If you are looking for a vacation amidst awe-inspiring landforms and in a destination with rich heritage and spiritual background, then this is the trip for you. Be it high-altitude mountain passes, serene lakes or the centuries-old monasteries, travellers always seem to find excuses to come to Ladakh. On this venture, you explore some of the most-visited monasteries or gompas of the region. Besides these, you also take trips to some popular attractions like Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame museum, Pangong Tso and Leh Palace. Experience the excitement and thrill of driving on two of the highest motorable roads in the world – Khardung La and Chang La.
Day 01: Srinagar to Kargil
Post breakfast, drive towards Kargil, visiting Sonamarg and Dras village en route. With its name translating into the meadow of gold, Sonamarg is a beautiful hill station amidst snow-capped peaks of the Great Himalayan Range.
Dras, often called the gateway to Ladakh, is among the coldest inhabited places on earth. A visit to the Dras War Memorial is also part of the sightseeing excursion. It is a museum, built to honour the soldiers who lost their lives during the Kargil War. On your way to Kargil, pass through Zojila – one of the most important mountain passes of the region as it connects Srinagar to Leh. Upon arrival in Kargil, transfer to your lodging and rest.
Day 02: Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
Following breakfast, leave for Leh and on the way, visit Mulbekh and the Lamayuru Monastery. Mulbekh has an enormous bas-relief of Lord Buddha carved out of a mountain. Appreciate the rich collection of wall paintings, statues and thangkas at the 11th century Lamayuru gompa. Enjoy the mesmerising sight of Moon Landscape, locally called Moonland, on your journey.
After lunch in the village of Nurla or Saspol, leave for Leh, visiting Alchi gompa and Gurdwara Pathar Sahib on the way. Alchi Monastery houses ornate wall paintings that reflect the artistic and spiritual details of Buddhism and some Hindu monarchs. Gurdwara Pathar Sahib – dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev – has an interesting history and is of great religious importance for the local people. The next stop on the trip is Magnetic Hill, believed to defy the laws of gravity. Driving on the road leading up to it is quite an experience as the hill is known to pull vehicles uphill. Reach Leh, and thereafter transfer to the lodging for a peaceful sleep.
Day 03: Sightseeing in Leh
After breakfast get ready for an amazing sightseeing tour through the city of Leh. The trip will take you to the Hall of Fame museum, Spituk gompa and Leh Fort, also called Tsemo Fort. Constructed and maintained by the Indian Army, the museum was built to honour the martyrs of the Indo-Pak wars. The 2-storey building houses a souvenir shop on the first floor and several reminders of the wars on the other. Following the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the 11th century Spituk Monastery hosts the Gustor Festival every year.
The most-easily recognisable structure of Tsemo Fort is the Victory Tower, which rises above its white brick buildings. Another incredible thing to see here is a giant sculpture of Maitreya – the Buddha of the future – that is around 26 feet tall. The last trip of the day is to Shanti Stupa, an enchanting white-domed establishment built to promote world peace. The first level of the building features an image of the Dharmachakra, flanked by a deer on either side. And, the second level displays images depicting the birth and death of Lord Buddha. After some leisurely time in the evening, transfer to the lodging in Leh for an overnight stay.
Day 04: Leh to Nubra Valley
After breakfast, undertake a road journey to the Nubra Valley through Khardung La. One of the highest motorable roads in the world, the pass gives a great view of the giant snow-capped peaks of the Zanskar Range and the Saser Mountains. On reaching the valley, navigate the sand dunes between Hunder and Diskit from the backs of Bactrian camels. These twin-humped animals have become a major tourist attraction in the region. Thereafter, transfer to your lodging in the valley for a relaxing overnight stay.
Day 05: Nubra Valley to Leh
In this leg of the excursion, travel back to Leh from the Nubra Valley, visiting Diskit gompa en route. Founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century, this monastery is the largest and oldest in the valley of the Nubra River. Home to around 100 monks, it follows the yellow-hat or Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After spending some time here, continue the journey to the city of Leh – crossing Khardung La. On reaching Leh, transfer to the lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 06: Leh to Pangong Tso
Post breakfast, start the drive towards the enchanting Pangong Tso. On the way to the lake, travel through Chang La, another high mountain pass. The breathtaking views seen from the summit will leave everyone speechless. On reaching Pangong Tso, transfer to the campsite and spend the day at leisure. The waterbody has been featured in many popular Hindi movies including 3 Idiots and Heroes. The brackish water of the lake appears to change colour at different times of the day. Stroll in the area and click photographs of the scenery and the animals that you see here. Later, get inside your camp for an overnight stay.
Day 07: Pangong Tso to Leh | Visit to Thiksey Gompa and Shey Palace
Wake up to a mesmerising sunrise, and then travel to the city of Leh, visiting Thiksey Monastery and Shey Palace en route. Noted for its striking resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the 15th century Thiksey Monastery features an over 40-feet tall statue of Maitreya – the future Buddha. Apart from it, the gompa also houses several rare and precious thangkas, wall paintings and statues. Shey Palace features a giant idol of Shakyamuni Buddha, and smaller sculptures and wall paintings of other deities. After exploring these two religious sites, reach Leh for an overnight stay.
Day 08: Departure from Leh
In the morning, transfer to the airport to catch the flight for your onward journey.
Duration: 07 Nights/08 Days
Region: Leh Ladakh
Places Covered: Srinagar, Kargil, Lamayuru, Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Thiksey Gompa, Shey Palace
Best Time to go: April to October
1. Accommodation on sharing Basis as per Package Selected
2. All Meals (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
3. To & Fro Leh Airport Transfers
4. Transportation by Non A/C Innova, Xylo, Mahindra XUV or Tata Arya as per mention tour plan (Point to Point)
5. With Tempo Traveller for 6 / 8 / 10 person complete journey
6. Ladakh Entry Fees & Wild Life Fees
7. Complimentary Reach Ladakh Guide Book on arrival in Leh
1. Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered
2. Monument Entrances, Rafting & Camel Safari Charges
3. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head Inclusions
4. Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls
5. Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
6. Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control
7. GST @ 5.0% will be applicable on total amount, If Payment by Bank Transfer / Cheque / Credit Card