Ladakh to Kashmir Overland Journey

Dear Adventurer’s

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 we explore the area around Tsomoriri Lake 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 (5359m), 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.

Highlights

  • Explore the Kashmir Valley, Nubra Valley & Ladakh from Manali to Leh
  • Visit Tsomoriri Lake
  • Ancient monasteries including Shey, Thiksey, Hemis & Lamayuru
  • Travel along the world’s highest motorable road and cross the Kardungla Pass (5359m)
  • Sightseeing in Delhi, Manali, Leh & Srinigar
  • Accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels including the Oberoi Delhi and the Lalit in Srinigar
  • Two nights onboard a houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir
  • Himalayan panoramas of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges
  • Travel in private comfortable 4WD vehicles

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1024px-Tsomoriri_LakeIndian Him road
Monks ladakhKashmir

Ladakh to Kashmir overland journey

Explore ancient monasteries in Ladakh & Zanskar, travel overland along the world’s highest motorable road, and experience life on a houseboat in Kashmir. This comprehensive journey in the Indian Himalaya encompasses the many highlights of this diverse region, sit back and admire the majestic Himalayan scenery from our comfortable overland vehicles as we pass through traditional villages, high mountain passes and valleys carpeted with wildflowers.

Ex: Delhi, India

  • 17 Days  17 August – 2 September, 2017
  • 17 Days  17 August – 2 September, 2018

11 nights hotel

3 nights deluxe camp

2 nights Kashmiri houseboat

Group size 6 to 12 guests

Itinerary

Day 1: Join Delhi

Welcome to India! On arrival you will be met by a representative of Adventure Associates and transferred to the 5 star Oberoi Hotel for overnight accommodation.

Day 2: In Delhi

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)

Day 3: Drive 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)

Day 4: Drive 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)

Day 5: 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)

Day 6: Drive 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)

Day 7: Drive 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)

Day 8: Sarchu to Tsomoriri Lake (4595m)   (230km)

An early breakfast this morning before continuing our journey to Tsomoriri or Lake Moriri, in the Changthang area of Jammu and Kashmir. The picturesque lake is at an altitude of 4,595m, and is the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeography region.

Overnight deluxe camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 9: Tsomoriri Lake to Leh via Taglang La (5328m)

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.

Overnight Hotel Grand Dragon.

(B,L,D)

Day 10: In Leh

Following breakfast we take the day to explore the spectacular monasteries of the Indus Valley.

Hemis

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

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.

Shey

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)

Day 11: To 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)

Day 12: 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)

Day 13: 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)

Day 14: 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 Srinigar we board our houseboats for two nights.

(B,D)

Day 15: In Srinigar

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)

Day 16: 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)

Day 17: In Delhi, trip concludes

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward arrangements.

(B)

 

Please Note: for a detailed trip itinerary please contact us at mail@adventureassociates.com

Ladakh shadowsLadakh Chorten1005LamayuruLadakh Monks
Ladakh wall relief
Ladakh scenery

Dates and Cost

  • 17 Days  17 August – 2 September, 2017
  • 17 Days  17 August – 2 September, 2018
  • Ex: Delhi – India

Twin Share

AU$ 7,890
Single Supplement AU$ 1,950

 

What’s included

  • 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Escorted by a representative of Adventure Associates
  • Expert local guide and driver
  • Twin share accommodation in 5 star hotels where available including the Oberoi Delhi
  • 2 nights on board a houseboat in Kashmir
  • Private airport to hotel transfers
  • Private air-conditioned group transportation
  • Shikara ride on Dal Lake
  • Group medical kit and emergency oxygen
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary

What’s not included

  • International airfares and airport taxes
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included
  • Gratuities to local guides etc
  • Personal expenses such as beverage, telephone and laundry bills
  • Additional transport due to an emergency

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 4758 9922 or mail@adventureassociates.com, 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

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 AUD 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.


Indian Him roadLadakh wall relief
Ladakh painting

 

The Himalaya with Adventure Associates

At Adventure Associates we aim to ensure your journey in the Himalaya is a life changing experience, and not just another holiday. Our 20+ years of experience operating in these regions will ensure that every detail of your travel arrangements is taken care of, leaving you to fully appreciate the tremendous mountain scenery that only the Himalaya can offer, whilst enjoying the local culture up close. With the support of our experienced and friendly teams in the field, and unique style of trip, we are confident that your Himalayan journey will be a life changing one!

Ladakh & Zanskar 

Known also as ‘Little Tibet’ owing to it’s geographical and cultural closeness to Tibet, Ladakh is a fascinating destination with high mountain passes, impressive gorges, centuries old trade routes and glacial tributaries carved by the mighty Indus River.  Leh is the capital and is the cultural heartland of Ladakh with many gompas and forts, and is a deeply spiritual place reflecting a strong Bhuddhist heritage. Zanskar is a tiny kingdom which lies to the south of the Indus Valley and is relatively isolated. Opened to tourism in 1981, it contains two valleys; the Tsarap valley and the Stod valley. This region affords stunning mountain panoramas of the Ladakh Range and the East Karakoram, and is dotted with some of the most impressive and remote monasteries to be found anywhere in the Himalaya.

Kashmir

The Kashmir Valley, or Vale of Kashmir, is one of the most verdant and fertile regions of the Himalaya. It is flanked by the Pir Panjal range to the south and west, and the main Himalaya range to the east. From the late 80’s Kashmir was disrupted by political unrest, however foreigners are now travelling back to this beautiful region and commercial tour companies are operating here once again.

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 in some of the tourist emporiums in the town.

Accommodation

Accommodation on this journey is based on twin share arrangements in 4 and 5 star rated hotels where possible. Some nights are spent in comfortable deluxe camps in more remote areas, and two nights are spent on a houseboat in Kashmir.  Single accommodation is available at extra cost.

Deluxe Camps

Our deluxe camps are situated en-route between Kashmir and Ladakh. These are clean and comfortable ‘swiss cottage’ tents which are high enough to stand in. Interiors normally have wooden or folding beds with all bedding supplied as well attached bathroom with running water.

 

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