Ladakh and Kashmir tour
Day 01: Arrival in Leh :
Upon arrival at Leh Airport you will met by Moonlight Travels representative and Welcome in traditional Ladakhi style and transfer to hotel, rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight stay at hotel.
Leh City: The capital of Ladakh, at one time was a major stop on the Asian "Silk Route". A stroll along the main bazar, observing the varied crowd and peering into the curio shops, is an entrancing experience. Chang Gali, behind the main bazar is less bustling but has intriguing little shops selling curios and jewelry like pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, lapis and many other kinds of semi-precious stones, as well as curiously carved Yak- horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls etc.
Day 02: Leh: AM: Excursion to Phyang & Spituk PM: Excursion to Sankar Gompa & Shanti Stupa :
Phyang, Located 22 Kms from Leh. The monastery is remarkably built on the hilltop, similar to the Likir monastery. This monastery belongs to the Degungpa order. On the way back visit to Spituk monastery which was founded by Od Lde, in the 11th century AD. In those days the gompa belonged to the Kadampa School but Gelukpa order was introduced during the region of King Dragspa Bum ilde, when Lama Lhawang Lotus restored the monastery.
Later we drive back to hotel on time for lunch.
Later in the afternoon, guided sightseeing tour visiting the Sanker Gompa, which is towards the north of the Town, it has an impressive). Later visit Shanti Stupa, The Japanese for World Peace built the Shanti Stupa, at Changspa, on the hilltop, and was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in 1985. Its state of the art work attracts a lot of tourists to Ladakh and is spectacular to watch. From there one can see the nice spectacular view of Leh town.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Leh: Excursion to Matho, Stakna & Stok Palace :
Morning Excursion of Stok, Matho and Stakna. Stok Palace Museumwhich is about 12 kms from Leh across Indus river. It houses some old statues and other equipment. Matho is about 6 kms from Stok and houses some incredible statues and paintings. Later visit Stakna gompa which is famous for its numerous statues and paintings.
Later in the evening afternoon drive back to hotel. Evening at leisure to stroll in the bazaar and overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Leh :
Excursion to Shey, Thiksey, Hemis: Today we proceed for Indus Valley monastery tour. We start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue.
Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha of the future. Drive further to visit the famous Hemis Gompa founded in 1630's by Stag-tsang-ras-pa under the royal patronage of Sengge Namgyall.
Hemis is one of the largest and richest gompas of Ladakh.The two-day festival of monastic dance in June-July has raised the reputation of Hemis particularly high. The festival is dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as second Buddha and responsible for spreading Buddhism in the Tibetan world.
Later in the evening we drive back to hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Leh - Nubra (126 km) (42OOm / 5-6hrs. Drive) :
After breakfast drive to Nubra Valley the road to the Nubra Valley goes through the highest motorable pass in the world at Khardung La (5602m) The Pass is almost permanently covered in fog and snow,
On arrival in the Nubra valley Nubra means green used to be on the trading roué connecting Tibet with Turkistan, and was the navy of Turkisatn which invaded it several times. Also know as the Valley of flowers, Nubra has always been well cultivated and fertile, with the best climate in Ladakh, so grains and fruit, such as apples and apricots, have always been plentiful. Ninety per cent of Nubra's population is Buddhist.
Nubra's very known monastery, Samstaling is situated on the mountainside just above Sumur. This was the route taken by the trade caravans, and Panamik, the last village on this circuit, was at that time a busy centre, the last major settlement before the caravans plunged into the mountains of the Karakoram and the Kun-Lu. Here they invariable halted for a few days to make final preparations for getting over the mountains, or to recuperate afterwards. There would be no supplies, not even grazing for the animals, for about 12 days after Panamik, so they had to carry all their provisions for that time.
The Government maintained a granary to sell foodgrains for the men, and even for the horses. Overnight stay at the Footprints Camp.
Day 06: Nubra :
Full day visit of Nubra Valley first visit the hot sulphur springs at the village of Panamik, the last destination travellers are permitted to travel to in Nubra are believed to have certain medicinal qualities that cure a number of ailments. Later 3-4 hrs walk till the Esna monastery that is over 250 years old. This is the oldest monastry in Nunbra valley. Return drive to camp rest of the time at camp.
Day 07: Nubra - Leh :
After breakfast drive to Leh over the Khardungla pass.
On arrival check in hotel. Rest of the evening at leisure or one can explore the beauty of Leh on their own.Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08: Leh - Alchi (Via Basgo & Likir) :
After breakfast we drive to Likir and visit Likir gompa situated atop a windy cliff top overlooking the beautiful village of Likir. It was founded in the 12th Century although the present construction dates back to the 18th century as the original one was destroyed by fire. In its courtyard is a yellow-coloured 3 storey high mammoth statue of the Lord Buddha, which was constructed by a resident monk. The top floor has an impressive museum containing old tangkhas and weapons used many centuries back.
Basgo, The seat of power of a branch of the Namgyal family. It is here in 1680 A.D. that invading Mongol and Tibetian armies were held in check over a three year long seige. Original 16th century murals and other arts of Basgo are well worth a visit.
Then we drive and cross the River Indus and reach Alchi, Ladakh's most loved monastery. Over a century old, its wall paintings are very similar to those of the Tabo gompa in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Unlike other monasteries, which are usually on a cliff top or cling to a mountainside, Alchi is at ground level and is nestled in the shade of a garden.
After Alchi, we have an option to visit the impressive Ridzong Gompa, reached from the road head after a 30-minute uphill walk. It’s an impressive monastery well hidden in the lap of the mountains until you’re face to face with it. It is situated on the mountainside wedged in between 2 ends of a ridge. It is about 100 years old and the name means 'mountain fort' aptly describing this isolated Gompa. It also has a nunnery of female monks. Overnight stay at Alchi Camp or Hotel.
Day 09: Alchi - Lamayuru - Kargil :
Post breakfast we check out from Camp and drive to Lamayuru monastery, founded by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century. This Gompa is located amidst the massive mountains. The spectacular setting of this Gompa and its renowned collection of carpets, tangkhas, and frescoes has been attracting many people over a long time. It is believed to be the oldest in central Ladakh.
After visiting the monastery we drive straight to Kargil over Fatu-la [13,489 ft] which is the highest pass on Srinagar - Leh road.
Upon arrival in Kargil check in at Footprints mobile camp for Overnight stay.
Day 10: Kargil - Srinagar :
Today our guide takes you to Srinagar by car. While entering in to the Kashmir valley you will pass through the Zoji-la and Sonamarg.
Drass - Located at an altitude of 3230 m in the west of Kargil, Drass is a small township in the centre of the valley. It is also regarded as the coldest inhabited place in the world. During spring and summer it is one of the most visited place in the valley for its picturesque beauty. The valley mainly starts from the Zojila pass which is known as Himalayan gateway to Ladakh.
Upon arrival in Srinagarr, The Valley of Kashmir - Set like a jeweled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a many faceted diamond, changing character with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. The contrast of Kashmir valley led the poets of all nations to speak of it as an "Emerald set in Pearls. In the heart of Kashmir valley is Srinagar, the Capital city. It is situated at an altitude of 1,730 meters above sea level. No destination is quite so romantic & no setting as enchanting as Srinagar. Srinagar is a unique city because of its Lakes.
Upon arrival in the Paradise city transfer to Deluxe Houseboats for 02 nights.
Day 11: Srinagar :
In the morning proceed for sightseeing tour - visiting Shankaracharya Temple & Mughal Gardens.
Shankaracharya Temple - It is located at 1100 ft. above surface level of the main city on the Shankaracharya hill, also known as Takht-e-Suleiman. The Shiva temple was constructed by Raja Gopadatya in the year 371 B.C. and as such is the oldest shrine in Kashmir. The temple, besides a prominent Hindu religious place, is of great archaeological importance. The temple commands a magnificent panoramic view of the Srinagar City.
Nishat Garden - The Garden of Pleasur e - Empress Noor Jahan's brother Asif Khan laid the Garden in the year 1633 AD. It is situated on the banks of world famous Dal-Lake in the backdrop of Zabarwan hills. The largest of the gardens, Nishat has seven terraces with beautiful water channel flowing right in the middle. These terraces rise dramatically off the mountains from the eastern part of the lake, and these together with the flowerbeds, a riot of brilliant colors, present an unforgettable sight.
Shalimar Garden - The Garden of Love - Built in the year 1619 A.D. for Empress Noor Jahan by Emperor Jehangir and was later extended in the year 1727 A.D. by Shah Jahan. The Garden has four terraces; the 4th terrace was once reserved for royal ladies. The garden is 539 x 182 meters shaded by magnificent Chinar trees; the Shalimar is a series of stones of pavilions and flowerbeds. The Garden blooms with innumerable varieties of flowers in spring and autumn.
Later return to houseboats for Dinner & Overnight stay. Stay overnight at Houseboat.
Day 12: Srinagar - Delhi (By Air) :
Shikara boatride on Dal Lake - A Shikara boat ride is one of the most soothing & relaxing aspects of a holiday in Kashmir.
Early morning visit the floating vegetable market in a Shikara boat. This unique kind of market can be only witnessed in Thailand and Kashmir. En route the market, watch many species of aquatic birds on lakes, nestling on surrounding trees on floating marshes used for growing vegetables by locals. Return to houseboats for breakfast.