Dharamsala, Manali and Leh
This fascinating trip will take you through the spiritual heartland of Buddhism, the lush mountains of the Great Himalayan Range and the barren but beautiful high altitude plateaus of Ladakh. Along with visiting the home of the Dalai Lama, we’ll take a look at Mcleodganj, the home of the Tibetens in India since the departure from their home in Tibet, visit several towns and places in the awe inspiring Himalaya before heading to the serene, monestary laden lands of the Silk Route traders in Ladakh.
Duration - 19 Days
Dates - July 8th - 27th, Aug 4th - 23rd
Day 1 - Arrive Delhi
Meet with our Rep upon arrival at the airport. Transfer to Hotel.
Day 2 Delhi to Dharamsala
In the morning we head to the train station and board a train to Chandigarh. We take a comfortable carriage on the train and the journey is a pleasant trip of a few hours. On arrival in Chandigarh we switch to jeeps and drive further North, into the foothills of the Himalaya and on to Dharamsala.
Day 3 - Dharamsala
Today we visit Mcleodganj, the home of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. We have the opportunity to see the monastery where he has lived since his self exile in 1959. We will also visit Dal Lake, a beautiful lake surrounded by pine forests and a small Tibetan arts village.
Day 4 - Dharamsala to Banjar
After breakfast we will make our way across the foothills to the east and head to Banjar. This small town is situated on the edge of the Great Himalayan National Park and is the perfect base for exploring the area.
Day 5 - Sainj Valley
The Great Himalayan National Park covers 750 sqkm of Himalayan forests and the beautiful Sainj Valley follows the river of the same name right into the park. We will have a short trek in the park itself before heading back to Banjar for the night. The park is renowned for its wildlife and hopefully during the day we’ll catch a glimpse of some of India’s famous fauna.
Day 6 - Banjar to Manali
We head further north into the mountains today, travelling to Manali, at the end of the Kullu Valley. We will take a couple of detours on the way, stopping in Naggar, the ancient capital of the Kullu Valley, and Vashisht. In Naggar we will visit the beautifully crafted wooden castle and the world famous Roerich gallery. Vashisht is well known for its natural hot springs and one of its village gods, a powerful rishi, who is visited by all of the other gods of the valley throughout the year.
Day 7 - Manali
Today we spend the day around Manali, taking in some of the local sights. We will take a trip to the beautiful wooden Hadimba Temple and spend some time in the adventure sports area of Solang Valley
Day 8 - Manali to Udaipur over Rohtang La (3950m)
Today we drive over the Rohtang Pass and descend into the Lahaul Valley. There is a stark contrast between the barren western end of the valley, towards the semi arid Spiti Valley, and the eastern where we are heading. It’s much greener as we head towards Tandi to cross the Bhaga River and go on to Udaipur. This small town nestles in between the Chamba, Pangi and Lahaul valleys and is a popular starting point for many treks. We will spend the night here before the journey north towards Leh.
Day 9 - Udaipur to Sarchu over Baralacha La (4880m), camp
We continue our journey towards Leh by returning to the Lahaul Valley and heading to the overnight camps at Sarchu. We will camp for the night in semi permanent tents which are heated from the inside and provide a good shelter from the elements outside. We will cross the Baralacha Pass during the day, a barren and desolate place that is used as a camp by the local shepherds during the summer. We are now entering the more barren mountain ranges of Ladakh and the difference in the scenery is amazing.
Day 10 - Sarchu to Tso Kar over Lachlung La (5060m), camp
Our journey today takes us over the 5060m Lachlung La. This incredible pass has an approach of some twenty switchbacks and is sure to give some breathtaking moments. We continue for a while more towards Leh before turning off the main road and taking a jeep track to the isolated Tso Kar. There is one small village situated near this lake and the area around is a haven for bird watching.
Day 11 - Tso Kar to Tso Moriri, camp
Tso Moriri is a vast lake thought to be a remnant of some huge inland sea. Nowadays it sits in the high altitude wilderness of the Rupsu Valley and creates one of the most stunning settings anywhere in the world. The area is a great place to see wild animals including marmots, mountain fox and many types of bird. We take a walk around the lake but will not be attempting the mammoth 56km round trip! The area has a fragile eco-system so we take extra care to preserve it and leave no trace.
Day 12 - Tso Moriri to Leh
We’ll leave the lake early in the morning, the best time of the day to see the amazing landscape, and head north-west towards Leh. On the way we will stop at the Hemis Monastery. This impressive 17th century gompa is the home of the Brokpa order and contains some rare examples of Kashmiri influenced frescoes and the largest thangka in Ladakh. We continue towards the regional capital of Leh in the afternoon.
Day 13 - Leh
We have an easy day to recover from the long distance covered in the previous days. The day is free for you to do as you please. The town of Leh itself is as interesting as it is remote. There are several gompas situated around the town and Leh Palace is a symbol of the more affluent and exotic life of years gone by.
Day 14 - Phyang, Rizong
Today we travel around Leh and visit some of the most important and beautiful sites of the local Buddhist culture. We’ll visit the lovely little village of Phyang, the magnificent Klu-kkhyil gompa and the isolated Rizong gompa which is situated in a natural ampitheatre. We return to Leh for the evening.
Day 15 - Leh to Hunder over Khardung La (5600m)
We continue further north today into the Nubra Valley. Once cut off from the rest of Leh by the lofty Khardung pass, it is now a thriving tourist centre. We start the day by climbing this mighty pass and descend into the fertile plains of the Nubra Valley. The area is famous for its agricultural produce and sights of apricot groves and apple orchards sitting at the bottom of barren mountain ranges are everywhere. We travel to the end of the valley and stay in the attractive village of Hunder.
Day 16 - Nubra Valley
Today we explore the Nubra Valley. We’ll look at the gompas at Diskit and Sumur before continuing to the hot springs at Panamik. We are now as far north as it is possible to go as a visitor in India. Further north from here the Nubra Valley meets the Tibetan border and the wilderness of the Tibetan plateau.
Day 17 - Hunder to Leh
We take a steady drive back to Leh. Passing over Khardung La once more we have another chance to take in this amazing landscape and see the distant views of the Zanskar ranges.
Day 18 - Leh
The day is spent in Leh. A last chance to sit back and relax in this small mountain town and appreciate the magnificence of this special high altitude area of Ladakh.
Day 19 - Leh to Delhi
Early morning we head to the airport for our flight to Delhi. On the flight we will have amazing views of the Himalayan range and the journey we have taken. We will arrive in Delhi by the afternoon and will be transported to our hotel.
Day 20 - Sightseeing in Delhi
After breakfast we'll go and see some sights around Delhi. We will visit the famous Lal Qila(Red Fort), India Gate, Jama Masjid and some of the larger markets.
Day 21 - Depart Delhi
You will have use of your hotel room for the day and in the evening transport to the airport is provided.
Inclusive - All transport in India, all accommodation, all meals, tour guide, tent in permanent camp at Tso Kar and Tso Moriri, flights in India,
Exclusive - Travel to and from India, tourist visa, monument entrance fees, photography fees, personal snacks and drinks, personal insurance.