"Leh (3505 m / pop: 28,000), the capital of Ladakh is a veritable kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. A quaint town nestling along the rugged slopes of the Ladakh range, it cradles a cultural legacy shaped at the crossroads of Asia on the Sub-continental Silk Route."
"Leh has many historic monuments, including the 17th century Leh Palace built by King Singe Namgyal on the hill overlooking the town. Higher up the hill called Namyal Tsemo, are the ruins of the earliest fort dating from 16th century."
"The Buddhist monasteries or Gompas constitute major cultural attractions of Ladakh. Out of the over dozen major monasteries situated on or near the Indus, the most famous from the heritage view point is that of Alchi, called Alchi Choskor on account of its ancient wall frescoes and other artistic elements dating from the 11th& 12th centuries, which pre-date the Tibetan style of paintings and art style seen in the other monasteries."
"Ladakh also boasts of high altitude lakes among which. Pangong Lake (a0 kms. from Leh) has the most dramatic setting. Located at an altitude of 14,500 ft / 4,267 M in, It is a long, narrow basin of inland water body, about 5-6 kms wide and about 140 kms long, one - third of which lies in India while the rest lies on the Tibet side of the border."
"Ladakh offers many options for adventure tourism amidst landscape of breathtaking natural beauty. These include jeep safaris, trekking & camping in the wilderness. The most popular activity, however, is rafting on the Indus & Zanskar Rivers which offers options for both amateurs and professionals."
"Kashmir is a destination of many hues and moods. Inspring and summer, the abundant orchards, rippling lakes and salubrious climate beckon all to experience the Valley's numerousdelights. Golfing in the picturesque courses, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for rainbow trout in the mountain streams-these are but some of the many pleasures you could indulge in on a Kashmir holiday."

TRANS-HIMALAYAN TRAVERSE


Tour Route: Manali - Leh-Nubravalley -Pangong Lake -Indus Valley-Kargil-Srinagar

Tour Duration: 8 nights / 9 days.

This Tour is a Jeep Safari across the major mountain ranges which surround Ladakh or separate its various valleys. Starting from Manali and crossing the Pir Panjal and Great Himalayan Ranges, the tour enters the Indus Valley in Ladakh. After exploring various sites in Leh, Nubra & Pangong, the tour follows the highway along the Indus Valley and enter Kashmir Valley via, Kargil & the Zojila pass.

Day-1 Manali - Sarchu / 222 Kms / 6-7 hours

After breakfast proceed to Serchu (campsite), on the first leg of the trans-Himalayan Traverse, en-route crossing the Rohtang Pass (13050 ft) to enter the Lahoul Valley, and driving through Keylong, Jispa & Darcha, cross the Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft) to reach Serchu in the late afternoon. Dinner & overnight in fixed deluxe camp.

Note : You have the option of breaking the journey at Keylong (125 kms.) to benefit from better staying options and to avoid the high altitude of Serchu, in which case the journey to Leh next day will be for about 325 kms.

Day-2 Serchu - Taglangla- Leh / 255 Kms/ 6-7 hours

After breakfast leave for Leh, en-route crossing Nakeela & Lachalung -la Passes (16,617 ft.) to reach Pang for a lunch break. From here drive on through the extensive Skyangchu Thang - a vast high altitude plateau stretching for 42 kms. at the end of which begins the long ascent to the Taglang-La (17,585ft), 2 nd highest motorable pass of the world. After descending from the pass, the road follows the Gya River till it meets the Indus at Upshi, from where it follows the Indus all the way to Leh. Overnight at Leh.

Day-3 In Leh: visit the town and surrounds:-

The morning is at leisure for rest after the long journey. After leisurely breakfast or early lunch, drive to visit Hall of Fame (museum of military heritage), the 9-storied Leh Palace and then Leh Bazaar . Wind up the day's tour with a visit to the Shanti Stupa which offers great views of the town and the Indus valley. Overnight at the hotel.

Day-4 Leh - Thiksey - Pangong Lake / approx. 160 kms / 5-6 hours

After breakfast, leave for Pangong Lake via Chang-la pass (alt: 17370 ft./ 5486 meters), 3 rd . highest motorable pass in the world . En-route visit the dramatically located Thiksey M onastery, founded during the 16 th century. Pangong Lake (alt: 14,500 ft.), largest brackish water lake of Asia, is 4-5 kms wide and about135 kms long, of which some two-third portion lies on the other side of the Indo-China border . Spend rest of the day enjoying the beautiful and rugged setting of the Lake. Overnight at Pangong.

Day-5 Pangong Lake - Hemis - Leh / Approx. 160 kms. / 5- 6 hours

After breakfast, leave Pangong Lake and retrace the road via Chang-la pass. Upon reaching Karu, drive across the Indus to visit the 17 th century Hemis Monastery , biggest & richest monastery of Ladakh and principal centre of the Drukpa-Kargyut Monastic Order in the region. Thereafter drive on to Leh, reaching in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.

Day-6 Leh- Khardongla - Nubra Valley / 125 kms / 4-5 hours

After breakfast leave for Nubra Valley , driving across Khardong-la (alt: 18,380 ft.), highest motorable pass in the world. Nubra Valley lies to the north of Leh, between the Karakoram & Ladakh ranges at an average altitude of 10,000 ft. Till closure of the trans-Karakoram trade route by the Chinese in 1949, Nubra Valley was a busy trade corridor on the Central Asian trade route.

Reach Deskit / Hunder in the afternoon and explore the area and the white Sand Dunes where you can also take a short camel Safari on the double-humped Bactrian camel (optional service). Overnight at a deluxe camp or hotel

Day-7 Nubra Valley - Khardongla - Leh / 125 kms / 4 - 5 hours.

After breakfast, explore Deskit (headquarters of Nubra valley) and visit the gigantic image of Maitreya Buddha (32 mtrs) seated out on a nearby hillock, which was installed in 2010. Thereafter drive up the hillside to visit the 15 th century Deskit Monastery dramatically located on a rock promontory overlooking the valley. Later drive back to Leh via Khardongla, reaching in the afternoon. Overnight at Leh .

Day-8 Leh- Alchi / Lamayuru-Kargil / 235 kms. / 6-7 hours

After breakfast proceed towards Kargil en-route visiting Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Magnetic Point, and then drive on to visit the 11 th century Alchi Choskor , oldest surviving monastic heritage complex of Ladakh, famous for its wall frescoes and architecture - a UNESCO listed heritage site. Thereafter proceed towards Kargil, en-route stopping to view the dramatically located Lamayuru monastery , and the adjoining Moonland Hills . Driving further on crossing the Fotula & Namika La passes, reach Mulbek where you may stop briefly to view the 9-Mtrs. tall rock sculpture of Maitreya Buddha (7 th - 8 th century AD). Kargil is at an hour's drive from here. Overnight in the hotel at Kargil.

Day-9 Kargil- Zojila- Sonamarg-Srinagar / 205 kms / 5-6 hours

Early departure for Srinagar via Drass , Zojila pass & Sonamarg . Drass is famous as the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Zoji-la Pass (11,500-ft. /3,505 m) is the watershed between the rugged landscape of Ladakh and the lushness of Kashmir . After crossing the pass, the road descends to Sonamarg from where it's just over a couple of hours' drive to Srinagar through the beautiful Kashmir countryside.

Option: This tour can also be terminated at Leh to fly out of Ladakh on Day-9. In that case the itinerary of the last two days will be amended as under:
Day-8 In Leh: Visit Alchi -Likir (Sham Valley) Circuit / 160 kms round trip / 4-5 hours

After breakfast proceed to explore the Sham Valley circuit, driving all the way to visit the 11 th century Alchi Choskor , oldest surviving monastic complex of Ladakh and famous for its ancient wall frescoes and architecture - now a UNESCO listed heritage site. While returning towards Leh, en-route drive up the hill to visit the 14 th century Likir Monastery , where you can also view a recently installed colossal image of the Maitreya Buddha seated out in the open. Thereafter visit Sangam (confluence of Indus & Zanskar Rivers), Magnetic Point , Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Hall of Fame (museum of military heritage). Overnight at Leh.

Day-9 Departure Leh: Transfer to Airport

Early morning transfer to the airport for taking the flight back home.

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