Day 01 : Srinagar - Sonmarg - Kargil. (240 Kms / 08 Hrs drive)
Pickup from Srinagar Hotel / airport and drive to Kargil, enroute stops include Sonamarg and Baltal hamlets, famous for rugged snow peaked meadows. Past Baltal cross over Zoji-La Pass (11,500 ft). We are in Drass valley with strikingly different landscape dotted with remote mud huts giving an impression that you really have traveled back in time. Lunch will be at midway (on own). After a passport check we continue on to Kargil. Dinner and overnight in Kargil.
Day 02 : Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh [220 Kms 08 Hrs drive]
Early morning after b/fast drive to Leh. This drive normally takes about 6-7 hrs non stop, but we will be stopping at Lamayuru monastery for sight seeing. Later continue our drive to Leh enroute visiting Alchi, Sangam, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib and Magnetic hill. Reach Leh in the evening evening and check in hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.LAMAYURU GOMPA: The oldest holy site in Ladakh, it was a bon shrine prior to the advent of Buddhism. Also known as Yung Drung (Swastika) it is sited on a high promontory overlooking the village and valley. For sheer spectacle value no other Gompa can match Lamayuru.
ALCHI GOMPA: 70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attractions. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from the Liker monastery. This is the only monastery amongst 34 monasteries, which is not located on a hilltop.LADAKH HALL OF FAME : The Hall of Fame is a glorious museum constructed by the Indian Army. It is worth a visit for every citizen. You can see the memorabilia, eminent defense personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during the Kargil and other key strategic battles fought in Ladakh. And belongings of the enemy soldiers found at war site. All the martyr and the gallantry awards…
“Here’s something that you will be proud of our defense personnel who sacrificed themselves so that we could live in peace.”
GURDWARA SHRI PATTHAR SAHIB: The Shrine known as Gurdwara Patthar sahib is situated about 25 kms. Short of Leh town on the Leh-Srinagar road. Built in the everlasting memory of Shri Guru Nanak Deve Ji the great prophet who sanctified the place by his sacred visit during the year 1517 while on his second missionary tour (2nd Udassi 1515-1518). The Guru reached here via Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet Yarkand and Leh after having spiritual discourses with the sidhas at Mount Sumer (Central Himalayas). On the hill features across the road, there used to live a wicked demon that terrorized the people of the area. Their miseries multiplied day by day. As their miseries became unbearable they prayed for divine help. It is said that the Great Guru heard their woes and came to their rescue. The Guru settled down on the bank of the river flowing nearby. The people sought for help and the Guru blessed the people and became very popular in the area. The locals called him as Nanak Lama. The Demon got enraged and started making plans to kill Guru Nanak. One morning, when the Guru was sitting in meditation, he rolled down a big boulder from the hilltop with the aim of killing the Guru. But on the very touch of Guru’s body, the solid rock melted like wax and Guru’s back got embedded on it like a cushion. The Guru kept on sitting in meditation undisturbed. Thinking that the Guru must have been killed, the demon came down but was taken aback on seeing the Guru in meditation, undisturbed. With a rage of anger he tried to push the rock with his right foot but the rock had already became like wax his foot also got embedded into it. On this , he realized his folly and powerlessness as compared to the spiritual power of the Great Guru. He fell on the feet of Guru and humbly prayed to be pardoned. The Guru advised him to get rid of his wickedness and lead the life of a nobel person, in the service of humanity. This changed the life style of demon and he started serving the people. The Guru there after continued his Holy journey towards Srinagar and Kashmir via Kargil.The boulder having imprint of the Guru’s back is lying in the Gurdwara to this day.
MAGNETIC HILL : Defying the Law of gravity. This place is close to the Gurdwara Shri Patthar Sahib. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up-hill that’s the Believe it or not of Ladakh!
CONFLENCE OF THE ZANSKAR & INDUS : On way to Sham Valley before Nimu village one can have this magnificent view of two rivers in wed-lock! In seasons they have different colors and flow and wildness.
Day 03: Leh sightseeing
Today after breakfast half day free to acclimatize and to relax after the long journey from last previous days. Post lunch visit Donkey Sanctuary, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. Return to your hotel in Leh for overnight stay.DONKEY SANCTUARY : The sanctuary is situated just off the road leading to Khardungla Pass. The public is encouraged to visit the sanctuary and friendly signs will direct you to the sanctuary from the center of Leh. Once at the sanctuary, the artistic surprise awaiting you is well worth the effort. It is open to the public throughout the day and donations and juicy carrots are most welcome and used exclusively for improving the lives and welfare of these wonderful animals.LEH PALACE : The Palace overlooks Leh town and is modeled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, but was later abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century. The royal family moved to Stok Palace. Leh Palace is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, the stables and store rooms were in the lower floors. The palace, a ruin, is currently being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas. The richest collection of jewellery, ornaments, Thangkas, ceremonial dresses, crowns, and centuries-old pieces of jewellery are kept here for public display. There are Chinese Thangka or sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old but still look new.SHANTI STUPA (Japanese Peace Pagoda) : Shanti Stupa/Japanese peace pagoda is build by a Japanese religious organization headed by Head monk Nakamura with the help from the organization and local people. It is situated at a hill top in Cahngspa village providing a bird eye view of the Leh town and the surrounding mountain peaks. Architecturally it has the Japanese touch with small clean rooms on the side for meditators and the main Japanese shrine at the entrance.
Day 04 : Leh - Nubra Via Khardungla Pass (140 Kms / 5 – 6 hrs)
Early morning proceed to Nubra Valley via the World Highest Motorable road (5602 Mts) Khardungla pass. Arrive Nubra and proceed for a visit to the White Sand Dunes at Hunder. You can enjoy the camel ride (On Own). Later if time permits visit Hunder Sand Dunes and Diskit monastery and check in at Deluxe Camp. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the camp.KHARDUNGLA PASS: The road journey to Nubra valley leads through Khardung La pass (The highest Motorable road in the world) 18,390 ft. around 39 Kms. Away from Leh. There are two checkpoints on the both sides of the pass. Khardong is the first village of Nubra valley at higher altitude than Deskit and other villages.
DESKIT VILLAGE: Deskit is the main village of headquarter of Nubra valley, which has a small market consisting of a row of shops and about 500 years old Gompa on the hilltop. Spectacular view of the valley can be seen form the monastery.DESKIT GOMPA: Deskit Gompa was founded by Lama Sherab Zangpo of Stod in about 1420 AD during the reign of King Dragspa. About 100 monks are residing in the Gompa, which is a branch of Thikse Monastery. The monastic festival called Gustor takes place on 20th and 21st days of the 12th month of Tibetan calendar.HUNDAR VILLAGE: Hundar is a beautiful village to stay with lot of trees and you will really enjoy your stay at Hundar. It has a small monastery and ruined fort above the village. The walk or Camel Safari (Double Hump bacterian camels) from Hundar to Deskit, through sand dunes for two hours is wonderful (on own).
Day 05 : Nubra - Leh
Morning after Breakfast proceed for Leh, once again driving via Khardungla pass the World Highest Motorable road. Evening explore Leh bazaar for souvenir, visit Leh Jokhang or Leh Mosque by foot. Overnight at the hotel.JOKHANG: the Ladakh Buddhist Association in 1957 built the small Gonpa opposite to SBI and known as Jokhang in the main bazaar, which is open throughout the day for visitors. The Gonpa contains statue of Joyo Rinpoche (crowned Buddha).LEH MOSQUE: The Jama Masjid of Leh was built in 1666-67 AD under an agreement between Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and Ladakhi ruler Deldan Namgyal. Initialy, the architecture of the mosque bore Tibetan, Central Asian and Ladakhi style. In recent years it has been reconstructed and given a new look with minarets and domes.
Day 06 : Drive to Pangong Lake (140 Km / 5 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast drive to to Pangong Lake on the Indo China. Evening check in Camps for dinner and overnight stay.
THE PANGONG LAKE : This route takes the visitor past the picturesque villages of Shey and Thikse, and turns off the Indus valley by the side valley of Chemrey and Sakti. The Ladakh range is crossed by the Chang-la (18,000 feet / 5,475 M) which despite its great elevation is one of the easier passes, remaining open for much of the year even in winter, apart from periods of actual snowfall. Tangse, just beyond the foot of the pass, has an ancient temple.
But the main attraction of this circuit is the Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 M). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometers at its widest point to which foreigners are permitted, is only some seven km along the southern shore from the head of the lake, but it affords spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflection shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lakes brackish water. Above Spangmik are the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong range.
Day 07 : Pangong - Leh.
After breakfast drive back to Leh taking the same route. On the way back if time permits you can stop for a visit at Thiksey monastery and Shey Palace. Arrive Leh and relax at the hotel or free for individual activities.THIKSEY GOMPA: 19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly sited, Thiksey is one of the largest and architecturally most impressive Gompas. There are several temples in this Gompas, containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha, which are exquisite.SHEY PALACE AND GOMPA: Situated on a hillock 15 Kms upstream from Leh, it was once the residence of the royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kinds. A 7.5 mts high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold and the largest of its kind, is installed here.
Day 08 : Airport Departure.
Leave on time for Leh airport to board your flight to Delhi.