activities and skills of ancient Ladakhi Art of Thangka Painting, butter & clay sculpting along with sharing traditional and experimental approach to teaching Ladakhi Art. Our lightly structured small group workshops are led by some of the most remarkable local artists who are ever-willing to share their artistry, deep understanding and spirits. Be prepared to have a lot of fun.

carve your dreams

An introductory workshop on woodcarving

“Wood is universally beautiful to man. It is the most humanly intimate of all materials.” – Frank Lloyd Wright Have you ever dreamt of working with something so pure as wood? Realize your dream by this introductory workshop on woodcarving that could turn into a life-long hobby. Connect with Mother Nature and discover your own creative energies as you sync yourself to nature’s craftsmanship. Learn about the tools and basic cuts by creating your own carving that you can take home as a souvenir.

thangka painting

Cultural connections through local Art

Immerse yourself in the aesthetic beauty of the ancient Buddhist art form of Thangka painting which dates back to the 7th century. An introduction to the sacred practice that is primarily used as an assistance to meditation. Although, it takes years to master this practice, in a single session you will get a glimpse into the methods used in the traditional art form. Use this creative experience to express your true nature, unwinding yourself in this delightful practice and take home what you paint!

clay sculpting

Find your artistic expression

Get creative by engaging yourself in the art of clay sculpting. Grab this unique opportunity to learn from a local and expert artist. Experiment with various sculpting tools and inspire yourself to create something with your own hands.

butter sculpting

A spiritual art form

Come and get a sense of one of the most unique art forms of Tibet that is centuries old and is still practiced by monks. Learn straight from a monk how to create a “sculpture out of butter, barley, and colors as an act of offering to the deities and spirits of the higher realms. “

beyond religion

Ethics for the whole world

Humanity as One; Believers of any faith or atheists, this talk welcomes all and emphasizes on Dalai Lama’s deepest teachings on compassion and tolerance. A learning that transcends religion as a way to recognize and appreciate our common humanity based on understanding and mutual respect.

O-lay! Jullay! Celebrating Cultures

Rejoice the colors

Rejoice the colors of this unique cultural event giving us a rare taste of different ethnic Art forms. Come and flow in the rhythm of these Artists, “who are carrying and preserving the time-honored forms of Music and Dance.”

Outdoor ACTIVITIES

O-lay! Jullay! Celebrating Cultures

Rejoice the colors

Rejoice the colors of this unique cultural event giving us a rare taste of different ethnic Art forms. Come and flow in the rhythm of these Artists, “who are carrying and preserving the time-honored forms of Music and Dance.”

O-lay! Jullay! Celebrating Cultures

Rejoice the colors

Rejoice the colors of this unique cultural event giving us a rare taste of different ethnic Art forms. Come and flow in the rhythm of these Artists, “who are carrying and preserving the time-honored forms of Music and Dance.”

tibetan walking tour

Learn about Tibetan identity and culture in exile

Tendrel offers an unforgettable day at the quaint village of Choglamsar. Visit His Holiness’s sacred Palace, Tibetan Children Village school, experience the silence of the Holy Indus, a monastery of Nyingma Tradition, a mesmerizing place of Stupas and Prayer Wheels, have home-made lunch with the local family and soak in the positive vibes of the places that you visit.

travel for soul

The splendid blend of Ancient Heritage and Nature, at Likir and Saspol

Be exhilarated by some of the world’s most breathtaking and untouched locations. Allow us to take you on this magical journey to the village of Likir. Learn on site, the ancient art of Ladakhi pottery and in the process save the art from extinction. Spend time in close proximity with the locals. And finally, end the day with an extraordinary visit to the caves at Saspol with ancient paintings dated back to 13-15th century, carrying the blessings of Maha-yogis for thousand of years.

a day with a monk in

A divine adventure

Tendrel offers individuals and small groups an authentic spiritual experience to spend a day with a Tibetan Monk. Get some real insight into the life of a monk, a unique opportunity to have lunch with his family, alongside visiting some of the most unforgettable places in Choglamsar, Leh.

follow the shepard trail

Day Trek

Great things happen when one meets the mountains. A trek especially designed for those with an interest in the Himalayan philosophies and rural lifestyle. Start the day with a visit to the captivating and unique Monastery of Matho, tucked away amongst the snow-capped peaks of Ladakh. Further on, ascend the mountain, re-discovering the ancient trails of the shepherds to discover a magnificent view of the Indus Valley. Wind up the trek with an enchanting glimpse of the nomadic life.

leh heritage walk

A Guided walk for every traveler

Join us on our heritage walking tour that covers many of the noted historical sites of Leh. Our expert guide will show you a different perspective on the Leh market, the old town of Leh, the Central Asian Museum, moving on to the breathtaking Leh Palace where the landscapes and the age-old architecture come together to tell a story woven across time and finally having tea at the oldest café in town. A three-hour walk, in a small group, will have the visitors immersed in enchanting surroundings ensuring an unforgettable experience.

tale of pashmina - nomadic

Living with the Nomads 2 nights - 3 days

Perched at an average elevation of 4700 m, Changthang is a high altitude desert. It is an impressionable landscape, one whose striking beauty, vast emptiness and unforgiving terrain will not vanish quickly from memory. This journey offers a unique experience of living and interacting with Tibetan and Ladakhi nomads at a camp for three days and two nights. Join us for this unbelievable adventure of a lifetime.

temple stay

In-Joy the journey

If you are the one who likes to balance sightseeing with in-side seeing; to witness the “miracles of nature with-in and with-out; appreciate the taste of a quiet life to gain deeper insight amongst the picturesque landscapes of this marvelous land of high“ passes, then this temple stay is perfect for you. Tendrel offers a unique opportunity to stay in a temple by the banks of the holy Indus River. Practitioners of any religion or atheists, the temple welcomes all alike, silently helping you find peace and serenity within.

tendrel - local stay

Experience the Ladakhi - Tibetan hospitality

For a genuine experience, escape from the usual ordinary touristy paths and live with a local Tibetan family in the quaint village of Choglamsar, finding your home away from home. Whether you are independent travelers or in a small group, Mr. Wangyal and his endearing family will make sure you feel the warmth and comfort of a home. Immerse yourself in their culture and day to day life, also learning firsthand about the Tibetan exile community and their history. Make memories of a lifetime through this unique experience.

tread the unknown

Reviving the Art of Ladakh through conscious traveling, at Chilling and Sumda Chun

Travel through extraordinary paths, alongside the beautiful Indus and Zanskar river en route to Chilling. Delve into this quaint little village which has been preserving the historic art of metal works of copper, silver, iron and bronze over centuries. At Tendrel, we feel that a significant way to conserve a culture is through safeguarding its local craftsmanship. We invite you to experience the life of one of the few remaining metal craftsmen of Ladakh, working diligently to preserve his ancestral legacy. Have an unforgettable day around these serene and breathtaking landscapes while helping the sustenance of the vanishing artform. Lastly, closing the day with a wondrous excursion to a 12th century Monastery of Sumda Chun.

nomad festival of his holiness

- 4/7Th July 2019 Celebration of the compassion 3 nights - 4 days

Come together for the 84th Birth Anniversary of His Holiness, celebrated every year by the Nomads of Ladakh. This festival takes place at Thadsang Karu Lake, at 4700 m on the isolated Changtang Plateau. Be a part of the Nomadic get together for a four day event commemorating our precious Dalai Lama’s birthday. Discover the magnificient Tso Moriri and Tso Kar. The days activities will include cultural events, camping in a beautiful site along with horse riding, playing ancient Tibetan games, enjoying music and dancing and getting to know the nomadic life in close proximity. We are sure it will be an unforgettable, once in a lifetime, nomadic adventure for you.