Day 01: Arrival in Delhi :
Upon arrival, you are met by our representative and transferred to hotel.After refreshment, take a half day tour of Red Fort-one of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal architecture, built in the mid 17th century. Even today, the Lal Quila or the Red Fort is an eloquent reminder of the glory of the Mughal era, and its magnificence simply leaves one awestruck. It is still a calm haven of peace, which helps one to break away, from noisy and busy life outside the walls of the Fort, and transports the visitor to another realm of existence. Outside the fort is a busy market place called the 'Meena Bazaar'. This bazaar has an excellent collection of antiques, miniature paintings and skillfully crafted fake ivory jewelry. The bazaar also sells some fabulous carpets beautifully woven. From here, you will continue to Jame Mosque, country's largest mosque, built in 1656, where thousands of Muslims offer prayers. The great mosque of Old Delhi is both the largest in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees.
Day 02: Delhi - Dharamshala :
Flight to Dharamshala and transfer to hotel. Check in at hotel. Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: At Dharamshala :
Dharamshala is better known as Dalai Lama's abode and capital of Tibet's Government-in-exile after the Chinese invasion of Lhasa in October 1959. Dharamshala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snow line with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. There are several places of tourist attractions in Dharamshala that are worth visiting. In the morning, visit Macleodganj, a charming Tibetan settlement with bustling bazaars that sell carpets, handicrafts and delicious Tibetan food. Originally home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, McLeodganj is today the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and the headquarters of the exiled Tibetan Government. The impressive monastery has larger than life size images of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avaloketeshwara.
Bhagsu Nag Temple , a quiet temple lying beside several pools where devout Hindus and monks congregate to bathe, is another attraction.St John's Church, one of the most poignant memories of the British Reign is the church of St. John , situated in the wilderness. This charmingly dressed stone church is located just 5 miles away from Dharamsala on the way to McLeod Ganj Also visit the Kangra art museum that preserves the Kangra valley's arts, crafts and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century.The museum also includes a gallery of Kangra's famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery, and anthropological items. Evening free to explore Mc Leodganj market.
Day 04: Dharamsala - Manali (166 miles / 9 hrs) :
Travel by surface from Dharamsala to Manali en route viewing tea gardens, old Shiva temple at Baijnath and Kullu town. On arrival check in at hotel.
Day 05: Manali Sightseeing :
Manali is an important hill station of northern India and is the destination of thousands of tourists every year. Its cool atmosphere provides a perfect haven for the ones afflicted by the hot Indian summers. Besides offering quite a few places for sightseeing, Manali is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Today, you will take sightseeing tour that includes Manali's oldest shrine Hadimba Devi Temple which is a triple-tiered wooden pagoda crowned by crimson pennants and a brass ball and the facade with wonderful woodcarvings of elephants, crocodiles and folk deities, the only temple of Manu-the sage who was the creator of human race on the earth and it is believed that he meditated here and Vashisht Hot springs. In the afternoon, you will visit Naggar Castle , that used to be the raja's headquarters, when Nagar was capital of Kullu Valley . The old fort is built around a courtyard with beautiful views over the valley and Roerich Art Gallery (closed on mondays) that preserves original works of Roerich on the Himalayas , quotations from Roerich and valued words of the visitors. Evening free to explore Manali market.
Day 06: Manali - Keylong (72 miles - 6 hrs) :
Travel from Manali to Keylong, en route crossing over Rohtang Pass (13.055ft)) and a few villages in Lahaul valley like Sissu, Gondla and confluence of Chaanra & Bhaga rivers at Tandi. This route would provide you views of mountains, several streams, waterfalls and hanging glaciers. Rohtang Pass remains closed from November to June due to heavy snow and cuts off the Lahaul Valley from rest of the world! On arrival check in hotel. Afternoon, hike to Khardong village and Monastery. Evening free to explore the tiny town of Keylong.
Day 07: At Keylong :
A day excursion visiting Trilokinath temple and Mrikula devi temple at Udaipur . Return back to Keylong. Situated at an altitude of 10,988 ft. Keylong is the head quarter of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh lying on Indo-Tibetan Border. The region is strange, exciting, primitive, mountainous and delightful. "Rudyard Kipling" said of therein "Surely the God lives in here and this is no place for men."
Day 08: Keylong - Sarchu (67 miles / 6 hrs) :
Travel from Keylong to Sarchu en route visiting Jispa and crossing over Baralacha La ( 15,745 ft). Baralacha La has a small lake - Surajtal which is considered to be source of river Bhaga. En route at Darcha, you would be required to register in the Police check post. On arrival check in the tented accommodation. Evening walk around the beautiful & huge campsite of Sarchu. Overnight in tents.
Day 09: Sarchu - Leh (156 miles / 12 hrs) :
Today is a very long day and we start very early. Travel by surface from Sarchu to Leh over Lachang La (5,065 m/16,613ft) and Tanglang La (5,360 m/17,580ft, the second highest motor able pass in the world!). En route also visit Thiksey monastery, one of the most imposing monasteries in the Indus valley. The monk's quarter's stretch right the way along the hillside beneath the main assembly hall. The library at Thiksey is supposed to be one of the finest in Ladakh and a multi - denominations Gompa has recently been constructed - proof indeed of the continuing vitality of Buddhism in Ladakh.
Day 10: Sightseeing of Shey Palace, Hemis Monastery and Stok Palace :
After breakfast, drive for full day sight seeing of Shey Palace, Hemis monastery and Stok Palace Museum. Hemis monastery lies in a small isolated valley south of the Indus. As headquarters of the Drukpa (Old Buddhist) order, it administers monasteries throughout the whole Ladakh - from the Indus to the Zanskar valley and from the Markha to the Sumdah valley. Hemis was established at the behest of Senge Namgyal in the early 17th century and since then it has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family of Ladakh. It provides monks as caretaker for royal monasteries at the Basgo, Leh and Sheh palaces. Shey, the former palace of upper commands an important vantage over the Indus valley. Since 1834 however, after the royal family moved to Stok, much of the palace and fort fell into disrepair; even the marshland immediately below was once a clear lake. Around 9 miles from Leh, across the Choglamsar bridge is the Stok Palace which was built by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal in 1825 and where present Royal family still resides. The Stok Palace Museum has vast collection of thankas, traditional clothing and ornaments from Royal family. Return to Leh in the evening to explore Leh market.
Day 11: Khardung La Excursion :
A day excursion to Khardung La which is the highest motor able pass in the world ( 5600 m/18,368m). From the top, you will enjoy the breath-taking views of snow-capped mountains. In the late afternoon return to the hotel and later visit Leh Palace, Shankar Monastery and Shangti Stupa. Hotel: Lotus or Spic N Span or Mandala (A Class Hotels of Leh).
Day 12: Leh - Delhi :
Early morning transfer to Leh airport and fly back to Delhi.