Ladakh - Dharamsala
August 16th - September 03rd 2017
Venerable Thupten Donyo will be leading charity tours to Asia at least once a year to raise fund for Delek Children's Foundation. Joining one of the trips will help to send a child to further education. He has previously led similar tours with Gyuto members. So this year we're thrilled to announce a charity tour to Ladakh and Dharamsala, India in August 2017.
This tour takes you all the way from the capital of India to the mountainous abode of Ladakh, through Jispa, then on to Manali and eventually Dharamsala. After a day in Delhi, you will fly across the mountains into Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Here you will spend part of your trip visiting legendary monasteries and villages of Hemis, Lamayuru and Alchi and experience the rich culture of Ladakh. Once leaving ladakh, you will drive through some of the world's highest passes with spectacular scenery and visit other small towns of Manali and Dharamsala. Over the course of the drive, the scenery changes from barren lunar-like landscapes with towering peaks and hanging glaciers to verdant deodar forests and flower-filled valleys. As our route weaves its way across the Himalayas, we will see monasteries majestically perched on high spurs and we’ll enjoy the tranquility and beauty of a genuinely untouched land. You will also get a chance to attend His Holiness Dalai Lama's annual 4 days teaching at his main temple at Dharamsala, India.
This is one of the best seasons of all for visiting the amazing and picturesque locations of Leh and Ladakh as the place is imbued in wonderful colors in all their glory right up thorough the Srinagar-Leh as well as Manali-Leh roads.
Venerable Thupten Donyo, Director of Delek Children's Foundation, is organizing a Charity Tour to Ladakh and Dharamsala, India that will take place August 16th - September 3rd, 2017.
Please note: during the tour we will be staying in 2 to 4 star hotels and will also camp for one or two nights. Ven. Donyo will be traveling with the group to make sure that our members have a pleasant tour in India. We will also be flying two times, at the beginning and end of the tour and then travel by jeep or van.
Joining the Charity Tour with Venerable Donyo will help raise funds for the Himalayan Children's Education. Ven. Donyo recently transferred the Directorship of Gyuto Foundation, which he founded in 2000, to the main monastery in India, and is now dedicating his life to the Himalayan Children's Education and Healthcare Project through Delek Children's Foundation.
A limited number of people will be accepted to join the pilgrimage. Interested members should contact Ven. Donyo for registration by email to email@example.com or by phone at (510) 926 3050. Registration will be taken on a "first come, first serve" basis and is open to everyone and registration will be closed by Saturday, July 15th 2017. Registration is open now.
The Charity Tour will cost $3,100.00 per person without international air fare and it includes 16 days of lodging, meals and local transportation. All prices based on shared rooms, twin beds. If you would like a single room there will be an additional $800 per person. We do not recommend to book single room because it will be costly. Invite a family member or friend to join the pilgrimage.
If there are seats available, please send us the registration form :
with a photocopy of your passport and a $500.00 non-refundable deposit payable by check to Delek Children’s Foundation (please write Charity Tour on the memo line) and mail it to: 5600 Sutter Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 to ensure your spot on the Charity Tour. You can also
Then final payment of the trip must be paid in full no later than 30 days before departure. After receiving your deposit, we'll send you the confirmation. However, without the deposit your registration will not be confirmed. Your deposit will be part of the payment.
If anyone wishes to join the tour from other states or other countries, they are welcome to do so. However, registration is still required and all participants must arrive in New Delhi no later than August 17th, 2017.
Group will be flying from San Francisco to New Delhi. We have booked our flights through Third Eye Travel in Fremont and I recommend booking your flight with www.thirdeyetravel.com . When you contact Third Eye Travel, ask for Sonam at (510) 487- 9010 or firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure that you are making reservation with Donyo's Group. Third Eye Travel has always been very helpful to our previous trips and they have helped us with successful pilgrimage in the past. If you fly with different airlines, please make sure that you must arrive in New Delhi on the same day according the schedule. If you arrive in Delhi before or after the group all the additional expenses will NOT be included in the package.
Please apply for your Indian visa before you book your airline ticket unless you already obtained your Indian visa previously. Here is the Indian Visa Information.
During the trip you will be sharing rooms that have twin beds. If you prefer not to share a room and prefer to have single accommodations, there will be an extra charge and reservations are subject to availability. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate. However, if no roommate is available you will be charged the single accommodation room rate. Therefore, we advise you to encourage your family and/or friends to join the pilgrimage so you can share a room with your family or friends. We will make the greatest effort to make you as comfortable as possible.
All local members who are joining the Charity Tour with Ven. Donyo are invited for afternoon tea at the Foundation. For those who are flying from different cities, it is not necessary to join the orientation. Ven. Donyo will be giving a brief introduction about the trip so that the members will have full knowledge about trip as well as Indian culture. Those members who can attend the orientation, you can organize your roommate at the orientation. Those who can't join the orientation then we'll assign your roommate.
Please note: Please make sure that you are in good health in order to travel to India with group and free to walk about an hour each day.
Please note: Since most of the members are flying from out of State our orientation has been cancelled
When: Sunday, August 6th, at 2 pm - 4 pm
Where: 1478 Olive Ave. Richmond, CA 94805
Tea and coffee will be served.
BUDDHIST PILGRIMAGE COST INCLUDES:
- * Flight from New Delhi to Leh, Ladakh
- * Return flight from Dharamsala to New Delhi
- * All meals are included during the entire trip
- * 14 day transportation by bus, Jeep or van
- * All lodging in twin bed, shared rooms in 2*-4* hotels
- * English speaking tour escort at all times
- * All entrance fees to the sites
COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- International airfare or visa fees
- Travel Insurance
- Airport taxes if any
- Expenses of personal nature
- Excess baggage
- All personal expenses such as DRINKS, LAUNDRY, MEDICAL, etc.
- Insurance of any kind
- Any incidental charges such as flight delay/cancellation due to unforeseen happenings.
- Bank charges for fund transfer.
- Costs which are not included above in “Cost Includes”
- On the last day we request all members to offer small gifts to our bus driver and driver's assistant. They always expect some gift from us at the end of the service.
- Those members who arrive in Delhi before or stay behind the tour schedule, all additional expenses will be covered by the individual including meals, hotel and transportation from the airport. We encourage everyone to travel on the same flight or try to meet our schedule if flying with different flights or flying from different states in order to keep the cost for the tour.
If you decide to cancel and notify us in writing before departure, we will refund your money after subtracting the following fee:
More than 60 days ............$500
30 - 59 days....................... 50%
Less than 30 days .............No Refund
There will be no refunds if you leave the trip for any reason, after the trip has begun. No refund will be made for meals and accommodations if not utilized.
ITINERARY & DESCRIPTION OF THE SITES:
Tour Itinerary for August 16th - September 3rd, 2017
Wednesday, August 16th: Depart San Francisco to New Delhi
Thursday, August 17th: Still on Flight
Friday, August 18th: Arrive in Delhi
Meet and assist on arrival at Delhi International airport and transfer to hotel. Check-in hotel on arrival and overnight stay at Hotel Royal Plaza.
Saturday, August 19th: Delhi – Leh
Early morning, departure transfer to domestic airport to board flight to Leh. Meet and assist by representative on arrival at Leh airport and transfer to hotel. No activities and take rest in order to acclimatize the high altitude which is 3500 Meters above sea level. In the evening, take a short walk around Leh market. (Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span)
Sunday, August 20th: Leh
Full day excursion trip to the famous monasteries, it is interesting to visit early in the morning to enjoy the praying ceremony at Thiksey monastery. Continue drive to Hemis monastery which is one of the most famous monasteries of the Ladakh region. On the way back visit to Shey Palace. After lunch, visit Spituk Monastery and Phyang monastery. (Overnight at Hotel Spic n Span)
Monday, August 21st: Leh – Khardong Pass – Leh (85 Kms.)
Day’s excursion to Khardongla Pass which is highest Motorable Pass in the world at 5600 Mtrs. and has been recorded in the Gunnies book of World Records. One can witness beauty of snowcapped mountains from the top. (Overnight at Apple Cottage Camp)
Tuesday, August 22nd: Leh – Alchi (72 Kms.)
Leave for Alchi monastery known as Alchi Choskor is the only monastery in the Ladakh on flat ground. On the way visit Bazgo Castle which lies on the right bank of the Indus. After lunch, visit Alchi monastery famous for Wall paintings of 11th Century and explore the nature beauty of Alchi Village. (Overnight at Hotel Zamskhang)
Wednesday, August 23rd: Alchi – Lamayuru – Leh (168 Kms.)
Leave Alchi and continue drive to Lamayuru via Khaltsi (passport checking point). Lamayuru monastery which is the oldest monastery founded in 10th century. In the late afternoon, drive back to Leh which is 4-5 hours' drive. (Overnight at Hotel Spic N Span)
Thursday, August 24th: Leh – Chumathang – Tsomo riri (240 Kms)
Leave in the morning and drive to Chumathang. Stop at Upshi for passport checking. Chumathang is famous for medical hot spring and people visit to this place for medical bath and visit Chumathang monastery. (Overnight in Nomadic Life Camp)
Friday, August 25th: Tsomoriri – Puga – Tsokar – Sarchu
Early morning after the breakfast, visit Korzok village with its houses and its gompa appearing like a mirage. Thereafter, drive to Mahe village and from here towards Puga Valley. The village is an unforgettable scene of shooting fountain and white clouds hanging upon. Continue drive to Tsokar via Polokongka pass (13500 ft.) and visit Tsokar (small Lake). From here, continue drive to Sarchu. Arrive Sarchu, tonight our camp will be at 4200 Mtrs. and it will be the coldest night during the whole tour. (Overnight at Adventure Camp)
Saturday, August 26th: Sarchu – Jispa- Keylong-Manali(256 Kms)
Sarchu is the border line between Jammu/Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. After driving 20 kms., we enter into Himachal Pradesh and we reach Baralachala pass (4883 Mtrs). Continue descending upto Jispa and from here another 25 Kms will take you to Keylong – the head district in this area. Thereafter, we continue drive to Manali. Finally we reach Khoksar where we stop for passport checking and continue ascending towards Rohtang pass (3978 Mtrs) and we dip into Manali region. Another 51 Kms. drive will take us to Manali.(Overnight at Hotel Himgiri )
Sunday, August 27th: Manali – Rewalsar (Tso Pema) holy lotus lake.
After breakfast, visit to the Vaishisht hot spring bath. In the evening around 05:00 pm, depart to Rewalsar, also known as Tso Pema in Tibetan. (Overnight stay at Tourist Inn,Rewalsar)
Monday, August-28th: Rewalsar – Dharmasala (5 hrs drive approx.)
After breakfast, visit the holy lake by circumambulating the lake and simultaneously visit Tibetan monasteries and Temples around the holy lake. Thereafter, drive up to the hill to visit Guru Padmasambhava Cave and footprints. After lunch, depart to Dharamsala which takes approximately 5 hours to reach by road. (Overnight at Hotel Tibet,Dharamsala)
Tuesday, August 29th: - His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give teachings on Buddhapalita's Commentary on the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way in the main Temple in Dharamsala. (Overnight at Hotel Tibet,Dharamsala)
Wednesday, August 30th: Dharamsala H.H. Dalai Lama's teaching.
Thursday, August 31st: Dharamsala H.H. Dalai Lama's teaching.
Friday, September 1st: - Dharamsala H.H. Dalai Lama's teaching. (Overnight at Hotel Tibet, Dharamsala)
During Dharamsala visit if time permits we will visit monasteries, nunnery and other institutions around Dharamsala.
Saturday, September 2nd: - Dharamsala – Delhi.
Sunday, September 3rd: - Sunday, full day is free for independent activities till departure transfer for onward journey home.
All participants are advised to check with their health insurance carrier regarding coverage abroad as well as their medical professionals for any precautionary medical treatments for travel to India. Emergency medical facilities may not be readily available at all times in India.
Below is a list to help you organize everything you'll need prior to travel:
- Advised to travel as light as possible
- Round-trip International Airline Ticket (s): Please confirm flight details beforehand
- Be sure to arrive to the airport at least three hours prior to departure
Valid Passport with Indian visa
- Extra Copy of Passport: Just in case!
- Extra passport photos- Email yourself a copy so you have a digital copy as well
- Cash: you may need approximately $1,000 - $3,000 for personal needs
- DO NOT bring traveler's checks from small banks!
- Money, passport and tickets need to be protected at all times and carried with you throughout the entire trip
- Travel insurance: not necessary, but recommended.
- November is good weather in Nepal and India but may get a little cold in the morning and evening, so we recommend some warm clothes and/or extra layers just in case
- Comfortable shoes for a lot of walking
- A small, light blanket can be very useful on the bus
- Modest clothes - skin exposure and figure hugging clothes are not commonly worn in India and Nepal and will bring a lot of unwanted and annoying attention
- If you are taking any electrical items, you will need 220 volt (NOT 110 volt) and the correct adapter plug for India
- Small camera and reliable alarm clock
- Hat and sunglasses -the sun can be quite strong even in winter
- Tylenol, cough drops, bandages, and so on for basic first aid/medical needs
- A small hot water bottle
- Strong plastic bags for wet or dirty clothes
- Padlock(s) - mainly for luggage
- Wet wipes or wet towels, very useful in India
- Dried fruit & nuts/ snacks for yourself on the bus
Blow up neck ring cushion
- Small flash light
- Small first aid kit
If you have any questions about the tour, please contact Ven. Donyo directly at (510) 674-6000 or email at: email@example.com.
Thank you and Tashi Delek,