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Essence of Ladakh
Essence of Ladakh
Duration 7 nights 8 days
Best Time Mid April – End Oct

Take the road less travelled on this compact trip that will bring you face to face with hidden jewels in the Ladakh region like Turtuk & Tso Moriri

    LEH (3500 M / 11500 ft)

    Day 1: LEH (3500 M / 11500 ft)

    Arrive at Leh airport by mid-morning.. Board waiting vehicle and get transferred to a resort. It is critical for acclimatization that those flying into Ladakh should not attempt any strenuous physical activity in the first 24 hours so the rest of the day is reserved to just relax in the hotel/resort enjoying the views from your room and the property. It is recommended that you do a short acclimatization walk of 15-20 mins in the evening.

    LEH

    Day 2: LEH

    After breakfast, visit Shey Monastery & Palace, Thiksey Gompa and then the grand Hemis monastery. Drive back towards Leh and take a detour at Choglamsar, across the Indus, to reach Stok Village. Enjoy a traditional meal in a three centuries old Ladakhi village home. Visit the Stok Palace & Museum and drive back to be in your resort by late afternoon. Freshen up and then go for a drive on the Srinagar highway for a look at 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). Be back in your resort by late evening.

    LEH - Nubra Valley at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M / 10,000 ft) 130 km / 5 hrs

    Day 3: LEH - Nubra Valley at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M / 10,000 ft) 130 km / 5 hrs

    Post a leisurely breakfast start a stunning drive going 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 reach Khalsar where we stop for lunch at restaurant and then move on to reach Hunder by late afternoon. Check into your hotel room, freshen up 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 4: HUNDER – TURTUK – HUNDER 80 km / 2.5 hrs each way

    After breakfast at the hotel proceed 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. Also 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 return back to Hunder for overnight stay.

    NUBRA VALLEY - LEH 140 kms / 5 hrs

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

    Leave after breakfast and drive back via Khalsar & over Khardung La to reach your resort in Leh for a latish but hot lunch (if you wish at Khalsar you could take a detour – towards Siachen, of about 3 hrs totally and visit Sumoor and the hot springs at Panamik). Rest of the day at leisure in Leh; you could head out to the Bazaar and also check out the Palace.

    LEH – TSO MORIRI (4522 M / 15000 ft) 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Day 6: LEH – TSO MORIRI (4522 M / 15000 ft) 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Leave after breakfast on an incredible drive from Leh; initially on the Manali highway till Upshi, where we leave the main highway and then proceed to reach Chumathang. Have lunch at a local restaurant here and also take a look at the hot springs. We carry on via Mahe Bridge and Sumdo to reach Korzok Village on the shore of Tso Moriri by late afternoon. Check into your hotel room and after freshening up go for a walk along the lake shores and enjoy the fantastic ever changing blue hues of the waters and the fantastic scenery all around. The region around the lake abounds in exotic Himalayan fauna & flora and you might be able to spot a lot of bird life & mammals like the Tibetan Wild Ass – Kiang, Marmots…Please note: this year campsites & hotels at Pangong Tso have been banned by a court order, so we have included a visit to the equally grand and even more interesting Tso Moriri. If you do want to see Pangong Tso then you will have to do a full day excursion from Leh: starting early in the morning, drive about 4 ½ - 5 hrs to the lake, spend a couple of hours at Pangong and then drive back to be in Leh by late evening.

    TSO MORIRI - LEH 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Day 7: TSO MORIRI - LEH 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Enjoy an early morning walk by the lake shore. Leave after breakfast on the drive back to Leh. Stop en route at any scenic spot to have your packed lunch. 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 - FLYOUT

    Day 8: LEH - FLYOUT

    Morning transfer to the airport in time to board your return flight.

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