Global Family Travels Opens Its Favorite Off-the-Beaten-Path Location to Family Travel!
Starting in the summer of 2017, Global Family Travels is inviting traveling families to a unique learning and volunteering experience in India’s Ladakh region… and to discover some of India’s grandest wonders along the way.
Once an independent Buddhist kingdom at the crossroads of vital trade routes between China and the Middle East, Ladakh, often called “Little Tibet” or “Land of the Broken Moon,” is a favorite off-the-beaten-path location for many travelers. Set deep in the Himalaya on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, the region now belongs to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Leh, Ladakh’s capital, is one of the highest (11,500 feet above sea level) and driest inhabited places on earth.
“Ladakh is the most magical and culturally rich place that I have ever experienced, and it is a destination that my company will always visit for many reasons,” says Jennifer Spatz, founder and CEO of Global Family Travels. “Living close to nature in one of the world’s harshest landscapes, the Ladakhi people have much to teach the rest of the world about maintaining a sustainable, harmonious balance with the environment.”
Besides the Great Himalaya, three other major mountain ranges pass through Ladakh: the Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh. The beautiful high terrain of this region, dotted with hillside monasteries and villages, is surrounded by massive glaciers and numerous peaks more than 20,000 feet high. Travelers are recommended to spend the first couple of days acclimatizing to the altitude before enjoying the many activities on offer.
Ladakh is also home to the Drokpas, who are ethnically and culturally different from the other Ladakhis in the area, as they speak their own unique language, and have their own oral history and epics. While they are now practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism and have been visited by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Drokpas also still adhere to other ancient rituals that many anthropologists believe are connected to their European and Iranian origins. Some scholars go so far as to say that the Drokpas are descendants of Alexander the Great and that their ancestors were a part of his army that stayed on to settle rather than continue on as troops.
Global Family Travels’ Little Tibet (Ladakh): Learn, Serve, Immerse tour offers travelers the opportunity to contribute meaningfully with the village community of Stok by living, working and learning with a host Ladakhi family, and to participate in a service project with students from the Siddhartha School Project. During the homestay part of the tour, families are immersed in the Ladakhi communal culture and gain a deep understanding of the Buddhist traditions and practices of this stunning region.
While in Ladakh, families can also enjoy a spectacular drive over Khardongla, the world’s highest motorable pass, and enter the beautiful Nubra Valley. Surrounded by high mountains and white sand dunes, Nubra Valley is home to many interesting Buddhist monuments and monasteries and is famous for its double-humped camels.
Some of the other family-fun activities in Ladakh include:
+ White water rafting on the Zanskar River – a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape of deep gorges and snowcapped peaks!
+ Trekking in the Himalaya
+ Village homestay and community service project
+ Drive over Khardongla, the world’s highest motorable pass
Enjoy more photos from Ladakh taken during recent visits to the Siddhartha School Project (SSP) and the Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, the latter a Buddhist school providing education for children from remote villages who normally wouldn’t be able to attend school.
For yet more photos, follow my upcoming summer family adventure to Ladakh on Global Family Travels’ Facebook page.
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