LAKES OF LADAKH

Lakes of Ladakh
Duration: (09 Nights | 10 Days)

Day 01: Arrive in Leh
Day 02: Explore Leh & Sham Valley
Day 03: Leh to Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
Day 04: Nubra Valley: Hunder to Sumur/Yarab Tso
Day 05: Nubra Valley (Sumur) to Leh via via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
Day 06: Leh to Tso Ltak /Tso Pangong via Chang La (17,585 ft.)
Day 07: Tso Pangong to Tso Moriri/Kyagar Tso via Chushul
Day 08: Tso Moriri to Leh via Tso Kar/Startsapuk Tso/Tanglanga La (17,480 ft.)
Day 09: Leh – Full day at own leisure (No Transport)
Day 10: Leh Airport Drop

• All Three Famous Passes: Chang La (17,585 ft.), Tanglang La (17,480 ft.) & the mighty Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
• Leh – Srinagar Highway up till Sangam
• Drive though the most remote & scenic routes of Ladakh
• Visit SEVEN beautiful lakes in Ladakh
• Visit Sham Valley, Sumur & Panamik Village, Rezang La War Memorial
• Leh (5N)
• Nubra Valley (2N)
• Pangong Lake (1N)
• Tso Moriri (1N)
• Famous Palaces & Monasteries

Cost Includes
• Room category & accommodation as desired
• 05 nights’ stay at Leh with breakfast
• 02 nights’ stay at Nubra Valley with dinner & breakfast
• 01-night stay at Tso Pangong with dinner & breakfast
• 01-night stay at Tso Moriri with dinner & breakfast
• Transportation: All sightseeing tours by Non-Ac Innova as per the itinerary
• Leh Airport pick-up & drop
• Protected Area Permits (PAP)
• Fuel, driver allowances

Cost Excludes
• GST as applicable / Air Fare
• Taxi Service on Day 09
• Entrance fee for monasteries/palaces, etc.
• Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry, telephone calls, room service, alcoholic beverages, mini bar charges, tips, portage, camera fees, room heater, etc.
• Any meals and services not specifically mentioned in the inclusions
• Any expense incurred or loss caused by reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, natural calamities (landslides, floods), flight delays / rescheduling / cancellations, any accidents / medical evacuations, riots/strikes/war/road blocks, & force majeure events, etc.
• Medical insurance/medical costs/ oxygen cylinder
• Additional sightseeing charges or extra usage of vehicle apart from the suggested itinerary

DETAILED ITINERARY
Day One: The Lost World

Arrive in Leh (Altitude 11,500 ft.)

You will arrive at the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (Leh Airport) which is nestled in the midst of The Mighty Himalayan Mountain Range. Leh Airport; one of the highest airports in the world is also considered to be one of the most scenic owing to its heavenly surroundings. It is encircled by immense golden brown, barren mountains which are truly a sight for sore eyes.

You will be warmly welcomed by Unplugged Life’s representative and transferred to your hotel in Leh City. The rest of the evening is for you to acclimatize yourself by casually strolling in and around your lodgings. Overnight stay at Leh City. The capital of Ladakh, at one time, was a major stop on the Asian “Silk Route”.

Day Two: When in Ladakh

Explore Leh & Sham Valley

Explore the gorgeous town of Leh and its beautiful stopovers. Most prominent among them is the Leh Palace. The ruins of this 350-year-old, 9 storey high Palace offer a breath-taking view of the city of Leh and its surroundings. Leh Market is starkly different from its metropolitan counterparts. The shops here are small, colourful, and vibrant. It has a rare mix of western and native cultures which is unique to itself.

Leh also boasts of a widely diverse population and shows their influences on its infrastructure. The Shanti Stupa, Jama Masjid, Zorawar Fort, Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib, and Magnetic Hill all lie within 25 km of Leh’s radius. Also, within this radius is the Indian Army’s Hall of Fame. It is a monument dedicated to the soldiers who served, and/or perished on the borders during wartime.

The Sangam (Confluence of rivers) between the ice-cold Zanskar and the mighty Indus is incredible to watch. It’s gushing blue waters put on a stunning display of power. Once you’ve absorbed in all these wonderful sights you will return to Leh and spend the night there.

Day Three: Ready, Set, Whoa

Leh to Nubra Valley via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)

After an early breakfast, you’ll check-out & drive to super scenic Nubra Valley 10,000 ft. The road takes you through the world’s 11th highest motor-able pass, Khardung La (17,582 ft.) a place engulfed in fog and wrapped by snow-laden peaks. You will literally be on cloud 9 that day.

Descending from the high pass, you will drive through the barren beauty of Nubra Valley, with the aquamarine waters of Shyok River for company. On arrival, you’ll first visit Diskit Monastery. It is over 250 years old and is the oldest monastery in Nubra Valley. Next to that lies an imposing 100 feet statue of Maitreya Buddha, in its resplendent golden avatar. From here drive to the sand dunes at Hunder. Here you can spot the world-famous double-humped camels, one of the rarest mammals, lounging on the desert.

At night, step out of your cosy room and gaze at the sky. Ladakh is one of the best places to stargaze, thanks to the pollution-free environment.

Day Four: This is Paradise

Nubra Valley: Hunder to Sumur/Panamik

After breakfast you’ll check-out and visit Sumur, a picturesque village around 42 km’s from Hunder on the other side of the valley. The village of Sumur is famous and also an important stop since the holy monastery, Samstem Ling Gompa is located close to the village. The Samstem Ling Gompa other than its spiritual importance is also known for its frescos and gorgeous silk Thangkas. The sand dunes at Sumur is also unoccupied compared to its counterpart in Hunder.

Later in the day take a short drive to Ladakh’s best-kept secret, Yarab Tso Lake. The lake is a sacred place for the local people and can only be approached by a short hike. Simply sit by the rocks, breathing in the unpolluted mountain air, relishing the sight of colourful prayer flags fluttering around the crystal-clear water, and experience the sense of calmness it brings.

From here either drive down to Sumur for the night or drive to the hot sulphur springs at the village of Panamik which is the last destination for tourists travelling across Ladakh. Panamik is also the village that is nestled very close to the Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world.

Day Five: We’re Off

Nubra Valley to Leh via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)

After a lazy breakfast, you’ll check-out and drive straight to Leh. On the way back stop at Khardung La 17,582 ft. and get those perfect pictures for your Instagram and continue the drive to Leh. Upon arrival, you’ll check-in at the hotel and will have the rest of the evening to yourself.

Day Six: Like Nothing I’ve Seen

Leh to Tso Pangong via Chang La (17,585 ft.)

After an early breakfast, you’ll check-out and drive towards Pangong Lake 13,943 ft. via the Chang-La 17,585 ft. Chang-La is the 10th highest motor-able pass in the world. On the way your first stop will be Shey Palace, the palace, mostly in ruins now was built first in 1655. The Palace and adjoining monastery are situated on a hilltop and the Palace offers a breath-taking view of the valley below as well as of the Mountain range across the valley, where the colours of the mountains change with the altitude.

Later visit Thiksey Monastery which is home to a beautifully sculpted sculpture of Maitreya (Future Buddha) as well as murals depicting the life of future Buddhas. Descending down Chang La you will stop at Tso Ltak, an unexplored lake at 16,102 ft. and continue on to Tso Pangong.

The first glimpse of the tranquil, azure blue waters, and shaky lakeshore of Tso Pangong remains etched in the memory of tourists. The lake has the most crystal clear, cerulean blue waters ever seen. Tso Pangong plays host to migratory bird families during mating seasons. Bar-headed Geese and Brahmani Ducks are two of the most prominently found birds here. The rare, endangered, and usually elusive Black-necked Cranes are also found here.

Upon arrival you’ll check-in at the hotel/camp and spend the rest of the evening strolling around the lake, taking in the beautiful scenery.

Day Seven: Into the Wild

Tso Pangong to Tso Moriri (14,835 ft.) via Chushul/Rezang La

After an early breakfast drive towards Tso Moriri which is at an altitude of 14,835 ft. above sea level. This route goes via MaanMerak – Chushul – Rezang La – Nyoma – Tso Kyagar to reach Tso Moriri. This will be one of the most scenic drives on your Ladakh Adventure as you drive parallel to Tso Pangong through the valley soaking in the true beauty of Pangong Lake and its changing hues.

On your way you will stop at Rezang La War Memorial. It is the site of the last stand of the 13 Kumaon, during the Sino-Indian War in 1962. From here, your next stop is Kyagar Tso, one of those small, yet sublime lakes that are usually not on the tourist radar. Its emerald waters and reflections of the surrounding hillocks are certainly worth a few shots. It’s a non-stop drive to Tso Moriri after that.

Flanked by golden brown mountains on one side and lush green plains on the other, Tso Moriri is nothing short of surreal. It is one of those few places where you can spot the rare and endangered black-necked cranes. Needless to say, shutterbugs will have a gala time here. After you have basked in the beauty of this place, you’ll check into your camp/hotel for the night.

Day Eight: Living on the Edge

Tso Moriri to Leh via Tanglang La (17,480 ft.)

Tso Moriri, it is frequented by birds, and also by Tibetan wolves, Tibetan foxes, and Tibetan Gazelles. You can even spot marmots – incredibly cute rodents, often found nibbling on something. They are quite approachable, so take as many selfies as you can with them, but don’t feed them. It can be fatal.

Today, you will go on an adventure, riding across Tanglang La pass (17,480 ft.), the 12th highest motor-able pass in the world. It’s considered one of the harder roads to drive on. But first, you will stop at Tso Kar (14,862 ft.), a salinized lake. In fact, its shores are partially covered in salt crust. Approximately 5 km on the south-west end is a freshwater lake called Startsapuk Tso.

The lake is connected to Tso Kar by an inlet stream and is a treat for bird watchers. You will reach Leh by evening, with the night for you to explore more of Leh.

Day Nine: Making Memories

Leh: Day at own leisure (No Transport)

This is your last day on your Ladakh Adventure. Take this day to explore the small lanes of Leh by foot, try bouldering, river rafting or just go shopping and at Leh Market. You can try some local Ladakhi food which has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being Thukpa (noodle soup), and Tsampa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe (roasted barley flour).

A dish that is strictly Ladakhi is Skyu, a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables. As in other parts of Central Asia, tea in Ladakh is traditionally made with strong green tea, butter, and salt. It is mixed in a large churn and known as Gurgur Cha, after the sound it makes when mixed. Sweet Tea (cha ngarmo) is common now, made in the Indian style with milk and sugar. Most of the surplus barley that is produced is fermented into chang, an alcoholic beverage drunk especially on festive occasions.

Day Ten: Farewell Ladakh

Depart Leh: Transfer to Airport

In the morning, you’ll be driven to the airport where you’ll board the flight to your onward destination.