Western Ladakh, known as "Sham" (which means "West" in Ladakhi) is composed of 3 areas:
1. the west part of the Indus valley (where major monasteries such as Alchi and Lamayuru are located),
2. the Dha-Hanu valley (where the Brokpa people live),
3. the Kargil district.
The Indus valley monastery tour towards Alchi and Lamayuru usually takes 2 days. You will visit some of the most impressive Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh such as Basgo, Likir, Alchi, Rizong, Lamayuru, Phyang and Spituk gompas and you will discover authentic and charming Ladakhi villages. The tour also includes the visit of the mysterious Magnetic Hill, the Sikh place of worshipGurdwara Pathar Sahib and the confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers known as Sangam.
With one or two extra days, you could extend the tour to explore the Dha-Hanu valley and spend a night in one of the villages inhabited by the Brokpa community where you could learn more about their unique culture and traditions. Then, you could follow the Indus river up to the village of Batalik located only 8 kilometres from the border with Pakistan and you could visit Kargil, the second largest town in Ladakh situated midway between Leh and Srinagar. On the way back to Leh, you will have the opportunity to visit the small troglodyte monastery of Shargole and the impressive 8-metre-high Maitreya Buddha rock carving at Mulbek.
If you have only 1 day for this tour, it is possible to go to Lamayuru and back to Leh within a day or you could go only up to Alchi.
Choose the itinerary which suits your travel plans among these tours in west Ladakh: