About the Two Humped Camel[Bactrian Camel]
The most distinctive feature of the Bactrian camel is its two humps. These humps, contrary to popular belief, are designed to store fat and not water. They are used for nourishment when food isscarde ambient. However, it is true that bactrian camels can go several days without water. In addition to the water that is normally stored in the body, the Bactrian camel stores about 1.5 gallons in special sacks around its stomach. When water is available, they drink only to replace the water they have lost. If the Bactrian camel has used up all its water it will need to drink about 30 gallons of water to fill up. This only takes about 10 minutes. The camel is extremely well suited to water conservation. It sweats very little, emits very little water as a waste fluid, and can change its body temperature threshold depending on the ambient temperature to help contain water loss. Bactrian camels are usually a beige color with hair that ranges from short to long depending on the season. To protect themselves from sand and the harsh conditions they live in, they bushy eyebrows, a double row of long eyelashes, hair inside the ear, and they can tightly close their nostrils and lips to keep out flying sand. They have very tough mouths that are not bothered by eating hard, sharp objects such as thorns. Most of the Bactrian camels that you find today are domesticated. There are very few (estimated 300) wild Bactrian camels.
Camel Safari or Caravan with the double hump camels is not just today’s trend it has been a life line for Ladakh since 17th century till partition 1947. Leh the main town of Ladakh was a tarde centre for traders of Central Asia and rest of India these camels were used for riding and transportation in the..’Silk Route’.
Camel Safari (Package) – 9 Days :
Day by day itinerary :
- Day 1 : Delhi- Leh Met upon arrival at the Leh airport and transfer to hotel. Day free at rest for high altitude acclamatisation. Overnight stay at the hotel.
- Day 2 Leh sightseeing around Indus Valley : Morning proceed to visit the most important monasteries of central Ladakh along river Indus. Visit SHEY GOMPA (It was the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery has a huge copper gilted image of Sakayamuni Buddha and a large silver lamp burning infront of the statue), THIKSAY GOMPA (one of the most pictresquely lacted Gompa, the monastery is actually a complex of buildings on a crag rising in tier upon tier above the village. The Chamba Dhukang enshrines a huge image of Maitraya Buddha) and later drive further down to cross over the bridge at Kharu and visit the largest and the richest HEMIS GOMPA (wander through the many darkly lit prayer halls with exqusite thankas, paintings, murals, silver stupas etc). Drive back to Leh. Overnight stay at the hotel.
- Day 3 Leh Hunder : Early morning drive in jeeps to Hunder. After 39 kms from Leh cross over the highest motorable road in the world KHARDUNG-LA (5,578 m). The view from the top is simply amazing. Enter Nubra Valley situated along river Shayok. The valley is covered with dense thickets of seabuckthorn – a throny schurb which the villagers use for fuel and fencing their fields. Enroute drive past the capital Diskit. Drive another 9 kms further and arrive at the small village of Hunder (3,048 mt). Overnight stay in tents.
- Day 4 Hunder/Diskit – Camel Safari : Morning visit Chamba monastery of Hunder and then start the Camel Safari on the shabby double-humped Bactrian camels, which in olden days were the main mode of transport on the Ladakh-Yarkhand (Turkmanistan) trade. The Safari goes along the soft white sandy deserts with rolling sand dunes. Arrival at the capital of Nubra i.e. Diskit. Afternoon proceed to explore the Diskit Village. Being the main town of Nubra, it has a small market bustling with activity. Also visit the Gompa, situated on a rocky spur above the village providing a commanding view of the valley. Overnight stay in camps.
- Day 5 Diskit/Tegger – By Jeep : Morning drive to Tegger village (3,146 mt). Upon arrival visit Samstanling village off the main road and is one of the most charming villages of Nubra. Visit Samstanling Gompa. Afternoon start Camel Safari to reach Pinchimic. The Safari is comparatively short and goes along the river where the valley is well spread. Arrive Pinchimic and overnight stay in tents.
- Days 6 Pinchimic/Panamic – Camel Safari: Morning start the last leg of Camel Safari to Panamic. Enroute visit a beautiful lake chucked between two small hills. Check in at the camps upon arrival. Afternoon explore Panamic Village. During the trade between Central Asia and Ladakh, Panamic was the last major settlement before the caravans cross the Karakoram range. Today, Panamic is a sleepy village, with its people quitly working in their fields. Visit the village thermal HOT SPRINGS locally reputed to have therapeutic qualities. Overnight in tents.
- Day 7 Panamic/Leh – By Jeep : Morning visit to ENSA GOMPA across the river clinging precariously to the mountain sorrounded by few trees. Return back and drive to Leh. Upon arrival in the evening checkin at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
- Day 8 Leh : Day free at leisure to explore the market. Overnight stay at the hotel.
- Day 9 Leh – Delhi : Morning transfer to the airport and fly back to Delhi with sweet memories of Ladakh.
The Bactrian camel lives primarily in Central Asian deserts north of the Himalayas.
Birth & Offspring
Young camels are able to stand and walk when they are only a few hours old. They will stay with their mother for 3 to 5 years.