India – Northern Exposure

Even for those of us who’ve fallen for the romance of Rajasthan, the more distant reaches of North India—a region lush with ancient Buddhist monasteries and wildlife—can still seem a bridge too far. If the rugged, high-altitude Himalayan terrain of the hard-to-access Ladakh region didn’t scare all but the most intrepid away, the dearth of great places to stay did. But now there’s The Ultimate Travelling Camp, an outfit that rings to the Indian highlands the sort of luxe tented mobile safari experience you’d find in eastern and southern Africa. (Think four-poster beds, campaign furniture, rainfall showerheads in en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning.)

The latest outpost is Chamba Camp, Diskit, which pops up in the serene Nubra Valley this month for its sophomore season, having grown from four to eight tents. A five-hour drive south, the company’s camp in Thiksey can help guests achieve nirvana, or at least get them closer to it: The celebratory Buddhist festival of Hemis happens here in July, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to pay a rare visit to the Thiksey Monastery in August.

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