A Himalayan Journey

22 Days

This exciting and adventurous safari will take you through the tribal valleys of Central and Greater Himalayas. During your journey to Leh you would be crossing six high altitude Himalayan passes. This would give you an opportunity to experience the serenity and the grandeur of many glaciers and lakes of the mighty Himalayas. As you go further higher into the mountains towards Leh you will see the geographic change in the landscape around as the vegetation keeps on reducing and ultimately leaving behind just the high altitude cold desert. This safari offers you an opportunity to explore one the oldest Buddhist monasteries of the Himalayas. Along with this you will get to see the everyday lifestyle of the Himalayan villages which is culturally diverse as per region. The charming local villagers would be the icing on the cake of the whole Himalayan experience. The massive silent mountains, the deep ravines, the ever gushing rivers and the cheerful local folk of the villages would give you a Himalayan experience which would imprint these mountains and cultures forever on your life.

Day to Day Atractions

Day 1

Arrive Amritsar

Upon your arrival at Amritsar airport you will be met by Classic Expedition’s representative. He will drop you at your hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2

Amritsar Sight Seeing

This morning you will be taken to the sacred Golden Temple, the epicenter of Sikh culture. The temple’s architecture is a perfect blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. We want you to see its awe for yourself as words fail to describe its beauty. You would like the complex around the temple and feel free to explore. You can enjoy the langar (community kitchen) where food is served all day long for free to the visitors. The langar at Golden temple is the largest community food service in the world. You will be amazed to see the scale at which the things are being carried out there.This afternoon you would be taken to a guided tour through the colorful walled city of Amritsar, popularly known as the Hall Bazaar. The narrow lanes and streets offer the hustle bustle of everyday life here in the city. The bazaars of local Punjabi clothes, shoes and hand made crafts.Later in the afternoon take a one-hour drive to Wagah Boder. This is a India-Pakistan border where you will witness the border closing ceremony, ‘Beating the Retreat’. It is an elaborate 45 mins ceremony of both the armies just before the sunset.In evening witness the Palki ceremony back at the Golden Temple. The ceremony starts at 2100hrs. The ceremony comprises of carrying of the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib to a room for a night stay. The gesture is symbolic and sacred. The same ceremony is repeated in the morning while taking the holy book out of the room.

Day 3

Amritsar-Dharamshala

After breakfast, depart Amritsar for the 6-hour drive to Dharamsala. The beautiful mountain abode of in exile His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a large Tibetan community. Check into your hotel on arrival. This evening enjoy a beautiful 2 hrs hike among the highest mountain range of the world from Naddi to Bhagsu. You will witness the grand view of the Dhauladhar ranges, Buddhist monks, pine forests and local villagers of Dharamkot and Bhagsu.

Day 4

Dharamshala

This morning you will be taken for a half day tour to Norbulingka Institute and Museum of Kangra Art. Norbulingka Institute promotes traditional Tibetan arts and crafts whereas the Museum of Kangra Art offers a vivid collection of miniature art pieces, fabrics embroidery, weapons and possessions of local Rajas. The museum even has a school of art of miniature painting. This afternoon visit the Dalai Lama Temple (Tsuglagkhang Temple). This is the very place from where Dalai Lama gives his teachings. Also a short visit to Bhagsunag Temple. You would have the evening free to explore the lively and bustling market of Mcleod Ganj market.

Day 5

Dharamshala-Sojha

After breakfast, embark a 7 hour drive to Sojha with a stop en route to visit Palampur. It is a green hill station surrounded by tea gardens and pine forests. A short visit to Shiva Temple at Baijnath – a perfect display of North Indian temple architecture. Continue drive to Sojha, on arrival check in at hotel. You will have the rest of the day to explore around the nature amidst the Himalayas. The area is full of short hikes and beautiful spots with amazing views of the mountains and the forests it carries. It is a treat of any nature lover and one who loves the peace and calmness of the mountains.

Day 6

Sojha-Sarahan

After breakfast embark on a drive to Sarahan. The drive starts with a steep ascent till Jalori Pass (2895m). On the way 01km before Jalori top stop for good views of Seraj Valley and start walking uphill from there till Jalori top on rough road. Spend some time on the top and continue walking downhill on road for another 30 minutes till Khanag village. Jalori Pass on a clear day provides splendid views of Kullu and Tirthan valley and a wide array of Himalayan peaks. On arrival check into the hotel. Evening optionally walk and explore in Sarahan. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 7

Sarahan – Sangla

After breakfast at your hotel, visit the famous temple of Bhimakali at Sarahan. The temple is a perfect example of Himalayan architecture. This temple use to conduct human sacrifices just two centuries ago. After visiting the temple we will drive up to Sangla where you will check in at your accommodation. After lunch you will be taken on a walk through Kamru and Sangla villages. We will visit the beautifully carved centuries old temples and Buddhist monasteries. You will have plenty of opportunity to interact with the local people in these valleys and our guide will be happy to interpret for your ease. Overnight in guest house / hotel/ luxury tented accommodation in Sangla.

Day 8

Sangla-Chitkul-Sangla

A day to have short comfortable walks around the area. This morning after breakfast we will be driving further up to Chitkul which is the last village of India towards China. Chutkul is some place form a fantasy fiction novel. Located on the banks of river Baspa with huge mountains all around. The warm hearted people of the village would make you feel at home with their impeccable hospitality. Raksham to Batseri walk. From Chitkul drive back till Raksham village and start walk from there. You will have a casual walk all the way down to the left bank of Baspa river till beautiful and traditional Batseri village. We will have this second night at the same guest house/ hotel / luxury tented accommodation at Sangla.

Day 9

Sangla-Kalpa

After breakfast at the hotel you will be driven to Kalpa village. En route we will stop at Reckongpeo for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we will drive to Kalpa. You will check-in at your hotel. After some rest you may wish to take a walk to Kalpa village and the nearby Roghi village. These villages are covered with thick pine forests and are famous for apricots and apples. A spectacular view of the Mt. Kinner Kailash peak (6400 metres) is looking back at you at all time. This is a spectacular sight early in the morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peaks with crimson and gold light. On that day after reaching Kalpa, the only option is to drive to the nearby villages and walk around Kalpa and Roghi.

Day 10

Kalpa–Tabo

After breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Tabo. It is not a day travelling but today we will enter the beautiful Spiti valley. It is the cold desert of the Himalayas as it is very dry with minimal vegetation. En route we will be visiting Nako Lake and village with a famous monastery. We will have lunch in a local restaurant in Nako and thereafter we will go for a walk in the village with the guide. We will reach Tabo in late evening. If time permits on the way we will also visit the naturally preserved mummy of a Buddhist monk at Gue village .On arrival in Tabo check in at guest house / hotel as preferred by you.

Day 11

Tabo – Kaza

After breakfast, we visit Tabo monastery which is oldest monastery of Himalayas. Later travel to Kaza. En route visiting Dhankar village, monastery and fort. Here we will have a cup of tea or lunch with a local family. Later on we continue our drive to Kaza where you will check in at your hotel / guest house. The evening is free to explore in the Kaza market with your guide.

Day 12

Kaza

After breakfast we will drive to the village of Lagnza. Here we have the opportunity to walk around the village with the guide. Visit to the monastery at the top of the village is optional. On the way there are fossils to look for. Wild yaks can be seen around. We will also visit Hikkim and Komik village – the world’s highest village on road. Later, we return back to the main road and continue for a tour of Kee Monastery and Kibber village. Later by lunch time, we will reach Kibber. After lunch in a local restaurant at Kibber / kee monastery, where you will be offered a choice of delicious Tibetan dishes, there is also the option to walk to the nearby mountains where there are big herds of Himalayan blue sheep and snow Ibex in the evening. In the evening we will return to Kaza for a second night at the hotel.

Day 13

Kaza –Jispa

Today we make an early start as there is much to cover. In the morning we will drive to Jispa via Kunzum Pass. It provides beautiful views of CB ranges and glaciers. We will visit the temple on the pass where travelers say prayers before heading down. (We can visit Chandar Taal Lake if the road is open and see the lake, also known as the lake of the moon). En-route visit several villages of Spiti and Lahaul valley. We will reach Jispa by evening. Overnight at hotel. Evening is free to walk around Keylong or Jispa.

Day 14

Jispa–Sarchu

After breakfast we will drive to Sarchu over Baralacha Pass. On arrival check in at camp at Sarchu. Evening is free to walk around in Sarchu. It is the last border point between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Overnight in basic tented accommodation with attached toilets. As it’s a short day today and Sarchu is a very high altitude place, so morning drive to nearby Shashur Gompa. After visiting Gompa walk downhill from Shashur Gompa to Keylong or another place for 45 minutes. It is good for acclimatization as you are going nearly at an altitude of 3600 mt and coming down to Jispa / Keylong at an altitude of approx 3100 mt.

Day 15

Sarchu–Leh

After breakfast at your camp we will drive to Leh. One climbs a series of loops consisting of 32 hairpin bends on the way up from Sarchu and come out in Pang valley. This region also has rare wild life like the Tibetan wild Ass, wolf, and the elusive Snow Leopard, the black-necked Crane and Tibetan Snow Cock. Continue driving through Tanglang La, the second highest motor-able pass in the world that commands breath taking views of the Zanskar range. We will be reaching Leh by late evening. Overnight at hotel in Leh.

Day 16

Leh

After breakfast at the hotel we visit the Leh palace. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh an d the surrounding areas. After this we visit Shanti Stupa, It is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) ona hilltop in Chanspa. The place gives breath taking views of all around the valley. The evening is free for your own leisure. Feel free to explore the markets for shopping local souvenirs.

Day 17

Leh

It is full day excursion to Shey, Hemis and Thiksey. Shey is situated on a hillock about 15 kms upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the royal family. It was the seat of power of pre-Tibetan kings. 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha plated with gold and the largest of its kind is installed here. Thiksey Gompa is about 18kms from Leh. It is the most beautiful monastery of Ladakh. Situated onto the north of Indus river was reconstructed in 1430 AD. The monastery contains a huge collection of various valuable artifacts and ancient relics of Tibetan heritage. Hemis is the wealthiest and biggets gompa of Ladakh. It hosts a famous annual festival held every summer. The festival is held in honor of Guru Padmasambhava’s birth anniversary.

Day 18

Leh-Diskit

Early morning drive from Leh to Nubra. We will cross the highest motor-able road, Khardung la. Nubra has the densest population of snow leopard in Himalayas. The drive from Khardung La to village Khardung offers views of beautiful countryside. From here we turn left from Shyok River and drive for 24 kms on a narrow steep road to Diskit. Overnight stay in camps.

Day 19

Diskit

After breakfast we walk upto Diskit monastery to witness the morning prayer ceremony. It takes 45 mins to reach the monastery. In the evening we visit Hunder Gompa. Meals overnight in the camp.

Day 20

Diskit-Leh

After breakfast we drive down to Shyok River. The road here is extremely bad all the way upto Panamiki. The scenery is spectacular with snow capped Karakoram Ranges. En route we visit a small lake. Later we drive back to Leh. On arrival check in at hotel.

Day 21

Leh-Delhi

After breakfast, in the morning we will assist you to Leh airport to board the flight to New Delhi. After your arrival at New Delhi airport you will be met & assisted by our representative, and he will accompany you to your hotel. After lunch will proceed for the half day city sightseeing of New Delhi. An extensive sight-seeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Qutub Minar and Rajpath, India Gate, Parliament House, the Presidents Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave followed by shopping at prime and famous shopping malls. Later return back to hotel and stay overnight.

Day 22

Delhi

Early morning transfer to airport & board flight to onward destination. Tour Ends.

MAPS & AREA

Map view for A Himalayan Journey