In this tour we will introduce you to the panorama of sights & sounds of Ladakh, its high altitude lakes, majestic mountain ranges and deep valleys, smiling people, rich culture and the living heritage of centuries-old hilltop monasteries. Ladakh is a natural retreat for escaping from the monotony of urban life to a land of un-ending discoveries.
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 Monasteries & Palaces / 110 kms / 4 hours
After breakfast, proceed to explore the Indus Valley attractions starting from dramatically located Thiksey M onastery a major Gelukpa foundation dating from the 16 th century. Thereafter drive on to visit the 17 th century HemisMonastery, biggest monastery and principal seat of the Drukpa-Kargyut monastic order in the Ladakh region. On the way back from Hemis, you may walk up the hill at Shey to visit the Shey Palace where the main attractions are the two gigantic copper-gilt Buddha statues installed during the mid - 17 th century. Thereafter, visit the Druk Padma School (Rancho School) at Shey, if interested.
Before returning to Leh, drive across the Indus to visit the Stok Palace (Circa 1825 AD), present residence of former royal family of Ladakh. The main attraction here is the museum displaying the priceless collections of art & artefacts of the royal family. Overnight at Leh.
Day-3 Leh- Lamayuru – Uleytokpo / Alchi / 180 kms / approx. 5 hours
After breakfast, drive down the Indus Valley all the way to Lamayuru (127 kms.), believed to be the oldest site where a monastery was founded during the 11 th century AD. Presently a major Brigung-Kargyut-pa foundation , Lamayurumonastery is famous for its dramatic setting with the ‘ Moonland' hills forming its backdrop. After sightseeing here, drive back on the Leh road till Uleytokpo or Alchi. Overnight in camp at Uletokpo or hotel at Alchi.
Day-4 Uleytokpo / Alchi – Likir- Sangam – Leh / Approx 90 kms / 3- 4 hours
After breakfast, 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 to Leh, visit the 14 th century LikirMonastery , where you can also view a recently installed colossal image of the Maitreya Buddha seated out in the open. Thereafter drive on to Leh, en-route visiting Sangam (confluence of Indus & Zanskar Rivers), Magnetic Point , GurudwaraPatharSahib and Hall of Fame (museum of military heritage). Overnight at Leh.
Day-5 Leh- Khardongla - Nubra Valley / 125 kms / 4 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 of the Himalayas, at an average altitude of the valley is 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 network.
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-6 Nubra Valley – Khardongla - Leh / 125 kms / 4 hours
After breakfast, explore Deskit (headquarters of Nubra valley) and then drive up the hillside to visit the 15 th century Deskit Monastery dramatically located on a high rock promontory overlooking the valley. On way, you can visit the gigantic image of Maitreya Buddha (32 mtrs) seated out on a hillock which was installed in 2010. Later retrun to Leh via Khardongla, reaching in the afternoon. Overnight at Leh.
Day-7 In Leh: Excursion to Pangong Lake / 150 kms /one way / 5-6 hours
After early breakfast leave for Pangong Lake via Chang-la pass (alt: 17370 ft./ 5486 meters -3 rd highest motorable pass in the world). Pangong Lake (alt:14,500 ft.), largest brackish water lake of Asia, is4-5 kms wide and about 135 kms long of which about two-third portion lies on the other side of the Indo-China border. After sightseeing at the lake, drive back to Leh, reaching by the evening. Overnight at Leh.
Day-8 In Leh: visit Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace / city centre
After leisurely breakfast or early lunch, drive to visit Shanti Stupa , located on a great vantage point overlooking the valley. Thereafter visit the 9-storey Leh Palace built by King SingeyNamgyal in 1600 AD, a historic landmark 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 the hotel.
On this day, you can also opt for an exciting half-day Rafting trip on the Indus River between Phey and Nimu (if water level is adequate) OR on the Zanskar River between Chiling&Nimo (optional service).
Day-9 Departure Leh: Transfer to airport
Early morning transfer to the airport for taking the flight back home.
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