Itinerary Details: 14 days/13 nights
Day 1: Delhi Arrival
Namaste. Welcome to India! Arrive at Delhi International airport. You will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis that incorporates the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers, the monuments stand as a silent reminder to India's legacy. Driving from the airport, you will be impressed with Delhi's spacious, tree-lined streets and garden parks. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Delhi—Nalagarh
Depart early in the morning for your first class rail journey to Chandigarh, continuing by car to Nalagarh. Nalagarh, ruled by the Chandela Rajputs, was the capital of the Hindur Kingdom. The Chandela kings were great patrons of art and architecture. Upon arrival, check into Nalagarh Fort for your overnight stay.
Day 3: Nalagarh—Manali
After breakfast, drive to Manali (7-8 hours). Manali literally means Home of Manu. Manu was the mythological creature who survived when the world drowned in a flood. He then came to Manali and created human life. Therefore, the town is considered sacred by Hindus. Set amidst snowy peaks and forests of towering cedars, Manali offers unparalleled opportunities for trekking, nature walks, and other activities. Spend the afternoon driving around the varied terrain of the town. Overnight in Manali.
Day 4: Manali—Jespa
After an early breakfast, drive to Jespa (6-7 hours), a small village in the Lahaul region. En-route, cross Rohtang Pass and visit Keylong Village. Also view the lofty Shigri Glacier. The people of these villages have an intense love for their homeland and it is evident in their songs and dances. Upon arrival in Jespa, check into your hotel. Overnight in Jespa.
Day 5: Jespa—Sarchu
In the morning, drive to Sarchu (5-6 hours). Beyond Jespa, the road follows the Bhaga river toward its source. Overnight in camps.
Day 6: Sarchu—Leh
After breakfast, drive to Leh (8-9 hours). Cross the Zanskar Range and two passes—Lachung La and Tanglang La—towering at over 16,500 feet. Upon arrival in Leh, check into your hotel. Located at 11,975 feet, Leh was once the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. The town boasts a strong religious co-existence of Tibetan Buddhism and Islam. Overnight in Leh.
Day 7: Leh
Proceed on a full day tour of nearby monasteries: Shey, the 15th century summer palace and monastery that belongs to the royal family of Leh; Thiksey, an 800 year old gompa with panoramic views of the Indus valley; and Hemis, a monastery with architectural brilliance built in the 1600's. Overnight in Leh.
Day 8: Leh—Sumoor
After breakfast, drive to Sumoor village (5-6 hours). You will drive over Khardung La, the highest motor able road pass in the world. The views are nothing short of spectacular, gazing South across the Indus Valley to the seamlessly endless peaks of the Zanskar range. Continue driving 2-3 more hours across the Shyok river to reach Sumoor village. Overnight at Sumoor camp.
Day 9: Sumoor—Disket—Sumoor
In the morning, drive to Disket. The Disket monastery is perched high on a rock overhanging a stream that is used as a source of energy by the mills. The monastery is full of silk paintings, magnificent giant statues of the Buddha and ancient mural paintings. Overnight at Sumoor camp.
Day 10: Sumoor—Leh
After breakfast, drive back to Leh over Khardung La. In the afternoon, relax or take a walk in the local market. Overnight at the hotel in Leh.
Day 11: Leh
Today visit the monasteries of Chemrey and Tak Tak. The magnificent gompa of Chemrey sees few visitors because of its location in a side valley. It is an illustration of Buddhist preservation. Tak Tak houses a cave in which the apostle Padmasambhava is said to have meditated in during his epic journey to Tibet in the 8th century. Overnight in Leh.
Day 12: Leh—Delhi
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Afternoon at leisure to explore India's multicultural capital. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 13: Delhi
After breakfast, visit the sites of Delhi: Red Fort, a marvel of red sandstone; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; and Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Also drive past the President's Palace and India Gate. If you prefer, you may opt for a day trip to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. (Please note: The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday's.) Overnight in Delhi.
Day 14: Departure
Day at leisure to explore Delhi or rest before your journey. We recommend visiting the vibrant bazaars for fantastic shopping! In the evening, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Bon Voyage!