Chandigarh to Leh-Ladakh
Duration: (10 Nights | 11 Days)
Day 01: Arrive at Chandigarh & drive to Manali
Day 02: Explore Manali
Day 03: Manali to Jispa via via Attal Tunnel (10,171 ft.)
Day 04: Jispa to Leh via Tanglang La (17,480 ft.)
Day 05: Leh Local Sightseeing
Day 06: Leh to Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
Day 07: Nubra Valley: Excursion to Panamik/Yarab Tso
Day 08: Nubra Valley to Tso Pangong (13,943 ft.) via Shyok River
Day 09: Tso Pangong to Leh via Chang La (17,585 ft.)
Day 10: Leh: Day at own leisure (No Transport)
Day 11: Leh Airport Drop
• Chandigarh – Manali Highway with scenic views of the Himalayas
• Leh – Manali Highway with stops at all the major engrossing locations
• Famous Passes – Bara-lacha La (16,043 ft), Tanglang La (17,480 ft.), Khardung La (17,582 ft.) & Chang La (17,585 ft.)
• Leh – Srinagar Highway up till Sangam
• Manali (2N)
• Jispa (1N)
• Leh (4N)
• Nubra Valley (2N)
• Pangong Lake (1N)
• Visit Yarab Tso & Tso Ltak
• Famous Palaces & Monasteries and Mountain Passes
• Room category & accommodation as desired
• 02 Nights’ stay at Manali
• 01-Night stay at Jispa
• 04 Nights’ stay at Leh
• 02 Nights’ stay at Sumur in Nubra Valley
• 01-Night stay at Tso Pangong
• Meals on MAP Basis (dinner & breakfast included)
• Transportation: All sightseeing tours by Non-Ac Innova as per the itinerary
• Chandigarh airport pick-up & Leh airport drop
• Ladakh Ecology & Environmental Fee
• Fuel, driver allowances
• All applicable taxes
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• Taxi service on Day 10
• 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, 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: Out of the Office
Arrive at Chandigarh & Drive to Manali
In the morning, upon arrival at Chandigarh Airport/Railway Station, you will be warmly welcomed by Unplugged Life’s representative, who will whisk you off to your hotel in Manali. The journey would take around 8-9 hours. Manali, the valley of gods is a combination of natural splendour and rich cultural heritage.
Day Two: Tell it to the Mountains
Explore Manali (Altitude 6725 ft.)
Manali has tonnes of options for sightseeing. Start with the Hadimba Temple, a unique shrine dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, the wife of Bhima. It’s in the middle of a forest dotted with tall cedar trees.
Get a dose of Tibetan culture at the Tibetan Centre & Monastery. Laze around at Van Vihar or Nature Park. Take a dip in the sulphur infused hot water springs of Vashisht Village or do a short hike to Jogini Falls. In the evening, you can drop by Mall Road or Old Manali, the bustling heart of the city, and go on a shopping spree or try some of the popular restaurants.
Day Three: Here We Go
Manali to Jispa via Atal Tunnel (10,151 ft.)
You will start your journey towards Leh passing through some of the most scenic landscapes in the world. The road goes via Solang Valley and the newly constructed Atal Tunnel. Atal Tunnel is a highway tunnel built under the Rohtang Pass. At a length of 9.02 km, it is the longest tunnel above 10,000 feet in the world. The new route via the tunnel brings down the total distance travelled to 71 km which can be covered in about 2 hours, a reduction of around 3 to 4 hours when compared to the earlier route. The tunnel is at an elevation of 10,171 ft. whereas the Rohtang Pass is at an elevation of 13,051 ft.
Jispa is a town of about 500 people set on the bank of the bustling Bhaga River. It is set at the foot of mist and cloud-covered mountain peaks; and is surrounded by the lush, dew-covered greenery, making it an ideal camping spot for travellers. You’ll be spending the night here in a hotel/camp.
Manali-Leh Highway with 10 minutes halts at all the major engrossing locations on this stretch
Manali (6725 ft.) – Solang Valley (8,400 ft.) – Atal Tunnel (10,151 ft.) – Chenab River – Koksar – Jispa (10,500 ft.) – Suraj Tal (16,020 ft.) – Bara-lacha La (16,043 ft.) – Sarchu (14,074 ft.) – Nakee La (15,646 ft.) – Lachulung La (16,597 ft.) – Pang (15,280 ft.) – Morey Plains (15,748 ft.) – Tanglang La (17,480 ft.) – Karu – Leh (11,500 ft.)
Day Four: Getting There Is Half the Fun
Jispa to Leh via Tanglang La (17,480 ft.)
Next morning, you will proceed to Leh, passing through some of the most scenic landscapes in the world.
On the way, you will halt at Suraj Tal, the 3rd highest lake in India 16,020 ft. The road then takes us through 3 major mountain passes, Nakee La 15,646 ft., Lachulung La 16,597 ft. & Tanglang La 17,480 ft.
The infamous Gata loops stand in the way. A series of 21 hairpin bends, the Gata loops are counted among the most treacherous stretches in the world. Don’t worry, you will be safe.
Then comes Tanglang La pass (17,480 ft.) – the 12th highest motor-able pass in the world. It is the last pass you will cross before reaching Leh. After a blockbuster road trip of 8-9 hours, you will be transferred to your stay in Leh city. The rest of the evening is for you to take a chill pill.
Day Five: Making Memories
Leh: 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, nine-story 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 its influences on its infrastructure. The Shanti Stupa, Jama Masjid, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa (Sunset Point), 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 with Sound & Light Show. 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. Its 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 Six: Overland to Nubra
Leh to Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) via Khardung La (17,582 ft.)
After an early breakfast, you’ll checkout & head to Nubra Valley. The road to the Nubra Valley goes through the 11th highest motorable road in the world, the mighty Khardung La Pass (17,582 ft.). This Pass is almost permanently covered in fog and snow. However, the bone-chilling cold there is more than compensated by the unparalleled view that it offers, of the Ladakh mountain range. Descending down from Khardung La you’ll arrive in Nubra Valley.
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. You can spot the world-famous double hump camels here. These mammals are extremely rare and are found in merely a handful of places all over the world.
You can also go on an ATV ride on the sand dunes or try go-karting (on direct payment basis). Later check-in at your hotel/camp & spend the evening looking up at the skies. The pollution-free air of Ladakh offers ample opportunity for stargazing.
Day Seven: Room with A View
Nubra Valley: Excursion to Sumur, Yarab Tso & Panamik
After a hearty breakfast in the morning, you will head to Sumur, a picturesque village around 42 km 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 are also unoccupied compared to its counterpart in Hunder.
Later, drive & take a short hike 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. Drive further on to the hot sulphur springs at the village of Panamik. Remember to carry clean towels if you plan on taking a dip in the hot sulphur bath. Panamik is also the village that is nestled very close to the Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world.
The last stop is Ensa Gompa, a 250-year-old monastery perched on top of a rock that overlooks the snow-capped mountains of the Nubra Valley. Once you’re done, head back to Hunder for the night.
Day Eight: Corners of The Himalayas
Nubra Valley to Tso Pangong (13,943 ft.) via Shyok River
After an early breakfast, drive towards Tso Pangong via the Shyok River. 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-occupied Tibet. 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 camp and spend the rest of the evening strolling around the lake, taking in the beautiful scenery.
Day Nine: This is Some Vacation
Tso Pangong to Leh via Chang La (17,585 ft.)
The magic of Pangong Lake lies in its changing hues, as the sun hovers over it. It is probably the bluest and the most crystal-clear lake you would have seen so far. It is home to many migratory birds, from ducks and geese to the rare and elusive Black-necked Crane.
After breakfast, take some parting shots with the lake. You will then head back to Leh via Chang-La pass 17,585 ft. 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 Adventure in Ladakh.
Later visit Thiksey Monastery. It is located at the top of the hill. It is very famous for its similarity with the Potala Palace of Lhasa. Take quick stop at the Druk Padma Karpo School. This is the school we saw in the movie ‘3 idiots’. Rancho’s School. From here, it’s a non-stop drive to your hotel in Leh, the rest of the evening is at your own leisure.
Optional: You can also pay a visit to the Tibetan Refugee Old Age Home near Leh. Unlike the Ladakhi people’s Old Age Home, this place receives a tiny fraction of visitors and donations.
Day Ten: A Walk to Remember
Leh: Day at own leisure (No Transport)
Take this day to explore the small lanes of Leh on foot, try bouldering, river rafting, paragliding or just go shopping 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.
Top places to try – Gesmo Restaurant, Lamayuru Restaurant, Tibetan Kitchen & Tenzin Dickey Restaurant on Fort Road. Neha Snacks (North Indian Snacks) & Ladakhi Women’s Café at the main market.
Day Eleven: Bye-bye 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.