Delhi, Leh, Nubata & Pangong Tso Lake
The very famous festival of Hemis Tse Chu requires no introduction. Every year 2 days in the month of June the courtyard of the largest & richest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis, is jam packed with the Ladakhis and the tourists to watch and celebrate the birth day of the founder of the Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Padamasambhava. The lamas attired in colourful bright brocades and elaborate headgears perform the masked dances (Chamms) with “good (Gods) defeating the evil (Demons)” is the underlying theme. The Buddhist festival of Hemis Tse Chu in Ladakh adds cultural colour and vibrancy to Fairs and Festivals of India.
Day 01: Australia – Delhi (-/-/-)
Meet and greet at Airport on arrival in Delhi by our representative. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 02: Delhi – Leh (-/-/D)
Arrive at Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rinpochi Airport. Take the first whiff of this spectacular mountain city as you step out into 10,000 feet plus terrain. Leh is a land of beautiful landscapes that are never ending and gorgeous vistas. You will be met by our local guide who will assist you and accompany you to the hotel in Leh. Rest of the day will be spent acclimatising to the high altitude. Afternoon you can also go and have your first look at the lives of the locals and visit the Leh Market. Plethora of shops selling antiques is an attraction apart from the bakers selling freshly baked bread. Stay overnight at the hotel. (D)
Day 03: Leh (B/-/D)
Explore the rich cultural heritage of the region of Ladakh and explore its royal past. Start your day with a visit to Shey, the former capital of Ladakh region and erstwhile home to the Ladakhi royalty. The main attraction at Shey is Shey Palace, the erstwhile royal residence of the Laddakh monarchs, built by Ladakh king Deldan Namgyal in 1655 AD. Currently serving as a centre of Buddhism, it houses Shey Monastery, which had the largest golden Buddha statue towering 39 feet in Leh Ladakh region. From here move on and discover the largest Gompa of central Ladakh at Thiksey Monastery. The 12-story complex of the monastery belonging to Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, strikingly resemble the Potala Palace of Tibet. Apart from housing many important items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords, the Thiksey monastery, it also houses the largest statue of Maitreya Buddha in Ladakh standing 49ft tall.
Day 04: Leh – Khardungla – Nubra (B/-/D)
Enjoy buffet breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will check out of hotel and travel to explore one of the cold deserts of the world, home to double humped bacterian camel – Nubra valley. The valley is formed by the Shyok river meeting with Nubra or Siachan river and it separates Ladakh from Karakoram ranges. The valley, located on an average height of more than 10000 feet, offers you an insight into and the ways of life of the local people, battling harshest climatic conditions possible. The drive to Nubra is interesting, with you passing through the highest motorable road in the world, Khardungla pass. As you descend through the pass, you will get to see the picturesque Sunoor area and Samstanling Gompa, which offers you scenic view of the Dikshit valley. Stay overnight at one of the fixed camps at Dikshit/Hunder. Stay overnight at Nubra.
Day 05: Nubta – Leh (B/-/D)
Enjoy your breakfast at the camp. Later in the morning explore Diskit & Hundar, the two most important villages of Nubra Valley. Visit the Diskit monastery (gompa), belonging to Gelugpa sect, it is the oldest monastery of Nubra valley. The monastery has statue of Matireya Buddha in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities. An elevated cupola of the monastery depicts a fresco of the Tashihunpo Monastery of Tibet. The Monastery administration runs a school, with support from a Non-Government Organization (NGO) known as the “Tibet Sup- port Group”, which has computer facilities and teaches science subjects in English to Tibetan children of the region. Also enjoy the visit to the Sand Dunes where you can enjoy a short camel safari using the double-humped Bactrian camel found here. Afternoon you will drive back to Leh to arrive and check in at the hotel.
Day 06: Leh – Pangong Tso Lake (B/-/D)
Early morning after breakfast, we will go to explore one of the most beautiful lakes in the Himalayas – Pangong Tso, which means “long, narrow, enchanted lake” in the Tibetan language, also referred to as Pangong Lake. The lake, spread over 604 sq. kms of the area between India and Tibet (China), is about 5 kms wide at the broadest point. With no interference with the living world, the lake offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflections shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lakes brackish waters. You are close to the Mother Nature during the scenic beauty of Himalaya, with you and the peace in between. The water is saline, despite that the lake freezes in winter. The drive to the Lake is an amazing experience, with the route passing through the villages of Shey and Gya and traverses the Changla pass. Road down from Changla Pass leads through Tangste and other smaller villages, crossing river called Pa-gal Naala, also known as “The Crazy Stream”. You will live in one of the most pristine environments, as you spend your nights at the tented complex near Pangong Lake.
Day 07: Pangong Tso Lake – Leh (B/-/D)
After a relaxed breakfast, prepare your cameras to zoom on and click the rare sights of black-necked Siberian crane around the Mahe marshes which are the only breeding ground for these migratory birds. Later check out and drive back to Leh, en route visit Darbuk Village near Tangtse Valley, where stands a chain of war memorials with regimental insignias in commemoration of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-China war of 1962. Villagers can be seen here along with their large herds of Pashmina sheep and long-tailed yaks. Upon arrival Leh, check in and stay overnight.
Day 08: Leh (B/-/D)
After breakfast, we leave for Hemis monastery to attend the famous annual Hemis festival held here. It is the wealthiest, best-known and biggest gompa of Ladakh. The festival is in honour of Guru Padma Sambhav’s birth anniversary. It also has the largest Thangka in Ladakh, which is unfurled, once in 12 years (next in 2016). The hall Dukhang is also used as “green room” by the dancers during the festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist ‘wheel of life’ (Kalachakra) and the lords of the four quarters, besides the prayer wheel.
Day 09: Leh (B/-/D)
Have breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Hemis Monastery for the second and last day of the Hemis Festival. Enjoy the day and immerse yourself in the colourful festivities.
Day 10: Leh (-/-/-)
Today we discover the rich Buddhist heritage of Ladakh by travelling to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh at Alchi. Alchi monastery, a national heritage, was established in 10th century. It is more famous for well-preserved 11th & 12th century wall paintings, all in an Indo Himalayan style. The complex also has huge statues of the Buddha and elaborate wood carvings and art-work comparable to the baroque style. Enroute you will also visit Likir monastery on top of a hill alongside the valley of river Indus. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 11: Leh – Delhi – Australia
Leave the world of mesmerising sights, morning transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Delhi. Half day city tour of Qutub Minar, India Gate, Parliament House and Humayun’s Tomb. Transfer to international airport to for your flight home.
Day 12: Arrive Australia
Number of Days 12
Price From $
International and domestic flights
Deluxe accommodation with private facilities
Travel by private air conditioned Coach
Meals as specified
Entrance fee to the monuments
Services of an English speaking local guide
All assistance and transfers
Tipping for guide and driver
Camera and video permits may be required at some sights
Minimum 5 travellers.
Please contact our Reservations Team for further information.