About the tour
The North India – Ladakh tour dubbed as the “Little Tibet” covers the most photographic and picturesque sites of India and World. Descended in the state of Heaven, tour promises beautiful monasteries, Buddhist festivals, wide roads, unreal serenity and whiff closest to the nature. If you are an adventure junkie this tour becomes a must for you.
- Day 1 : Flight to Delhi
Arrive Delhi. Meet staff of Aura Voyages at airport. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
- Day 2 : Delhi
Morning relax at hotel.
Later proceed for visit to National Museum (closed on Monday).
Continue to visit Sikh temple the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
Overnight at hotel.
- Day 3 : Delhi – Leh (flight)
Early morning transfer to airport to connect flight to Leh.
Arrive Leh and transfer to hotel.
Rest of the day free to get acclimatized.
Late afternoon visit Shanti Stupa built by a sect of Japanese Bhuddhists to promote worldwide peace and inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1983. Shanti is Hindi word for peace. Shanti Stupa overlooks the town.
Walk back to the local market.
Overnight at hotel.
- Day 4 : Leh – Tiksey – Shey – Stok – Leh
Morning drive to Thiksey Gompa, it is one of the most impressive and probably also the largest gompa in Ladakh.
Walk through villages and reach Shey which is one of the ancient capitals of Ladakh.
Later visit Stok Palace built in the 1840’s and was the residence of the Ladakh royal family until the last king died in 1974. Stok hosts an archery competition in July. The palace also has an exhibition of royal jewellery including a turquoise and mountain coral crown and royal artefacts including palanquins and black and white photographs of the royal family.
Return back to Leh.
- Day 5 : Leh – Likir – Alchi – Uleytopko
Morning drive to Likir which is one of the older gompas of Ladakh, and was founded in the 12th century by followers of the Kadam-pa “red had” order, but was later taken over by the new reformist Gelug-pa “yellow hat” order in the 15th century.
After a fire completely destroyed the earlier structure, the gompa had to be rebuilt in the 18th century.
Drive further to Alchi village to visit the gompa complex referred to as Alchi Chos-Kor ; meaning ‘sacred enclave’. Alchi Chos-Kor is unusual in that it is not built on a hill, but sits on flat ground. In fact the whole design of the complex, particularly the Sum-Tsek, bears no resemblance to any other gompas anywhere.
Continue further to Uleytopko for overnight stay.
- Day 6 : Uleytopko – Wanla – Lamayuru – Uleytopko
Morning drive to Wanla, a small village before moving to Lamayuru. In Wanla visit local family and their house. Wanla Gompa is of interest because it is one of the trhee early 11th centry gompas closely associated with Alchi. Wanla differs from Alchi in one important respect however, as Wanla Gompa is built on a steep high ridge (as is the norm in Ladakh).
Continue further to Lamayuru through “the moonscape” what some geologists believe was once a lake-bed in the steep, enclosed valley. However, today there is no lake, only slopes of incredible eroded rock-formations lining both sides of the valley basin.
Visit Yungdrung Gompa, as Lamayuru Gompa is more properly known, is througt to have its origins in the pre-Buddhist era, as a holy side for the animistic Bon religion. It is also considered to e the oldest monastic side in Ladakh. Yungdrund, which means swastika, was the original name of the gompa. The swastika is a common symol in the Hinduism and Buddhism.
Return back to Uleytopko for overnight stay.
- Day 7 : Uleytpoko – Ridzong – Basgo – Leh
Morning drive to Ridzong Gompa founded only recently in the 1870’s for the Gelup-pa “yellow hat” order. Ridzong is animpressive looking structure, and being well tucked away.
On return back stop at a nunnery called Chomoling in Kadakhi. This is one of the very few nunneries in ladakh and has about a dozen nuns in the residence.
Later drive back to Leh with enroute stop at Bagso Cetadel built upon a red-brown mountain. Bagso is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the Leh area. The village sits at the base of the mountainside overlooking an oval of luxuriant fields surrounded by trees, with the Zanskar Mountains as a backdrop. There are several chortens, including one really large one, amounst the fields, as well as several on the hilltops that surround Bsgo. The large village houses are oviously very old and are surrounded by crumbling, ancient chortens.
The citadel sits on an impressive site situated on the crown of a buttress jutting from the mountain behind. The various forts and temples like in a semi-circle facing the Indus, there backs against the mountain ; on three sides the hillside drops away steeply trhough jagged rocks making any assault on the complex a tough proposition. Historically, Basgo must hav been citrually impregnable. Unfotunately much of the ancitent citadel has all but disappread; nevertheless, there is still plenty left to see. Major resoration work over the years has helped improved the istuation, as Basgo holds an important place in Kadakhi history and culture.
Continue toward Leh.
- Day 8 : Leh – Chemdrey – Pangong Tso
Drive to Pangong with enroute stop at Chemdrey Gompa which makes for a striking picture, nestling on the top of the hill with a mountain ridge forming the backdrop. During early summer, the approach through the fields to the base of the hill is lined with bright yello mustard fields, followed by a small river that’s banks are lined with willow trees.
Continue to Pangong Tso.
Pangong Tso also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in he himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
Overnight at camp.
- Day 9 : Pangong
Early morning walk to the shore of the lake to catch the morning sunrise. Tea will be served at the lake. Return to camp for Breakfast, after breakfast and either walk to Merak village or drive to Merak, 10km. Walk around the village and interact with the semi nomadic villager. Lunch (Picnic Lunch ) at the shore of lake. Later in the evening drive back to Maan village to our camp. Rest for couple of hours and than walk back to the lake for sunset.
Nuit en camp fixe.
- Day 10 : Pangong – Hemis – Leh
Morning drive back to Leh with ernoute stop at Hemis to visit perhaps themost famous gompa in Ladakh, purely due to the fact that unlike other gompas who hold their festivals inwinter, the Hemis annual festival is helpd in the summer months of June ro July, the main tourist season. It is also the richest gompla in Ladakh, largely due to the gompa’s large land holdings and other assets – a legacy of Sengge Namgyal’s patronage.
Hemis gompa was founded in the 1630’s by the famous Tibetan Lama Stag-tsang-rs-pa, under the patronage of King Sengge Namgyal, for monks of the Drup-pa Kargyud-pa “red hat” order.
The annual festival features a dance – drams called Chams that is held in the gompa courtyard and performed by moks dressed in ornate robes and grotesque masks. The dance – drams reaches its climaz with the dismembering of the human figure made from dough. Although the dance has several interpretations (essentially the victory of good over eveil), one interpretation I that it represents the death of the Tibetan King Landarma ; the king who until his assassination, tried to eradicate Buddhism from Tibet in the 9th century.
Every 12th year during the Hemis festival, a giant Thangka, said to be the largest in the world, is unveiled for public viewing. It will next be unveiled in 2016.
Continue to Leh.
- Day 11 : Leh
Morning visit Oracle.
Continue to visit SOS tibetian village in Choglamsar. Choglamsar is an important center for the study of Tibetan Culture and History.
Later visit “Tibetan medicine”, also known as the Amchi System of Medicine in Ladakh and commonly known as Sowa-Rigpa, has similarities with Ayurvedic medicine in India and it is the traditional medicine in many parts of the Himalayas.
- Day 12 : Leh-Delhi
Morning transfer to airport to connect flight to Delhi.
- Day 13 : Delhi
We will keep this day reserve in caes of Leh Delhi flight gets cancelled on Day 12.
- Day 14 : Delhi – Fly back
Possible extension :
You can extend this tour to Agra to visit Taj Mahal (closed on Friday) ….
(Above program is subject to change based on arrival and departure flight timings and weather conditions).