Manali to Leh Safari
Manali to Leh Safari
Duration 10 nights 11 days
Best Time Mid June – End Sep

This is surely one of the grandest & most exhilarating mountain drives in the world that takes you deep into remarkable high-altitude mountain desert terrain.

    MANALI (2050 M)

    Day 1: MANALI (2050 M)

    Fly into Chandigarh and drive 300 km / 8 hrs or fly into Bhuntar (Kulu) and drive 50 km / 2 hrs to reach Manali. Check into your hotel rooms. Rest of the day at leisure.

    MANALI – JISPA (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 at a hotel right besides the gushing Bhaga River. Rest of the day at leisure.


    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.
    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.

    JISPA - LEH (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. Cross over Baralacha La (4890 M) and reach Bharatpur at the base of the pass on the other side. Carry on via Serchu, negotiate the hair rising Gata Loops – 21 back to back switchbacks, then cross Naki La (4740 M) & Lachalung La (5019 M) to reach Pang. Just after, stop at any of the tented roadside eateries to have your lunch. 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 a hotel.


    Day 5: LEH

    After a leisurely breakfast visit Shey Palace & Monastery as well as the lovely Thiksey Monastery. 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, go for a drive on the Srinagar highway for a look at Patthar Sahib Gurudwara, Nimmu (the confluence point of Zanskar & Indus Rivers), experience the curious phenomenon of the Magnetic Hill and also see the Hall of Fame (Army Museum). Be back in your hotel by evening.

    LEH - NUBRA VALLEY at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M) 140 km / 5 hrs

    Day 6: LEH - NUBRA VALLEY at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M) 140 km / 5 hrs

    Check out after breakfast on a stunning drive over the mighty Khardung La – the 2nd highest motorable pass in the world at a mind blowing 5602 M / 18,380 ft. Then the road plunges dramatically into a whirlpool of bends, and later it gradually unfolds itself on to the base of Nubra Valley, along the rushing Shyok and Nubra Rivers. We move on to reach Hunder. Check into your rooms, freshen up & have a hot lunch. Relax a bit and visit the famed dunes of Hunder. Enjoy a ride on the Double-humped Bactrian Camels, for a bigger adrenaline rush you have the option to hire an ATV and zip around on the sands. Later visit the monastery at Deskit, spend sunset at the viewing gallery – with a huge outdoor Buddha statue, right beside the Gompa. The views are quite wonderful. Be back at your hotel by late evening.

    HUNDER – TURTUK – HUNDER 80 km / 2.5 hrs each way

    Day 7: HUNDER – TURTUK – HUNDER 80 km / 2.5 hrs each way

    After breakfast at the hotel leave for an excursion to Turtuk at the north western end of the Valley – close to the border with Pakistan, Turtuk was a part of the Balti region of Pakistan till 1971 and it was opened to tourists only in 2009. It is a very picturesque and quaint village steeped in Balti tradition. Spend 2-3 hrs walking in and around the villages, interacting with the warm and hospitable locals, the cherubic kids are especially adorable. Later return back to Hunder for overnight stay.

    NUBRA VALLEY - LEH 140 kms / 5 hrs

    Day 8: NUBRA VALLEY - LEH 140 kms / 5 hrs

    Leave after breakfast and drive back via Khalsar & over Khardung La to reach your hotel in Leh for lunch. Late afternoon visit Leh Palace & the Bazaar. Evening at leisure.

    LEH – PANGONG TSO (4260 M / 14000 ft) 150 km / 5 hr

    Day 9: LEH – PANGONG TSO (4260 M / 14000 ft) 150 km / 5 hr

    Leave after a leisurely breakfast on an incredible drive from Leh; initially on the Manali highway till Karu, where we leave the main highway and start ascending to cross the Ladakh range over Chang-La (5475 M). 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. A few kms after Tangse take a short detour to see a small wooden Buddhist temple, with delectable traditional wood carvings. However, the main attraction of this circuit is the grand Pangong which you would reach by early evening. Check into tents at a campsite on the lake shore at Maan Village. 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.

    PANGONG TSO - HEMIS - LEH 165 km / 5 ½ hrs

    Day 10: PANGONG TSO - HEMIS - LEH 165 km / 5 ½ hrs

    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. Later you could stop for lunch at Café Cloud near Thiksey Gompa. Reach your hotel in Leh by late afternoon. Rest a while and leave for the bazaar to 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. Rest of the evening at leisure.

    LEH – DELHI 1 ½ hr flight

    Day 11: LEH – DELHI 1 ½ hr flight

    Morning transfer to the airport in time to board a flight back to Delhi.

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