Best of Ladakh

Package Highlights

Star Gazing
Nature & Landscape
Heritage & Culture
Treks & Nature walk

This trip is designed to provide safe, fun filled and truly an off-the-beaten-track soft adventure. Encompassing Silk Road trade routes, fallen kingdoms and an enduring spiritual aesthetic, rapidly-changing sceneries on the route are the experiences of a lifetime. With a high, arid landscape, Ladakh possesses the spectacular western edge of the Himalayas and a strong Tibetan Buddhist culture, marking the boundary between the mountains and the vast Tibetan plateau. Ladakh has fervently retained the monastic Buddhism that has been suppressed within Tibet. Our safaris to these remote hidden valleys and high-altitude lake/passes makes it a truly "The last Shangri-La".

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Itinerary Details

Arrive Leh, you are met at the Leh (3500 M) airport and transferred to the hotel. Leh, the capital of the Ladakh district at 11482 ft (3500 m), is situated on the banks of the Indus River and is located in the snow-covered fringes of the Himalayas, toward the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh became the regional capital in the 17th century, when King Sengge Namgyal shifted his court here to be closer to the head of the Khardung La-Karakoram corridor into China. Leh has been a center of Tibeto- Buddhist culture for centuries, but has only been open to travelers since 1974. Its colorful gompas have attracted devout Buddhists from all over the globe. Late afternoon we will go for an easy and relaxed orientation walk to Leh market to acclimatizing and getting used to the altitude. There are plenty of things to be seen in and out of Leh town but we do not recommend any major exercise immediately. Allow the time for acclimatization. However, a walk around the old town and perhaps up to the Sankar Gompa would not be out of the question. Sanker Gompa is situated at distance of 3 Km from Leh Town. The Gompa is open to visitors in the morning and evening only. Later we walk up to Leh Bazaar through the famous Leh Polo Ground. The main bazaar itself consists of numerous shops selling shawls, carpets, wall hangings, and Tibetan thangka paintings. Overnight stay at Hotel, Leh

After breakfast explore some of Ladakh's ancient Monasteries. Shey Palace was built in 1645 and is a summer residence for the kings of Ladakh. It is the oldest palace in Ladakh and above the palace is an even older ruined fortress. Located on the second stories of the Monasteries is a large Buddha statue. The seated Buddha is 12 meters high and worked of copper sheets gilded with gold. In front of the Buddha is a large bowl of wax with a central flame that burns for one year before being replaced. Thiksey Monasteries is the most picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus. From here one commands a magnificent view of the valley. The Monasteries possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hundreds of hand-written or painted prayer books. Hemis Monasteries is one of the most important in Ladakh, the largest and also the wealthiest. It was built in 1620 by the king-architect Singe Namgyal, a great patron of Buddhism. He filled Hemis with golden statues, stupas set with precious stones and thangkhas (painting) brought from many places, including Tibet. Hemis has several hundred lamas attached to its subsidiary monasteries. Hemis is the location for numerous religious festivals throughout the year, although the most important one is in summer when Hemis festival takes place. Overnight stay at Hotel, Leh

Early morning drive from Leh to Nubra (06 hours’ drive), the road to the Nubra valley goes through the highest motor-able pass in the world at Khardung-la (5602m) the pass is almost permanently covered in fog and snow. A photograph while at the top is worth keeping throughout your life. The views are rewarding as they invoke a sense of contemplation. Khardungla is closed on Monday. Nubra valley Nubra means green used to be on the trading route connecting Tibet with Turkistan, and was the navy of Turkistan which invaded it several times. Nubra’s much known monastery; Samsthaling is situated on the mountainside just above sumur. This was the route taken by the trade caravans, and Panamik, the last village on this circuit, was at that time a busy center, the last major settlement before the caravans plunged into the mountains of the Karakorum and the kun-lu. Nubra is also known for its two humped Bactrian camel which is found in these parts. In the valley the climate is relatively mild, though dust storms are common, whipping up sand and light debris in choking clouds above the broad riverbeds. En-route we visit Diskit monastery to witness the prayer ceremony. It takes about 45 minutes through a long row of scattered chortens to reach the gompa which is set on the highest point near the village. Belonging to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect, parts of the gompa, which houses 120 resident monks, are about 760 years old. The Dukhang has many statues, one of which holds the head and left arm of a Turkish invader believed to be 500 years old. We continue our driver toward our destination Hundar (3160m), an oasis where we will have dinner and spend the night in the Camps. Overnight stay at Camp, Hundar

Today we explore Turtuk a tiny Islamic corner in India; The Muslim Balti inhabitants are exceptionally friendly, and the truly dramatic landscape offers excellent photographic opportunities. It is a long day with a very few facilities on the way it feels like entering a different country, with a different race, different language, different religion, and different dress-up. Turtuk is located on a river terrace above the main road which runs over a lower terrace. This plateau doesn't have any roads or car access. There is a Buddhist monastery maintained by the Muslims. The hike to a waterfall traverses a steep scree slope to trees on a ridge, and then follows a narrow irrigation canal with some scary passages, less suitable for people with vertigo. In clear weather K2, the second highest mountain in the world located in Pakistan, can be seen just as the Karakoram Range. Return back to the camp in the evening, relax in the camp. Overnight stay at Camp, Hundar

After breakfast we visit Hundar gompa. This is a small gompa belonging to the Gelug-pa sect, set amidst innumerable chortens and has a huge impressive statue of Chamba in the main prayer hall. The gompa was built at the time King Jamgyal Namgyal came here with his wife Gyal Khatun. Explore the village which has some beautiful old houses. Leave early morning to Pangong Lake via Shyok. The lake is situated some 154 km to the East of Leh and is reached by a beautiful 5 hour ride. While ascending Changla pass 5486m. Enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the villages below the pass. Arrive Durbuk and from there a short drive takes you to the western shore of the lake. Pangong Tso ('Tso' being Tibetan for lake), this famous blue brackish Lake of Pangong is 05 Km wide and over 134 Km long with half of its running the other side of the "INDO TIBET BORDER" at the altitude of 4200 M. If you are a photographer, you'll go nuts exploring the place, looking for the perfect shot. The best photo ops are to be had at the reflections in the small pools of water that are present along these shores. The landscape surrounding the lake is mostly barren, rocky and grey with sparse vegetation. Close to the water, the shores are covered with some type of moss. Overnight at Camp, Pangong

Hanle in the Changthang region of Ladakh is one of the most beautiful, enchanting, calm, and soul-losing places in India. It has a hill-top Hanle Monastery offering some great aerial views of the whole village that is a home of about 1000 people. Hanle has India's first Dark Sky Reserve, this stunning part of north India is heaven for Astro tourists and photographers. is home to the Indian Astronomical Observatory. Spend day at leisure after reaching Hanle and soak in the view. Overnight stay at Camp, Hanle

Get up early in the morning and go for some beautiful landscape and wildlife encounter in the region with our guide. After spending few hours in the vicinity of Hanle, return to the homestay and enjoy local breakfast and take a walk in the village and experience the lifestyle, culture and interact with locals. After lunch, visit the monastery and spend some time there and witness sunset. Keep your energy stored for a long night, and breath taking view of milky way and stars, which cannot be seen in city lights. Visit to Hanle observatory can also be arranged for those who are interested. Overnight stay at Camp, Hanle

After breakfast leave for Tso Moriri, picturesquely located in secluded, breathtakingly beautiful Rupshu Valley. Flanked by lofty mountains, this serene lake is about 4,000 meters above sea level. Tso Moriri is approximately 29 kilometers long and up to 8 kilometers wide. Being part of the wetland reserve under Ramsar site, it is actual known as Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve and one cannot pitch any tents or construct anything near the banks of the lake. It is the highest Ramsar site in the world. A large number of flora and fauna is found in the region. Since, it is very near to the Line of Actual Control, one need to get Inner Line Permit to visit Tso Moriri. Overnight stay at Camp, Tso Moriri

After breakfast, start your journey for Leh. Enroute visit Tso Kar. Tso Kar is also known as the “White Lake” because its shores are marked with white salt of the water deposits. Seen from a distance, it gives the impression of being an entirely “white lake.” It is located in the Rupshu Valley, about 250 kilometres from Leh, at an altitude of 1,580 feet in the Changthang region of South-eastern Ladakh. Tso Moriri is located about 50 kilometers from this lake. Appreciate the beauty that greets you, take as many photographs as you want and relax by the banks of the lake. For bird watchers, it’s a great opportunity to spot a variety of birds, as the lake is surrounded by marshlands which host different types of birds. Some of these are Brahmi Ducks, bar-headed geese and great crested grebe. The most commonly spotted birds at the lake though, are the blacked necked cranes, which visit the lake to lay eggs. Mammals like Kianga, the largest of the wild asses, can also be spotted. The area surrounding the lake is also home to ibex, snow leopards and snow foxes. After spending some time here, continue your journey towards Leh and rest. Overnight stay at hotel, Leh

After breakfast drive up the Indus valley the journey downstream is a fascinating experience as you pass between amazing rock formations and granite outcrops interspersed with open stretches of cultivated land. Ride further from Leh, en-route visit Alchi, Basgo castle, Likir monastery. Along the way see the confluence Zanskar and Indus rivers near Nimu, Hall of Fame, Spituk and Magnetic Hill. En-route visit Likir Gompa established around the 15th century and early in its history became responsible for the oversight of Alchi gompa, to which it has posted lamas up to the present day. Likir belongs to the yellow-hat sect of Buddhism and currently houses about 120 lamas. Likir's head lama, a younger brother of the Dalai Lama, has married (against the rule of the sect) and is permanently absent from the gompa. Then we drive and cross the river Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh’s most loved monastery. It is one of the earliest monasteries built in Ladakh, dating from the 11th century. Because it was built before the invading wars began in the 15th century, Alchi was built on lowlands, rather than on a hilltop as others were, in order to protect them from marauding armies. It was erected by King Rin-chen-Izghimpo, one of the first Ladakhi kings to engage in foreign relations. To build the monastery, the Ladakhi king signed a treaty with the Gyalpo (king) of Tibet, who agreed to provide the artisans. Walking towards the gompa from the small group of houses nearby, the first temple of importance is the Sum-stek temple, the oldest of the Alchi gompa. The temple is surrounded by wooden pillars and carved woodwork of mythological animals. The woodwork is original and reflects Kashmiri influence. Once you exploration is over, drive back to Leh.

Morning after breakfast, you are collected from your hotel in the morning and transfer you to the airport to board your flight to Delhi.

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