Best of Ladakh Himalayas 15 Days / 14 Nights
Trip Code: HAT114
Ladakh and Himachal
Hotels, lodges and camps
July to October
Best Time For Travel:
Trip Over View
Ladakh, bounded by world's two mightiest mountain ranges - the great Himalayas and Karakoram - is geographically a part of India but culturally and physically its very much like Tibet and Central Asia of old. It lies at altitude ranging from about 2,750m to 7,673m. While the plains of India is hot and humid and the monsoon braces the windward slopes of the Nepal and Bhutan Himalaya from June to August; Ladakh is at is best. It’s location on the leeward side of the Himalaya puts “Little Tibet” in a rain shadow outside of the summer rains.
A remote borderland region in far northern India, Ladakh remains an unspoiled enclave of Tibetan Buddhism. For centuries, Silk Road caravans and faithful pilgrims passed through the mountain crossroads between India, Tibet and Chinese Turkestan, endowing Ladakh with a melting pot of artistic tradition.
Our Best of Ladakh Himalayas journey puts together the best of what Ladakh has to offer. You will fly from Delhi direct into Leh, the capital of Ladakh and spend first few days in acclimatizing and exploring its monasteries, palaces and forts. We take a moderate graded rafting trip in Indus River and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area. We take a jeep safari to the east, to the plains of Changangtang grasslands, to visit the stunningly beautiful Pongong Lake; about half of the lake lies within Chinese territorry. We drive over the world's highest motorable pass, Khardung La (18,380ft) to the north frontiers of Nubra Valley, which was restricted to tourists until a decade ago. At Nubra Valley, we spend two nights visiting rock-clinging monasteries, villages, and riding double humped camels on its sand dunes.
We will also visit Dah and Hanu Villages to the south of Leh meet the Drokpa Community; considered being the last pure race of Aryans confined to the valley.
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi.
Day 02: Delhi/flight to Leh. (B/L/D).
Day 03: Sightseeing of Leh and around. (B/L/D).
Day 04: Hemis/Thiksey/Shey Monastery Tour. (B/L/D).
Day 05: Rafting in Indus River. (B/L/D).
Day 06: Leh: Excursion to Pangong Tso.
Day 07/08/09: Nubra Valley Tour. (B/L/D).
Day 10/11: Dah Hanu Tour. (B/L/D).
Day 12: Dah Hanu – Alchi 95 kilometers. (B/L/D).
Day 13: Alchi – Leh 70 kilometers. (B/L/D).
Day 14: Leh to Delh.i (B/L/D).
Day 15: Delhi – Onward Journey. (B/L/D).
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, we meet our representative at the airport and transfer to Hotel. Check into a Hotel. Take rest for the day.
Day 02: Delhi/flight to Leh (B/L/D)
Early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Leh. The flight takes us over the Greater Himalaya and on a clear day, the great peaks of the Karakoram are visible to the north. Assistance upon arrival and we drive to our hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 3505 meters and one can expect to feel the effects of the rarefied atmosphere. Rest of the day in the hotel for proper acclimatizing. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Sightseeing of Leh and around (B/L/D)
Full day sightseeing, visits to : Shankar, Stok, Stakna, Sankar Gonpa - relatively new Gonpa located in the town. It belongs to the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism. It is closely associated with Spituk monastry and is the residence of the head priest - Kushak Bakula. Ten kilometers from Leh is a palace built in the year 1825 by King Tshespal Namgyal which is the present residence of the local Royal Family. The Palace was built after Ladakh's Zorawar Singh was annexed. The royal family resided here ever since Ladakh lost to Zorawar Singh. A part of the palace has been converted into a museum displaying fabulous period customs and jewelry of the royalty along with exquisite artifacts representing the life of Sakya Muni. Historical objects like coins, seals, armor, etc are also displayed. Twenty-five kilometers south of Leh lies Stakna Monastery founded during the reign of King Jamyang Namgyal in 1580 by Saint Chosje Jamyang Palkhar. This belongs to the Drukpa Kargyud sect of Buddhism and houses some beautiful paintings and statues. Return back to Leh for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 04: Hemis/Thiksey/Shey Monastery Tour (B/L/D)
Full day sightseeing, visits to: Hemis, Thiksey and Shey. Hemis is the wealthiest, best known and biggest of all the Monasteries in Ladakh. At 45 kilometers from Leh, Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatsowas built by Hemis in 1630 during the reign of King Sengge Namgyal. The main attraction of the temple is its summer festival called the Hemis Festival held annually to honor Guru Padmasandhava's birth anniversary. It also unfurls the Thanka, which is the largest in Ladakh, once every 12 years (recent one was in 2016). 17 kilometers from Leh is Thiskey Monastery, perhaps the most beautiful of all the monasteries in Ladakh. It belongs to the Gelukpa order. Sherab Zangpo first built the Gonpa at Stakmo. Later the nephew of Sherab Zangpo, Paldan Sherab, founded the Thiskey Gonpa on a hilltop to the north of Indus River. The Thiskey festival (Thiskey Gustor) is held in the months of October - November. Around 80 Monks resides here at present. Dukhang Karmo is a huge long assembly hall, which consists of the image of Shakyamuni and Maitriya Buddha statues. Chamkhang at the top near the courtyard contains the three-story Maitriya Buddha's statue constructed in recent years.
Dukhang at the top consists of thousand armed Avaloketesvara, Shakyamuni Buddha and Bodhisattavas, Gonkhang contain the statues of Vajra Bhairava, Mahakala Dharmakaya, the goddess Paldan Lhamo and Cham-sring. Around 15 kilometers from south of Leh is Shey Palace. It was the seat of power of the first King of Ladakh, Lhachen Spalgigon, who constructed the hill top fortress. It is dotted with Chortens (stupas) and is under the patronage of Thiksey Monastery. King Deldan Namgyal built Shey Palace at the beginning of the 17th century AD. The main image in the monastery is the three-story statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, made of copper gilt, which was made by Deldan Namgyal in the memory of his father Singay Namgyal. The statue is the only of its kind in the region. Dresthang Gonpa near the palace was built during the reign of King Singay Namgyal, with a three-story statue of Buddha. The Rock-carved statue of five Buddhas can be seen below the palace on the roadside which was probably carved during the reign of Singay Namgyal. In the evening, we visit Shanti Stupa, located on the hilltop overlooking Leh and have a beautiful sunset view of the town. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Rafting in Indus River (B/L/D)
After breakfast we take a lovely one hour drive to Nemo, starting point of our 3 hour rafting trip. Nemo is also the confluence point of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. The rafting is an experience in itself as we come across Grade II and Grade III rapids and we enjoy the villages and scenic view of the countryside along the way. Return back to Leh and rest of the time at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Leh Excursion to Pangong Tso
Pangong Lake is 160 km from Leh with spectacular views of colorful mountains and Changla pass. The scenic view of colorful mountains throughout the journey makes our trip memorable. The drive begins with a photogenic view of Thiksey monastery and its village, famous for its architectural similarities with Potala palace of Lhasa. Beyond this village, we drive towards Changla pass via a long and easy ascent through its winding roads through the village of Shakti. We pass through many small villages before we reach Pangong Lake. The lake is dramatic, surrounded by colorful mountains and its reflection makes the lake beautiful. The color of the lake changes throughout the day. After spending a good time at this special wonder, we will return back to Leh for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 07/08/09: Nubra Valley Tour (B/L/D)
After breakfast we drive to the beautiful Nubra Valley. Nubra Valley (the valley of flowers) is situated to the north of Leh at an average altitude of about 10,000 ft. above the sea level. The journey to the valley of flowers is through Khardongla (the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 ft), 50 kilometers from Leh. After crossing the pass, we pass through the villages of Khardong, Khalser and Diskit (the main villages of Nubra valley). The attraction of the area includes Bactarian Camels (double hump camel) around sand dunes, Diskit and Samstanling monasteries, Khardung la Pass (18,380 ft.) and Hundar monastery.
Day 10/11: Dah Hanu Tour (B/L/D)
Dah Hanu is situated to the southwest of Leh (165 kilometers from Leh) passing through the beautiful villages of Kaltsey, Domkhar, Skurbuchan and Achinathang. There are many small villages but only the two villages of Dha and Hanu are open for tourists. Being at a lower altitude Dhahanu is warmer than Leh. The main attraction of this tour is the Drokpa community considered the last race of Aryans confined to the valley. Their feature are pure Indo-Aryan and they have preserved their racial purity down the centuries. Their culture and religious practices are very similar to ancient pre-Buddhist religion known as Bon-Chos.
Day 12: Dah Hanu – Alchi 95 kilometers (B/L/D)
After breakfast we drive back and stay overnight at Alchi. En route we will visit Likir Gonpa. Likir Gonpa was founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to different monastic order in the 15th century AD. Its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present gompa dates back to the 18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent artifacts, earthenware pots and carved, folding wooden stools here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view. A magnificent giant jumper tree, one of the few survivors of its species, stands in the courtyard. After the visit we drive further to reach Alchi. Alchi is a small town situated on the bank of Indus. Alchi boasts the very different and beautiful Alchi Monastery. This temple is 1000 years old and on one of the Monastery walls, it has 1000’s of miniature sized pictures of Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal point. It is no longer an active religious center and is presently looked after by the monks from Likir Monastery.Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Alchi – Leh 70 kilometers (B/L/D)
After breakfast we depart and enjoy the beautiful drive back to Leh. Rest of the time at leisure or souvenir shopping. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Leh to Delhi (B/L/D)
After another spectacular flight we return to Delhi.
Day 15: Delhi – Onward Journey (B/L/D)
Transfer to the airport for the flight to onward destination. Or extend the tour by visiting Taj Mahal in Agra or the Pink City of Jaipur.
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis with breakfast in Delhi and full board while in Ladakh.
- Transportation by a non a/c jeep in Ladakh.
- All transfers, assistance and sightseeing as on itinerary.
- Entrance fees at monuments.
- English speaking local guide.
- All applicable permits.
- Service of domestic airfare bookings.
- Lunch and dinner while in Delhi.
- Camera fees at monuments/sightseeing places.
- Expenses of personal nature such as tipping, porters, laundry, telephones, etc.
- Airfares and airport taxes.
- Travel Health Insurance (Strongly recommended, contact us if you want any recommendations).
- Price excludes any supplement for Christmas & New Year Eve.
- Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.