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Ladakh – 7 Nights/8 Days
Leh | Sham Valley | Kargil | Nubra Valley | Pangong
Ladakh – A blend of adventure and mysticism makes for the unique allure of Ladakh, also known as India’s Little Tibet, which is among the world’s highest inhabited plateaus. Situated at more than 3,000 meters above sea level, it lies between the Kunlun Mountain ranges (North) and the Himalayas (South). Ladakh borders Tibet to the East, the LahaulSpiti to the South, the Valley of Kashmir and Baltistan to the west, and the Karakoram Ranges to the far North. The Karakoram Range forms a great watershed that separates China from the Indian sub-continent and is sometimes called the “THIRD POLE”. The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram Range. Also popular as Moonland for its outlandish landscape of vast barren mountains, the bluest of skies, and beautiful lakes that change color during the day.
LADAKH, the land of jagged peaks and barren landscape is at once alluring and awe-inspiring. Hidden behind this harsh and forbidding façade are an ancient civilization and a captivating people. With its unaltered character and overwhelming natural beauty, Ladakh beckons the more intense and adventurous travelers. The awesome wilderness and magic can only belong to this great land of towering mountains and Buddhist simplicity. With the great Indus flowing right through Ladakh, the province is divided into Leh, the capital Nubra, Zanskar, lower Ladakh, and Rupshu.
The many distinctive features of Ladakh are its uplands, craggy, barren cliffs, and plateaus. Governed by a climate that provides about 50 mm of rainfall each year, Ladakh is cold and dry. A visitor, therefore, will be faced with a long and bitter winter of the frozen landscape yet very beautiful, and a short, hot summer when the precious glaciers melt. The Ladakhi festival, which is organized on a large scale is a regular tourist event, which is held in Leh every year. It showcases the traditional dances, sporting skills, and handicrafts with a lot of pomp and fanfare, and should not be missed. Ladakh offers excellent opportunities for adventure tourism.
Day 1: Arrive at Leh
Arrival at Leh KushokBakula Airport (This is one of the Most Sensational Flights in the World). On a clear day from one side of the aircraft can be seen in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, and Gasherbrum, and on the other side of the aircraft, so close that you feel you could reach out and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif. (Upon arrival transfer to hotel for Check-in. Complete day for rest and leisure).
Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 2: Leh – Sham Valley
Drive downstream along the River Indus on Leh – Kargil Highway. En route Gurudwara Patthar sahib, Magnetic Hil, Likir Monastery, Thereafter proceed further to Gurudwara Patthar Sahib at an altitude of 3600 Mtrs about 22 km from Leh was constructed in memory of Guru Nanak Devji. Nestled deep in the Himalayas. It was constructed in 1517 to commemorate his visit to the region of Ladakh. The Indian army maintains it.
A drive of another 4 km will take you to Magnetic Hill. The Magnetic Hill is a gravity Hill with magnetic properties. The hill defies the law of gravity in such a way that a vehicle parked in neutral gear is pulled uphill without any kind of interference. As you move ahead from Magnetic Hills, just before Nimmu Village, there comes a famous Confluence of Two Rivers Indus River coming from Tibet (left) and Zanskar River coming from Zanskar Valley (right). Zanskar River is known for its famous Chadar Trek.
Just before Saspul, a road to the right takes you on your visit to the Likir Monastery, Likir is one of the most active monasteries in the region. As you drive up to the monastery a recently installed colossal gilded image of the Maitreya out in the open is one of the most impressive sights in Ladakh. Later Arrive at the sham valley.
Overnight stay in the sham valley.
Day 3: Sham Valley – Kargil via Batalik
Drive to Kargil Enroute visiting Dha-Hanu (Located 163 km northwest of Leh town) the village settlements of Dha and Hanu are placed on the meeting points of Indus and Shyok Rivers in the Kargil region. Famed as the “Land of Aryans”, these villages are home to the Brokpa or Drokpa community of Ladakh. The Brokpas have made around 5 villages their home but the tourists are permitted to visit only villages – Dha and Hanu.
After visiting Dha Hanu we proceed further to Batalik which has a different culture and visiting there you’ll feel good too. Batalik, one of the most famous war front zones fought by the Indian soldiers in 1999 with Pakistan.
Overnight stay in Kargil.
Day 4: Kargil to Leh (Via Lamayuru)
Drive back to Leh. en route visiting Mulbekh, Lamayuru, which Belongs to Drepung Kagyu (Red Hat). Then we drive and cross the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh’s most loved monastery. Evening visit to Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa&Leh Market.
Leh Palace – In the early fifteenth century, DragpaBumdey, King of Ladakh, built the first fortifications in Leh as well as a small royal residence along a mountain ridge high above the town. At the turn of the seventeenth century, Leh became the royal capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh, which at the time ruled over most of western Tibet. It was at this time that King SengeNamgyal built Leh Palace, also known as LachenPalkar Palace. The massive nine-story stone structure lies at the base of the Tsemo ridge and towers over the old town. It was designed in the Tibetan style that was later made famous by Potala Palace in Lhasa. LachenPalkar Palace was abandoned in the mid-nineteenth century after the royal family left Leh following the Dogra invasion. Despite years of decay, the historic character of Leh’s old town has remained largely intact.
Shanti Stupa – The Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed Stupa located on a hilltop near the town of Leh. It features a photograph of the current Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base. This Stupa is built as a two-level structure. It was built by a team of Ladakhi& Japanese Buddhists in 1991 to promote world peace, and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. This place offers a panoramic view of Leh town and its surrounding Landscape.
Leh Market – Leh Market is one of the busiest, most colorful places in Leh, where you can get everything imaginable- from groceries to clothes, and jewelry to local street food. The Leh Market is a perfect representation of the culture of Leh- vibrant and colorful. The market comprises many stalls, stores, and shops that are set up in quaint disarray, where you can navigate your way between the merchants and sellers to discover items worthy of purchase.
The market has small lanes and bylanes, with sections dedicated to things such as handicrafts, spices, clothes, artifacts, food, and souvenirs. One of the things that Leh Market is very famous for is its woolen clothing. The cold climate of Leh has led to a culture of creating beautiful, hand-woven woolens, which have become a popular local product of Leh. Whether you are looking for unique dry fruits, exquisitely hand-crafted Tibetan shawls, or simply looking forward to a good time, Leh Market is bound to fulfill all your expectations.
Overnight stay in Leh.
Day 5: Leh – Nubra Valley via Khardung La 18,390 Ft.
Drive to Nubra Valley. The road journey to Nubra Valley passes over Khardung La (The Highest Motorable Road In The World) at 5,602 Mtrs / 18,390 Ft, around 39 km from Leh. From the pass, one can see all the way south over the Indus valley to seemingly endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range, and north to the giants of the Saser massif. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldumra or the valley of flowers. It is situated in the north of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. The average altitude of the valley is 10,000 Ft. above sea level. (Upon arrival in Nubra, we check to the Camp in Hunder).
Evening drive to Hunder where you have the opportunity to ride on a Bactrian camel (double humped) amidst the sand dunes of this high-altitude desert with snowcapped mountains on the horizon. Between Hunder and Diskit you come across sand dunes beside the road. Seen in isolation you could well be amongst the sand dunes of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.
It is indeed a strange sight since immediately on the left of the road are the Rocky Mountains that characterize the Ladakhi landscape and in the distance can be seen snow-capped mountains. On the return stop at Diskit which is the headquarters town of Nubra Valley. Stroll around the bazaar observing the shops and local people going about their daily chores. Diskit is famous for 515 years old Buddhist Monastery, lying magnificently situated on a hilltop, facing the entire Valley.
Overnight stay in Nubra Valley.
Day 6: Nubra Valley – Pangong Lake
Drive towards Pangong Tso via Agham & Shyok Valley. Some of the road patches in areas are extremely tough (towards the Nubra side) in terms of road conditions but no doubt the journey is very scenic! Later after crossing this adventurous part leaving Tangtse for Pangong, you pass through a few small villages of Changthang and finally, you can have a sudden view of the Pangong Lake situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 mts).
This famous blue brackish Lake of Pangong is 5/6 Kms wide and over 133 Kms long with half of its running on the other side of the “INDO CHINA BORDER”. One rarely feels so close to nature and the environment and the scenery are unforgettable. After the success of 3 Idiots, this beautiful natural location has attracted more tourists from all over the world.
Overnight Stay at Hotel in Pangong.
Day 7: Pangong Lake – Leh via Changla
Morning at leisure to explore the beauty of the lake. Later drive back to Leh through Changla pass(5486 Mts). The long easy ascent takes you to Changla passing through its winding roads passing through Sakti Village. Stop at the Changla Pass for a quick photograph session and drive down to the village of Tangtse.
En route visit Thiksey an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village and another 5 Km driving through a picturesque landscape, we reach Shey Palace, The ancient capital of Ladakh &3 Idiots Rancho School.
Thiksey Monastery – The Thiksey monastery belongs to the Yellow Sect. It houses the Buddhist arts such as Stupas, Statues, Thangkas, Wall paintings, Swords as well as a 15-meter-high statue of Maitreya (The future Buddha).
Shey Palace – The Shey palace and monastery are located adjacent to each other. The place was formerly known as the summer capital of Ladakh. The monastery houses a 12-meter statue of Buddha and beautiful paintings.
Overnight stay Leh.
Day 8: Depart Leh
Transfer to the airport for your return journey.