Banjaracamps
Manali – Leh – Srinagar Safari
Manali – Leh – Srinagar Safari
Duration 12 nights 13 days
2019 Dates: August 15 to 27

The Manali – Leh – Srinagar traverse is counted among the most exhilarating mountain drives on the planet. Drive over incredibly high mountain passes, through stunning Himalayan landscapes and witness the captivating transition in landscape as you move from the evergreen hillsides of Kulu-Manali to the stark, high altitude mountain desert terrain of Lahaul & Ladakh, and finally emerge in the verdant vales and meadows of Kashmir.

    AUG 15: <strong>REACH MANALI</strong> (2050 m / 6750 ft)

    Day 1: AUG 15: REACH MANALI (2050 m / 6750 ft)

    Fly into Chandigarh and drive 300 km / 8 hrs or fly into Bhuntar (Kulu) and drive 50 km / 2 hrs or take the overnight Volvo from Delhi on the previous evening:  reach your hotel in Manali. Check into your hotel rooms.  Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Rohtang Heights.

    <strong>MANALI – JISPA </strong>(3150 M) 132 Km / 7 Hrs

    Day 2: MANALI – JISPA (3150 M) 132 Km / 7 Hrs

    Leave after an early breakfast, say by 0730 hrs (to avoid traffic jams en route Rohtang) drive over Rohtang La (3978 M) and see the landscape change drastically from the lush greenery of Manali to the stark mountain desert landscape of Lahaul.  Have lunch at a Dhaba (roadside eatery) at Sissu or Tandi. Reach Jispa late in the afternoon. Check into rooms / tents at a hotel right besides the gushing Bhaga River. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Padma Lodge.

    <strong>JISPA</strong>

    Day 3: JISPA

    After a leisurely breakfast, leave on a beautiful hike - about 4 hrs totally; across the river and then into the mountains right up to the starting point of the legendary Darcha – Padum trek. Be back at your hotel for a hot lunch.  Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Padma Lodge.Please note: we suggest two nights at Jispa to enhance gradual acclimatization and avoid an overnight stay in Serchu – though beautifully remote & stark,  this  small plateau at about 14000 ft is a cold, windy & desolate  place.  For accommodation, it offers only campsites with safari tents providing basic facilities. Overall, it is an adventurous sort of place that is great to drive-through or stop-for-refreshments, but staying overnight is recommended only for hardened/seasoned, high altitude travelers; for others it can be quite trying.

    <strong>JISPA - LEH </strong>(3505 m / 11500 ft) 310 km / 10 hrs

    Day 4: JISPA - LEH (3505 m / 11500 ft) 310 km / 10 hrs

    Have an early breakfast and start by about 0730 hrs on the grandest drive of the trip.  Reach Baralacha La (4890 M), just before the pass stop for a look at the small but bewitching Suraj Tal. Drive on over the pass and then via Serchu, negotiate the hair rising Gata Loops – 21 back to back switchbacks, cross Naki La (4740 m) & Lachalung La (5019 m) to reach Pang. You then drive through the amazingly desolate Moray Plains before ascending to reach the third highest motorable pass in the world; Tanglang La (5390 M). Carry on over & reach Leh in the evening. Overnight stay in Oriental Hotel or Zion Ladakh.

    <strong>LEH</strong>

    Day 5: LEH

    After a leisurely breakfast visit Shey Palace & Monastery as well as the eye-catching Thiksey & the grand Hemis monasteries. Drive back and before Leh take a detour over the Indus to reach Stok Village. Enjoy a traditional Ladakhi meal in a village home and also see Stok Palace & Museum. Later we visit Leh Bazaar; check out the palace, shop for Thangkas, chunky antique silver jewelry with turquoise embellishments, mementos, apricots & apricot based beauty products… Spend sunset at Shanti Stupa for unforgettable views of Leh Valley & town. Overnight stay in Oriental Hotel or Zion Ladakh.

    <strong>LEH - Pangong Tso – LEH</strong> 150 km / 4 ½ hrs each way 

    Day 6: LEH - Pangong Tso – LEH 150 km / 4 ½ hrs each way 

    Leave early morning by say 0530 - 0600 hrs on the drive to Pangong. After crossing Chang La (5360 m) we will reach Tangse where we will stop for breakfast at a Ladakhi style restaurant cum guest house. Reach the lake around noon and spend an hour or two enjoying the magnificent vistas and driving by the lake shore. Later drive back, at Tangse we will stop for a latish but hot lunch; carry on and reach your hotel in Leh by late evening. Overnight stay in Oriental Hotel or Zion Ladakh.

    <strong>LEH - Nubra Valley at TURTUK</strong> (avg. alt. 3048 M / 10300 ft) 220 km / 7 hrs

    Day 7: LEH - Nubra Valley at TURTUK (avg. alt. 3048 M / 10300 ft) 220 km / 7 hrs

    We leave after breakfast on a stunning drive over the mighty Khardung La (5602 m) into the verdant Nubra Valley. We reach the base of the valley at Khalsar where we will have lunch at a restaurant. Setting off from here the road forks & the broad valley get divided into two distinct parts by the Shyok & Nubra Rivers. Of course, the road forks too; the RHS branch goes all the way to Siachen Glacier and we move on the LHS branch, via Deskit & Hunder, past the Thoise Airfield. 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 which borders the Balti province of Pakistan -this area & the twin villages of Turtuk Youl & Pharol were annexed by India during the 1971 war. In fact the village gives the look & feel of being in Pakistan/Afghanistan. However, you may rest assured that the locals are very patriotic towards India. 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. Overnight stay in Turtuk Holiday Resort.

    <strong>TURTUK</strong>

    Day 8: TURTUK

    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 go for a hike & explore the fantastic, totally pristine natural beauty all around. Overnight stay in Turtuk Holiday Resort.

    <strong>Turtuk - Nubra Valley at HUNDER </strong>83 kms / 2 ½ hrs

    Day 9: Turtuk - Nubra Valley at HUNDER 83 kms / 2 ½ hrs

    Leave after a leisurely breakfast, and drive back to reach Deskit around noon. Check into your hotel rooms. Relax in the sylvan surroundings your property is set in.  Late afternoon go to the sand dunes of Hunder, here those interested can enjoy a ride on the Double Humped Camels or a ride on an ATV.  Early evening do a 10 min drive to Deskit and reach the vantage point with a huge outdoor statue of the Sakhyamuni Buddha near Deskit Gompa to enjoy great sunset views. Overnight stay in Hotel Stendel.

    <strong>HUNDER – ULLEYTOKPO</strong> (3040 M / 10040 ft) 195 km / 6 hrs

    Day 10: HUNDER – ULLEYTOKPO (3040 M / 10040 ft) 195 km / 6 hrs

    After an early breakfast we head back to Leh and then carry on along the Srinagar Highway. Stop to take a look at a look at the Hall of Fame (Army Museum), Patthar Sahib Gurudwara, experience the curious phenomenon of the Magnetic Hill and also see Nimmu (the confluence point of Zanskar & Indus Rivers). We reach Ule Village in the picturesque Sham Valley of Lower Ladakh. Check into your huts at a resort which is set in an Apricot Orchard just above the Zanskar River, freshen up and enjoy a hot lunch. Rest of the day at leisure – you could do a short walk down to the Zanskar River and spend some time there. Overnight stay in Ule Eco Resort.

    <strong>ULLEYTOKPO – KARGIL</strong> (2676 M / 8800 ft) 155 km / 5 hrs

    Day 11: ULLEYTOKPO – KARGIL (2676 M / 8800 ft) 155 km / 5 hrs

    Leave after breakfast on a beautiful drive along the Indus till Khalsi. Going ahead, we reach the moonscapes of Lamayuru where we also stop to see the ancient gompa. Carry on over Namika La & Fotu La and reach Kargil in time for a latish but hot lunch at your hotel. Those interested can go on a walk to Goma Kargil for nice views at sunset. Overnight stay in Zojila Residency.

    <strong>KARGIL – SONAMARG</strong> (2800 M / 9200 ft) 130 km / 4 - 5 hrs

    Day 12: KARGIL – SONAMARG (2800 M / 9200 ft) 130 km / 4 - 5 hrs

    Leave after an early breakfast and start off an exciting drive that will take you via Drass (stop here to take a look at the Kargil War Memorial) and then over Zoji La. Coming down from the pass observe the transition from the mountain desert terrain of the Ladakh region to the verdant vales of Kashmir, reach Sonamarg and your hotel in time for a latish but hot lunch. Later go for a long stroll in the meadows and the surrounding forests. Overnight stay in Hotel Glacier Heights.

    AUG 27: <strong>SONAMARG – SRINAGAR</strong> AIRPORT 80 km / 2 ½ hrs

    Day 13: AUG 27: SONAMARG – SRINAGAR AIRPORT 80 km / 2 ½ hrs

    Post breakfast transfer to Srinagar Airport to board your return flight.

Trip Cost On Request.

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