India, Ladakh and Kashmir

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Has anyone used Delhi-based Caper Travel? We have an excellent proposed itinerary and price quote, and Caper has a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. Our trip will be Leh/Ladakh and overland to Srinigar with Hemis Festival, 10 days.

I haven't used Caper Travel, but visited Leh/Ladakh, the Hemis Festival and Srinigar last year and can offer some practical suggestions for the trip.
You might want to think about bringing:
*sleep sack
*paper pillow covers or a cotton pillow case you are willing to wash or throw away
These are for the camp at Sarchu (you might be staying here - it is half way between Leh and Srinagar)

*something for Delhi Belly — we all had problems from time to time
*several pairs of “temple socks” to wear over your own socks, then throw away as they get dirty
*a pair of plastic”shower shoes” as many of the hotel bathrooms were the “self-cleaning” type where the whole floor gets wet
* a bar of nice soap as the soap they give you at some of the smaller hotels is minuscule
* you might also want to consider a way to make hot water for early morning coffee in your room. Only about 1/3 of the hotels I stayed in had a coffee/tea set-up.

Also remember to carry your guides cell number with you at all times.

At the Hemis Festival:
Your guide will know the sequence of events. So in-between the rituals, there is ample time to visit the Monastery museum, as well as the temple itself. The museum has a good bookshop and nice postcards. No photos are allowed in the museum. There are also vendors with tables just outside the main gate that are worth investigating either before you enter or as you leave the monastery.

It is better if your seat for the festival is in the shade as well as facing the stairs of the temple. This way, the monks walk towards you during the rituals.

Departing Delhi
Flights to the US often leave around midnight, so on your last day, your whole afternoon and evening might be free. Have your company give you a car/driver for the afternoon with a drop-off at the airport. So after hotel check-out and lunch, you can visit a museum or two and do some shopping. I like Khan Market for the Fab India store, shopping at Silverline, stocking up on magazines, etc. You could also have the driver take you to the main branch of Fab India (which is 3 buildings) at N Block Market in a Delhi suburb on the way to the airport, or you could walk around Ambience Shopping Mall and have a snack in their food court.

I hope these comments will be helpful to you. Northern India is a wonderful experience and you are sure to enjoy your adventure there.