Spring in Ladakh

From apricot blossoms in full bloom to spectacular views of snow clad mountains, Spring season seems like the perfect time to visit Ladakh!

Beautiful Apricot Orchard at Shakti Stok Village house in Ladakh.

Spring in Ladakh

This May, witness the famous Buddha Purnima festival in Ladakh. The festival is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Buddha and is one of the most important days of the Buddhists. As a part of rituals, devotees pass through decorated markets carrying the statue of Bhagwan Buddha, visit Monasteries, listen to sermons and verses from Buddhist scriptures. Visit Ladakh in May and enjoy the festivities!

Spring in Ladakh

Spring in Ladakh


Snowclad mountains- The breathtaking view from Shakti Likhir Village house.

Sping in Ladakh


The Indus River.

Spring in Ladakh

Shakti ladakh operates from May till September. For more information and to visit Ladakh Click Here.


Village walks in Himalayas

The Himalayas

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Head for Heights – Helen Anderson – Sydney Morning Herald

Land of the gods ... the remarkable alpine lodge 360? Leti.

Land of the gods ... the remarkable alpine lodge 360° Leti.

In the Himalayan foothills, Helen Anderson walks among remote villages and rhododendron forests.

The butler dispatches the ball with the accuracy of Zaheer Khan. The Tibetan chef smiles – he’s always smiling – as he wields the hand-whittled bat like a meat cleaver. He attempts a slog-sweep, misses entirely and the three wonky stumps teeter.

This is no reflection of the chef’s skill, for no one, least of all the batsman, can actually see the ball, fashioned from a couple of men’s socks. The sun is slipping behind the snow-capped Great Himalayan Range and the pitch is illuminated weakly by a rising moon. The temperature is plummeting, but the Leti XI, as I call them, play on with Indian intensity. Only the two Australian fielders are shivering.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/activity/great-outdoors/head-for-heights-20120314-1v25p.html#ixzz1pdJLBW4F




“Tasting India” by Australian Chef Christine Manfield (incredible pictures by Anson Smart), has recently been published by Penguin Books. Christine travelled the length and breadth of India over a stretch of 6 years, researching and compiling the recipes and travel stories on India – and Shakti is so proud to have played a small part in that process. Christine spent time at Shakti 360° Leti with Yeshi (our very own talented chef) and the team sharing recipes and ideas – and also travelled with Shakti in Ladakh and Sikkim, weaving her magic spell wherever she went! Christine’s understanding of both India and the people of this country, along with her disarming charm and an intuitive understanding of how to cook with Asian spices, all combine to make this really one of the most beautiful and insightful books on India.

Christine Manfield's "Tasting India" cookbook


Christine with Shakti head chef Yeshi and Yashpal in the Shakti 360° Leti kitchen



Yeshi showed me how to make these pastries one afternoon in the kitchen at 360° Leti. This Indian staple made a welcome snack most afternoons.


500 g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon slat

1 teaspoon melted ghee, cooled

½ teaspoon ajwain

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


2 cups (440 g) mashed potato, cooled

1teaspoonminced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 small green chillies, minced

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon melted ghee


100 ml Tamarind Liquid*

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon chili powder

 *The most refined way to use tamarind is to make tamarind liquid, extracting maximum flavour without the coarse, fibrous texture of the pulp. Simmer 1 part of tamarind pulp to 3 parts of water for 30 minutes or so, then pass pulp and water through a coarse-meshed or conical sieve. Discard the fibre and seeds. If the tamarind liquid seems too thick or paste like, stir in a little extra water. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

  • To make the tamarind chutney, cook the tamarind liquid and sugar together over a medium heat until reduced and thickened – about 10 minutes. Add the salt and chilli powder, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust the ingredients if necessary so each of the flavours in the balance. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda. Salt, ghee and ajwain in a large bowl. Pour in 1 cup (250 ml) warm water and knead until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • To make the potato stuffing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • To assemble the samosas, break off 1 tablespoon dough and roll it into a thin, flat, elongated shape on a floured surface. Cur it in half crossways. Rub a little water along the edges, then press together to make a triangular pocket like a cone. Hold it in your hand and fill with potato stuffing until three-quarters full. Wet the top edge, then fold over the flap and press together. Repeat until all the dough and stuffing have been used. Stand the pastries on a plate in a single layer and refrigerate for 1 hour to become firm.
  • Heat the oil in a kadhai or wok (or deep saucepan) to 160°C (no hotter, or the pastries will burn). To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle in some flour – if the flour sizzles, it is ready. Fry the samosas a few at a time for 4-5 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Serve hot with tamarind chutney.

Christine shows Yeshi how to prepare a dish in the Shakti 360° Leti kitchen

A breathtaking view from Shakti 360° Leti's dining room

Ramganga Valley

Ramganga Valley


From October through to April, the staggering beauty and majesty of Sikkim and Kumaon is most perfectly revealed. The season offers travelers exquisite views of Mount Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, located in the north-eastern part of India, and equally breathtaking are Kasar Devi Ridge and Nanda Devi in Kumaon, in the northern state of Uttarakhand. Come and explore quaint villages and hike through fragrant forests that overlook the lush, verdant valleys below.

Mount Kanchenjunga

Early Morning Mist on the Kumaoni Hills

Lush Terraced Fields in Sikkim

All accommodation is in typical village houses which have been refurbished to suit the western traveler’s comforts, while maintaining the rustic essence and look of the houses. While all our village houses in Sikkim and Kumaon are special in their own unique way, Shakti 360° Leti, situated at 8,000 feet between breathtaking terraced valleys below and awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks above, is truly the most extraordinary property in the Himalaya, and among the best in the world. We invite you to discover its magic.

Find out more about Shakti 360° Leti and why it was awarded Condé Nast Traveller’s prestigious Gold List 2011 ranking.

A Bedroom at Shakti 360° Leti

The Dining Room at Shakti 360° Leti

A Campfire Enjoyed Outdoors at Shakti 360° Leti


It’s not just the beauty of the mountains, but the beauty of the mountain folk that is unforgettable. There is something so utterly warm and friendly about people here, you can feel it radiating it from their open faces, their generous smiles.


Hearing the hypnotic chanting of morning prayers at Thiksey Monastery, rafting the exhilarating rapids of Zanskar River, walking through the picturesque villages of Stok and Likhir, hunting for souvenirs in Leh Bazaar… Shakti travelers reveled in all this and much more during another fulfilling and unforgettable season in Ladakh.

Stok Kangri Range

Stok Village House

Rafting on the Zanskar River

Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers

Picnic Lunch in Taru Village

Likhir Monastery



Way beyond our decaying and grubby northern hill stations lie the real Himalaya… that’s where you will find Shakti.

Seven years ago I had a trek arranged for a friend and myself by someone who was recommended to be ‘the best trekking operator’ in India. What ensued was close to nightmarish and that is where the idea of Shakti came about.

I grew up in the eastern Himalaya and was fortunate enough to be exposed to, and develop a passion for, the Himalayan wilderness. Our sister company Banyan Tours has been in existence for over 15 years and has planned and executed over 50,000 luxury holidays for foreigners throughout India, Sri Lanka & Bhutan over this period. Seven years ago I felt it was high time I showed tourists and travellers what had ignited my enduring passion for the mountains and to be in a position to meticulously execute high end holidays in this terrain. We have created 13 lodges in Ladakh, Kumaon and Sikkim (including Shakti 360° Leti) and a team of 48 that includes wonderful guides, chefs, drivers and service staff… and private holidays that have captured the hearts of thousands already.

For the best from the mountains, stay tuned.

Please visit our website www.shaktihimalaya.com and read all about what journalists and our clients feel about what we have achieved.

See you in the hills.

Jamshyd Sethna, Owner and Managing Director of Banyan Tours & Travels and Shakti

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