Ladakh - ancient, magnificent and steeped in folklore and legends, is a magical experience. An inimitable region with varied landscapes - brown sandy deserts, purple coloured rust cliffs and white snow clad mountains which have abundant bubbling rivulets flowing through them. Incredibly blue skies, bells tolling and rhythmic chants from mystical monasteries going up in the air, azure blue lakes and flags fluttering in the wind - Everything about Ladakh is ethereal ! A fabulous landscape, amazing people and vibrant culture makes Ladakh a fantastic destination
50+ Voyagers Travel and Adventure Club brings a carefully crafted tour that begins with enough acclimatization at Leh and then take you through the fabulous landscape Shey, Alchi, Nubra valleys and Pangong Lake, a pace suitable for 50 and above aged.
Enjoy a thrilling and scenic landing at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh, surrounded by rugged high mountain ranges. After collecting luggage, we will drive down to the hotel situated in the heart of the ancient city of Leh. Relax during rest of the day and let your body acclimatize to this sudden change of altitude.
In the afternoon, visit Leh Hall of Fame which has a museum built and maintained by Indian Army in the memory of the soldiers who had lost their lives during the Indo-Pak wars. Know about Kargil war heroes and soldiers life at Siachen glacier. You will get a good idea of Ladakh Landscape and your next destinations from a life size aerial model of Ladakh. We will return back to the hotel for an early dinner and then to take good rest.
Wake up early to enjoy breathtaking view of whole Leh city. Post breakfast, we will proceed to a leisurely city tour of Leh and surroundings. Because, our body will take some more time to acclimatize, todays' tour will be at slow pace.
We will visit Thikse Monastery, 20 km away from Leh, which is spectacularly located on a hill and famous for beautiful murals and a huge image of Maitreya Buddha, an outstanding specimen of Ladakhi architecture. Will also visit Druk White Lotus School which is more popularly known as Ranchos school after filming of 3 Idiots movie. Return back to the hotel for a delicious dinner and a good night sleep.
Post lunch, we shall proceed to Hemis Monastery which exists since 11th century and is the biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh. Naropa, the pupil of the yogi Tilopa, and teacher of the translator Marpa is connected with this monastery. Hemis monastery stayed unscathed through several wars and conquests. While other monasteries were plundered and looted, Hemis, owing to its hidden location and the generosity showed by reigning Buddhist rulers, went on to become so rich that it is believed that it now owns half of the land in Ladakh.
Today we will visit - Alchi Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh region, on the bank of river Indus. There is no electricity in the monastery, so we have to carry a flash light to sight the lavish wood carving and ancient artwork. You may also offer oil and light to the monastery.
On the way, we will cross Nimmu Valley where you will admire breathtaking view of the confluence of Indus and Zanskar river. You can clearly see two different color of rivers flowing from different directions. There is a small restaurant at the view point where you can try some hot soupy noodles or ladakhi chai. As we proceed, you will find Cooking Gas Refilling Plant, Hydroelectric Power Plant all at the highest altitude in the world. While returning from Alchi, we will visit Shanti Stupa and Pathar Sahib Gurdwara. Spend some time at Magnetic Hill, a gravitation hill, which creates an optical illusion through a rising and descending terrain.
Today we will climb steadily from Leh to the deep valleys of the Shyok and Nubra rivers that separate Karakoram from Ladakh range. Both rivers are fed by Siachen glacier and flow through the valley of flowers - Nubra. It is really thrilling to know that Nubra Valley lies in the old trans-Himalayan Silk Route from South to Central Asia. We will cross Khadungla Pass (18,500 ft), the highest motorable road in the world. Once we reach Nubra, you will encounter an awesome creature - double-humped camels grazing on the valley of braided Shyok River. You may go for a safari ride on camal back in the sand dunes of Nubra valley. We will check in to the Tented Camp and post lunch take some rest. In the afternoon, we will visit a remote and pretty hamlet 'Hunder' ideal for ambling through ancient monastery and hiking to medieval watchtowers for terrific view of the Shyok valley beneath. After returning back to the tent camp you will be served an early dinner.
Post breakfast, we will drive along the shyok river towards 515 years old Diskit Monastery which was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the oldest and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey monastery. From the top of the monastery, get an enthralling view of diskit or roam in the ancient prayer halls full with chanting monks, crashing cymbals and deep horns. We will stop for lunch and then drive down to Leh for a night stay there.
Today, wake up early in the morning and get ready to check-out from the hotel post breakfast. We will drive down to the mesmerizing Pangong Tso Lake which gained immense fame after Bollywood blockbuster '3 idiots' and is a highlight of our tour in Ladakh. As we approach closure, you can see blue hue of the lake at the horizon surrounded by rugged mountain terrain. 'Pangong' means "long, narrow, enchanted lake". The Indo-China line of control runs through the lake and 60% of the Lake lies in China. Surprisingly Pangong is not a sweet water lake typically found at high altitude, but is the highest salt water lake in Asia. Despite being saline in water, the lake freezes completely during winter months.
Upon reaching the shore of the lake, we will check-in to the comfortable tented camp. In the evening near Full-moon night, take a leisurely walk on the shore and admire the shimmering beauty of the lake during sun set. Return back to the camp to participate in team activities and have some fun moments with your co-travelers. Enjoy your dinner and return to your tent for a pleasant sleep.
Do not miss out the panoramic view and serenity of the Pangon Lake in the morning - changing hue from deep mournful grey to an uplifting blue-green as sun rises the horizon. If you have interest in birds, then look out for migratory birds like Brahmani Ducks, Rare black necked cranes and Ladakhi Marmot. Post warm breakfast, we will drive back to Leh. Spend rest of the day at your leisure.
Today early morning we will check out from the hotel and proceed towards airport for flight back home. Some things will stay embedded in our heart and mind forever - the extraordinary scenery, snowy summits magnified by the crystal-clear sunshine, arid plains interspersed with a moonscape of deep gorges, vibrant culture, wizened faces and rosy cheeks... and the aura of greatness. Ladakh will always stay close to the heart.
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