Ladakh, at the northern boundary of India, is once-in-a-lifetime, must visit destination. The stark natural beauty is awe-inspiring. The best way to explore this rugged barren terrain is being on the road. This specially designed tour offers you just that -an opportunity to spend time driving and exploring the unique natural beauty of Ladakh.
The first days are at leisure to acclimatize to the rarefied air and explore Leh. You may choose to stroll along the main bazaar – observing the varied crowds. Looking into curio shops is an engaging experience. A particularly attractive sight is the line of women from nearby villages sitting along the edge of the footpath with baskets of fresh vegetables brought for sale.
We begin the next day by visiting Thikse monastery, which is one of the most vibrant and active monasteries in the region. It dates back to the 16th century and is part of the Gelug-pa Sect. Continuing our drive on a well mettled broad road traveling upstream along the Indus River to Hemis Gompa, crossing over the Indus at the village of Karu. The central courtyard forms the focus for the masked dances held every year in summer. On the return journey to Leh, we drive to Stok Palace, which is the present residence of the former royal family of Ladakh.
A Gompa is situated behind the museum and contains some ritual dance marks and frescoes. Next day we take on a 5-hour road journey from Leh to Nubra Valley passing over Khardung La (the highest motorable road in the world) at 5602 m, around 39 km from Leh. From the pass, one can see all the way south over the Indus valley to seemingly endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range, and north to the giants of the Taser massif. The Shayok and Saichen Rivers drain Nubra. The flat part of the river is sandy and occupied by green farms and Myricaria. The villages look pretty with greenery, willow and poplar trees. Till partition Nubra Valley was one of the trade centers, the ancient famous Silk Route passed through this area.
Before proceeding to our camp at Hunter, we stop to visit Diskit Monastery perched on a rock overhanging next to a stream, which provides the source of energy used by mills in the area. The monastery is rich, full of thangkas, magnificent giant statues, effigies of the Buddha and old mural paintings in which can be noted a multitude of influences. It was founded by Lama Sherab Zangpo of Stod around 1420 A.D. Diskit is the main village or headquarters of Nubra Valley, which has a small market consisting of a row of shops. Next day, you will get the unique opportunity to ride on a Bactrian camel (double humped) amidst the sand dunes of this high altitude desert with snow-capped mountains on the horizon. Thereafter, crossing over the Shayok River we will be driving upstream long the Siachen River to Panamik.
Leaving Hunter the next morning, we drive to Leh over Khardung La. After spending the last evening in beautiful Leh again we fly to Delhi the next morning where the tour ends.
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
Day 01: Delhi to Leh
Day 02: Leh
Day 03: Leh
Day 04: Leh to Khardung La to Nubra
Day 05: Nubra
Day 06: Nubra to Leh
Day 07: Leh to Delhi