Srinagar to Leh-Ladakh
Duration: (09 Nights | 10 Days)
Day 01: Arrive in Srinagar & chill
Day 02: Explore Srinagar
Day 03: Srinagar to Kargil via Zoji La (11,574 ft.)
Day 04: Kargil to Leh via Namika La (12,139 ft.) & Fotu La (13,477 ft.)
Day 05: Leh Local Sightseeing
Day 06: Leh to Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
Day 07: Nubra Valley (Hunder) to Tso Pangong via Shyok River
Day 08: Tso Pangong to Leh via Chang La (17,585 ft.)
Day 09: Leh – Full day at own leisure (No Taxi)
Day 10: Leh Airport Drop
• Five Famous Passes – Zoji La (11,574 ft.), Namika La (12,139 ft.), Fotu La (13,477 ft.), Khardung La (17,582 ft.) & Chang La (17,585 ft.)
• Drive on the scenic Srinagar-Leh Highway (NH-1D)
• Srinagar (2N)
• Kargil (1N)
• Leh (4N)
• Nubra Valley (1N)
• Pangong Lake (1N)
• Visit to Sonamarg & Tso Ltak
• Famous Mosques, Palaces & Monasteries
• Room category & accommodation as desired
• 02 nights’ stay in Srinagar with dinner & breakfast
• 01-night stay at Kargil with dinner & breakfast
• 04 nights’ stay at Leh with breakfast
• 01-night stay at Nubra Valley with dinner & breakfast
• 01-night stay at Tso Pangong with dinner & breakfast
• Transportation: All sightseeing tours by Non-Ac Innova as per the itinerary
• Srinagar airport pick-up & Leh airport drop
• Protected Area Permits (PAP)
• Fuel, driver allowances
• All applicable taxes
• Taxi service on Day 09
• Shikara ride in Srinagar
• Entrance fee for monasteries/palaces/museums, etc.
• Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry, telephone calls, room service, alcoholic beverages, mini bar charges, tips, portage, camera fees, etc.
• Room heater charge
• Any meals and services not specifically mentioned in the inclusions
• Any cost arising due to natural calamities like landslides, roadblocks, etc.
• Any unforeseen expenses beyond our control will be charged extra.
• Medical insurance/travel insurance/oxygen cylinder
• Additional sightseeing charges or extra usage of the vehicle apart from the suggested itinerary
Day One: Text Me Later – I’m gone for a while
Arrive in Srinagar (Altitude 5200 ft.)
Srinagar is the largest city and the summer capital of the new Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The city is known for its natural environment, gardens, waterfronts, and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dried fruits.
After arrival at Srinagar airport, you will be warmly welcomed by Unplugged Life’s representative, who will then whisk you off to your hotel/houseboat.
Later in the day, you’ll take the famed Shikara ride on Dal Lake and visit the floating flower and vegetable gardens. You can get a taste of local flavour by witnessing crafts such as walnut woodcarving and paper mache making demonstration. Once you’re done, it’s time to head back to your fancy abode.
Day Two: Far and Away
Start your day with the famed Mughal garden hopping tour – Nishat Bagh (The garden of pleasure) & Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love). Both lie on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Pir Panjal mountain range acting as the backdrop. You can’t ask for a more postcard-worthy spot.
Later in the day, take a tour of some of the most prominent sights of Srinagar, which include Khanqah-e-Moula, Pari Mahal & Hazratbal Shrine, which is considered to be the holiest Muslim shrine in Kashmir, is located on the left bank of the Dal. The mosque was established by Inayat Begum who was the custodian of the holy relic – the Moi-e-Muqqadas, which is believed to be the hair of the Prophet Mohammed. The relic was brought to Kashmir in the year 1700.
Later in the evening, catch a spectacular sunset from the Shankaracharya Temple. Built on top of a hill, the temple is known for stunning views.
Day Three: Halfway to Paradise
Srinagar to Kargil via Zoji La (11,574 ft.)
After breakfast, you will start your journey to Kargil along the Srinagar – Leh highway. Driving along with apple orchards and emerald streams, you will make it to Sonamarg. Sitting amidst a lush green valley fed by a few Himalayan glaciers, it is a popular destination.
You’ll then continue through Zoji La 11,574 ft., a mountain pass that separates the Kashmir Valley from Drass Valley. On the way, you will see horses grazing about meadows, next to gentle streams. A treat for the eyes indeed!
Later you’ll visit the war memorial built in the honour of soldiers and martyrs of the Kargil War in Drass before ending your day in Kargil (8780 ft.). This is the second largest town after Leh. Kargil has always been an important trade centre in the past. Traders from China, Central Asia, and different parts of India used to trade in Tea, Wool, Carpets, Silk, and precious stones in the olden days and Kargil was known as a historical meeting point.
Srinagar-Leh Highway with 10 minutes halts at all the major engrossing locations on this stretch
Srinagar (5200 ft.) – Sonamarg (9186 ft.) – Zoji La (11,574 ft.) – Drass (10,761 ft.) – Kargil (8780 ft.) – Namika La (12,139 ft.) – Fotu La (13,477 ft.) – Lamayuru (11,520 ft.) – Sangam – Magnetic Hill – Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib – Leh (11,500 ft.)
Day Four: Moonland Drive
Kargil to Leh via Lamayuru
Early morning, you will start your journey to Leh. On the way visit, Mulbekh Gompa is said to consist of two Gompas and a 30 ft. long limestone sculpture of Maitreya Buddha.
In between, you will pass Lamayuru Monastery, perched on a rocky cliff. The entire landscape around it resembles the surface of the moon, earning it the title “Moonland”.
Another spectacular sight is the Sangam at Nimmu. It’s the point where the gushing brown waters of the Indus River merge with the blue waters of Zanskar. Get some snaps here.
Next up is Magnetic Hill, a stretch of road where vehicles supposedly defy the laws of physics. Why don’t we give it a shot?
Our last stop before Leh is Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib, a Sikh Gurudwara constructed in the memory of Guru Nanak. From there, it’s a straight drive to Leh along the prettiest road on the route, with mountains glowing red, as the sunsets. It’s ethereal, to say the least. Once you reach Leh, you will check-in to your stay for the night.
Day Five: Among My Souvenirs
Leh Local Sightseeing
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. The 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 its influences on its infrastructure. The Namgyal Tsemo, Spituk Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Jama Masjid all lie within the 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.
Optional: You can also pay a visit to the Tibetan Refugee Old Age Home near Leh. Unlike the Ladakhi people Old Age Home, this place receives a tiny fraction of visitors and donations. Once you’ve absorbed in all these sights you will return to your guesthouse in Leh.
Day Six: This Is Some Vacation
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 Seven: Head for The Border
Nubra Valley to Tso Pangong (13,943 ft.) via Shyok River
After an early breakfast, drive towards Tso Pangong via Shyok. This route goes via Agham – Shyok Village – Durbuk – Tangste to reach Pangong Tso. This is one of the most remote routes of Ladakh and it’s operational for only a few months a year.
The first glimpse of the tranquil, azure blue waters, and shaky lakeshore of Tso Pangong remains etched in the memory of tourists. Pangong Tso has the most crystal clear, cerulean blue waters ever seen. The Lake 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.
Pangong Lake lies only partially in India. Over 60% of the lake lies in China. Situated at an altitude of about 13,943 ft. Tso Pangong also holds the honour of being one of the highest brackish water lakes in the world. On 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 Eight: Adventure Time
Tso Pangong to Leh via Chang La (17,585 ft.)
After breakfast, take some parting shots with the lake. You will then head back to Leh via Chang-La pass (17,585 ft.). Chang-La pass is the 10th highest motor-able road in the world. On your way back, you’ll first stop at Tso Ltak, an unexplored lake at 16,102 ft. situated on the foothills of Chang La.
From here drive to Hemis Monastery which existed before the 11th century. It is one of the oldest and richest monasteries in all of Ladakh and is definitely a must-visit on your trip to Ladakh.
Later visit Thiksey Monastery. It is located on the top of the hill. It is very famous for its similarity with Potala Palace of Lhasa. This monastery is famous for pilgrim activities, architectural elements, sightseeing, and exploration. It is a twelve-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings, and swords.
Your last stop today is at the Druk Padma Karpo School. This is the school we saw in the movie ‘3 idiots’. Rancho’s School. You’ll visit Rancho’s Café, a café just outside the school campus. You can have some crunchy snacks and coffee while enjoying the memorabilia from the movie that is kept in the café. Upon arrival in Leh, you’ll check-in at the guest house/hotel.
Day Nine: Final Destination
Leh: Day at own leisure (No Transport)
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 sounds 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: So Long 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.