8 Nights/ 9 Days
PACKAGE CATEGORY: Group, Adventure, Without flight
DESTINATIONS COVERED : 3N Leh, 2N Nubra Valley, 1N Pangong, 1N Kargil, 1N Srinagar
This delightful journey takes you through stunning landscapes of Leh, Kargil, and Srinagar. Marvel at Buddhist architecture at Spituk Monastery, Sankar Gompa, Leh Palace, Lamayuru, and Thiksey. Ride two-humped Bactrian camels across sand dunes of the high-altitude desert at Hunder. See lunar landscapes at Moonland. Pay tribute to fallen soldiers of the Kargil War at Vijay Smarak. Discover the heritage and culture of Leh and Srinagar in this amazing tour.
Arrive, Leh, & take the transfer to the hotel for check-in. After welcome drinks and completion of check-in formalities, you must take complete rest to acclimatize to the high altitude.
Leh is located at 3500 m above sea level and some people can feel discomfort due to rarefied air at this high altitude. This is why it is mandatory to acclimatize fully before beginning any sightseeing or exploration in Leh. This magnificent destination is framed by the Himalayan ranges and offers stunning vistas of barren landscapes that are a photographer’s delight. The stark land is dotted with beautiful Monasteries and Stupas. Bustling old towns with their markets, souvenir shops, and cafes are delightful to explore.
Late in the afternoon, you will drive to the city for a short orientation walk through the busy market. You will also visit the Leh Palace and the Shanti Stupa. Overlooking the town of Leh, the majestic Leh Palace is a sight to behold. It’s a majestic setting at the edge of Namgyal Hill gives it a formidable fortress-like appearance and is also reminiscent of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. This was the former Royal residence before the family moved to Stok Palace. The abandoned palace complex now houses a museum that has a rich collection of arts and artifacts including Chinese Thangkas (paintings), crowns, jewelry, ceremonial dresses, and some restored bits of murals and interior décor. The Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese Buddhist in 1991 as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission. This stunning white stupa holds the holy relics of the Buddha and is a great place to meditate and soak in the beauty of the surroundings. Return to the hotel after the visit for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, you will visit Spituk Monastery. It was established in the 11th century by Od-De and belongs under Dharmaraja Takspa Bum – Lde Lama Lhawang Lotus. Today there are almost 100 monks residing in this monastery and they follow the stainless order of Tsongkhapa. The monastery is a magnificent structure built in traditional Buddhist style and is home to the image of Mahakaal. It is kept covered all through the year and only revealed during the annual Spituk Festival in January.
Next, you will visit the Hall of Fame – a museum constructed by the Indian Army in honor and memory of the fallen soldiers in the different wars fought in this region. It is a chilling testimony of the brave heroes who defend the nation and a must-visit for every Indian.
After lunch (under your own arrangements), you will visit the Sankar Gompa. It is a beautiful and serene monastery located only 3 km from the town of Leh. Apart from its beautiful architecture, the Sankar Monastery is also a great repository of local history and heritage. There are many incredible paintings of Buddha and other unknown gods. There is an interesting statue made of barley and butter inside the monastery and another beautiful statue of Avalokiteshwara with 11 heads and 1000 arms.
After the sightseeing tour, return to your hotel to rest well and rejuvenate yourself for an exciting journey ahead. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Leh.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to Nubra Valley. Your drive through breathtaking mountains also passes over Khardung La, located at a height of 18390 feet / 5602 meters above sea level. This is the highest motorable road in the world. From the pass, you can get an unbroken view of the Indus valley all the way to the majestic peaks of the Zanskar range in the south and the giant sentinel-like ridges of Saser Massif in the north.
Continue your journey to Nubra Valley nestled between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. It is also known as “Laura” or “Valley of Flowers” and was once a prosperous center on the trans-Himalayan Silk Route. This quaint valley and its settlements are located at an average height of 10000 feet above sea level. It is famous for its mesmerizing sand dunes and Bactrian camels. Cheerful prayer flags fluttering high on the hills, Buddhist Monasteries, and fields of barley greet you as you enter Nubra Valley. Proceed to Hunder Village to check in to your hotel/camp.
The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. You can walk around the Tiny villages near your hotel/camp to get a glimpse of the lives of local people.
Dinner and overnight stay are at the hotel/camp in Hunder Village.
Today you will proceed for an excursion to Turtuk, the northernmost village of India and the last village of Nubra towards the end of the Pakistan border. Slate grey mountains surround this quaint little village which is almost off-the-grid. It has been recently opened to visitors and retains its unique Turtuk culture and traditions. The people here speak Balti, a language that uses sounds in Tibetan that are no longer used in modern Tibetan parlance. Apricot orchards and the Shyok River flowing near the village make it an unforgettable experience.
You will also visit a 16th Century Mosque, (comprising of a touch of Turkish & Iranian culture), the ruined fort of Shards, and a Monastery. Admire the magnificent view of the famous K2 peak (The second highest peak in the world after Mount Everest).
You will also visit the Bogdang Village. This is also a Balti village that seems to be stuck in time. Explore the surroundings of this quaint village before heading back to Hunder.
Overnight stay at the camp in Hunder Village.
Following an early breakfast, you will check out from your camp/hotel and drive towards Hunder where you have the unique opportunity to ride on a double-humped Bactrian camel. Take a journey through the famous sand dunes of this high-altitude desert surrounded by rugged peaks and ridges. Seen in isolation these dunes are indistinguishable from those found in the Thar desert. It is only when you see the wider picture and the sharply rising mountains come into view that the uniqueness of this landscape has its full effect.
On your way back, stop at Diskit (Headquarters of Nubra Valley) where you can visit the monastery, stroll around the market and observe the local people going about their daily chores. Visit the Diskit Monastery which is a 515 years old Buddhist Monastery perched on a hilltop and providing magnificent views of the land below.
Continue on your drive towards the Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake via the adventurous route through Agham and Shyok Valley. Your journey will take you through rough patches of roads with tough driving conditions. However, the unparalleled views that await you on your journey make it all worth the pain.
After you have traversed the adventurous part of the drive, you will continue towards Durbuk and Tangtse. You will also pass through a few charming hamlets of Changthang on your way to Pangong. As you near your destination, you are suddenly greeted by the startling blue waters of the lake. Situated at a height of 14000 feet / 4267 meters above sea level, the Pangong Lake is a sight that you will never forget. Amidst the brown and grey mountains that surround it, the lake glitters like a jewel and creates an enticing sight for visitors. It has been featured in many Bollywood movies and it is a great place to take photographs for your social media feed.
Upon your arrival at the lake, you will proceed to your pre-arranged camp for an overnight stay.
The morning is at leisure when you can explore the ethereal beauty of Pangong Lake. After you have spent enough time admiring its otherworldly splendor, you will drive back to Leh via the Changla Pass. The Changla Pass is located at a height of 5848 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of the valley below. You will also stop en-route at the Hemis Gompa, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Palace, and Druk Padma Karpo School (Rancho’s school from 3 Idiots).
The Hemis Gumpa or Monastery is both the biggest and most important monastery in Ladakh. It is highly revered by Buddhists from around the world. The famous Hemis Festival is held at this monastery. It also houses impressive gold statues and stupas bedecked with precious stones.
The Thiksey Monastery is another spectacular monastery that you will see on your way to Leh. This tiered monastery is a sight to behold and is a classic example of traditional Buddhist architecture. The complex is impressive in both size and structure. It offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
Drive 5 km along the picturesque landscape to reach Shey Palace or Shey Monastery which was the ancient capital of Ladakh. The complex also has built-in tiers and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the valley below. The gilded statue of Buddha as Shakyamuni is the main attraction of this monastery/palace. There are also many murals depicting scenes from the life of Buddha within the monastery.
The last stop on your way to Leh is the Druk Padma Karpo School which was made famous as Rancho’s school in the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots. This unique center of learning focuses on education and construction that can adapt to constant change. This award-winning school is a great place to learn about the different sustainable means that the building employs to run itself.
After the visit, continue to Leh and check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, you will drive downstream along the Indus River on the Leh – Kargil Highway. En-route you will visit Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, constructed in 1517 in memory of Guru Nanak Devji at an altitude of 3600 m above sea level. It is located about 25 km from Leh and has many interesting stories attached to it. Visit this sacred site and listen to the anecdotes before moving on to the famous Magnetic Hill that defies the laws of gravity.
On your way to Magnetic Hill, stop and marvel at the famous confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. It is a fascinating place where you can see the two colors of the rivers merge into one. Stop here to soak in this stunning sight and take photographs as memories. From here, proceed to the Likir Monastery, which is one of the most active monasteries in this region. The most popular attraction of this 11th-century gompa is the 25 feet gold-covered statue of Lord Buddha. It also offers spectacular views of the surroundings. The structure that you see today is not the original one built in the 11th century but the one that was re-built in the 18th century as restoration following a devastating fire.
After you have visited the monastery, you will continue your drive along the River Indus towards Uletokpo or Tingmosgang, en-route visiting the Rizong Monastery. Founded by the great Lama Tsultim Nima in 1831, this monastery is famous for its high standards of monastic discipline. It is perched at the end of a steep valley hidden from view. You can hike up the monastery and experience the full awe-inspiring view of the structure coming into view at the end of the climb.
Next, you will continue on to the Lamayuru Monastery built in the 11th century. En-route to the monastery, you will visit the otherworldly geographic landscape called Moonland that resembles the lunar landscape on earth. This unique landscape will transport you to another universe right here on earth. You can also see small stupas and beautifully carved prayer rocks strewn across the mountain slopes making for an exquisite and unforgettable sight.
Continue your journey to Kargil via Fatu-La (13489 feet above sea level), which is the highest pass on the Srinagar – Leh road. The road conditions here are very good and the journey is smooth. On arrival in Kargil, you will check-in at your hotel to rest well and rejuvenate yourself for the upcoming adventures. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Kargil.
After an early breakfast, you will drive to Srinagar via Drass, India’s coldest inhabited place, and a landmark name in the Kargil War of 1999. It has an alluring natural beauty that will enthrall you from the moment you arrive. Enjoy breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks of the Kargil War fame such as Tiger Hill and Tololing Peak. Pay respect to the brave Indian soldiers who gave their lives defending the Motherland in the Kargil War of 1999 at Vijay Smarak.
Continue the drive to Srinagar. En-route visit Sonmarg (Meadow of Gold). One of the most beautiful places in Kashmir, Sonmarg was an important point in the ancient Silk Route that linked Kashmir with China. In the winter the valley is covered with powdery-white snow, which is locally known as white gold, earning it the epithet of Meadow of Gold. The rolling valley is lush green and covered with blooming flowers throughout the rest of the year and you can see snow-covered mountains rising in the distance. It is truly heaven on earth, and you will explore this picturesque vale with plenty of time before driving on to Srinagar.
On arrival in Srinagar, you will check-in at your hotel/houseboat. The rest of the evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy the enchanting sights and markets of Srinagar on your own.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel/houseboat in Srinagar.
After breakfast, the day is at leisure till you are transferred to the airport for your flight for onward destination. Bid adieu to the magical land of Leh and Srinagar with fond memories of picture-perfect sceneries, interesting history, unique culture, and breathtaking architecture.
Note: Above Itinerary is just indicative. Do not consider it as a Final Schedule. Date & Time of Tours can be changed by Local Agent / Tour Operator.