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Srinagar, a city positioned between the sparkling lakes and forested mountain range had a long tryst with guests who have thronged this slice of heaven on earth, not just to soak in and appreciate all things beautiful but also revel in the culture, tradition, and wazwan (food) of this place.
Ladakh, an extraordinary holiday destination in India has a lot to offer when it comes to checking things off one’s bucket list. Nowadays the wonderful Ladakh road trip is quite popular among the voyagers. Popularly known as the Land of High Passes, this place is surrounded by enchanting mountain tops and crystal clear water bodies. On your trip to Ladakh, you will get to witness different forms of Buddist culture and experience natural beauty at its best. Each corner of Ladakh has its conundrum and welcomes people from around the world.
This extensive itinerary will make your trip to Ladakh one of your most cherished experiences. Discover Ladakh at its full glory by visiting the mesmerizing places such spectacular lakes of Pangong Tso, Tsokar and Tsomoriri, the mysterious magnetic hills, lively and colorful gompas, and monasteries and the spell-bounding Himalayan beauty. Whether you are planning to take a break from the hubbub of life and travel alone or planning a trip with your loved ones, this amazing tour meets all your needs.
Arrival at Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, meet our representative and transfer to the hotel. After check-in, spend the day at leisure. You may like to visit some nearby shopping areas or even try out some local restaurants. This day will be largely to rest. Enjoy an overnight stay at the hotel.
Post breakfast, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Srinagar. Upon arrival in Srinagar, you check-in at the houseboat. In Srinagar, houseboats are a way of life for many of the locals. To give a flavor of this, many houseboats have been deployed keeping in mind the guests, with some of them as luxurious as 5-star hotels yet retaining the cultural elements. While we recommend a houseboat for an authentic Kashmiri experience, the guests always have the option of choosing a hotel instead.
The rest of the time is for own activities. Enjoy the Dal Lake with a shikara ride, exploring the floating flower markets. Sample a lavish wazwan dinner on the houseboat by your personal chef or at the hotel. Overnight at a houseboat/hotel.
Post a relaxed breakfast, step out for a sight-seeing tour of Srinagar. Your first stop will be the Shankaracharya Temple. It is believed that it was the place where the great philosopher and saint Shankaracharya stayed when he visited Kashmir ten centuries ago to revive Sanatan Dharma. Later proceed further to the Hazratbal Mosque, situated in a village on the western shores of the Dal Lake opposite Nishat Bagh, it is a pristine white marble edifice casting its reflection in the waters of the lake. Unlike the other mosques in Srinagar, which have a pagoda-like roof, Hazratbal is the only mosque to have a domed roof mosque in Srinagar. Next will be the Jama Masjid. Situated in the heart of the old city of Srinagar, this huge mosque is visited by thousands of people who congregate here for the Friday prayers. After visiting the above places, we drive back to the houseboat/hotel for lunch.
Post lunch we go on a tour of the famous Mughal Gardens of Srinagar, starting our visit with Nishat Bagh (The garden of pleasure) and Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love). After visiting the above gardens we will head to the city center for some curio shopping and immersive experience with the locals. Before evening, drive back to the houseboat/hotel for dinner. Overnight at the houseboat/hotel
Srinagar to Kargil (via Sonmarg)
Post an early breakfast, today we will proceed to Kargil (Ladakh region) via Sonmarg which is also known as Meadow of Gold. In Sonmarg you can take a pony ride to Thajiwas Glacier where snow remains round the year. Further, we drive towards Kargil, en route Drass Village (2nd coldest inhabited place in the world), and have a magnificent view of Kargil war famous peaks (Tiger & Tololing) and pay tribute to the War Memorial located right on Highway. One of the reasons for recommending this drive to the Ladakh region from Srinagar is to slowly acclimatize to the height as well as to experience the raw beauty of the Himalayas as you drive through and past it. After reaching Kargil we check-in at our hotel for overnight stay.
Kargil to Leh (via Sham Valley)
After having a hearty breakfast, we begin our day by driving to the Sham Valley. Our first visit of the day would be an 11th-century monastery at Lamayuru. Lamayuru is one of the main and intriguing attractions. It is a small village positioned along the plains of the valley and covered by mountainous regions from all the sides. After visiting the monastery, we will go and discover the mesmerizing land formations that are visible on the moon surface at the moon or lunar landscape.
Later on, as we proceed further towards Leh, we will have a stop at the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus rivers to witness its beauty and also at the bizarre location of Magnetic Hills which refuses to follow the universal law of gravity. The other key attractions of the day would be the Likir Monastery and one of the popular gems of Ladakh nestled between the Himalayan range, the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib which is a revered site built by the Lamas of Leh.
Our representative will meet you when you arrive in Leh and will ensure the smooth check-in at the hotel for an overnight stay.
Sightseeing in and around Leh
On day 6 of our Ladakh road trip tour, we will go to visit one of the most significant Buddist monastery located in Spituk after having our breakfast at the hotel. Then we will visit the Hall of Fame which is a museum built and run by the Indian army in honor of the soldiers of the Indo-Pak war. It proudly showcases the seized weapons and arms and other related documents of the war. After having lunch, we will head out to see an idol of Avalokitesvara with 1000 heads and arms at the Sankar Gompa. We will end our day visiting the spectacular Leh Palace and the world-famous Shanti Stupa.
Leh - Chumathang - Tso Moriri
The breathtakingly beautiful Tso Moriri will be our next destination on this Ladakh road trip. Located at a distance of 220 km from Leh, the Tso Moriri or the lake of mountains is a beautiful lake that sits at about a height of 2200 meter above the sea level. Tso Moriri is enveloped by snowy mountains that provide the hypnotizing picturesque view.
While visiting this lake, we will visit a magnificent summer residence of the King Deldan Namgyal, the Shey Palace that provides the enticing panoramic view of the region with a visit to the Thiksey Monastery constructed in 1430AD that houses the statue of Maitreya Buddha. This statue is supposed to be the most camera-captured statue of the Buddha of the future. The Chumathang Valley’s hot springs and the Mahe bridge will also be one of our stops. After arriving at Lake Tso Moriri, we will check-in to our camps and visit some nearby sanctuaries. We might also be able to spot migrating birds like Black Necked Cranes and Brahminy Duck during our visit to these wetlands.
Tso Moriri to Tso Kar
The day 8 of the Ladakh road trip would be dedicated for the visit to the most elevated area of permanent settlement in India and a fascinating village, namely the village of Korzok. If you are visiting the village in the summertime, you have a brilliant chance of witnessing the nomadic lifestyle of the individuals here. The famous Pashmina Wool is produced by the sheep which are taken care of by the people of Korzok living in small tents of different nomad camps.
Then, we will check-out of the hotel and drive towards a saltwater lake, the Tso Kar. This lake is well known for its depth and size and the surrounding region houses a variety of bird species making it a potential place for bird-watching. On our way, we might have a stop at Puga Valley, a significant geothermal field that depicts its nature in forms of natural aquifers, mud pools and stores of borax and sulfur. Once we reach our destination, we will get registered in the camps and enjoy a short relaxing stay here.
Tso Kar - Leh
After having our first meal of the day, we will travel back to Leh via the Tanglang La pass. On our way back we will visit one of the richest and largest monasteries of the region, the Hemis Monastery. This monastery is located at the west bank of the River Indus and is one of the must-visit spots. The annual famous festival, the Hermis Festival takes place in this monastery where numerous paintings or Thangka are displayed. This ancient monastery belongs to the Dugpa Kargupta sect of Buddhism. We will enjoy an overnight stay at Leh.
Leh to Nubra Valley via Khardung La
After having breakfast, we will head out to Nubra Valley via Khardung La. Situated at the height of 18,380 feet above the main sea level, this is the highest mountain pass that attracts adventure-seeking motorbikers from all across the world. The views offered by the Khardung La during the Ladakh road trip is one of its kind experiences. An insight into the local people’s life can be experienced by making arrangements for a visit to an authentic Ladakhi home. We will take breaks to explore the cafes and to capture the beauty of Ladakh through the lens of our eyes as well as the camera.
After arriving and checking in the camp at Nubra Valley, we will drive to the village of Hunder to enjoy the camel safari on the doubled humped backs of the Bactrian camels that are only found in Mongolia and Ladakh. An overnight stay would be at the camp where you can either enjoy your evening relaxing or by exploring the Diskit monastery.
Sightseeing in Nubra Valley
After having a scrumptious breakfast at the camp, we will begin our day by exploring the largest as well as the oldest monastery in the valley of Nubra, the Diskit Monastery which is also called the Diskit Gompa. This monastery belongs to the Tibetan sect of Buddhism known as the Gelugpa or the yellow hat Buddhism. You may also find fascinating souvenirs while exploring the valley’s local market.
Having lunch in the afternoon, we will visit the village of Panamik which is the northernmost part of the valley where foreigners are permitted. Panamik is renowned for its Bactrian camel, pashmina goats, and hot water spring where you might take a bath and its panoramic views which is the sight worthy to behold. The overnight stay would be at the camp.
Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso
This would be an early day. After relishing our breakfast, we will move ahead in our Ladakh road trip to the Pangong Tso, driving through several small villages and will reach our destination by the afternoon. The sparkling crystal clear water body extending from our country to Tibet is situated at a height of about 14,500 feet above the main sea level. After having lunch, you can indulge yourself in the leisurely walk on the lakes’ shore. In the evening, a visit to a nearby nomadic village would be arranged where you can interact with the people and learn more about their culture and traditions. Finally, at night we will enjoy a hearty campsite dinner and our overnight stay.
Pangong Tso to Leh
The highlight of day 13 would be the enchanting experience of the sun rising over the mountain range witnessed from the livid blue lake. After enjoying the sunrise and having our breakfast, we will make our journey back to Leh, check-in at the accommodation, and take some rest.
The evening would be dedicated to exploring the local markets for shopping. You may buy gifts and souvenirs for your family and friends and experience the delicacies of the local cuisine. We would then head back to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Departure from Leh
On the final morning of our Ladakh road trip, we will check out and drive to the Leh Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport for taking our flights back to our homes with memories that would be lasting for the lifetime.