Ladakh, a gorgeous union territory within the Kashmir region, has become a tourist destination that constantly receives raving reviews. The nature one can find within these lands are still virgin and raw, challenging to reach due to the distance and altitude. At over 3,500m elevation, Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, flourishes as a major tourist stop for those looking to explore the region. It’s also where we’ll stay first as we visit the Shanti Stupa that symbolizes world peace and built by Gyomyo Nakamura, a Japanese monk, in 1991. Then we head to Leh palace which was abandoned 200 years after it was built in 1600s due to the Dogras invasion. We’ll ride through the Kargil Highway and visit the Hall of Fame that celebrates the bravery of soldiers who fought in the Indo-Pak Wars. Then to Gurudwara Patthar Sahibp, a place of worship built in memory of Guru Nanak. Question what’s considered as the norm when you experience the Magnetic Hill phenomenon before we reach the Confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers, a gorgeous spot within the Nimmu Valley as the different coloured waters meet. Visit the Alchi Gompa next, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery that dates back to the 11th century, followed by similarly ancient structure of Likir Monastery. We’ll explore the Nubra Valley next and reach there via the highest drivable road in the world, Khardung La, before staying in Hunder Village. Explore Turtuk, a paradise on earth that is surrounded by the best of Nubra Valley nature’s feature. We’ll visit the 16th Century Mosque, an old structure with intricate designs and a great view. Then check out the Ruined Fort of Dhards and Monastery while we enjoy the view of the second highest peak in the world, the K2 peak. We’ll make a quick stop at Diskit to look around the city and the bazaar before visiting Pangong Lake. After a scenic drive across the Agham & Shyok Valley, we’ll reach the world’s highest saltwater lake at 4,350m that has the stunning blue color in stark contrast against the dry land around it. We’ll then take the Changla Pass on our way back to Leh, enjoying the view before stopping at Hemis Gompa, a monastery established by King Sengge Namgyal. We’ll also stop at Thiksey Monastery, then to Shey Palace & Monastery that used to serve as the summer palace of King of Ladakh. Don’t miss the 3 Idiots Rancho’s School before we finally reach Leh again for your flight back home.
- Leh 3 nights, Nubra 2 nights and Pangong Lake 1 night stay
- Return Economy Class Airfare
- Daily Breakfast and Dinner
- All Transfers and Sightseeing by Innova / Tempo Traveller on Private Basis
- Shanti Stupa & Leh Palace
- Excursion to Sham Valley and Confluence of Two Rivers
- Kargil Highway, Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Magnetic Hill
- Khardung La & Nubra Valley
- Hunder Village & Excursion to Turtuk
- Pangong Lake
- Changla Pass, Hemis Gompa, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Palace and 3 Idiots Rancho’s School
- Inner Line Permit
- Toll Tax, Parking and Driver’s Bata
- Sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast included
- Passport fees, immunization costs, city taxes at the hotel and local departure taxes (wherever applicable)
- Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of the itinerary
Day 1: Arrival In Leh And Transfer To Hotel
Our representatives will be waiting for your arrival in the morning at Leh International Airport. Welcome to the largest city of Ladakh. We’ll transfer you to the hotel for check-in and drinks after a long flight here as you get acclimated to the altitude of 3,500m and rest.
Around late afternoon, we’ll drive to the city for an orientation walk, introducing you to the city and culture of Leh as we explore the local markets. We visit the Shanti Stupa, a gleaming white Stupa built by the Japanese monk Gyomyo Nakamura in 1991. It houses relics within the base which was enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama wishes to promote world peace and serves a symbol that ties Japan and India.
Then we’ll visit the former royal palace of Leh, Leh Palace that’s also known as Lachen Palkar Palace. Abandoned for hundreds of years, this palace dates back to 1600s and was built by Sengge Namgyal. It was left behind during 1800s when Dogra forces invaded and the royal family had to move to another palace. Today, it serves as the administrative office of the Archaeological Conservation Organisation.
We’ll take you out for dinner later before your overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2: Sham Valley Excursion – Magnetic Hill, Hall Of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib & Sangam (65kms, 4 Hours)
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before we go out for a ride on the Kargil Highway, driving alongside the River Indus on Leh. It will be a 3-4 hour long scenic drive of breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and hills. We’ll first visit the Hall of Fame, a museum by and for the Indian Army that serves as a reminder of the sacrifices brave Indian soldiers made, particularly those who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pak wars. Floors are filled with weapons and ammunitions used at the war, as well as the kinds of apparel and amenities the army wore.
We drive on to Gurudwara Patthar Sahib which is located at 3,600m altitude and around 22km from Leh. It is a place of worship, one that was built in memory of Guru Nanak as it was believed this was where he stopped briefly to rest and meditate between 1515-1518. We head deep into the Himalayas for 4km and reach the gravity-defying Magnetic Hill at 30km mark from Leh. If you leave the ignition off and foot off the brakes, will the car roll downward or upward?
Leaving behind the law-defying hills, we’ll reach the famous Confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers within the scenic Nimmu valley of Ladakh. It’s a breath-taking sight, one that’s truly out of this world the Zanskar River flows down from Zanskar Valley and meet Tibet’s Indus River.
There are some comparable baroque style paintings, huge Buddha statues, and intricate wood carvings.
We continue our drive back to Leh and take you out for dinner before our overnight stay at the hotel in Leh.
(Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 3: Transfer From Leh To Nubra Valley Via Khardung La At 5,600m (120kms, 4-5 Hours)
Enjoy your breakfast in Leh before we check-out tonight and head to Nubra Valley with a scenic drive. We’ll pass over the highest drivable road in the world, Khardung La at over 5,600m/18,390ft elevation around 39km from Leh and get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area, all the way over the Indus Valley in the south, the edge of Zanskar Range, and get a clear view of the Saser mountains.
The Nubra Valley is known as the valley of flowers nestled between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of Himalayas. The Nubra Valley is located at a lower altitude than Leh at 3000m/10,000ft that gives it a slightly warmer temperature and is blessed with fertile soil and is famous for the cold desert of Hunder Village. There are sand dunes on one side, a field of flowers on the other and just vast landscape of the valley and mountain ranges all around you.
We’ll check-in at our campsite/hotel in Hunder and let you leave your luggage. Once you’re done unpacking, explore the surrounding area on your own and enjoy the stunning view and fresh air or look around the small villages and check out what they have here. Spend the night at the camp or hotel in Nubra Valley after.
(Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 4: Nubra Valley (Hunder Village) & Excursion To Turtuk
Enjoy your breakfast early today as we’ll have a long ride to a village that’s located close to the border. We’ll be driving to Turtuk which is blessed with an exceptional landscape view that became part of India in 1971 after it was previously part of Pakistan. It’s a small hamlet that has the Shyok River on one side and the other side the Karakoram mountain range. Only one road goes in and out of the village which leads to the high passes of Leh.
We’ll learn of the interesting history of the village as many of the people have their origin tracing to Pakistan. You’ll see the 16th Century Mosque, the old mosque of Turtuk which has a distinctive wooden minaret and spiralling staircase. Enjoy the scenic historical building that has prominent Turkish & Iranian influence here before we move to the Ruined Fort of Dhards and Monastery. Enjoy exploring the magnificent ruins of the old buildings of this land while the famous K2 peak in the background, the second highest peak in the world after Mount Everest.
We make our way back to the hotel for overnight stay in Nubra Valley.
(Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 5: Transfer From Nubra Valley To Pangong Lake (150km, 5 Hours)
After an early breakfast, we will check-out from our camp/hotel in Nubra Valley and visit where they keep and raise double-humped camels that are perfect for riding through the cold desert. Hopped on these gorgeous creatures and go through the sand dunes with the snow-capped mountains sits in the horizon. We slowly make our way back and stop at Diskit on the way, which is the headquarter of Nubra Valley. Explore the bazaar that is filled with shops and locals making ends meet and doing their daily chores.
We leave the valley and continue our ride southeast. The rough ride is worth it as you get to see slowly absorb and take in the beauty of Agham & Shyok Valley. We continue driving across the Agham & Shyok Valley to Pangong Lake, or Pangong Tso, the world’s highest saltwater lake at 4,350m. The road conditions can be pretty tough and depending on weather, challenging even. For five hours, we’ll past through several villages, including Durbuk and Tangtse which are about half an hour apart. After close to three hours of ride from Tangtse and several small villages of Changthang, you’ll suddenly be assaulted by an incredible view of Pangong Lake.
It has such a deep blue color amidst the arid, dry mountains around it that’ll surely leave an impression on you. The lake is located in both India and China. At freezing temperature, attempts to swim in this lake that’s also considered holy is prohibited.
Upon arrival, we’ll check-in at the camp/hotel near the lake before taking you out for dinner. Spend the night at Pangong Lake.
(Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 6: Transfer From Pangong Lake To Leh Via Changla (140km, 6 Hours)
Wake up to the beautiful sight of Pangong Lake today before we check-out when the time comes. We’ll drive back to Leh via Changla Pass, located at over 5,300m elevation. As you pass through this road, think back on how Changla was part of the famous silk road and millenias before that, historic creatures of Jurassic period would also tread this pathway as ammonoids have been unearthed around here.
Enjoy an impressive view while driving through the 15km long road as we make several stops before reaching Leh. We’ll stop first at Hemis Gompa, a Himalayan Buddhist monastery at the village of Hemis, established in 1672 by King Sengge Namgyal. A festival is held every July here and it’s near to the home of the endangered snow leopard in the Hemis National Park. It is also the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism.
We continue the ride to Thiksey Monastery, a monastery affiliated with the Gelug Order, the largest inside central Ladakh. The imposing construction of this monastery sees the complex built along the hillside above the village all the way to the top.
Roughly 5km from here is the Shey Palace & Monastery which originally was the summer palace of King of Ladakh until 16th century. The current Shey Palace was built in 1655 in memory of Sengge Namgyal by Deldan Namgyal. Shey started as a small village that became the old capital of Ladakh before the royal family fled to Stok during the annexation of Dogras. Today you can enjoy a luxurious view of your surrounding and be where the royalties used to spend their time at.
Visit the 3 Idiots Rancho’s School which is where the Aamir Khan movie was shot at. This Buddhist cultural school’s real name is the Druk Padma Karpo School. We keep driving until we reach Leh and be there in time for dinner. Check-in at the hotel before we spend the night in Leh.
(Breakfast and Dinner)
Day 7: Depart Leh
After breakfast, we’ll check-out and leave the hotel to transfer you to the domestic airport for your flight to your next destination out of Leh.