Beauty so pristine that even heaven feels like an understatement. If a place/ region makes you go addicted about it, not for the wrong reasons but only for the right, then that place not only deserves your time but also your heart and soul to be open to it completely. To feel vulnerable yet strong, to live the adventure yet get scared, to love nature yet state this one incomparable, a box that packages it all is Ladakh. A union territory of India and a major part of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is also known as the “Land of High Passes”. Being the former Buddhist Kingdom, the beauty of Ladakh is blessed with the Buddhist spirituality and the belief in peace and protection of Mother Nature.
The spectacularly rugged and barbed Ladakh houses, deep valleys, snow- clad mountains, colourful monasteries, picturesque gompas, hairpin turns, diversified flora and fauna, whitewashed stupas and prayer flags and prayer wheels blessing the aura of the region. A one- stop destination for all kinds, Ladakh has redefined peace, spirituality, simplicity and of course, beauty. Heaven on earth, one that remains to be undiscovered yet unmissable, Ladakh is crowned with the Himalayan mountain tops and is jewelled with the sacred water of the Indus River. So pack your bag Terravellers, because the tranquillity of Ladakh is calling to be experienced and admired.
Day 1- Arrival at Leh
The very exciting beginning of the journey ahead starts today when you have travelled to Leh in the flight from your city. Observing the tall, snow clad mountains of the Himalayas from the little window beside the seat of your airplane will surely make you wonder how it is going to be when you land in the heavenly region of Ladakh. You’ve travelled from above a high altitude from the sea level or plains of India to one of the highest regions in India. It is noticeable that the oxygen level has changed drastically from 70% – 80% in the air to a whopping 4% to 7% as you land at the Leh airport.A thing to keep in mind is that it’s not easy for your body to cope up with such thin air and low levels of oxygen to function as it has been when you were in the city or when you travel to other hill stations. Which is why it is important for you to relax at the hotel today and get acclimatized. Your Lunch and Dinner will be arranged here today so your body gets the rest it needs to acclimatize at a height of 11,000ft from Sea level in Leh city, the capital of Ladakh.
Day 2- Sightseeing in and around Leh
Today, after having a delightful breakfast in the morning we will proceed to visit the following places-
- Sangam – Indus (Sindhu) and Zanskar river confluence
- Gurudwara Pathar saheb
- Magnetic hill
- Shanti Stupa- It is one of the 7 Buddhist Shanti Stupas in the world.
- Leh Palace- This former royal palace overlooks the town of Leh and is surrounded by peace and beauty.
- Hall of fame- The place to feel proud, this museum was built in the recognition and acknowledgment of the Indian Army.
After we are done with the day, we will come back to our Hotel and spend the evening in leisure. Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 3- Leh to Nubra valley
Today, we will start in the morning and travel to Hunder from Leh. On our way, we will en route Khardungla, Diskit. In Diskit we will visit the Gompa Monastery, the maitreya Buddha statue, the sand dunes and Nubra Valley.
- Diskit Gompa Monastery- The Diskit Monastery, also known as the Diskit Gompa houses very popular ancient monasteries. The monastery is also home to a huge Maitreya Buddha statue which is built atop it.
- Maitreya Buddha Statue- This gold plated statue is huge and faces directly towards Pakistan. The statue has been painted in different colours and one cannot stop adoring its beauty.
- Sand dunes- The sand dunes of Diskit are the only place where you can see the astonishing Bactrian Camel. A Bacterial Camel is such that it has double humps and looks majestic. Also known as the Mongolian camel, the species respectively have faced extinction and are now back in nature.
- Nubra Valley- Also known as the Valley of Flowers, Nubra valley is where nature has gifted beauty the most. One cannot imagine to be seeing a valley so dry full of colourful flowers. Not only is Nubra a treat for the nature lover but it also a treasure box for the curious mind.
Overnight stay in Camps at Hunder.
Day 4- Hunder to Turtuk and back
Today, we start from Hunder and en route Turtuk before we head back to Hunder. On our way we will visit-
- Thang (0 point – LOC if the army permits)- The LOC village.
- Thoise – The Air Force airport
- Bogdang- Medium sized village located in Nubra which gives glimpse of culture, people and lifestyle into the lives of Gilgit and Baltistan.
After we come back to Hunder, we will have our dinner and spend the evening in leisure.
Overnight stay at Camp in Hunder
Day 5- Hunder to Pangong via Shyok
Today, we will move towards Pangong via Shyok. We will enroute Spangmik which is a village of just 7 families to reach Pangong. After that, we will enter the Changthang region of eastern Ladakh. Overnight stay at homestay/camp/cottage in Pangong (depending on package selection)
Day 6- Pangong to Hanle
Today, we will travel from Pangong to Hanle. It will not be an exaggeration if it’s said that the roads to Hanle are genuine definitions of rugged and rough. One starts to feel “when will this end” the moment the journey begins and then throughout.
In Hanle, we will visit the darkest village of India and witness the observatory which hosts the biggest telescope in Asia -Hanle/Anlay is a place with true bliss. Over here, stars get so clear and feel so close that you might be able to snatch a few from the sky and put ‘em in pocket.
We will also meet and understand some technicalities and basics of how space research is done using the telescope over here from Bengalore office. After the eventful day, we will check- in at our hotel in Hanle and spend the evening in leisure.
Overnight stay at Hanle.
Day 7- Hanle to Tso moriri
Today, after having a heavy breakfast, we will move towards visiting the monastery which offers a magnificent view of the whole region from a vantage position. The beautiful Changthang region is at its peak in this less/undisturbed route. After strolling around at these places, we will head towards Korzok village which is nestled at the bank of Tso Moriri lake.
In the evening, we will visit the Tso Moriri lake herself. Also known as the mountain lake, the sights of this lake promises to take your breath away. Beyond expression, this lake is the true epitome of beauty. Located in the Changthang wildlife sanctuary, Tso Moriri is birthed and placed at a whopping altitude of 4595 metres above sea level. Nestled amongst gigantic snow- clad mountains, this lake makes way of one of the most mesmerizing wonders of nature. Embellished with the reflection of the mountains on the water, the beauty of this lake is also enjoyed by the different migratory birds that fly all their way to feel the calm and the belongingness that this lake creates. A treat to every nature lover, the sights and aura around this lake will be a blessing finally attained.
After spending some time at the lake, we will head towards the Korzok village, check- in our stay and spend the rest of the evening in awe.
Overnight stay at Korzok village
Day 8- Tso moriri to leh
Today, we start from Korzok village/ Tso Moriri and move towards Leh. On our way, we will visit Yumthang, Choglamsar, Druk Padma Karpo and the Thiksey Monastery.
- Druk Padma Karpo – Also known as Druk White Lotus school, this school is located in a small village namely Shey. Also known as 3 idiots school.
- Thiksey Monastery – Located on the top of a hill, Thiksey Monastery belongs to Gelukpa order of Buddhism. The monastery houses a temple and a few shrines. It also houses the most photographed and beautiful Maitreya Buddha statue.
Overnight stay at Leh Hotel.
Day 9- Leh to Kargil via Alchi, Lamayuru
Today, we start in the morning and proceed for Kargil from Leh. On our way we’ll en route Alchi, Lamayuru. Alchi is a village located on the banks of the Indus river. The village houses the oldest monastery of Ladakh, the Alchi monastery. This monastery is a monastic complex and the views from it are splendid. After spending some time over here, we will move towards Lamayuru.
In Lamayuru we will visit the Lamayuru monastery which is one of the oldest and largest of Ladakh and is also known as the “place for freedom” and the moonland of Ladakh. Overnight stay at Kargil
Day 10- Kargil to Leh via Drass war memorial
After exploring Kargil, it is time we explore some western regions of Ladakh like Drass. Drass is known as the coldest place in India where civilization can be found. After exploring Drass and its regions nearby, we will return from Kargil/Drass to Leh.
Day 11 : Buffer day
Today is buffer day. Today, you get the time to spend with yourself and your close ones without having to listen to anybody else. Shop around, hop on cafes and eat the tastiest meals, go bike riding or river rafting, do anything and everything that an explorer will do to take the charge of his/her trip. (All are optional activities and the cost of any activities/ rentals/ transport are not included in the package for today).
As we have come to know throughout this journey that Ladakh can be very moody, it is still too early for us to visit Ladakh while the weather has proven to be volatile and unpredictable. For instance, the moment you blink your eye to a picture perfect blue sky, you might open it to a harsh rainfall. Our ground team assures your safety and essential arrangements for stay and food throughout the trip and this one extra day can assure your safe returns with happy and great memories back home on the day your flights are booked.
It is for the buffer day that we can assure that you do not miss your flight back home tomorrow. Overnight stay at Leh Hotel.
Day 12- Departure from Leh
After having a mouth- filling breakfast today, our package will end at the Leh hotel. We will fly back home with great memories which we created during our time in the Himalayas.