(2050 mts) (3 hrs by Train and 8 hrs Drive) New Delhi to Chandigarh by Shatabdi and further transfer to Manali. Evening exploration of Manali mall road, overnight at hotel.(Hotel BandB)
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. The Kulluis in brightly patterned puttoos, Tibetan women wearing ankle-length rainbow-striped pinafores, Nepali porters, Buddhist monks, and even the odd party of Zanskaris, swathed in fusty woolen gonchas, muddled together with souvenir-hunting Indian and Western tourists-all add up to the welcoming hubbub of Manali.
Hadimba Temple: Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of inteest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba.
Manu Temple: 3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.
Tibetan Monasteries: There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at the left bank of Beas river.
Vashist Hot Water Springs And Temple (3 Kms): Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni.
(3,300 mts.) (147 Kms/7-8 hrs drive) After breakfast drive to Darcha. Across Rohtang Pass(3,980 mts.) which is the gateway to Lahual, Spiti, Pangi and Zanskar Valleys. 8 hours drive through Lahual valley. Overnight at Camp.
After breakfast trek to Phuktal Monastery built under a huge cave and back to camp. Over night Camp.
Phuktal Monastery, one of the most spectacular sights in Zanskar. Phuktal belongs to the tradition of the Gelupas(yellow-Hat Monks).The monastery is like a honeycomb, cut into a cock under a gignantic grotto, and has 70 monks. in the caves over the monastery, there is a water hole whose water level never receds, even after taking out any amount of water from there. Water is said to have healing powers.
(3,500 mts.) (Trek Ends) 6 hrs After breakfast trek to Padam. Padam is a Sub-divisional Head Quarter of Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir. Visit Bardan Gompas, one of the oldest gompa in the region. trek ends here o/n camp.
Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, Padum (3505 m) is the present day administrative headquarters of the region. With a population of nearly 2000, Padum can be described as the most populous settlement of Zanskar, otherwise a very scarcely inhabited valley. Incidentally, it is only in Padum that there is a community of Muslims constituting nearly half the township's population, its origin in the area dating from mid 17th century. Lately, Padum has become a famous as a major trekking base and a popular tourist destination.
(2704 mts.) 240 Kms/8 hrs Drive After breakfast drive to Kargil. Overnight Hotel.
KARGIL (2704 m), 204 kms from Srinagar in the west and 234 kms from Leh in the east, is the second largest urban centre of Ladakh and headquarters of the district of same name. A quite town now, Kargil once served as important trade and transit centre in the Pan-Asian trade network. Numerous caravans carrying exotic merchandise comprising silk, brocade, carpets, felts, tea, poppy, ivory etc. transited in the town on their way to and from China, Tibet, Yarkand and Kashmir. The old bazaar displayed a variety of Central Asian and Tibetan commodities even after the cessation of the Central Asian trade in 1949 till these were exhausted about two decades back. Similarly the ancient trade route passing through the township was lined with several caravanserais.
(3505 Mts) 234 Kms/8 hrs Drive After breakfast drive to Leh. Over night Hotel.
Leh: Leh is the fascinating capital of the Autonomous Hill Council of Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet. The important monasteries to visit in and around Leh are Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Spituk, Samkhar as well as the Shanti Stupa, Stok Palace and main Bazaar. The Leh palace dominating the town was the former home of the Namgyal Dynasty. The monastic festivals are very popular and Hemis, Phyang and Lamayaro festivals in summer are visited by lot of tourists who throng to see the Cham Dances.
Fullday visit of Hemis/Shey and Thiksey monastery. Leave after breakfast for fullday visit of Hemis/Shey and Thiksey monastery. Pack lunch will be served. Overnight in Hotel.
Hemis the position of Hemis monastery lying in a small isolated valley south of the Indus, belies its importance. 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 than has enjoyed the patronage of the royal family of Ladakh. It providesmonks as caretaker for royal monasteries at the Basgo, Leh and Shey palaces.
Shey- the former palace of upper Ladakh before Leh was established, this site commanded an important vantage over the Indus valley. Since 1834 however, after the royal family moved to Stokh, much of the palace and fort fell into disrepair; even the marshland immediately below was once a clear lake.
Thiksey - one of the most imposing monasteries in the Indus valley, Thiksey was part of the original Delgupta order in the 15th century. The monk's quarter's stretch right the way along the hillside beneath the main assembly hall. The library at Thiksy is supposedly 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
Leh Palace: The palace is a distinguished monument and a historical building.The nine- storeyed palace was built by the 17th century illustrious ruler of Ladakh Sengge Namgyal.
Jama Masjid: The historical mosque is situated in the heart of Leh town. It was built in 1666-67 A.D.consequent to an agreement between the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and then ruler of Ladakh, Deldan Namgyal.
Spituk: The gompa stands prominently on the top of a hillock,8 Kms.from Leh,and commands a panaoramic view of the Indus Valley for miles.Many icons of Buddha and five thankas are found in 15th century monastery.There is also a collection of ancient masks,antique arms,and an awe inspiring image of Mahakal.
Phyang: The monastery is situated 17 Kms.from Leh on the Leh-Kargil road.It was built by Tashi Namgyal in the later half of the 16th century A.D.and looks like a place from a distance.The gompa belongs to the Red Cap sect of the Buddhists. Hundreds of icons of Budha are kept on wooden shelves.