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    Duration: 11 Nights 12 days
    Location: Uttarakhand

    Route: Delhi - Chandigarh - Manali - Jispa - Sarchu - Tso Kar - Leh - Thikse - Khardung La - Nubra Valley - Hunder - Leh - Delhi

    Tour Program

    Arrive Delhi International Airport where our Representative shall meet you. Meet & assistance on arrival & transfer to Hotel.
    Overnight stay in a hotel.
    Early Breakfast at Hotel. This morning you will be transferred in time to the railway station to board train for Chandigarh. On arrival at Chandigarh you will be received and assisted to your vehicle, from where you drive to Manali. It is an interesting drive along the banks of the River Beas. Arrive Manali & check in at Hotel.
    Overnight stay at Hotel.
    Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the national highway leading to Leh.
    The landscape here is breathtaking. One sees well-defined snow-capped peaks, the Beas River with its clear waters meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. Manali is famous for apple orchards, its old wooden temples and its folk music and dance.
    Post Breakfast proceed for a short sightseeing tour of Manali visiting Hadimba Temple, Vashisht Bath (hot water springs), Tibetean Monastery & the bustling bazaar of Manali.
    Overnight stay at hotel.
    Early breakfast at Hotel. Today you will commence on your trans-Himalayan route journey. After leaving Manali you will ascend the Rohtang Pass (3978 M / 13,050 Ft) whereby you will be traveling through thickly forested mountainside over which are a number of picturesque waterfalls. Beyong Rohtang pass you will enter the Lahoul district. Descending down from Rohtang Pass you reach Gramphu, the bifurcation point on the road to Spiti Valley, which command superb views of the glaciated valley of the Chandra River. Contiuning your joueny on Manali Leh highway you next reach Keylong, the District Headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, located on the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers. Continue driving alongside the Bhaga River to reach Jispa for night halt. Dinner & overnight stay in a Hotel.
    Today while climbing the road from Jispa to Patseo, just before reaching Patseo you will will be surprised to suddenly come across a rocky outcrop amidst which there is a crystal clear lake at the height of 12,600 Ft. Further passing by Zingzingbar, a 30 minutes zigzag climb through rocky outcrop takes you over the formidable Baralacha La, (4,830 M / 16,500 Ft). Baralacha La means 'the pass with the crossroads on the summit' & is about 8 kms long. Here meets the route from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahoul & it is also the watershed for the Chandra, Bhaga and Yunam rivers. Just below the Baralacha La at an altitude of 4800 M, Surajtal is the source of Bhaga River. As you start descending from Baralacha La into a bowl, you will come across a landscape akin to the Tibetan Plateau – barren rocks with intricate patterns and amazing colours that are difficult to describe. The bowl that you descend into has a huge water body and the road skirts around it on its right.
    From the mountains you suddenly come into a vast broad plateau, with the road running through the center of it almost as straight as an arrow. The drive is bounded on either side by Rocky Mountains, of which some of the peaks are snow covered. As you continue to reach a deep gorge that runs along side the left of the road at a little distance to reach Sarchu. Sarchu is the border between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh).
    Dinner & overnight stay at Camps.
    After breakfast at Sarchu, today you drive into Ladakh. Leaving the Sarchu plains behind, you drive through the narrow valley of sheer rocky mountains on either side. The river runs downstream alongside the road. A number of Bailey bridges span narrow streams along the way. An hour after leaving Sarchu you negotiate 21 hairpin bends known as the "Gatta Loops" which takes you from an altitude of 4210 M/ 13,780 Ft to a height of 4667 M / 15,302 Ft. Thereafter, the first pass that you cross is Nakee La (15,547 Ft). The next pass, which is the highest altitude that you reach on today's drive, is Lachulung La (5065 M / 16,616 Ft).
    One then enters a gorge running alongside the river. Some of the rock faces along the gorge look like huge anthills. Every bend in the road offers unforgettable views of the intricate patterns of the rocky outcrop. Within the gorge is Kangla Jal (4,878 M) where you cross a stream to reach Pang.
    As you ascent Pang, about 15 min drive bring you to the vast expanse of the Morri Plains. The view of the vastness of the plains with mountains in the background is breathtaking. Along the Morri Plains the road curves gently to the right and you descend into a valley. A huge dry lake with a yellow sandy bed is on the right. About 27 km short of Taklang La there is a prominent dirt track to the right of the road, which is marked for Tso Kar. Traveling for about 6 km along this dirt track for around 15 – 20 minutes you come to Tso Kar.
    Tso Kar is also called "White Lake" because of the salt deposits around it. It is a small lake with the backdrop formed by a chain of snow peaked mountains. The waters are deep blue in colour and the mountains, like the rest of the Ladakhi landscape are of varying shades of brown and purple with snow capped peaks. The water of the lake is so salty that the salt that is deposited on its banks is sold all over Ladakh and Kashmir. A Nomad Headquarters (Samad Rockchen) is located next to the lake.
    You will get awesome photo opportunities to capture the serenity of the lake.
    Stay overnight at tented camp here.
    After breakfast, your journey today takes you over the second highest motorable pass in the world - Taklang La (5,336 M / 17,582 Ft) On crossing over the pass the full force of the awesome stark grandeur of barren mountains greets you. The near distance mountains are greenish – brown in color, the middle distance ones are purplish – grayish and snow-capped peaks are visible in the distance. Approximately an hour's drive brings you to the bottom of the pass where you level up with a stream that is caused by melting snows. Thereafter, the road gradually descends along the river course. Descending from the pass the road gets you back in to civilization passing through picturesque villages with well-cultivated fields and finally meets the Indus River at Upshi. From Upshi, an hour's drive moving downstream besides the Indus River brings you to Leh. After the bump and grind of crossing over high mountain passes, the smooth fast drive on the stretch from Upshi to Leh comes as a welcome relief.
    You begin the day by visiting THIKSE MONASTERY, which is one of the most vibrant and active monasteries in the region. It dates back to the 16th century and is part of the Gelug-pa Sect. It is headed by successive reincarnations of the Khanpo Rimpoche. The monastery is 12 storied and painted in deep shades of red, ochre and white. It has evolved around a central courtyard with buildings surrounding it from three sides. At one extreme lies the main dukhang, which houses numerous racks containing religious texts. Behind the main alter lies a small chamber that contains images of revered deities.
    Continue your drive upstream along the Indus River to HEMIS GOMPA, crossing over the Indus at the village of Karu. The most famous of Ladakh's monasteries, Hemis or Changchub Samstanling (The love palace of the compassionate person), dates back to the 17th century and was built over a period of 40 years (1602 – 1642 A.D.). Today Hemis is well known for its festival or Hemis Tsechu commemorating the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava. In the year of the Monkey (every 12 years) a giant thangka depicting Guru Padmasambhava is unfurled from the terrace draping the five-storey facade. Delicately wrought in pearls and appliqué, it is one of the most famous art treasures of Ladakh. The central courtyard forms the focus for the masked dances held every year in summer. In the dukhang, remnants of the original 17th century murals can be seen. The gompa boasts of an excellent library, well preserved frescoes and murals, silver gilt chortens and a Kashmiri lacquered wooden throne.
    On the return journey to Leh, drive to STOK PALACE, which is the present residence of the former royal family of Ladakh. King Teswang Thondup Namgyal built the palace in 1825. The last king of Ladakh died here in 1974. The main palace is five storeys high. The palace museum displays the collections of the royal family. In the queen's chamber can be seen royal ornaments such as the beautifully crafted turquoise studded perak (head dress), the queen's crown as well as the necklace of the Balti Princess, Gyal Khatun. Within the king's room are displayed exquisite thangkas, most significant of which is the set of 35 thangkas depicting the stories relating to the former lives of Buddha. Other artifacts include silver chortens, the king's crown and a 7th century image of Avalokitesvara as well as jade cups, fine porcelain and ritual objects.
    A Gompa is situated behind the museum and contains some ritual dance marks and frescoes. An annual archery contest is held here in July. Return to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
    The road journey from Leh to NUBRA VALLEY passes over KHARDUNG LA (the highest motorable road in the world) at 5602 M / 18,390 Ft, around 39 km from Leh. From the pass, one can see all the way south over the Indus valley to seemingly endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range, and north to the giants of the Saser massif. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldumra or the valley of flowers. It is situated in the north of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas.
    The average altitude of the valley is 10,000 Ft. above sea level. The Shayok and Saichen Rivers drain Nubra. The flat part of the river is sandy & occupied by green farms & myricaria. The villages look pretty with greenery, willow & poplar trees. Till partition Nubra Valley was one of the trade centers, the ancient famous Silk Route passed through this area.
    Before proceeding to your camp at Hunder, stop to visit DISKIT MONASTERY perched on a rock overhanging next to a stream, which provides the source of energy used by mills in the area. The monastery is rich, full of thangkas, magnificent giant statues, effigies of the Buddha and old mural paintings in which can be noted a multitude of influences. It was founded by Lama Sherab Zangpo of Stod around 1420 A.D. DISKIT is the main village or headquarters of Nubra Valley, which has a small market consisting of a row of shops.
    After your visit to the monastery and shortly after leaving Diskit you will comes across sand dunes on the right of the road. Seen in isolation you could well be amongst the sand dunes of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. It is indeed a strange sight since immediately on the left of the road are Rocky Mountains that characterize the Ladakhi landscape and in the distance can be seen snow-capped mountains. Overnight in your camp at Hunder.
    After breakfast you will get the unique opportunity to ride on a bacterian camel (double humped) amidst the sand dunes of this high altitude desert with snow capped mountains on the horizon. Thereafter, crossing over the Shayok River you will be driving upstream long the Saichen River to Panamik. The place has a number of hot springs on the right of the road just before entering the village. Panamik is literally the end of the road for this trip, as one has to return from this spot. On the return journey you stop by to visit SAMSTANLING GOMPA founded by Lama Tsultims Nima. The Gompa has some strict rules and regulations like not allowing women in the monastery after sunset and before sunrise, no smoking etc.
    From here you will drive back to Hunder for dinner and an overnight stay.
    After breakfast drive to Leh over Khardung La.
    Afternoon rest and relax or take a walk to the local market. Overnight at your hotel.
    BY FLIGHT In time transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi.
    Assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel.
    In the afternoon proceed for a city tour of Old Delhi. Visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India.
    Later drive to visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India or you have the option to relax after your stay in high altitude.
    Farwell dinner on the way to the airport and transfer to the international airport for your onward journey / home.
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