The Land of High Passes (9D8N)

 

 

Suitable Months:

April – September

 

Trip Type:

This is a sightseeing trip Sightseeing

This is a photography trip Photography

 

View full album here

Ladakh, the land of high mountain passes, a piece of broken moonland – a perfect place to witness the unmatched beauty of nature. Ladakh is the highest plateau of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir with much of it being over 3,000m. It is also one of the highest and driest inhabited places on earth. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. It is one of the few remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bhutan and Sri Lanka; a majority of Ladakhis are Tibetan Buddhists and the rest are mostly Shia Muslims. Leh Old Town is a rare example of an intact historic Tibeto-Himalayan urban settlement.

Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It spans the Great Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River Valley. It is sometimes called little Tibet due to strong cultural and geographical similarities with Tibet.

This is a trip made especially for those who would want to experience a completely different India. You will be able to see the many different side of Ladakh – the mountains, the lakes, the monastries. Most importantly, you will get to experience the warmth of friendly Ladakhis and Ladakh culture. Ladakh is still not an overly-touristy location but it is becoming. Why wait? It is the perfect time to still see Ladakh in her pristine state.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart Singapore

We depart Singapore late tonight at 11pm for Leh, with a 3.5hrs transit at New Delhi International Airpot.

Meals provided: -

 

Day 2: Arrive in Leh

Early morning, we arrived in Leh at estimate 7am. After pick-up from airport, you will be driven to your guesthouse for check-in and some morning tea. You are advised to take complete rest in Leh today for proper acclimatization to adjust to the high altitude (Leh is locate 11,500 ft / 3500 metres above sea level).

The time is free in the afternoon for you to roam around in Leh town. In the evening, we will visit Shanti stupa, Leh Palace and Leh Market. Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa built on a hilltop in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura . Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. From its location, it provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is also a good viewing point for sunset.

Leh Palace was built in the 17th century as a royal residence for King Singe Namgyal. After the royal family shifted to Stok Palace in the mid-19th century, it became desolated. The 9-storeys Leh Palace is now in ruins after suffering damages from cannon balls during wars. Still there is an old charm about it and is still an interesting place to visit.

Overnight in guesthouse in Leh.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 3: Leh - Lamayuru – Uleytokpo

In the early morning after breakfast, drive down the Indus valley on a tour of the Lamayuru (approx. 130 kms.) circuit, famous for the dramatically located ancient Lamayuru monastery and the adjoining ‘Moonland’ features. Lamayuru or Yuru Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist Gompa (monastery) at a height of 3,510 m and is one of the largest and oldest gompas in Ladakh. The terraced buildings of the monastery are on a hill overlooking an enchanted landscape (‘Moonland’). The gompa consisted originally of five buildings, in which at the moment, some remains of the four corner buildings can still be seen. At present, Lamayuru has a population of around 150 permanent monks resident.

After visiting Lamayuru Monastary, we retrace the Leh route till Uleytokpo. Uleytokpo is an enchanting little village located at an altitude of 10,000 ft (3040 m), 1,000 ft lower than Leh and blessed with warmer weather. Uleytokpo is one of the well known trekking bases and camping in Uleytokpo is considered one of the most beautiful experience, amidst the snow-capped mountains. Today you will stay in an eco-friendly comfortable camp, guaranteed to offer you an unforgettable experience.

Overnight in camp.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 4: Uleytokpo – Leh

After breakfast, drive towards Leh. En-route, let’s visit the 11th century Alchi Choskor (religious enclave), the oldest surviving monastic heritage of Ladakh and also a UNESCO listed heritage site. The Alchi choskor is believed to have been founded by the great translator Rinchen Zangpo in the early eleventh century and has an architecture very unlike other monasteries in the region. It was abandoned as a place of worship and remained unknown to rest of the world, till historians unearthed the treasured paintings in the choskor only a few decades ago. It is said Alchi choskor is a fantastic chance survival from the past, and as such, is truly one of the wonders of the Buddhist world.

On way back to Leh, we will view the water confluence of Indus & Zanskar Rivers, stop at Magnetic Point and have a tour of Spituk monastery. Spituk Monastery, also known as Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery positioned on the hill top. Founded as a Red Hat institution, the monastery was taken over by the Yellow Hat sect (Gelugpa) in the 15th century. Painted red from outside, Spituk Monastery houses a giant statue of Vajrabhairava which many non-local Indians (soldiers in particular) come to worship for they take it for an image of their goddess Kali. The statue carved out of black stones is unveiled once a year during the annual Spitok festival.

Overnight in guesthouse in Leh.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 5: Leh – Pangong Lake

Today, after breakfast, we will depart early for Pangong Lake as it will be a 6 hours drive.

En-route, we visit Shey Palace. Shey Monastery or Gompa and the Shey Palace complex are structures located on a hillock in Shey. Shey Palace was built about five centuries ago by the then King of Ladakh. The palace was to serve as a place for summer retreat by the kings of Ladakh. The palace is in a ruined state now but offers views of vast expanse of the surrounding valleys.

The Shey Monastery built in 1655 together with Shey Palace, is located within the palace complex. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha, said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh. The main Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the monastery is a 12 metres (39 ft) icon covering three floors of the monastery.

After Shey Palace, we continue our drive towards Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso (Tso is Ladakhi for Lake). Situated on the Changtang plateau at an altitude of 4350m above sea level, it is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. Despite being a salt water lake, Pangong Tso freezes completely in the winter. A remnant from the ice age, it probably formed from the minerals the dead ice masses left as they melted showering the mountain walls. It is the largest brackish water lake in Asia and an important breeding ground for migratory birds crossing the Himalayas.

The lake is noted for its crystal clear blue-blackish water which keeps playing tricks on your eyes changing colours in seven distinct shades of blue, green, purple, turquoise and violet depending on the angle of your view. The shores of the lake are white with the salt deposited by the lake’s brackish waters.

While on the way to Pangong Lake, you will get to cross Chang-La pass, the world’s 3rd highest motorable road at an altitude of 5,360 m (17,590 ft)

Overnight at camp.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 6: Pangong Lake – Leh

Morning at leisure to explore the beauty of Pangong lake and later we drive back to Leh.

En-route, we will visit Hemis Gompa, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. This is biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh, built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family.

Hemis is the headquarter of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it. It also trains Lamas for the royal monasteries at Leh, Shey and Bazgo. The Monastery contains gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones and many priceless old Thankas.

Continue our drive towards Leh and check in at our guesthouse for overnight.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 7: Leh – Tsomoriri / Korzok

Early departure for Tsomoriri Lake (alt: 15,000 ft.), driving through Chumathang (hot springs), Mahe and Puga Sumdo. Tsomoriri or Lake Moriri (official name: Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve), is a lake in the Changthang area. The lake is at an altitude of 4,595 m (15,075 ft) and is the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region, entirely within India. The lake sits between Ladakh, India to the North, Tibet to the east, and Zanskar in the west. Tsomoriri Lake (28 km long & about 8 km wide) is the breeding ground of many migratory birds including the rare bare-headed geese.

This lake is like a mirror and is guaranteed to take your breath away.

Overnight in Tsomoriri Resort & Camp.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 8: Tsomoriri – Tso Kar – Taglang-la – Leh

After breakfast retrace the route down to Puga Sumdo and then follow the road across the Polokongka Pass (4,920 m) to visit Tso Kar Lake. Tso Kar Lake is also called “White Lake” because of the salt deposited around it. Tso Kar is a brackish salt-water lake, much smaller lake compared to Tsomoriri but beautiful and pristine. The Tso Kar area is inhabited by the Khampas, a nomadic group that live in large tents in summers, and in solid stone huts to brave the winter. Known as Chinese cowboys, they are basically herdsmen and rear cattle such as yaks, cows and goats. There are abundance of wildlife in this area. Commonly seen are kiangs (wild asses), foxes and marmots, and an occasional Tibetan wolf.

After sightseeing of the area, take the Manali-Leh road to return to Leh, crossing Taglang-la (alt: 17,585ft) en-route.

Overnight in guesthouse in Leh.

Meals provided: Breakfast

 

Day 9: Departure

We will depart for the airport around 5am in the morning for your return flight home.
Note: Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort and general well-being by informing the principal agent and with their approval.

 

Tour Price

Please contact us for pricing.

** Prices quoted are for LAND TOUR only. Please refer to package exclusions for more details.

Highlights

  • Experience the pristine and raw beauty of some of the most beautiful places in the world
  • See for yourself beautiful Buddhist monasteries like Shey and monastery, Shanti Stupa, Spituk monastery and Hemis monastery
  • Centuries old Alchi Choskor monastery
  • Experience ecological living at Uleytokpo
  • See for yourself one of the most beautiful lake in India – Pangong Lake. Also the site where movie 3 Idiots was shot.
  • Mirror lake of Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve

Package Inclusions

  • 4 nights accommodation based on Twin/Double sharing room with daily breakfast at upper-class guesthouse in Leh
  • 1 night accommodation at Uli Fixed Camp / Resort
  • 1 night accommodation at Pangong Lake Fixed Camp
  • 1 night accommodation at Tsomoriri Resort & Camp
  • Meals as mentioned in above itinerary
  • Transportation by independent vehicle taxi (Xylo /Scorpio /Innova / Tavera or similar vehicle) – 3 person in one vehicle
  • Restricted Area Permit for Pangong Lake and Tsomoriri Lake
  • Entrance Fees for Monument, Monasteries & Museums (if any)

Package Exclusions

  • International airfare (Singapore – Delhi – Leh – Delhi – Singapore) and airport tax
  • Visa fees (if applicable) (SGD 45 per pax (for Singaporeans) + 2 photos)
  • Travel insurance
  • Donations to Monument, Monasteries & Museums (if any)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. Drinks, laundry, shopping and etc.)
  • Additional meals not mentioned in above itinerary
  • Tipping or gratitudes for driver/guide
  • Optional tours

Flight Recommendations

Important Note: Please note that flight information is purely for information purposes. We do recommend our customers who signed up with us to take the same flight though.

 

Singapore to Delhi:

Jet Airways (9W17) 2300hrs – 0215hrs*

 

Delhi to Leh:

Jet Airways (9W2345): 0540hrs – 0700hrs

 

 

Leh to Delhi:

Jet Airways (9W2346): 0740hrs – 0855hrs

 

Delhi to Singapore:

Jet Airways (9W20): 2230hrs – 0650hrs*

* Denotes next day

 

 

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