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Srinagar to Leh Safari
Srinagar to Leh Safari
Duration 10 nights 11 days

This drive from the evergreen vales of Kashmir to the mountain desert terrain of Ladakh is almost as exciting and enchanting as the one from Manali but much less arduous.

    SRINAGAR AIRPORT- SONAMARG (2740 M / 8900 ft) 84 km / 2 ½ hrs drive

    Day 1: SRINAGAR AIRPORT- SONAMARG (2740 M / 8900 ft) 84 km / 2 ½ hrs drive

    Reach Srinagar Airport by mid-morning / noon. Do a short but picturesque drive to reach Sonamarg by late afternoon. After freshening up go for a stroll on the meadows

    SONAMARG – KARGIL (2850 M / 9400 ft) 120 km / 5 hrs

    Day 2: SONAMARG – KARGIL (2850 M / 9400 ft) 120 km / 5 hrs

    An early morning walk on the meadows should just hit the spot. Leave after breakfast on a drive from verdant landscapes into starkly contrasting mountain desert terrain as you cross the formidable Zoji La (3529 M). Drive via Drass – one of the coldest places on the planet, and check out the war memorial. Reach Kargil in time for a latish but hot lunch.

    KARGIL - ULLEYTOKPO (3040 M / 10040 ft) 148 km / 4 hrs

    Day 3: KARGIL - ULLEYTOKPO (3040 M / 10040 ft) 148 km / 4 hrs

    Leave after breakfast on a drive over Fotu La (4107 M) & Namika La (3780 M) to reach the moonscapes of Lamayuru; stop here to take a look at the ancient gompa here. Later you reach Khalsar and carry on along the Indus to reach Ule Village in the picturesque Sham Valley of Lower Ladakh. Check into rooms at a resort set in an Apricot Orchard, freshen up and enjoy a hot lunch. Rest of the day at leisure.

    ULLEYTOKPO

    Day 4: ULLEYTOKPO

    Enjoy a full day soaking up the enchanting and picturesque ambience of Sham Valley and your resort while getting acclimatized to the high altitude. After a leisurely breakfast do a short drive to see the monastic complex at Alchi and the grand gompa at Likir. Be back at your resort for lunch. Early evening you could drive a short distance to the stunningly located Rizong Gompa – a complete photographer’s delight.

    LEH - NUBRA VALLEY at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M / 10,000 ft) 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Day 5: LEH - NUBRA VALLEY at HUNDER (average altitude 3048 M / 10,000 ft) 210 km / 6 ½ hrs

    Check out after a slightly early breakfast we set off towards Leh, on the drive stop for a quick look at Nimmu (the confluence point of Zanskar & Indus Rivers), experience the curious phenomenon of the Magnetic Hill and also see Patthar Sahib Gurudwara & the Hall of Fame (Army Museum). We then start 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. Reach Hunder in the afternoon and 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 6: 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 7: 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

    Day 8: LEH

    Post a leisurely breakfast we visit Shey Palace & Monastery as well as the lovely Thiksey Monastery and the grand gompa at Hemis. Drive back and before Leh take a detour over the Indus to reach Stok Village. Enjoy a traditional Ladakhi meal in a village home later see Stok Palace & Museum. Be back in your hotel by late afternoon. Rest of the day at leisure in Leh.

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

    Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: LEH – FLYOUT

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

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