Unearth the rare treasures of Ladakh in the young Himalayas.
Journey with us to Ladakh in Northern India, along the Indus River where icy water flows from the young Himalayan glaciers and stretch your gaze from picture postcard like scenes of the changing colours of the mountains to mud houses, monasteries and sweet apricot trees. At 3,500 meters above sea level, Ladakh is for the curious seeker with an adventurous streak.
Several months of research, meeting local artisans, exploring micro cultures and a hundreds of namkeen chais later, the Soulscape team has crafted it’s Ladakh expedition. Learn from 10th generation Thangka painting artisans who labour for 3 months or more to create a single masterpiece. Drink chai with wood carvers hidden away in maze of workshops, and learn how they create the intricate designs that adorn temples.
Ladakh will transport you to ideologies rooted in creative expressions, thriving in what may seem to be extreme ecosystems and a humble existence rooted in Buddhism.
Ladakh at a glance
Set on trade routes to the East and South Asia, Ladakh’s heritage is as diverse as the mix of pebbles that line the bed of the Indus River, a once fertile floodplain that sustained the thriving ancient Indus Valley civilisation.
This ‘land of high passes’ was once Tibetan, once Dogra, once Mongolian and now part of Jammu & Kashmir state (India). Buddhism along with art and crafts blossomed here and artists were honoured by Kings and given the surname ‘Spon’ (artist).
Resilient by nature, Ladakhis share their friendliness with traditional ‘namkeen chai’ (savoury butter tea), freshly picked apricots and if you are in time – homemade beer ‘Chang’. Typically, Ladakhi homes (once made out of mud) come with underground chambers aka ’natural freezers’ to store grain and vegetables for the winter months – locals here take a zero waste approach to food and you will often find families apricots in their homes which you’ll quickly notice are abundant in the Summer.
A popular Bollywood film showcased some of Ladakh’s highlights to much of the Indian sub-continent, which has inspired travellers from all over the Asian continent and beyond to take the journey to the city of Leh. Tourism here is still less in comparison to other Himalayan destinations and is often consolidated to Leh and popular landmarks such as Pangong Lake, Nubra valley.
With travellers come new influences, young Ladakhis are increasingly leaving behind their ancestral homes and traditions to adopt new ways of living. This has resulted in fewer and fewer people up keeping traditional arts and crafts.
This decade will see a rapid change in the way of life of the Ladakhi people and is probably the last opportunity for the world to experience the dying traditions and arts of Ladakh. Travelling further away from Leh you will discover more remote, quaint and unspoilt villages preserved in a valley of the Himalayas, too small to be of interest to invaders, looters or mainstream tourism. This is where the magic is still intact.
Our magic potion
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