Ladakh, Himachal and Punjab Tour
This tour is a tribute in the religious and cultural variety which characterizes the North of India. You will first explore the chain of Himalaya in Ladakh and its desert plains, where the Buddhist influence is omnipresent, with its monasteries, stup ...
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|Duration: 19 Days | Best Month: July - September | Trip Grade: Moderate | Starting Point: Delhi | End Point: Delhi | Mode of Travel: Flight / Drive | Number of Pax: Min 2 | Style of Trek: Hotel|
This tour is a tribute in the religious and cultural variety which characterizes the North of India. You will first explore the chain of Himalaya in Ladakh and its desert plains, where the Buddhist influence is omnipresent, with its monasteries, stupas which decorate villages and oasis. After discovering Ladakh you will go through an incredible, and impressive natural sceneries where you will cross a pass, in more of 5300 m of height, decorated with prayers flags which float in the wind, then will cross a vast plateau to admire snowy or rocky summits in the lunar forms, crossing canyons, narrow valleys contrary to vast areas and will reach in a green valley of Kullu. Kullu valley the “Valley of the Gods” is nestled in the inner range of the Himalayas, is known for its apple orchards, pines and deodars, and cheerful people. Manali, the first town reached via the last pass called “Rohtang pass” from Lahaul/Spiti, is one of India’s most popular hill stations and picturesque village, famed for its panoramic views and adventure activities
We will continue to explore this unique valley by visiting tea garden of Palampur, and the capital of the Tibetan government in exile at Dharamshala, before joining the place most crowned for the followers of the Sikh religion: Amritsar and the Golden temple visited by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Finally return by train to Delhi taking the memory filled with souvenirs and coloured images …
Ladakh, Himachal and Punjab Tour Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive in Delhi
You will welcome at the Delhi Airport by our staff and take you to your hotel in Delhi. After checking in at the hotel you can enjoy your leisure time on your own wish.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Delhi
The entire day will be exclusively planned to guide you around the major attractions of Delhi. Delhi sightseeing tour begins shortly after breakfast. 17th century Red Fort which was built by the great Mughal Shah Jahan gives you delightful reflection on the India history. On approaching Jama Masjid, you get some insights into Muslim religion, culture and belief. India Gate is another living pride of New Delhi and it is also a reminder of the World War. You will also have a pleasure to visit President House, an official residence of India's President. Thereafter, the journey takes you to Qutab Minar. At the end of the day, you finally head back to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 03 Fly from Delhi to Leh (3505m)
Early in the morning you have to board a flight to Leh, the capital of Ladakh. At an altitude of 3505 m, Leh lies at the base of Khardung La on the north of the Indus River. Our staff will receive you at the airport and take you to your hotel in Leh.
Day 04: Leh – Stok - Choglamsar, 30 km (round trip) Visit Spituk village, then departure in the direction of Stok, to take advantage of the beautiful light of the sunrise on the chain of Stok which dominates the Palace and the village of Stok. Visit the Palace and the museum which contains precious objects; then trail round in villages to discover the everyday life of a ladakhi, and share a cup of tea. Then return to Choglamsar to have lunch in a Tibetan restaurant. After lunch, visit the refugee camp. Visit Spituk monastery close to Leh and stroll in the village. Late afternoon, return to Leh. Overnight at hotel
Day 05: Leh - Lamayuru through Likkir, Basgo (3450 m), 135 km. Transfer in the direction of the West of Leh in the valley of the Indus to visit Likkir where is a picturesque monastery of the XIIth century of the Gyulkpa sect (red hats). Visit the ruins of the palace of Basgo and the famous temple for its frescoes. Then road up to the majestic site of the monastery of Lamayuru, one of oldest monasteries perched on a hill in a cirque in the fantastic forms. The site was already a sanctuary of the religion Bön before the arrival of the Buddhism. Attend the evening ceremony in the monastery. Overnight in guest house. .
Day 06: Lamayuru - Alchi, 55 km. Early in the morning, attend puja in the monastery. After breakfast move towards Alchi. Visit the monastery of Alchi: among the multitude of temples, caves and stupas built in Ladakh, The complex of 6 temples of Alchi is certainly the oldest and the most beautiful site of the area. It was built in 11th century by Rinchen Zangpo by bringing 32 sculptors and wood work specialists for the work done. Frescoes in there are beautiful and they are different from the other monasteries of Ladakh. This exceptional site and its treasures are in real danger of destruction and photos are forbidden. Later visit the trails round in the village. Overnight in guest house.
Day 07: Alchi to Leh (3600 m), via Likkir, Phyang: Drive: 130 km/04:30 hrs
We will stop at Likkir to visit the scenic monastery perched high on the hill behind the village. It has massive clay statues of the coming Buddha or Bodhisattva in his manifold roles. At Phyang, visit Tashi Chozang gompa which has several sacred shrines and wall paintings. O/N in hotel in Leh, Ladakh’s main town.
Day 08: Around Leh
Full day sightseeing, including visits to Shey, Thiksey, and Hemis gompas, some of Ladakh’s most well-known monasteries. Back to Leh and O/N in hotel.
Day 09: Exploring Leh
Visit Tsemo Gompa, Shanti Stupa and old fort of Leh. O/N in hotel.
Day 10: Leh to Sarchu (4250 m): Drive: 250 km/ 09hrs
This is a spectacular drive over the world’s second highest motorable pass, Tanglang La (5332 m) to reach the plateau of Pang, locally known as Kyang Chu-Thang (literally, “the plain of wild asses”). Proceed over Lachulang La (5090 m) and Namki La (4950 m), and via a curving road, reach Sarchu, on the state border between Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. O/N in camp.
Day 11: Sarchu to Manali (2050 m): Drive: 225 km/09hrs
After a short drive, we reach the top of Baralacha La (4800 m), with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. Continue along the valley of the Chandra River over Rohtang La (4050 m), the gateway between Lahaul/Spiti and Kullu Valley, the “valley of the Gods.” Nestled in the inner range of the Himalayas, Kullu Valley is known for its apple orchards, pines and deodars, and cheerful people. Manali, the first town reached via the Rohtang pass from Lahaul/Spiti, is one of India’s most popular hill stations, famed for its panoramic views and adventure activities. O/N in hotel.
Day 12: Exploring Manali
Explore, on foot, Old Manali including the Manu temple, Hadimba temple in Dhungri, Shiva temple and the monastery in town. Afternoon in leisure. O/N in hotel.
Day 13: Manali to Mandi (754m): Drive: 97 km then to Rewalsar; 23 km
Mandi, an important town of Himachal Pradesh is known for its shikhara-style temples of Bhootnath, Triloknath, Panchvakra and Shyamakali at Tarna Hill. Check into hotel and depart for Rewalsar. Rewalsar, means “pool of ancient wisdom,” a sacred lake that is like a dark jewel on a wooded hillside. Legend has it that this is a place from where Padmasambhava left for Tibet to spread the word of the Buddha in the 8th century AD. Back to Mandi and O/N in hotel.
Day 14: Mandi to Palampur (1219m), via Bir, Baijnath: Drive: 137 km
Bir, a large Tibetan settlement in the lap of the Dhauladhars, is worth a visit. After that, stop at the ancient Shiva temple in Baijnath, 16 km before Palampur. The temples are remarkable for their proportions and architectural beauty. Continue to Palampur, in the foothills of the Dhauladhars, which is known for its tea gardens. Its mild climate makes it a pleasant place to visit; its colorful main street crowded with gaily-attired local people and Gaddi (shepherd) women is interesting. Evening visit to tea garden. O/N in hotel.
Day 15: Palampur to Dharamsala (1830 m), via Masroor, Kangra: Drive: 82km/03 hrs
Masroor, 30 km before Kangra, has 15 temples hewn out of rock in the Indo-Aryan style; with its intricate carvings, it is a triumph of the rock-cut method of temple construction. The old town of Kangra is dotted with temples and has a ruined fort. Situated on a precipitous cliff overhanging the Ban Ganga and Manjhi rivers, the ruins of Kangra Fort still dominate Kangra Valley. Brijeshwari temple, once a repository of legendary wealth, has been plundered by successive invaders; today this stone temple is a revered site for pilgrims. Check into hotel in Dharamsala in the afternoon, and in the evening stroll around the narrow alleyways of the suburb Mcleodganj, with its cosmopolitan crowds of Tibetans, Indians and travelers from all over the world. O/N in hotel.
Day 16: Exploring Dharamsala/Mcleodganj
Set against the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar Range, the former colonial retreat Mcleodganj rose to prominence after the large-scale exodus of Tibetans from their homeland in 1959. It holds the residence (called the Ocean of Tranquility) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan government in exile has been based here for several decades. With traditional architectural designs drawn from Tibet, the impressive Namgyal monastery is surrounded by a row of prayer wheels and houses large images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokteshwara. If time permits, then visit the Tibetan handicraft centre. O/N in hotel
Day 17: Dharamsala to Amritsar: Drive: 190 km/6 hrs
After checking into hotel in Amritsar, explore the city. Amritsar means “lake of nectar,” the name of the sacred pool. The golden temple which is located in the middle of pool is the most important Sikh shrines. The temple itself is in a glittering structure as the exterior is covered with gold plates and with exquisite marble work inside. It represents a wonderful fusion of the Mughal and Hindu styles of architecture. After this, drive 30 km to the Wagah Border (Indo-Pak Border), on the road to Lahore, to watch the retreat ceremony or “lowering of flags” performed every evening by soldiers of both the countries, on either side of the border, with much fanfare and showmanship – a thrilling affair. O/N in hotel.
Day 18: Amritsar to Delhi: Train: 6 hrs; and Departure
Early morning transfer to railway station to catch the Shatabdi train to Delhi. Transfer to hotel on arrival in Delhi.
Day 19: Transfer to International Airport for journey back home.