An Overland Trip Through Amritsar 23 Days / 22 Nights
Trip Code: HAT118
Ladakh and Himachal
Hotels, camps and guesthouses
June to October
Best Time For Travel:
Trip Over View
Amritsar is the holy city situated in Punjab, India and the city is motivation of Sikh strength and heroism and also home to the divine Sikh shrine - the serene Golden Temple which now is a main pilgrimage and tourism center. The city derives its name from the name of the pool around the Golden Temple also known as Harmandir Sahib and means "holy pool of immortality". Built in the early 17th Century, this Golden Temple attracts millions of pilgrims and visitors each year. Amritsar is worth the visit to discover deep sense of devotion and the unique culture and here we have organized this is classic jeep safari in the Indian Himalayan foothills of Amritsar. It involves crossing high mountain passes, spectacular views of snowcapped peaks, traveling through rugged terrain, and visiting beautiful villages with ancient monasteries and the wonderful people of Himachal and Ladakh.
The Amritsar safari takes you to the largest inland salt water lakes of the region, Tsomoriri Lake and Pangong Lake, plus the formerly restricted areas of the Nubra Valley which is one of the most spectacular and picturesque landscapes in the world. Situated on the old Silk Road of caravans, the beautiful fertile Nubra Valley was an important waypoint for the caravans. The tour offers the best of locals, terrain, culture and monasteries available in Western Himalayas and hence, rightfully called The Treasure of the Indian Himalayas.
The safari also includes the two religious cities of Amritsar, the sacred city of Sikhs, and Dharamasala, the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama out of Tibet. At Amritsar, among other highlights, you will visit the famous Golden Temple-founded by Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. Dharamsala is situated in the Pir Panjal region of the Outer Himalayas with majestic views of the mountain ranges above and the Kangra Valley. Today, Dharamashala is better known as the refuge of the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan followers. Streams of visitors from all over the world flock to Dharamsala to receive blessings and teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to witness the rebirth of an ancient and fascinating civilization.
Since this trip covers many places, it gives an idea of adventure and thrill all through the journey and so many happy memories to stay long after you have left.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi.
Day 02: Delhi-Amritsar.
Day 03: Amritsar Sightseeing.
Day 02: Amritsar, Dharamsala (200 kms, 6 hrs).
Day 03: Dharamsala Sightseeing.
Day 04: Drive to Manali (240 kms).
Day 05: Manali Sightseeing.
Day 06: Manali to Keylong (115 km, 72 miles, 6 hrs).
Day 07: Acclimatization in Keylong.
Day 08: Keylong to Sarchu (117 kms, 73 miles, 6 hrs).
Day 09: Sarchu to Leh (240km, 150 miles, 8 hrs).
Day 10: Leh Sightseeing.
Day 11: To Pangong Tso Lake (7-8 hrs).
Day 12: At Pangong Lake.
Day 13: Pangong Tso Lake - Leh.
Day 14: Leh - Likir - Alchi - Lamayuru.
Day 15: Lamayuru - Leh(124 km).
Day 16: Leh - Upshi – Tso Moriri Lake (Karzok Gompa) ( 8-9 hrs).
Day 17: Tso Moriri Lake (Karzok gompa).
Day 18: Tso Moriri Lake - Tso Khar Lake - Tanglang La Pass - Leh.
Day 19: Leh-Deskit-Hunder (128 km, 80 miles, 7hrs).
Day 20: Panamik Excursion.
Day 21: Hunder to Leh.
Day 22: Depart Leh for Delhi.
Day 23: Depart Delhi.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, we meet our representative and get transferred to hotel.
Day 02: Delhi-Amritsar
After breakfast, we explore the highlights of Delhi such as: Red Fort, Jame Mosque and Raj Ghat. In the afternoon, we board on train (Air Conditioned Chairs Cars) to Amritsar - the city of the Golden Temple. It’s about 6 hours train ride. Upon arrival, we are transferred to the hotel.
Day 03: Amritsar Sightseeing
Today we visit the Golden Temple, a site where Sikhs from all over the world come to pay their reverence to Guru Granth Sahib and to take a dip in Amrit Saras Kund (Pool of Immortality) for spiritual purification. Also in Amritsar is Jallian Wala Bagh - notorious for the massacre that took place here under British rule in 1919. At the east end of the garden there is a large memorial built in memory of those who died here. Later in the afternoon, we visit the Wagha Border - the international border between India and Pakistan where the pomp and pageantry of the “Beating Retreat and Change of Guard” ceremonies make for a most charming spectacle.
Day 04: Amritsar, Dharamsala (200 kms, 6hrs)
In the morning we drive to Dharamshala, home of the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan Government. The town is perched on the slopes of the Kangra Valley and set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar Mountains. Dharamshala is a busy bazaar town, serving as a base camp for those who wish to explore the nearby mountains. Upon arrival, check in hotel and we are at our leisure to explore the surroundings on your own.
Day 05: Dharamsala Sightseeing
In the morning, we visit Namgayal Monastery of Dalai Lama and Bhagsunath Temple. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple which are considered sacred by the Hindus. Later we visit St. John's Church; one of the most poignant memories of the British Raj is the church of St. John situated in the wilderness. Under the shade of Doedar branches, a memorial has been made over the body of the British Viceroy, Lord Elgin who died at Dharamsala in 1863. We also visit Tibetan Children Village Institute. In the afternoon, we are free to explore Mc Leodganj - known as Little Lhasa in India. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 06: Drive to Manali (240 kms)
Drive to Manali and on the way, we enjoy spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. We stop briefly in Palampur town and visit the old Shiva temple at Baijnath. The road runs through apple orchards and tea plantations. Manali's major attraction is its proximity to the snowline. It is a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great destination for those with a passion for adventure sports. On arrival we check in a hotel and take a leisurely walk in the township.
Day 07: Manali Sightseeing
The Manali tour includes Hadimba Devi Temple - a four-tiered Pagoda with a carved doorway, associated with Hadimba, the demon wife of Bhim, one of the major characters of Hindu Epic Mahabharata. We also visit Manu Temple - dedicated to the Creator of the Human Race, Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temples, Naggar Castle and Roerich Art Gallery.
Day 08: Manali to Keylong (115 km, 72 miles, 6hrs)
The journey from Manali onwards is quite challenging but equally rewarding. Today, we drive to Lahaul valley, crossing over Rohtang Pass at an altitude of 4000m (13,120ft) and follow Chandra River. At Tandi, Chandra River meets Bhaga River and we follow it upstream towards Keylong. Situated at an altitude of 3350m (10, 988m), Keylong is the head quarter of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh lying on Indo-Tibetan Border. The region is strange, exciting, primitive, mountainous and delightful. In the evening we are free to explore Keylong. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 09: Acclimatization in Keylong
The road towards Sarchu is challenging and involves crossing the high Barlacha La Pass, infamous as a killer pass. Many people get hit by acute mountain sickness as they start climbing the pass. So, it’s very important to halt another day in Keylong for proper acclimatization. We explore the temples and monasteries of Keylong at our leisure.
Day 10: Keylong to Sarchu (117 kms, 73 miles, 6hrs)
Now, we are all set to face the challenges of the road and altitude of Barlacha La. We have a long ride on muddy and dusty roads with several water crossings with no signs of civilization for miles – only the snowcapped mountains up to Barlacha La (16,000ft). From the pass, we quickly descend to Sarchu (4200m/13,776m) and settle in the tented camp and take it easy to cope with any altitude sickness.
Day 11: Sarchu to Leh (240km, 150 miles, 8hrs)
The road from Sarchu crosses the high mountain passes of Namika La and Lachalung La to reach the army camp in the Pang valley. The dry barren mountains around Pang are eroded in a very spectacular way. From Pang, the road climbs up and reaches a totally different world. Here it is the flat high desert of More Plains with 50-60 km of road bisecting it. This is Rupshu, an extension of the Changthang plateau of Tibet. The road then climbs to the Tanglang Pass (5415 m), the second highest motor able mountain Pass before finally reaching Leh. Overnight stay in the hotel at Leh.
Day 12: Leh Sightseeing
We can’t wait to see the wonders of Leh-Ladakh. After breakfast, we hop on our jeep and first visit Shey, the ancient capital of Ladakh. Then we visit Thiksey Gompa, an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future. We drive further to visit the famous Hemis Gompa, founded in 1630's by Stag-tsang-ras-pa under the royal patronage of Sengge Namgyall. Hemis is one of the largest and richest gompas of Ladakh. Later we visit the Stok Palace, the Royal residence of the King of Stokand the Museum that has a rich collection of ancient Ladakhi artifacts including old Thangkas, precious stones, arms and armory, the Queen’s necklace and the crown of the King of Ladakh among other things. Overnight stay in a hotel in Leh.
Day 13: To Pangong Tso Lake (7-8hrs)
After an early breakfast we drive to Pangong Tso Lake. From Leh we reach Karu, an Army camp on Leh-Manali road and then turn left and cross the Changla Pass (17500 ft) and finally to Tangtse. Have a free time in the evening. Spend a night little further than Tangtse in a tented camp at Lukung near Pangong lake shore.
Day 14: At Pangong Lake
Situated at 14,000 feet (4,267m), Pangong Tso is a long narrow drainage basin, hardly six to seven kilometers at its widest point and over 135 km long. About a third of the lake is in India and the remainder in China. The Chinese border is just beyond the mountains across the lake. There are spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north and their shimmering reflection in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake’s brackish waters is breathtaking. Above Spangmik are the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong range. Spangmik and other scattered tiny villages along the lake’s southern shore are the summer homes of a small population of Chang-pa, the semi-nomadic herdsmen of Tibet and southeast Ladakh. The Pangong Chang-pa cultivate sparse crops of barely and peas in summers. During the winters they pack their tents (rebo) and take their flocks of sheep and pashmina goats out to the distant pastures.
Day 15: Pangong Tso Lake - Leh
We drive back to Leh the same route and overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 16: Leh - Likir - Alchi - Lamayuru
After breakfast, we drive to Likir and visit Likir Gompa situated atop a windy cliff top overlooking the beautiful village of Likir. It was founded in the 12th century although the present construction dates back to the 18th century as the original one was destroyed by fire. Then we drive across the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh's most loved monastery. Over a century old, its wall paintings are very similar to those of the Tabogompa in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. After Alchi, we have an option to visit the impressive Ridzong Gompa, reached from the road head after a 30-minute uphill walk. It’s an impressive monastery well hidden in the lap of the mountains until you’re face to face with it. Finally we reach Lamayuru monastery, founded by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century. This Gompa is located amidst the massive mountains. The spectacular setting of this Gompa and its renowned collection of carpets, thangkas, and frescoes has been attracting many people for a long time. Overnight stay in Lamayuru.
Day 17: Lamayuru - Leh(124 km)
In the morning, we visit Lamayuru monastery and attend morning worships. It’s a very soothing and spiritual experience to be there among these warm and friendly monks. On our way back to Leh, we visit the Basgo monastery famous for its statue of Buddha. Overnight stay in a hotel in Leh.
Day 18: Leh - Upshi – Tso Moriri Lake (Karzok Gompa) ( 8-9 hrs)
After an early breakfast, we drive to Karzok (4,572m/14,996ft) the only village near Tso Moriri Lake. From Leh we reach Upshi on Leh-Manali road and then drive along Indus River. It is one of the most interesting areas and goes through narrow valleys, sandy deserts, rocky paths, and our vehicle crosses number of mountain streams. A Short way before Tso-Moriri Lake we drive past a small green valley of wild Marmots locally known as Phya. We arrive at Korzok village and check in at the camp. Situated at 15,000ft (4,572m), it is the only permanent settlement in the Rupshu region with an approximate population of 500 people. The few barley fields at Karzok must be among the highest farms in the world. In the evening we visit Karzok monastery. Overnight stay in tented camp.
Day 19: Tso Moriri Lake (Karzok gompa)
We have a full day here to explore the Karzok Village and the lake. The clear blue Tso Moriri Lake is one of the most breathtaking lakes in Ladakh. This brackish water lake is considered sacred by the locals. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The lake is a breeding ground for numerous species of birds like Great Crested Grebe, Brahmini duck, and Bar Headed Geese. This region also has a large number of Kiangs, Tibetan wild ass and it’s not difficult to spot them. Overnight stay in tented camp.
Day 20: Tso Moriri Lake - Tso Khar Lake - Tanglang La Pass - Leh
In the morning, we drive to Tsokar via Puga by covering 75 km in 3-4 hours. Tso Khar Lake (4485m) is also called White Lake because of salt deposits around it. It is approximately 45 km northwest of the Tso Moriri Lake. Tso Khar is so salty that salt extracted from its shores is still sold all over Ladakh. We continue to drive and reach the Manali-Leh highway and drive down towards Leh via Tanglang-la (5415m), the second highest motorable road in Ladakh. En route, we drive through the beautiful villages of Rumtse, Gya, Miru and Lato. We arrive at Leh and check into hotel for overnight stay.
Day 21: Leh-Deskit-Hunder (128 km, 80 miles, 7hrs)
Today we travel north from Leh over the highest motor able road and Khardungla Pass (5570m) to Nubra Valley. The valley is little visited and is inaccessible for all but a couple of months in the year, its high passes closed by the winter snows. On our way, we visit Diskit Village one of the larger villages in the region, and home to the 350 year-old Diskit Gompa - the oldest and the largest monastery in Nubra Valley. The people of Nubra are amazingly friendly in spite of their lack of material possessions. Their traditional lifestyles and homes give you the feel of a Living Museum. We reach Hunder Village through a gorgeous stretch of sand dunes. The main attractions in this area are the Bactrian Double Humped Camels. This afternoon, we enjoy camel rides over the Sand Dunes. This is a high mountain desert country with fertile dots of land in between. Sand dunes complement the mountains; rock and snowcapped mountains rising majestically against a pastel landscape. We end the day in absolute peace with ourselves. It is so simple to celebrate the mountains, sun the moon, water, stars and sky –we feel the presences of the creator that has managed to create such beauty and wonder. Overnight camp in Hunder.
Day 22: Panamik Excursion
This morning we spend time exploring the village. Hunder is a quaint and beautiful village, maze-like in its formation, winding paths bathed in dappled sunlight, tree branches forming tunnels. Today we continue to explore Nubra Valley and its quaint villages that dot the landscape. Sumur is one such village where we interact with the people and visit the citadel of their faith - The Samtanling Gompa which is definitely worth a visit, housing a fine collection of idols, frescos and Thangkas (painted and embroidered scrolls). We continue a short way to Panamik which used to be a busy center being the last major settlement before the caravans entered into the mountains of Karakoram. Today, Panamik is a sleepy village, its inhabitants quietly going about their work in the fields. On the mountainside above the village, hot water bubbles out of the earth in thermal springs, reputed to have therapeutic qualities. Across the river, clinging to the mountains, are a few trees rooted among the rocks surrounding the tiny Ensagompa. Late afternoon, drive back to Hunder.
Day 23: Hunder to Leh
Return drive to Leh. Rest of the day is at leisure for our independent activities. This is the day to catch up on our shopping. Don’t forget to get some souvenirs from this magical destination for your people back home.
Day 24: Depart Leh for Delhi
Transfer to airport in the morning to board our flight to Delhi.
Day 25: Depart Delhi.
- Accommodation in first class hotels in Delhi and Amritsar and best available hotels in Dharamshala, Manali and Leh on twin sharing basis and in rest of the places - best available accommodation and campings.
- Delhi, Amritsar and Manali with breakfast only and in rest of the places on full board basis.
- Train and domestic airfares as mentioned in itinerary.
- Keylong/Sarchu/Leh hotel on full board basis. Better variety than moderate category having one non veg dish on every dinner.
- All meals while on moving camps during jeep safari.
- All transportation as per itinerary by a non AC Qualis in Himachal and qualis/sumo in Ladakh (supplement cost).
- Services of an accompanying English speaking escort.
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis in alpine two men tents while on moving camp during jeep safari.
- Insulation mats (clients bring own sleeping bags).
- Services of a cook while traveling with moving camp.
- Services of attendants while traveling with moving camp.
- Kitchen tent & kitchen equipment.
- Dinning tent fitted with camping stools & table.
- Independent vehicle for carrying staff & equipment.
- Entrance fees to places of visit.
- Presently applicable taxes (service tax not included).
- International airfare to Delhi and return.
- Any meals other than mentioned.
- Personal clothing and gears including sleeping bags.
- Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events such as road blockade, flight cancellation, illness etc.
- Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, laundry etc.
- Emergency medical transportation or evacuation expenses.
- Travel insurance.