Kashmir Ladakh Tour 12 NIGHTS – 13 DAYS
DELHI – SRINAGAR – GULMARG – SONMARG – KARGIL – LAMAYURU – ALCHI – LIKIR – LEH – NUBRA VALLEY
Many times referred as ‘Paradise on Earth’, Kashmir is extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape. Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, is famous for its Mughal gardens and Dal Lake. The tour also provides a unique experience of living on the water in a cedar-panelled elegant bedroom in houseboat. The main highlight of the tour is the 440 kms long road journey which passes through the mesmerizing valley of Kashmir and Sonamarg, taking you across the heights of zoji La, Namika La, Fotu La Pass before reaching beautiful towns of Drass and Kargil and then finally to Leh to visit Ladakh which is often described as ‘Moon Land’, ‘Magic Land’, and ‘Mysterious Land’ for its unique landscape and exquisite culture.
Day 1 Delhi
Arrive at Delhi. Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Raj Ghat is the site where the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. The spot where he was cremated has been marked by black marble, which is decorated with garlands of flowers and an immortal flame burns at one end.
Red Fort The massive red sandstone structure served as the residence to the Mughal Empire for 200 years. Shah Jahan shifted his capital to Delhi and constructed Red Fort in 1648. The imposing wall of Red Fort houses numerous palaces and halls within. This majestic building is used by the Prime Minister as a platform to address the people of the Republic on the eve of Independence Day.
Take a rickshaw ride through cobbled streets of bustling Bazaar Chandni Chowk and stop at Jama Masjid which was the main mosque during the reign of Shah Jahan. The mosque was built by Shah Jahan. It is the largest and important mosque in Asia.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2 Delhi – Srinagar (By Flight – 1 ½ hours)
Transfer to airport to board a flight to Srinagar.
Situated on the banks of River Jhelum in the core of the Kashmir valley, Srinagar is the most popular tourist destination enticing a lot of tourists from across the globe. A tour to Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is a legendary picture perfect journey through the majestic hills and beautiful landscapes. The striking mountains provide a perfect backdrop to the famous Dal Lake. The exclusive housing in houseboats, the blooming gardens and the waterways with their own charming lifestyle makes Srinagar a paradise for holidaymakers.
Arrive at Srinagar and transfer to houseboat
In the afternoon, enjoy a shikara ride on Dal Lake.
Dal Lake is a breathtaking impression of Nature. The charm of the lake leaves the tourist spell bound. Oozing with beauty this lake has been a source of inspiration to many poets. With its picturesque view, it is the second largest lake in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake is nestled in by imposing mountains on three sides magnetizes numerous tourist from across the globe.
Overnight stay in houseboat.
Day 3 Srinagar
Take a tour to the world famous Mughal gardens. The impressive gardens of Kashmir with its stunning greenery and water systems are worth a visit.
Visit Nishat Bagh. It was constructed by Asif Khan, father of princess Noorjahan in 1633. The garden of bliss is located on the banks of Dal Lake and offers a wonderful view of Dal Lake and imposing snowcapped peaks of Pirpanjal Ranges. The garden has two pavilions with the reservoir 14 feet with fountains, one at the lower end and other upper end.
Shalimar Bagh is also known as Abode of Love. Shalimar garden is located on the right bank of Dal Lake. The garden was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Noor Jahan. The garden has been designed in Persian style and the garden with maximum number of chinar trees in Mughal gardens.
The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight stay in houseboat.
Day 4 Srinagar – Gulmarg – Srinagar (110 KM – 5 Hours)
Take a morning excursion of Gulmarg.
Gulmarg literally means the ‘Meadow of Flowers’. The mountainous setting fascinates a huge number of tourists. This hill resort is a popular destination for golfing, riding and trekking. Gulmarg has a 18 hole golf course which is the highest natural golf course in the world.
You can take a Gondola ride from Gulmarg to Khalinmarg.
Gulmarg Gondola is the second highest operating cable car. Gulmarg boasts of Asia’s highest and longest cable car project. The views from the Gondola car are breathtaking.
In the evening return to Srinagar and overnight stay in houseboat.
Day 5 Srinagar – Sonmarg – Kargil (225 KM – 8 Hours)
Drive to Kargil. The road passes through picturesque village Sonamarg. Snow capped peaks, dense forest, beautiful gushing rivers and streams make Sonamarg an enchanting destination. Calm meadows of flowers nestled beautifully by the amazing glaciers, snowfields, miniature plateaus and islets are synonymous to Sonamarg.
Later drive through the Zojila Pass.Continue drive towards Drass sector and stop here for tea and passport checks. Another two and half hours’ drive will take you to Kargil.
Kargil is the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. Situated on the banks of Suru River, surrounded by mighty Himalayan peaks; Kargil has its own charm which makes it a must for a visit. The beautiful peach colour apricot orchard adorns the valley which makes a dreamland to explore. The topographical location of the town offers a great adrenaline rush to all the adventure lovers.
Arrive and check in at Hotel.
Day 6 Kargil – Lamayuru – Alchi (175 KM – 6 Hours)
Depart for Alchi. It can be a tiresome journey, but makes up with the panoramic views.
The first Buddhist village on the way will be Mulbek. Situated 45 kms from Ladakh, Mulbek is the first Buddhist village in Ladakh region. Numerous Buddhist monuments dot the landscape of Mulbek, amongst which the most prominent one is Mulbek Chamba. It is 9m high rock sculpture in deep relief of Maitreya. The sculpture represents the perfect blend of esoteric Saivite symbolism which devotes early Buddhist art.
Perched on top of the hill, Mulbek monastery is the main monastery and the monastery dominates the valley below.
You cross the highest pass on the Srinagar–Leh route before reaching Lamayuru.
Lamayuru Monastery is situated on the banks of River Indus. It is the oldest monastery of the Ladakh region. It is believed that the monastery has been a sacred site for the pre Buddhist religion known as Bon. The monastery was built in the 11th century by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa and the monastery belongs to the Red Hat Sect of Buddhism. The monastery features a rich collection of wall paintings and Thangkas.
Arrive at Alchi.
Alchi is home to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh region. Situated on the banks of the River Indus Alchi monastery is the only monastery that is built on flat grounds. The monastery houses two main temples Alchi Du-Khang and the Sum-tsek. Du Khang is the oldest and largest preserved structure of the monastery complex. Sum Tsek is the main temple of the complex, which houses three huge figures of four armed Boddhisattvas.
Overnight stay at Alchi.
Day 7 Alchi – Likir – Phyang – Spituk – Leh (80 KM – 4 Hours)
In the morning, depart for Leh and on the way visit the Likir monastery.
Situated 52 kms from Leh, Likir monastery was established in the 11th century. The structure houses huge clay images of Lord Buddha, numerous old manuscripts, rich collection Thangkas, and old religious customs. The monastery belongs to Klu-Kkhjil – a sect of Buddhism.
Also visit Spituk and Phyang Monastries
Spituk monastery is perched over a hill overlooking the Indus River and is situated 11 kms from Leh. The monastery houses a huge collection of Buddhist artifacts and is world renowned for the Spituk festival.
Phyang Monastery stands on a hill top and is situated 17 kms from Leh. It was first monastery that was introduced to the Degungpa teaching of ‘Skyob Jigsten Gonbo’. The monastery was built in the 16th century by Jamyang Namgyal.
Continue the drive to Leh.
After arrival check in at hotel for overnight stay .
Day 8 Leh (Monastery Tour)
Take an excursion to the famous monasteries.
One can visit the Thiksey monastery early in the morning to attend the prayer ceremony.
Situated at the distance of 17 kms from Leh, Thiksey monastery is the most beautiful monastery in Ladakh region. The monastery is located on top of the hill overlooking River Indus. The monastery belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Buddhism. The monastery houses 15m high Buddhist statues and it is the largest statue in Ladakh region.
Continue drive to Hemis Monastery
Hemis monastery is situated 45 km south of Leh and is the most important monastery in Ladakh region. The monastery belongs to Drupka sect of Buddhism. The walls of the monastery are adorned with paintings of Sakyamuni or the Historical Buddha. There are even paintings of Tantric deities. The Tshogs-Khang houses a huge gilded image of the Sakyamuni Buddha with blue hair. The monastery is even famous worldwide for its Hemis festival.
On the way back to Leh, visit Shey and Stok Palace.
Located 15 kms from Leh, Shey monastery was once the residence of the royal king. The monastery was established by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen Palgyigon. The main attraction of the monastery is the 12ft tall copper statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The statue is considered to be the largest in the region.
Situated 15 kms from leh, Stok Palace is a Buddhist monastery founded by Lama Lhawang Lotus in the 14th Century. The monastery is also famous for annual ritual dance mask festival. Earlier it was the residence of the royal family.
Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 9 Leh – Nubra (Diskit & Hunder 130 Kms – 5 Hours)
Have an early breakfast at the hotel before departing for the Nubra Valley.
In the tranquil region of Ladakh, Nubra Valley is the high altitude valley and is the most beautiful place in Ladakh. Nubra valley is also known as the valley of flowers and features double humped camels and ancient monasteries. The valley used to be the ancient silk route for traders. During summer, this valley gets peppered with colourful flowers.
En route visit Diskit and Hunder monastery.
Diskit monastery is the oldest and the largest monastery in Nubra Valley. The monastery was established in the 14th century and belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Buddhism. The monastery was constructed in Tibetan style and houses beautiful murals and frescos. The monastery also offers picturesque views of the Nubra valley.
Hunder Monastery is situated just below Diskit monastery. It is a very beautiful monastery housing a huge statue of Buddha.
On arrival check in at the camp for overnight stay.
Day 10 Nubra Valley
After breakfast, visit Pamanik village.
Pamanik Village is a small village with a hot spring and gompa. It is one of the main attractions of Nubra Valley. The village, famous for its hot sulphur springs, is nestled in close proximity to Saichan glacier. The springs are known for their high medicinal value.
Return to camp for a hot lunch.
In the afternoon visit the Samtaling monastery in Sumur village.
Samtaling Monastery is also known as Sumur Gompa and is one of the most significant monasteries in Nubra Valley. The monastery was established in 1841 and belongs to the Gelukpa Sect of Buddhism. The main attraction of the monastery is the huge gilded statue of Sakyamuni with images of Maitreya and the protector deity Mahakala in the Dukhang.
Return to camp for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 11 Nubra – Khardung La – Leh (130 KM – 5 Hours)
After breakfast at the camp, depart for Leh. En-route stop at Khardung La Pass.
The Khardung La Pass is a high mountain pass located in Ladakh region and is 39 kms from Leh. The pass is the gateway to Nubra Valley. Some of the locals claim the pass to be the highest motorable road of the world.
Continue drive to Leh. Upon arrival check in at hotel
The rest of the day is free for independent activities or shopping.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12 Leh – Delhi (By Flight – 1 ¼ Hours)
In the morning transfer to the airport to board a flight to Delhi.
Arrive at Delhi airport and transfer to hotel. Take a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which was built during the British era.
India Gate is a sandstone Arch that is also known as All India War Memorial. The memorial was constructed to honor all those soldiers who died during the First World War. In the middle of The Arch is the Black marble podium with a flame of an immortal soldier leads to Parliament House, the center of operations of the Republic of India.
The parliament building is a circular colonnade building housing offices of various ministries and a well-stocked library. This imperial style architectural monument comprises of open air verandah and 144 columns. It is indeed a sight to watch.
Rashtrapati Bhawan is the residential estate of President of India. This splendid monument cannot be equated to any other monument in terms of its size, enormity and grandeur.
Qutub Minar is the 2nd tallest Minar in India. This UNESCO World Heritage site is made up of red sandstone and marble. The tower is 72.5 meters high and has 379 steps. The tower was constructed by Qutub Ud Din Aibak. The foot of the tower houses the first mosque of India, Quwwat-UL-Islam Mosque.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 13 Delhi
Transfer to airport to board a flight to onward destination.