This Tour is a virtual Jeep Safari across the major mountain ranges which surround Ladakh or separate its various valleys. Starting from Manali in Kulu and crossing the PirPanjal and Great Himalayan Ranges, the tour enters the Indus Valley in Ladakh. After exploring various sites in Leh, Nubra, Pangong Lake etc. the tour follows the highway along the Indus Valley, across various mountain passes to enter Kashmir Valley via, Kargil & the Zojila pass.
Day-1 Manali - Sarchu / 222 Kms / 6-7 hours
After breakfast proceed to Serchu (campsite), on the first leg of the trans-Himalayan Traverse, en-route crossing the Rohtang Pass (13050 ft) to enter the Lahoul Valley . Driving through Lahoul past Keylong, Jispa and Darcha, cross the Baralacha Pass in (16,020 ft) to reach Serchu in the late afternoon. Dinner & overnight in fixed deluxe camp. Optionally, the journey can be broken at Keylong (125 kms.) for overnight stay at a hotel.
You have the option of breaking the journey at Keylong (125 kms.) to benefit from better staying options and to avoid the high altitude of Serchu, in which case the journey to Leh next day will be for about 325 kms.
Day-2 Serchu – Taglangla- Leh / 255 Kms/ 6-7 hours
After breakfast leave for Leh, en-route crossing Nakeela & Lachalung -la Passes (16,617 ft.) to reach Pang for a lunch break. From here drive on through the extensive Skyangchu Thang - a vast high altitude plateau stretching for 42 kms. at the end of which begins the long ascent to the Taglang-La (17,585ft), 2 nd highest motorable pass of the world. After descending from the pass, we follow the Gya River till it meets the Indus at Upshi, from where the Indus is followed all the way to Leh, reaching in the evening. Overnight at Leh.
Day-3 In Leh: visit the town and surrounds
The morning is at leisure for rest after the long journey. After leisurely breakfast or early lunch, drive to visit Hall of Fame (museum of military heritage), the 9-storied Leh Palace and then Leh Bazaar . Wind up the day's tour with a visit to the Shanti Stupa which offers great views of the town and the Indus valley. Overnight at the hotel.
Day-4 Leh - Thiksey - Pangong Lake / approx. 155 kms / 5-6 hours
After breakfast, leave for Pangong Lake via Chang-la pass (alt: 17370 ft./ 5486 meters) 3 rd . highest motorable pass in the world . En-route visit the dramatically located Thiksey M onastery, founded during the 16 th century. Pangong Lake (alt: 14,500 ft.), largest brackish water lake of Asia, is 4-5 kms wide and about135 kms long, of which some two-third portion lies on the other side of the Indo-China border . After a day of sightseeing around the lake, check-in at a fixed camp near the lake for overnight stay.
Day-5 Pangong Lake – Hemis - Leh / Approx. 160 kms. / 5- 6 hours
After breakfast, leave Pangong Lake and retrace the road via Chang-la pass. Upon reaching Karu, drive across the Indus to visit the 17 th century HemisMonastery , biggest & richest monastery of Ladakh and principal centre of the Drukpa-Kargyut Monastic Order in the region. Thereafter drive on to Leh, reaching in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.
Day-6 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 to the north of Leh, 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-7 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 & view the gigantic image of Maitreya Buddha (32 mtrs) seated out on a hillock which was installed in 2010. Later drive back to Leh via Khardongla, reaching in the afternoon. Overnight at Leh.
Day-8 Leh- Alchi / Lamayuru-Kargil / 235 kms. / 6-7 hours
After breakfast proceed towards Kargil en-route visiting GurudwaraPathar Sahib and Magnetic Point, and then drive on to visit the 11 th century AlchiChoskor , oldest surviving monastic heritage complex of Ladakh, famous for its wall frescoes and architecture - a UNESCO listed heritage site. Thereafter proceed towards Kargil, en-route stopping to view the dramatically located Lamayuru monastery , and the adjoining Moonland Hills . Driving further on crossing the Fotula&Namika La passes, reach Mulbek where you may stop briefly to view the 9-Mtrs. tall rock sculpture of Maitreya Buddha (7 th - 8 th century AD). Kargil is at an hour's drive from here. Overnight in the hotel at Kargil.
Day-9 Kargil- Zojila- Sonamarg-Srinagar / 205 kms / 5-6 hours
Early departure for Srinagar via Drass , Zojila pass & Sonamarg . Drass is famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Zoji-la Pass (11,500-ft. /3,505 m) is the watershed between the rugged landscape of Ladakh and the lushness of Kashmir . After crossing the pass, the road descends to Sonamarg from where it's just over a couple of hours' drive to Srinagar through the beautiful Kashmir countryside.
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