Jim has lived, studied, and traveled in South Asia for more than 25 years. He is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Castleton State College of Vermont. He has lectured in the U.S. and Europe on Buddhist art, architecture, meditation and philosophy. As a photographer, Jim’s keen knowledge of the Himalayan region and cultures has served him well as a location scout for commercial film productions. He has trekked extensively throughout the Himalayas. Personable and witty, Jim’s expertise has attracted travelers from around the world. Jim leads every tour the way he teaches — with passion and concern that each traveler has the experience of a lifetime!
Choeje Togden Rinpoche
Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of the Drikung Kargu school of Tibetan Buddhism in Ladahk, India. He was born in 1939 in a small village in Ladahk into a poor family. Rinpoche was recognized to be the 9th incarnation of Togden Rinpoche, a very famous teacher in Tibet. He began his formal traditional Buddhist monastic education at a very young age. In 1951 he traveled to Tibet where he received his extensive higher training in Buddhist studies. When China occupied Tibet in 1959 he returned to Ladahk where he has spent more than 40 years teaching and being involved in various religious and social welfare activities in Ladahk. Rinpoche is a very gifted teacher who has lectured all over the world on Buddhist philosophy.
Gen Konchok Pende
Gen-la was born in Southern Ladakh in a small farming village. He has spent his entire life living in Ladahk, one of the world’s most remote areas. He became a monk at an early age and has studied Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy in Varanasi, India. Gen-la is a fully ordained monk who belongs to the Kargu order of Tibetan Buddhism and is one of the prominent teachers from one of Ladakh’s oldest monasteries – Lamayuru. Currently living in Leh, Ladakh’s capital, he teaches English, Buddhist philosophy and meditation. Traveling with our groups throughout Ladahk is a very rare and special occasion because Gen-la opens many doors and introduces us to many experiences that other tourists never have the opportunity to see. It is a true pleasure having such a renowned lama guide, teach, and share his extraordinary culture with our groups.
Mahesh (Raj) has worked with Wisdom Tours since 2004. He has worked for the Ministry of Tourism since 1966. Raj has Post Graduate degrees in Marketing Management and French. Because of his excellent command of French, he has provided his services to the French Embassy in New Delhi and has worked with the Prime Minister of France, Mr. Raffarin, during his visits to India. Raj is also fluent in many of the local languages and dialects including Hindi.
Raj has great knowledge of Indian history, art, religion and culture and is a gifted speaker. His sense of humor and warm personality attract our guests who feel very comfortable in his presence and they really enjoy learning about India from his lectures. He is always very energetic and enthusiastic and loves to share his knowledge and experience of India with our groups. All who have had the privilege of listening to him speak would all agree, working with him is a real pleasure.