Ladakh Tour: Buddhist Monasteries and High Himalayan Drives
Ladakh Tour: Buddhist Monasteries and High Himalayan Drives is an ultimate experience that transports you to a fascinating world of remote villages, rugged countryside, and stunning panoramas.
Here you visit border areas with Pakistan and Tibet, explore ancient monasteries of Ladakh, drive past world’s highest motorable pass and experience a thorough Ladakh cultural experience.
Ladakh Tour Highlights
- Arrive at Sonamarg and be amazed at the massive Thajiwas Glacier
- Experience the adventure of Zojila Pass, one of the most treacherous of Himalayan mountain passes
- Visit Lamayuru Monastery, one of the oldest in Ladakh (1000+ year old)
- Pay a visit to Monasteries around Uleytopko such as Alchi, Basgo and Likir
- Cycling, walking at Uleytopko and Rafting in Zanskar
- Take a brief stop before crossing world highest motorable pass, Khardung La Pass.
- Witness a high altitude desert co-exist with riverside greenery in Nubra Valley
- Walk atop a hill in Nubra Valley to visit Diskit Monastery
- Take full day excursion to visit border village of Turtuk
- Visit ancient monasteries around Leh i.e. Hemis, Thiksey, Shey
- Traditional Ladakhi style Lunch with Villagers in outskirts of Leh
- Accommodation in a double / twin room
- Inner line Permit and Entry Fees for Ladakh tour
- Village walk with Lunch at Leh
- Toyota Innova with Experienced driver for transfers and sightseeing
- All currently applicable taxes
- Delhi – Srinagar, and Leh – Delhi Airfare
- Any meals other than those specified in ‘Cost Includes’
- Expenses of personal nature such as gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, liquor, etc.
- India visa charges
- Travel insurance
Expert Travel Opinion
Tibetan Kitchen Restaurant in Leh town is renowned for its Traditional Ladakhi and Tibetan cuisine delicacies. Here, one arrives for wide ranging authentic Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian items. You can pre-order a traditional family meal that is one of its kind ethnic cuisine experience and make your Ladakh tour memorable.
Nimoo Village at 20 kms from Leh is renowned for its craft. Here, one can find items of wood and metal craft that are used in a typical Ladakhi Kitchen. Here, you can also look for a Pattu, a rough woollen fabric and Baskets that are woven in traditional Ladakhi style that are very good as souvenirs.
Leh Town is home to a number of boutiques where one can purchase authentic handicraft items from local NGOs such as Nomadic Woollen Mills, Women’s’ Alliance of Ladakh, etc. These are popular with travellers interested in purchasing authentic local craft items.
Leh is a renowned destination for cyclists, bikers and experiential travellers. You may hire a bike for a day to drive in the countryside around Leh OR hire a cycle for some mountain biking / village exploration. You can opt for overnight camping by the Indus riverside (Barbecue, Star Gazing, riverside walks) for an ultimate Himalayan experience.
Day 01 - Delhi
Arrival at Delhi
Arrival at Delhi, capital of India and a popular arrival point for International travelers. Here you are met by our representative and transferred to a hotel near the airport for an overnight stay.
- Most International arrivals are late evening leaving little time for local Delhi exploration.
Day 02 - Sonamarg
Take a flight to Srinagar and travel to Sonamarg
Today you get transferred back to the Airport to take a flight to Srinagar (5000 ft asl), the capital city of Kashmir region and popular arrival point for driving trips to Ladakh.
Here you are met by our representative and introduced to the Car and driver who will accompany throughout the trip. From Srinagar take a short drive to Sonamarg (85 kms - 2 hours), a Himalayan destination (8500 ft asl) offering stunning views of the Thajiwas Glacier and a gateway into the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh.
Spend rest of the day relaxing, acclimatizing at higher altitude and enjoying the riverside Himalayan character of Sonamarg.
Day 03 - Lamayuru
Travel to Lamayuru via Zojila Pass and Kargil
Today morning you depart for Lamayuru (11520 ft asl - 225 kms - 5.5 hours), home of ancient Lamayuru Monastery (dated 1055 CE), one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh region.
Enroute you first pass the Zojila Pass (13000 ft asl), one of the most adventurous and stunningly beautiful Himalayan passes. The Pass takes you from evergreen Kashmir region to a dry and rugged Ladakh region.
After crossing over into Ladakh, you stop over at Kargil War Memorial (A War Memorial to commemorate Indian Soldiers martyred in 1999 Kargil War). After spending some time at the memorial, you proceed to Kargil via Drass (one of the coldest areas in the world during winter with temperatures touching minus 60 degree Celsius).
Kargil is a riverside border town and an excellent Luncheon stopover option enroute. After Lunch at Kargil you proceed to Lamayuru (104 kms - 2 hours) via Mulbekh Monastery (renowned for their Buddha statue carved in a rock) and reach Lamayauru by evening. Rest of the evening for you to soak in the monastic town character of Lamayuru.
Day 04 - Lamayuru
Visit Lamayuru, Likir, Basgo, and Alchi Monasteries
Today in the morning you spend time at the Lamayuru Monastery, a large monastery complex with over 150 resident monks and can take a couple of hours to fully explore at acclimatizing pace. From here you proceed further towards Leh to visit Basgo, Likir and Alchi monasteries, three prominent monasteries east of Leh, off Srinagar - Leh highway (Total distance to travel - 120 kms - 3 hours).
Likir is set around most spectacular locales and offers stunning views. Basgo is one that is lesser visited and therefore set around quaint surroundings. Alchi is most popular of them all and therefore most visited. You return to Uleytopko (9000 ft asl), a Zanskar riverside area few kilometers ahead of Alchi surrounded by Apricot Orchards and considered the fruit belt of Ladakh. Expert Tip:
You may visit the Wanla Monastery near Lamayuru, one of the Sub-Monastery of Lamayuru, renowned for the three-storeyed Avalokitesvara temple.
Day 05 - Uley
Cycling, Rafting, Village exploration
Today you explore the Uleytopko area. In the morning you start with a riverside walk. You return for breakfast and then depart for a rafting trip that starts 30 kms from Uleytopko, for some of the most stunning views of the Zanskar riverside. You return for Lunchacclimatizingand in afternoon you relax in the resort around Apricot Orchards or take a short cycling tour in villages around Uley topko.
Day 06 - Nubra Valley
Travel to Nubra Valley via Khardung La Pass
Today you travel to Nubra Valley via Leh (210 kms - 6 hours). You first travel to Khardung La Pass (18000+ ft asl), widely believed to be the highest motorable pass in the world. Here you stopover briefly for 360 degree views of the surrounding hills, mountain ranges and valleys.
Thereafter you drive downhill to Nubra Valley (10000 ft asl), an area that is a unique combination of high altitude desert, green countryside villages, ancient monasteries, snow-fed river streams, and superb views. You arrive here by late afternoon.
In the evening you visit the nearby Hunder village, home to a unique combination of Sand Dunes with a river stream flowing right through it surrounded by green countryside. The views around sunset time are stunning and excellent for landscape photography. You return to your resort after Sunset. Rest of the evening for you to spend at leisure on own.
- You may opt for a ride on the Bactrian Camels (Double humped camels) around Hunder Sand dunes.
Day 07 - Nubra Valley
Turtuk Village Excursion
Today you take an excursion to the remote village of Turtuk (80 kms drive -2 hours). The drive is most spectacular offering an amazing Himalayan and rural countryside panorama.
Turtuk Village was with Pakistan till 1971 and now part of Indian territory and the last outpost before Pakistan-controlled Gilgit-Baltistan begins. Turtuk Village is culturally different from rest of Ladakh and it is one of the few places where one can witness Balti culture.
Here You interact with villagers, take photographs and return to Nubra by late afternoon. In the evening you visit Diskit Monastery (14th Century Monastery at 14 kms from snow-fed). The monastery is set on a hilltop featuring a tall statue of Crowned Buddha offering stunning views of the Nubra Valley. You Return to the resort after Sunset. Rest of the evening for you to spend at leisure on own.
- The countryside around Nubra Valley is good for village walks and bird watching. A morning walk around Diskit area can be rewarding for bird watchers.
Day 08 - Leh
Travel to Leh. Evening Visit to Shanti Stupa
Today you drive to Leh (9500 ft asl - 120 kms - 4 hours), capital of the Ladakh region and base point to visit many ancient monasteries in the region. You arrive by Lunch-time. After some rest in the evening, you depart to visit Shanti Stupa in outskirts of Leh (12 kms - built in 1991 and part of the Peace Pagoda mission), one of the most prominent moments of Leh. Set on a hillock, Shanti Stupa offers stunning views of Leh town and the surrounding rugged countryside. You return to the hotel by evening.
- Leh is renowned for its cafes and restaurants offering wide-ranging cuisine including ethnic Ladakhi and Tibetan cuisine. It is popular for travelers to arrive at one of these restaurants for dinner.
Day 09 - Leh
Excursion to visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis Monastery
Today you explore monasteries around Leh. You start with Shey Monastery (dated 1655), a monastery on a hilltop on outskirts of Leh (13 kms). Thereafter you proceed to Thiksey monastery (6 kms from Shey - 11800 ft asl), a monastery set over 15 floors and bears a resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
Thiksey is renowned for its display of items of Buddhist Art and stunning views of the countryside around. From Thiksey you proceed to Hemis (25 kms), home to Hemis monastery (dated 1672), the home of renowned Hemis festival (held in June every year).
Hemis is built at several levels and features a tall statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). You return to Leh by late afternoon. Rest of the evening for you to explore Leh town for shopping and dining.
Day 10 - Leh
Village Walk with Lunch
Today you depart at around 11 AM for a village walk. It is a 1.5 to 2-hour walk that takes you to a village in outskirts of Leh overlooking Indus River and stunning views. Here you arrive to interact with villagers and enjoy a Lunch in traditional sit down Ladakhi style.
You are driven back to the hotel in late afternoon. In the late afternoon, you may spend some time by the Indus River. Rest of the evening for you to explore Leh town for shopping and dining.
Day 11 - Delhi
Depart for Delhi
Take a flight to Delhi for onward departure.
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