This drive from Srinagar is perhaps only a tad less thrilling than the one from Manali as the passes you cross are not as high. But in terms of scenic beauty and variety in the terrain you drive through, it is surely a notch above. You also get well acclimatized by the time you reach Leh, so this is indeed a great alternative for those who find the drive from Manali a bit too rugged or strenuous.
(9 nights 10 days)
- Day 1: Arrive Srinagar Alt 1585 M Reach Srinagar and get transferred to your pre-booked hotel relax and take a short walk around the area. Also, enjoy Shikara ride in Nigeen Lake. Stay overnight at hotel.
- Day 2: Srinagar-Kargil Alt 2676M| 202kms 6-7hrs After breakfast leave for Kargil enjoy verdant landscapes into starkly contrasting mountain desert terrain as you cross the formidable Zoji La (3529 M). Drive via Drass to reach Kargil by late afternoon. Stay overnight in a hotel.
- Day 3: Kargil– Leh Alt 3505 M| 210 km (7-8hrs) After breakfast get driven to Leh. On the way visit Nimmu – confluence point of Indus & Zanskar River, Patthar Sahib Gurudwara , Magnetic point and Hall of Fame. Reach Leh and check into your hotel and stay overnight.
- Day 4: Leh Sightseeing Post breakfast at hotel enjoy sightseeing of Leh including, Thiksey and Shey Monastery. Drive to Stok Village and enjoy a traditional Ladakhi meal in a village home, later see Stok Palace & Museum. Post lunch visit local markets of Leh and shop for Thangkas, Chunky antique Silver Jewelry with Turquoise embellishments, mementos, Apricots & apricot based beauty products. Stay overnight at the hotel.
- Day 5: Leh–Nubra Valley at Turtuk (Avg. Alt. s 3048 M) 210 kms / 8 hrs) After breakfast at hotel proceed for a stunning drive over the mighty Khardung La (5602 M) into the verdant Nubra Valley. Reach the base of the valley at Khalsar, stop for a cup of tea if interested. Here the road forks & the broad valley get divided into two distinct parts by the Shyok & Nubra Rivers. The RHS branch goes all the way to Siachen Glacier. We move on the other branch, via Deskit & Hunder. The wide open Nubra Valley starts closing in dramatically with the rocky mountain face getting darker & darker, finally bursting out into the verdant & vibrant Turtuk area at the north western end of the valley. Upon reaching check into safari tents at a verdant campsite amidst fields & orchards, sprinkled with clumps of wild & vibrantly colored blooms. Relax for a while, have your evening cuppa, and go for a short stroll to enjoy the sunset.
- Day 6: Turtuk short walks / hikes & traditional Balti meal Post breakfast spend 2- 3 hrs walking in & around the villages, interacting with the warm & hospitable locals sporting European looks. The cherubic kids are especially adorable. We get back to the campsite & enjoy a traditional Balti meal – so tasteful, nutritious and salubrious a diet that even 80- 90 yr olds in the villages are active & full of life. Later you go for a hike & explore the fantastic, totally pristine natural beauty all around.
Please Note: on Special request we can arrange a beautiful guided hike to Turtuk waterfall of minimum 3 Hrs(Level – Hard, strictly recommended only for fit individual
- Day 7: Turtuk– Deskit-Hunder | 95 kms / 3hrs) After breakfast, leave for Deskit, reach the village in the afternoon. Check into your hotel rooms and have hot lunch. Relax for while and early evening we drive about 10 mins to reach the dunes of Hunder, here those interested can enjoy a ride on the Double Humped Camels. Be back in Deskit by 1630 hrs to have a great view of huge outdoor statue of the Sakhyamuni Buddha near Deskit Gompa in the lovely sunset. Stay overnight in the hotel.
- Day 8: Deskit-Pangong Tso (4260 M / 14000 ft) |175 km /6-7 hrs After breakfast get driven to Pangong. At the foot of the pass on the other side we reach Tangse. Stop to enjoy your lunch in the Ladakhi style dining area of a local home-cum- guest house. Later carry on your drive and reach Pangong by early evening. Check into a Safari Tents bang on the lake shore at a campsite. Enjoy spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflection shimmering in the ever changing blues and greens of the lakes brackish water. Stay overnight at the tent.
- Day 9: Pangong Tso– Hemis- Leh 165kms 5-6hrs Enjoy your early morning cuppa & a spectacular sunrise by the lake shore. On the drive back to Leh, take a detour at Karu to see the glorious Hemis Gompa atop a hill in the periphery of the Hemis National Park. Reach Leh by late afternoon. Spend sunset at Shanti Stupa for unforgettable views of Leh Valley & town. Have a grand farewell dinner and return back to your hotel for the overnight stay.
- Day 10: Leh—Airport Drop After breakfast at the hotel, get transferred to the Leh airport to board a flight for your onward journey. Tour ends here.