The Last Shangrila ( Ladakh Special)

phyang-monestary

Best Season

May – September

Group Strength

Minimum 10 - Maximum 20 Pax

Highest Altitude

5550 mtrs (Khardungla Pass)

Trip Focus

Educational, Cultural, Nature & Adventure

Duration

17 days

Highest Trek Altitude

3790 mtrs

1275 $ / Person

12 – 15 Persons

TRIP FEATURES : Capital Delhi, Rickshaw rides, Rafting in Indus river, Soft Trekking, Camping & Bonfire, Picnic Lunches, Double humped Camel safaris, Visit to Tibetan Children Villages, Home stays, School Visit, Highest Motorable Pass, magnetic Hill, Taj Mahal, Oldest Monastery,

OVERVIEW
Ladakh or the land of many passes is India’s jewel in the crown. Hugged affectionately by some of the world’s tallest peaks, Ladakh, the roof of the world is situated at an awesome altitude, quite like a bridge between the earth and the sky. Ladakh has carved a niche for itself as an important region for adventure tours, bounded by the Great Himalayan ranges and the Karakoram ranges. The Likir and Alchi regions along the Leh – Srinagar road envisages the immense trekking route with fascinating scenic beauties in and around the landscape. The existence of the great, centuries old Buddhists Gompas in the Likir and Alchi influence the tourists an additional authenticity in lieu of trekking itself rather it attributes to the astonishing moments of visiting the region.
This is not all; when you travel with Banjaaray you live the joy forever.

Mobile: +91 9899238167

Mail: info@banjaaray.com

MAJOR INCLUSIONS

  • TRANSPORTATION INCLUDED YES
  • BREAKFAST INCLUDED YES
  • ALL MONUMENTS TICKETS YES
  • HOTELS 4 / 5 STAR INCLUDED YES
  • GUIDE / ESCORT INCLUDED YES

DAY WISE ITINERARY

DAY 01 - DELHI

Arrival in Delhi
You arrive in Delhi today on your own. We shall receive you at the airport exit. Assist you to the waiting coach/vehicle & transfer to your hotel. Check in & relax. Later you get ready for a full day excursion of the capital city Delhi. On this trip you shall visit the India gate (War memorial for the martyrs of the Afghan War), Humayun’s Tomb (Precursor to the Taj Mahal); President’s Estate & the Lotus temple. Return to your hotel early & relax for the rest of the evening.
Stay overnight.

Hotel: TBA (Yet to be assigned)
Meals provided: None
Remarks: – The rooms will be provided at 12 O’clock on this day. Special request for an early check in may or may not be entertained depending on occupancy of the hotel.

Delhi:
The capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope – that is India.

DAY 02 -DELHI – LADAKH (economy class, fly time 70 minutes. 3500 mtrs ASL)

This morning you leave the comforts of your hotel by 6am for the airport (Domestic terminal) to catch your flight (pre-booked) to the Himalayas. Upon arrival in Leh, you meet the company representative at the airport who after greeting you all shall assist you out to the waiting vehicles. You shall transfer to your hotel where you check in your rooms. You shall spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the conditions of this place/area. Perched at an elevation of 11,550 feet ASL, in Ladakh, it is important to get used to the environs here before one could explore the scenic terrains. Stay overnight.

Hotel: TBA (Privately owned hotel with decent amenities)
Meals provided today: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

LADAKH
The town of Leh is a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The main street is open and airy, with rows of shops. On either side of the market are long lines of Ladakhi women in traditional dress and colorful jewelry of coral and turquoise, seated behind enormous baskets, selling vegetables. The spectacular eight-storey Leh Palace looms above overlooking the town The Leh Palace resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa and was built about the same time, in the 16th century.

DAY 03 - LEH (Walking + Buddhist monastery tour)

Have breakfast in the morning. Assemble in the hotel lobby where you would be briefed by your tour guide about the day’s activities. Thereafter you go on a walking tour of Leh, covering Sankar Gompa and to the ruins of the ancient castle perched above the main bazaar. You explore the by-lanes of the town and also visit a traditional Ladakhi home where you will get a chance to sample the local barley beer called “Chang”.
In the afternoon you shall go on a guided excursion to Stok village visiting the 80 rooms Stok Palace built in 1814. Also visit the Stok Museum where the display of heritage items like the Ornaments from the royal family, Traditional Clothing & Jewellary and the Thangkas are explicitly the prime attraction here.
You return to your hotel for a hot shower and an evening of peace & relaxation. You can visit the nearby market place (Bazaar) if you wish before settling down for your dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: TBA
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Diner

DAY 04 (Two options) Option 1. LEH – LIKIR (45 kms, by surface, 80 minutes) Alternate Option 2. LEH – PHEY – NIMOO – LIKIR (by ferry; RAFTING SPECIAL DAY)

(Two options)
Option 1.  LEH – LIKIR (45 kms, by surface, 80 minutes)
Today after breakfast & the customary briefing by your guide, you drive in right earnest for about 80 minutes to Likir. It is a very scenic drive along the River Indus to Likir Gompa. The panoramic drive with breath taking views takes you to Likir village, overshadowed by the large gompa, re-built during the 18th century, situated on the bank of River Likir Tokpo, a tributary of River Indus. Upon arrival you establish the camp. After having lunch at the camp you visit the monastery and explore the village. Evening tea will be served in the camp and you will be briefed about the impending trek for the next 4 days. Dinner will be served in the camp.
Overnight in Deluxe Tents
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Alternate Option 2)
LEH – PHEY – NIMOO – LIKIR (by ferry; RAFTING SPECIAL DAY)
After breakfast, you drive for about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) to a place called Phey, This is the rafting point. Your guide/rafting expert shall have a chit chat about the event & you are ready for an exhilarating event. You get into your costumes/jackets; boots etc & get on your boats & get set go for the 2-3 hour romance with the mild rapids of the free flowing Indus River. You sway & sing to the currents made more enjoyable by the presence of the rafting guide on board your boats for tips & assistance. No previous experience is required for this since the river does not have rough rapids.

You finish & disembark at Nimoo, the confluence of the Zanskara and Indus Rivers. You enjoy a picnic lunch by the riverside. (Pre packed from the hotel). Later you drive to Likir for an overnight stay at the Camp. Rest of the evening shall be at leisure. You may explore this picturesque village and the Gompa that towers over it.

DAY 05 - SOFT HIKING/WALKING/TREKKING TOUR

Trekking Grade: Gentle to Strenuous.
Your tryst with countryside villages & natural landscape begins today. Today is the first day of your trekking adventure through valleys & villages. You wake up to a hot cuppa of tea/ coffee in bed. It’s a typical yet pleasant way to start the day and will continue throughout the trek. This trek is between Likir & Yangtang village.

You start the walk which goes parallel to a Motorable road that ascends to a point/pass called Phobe La (Altitude 3580 Mtrs.). As soon as you cross the pass you leave behind the greenery of Likir and enter into the arid moonscape. From the pass you leave the road to take a descending track leading to a gorge that takes us back on the road. At this point you can view Sumdo village with its few houses. You leave the road again to climb up to Chagatse La (Altitude 3630 Mtrs.) after crossing the stream on a wooden bridge. You almost start seeing the Yangthang Camp from the top where you reach after 4 – 5 hrs hours. You shall be camping here for the night.

Overnight in camp near Yangtang
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Additional Information on camps/Meals etc:
You begin a four day trek along the Indus River and through some of India’s most spectacular mountain scenery. While trekking, you will have personal porters/mules that will carry all your food, water and supplies. You shall only be having vegetarian food all along the trek since Ladakh culture does not encourage consumption of mutton or chicken on trekking or otherwise. Camp will be set up for you each evening including a sleeping, dining and toilet tent. The porters will heat water for washing each morning and you’ll be eating three hot meals a day to give you the energy for this soft adventure. Although we shall be providing you with sleeping bags, you may like to bring yours if you wish, something that can withstand zero degrees Fahrenheit temps, as the late nights and early mornings can be very cold at certain elevations on the trek.

DAY 06 - YANGTHANG – RIZONG GOMPA - YANGTHANG (6-7 Hours Trek)

You have breakfast in the morning. Today is a day walk to the Rizong monastery. It is not tough but a bit more tiring than your last day of trekking. You walk through the village, descending to the stream from where you enter a narrow gorge that leads to the monastery; this place is known for its monastic discipline. Enjoy a meal here before retracting to your base camp. Dinner and overnight stay in Camp

DAY 07 - YANGTHANG – HEMIS SUKHPACHEN (Altitude 3600 Mtrs. 2-3 Hours Trek)

After a leisurely breakfast at the camp, you leave for Hemis Shukpachen, It’s a relatively short walk to Hemis Shukpachen village. You cross the bridge & ascend to the highest point Tsermangchan La (Altitude 3720 Mtrs.) after having descended to Wuleh Tokpo. You get to see the majestic views of the village, which is the epitome of natural beauty, rich cultural legacy & of course some myths & mysteries too. You see a row/cluster of juniper trees lined on one side of the village & have remained unscathed by man’s greed as part of some superstition or belief that villagers have about these trees. The village is named so for the countless cedar conifers (shukpa) those are found in this valley. Hot lunch will be served in the camp. Later in the evening tea will also be served in the camp. Thereafter you can explore the village. By visiting a beautiful Gompa before calling off the day Have Dinner and stay overnight here at the Camp.
Overnight in camp near Hemis-Shukbachan
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 08 - HEMIS SHUKBACHAN – ANG - THEMISGAM (TREK OF 5-6 HRS)

After breakfast at the camp, you stroll lazily for an hour or so when you reach appoint called Meptak La (3720 mts). You have entered village Ang here.

Agricultural Tour
Barley/Wheat Field Visit
Here you can interact with the villagers & seek information on how they cultivate crops & survive in the hostile environment. Though August & September is harvest period for Barley & Wheat, you can know from the villagers about the process adopted. Ladakh has one of the most innovative & self sustaining ways of agricultural farming.

Thereafter you shall cross a watercourse and reach Tia village. Trekking further, you shall reach your destination the, village of Themisgam. Your trekking adventure finishes here. Stay at the camp overnight. You shall enjoy a meal on the lush green carpet.

Overnight at the Camp

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 09 - THEMISGAM - ALCHI (Short Drive)

You have breakfast in the morning. Relax a while before getting back to your waiting vehicle for a drive to the next destination. Alchi. Here you set out to enjoying this quaint little village on the banks of river Indus & surrounded by great scenery around, it is a perfect refreshing sojourn after the trekking experience. The Alchi gompa is 1,000 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned as a great center of Buddhist art. The entire Mahayana Buddhist pantheon of deities is represented within its five temples. You will see here 12th and 13th century fresco paintings in the temples, which have remained remarkably well-preserved, undimmed by the soot from butter lamps and incense sticks.

School Visit
You shall also visit the village school & spend some time here to get to know about their teaching & learning style & system. Apart from knowing what a day in the life of typical Ladakhi youth is like. You would get to interact with the teachers & Students both to have a firsthand account of the prevailing education. System. You shall participate in answer/question session. Stay overnight here.
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10 - ALCHI - LEH (60 kms, 30 miles, 2 hrs)

After breakfast in the morning, you drive back to Leh. En –route you visit the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib (Sikh Religious place). Constructed in the year 1517 at an elevation of 1200 ft ASL, it was a tribute to the Guru in memory of him having visited this place. Next on the anvil is the magnetic hill. Here you shall experience a very unique phenomenon. For this you shall have to alight down from your vehicle.

Magnetic Hill
Also called the gravity hill at 11000 ft ASL, where the alignment of the road with the slope of the background is such that it tricks the visitors into believing that the cars actually drift upwards. It is an illusion that nobody till date has been able to explain very convincingly. After this experience you continue driving to Leh. Reach in the evening. Check in your hotel.
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11 -LEH – CHOGLAMSAR – SABU - LEH (TCV) EDUCATIONAL TRIP & VISIT TO LADY ORACLE

Today is a very special day for you all. After you enjoy breakfast at your hotel, you are going on an educational tour to the Tibetan children’s Villages some 25 kms off the main town. This is Choglamasar village.

Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV)
The high point of TCV is the vision & the mission that got around providing for the hundreds of nomadic refugees on the Indio Tibetan border. Deeply concerned by their plight his Holiness devised a plan that could provide education & guarantee sustainable development of the region & its people; with an initial capital of Rs. 10,000 (roughly USD 1500) by his holiness XIV Dalai Lama, this pioneering mission got underway in 1975. The Indian government provided land for free for this project & thus started one of the most remarkable journeys of rescuing impoverished & hapless children from poverty & deprivation & makes them self reliant & their families economically independent. Today TCV Ladakh is a thriving SOS Village with its own school and multitude of other facilities. The school includes classes from pre-school through grade ten, after which students can join other TCV branches for further education. Out of 24 children’s homes or Khimtsangs, seven are allotted to destitute Ladakhi children.

Besides the main SOS Village at Choglamasar, there are now seven schools, three in Jangthang and one handicraft cum vocational training centre, one agro-nomadic farm and one old people’s home. Nicknamed “oasis in the desert,” TCV Ladakh has become the pride of the region, serving both the Tibetan and Ladakhi communities in the best tradition of universal responsibility and care.

You spend the rest of the day with lady oracle in Sabu village (30 minutes drive from the hotel). The phenomenon of Oracles remains an important part of the Ladakhi life. They not only foretell your future but also are considered healers & protectors. After meeting oracle you shall enjoy a lovely tour to the banks of Indus River. Children can swim, relax and have fun. You shall treat yourselves to a picnic on the bank of Indus River.
Overnight in Leh
Meals provided today: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12 -LEH LOCAL SIGHTSEEING

You have breakfast in the morning. Later you leave for a full day sightseeing of the various attractions here. First up you see the Leh Palace. Built in 17th century by Tashi Namgyal, it looks dilapidated and deserted now. It was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok Palace in the 1830s. At the top of the peak is Victory Tower built to commemorate Ladakh’s victory over the Balti-Kashmir armies in the early 16th century.

Optional places: Thiksey, Shey Monastery

EDUCATIONAL TRIP IN THE AFTERNOON
In the afternoon, you shall visit the women’s alliance group, indigenous NGO’s that are strengthening the local communities to provide for their own needs of finding a way of counter-development. This organization concentrates on self-sustaining Farming, the use of renewable energy and education and traditional medicine you shall also get to know about the various water conservation methods adopted by the locals apart from various sanitation strategies.

Return back to hotel for overnight stay.
Meals provided today: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13 -LEH – NUBRA (135 km, 5-6 hours).

After breakfast at the hotel, you leave by jeeps to the Nubra Valley located at 10,600 ft, driving over the highest motorable road at Khardungla ( 5550 mtrs ASL) in the world. The exciting hair pin journey up to this point will leave you breathless! At the pass you’ll stop to admire the fantastic view before continuing down to Nubra valley. Situated on the old caravan (silk) route; Nubra is often called the valley of flowers. It is divided by two main rivers, the Shyok and the Nubra. With its gentler climate and teeming with sweet apricot orchards, many consider Nubra the most beautiful valley in Ladakh.

Upon arrival here you check in your Deluxe Camps. Your fixed camp is composed of full size tents come with cots and bedding; the camp also provides hot bucket showers and shared toilet facilities. Your camp is walking distance from Santaling Gompa, a charming monastery of the yellow capped sect. After you have refreshed yourselves at the camp you’ll have the chance to explore the gompa and the surrounding area on foot. Return to have dinner at the camp.

Overnight at camp – Nubra
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14 -NUBRA

After breakfast, you shall go on a jeep tour to Diskit — the tiny capital of Nubra, whose identity is a bazaar consisting of a single row of shops all over! Later you shall visit the Diskit Gompa, perched on a rocky spur above the village, with commanding views of the entire valley. From Diskit you shall continue along the Shayok River to Hunder, past an area of rolling sand dunes, their contours apparently solid, yet liable to shift with every gale. Here is a small population of Bactrian camels, shaggy double-humped animals, which in the old days, were used as pack animals on the Central Asian trade routes. You shall enjoy one such ride atop these animals, into the sand dunes to get a feel for what life on the Silk Route might have been like! You shall return to camp for a steaming hot lunch. Rest of the evening is free to explore & wander or purely to relax in the valley.
Overnight at camp Nubra.
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15 -NUBRA – LEH (CULTURAL PROGRAM)

You eat breakfast in the morning. Pack up your belongings & reach the waiting vehicle. Drive back to leh for overnight stay here. Check in your hotel. Relax a while before getting ready to watch one fun filled evening of Music, dance & cultural folklore.

You shall hear traditional Ladakh Folksongs, witness dance performances by the local artist’s that gives you some peek into the life & times of the locals. The dance forms are slow and rhythmic, and the songs are usually high pitched yet enchanting.

Return for dinner & overnight stay at the hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16 -LEH - DELHI – AGRA (economy class, 70 minutes flight, 3 ½ hrs drive)

Early this morning you shall transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Delhi. Upon reaching you shall meet with your guide at the airport exit. Start your drive to Agra which is approximately 230 km from the airport. This drive takes about 3 – 4 hours. In Agra you check in your hotel. Rest a while.

Later in the afternoon you shall visit the famous Taj Mahal. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist’s visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial as attribute to his love for his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be complete and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

Next you shall visit the Agra Fort built in 1565 by Akbar. The citadel consists of marble palaces, ornate alcoves, and terraced pavilions. Return back to your hotel for overnight stay.

Overnight at the city hotel
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 17 - AGRA – FATEHPUR SIKRI - DELHI - DEPARTURE (230 KMS, 5 HOURS)

In the morning, you’ll depart for Delhi via Fateh Pur Sikri 30 odd kms from Agra. While in Fateh Pur Sikri, you shall see the historic Buland Darwaza (55 mtrs high gate to the complex with inscriptions), Diwan e Aam (audience Hall), Diwan e Khas (Royal hall) & Tomb of Salim Chisti. This place was Akbar’s capital before it got shifted to Delhi. Continue driving to Delhi. Upon arrival, you shall visit the Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial & also enjoy a cycle Rickshaw ride in the Chandni chowk opposite to the red fort area to explore the narrow streets of old Delhi. From here you drive to your hotel nearby the international airport for wash and change facility.

Enjoy a farewell dinner to top it all. Your tour ends now. Hope you enjoyed. We drop you to the international airport. Wish you a safe & happy flight back home.

Optional for the day: Sound & light show

GALLERY

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