Take a week off from your busy life and explore the best sites and sounds of Ladakh. Experience the mystical aura of the vast region adorned with high altitude land-locked lakes amidst majestic mountain ranges of the Himalayas & Karakoram, smiling people, and the living heritage of quaint villages and centuries-old hilltop monasteries.
Day-1 Arrival Leh (Alt: 11500 / 3505 M) - Acclimatization / Orientation
Arrive Leh and transfer to the hotel. After welcome drink / breakfast take complete rest for acclimatization to the high altitude and rarefied air of Ladakh. In the late afternoon proceed on an orientation tour of the old city centre and take leisurely walks through the main market of this historic town.Overnight at Leh.
Day-2 In Leh: Visit Alchi –Likir (Sham Valley) Circuit /160 kms round trip / 4-5 hours
After breakfast proceed to explore the Sham Valley circuit, driving all the way to Alchi and visit the 11 th century AlchiChoskor , oldest surviving monastic complex of Ladakh and famous for its ancient wall frescoes and architecture – now a UNESCO listed heritage site. While returning towards Leh, drive up the hill to visit the 14 th century Likir Monastery , where you can also view a recently installed colossal image of the Maitreya Buddha seated out in the open. Thereafter visit Sangam (confluence of Indus & Zanskar Rivers), Magnetic Point , Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Hall of Fame (museum of military heritage). Overnight at Leh.
Day-3 Leh- Khardongla - Nubra Valley / 125 kms / 4-5 hours
After breakfast leave for Nubra Valley , driving across Khardong-la (alt: 18,380 ft.), highest motorable pass in the world. Nubra Valley lies between the Karakoram & Ladakh ranges at an average altitude of 10,000 ft. Till closure of the trans-Karakoram trade route by the Chinese in 1949, Nubra Valley was a busy trade corridor on the Central Asian trade route.
Reach Deskit / Hunder in the afternoon and explore the area and the white Sand Dunes where you can also take a short camel Safari on the double-humped Bactrian camel found here (optional service). Overnight at a deluxe camp or hotel.
Day-4 Nubra Valley – Khardongla - Leh / 125 kms / 4 - 5 hours
After breakfast, explore Deskit (headquarters of Nubra valley) and then drive up the hillside to visit the 15 th century DeskitMonastery dramatically located on a rock promontory overlooking the valley. Nearby, you can visit the gigantic image of Maitreya Buddha (32 mtrs) seated out on a hillock which was installed in 2010. Later return to Leh via Khardongla, reaching in the afternoon. Overnight at Leh.
Day-5 Leh- Pangong Lake / 150 kms. / 5 -6 hours
After breakfast, leave for Pangong Lake, via the Chang-la pass, 3 rd highest motorable pass in the world (alt: 17370 ft. / 5486 meters). Pangong Lake (alt: 14,500 ft.), largest brackish water lake of Asia, is about 4-5 kms wide and about 135 kms long, of which some two-third portion lies on the other side of the Indo-China border . Spend rest of the day sightseeing around the lake. Later check into a nearby deluxe camp for overnight stay.
Day-6 Pangong Lake – Hemis- Leh / Approx. 160 kms. / 6 hours
After breakfast, leave Pangong Lake and retrace the road to Leh via Chang-la pass. Upon reaching Karu, take a short trip across the Indus to visit the 17 th century HemisMonastery , biggest monastery and principal centre of the Drukpa-Kargyut monastic order in the Ladakh region. Later return to Leh reaching in the late afternoon. Overnight at Leh.
Day-7 In Leh: Visit Palaces & Monasteries / Shanti Stupa & City Centre
After breakfast, proceed to explore the Indus Valley attractions starting from the dramatically located Thiksey M onastery, a major Gelukpa monastery founded during the 16 th century. Returning form Thiksey, walk up the hill at Shey to visit the Shey Palace where the main attractions are the two gigantic copper-gilt Buddha statues installed in the complex during the mid - 17 th century. Thereafter, visit the Druk Padma School (Rancho School) at Shey, if interested.
After your lunch drive to visit Shanti Stupa , a prominent landmark located on a great vantage point overlooking the valley. Thereafter visit the 9-storied Leh Palace dating from the 1600 AD, a historic landmark of Leh which renders a unique heritage character to the town. Wind up the trip with a short walking tour of the main markets in the city centre. Overnight at Leh.
Day-8 Depart Leh: Transfer to Airport
Early morning transfer to the airport for taking the flight back home.
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