REMOTE, UNEXPLOITED AND sparsely populated, Ladakh or 'Little Tibet’ is a heavenly place to visit during the Indian summer. Described as being ‘the roof of the world’ it forms a high altitude, barren plateau interspersed with green oasis, isolated settlements, farmland and both huge and tiny, medieval gompas (monastery). Begin the journey in Leh, the capital of the ancient Buddhist kingdom, dominated by Leh Palace, former home to the banished royal family and the commanding Victory Fort. From Leh, travel throughout Ladakh exploring India’s varied hill country where there is an abundance of wonderfully secluded places ideal for quiet contemplation or walking in the hills, away from the ‘madding crowds’ of the city.
DAY 1 - ARRIVE DELHI On arrival stay at Taj Palace Hotel.
DAY 2 - DELHI - LEH (3500M / 11,500ft)
Early morning flight arrives Leh, the capital of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh. Check in to Grand Dragon Hotel, your home for the next 4 nights. Rest of the day at leisure for acclimatization.
DAY 3 - LEH
After a leisurely start, spend the afternoon visiting Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa Japanese peace pagoda, the Tibetan inspired Leh Palace and the 15th century Namgyal Tsemo Gompa perched atop the crag behind the palace.
DAY 4 - LEH - THIKSEY - SHEY- HEMIS - LEH Witness morning prayers at Thiksey monastery. Later visit Shey which was once the summer residence of Ladakhi kings. After lunch, visit Hemis monastery to see an impressive array of thangka's and frescoes dating back to the 17th century.
DAY 5 - LEH - BASGO - LIKIR - ALCHI - RIZONG- LEH Begin your journey exploring Basgo Castle and the majestic Likir Monastery. After lunch at Uley Ethnic Resort, visit the rocky fortress, Rizong monastery which has one of the only nunneries in Ladakh. End your day at Alchi Monastery, located on the banks of the Indus river.
DAY 6 - LEH - NUBRA VALLEY (3040M / 9975 ft) Travel by road to Nubra Valley crossing Khardung La Pass, situated along the ancient caravan route of Central Asia. At 5602M / 18,380 ft, Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the world. This high altitude unfolds a bizarre blend of landscapes with gushing rivers, flower orchards, desert sand dunes and green fields. Arrive the Karma Inn, your home for the next 2 nights. This afternoon visit Diskit Monastery and Hunder Sand Dunes. If possible, enjoy riding a double hump camel.
DAY 7 - NUBRA VALLEY A morning drive brings you the base of Ensa Monastery, the oldest monastery in Nubra. Take a steep 45-minute trek (moderate/hard) up to the monastery to see the footprints of Dachompa in one of the three prayer rooms. Next drive to the 132-year-old Samstanling Monastery.
DAY 8 - NUBRA VALLEY - LEH Morning transfer by road to Leh crossing Khardung La Pass. On arrival, check in to Grand Dragon Hotel for the night. Rest of the day with guide, car and driver at disposal to visit surroundings at leisure.
DAY 9 - LEH - DELHI Early morning flight arrives Delhi. On arrival, transfer to The Imperial Hotel for the day at leisure.
DAY 10 - DEPART DELHI Depart Delhi today for onward destination.