Category archive


Meet the Indo-Aryans of Ladakh with Footloose | Starts May, 2019 | Book Now!

in Uncategorized

Expedition to the Land of the Dards: the Indo-Aryans of Ladakh with Footloose Magazine

Expedition Duration

6 Days 5 Nights

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in Leh

Welcome to Leh and welcome to the expedition.
Today upon your arrival at Leh Airport, our Leh office representative meets, greets and guides you to the pre-booked hotel. After check-in, we serve you with welcome drinks. Freshen up, have breakfast. If you feel a bit unwell, it is because of the high altitude of Leh (11,500 ft / 3500 mtrs). Just have a good sleep in the afternoon and you will be fine. In the evening, a local tribal expert will meet you to give you a short insight on the tribe (the Dards) whom we shall meet tomorrow.

Day 2 : Alchi – Dha-Hanu Tribal Village (Beema)

We serve you breakfast at the hotel early morning. Check out from hotel and then drive towards Leh – Srinagar highways, by lower Indus Valley. We set off early today so that you get the entire day to interact with the Dards in Hanu Valley.

Enroute visit Hall of fame (Kargil war Museum) , Spituk monastery (know as Kali Mata Mandir), Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Sangam point of Indus and Zanskar River and Alchi monastery. Alchi is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh.

Further drive towards Dha-Hanu and check in at Aryan Valley Camp in Beema Lasthang where we serve you welcome drink with cookies. Mr. Sonam is the good old Dard teacher in the village of Beema who is extremely warm and knowledgeable. Sit with him as he counts his beads and tells you the entire story of the tribe and its culture. After welcome drink check in to your tents, situated in the middle of beautiful apricot orchard.  Dinner and overnight stay will be served at the camp.

Beema is one of the Indo-Aryan villages.

Day 3 : Explore the Land of the Dards

On this day, we take you around Dardistan to show you the culture of the Dards. Drive to Garkone Village and others around the region. Experience the purest of the Dard culture by travelling by their settlements and meeting them on the road. Take photographs / videos. We stop in between at places to help you take pictures of the strange topography where the Dards live. Come back to Beema by evening. Overnight stay in camp.

Day 4 : Dha-Hanu – Lamayuru – Leh

Have hearty breakfast at the Aryan Valley Camp and last interactions with the Himalayan Indo-Aryans. After breakfast drive back to Leh. On the way, visit Skyurbuchen village to witness Skyubuchen fort and monastery built above the village on a hill side facing might Indus River.

Further, we stop at Domkhar to capture ancient rock arts at Indus River bank. Upon arrival at Khaltsi check point dive 25 km toward Srinagar highway to explore Lamayuru monastery and moon land view point. Lamayuru is home to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, dating back to the 10th century. Local legend has it that the place was once a lake that dried up. Strange, but beautiful landscape next to monastery. Later drive back to Leh. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day 5 : Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh

Take very hearty breakfast at the hotel. Later, make full day excursion trip to Pangong Lake (approx. 300 kms round trip, en route crossing the Chang-la pass (alt: 17370 ft.).

Pangong Tso, Tibetan for “high grassland lake”, also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endothecia lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m. It is 134 km long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point.

Enjoy sightseeing around the lake and then drive back to Leh. En route visit Thiksey Monastery, Rancho School (from the famous Bollywood movie “3 idiots”) and Shey Palace. Reach Leh by evening and explore the local market. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the hotel.

Day 6: Departure

Early morning, our driver will transfer you to the Leh Airport in time where you will board flight back to your home / onward destination with sweet memories of your Ladakh Tour.


Rs. 17,999/-*

Email or call us to avail early bird discounts.

(*for a group of 12 paying Adults will be using 6 dbl rooms and sharing 1 Non AC Tempo Traveler. Refer to Cost Includes & Excludes given below for more information)


  • GST 5%
  • Assisted arrival / departure transfers in Leh.
  • Welcome drinks (juice, tea, coffee and cookies) upon arrival.
  • Accommodation on twin / double sharing basis.
  • Daily buffet breakfast and dinner.
  • All sightseeing and tour by Non AC Individual Tempo Traveler.


  • Commutation to and from Leh
  • Personal and medical insurance.
  • Personal expenses such as tips, laundry, phone call etc.
  • Any kind of drinks (alcoholic, mineral, soft or hard and starters.)
  • Monastery entrance fees, camera fee, and monument guide services
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Included”.
  • Adventure activity like Rafting, Camel Safari, Mountain Biking, Motor Biking etc.
  • Extra nights in hotel due to ill health, flight cancelation, Road blockage or any other reason.
  • The service of vehicle is not included on leisure days & after finishing the sightseeing tour as per the itinerary.

Have we answered all your questions? See FAQ.

Mail us at to place your query / make a booking Or call us at (+91) 90886 86396 (Sourjya) / 70199 05186 (Samyak)



Time (6D/5N)


May 16 – 21


May 24 – 29


June 2 – 7


June 9 – 14


June 16 – 21


June 24 – 29


Mail us at to place your query / make a booking Or call us at (+91) 90886 86396 (Sourjya) / 70199 05186 (Samyak)

Through the Eyes of Rick Stolk: An Analogue Photo Story of 1997 China

in Journal/Uncategorized

Through the Eyes of Rick Stolk: An Analogue Photo Story of 1997 China

This photo story is the journey of Rick Stolk across China in 1997. From cityscape to nature to people, Rick tells us about a culture we hear about, or even remotely familiar with, but do not know enough. Rick travels around Beijing and other places like a native who is witnessing the daily life, state of affairs, life in the lifeless and captures everything to create an atmosphere which makes the viewer feel the stillness and the restlessness in daily life of a culture.

Medium: Leica M6 camera, Fuji Superia Reala and Agfa APX100.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing, October 4th, 1997.

“…I thought that Japanese people were fanatic in taking pictures of people in-front- of-no-matter-what, but what I see here in China takes the cake. They hit the streets in groups, put on a bright colored cap per group and follow their guide, adorned with megaphone and extending flag.

I was waiting in the middle of Tiananmen Square, but had to keep moving all the time, not to be unwantedly included on other people’s pictures…”

Great Wall, Simatai (120 km. northeast of Beijing), October 7th, 1997.

“…After a 3-hour bumpy ride (Beijing’s morning traffic included), the sight was impressive: The Wall balancing on the peaks of a mountain range. This part of The Wall is particular nice and interesting, because it hasn’t been restored and although it scares of a lot of tourists, as I reflect, it does take me back to the days when it was how it was.”

Xi’an, China, October 12-16, 1997

The streets were extremely dusty and grey. There was almost no color. I spend a lot of time in tea houses where the tea was free and one could have as much as one wants. It was called a ‘bottomless tea’.

Lijiang (Old Town), China, October 29, 1997

“…This is what China probably looked like in the old days. Small wooden houses with tailors, cobblers and woodcarvers like Gepetto, a babbling river where people are doing their laundry and are melting their deep frozen fish…”

Hutiao Xia, China, October 31, 1997

“…30 km. High Path / 6.30 – 19.00…

I get up at 5.30, have porridge for breakfast and begin an absurd walk of 13 hours. Started in high spirits: I had to follow the yellow arrows towards ‘Sam’s Guesthouse’. The beginning was hard: it was 2500 meters above sea level. First, the notorious ’28 bends’: up the mountain in, well, 28 bends.


The mountains were enormous and frighteningly rough, mountains were evil wizards live, over the sonic pleasure of exploding dynamite, echoing like a thunderstorm.
Slowly it became hot.

At two I ate noodle soup at the ‘Half Way Restaurant’.

At four I went over a cliff, sitting/sliding on a girder and a minute later I was hanging on a patch of grass, a 30 meter deep canyon beneath me. I write this understated, but that night it kept me awake: I could have been killed.

Blood and sweat. And trembling legs.

Between Baoshan and Lincang, China, November 14,  1997.

“…Just had a 13-hour bus ride: I’m in the hotel which belongs to the bus station. The  journey (ed: Boashan – Jinghong) takes longer than expected because the condition of the roads due to rainfall.

My tailbone is extremely painful, and tomorrow at least  another 12 hours to Lancang and the day after that another 127 km to Jinghong.
The ride was long and eventually painful, but very beautiful. I saw the sun rise over the rice fields, the terraces.

Red soil, houses made of red soil, bee keepers along the road, buffaloes…”

Somewhere between Lincang, China and Lancang, China, November 15, 1997.

“I was stuck at the bus station for 9 hours and I took a walk around to observe the things around which just lay as they were. There are a lot of things that we call “non living”. But there are so many processes and reactions and movements happening in still things that we don’t know, a dimension that is impossible for us to fathom. So here are the-perhaps-living-non-living Water boiler and thermos bottles in a tea house.”

Kunming to Yangshuo, China, November 27-29, 1997, during a 30-hour train ride.

“I spotted these men in uniform from my train who had deboarded their train, back from their lines of duty to meet their families.”

Around Nanning, China, December, 1997.

The stupefying ‘karst sceney’ around Nanning.

About the Photographer

Rick Stolk (The Netherlands, 1970) studied photography at the Royal
Academy of Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 1992-1996.
Currently living in Schiedam with wife, daughter and Labrador and working as a photographer. Also head of the medical photography department of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Go to Top