Savour one of the signature views of the northwest Himalayas from the comfort of your own luxury tent at UTC Thiksey – a glampsite with a location any five-star hotel would die for. Facing the remarkable profile of the region’s largest monastery, ascending in tiers of whitewashed monks’ cells to the gilded rooftops at the summit, the camp has a prime location that’s perfect for exploring less frequented corners of the Indus Valley. Spend the morning cycling around the fields and byways of pretty Thiksey village before visiting the monastery itself, from whose rooftop you gain a sublime panorama over the barley fields to the Stok Kangri massif. Later, venture further south to Hemis, one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist centres of learning in Ladakh, and one of only a few to host its annual festival during the summer months. Time your visit well and you could experience the wondrous sight of Hemis’s giant ‘thangkha’ being unfurled down the sides of its red-ochre prayer hall as costumed monks perform spinning masked ‘Cham’ dances in the courtyard below.
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