This journey will take us on the ancient silk road, through the Ladakh and the Nubra valleys, a crossroad for commercial activities between India, Tibet and Central Asia. In the ancient kingdom of Sham, we will discover the main Ladakhi monasteries and the wonderful sites surrounding them: Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Spitok, Phyang, Lamayuru and Alchi… The second valley was an important stage for caravans following the Silk Road , which where swapping their mules for the famous camels of Bactriane.
It is only since 1995 that the restricted area of the Nubra opened its doors to foreigners. Lying approximately 400m lower than Leh, Nubra sports a much milder climate, which enables its inhabitants to cultivate more extensively, as compared to their counterparts in the main Indus valley. The highlights of this tour are the crossing of the Khardong La pass (5400 m), on the highest motorable roads in the world and a Bactriane camel safari
Arrive Delhi. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel (check in time is 1200 noon)
Early morning transfer to airport to connect flight 9W 609 for Leh. Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to acclimatize. Overnight at the hotel
Full day visit of :- Spituk :? Monastery 14 kms from Leh. The Spituk Monastery has a collection of 21 gold staties of Goddess Tara and a number of scroll paintings. Also visit the temple of Kali which has an interesting collection of masks.Sankar:- A relatively modern monastery. It is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest ? Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here. Overnight at the hotel.
Shey:- Situated on a hillock 15 km upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the Royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kings. A 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed here. Thikshey:-19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly most impressive gompas. There are several temples in the gompa containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha which are exquisite. Hemis:- 40 kms from Leh. It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is also has the largest thanka in Ladakh which is unfirled once in 12 years. Overnight at the hotel.
Full day visit of : Alchi:-70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus river, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature- sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer a active religions center, it is looked after by monks from Likir. Likir:- Founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century AD, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present Gompa dates back to the18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent thankas, earthern pots and carved folding wooden stools, liver here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view. Lamayuru Monastery:-Situated at the altitude of 3800 meters between Fotu-la and Khalsi. As per the legend, in ancient times a lake covered this site. One day a Hermit predicted that there will be a monastery one day and he throws the grainof rice on the earth which automatically forms the shape of Swastika (Yundrung) from where the name comes (Yundrung Tharpaling Gompa), constructed by Rinchen Zangpo one of his 108 constructions. Monastery noted for the sect drigungpa. In the gallery see 35 Buddha painted on the wall. Chapel of Avlokiteshvara ? the 2 mtrs high image of him with 11 heads and 1000 heads. Overnight at the hotel
Stock Palace:-The last king died in 1974 but his widow continues to live here, their son continues the royal line and ascended the throne in July 1993. The palace is a rumbling building where only a dozen of the 80 rooms are used. The small palace museum is worth visiting. It is a showpiece for the royal Thangkas (many 400 years old), the crown, jewels, dresses, coins, pearls encrusted with turcoise and lapis lazulli as well as religious objects. Overnight at the hotel.
Leave by road for Sarchu, enroute stop for photography and admire the natural beauty Upon arrival check in to the camp Overnight in Tents.
Drive to Manali Manali. Overnight at hotel.
Full day visit of :- Manali:- Situated at the northern end of Kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snow capped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali offers marvellous walks through dappled orchards and fairy tale forests of Deodar. You will visit the Hidimbha Temple, standing tall among the stately Deodars. This ancient temple with its three level roofs looks like a pagoda and its lintel and door frame are of intricately carved wood. The market is crowded with interesting shops selling Tibetan carpets and crafts. The village of Manali is 2 kms away across scented meadows and a quaint bridge over the sparking stream. Overnight at hotel
Drive to Dharamshala. check in to hotel Overnight at the hotel
AM Visit: Dharamshala:- The principal township of Kangra is a fascinating place. It is spread over a height difference of over 450 metres. Here you can see the Mcleod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj which retain the British flavour so peculiar to the towns of Himachal Pradesh. Here is also the residence of H.H. THE DALAI LAMA next to the monastery. The library at the school of Tibetan studies is treasure trove of manuscripts and texts on Tibet and its culture. There are several picuresque picnic spots here. PM: Leave for Amritsar Upon arrival check in to hotel and Overnight.
AM: Visit Amritsar :- The city was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru ? Ram Das. While excavating the holy tank called the ?Pool of Immortality?. This city is famous for the GOLDEN TEMPLE. The most sacred shrine of the Sikhs. Guru Arjun Dev built the temple and RanjitSingh, the Sikh ruler, enshrined the shrine and covered the doms with copper, overlaid with gold foil. The exterior walls are inlaid with precious stones and inside contains fine fillgree and gold inlay works. Also visit the Jalianwalan Bagh, Rambagh Gardens, Khalsa College, The Durgiana temple and Kashmir Emporium. PM: visit Golden Temple. Later in the afternoon, transfer to railway station Meeting upon arrival and transfer to hotel Overnight at the hotel
Visit Old delhi and New Delhi. Overnight at the hotel.
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