Ladakh Tour (9 Days and 8 Nights)

Delhi - Leh - Sham Valley - Alchi - Lamayuru - Likir - Spangmik Village - Leh - Delhi
You will be welcomed at New Delhi International Airport by our tour leader. Drive to a hotel for check-in. There will not be any excursions during the day.
After breakfast, visit to the India Gate – an arch built in the memory of all the Indian solider who laid down their lives in World War I. This 42-meters-tall monument was dedicated to the nation in 1931. Catching a glimpse of the president’s house, you will then head for the Birla House where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. A museum inside the building complex shares detailed information about his life and his contribution to the freedom struggle of India. Visit to the famous Sikh shrine of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. The shrine is associated with the life of the eighth Sikh Guru, Sri Harkrishan. The museum inside the shrine complex shares in-depth pictorial history of Sikhism in India.

Post lunch, visit to the Qutub Minar – one of the tallest minarets in the world. It is believed that Qutub-ud-din Aibak, who was the first Muslim conqueror of Delhi, laid the foundation of the Qutub Minar in 1192 AD. The height of the Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters and there are 379 steps to reach its top. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Fly to Leh by morning flight (80 minutes duration). Once in Leh, drive to the Sham Valley (65 km, 1.15 hours). Check-in at a hotel located in a picturesque village. In order to prevent altitude sickness, there will not be any excursions during the day. Allowing necessary time to the body to adapt and sufficient hydration are important factors in prevention of altitude sickness.
After breakfast, a hike to the Alchi Monastery (7 km). Hiking is the best way to appreciate the beauty of the picturesque Sham Valley. The Alchi Monastery is located across the river Indus. It belongs to the Ge-lug-pa sect of Buddhism. The assembly hall (Du-khang), the new temple namely the Lha-khang and the other small temples namely the Jampal Lha-khang and the Lotsava Lha-khang are the major attractions of the Alchi Monastery. The chortens (Buddhist shrines) of the monastery have ancient carved paintings which are quite intricate. Lunch at a restaurant in Alchi, which specializes in Ladakhi cuisine.

Post lunch, drive to Lamayuru (65 km, 1 hour) to explore the Buddhist monastery. It is estimated that the Lamayuru Monastery was established in the 11th century AD, making it the oldest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to Kagyu-pa sect of Buddishm. The revered Lama Naropa's meditation cave is located close to the main assembly hall, which has very peaceful ambience. The monastery has collection of rare manuscripts. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Check-out from the hotel and drive to Leh (65 km). Enroute visit to the Likir Monastery and the shrine of Pathar Sahib. The Buddhist monastery at Likir was established in the 12th century AD. Three hundred years later, the monastery was restructured and it came under the Ge-lug-pa sect of Buddhism. The main prayer hall of the monastery has images of Sakyamuni, Maitreya and Tsong-kha-pa with his two disciples. The murals and thangkas of the monastery are very impressive. As we proceed further towards Leh, drive past the confluence of the Indus and the Zanskar rivers. The place of confluence is known as Sangam. It is a beautiful sight to behold.

Further away from sangam, short halt at a place called the Magnetic Hill to experience an interesting gravity defying phenomenon. At a particular spot on the highway, when a vehicle is placed in the neutral gear, it is pulled up the slope for some distance. Due to geological attributes of the hill, it is believed that it exerts some magnetic force. En route visit to the Pathar Sahib. The Pathar Sahib is a shrine dedicated to Sri Guru Nanak Dev, who was the founder of Sikhism. The shrine is built at a spot where Sri Nanak Dev had an encounter with a demon in 1517 AD.

Once in Leh, hotel check-in will be followed by lunch. Later in the day, visit to the Stok Palace and the Shanti Stupa. The Stok Palace is a three storeys structure which was constructed in 1820 by the king Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. It used to be the summer palace of the royal family. After the invasion of Ladakh by the Dogra forces in 1835 AD, the royal family moved to the Stok Palace. The palace was converted into a heritage hotel in the year 1980. It has a museum which exhibits interesting artefacts associated with the royals. The Shanti Stupa was built in 1991 as part of the Peace Pagoda mission. It enshrines relics of Lord Buddha at the base. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Excursion to two of the most important and popular monasteries of Ladakh: The Hemis and the Thikse Monasteries. The Hemis Monastery is located at a distance of 48 km from Leh. It was founded in the year 1630 AD. It has the largest number of resident monks in the whole of Ladakh. An annual festival which is held in the month of June/July is very popular and draws tourists from all across the world. The day of the festival coincides with the birthday of the Guru Padmasambhava as per Ladakhi calendar.

The Thikse Monastery has an impressive multilevel structure. It was founded in the 15th century AD. The shrines of the monastery have images of Sakyamuni, Avlokiteshvara and a giant-sized idol of Maitreya Buddha. The terrace of the monastery presents panoramic view of the nearby mountains and valleys. Drive back to the hotel. Leisure time in the evening.
Journey to the Spangmik village which is located on the banks of the picturesque lake, Pangong Tso. Drive through the Chang-La-pass. Perched at an elevation of 17590 feet, the Chang-La-pass is the third highest pass of the world through which a vehicle can pass. The Pangong Tso is located at an altitude of 4246 meters in the region of Changthang. This lake is 130 km long and some portion of it extends to the Tibetan territory. The salted water of this serene lake changes shades as per the changing positions of the sun. The journey of 160 km from Leh to Spangmik, will be completed in approximately six hours. Check-in at a lakeside camp for dinner and overnight stay.
After unhurriedly enjoying the beauty of the Pangong Tso, you will proceed to Leh to conclude your journey of Ladakh. En route visit to the Thakthok Monastery, which is located in Sakti village. The Thakthok Monastery was established in the 16th century and it belongs to the Nying-ma-pa Sect of Buddhism. It is the only monastery belonging to the Nying-ma-pa sect in the whole of Ladakh. It is constructed around a cave used by the Guru Padmasambhava for his meditation. Unlike the other monasteries of Ladakh, the structure of the Thakthok Monastery is not impressive, however its spiritual significance is more due to its association with the Guru Padmasambhava. Check-in at a hotel in Leh. A visit to the small yet bustling market of Leh in the evening.
Early morning flight to New Delhi. Once in New Delhi, you would proceed to your onward destination. The tour concludes.
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