Shakti Ladakh homestays in India
The premise—a rather singular one in India—is to invite visitors to immerse themselves comfortably in a traditional culture that has, for the most part, never been accessible to them before. “I want people to fall in love with India all over again, for them to connect with the essence of the place, its people, its culture,” says Jamshyd Sethna, a Parsi travel specialist from Mumbai who launched Shakti Ladakh last summer. The homestays are located in the villages of Stok, Taru, and Nimoo, all within 28 miles of one another. They are without question a cut above any other guesthouse in the region. Each has three rooms with huge beds with European mattresses (the same brand that is used by Amanresorts) and duvets like clouds. The pretty cedarwood furniture, by an Italian designer, has been custom-made in Rajasthan. All bathrooms are en-suite and showers are steaming hot. Linens are freshly pressed; the tables laid with impeccable china, beaten-brass cutlery, and burnished brass bowls. Guests are looked after by the Ladakhi homeowners and Shakti Ladakh’s English-speaking guides and hostesses. Visitors can hike six to nine miles per day, or choose to raft, from house to house—you decide your itinerary, walking less if you prefer—following the milky waters of the Indus, visiting monasteries, talking with monks, meeting with rimpoches, enjoying picnics complete with tables and chairs in orchards of walnuts, apples, and apricots.