Explore two famous cities of Leh and Ladakh in north India. Famous for Tibetan Buddhist cultures & traditions, here, you will visit the Sankar Gompa, Rizong, Basgo & Mangyu monasteries, Alchi Gompa, Thikse Gompa, etc. and lot's more! View all of this amidst high mountains, high passes (Khardung La) and deep valleys.
DAY01: Arrival and welcome
Arrive at the International Airport in Delhi.
After the traditional welcome, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
DAY02: Delhi - Leh
In the early morning flight from Delhi, the plane flies over the Himalayan Range providing an amazing overhead view of the whole mountain range with gigantic glaciers and glaring peaks before it brings us to Leh, a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River. (This flight is subject to appropriate weather and perfect flying conditions.) Upon arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude (3,500 m). In the late afternoon, do an orientation walk in Leh and it's bazaars.
Start our day with a visit of Sankar Gompa, an affiliate of the Spituk Gompa. From Sankar Gompa, we drive to a recently built Shanti Stupa. It was constructed by a Japanese Buddhist organization and inaugurated by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. The magnificent white-domed structure, the Shanti Stupa, offers spectacular views over Leh Bazaar and Stok Kangri Range. Finish today's excursion with a visit to Leh Palace situated above Leh on the Namgyal Hill.
DAY04: Leh – Alchi (60 km, 2 h)
After breakfast, we leave Leh behind and drive to Alch.
En-route, we visit the famous monastery of Rizong and Alchi.
Drive back towards Alchi Gompa, which is the largest and most famous of all of them and is noted for its massive Buddha statues and lavish woodcarvings and artwork.
Hike to Mangyu Monastery built in the village of Mangyu. It is one of the earliest monasteries in Ladakh region and believed to be contemporaneous to Alchi Monastery and Sumda Chun.
Return to Alchi.
DAY06: Drive back to Leh and visit of Likir village
Driving back to Leh and we visit Likir village first.
From Likir, we drive past Basgo Monastery where a visit to the monastery gives us further insight into the Buddhist religion. The monastery is situated on top of the hill towering over the ruins of the ancient town and is noted for its Buddha statue and murals. In the 15th century, a palace was built in Basgo.
DAY07: Leh - Pangong Tso lake (170 km, 6 h)
Drive to Pangong Tso Lake. On our way to the lake, we visit Tak Tak and Sakti villages to get some insight into the lives of the locals who inhabit this sequestered land.
Have a free day for local exploration of Pangong Tso, a lake of crystal blue water that is one of the most beautiful of all high altitude lakes. Due to its saline water, there is little micro-vegetation. Nor does the lake have any fish or other aquatic life. This lake is not only a tourist’s paradise but also geologist’s domain and nearby places.
DAY09: Back to Leh, en route visiting Thiksey and Hemis
Drive back to Leh. En route, visit two major gompas or monasteries, Hemis and Thikse. While Thikse Monastery belongs to Gelukpa order (Yellow hat), Hemis Monastery belongs to Drukpa order (Red Hat). We first visit Thikse. Perched on top of a hill, Thiksey's red and white buildings can be seen from miles. A recently built temple within this complex contains a magnificent image of the Future Buddha. Next, we visit Hemis Gompa that holds the distinction not only of being the biggest and the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh but also for a very rich collection of ancient relics, the rare 17th-century murals and the painted stone reliefs adorning the courtyard gallery, making it a true UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY10: Leh - Hundar (3300 m) (160 km, 6 h)
Drive to Nubra Valley, also known as Ldumra (the valley of flowers) that is situated in the north of Leh. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. above sea level. The main attraction in this area is the Bactarian Camels (Shaggy double hump Camel) around Sand Dunes, Diskit and Samstanling monasteries. To reach this wonder on earth, we have to wind our way over Khardung La pass (5,602 meters), the highest motorable road in the world. On arrival, we make yourself comfortable in the camp at Hunder.
DAY11: Hundar (3300 m) – Sumur (40 km, 1 h, 30 m)
Head for Sumur with en route stop at the Diskit monastery. It is a 14th-century monastery, the largest and the oldest monastery in the Nubra valley. After the visit, we resume our journey to Sumur. On arrival, installation in Camp. Then, visit Samstanling monasteries that were founded by Lama Tsultim Nima about 140 years ago and located in the Sumlur village. We can also enjoy an optional camel ride across the sand dunes.
DAY12: Sumur - Leh
Make a return journey to Leh and enjoy the afternoon; spend the rest of the day at leisure.
DAY13: Leh - Delhi by flight and Delhi - Agra (210 km, 4 h)
Take an early morning flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, we drive straight to Agra. After check-in, we have a free evening to explore some beautiful bazaars.
DAY14: Agra – Delhi (210 km, 4 h)
Today is the day to strike off the Taj from our bucket list. We rise early to visit this astonishing wonder made with white marble. The charisma of the amazing Taj Mahal never fails to leave a first-time visitor spellbound. Visit the Agra Red Fort, a historical fort in the city of Agra. Its walls are richly adorned with red sandstone. Till 1638, this fort was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty. Thereafter the capital of Mughal was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi. Leave for Delhi. In Delhi, our evening is free to do some more shopping. Late in the evening, get transferred to the international airport to catch flights to respective destinations