Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, Ladakh is situated towards the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies on the crossroads of the historic 'Silk Route' from Sinkiang to West Asia and to the plains of India. This tour offers the historical, cultural and scenic sights of the region and perfect for those who love the peak of mountains and adventure. Leh is easily accessible by air from Delhi.
Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Leh. Arrive at Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rinpochi Airport. Take the first whiff of this spectacular mountain city as you step out into 10,000 feet plus terrain. Leh is a land of beautiful landscapes that are never-ending and gorgeous vistas. Often described as a moonscape, this desolate high altitude desert is a kingdom of mysticism and mystery. As you clear the immigration and baggage, you will be met by THO Tour executive, who will assist you and accompany you to the hotel in Leh. Rest of the day will be spent acclimatizing to the high altitude wondering often how the locals survive in a harsher climate without the comfort of Luxury enjoyed in the hotels? Afternoon you can also go and have your first look at the lives of the locals by the visit to Leh Market. A plethora of shops lines and selling antiques is definitely an attraction apart from the bakers selling freshly baked bread. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Explore the rich cultural heritage of the region of Ladakh and explore its royal past. Start your day with the visit to Shey, the former capital of Ladakh region and erstwhile home to the Ladakhi royalty. The main attraction at Shey is Shey Palace, the erstwhile royal residence of the Laddakh monarchs, built by Ladakh king Deldan Namgyal in 1655 AD. Currently serving as a centre of Buddhism, it houses Shey Monastery, which had the largest golden Buddha statue towering 39 feet in Leh Ladakh region. From here move on and discover the largest Gompa of central Ladakh at Thiksey Monastery. The 12 story complex of the monastery belonging to Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, strikingly resembles the Potala Palace of Tibet. Return in the evening to the hotel in Leh. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Enjoy buffet breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will check out of hotel and travel to explore one of the cold deserts of the world, home to double-humped Bactrian camel – Nubra valley. The valley is formed by the Shyok river meeting with Nubra or Siachen river and it separates Ladakh from Karakoram ranges. The valley, located on an average height of more than 10000 feet, offers you an insight into the ways of life of the local people, battling harshest climatic conditions possible. The drive to Nubra is in itself interesting, with you passing through the highest motorable road of the world, Khardungla pass. As you descend through the pass, you will get to see the picturesque Sunoor area and Samstanling Gompa, which offers you scenic view of the Dikshit valley. Stay overnight at one of the fixed camps at Dikshit/ Hunder. Stay overnight at Nubra.
Enjoy your breakfast at the camp. Later in the morning explore Deskit & Hundar, the two most important villages of Nubra Valley. Visit the Diskit monastery (gompa), belonging to Gelugpa sect, it is the oldest monastery of Nubra valley. The monastery has a statue of Maitreya Buddha in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. An elevated cupola of the monastery depicts a fresco of the Tashihunpo monastery of Tibet. The Monastery administration runs a school, with support from a Non-Government Organization (NGO) known as the "Tibet Support Group", which has computer facilities and teaches science subjects in English to Tibetan children of the region. Also, enjoy the visit to the Sand Dunes where you can enjoy a short camel safari using the double-humped Bactrian camel found here. Afternoon you will drive back to Leh to arrive and check-in at the hotel. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Early morning after breakfast, we will go to explore one of the most beautiful lakes in the Himalayas – Pangong Tso, Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake. The lake spread over 604 sq km of the area between India and Tibet(China) is about 5 km wide at the broadest point. With no interference with the living world, the lake offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflections shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake's brackish waters. You are close to the Mother Nature in the midst of the scenic beauty of Himalaya, with you and the peace in between. The water is saline, despite that the lake freezes in winter. The drive to the Lake in itself is an amazing experience, with the route passing through the villages of Shey and Gya and traverses the Changla pass. Road down from Changla Pass leads through Tangste and other smaller villages, crossing river called Pagal Naala also known as “The Crazy Stream. You will live in one of the most pristine environments, as you spent your nights at the tented complex near Pangong Lake. Overnight stay at Pangong.
**Kindly note that the Tents on Pangong Lake are basic with attached toilets and are eco-friendly in nature.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel amidst the naturally calm environments, you would have rarely experienced such quiet mornings in your life, where even the birds do not chirp, the only sound you get to hear is the sound of the winds flowing. After a relaxed breakfast, prepare your cameras to zoom on and click the rare sights of black-necked Siberian crane around the Mahe marshes which are the only breeding ground for these migratory birds. Later check out and drive back to Leh, en-route visit Darbuk Village near Tangtse Valley, where stands a chain of war memorials with regimental insignias in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-China war of 1962. Villagers can be seen here along with their large herds of Pashmina sheep and long-tailed yaks. Arrive back at Leh to check-in and stay overnight at the hotel.
Today we discover the rich Buddhist heritage of Ladakh, by travelling to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh at Alchi. Alchi monastery, a national heritage, was established in the 10th century. It is more famous for well-preserved 11th & 12th-century wall paintings, all in an Indo Himalayan style. The artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and the Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir are reflected in the wall paintings in the monastery. These are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh. The complex also has huge statues of the Buddha and elaborate wood carvings and art-work comparable to the baroque style. Enroute you will also visit Likir monastery which was established in 1065 AD, on top of a hill alongside the valley of river Indus. The monastery has two assembly halls with the statues of Bodhisattva, Amitabha, three large statues of Sakyamuni. Maitreya and Tsong Khapa founder of the yellow-hat sect. the verandah has thangka paintings of the Guardians of the Four Directions and wheel of life mandala held by Yamna and the courtyard has a large Jupiter tree, a rare species. The monastery is also a repository of old manuscripts, has a notable thangka collection and old costumes and earthen pots. A 75 ft high gilded gold statue of Maitreya ( the future) Buddha on the roof gives it a distinct recognition. Return to the hotel to stay overnight at the hotel.
The day is purposefully kept at leisure for you, so as you can explore the surrounding of Leh city, its markets and villages at your own pace. While your eyes savour the beautiful treat of one of the most beautiful mountains of the world, your other senses will enhance your experience by absorbing the simple lifestyle of the locals who believes in the principles of peace prophesied by Lord Buddha, but are not short of grit, as displayed by their will to survive the harshest of climatic conditions. You can visit one of its various bazaars, visit Leh Palace, which is the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as Potala Palace of Tibet. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Accommodation in hotel with private facility
Private Non air-condition vehicle with Chauffeur
Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Protected area permit and wildlife fees to visit restricted areas of Ladakh
Entry fee/Monument charges
Assistance and transfers
All currently applicable taxes
Any international or domestic airfares
Train fares other than specified in the what's included section
Airport taxes, visa & passport fees
Extra baggage charges
Early check-in or late checkout
Meals other than specified in the what's included section
Tips & gratuities
Travel & medical insurance
Camera & video permits
Expenses incurred due to flight/train cancellation or delay
Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc
Any optional excursion or tour
Entry charges at monuments/forts etc
Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section
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