One of the best ways to experience the stunning panoramas, rich history and Buddhist culture of the Indian Himalaya is by travelling overland.
With roads allowing access to some of the remotest parts of Ladakh for only four months of each year, we cross high mountain passes and traverse rugged landscapes to explore a stunning wilderness punctuated by ancient monasteries, turquoise lakes and rustic villages.
Travelling along the Manali – Leh highway on our way to Leh, where we take in the splendours of Shey Monastery, Thikshey, and Hemis before journeying across the world’s highest motorable pass, the Kardung La (5359 m), to the remote Nubra Valley. From here we continue our journey by road to Kashmir, one of the most beautiful regions of the Himalaya, where we spend two nights aboard houseboats on Dal Lake, an unforgettable vista set beneath the snow capped ridges of the Pir Panjal range to the west and south, and the Himalaya range to the east.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Delhi – India|
14 August 2020 – 29 August 2020
|DURATION||16 days/15 nights|
|PRICES per person|
AU$7,990 twin share
|GROUP SIZE||4-12 Guests|
Welcome to India! On arrival you will be met by a representative of Adventure Associates and transferred to the 5 star Oberoi Hotel
After a leisurely breakfast we embark on a sightseeing day in Delhi. As a complete contrast to the old, New Delhi stands in formal splendor. It is a city of wide boulevards that offers ever-changing perspectives of Lutyen’s landscaped city. It is also a city known for its formal parks, magnificent Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India in the 330 acres of land and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) and India Gate. In New Delhi we will also visit Qutab Minar, the 72.5 metre high tower dating back to the 13th century, and Humanyun’s Tomb, which was built in the 16th century and architecturally considered the forerunner of the Taj Mahal. Pulsing with energy and colour, Old Delhi is laced by a maze of narrow lanes, which twist and turn between the tall, leaning buildings. We will witness the hustle and bustle of thronged bazaars and experience the full sights, sounds and aromas indicative of the Indian sub continent. In Old Delhi we pass the famous Red Fort, surrounded by shops and bazaars, the Jama Masjid with its tapering minarets and wonderful marble domes and Chandni Chowk. Overnight Oberoi Hotel. B
Delhi to Chandigarh (260km)
After breakfast we begin our drive from Delhi to Chandigarh. Located on the edge of the Siwalik Hills, the outermost rim of the Himalaya’s, Chandigarh was made the capital of the state of Punjab in the 1950’s after the old capital of Lahore became a part of Pakistan.
On arrival we will explore the Nek Chand Rock Garden, often described as a fantasy land, the garden is filled with objects created by Nek Chand, a former roads inspector who worked for the Chandigarh engineering department. There are hectares of sculptures and objects made from ceramics, electrical wires and bits of machinery. The work has received international acclaim and is lauded as nonmainstream ‘outsider’ art. Chand is still often found in his gardens, and is happy to speak to visitors about his works. Afterwards we travel to the outskirts of Chandigarh to visit Sukhna Lake. Overnight Marriott Hotel. B
Chandigarh to Manali (295km)
After breakfast we set out for a fairly long day of travel. We expect the drive to Manali to take approx. 8 – 9 hours, however the views are breathtaking as we follow the winding road through gorges and ascend toward the mountains. Upon arrival we check in to the Manu Allaya Hotel. B,D
Manali (1970m), & the Kullu Valley
The Kullu Valley is one of the most picturesque areas in the west Himalaya and is surrounded by snow capped mountain ranges, alpine meadows and conifer forests. Manali is a trading town, and important gateway for travellers entering Ladakh. Today we explore the town and Hadimba Temple. Overnight Manu Allaya Hotel. B,D
Manali to Keylong (3440m) (126km)
After breakfast we continue along the Manali – Leh Highway to the fertile Bhaga Valley. Keylong is the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It is the only town between Manali and Leh and the obvious place to break our journey for the night. Overnight Tashi Delek Hotel. B,L,D
Keylong to Sarchu (4290m) (110km)
Sarchu (also known as Sir Bhum Chun), is a tented camp along the Leh-Manali Highway, which sits on the boundary between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir). It is situated between Baralacha-La to the south and Lachulung La to the north, at a considerable altitude of 4,290 m. Overnight deluxe camp. B,L,D
Sarchu to Leh via Taglang La (5328m) (230km) (260km)
Today we cross the Taglung La (5328m). The pass is nestled high in the Zanskar range, it is truly spectacular and one of the highlights of our trip. Nestled in a side valley north of the Indus, Leh is dominated by the nine story Leh Palace, and the old town is a labyrinth of alleyways and traditional old houses. On arrival we check in to our hotel. B,L,D
Following breakfast we take the day to explore the spectacular monasteries of the Indus Valley.
Built on a green hillside surrounded by spectacular mountains, Hemis is the biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh. It was built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and ever since has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family. Hemis is the headquarters of the Drukpa order and all the monasteries throughout Ladakh are administered by it. This wealthiest monastery contains gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones and many priceless old Thankas.
Thiksey, one of the most imposing monasteries belonging to the 15th century, stands on a crag overlooking the flood plain on the east bank of the Indus. The monastery belongs to the Elugpa order (Yellow sect) and is a 12- Storey Monastery painted deep red, ochre and white with typical tapering walls. There is a 15m high Buddha figure at the entrance of the new temple. The layout of the monastery complex resembles the Potala palace in Lhasa.
On the east bank of the Indus River sits the beautiful Shey Monastery. Up until the 16th century it was the royal palace. There is a 17.5 m high blue haired Maitreya Buddha of copper, brass gilded and studded with precious gemstones.
In the late afternoon we will return to our hotel, the rest of the day us at your leisure. You may chose to walk to the nearest market at your own pace or spend some time relaxing at the hotel. Overnight Hotel Grand Dragon. B,L,D
The Nubra Valley via Kardungla Pass (5359m) (120km)
Today we journey across the world’s highest motorable pass, the Khardungla Pass (5359m). On the other side of the pass lies the Nubra Valley. Known also as the ‘Valley of the Flowers’, this region is blessed with a climate conducive to producing crops of grains and fruits, with apricots and apples in plentiful supply. 90% of the population is Buddhist, and the area has a distinctively Central Asian feel. Our destination is the village of Diskit, and we should arrive by afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore Diskit and Hunder Villages. If time permits we may also take a camel safari in the sand dunes between Diskit and Hunder Village. Overnight deluxe camp. B,L,D
Nubra Valley to Leh (120km)
After breakfast we take time to explore Diskit Monastery, there are around 100 monks in residence and the Monastery is more than 500 years old. In the afternoon we return via the Kardungla to Leh. Overnight Hotel Grand Dragon. B,L,D
Leh to Kargil (215km)
En-route to Kargil we take time to visit Alchi Monastery, and the beautiful ancient Monastery of Lamayuru. There are approximately 300 monks registered under the administration of this great monastery. Have your camera at the ready, as this is one of the most picturesque monasteries in the entire Indian Himalaya. On arrival to Kargil we check into D-Zojila Residency. B,L,D
Kargil to Srinigar (205km)
After breakfast we continue to Srinagar via he Zojila pass (3528m) en-route visit Sonmarg (2740m). Sonmarg means ‘meadow of gold’ and this region is a trekker’s haven boasting challenging trek routes, frozen turquoise lakes and impressive glaciers. On arrival to Srinagar we board our houseboats for two nights. B,D
Srinigar is the summer capital of the Kashmir Valley. The old city is a labyrinth of alleyways and mosques, and has a distinctly Central Asian feel. Dal Lake lies to the east, and is a complex maze of waterways. Each morning at dawn, a flotilla of Shikaras paddle out into the backwaters to form a floating market where mainly fresh produce and flowers are bought and sold. Beyond the lake is the Moghul Gardens another highlight of a visit here. Kashmir is also famous for its distinctive embroidery and carpets, and there are great shopping opportunities to be had in some of the tourist emporiums in the town. Today we explore Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh and Sankracharya Temple, and in the evening we take a boat ride on Dal Lake. Overnight houseboat. B,D
Fly Srinigar to Delhi
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Delhi. This evening we enjoy our final group dinner together. Overnight Oberoi Delhi. B
Delhi, trip concludes
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward arrangements. B
Julie is our Himalaya specialist, having worked and travelled in the Himalaya for over 20 years. Her passion for the mountainous regions of the world has inspired her travels to far flung corners of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. A keen rock climber and sometimes mountaineer she has also travelled extensively in the USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Mexico. Julie loves to craft new and adventurous itineraries to remote destinations, and it is on these adventures that she loves to share her passion, knowledge and spirit of adventure.
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 1000 per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||AU$1000 per person|
|Balance due:||75 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 74 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 100 days prior to departure||AU$500 per person|
|Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 30 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.