The landscape, culture and history of Ladakh has inspired many a traveler and Shel is the perfect base from which to set out on this wonderful adventure. Whether it is a slow picnic by the river that inspires you, or the majestic art and history of the monasteries, a wander in the wild or a stroll exploring the many aspects of life here, we have something for everyone depending on their interests so get in touch!
The Shey Marshes are considered one of the best spots for birding in Ladakh and our proximity to them means front row access to some wonderful sightings. Wake up to birdsong and head out on a gentle hike for a glimpse of the migratory birds that visit us as well as the endemic population, some of whom reside within our grounds.
Morning prayers at Thiksey Monastery are an exhilarating way to start the day. Open to visitors, this is an experience not to be missed specially since the location of the Monastery is ten minutes from us. Listen to the deep sound of cymbals and chanting as they echo within the temple walls. If early mornings are not for you, go for the panoramic sunset views from the rooftop.
One of the highest salt water lakes, Tso Kar makes for a great day trip from Shel. This region is known for its' biodiversity and bird life. It has recently been designated a Wetland Complex and being off the beaten track is an ideal way to explore the vast open spaces of Ladakh.
Picnics form a large part of family life here in Ladakh. Pack a lunch or evening snacks and head out to a spot near the gushing Indus for a day out in the sun. Swim, sleep and generally unwind as the cool breeze from the river soothes you and the birds wheel in the sky above.
A day at Hemis
One of the largest Monasteries in the region, a visit to Hemis Monastery is a great way to learn about the history of Ladakh as well as the growth of Buddhism in the region. Once you have visited the museum and the various temples within the complex, take a hike up the path that leads up to the meditation caves behind the Monastery. Extremely scenic and meditative, this is a great way to explore the area as well as immerse yourself in nature.
Every month in Ladakh is a painting in different hues. From the pink Apricot Blossoms in March, the lush green of spring, the bright gold and yellow of Autumn to the cold blue of winter, each season is a stunning display of nature at it's best.
Inspired by the Shey Palace, Shel is an ode to this architectural marvel. Before the capital of Ladakh shifted to Leh, Shey was the seat of power in the region. Located at the axis of several important Monasteries, it played a crucial role in terms of location. Saunter around the village and discover the many historical facets this ancient capital holds within its' winding village roads.
Alchi & Saspol
A short climb in the village of Saspol up the meditation caves will leave you breathless but this hike has views that are truly breathtaking. Within the walls of the caves ancient paintings, nearly 3000 years old are well preserved and depict various stories about the growth of Buddhism. After this head over to the Alchi Temple complex which has some of the most beautiful paintings that have been painstakingly restored and maintained.
The various annual festivals held at the different Monasteries across Ladakh are a great way to experience the rich culture of the region. From masked dances to stories enacted by performers, the colours, textures and divinity in these festivals is definitely a once in a lifetime experience to be witnessed.
Get in touch with us to plan your Ladakh itinerary and experience things that are off the tourist trail.