Ladakh Cultural Tour
Suitable for families with young children
Khardung La, (5602m)
Highest point/ Max altitude
Fairly easy 5-6 hours of activity per day. May include some uphill sections, reasonable fitness recommended.
Closed to the outside world for centuries, Ladakh lies high in a remote region of the western Himalayas, close to the Chinese border. This unique part of India is a land of devout Tibetan Buddhists, whose striking monasteries preside over a rugged lunar landscape of high peaks, stony plateaux and deep valleys. Our comprehensive four-wheel-drive itinerary travels the mountain roads, and the world’s highest pass, to reach some of Ladakh’s most isolated locations.
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- Explore the dramatic landscape of Ladakh
- Alchi monastery, the oldest in the region
- Nubra Valley, the valley of flowers
- Stunning Pangong Lake
- The Tibetan culture of Leh and surrounding villages
- Agra, the home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal
- Flexible tailor-made booking options
Our tour begins with a spectacular flight over the Himalayas to the remote Ladakhi capital, Leh. At 3500m above sea level, Leh was once a major trading post at the junction of the historic silk route, which ran from China and Central Asia to the plains of India. There is a timeless quality about life here – ancient Lama monasteries, built high on sheer rock cliffs, the barren, almost haunting landscape of this fascinating region and a way of life and culture well- preserved for hundreds of years.
We’ll spend the first two days acclimatizing to the high altitude, with a gentle sightseeing tour of the sights around Leh, before heading out in the Jeeps to spectacular 11th-century Alchi monastery. We’ll take an exhilarating hike out to Mangyu monastery through the amazing scenery of the Western Tibetan Plateau, before travelling to the ethereal beauty of Pangong Tso (‘Tso’ means Lake in Tibetan), a sapphire-coloured high altitude lake that serves as summer grazing area for nomadic yak herders. En-route back to Leh we’ll also stop by at Hemis monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tour involves extensive road touring and some hiking, including side trips into the remote Nubra Valley, crossing the Khardung La (‘La’ means Pass in Tibetan) (5602m), the highest motor able pass in the world – with fabulous panoramic views across the Himalayas. A visit to Agra to see the magnificent Taj Mahal gives this incredible tour a fitting finish.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
DAY 01 - Delhi
Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel
Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi our KVT’s representative will meet and greet you there and would assist you at the airport, later board the vehicle and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free for you to relax at the hotel.
DAY 02 - Leh
Fly to Leh, arrive Leh and day free for acclimatization
This morning we will be transferred to the airport to board the early morning flight to Leh. This is an amazing flight which passes over the Himalayan Ranges with amazing views; which brings us to a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River (this flight is subject to weather). After this breathtaking flight over the Himalayas, we arrive in Leh and will be transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for acclimatization and in the evening stroll around in the market area. (3500m)
DAY 03 - Leh
Today morning after breakfast we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Leh; visiting Shanti Stupa which is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) located on a hilltop in Chanspa. This is built by Japanese monks to promote world peace. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. Then we visit Sankar Gompa (‘Gompa’ means Monastery) located some few kilometers away from Leh, it is a subsidiary of Spituk Monastery and belongs to Gelukpa Sect (Yellow hat). We also visit Namgyal Tsemo Monestary perched on a hilltop from where we have a bird’s-eye view of the Leh city. The Gompa has a three-storey high solid gold statue of Matireya Buddha and ancient manuscripts and frescoes. It was built in 15th century by King Tashi Namgyal; then we head to Leh Palace; it is a nine storey palace built in 1553. One can have a beautiful view of Leh city and its surrounding mountains. (3500m)
DAY 04 - Alchi
Drive to Alchi, en-route visit Rizong monastery
In the morning we have breakfast and start driving towards Rizong Monastery (Distance: 75Km approx.). We reach there and visit Rizong monastery also known as the Yuma Changchubling and it belongs to Gelugpa Sect (Yellow hat). The monastery is situated on the north bank of the Indus River and it was built by Lama Tsultim Nima in 1831. Rizong Monastery is well known for its strict rules and regulations and considered as ‘The Paradise for meditation’ and it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava had meditated in the caves in the vicinity of the monastery. Later we visit Alchi village which has an Alchi Monastery which is one of the oldest and famous monasteries of Ladakh. Alchi Monastery is located to the west of Leh on the bank of Indus River; it was built by Rinchen Zangpo in the year 1000 AD. (3100m)
DAY 05 - Alchi
Alchi, morning hike to Mangyu monastery
Today early morning we start hiking towards Mangyu monastery, a walk of around 2 hours from Alchi. We start trekking as we follow the trail that leads us through a small bridge on Indus then we cross Gera village and enter a deep gorge. We cross a stream and reach Mangyu village where we visit the monastery comprises of four temples, it is believed that the monastery was built in 11th century by Lotsava Rhin Chen Zangpo. After spending some time we return back to Alchi and relax at the hotel. (3100m)
DAY 06 - Leh
Drive to Leh via Likir and Basgo monasteries
This morning we return back to Leh (Distance: 75Km) en-route visit Likir and Basgo monastery. The Likir Monastery located in Indus Valley; it is believed to be among the oldest villages of India. Likir monastery was founded in 1065 AD and it has a 23 meters (75 ft.) gold-covered Buddha statue. Later we visit Basgo Monastery which is located on a hill in Basgo village and is noted for its Buddha statue and murals. Basgo Monastery was built in 17th century for Namgyal rulers, Later we continue our drive towards Leh, reach Leh and check-in to the hotel.
DAY 07 - Pangong Tso
Drive to Pangong Tso visiting Tak Tak and Sakti villages en route
Morning we drive from Leh to Pangong Tso (4250m) en-route visiting Tak Tak and Sakti Villages. We also cross the third highest motor-able pass in the world called Chang La (5360m) and then we continue driving towards Pangong Tso. Reach there in the afternoon and explore the beautiful lake side. Pangong Tso is a high altitude lake located close to the Line of Actual Control; one-third of the lake lies in India and the remaining two-third is in China. We stay in the deluxe fixed tents with all in room facilities available. (4250m | distance: 170Km approx.)
Overnight Deluxe Fixed Tent
DAY 08 - Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso exploration
This day after breakfast we have a full day to explore the surroundings of Pangong Tso (4250m). The first glimpse of the serene, bright blue waters and rocky lakeshore remains etched in the memory. We get an opportunity to watch birds by the lakeside which is really spectacular. (4250m)
Overnight Deluxe Fixed Tent
DAY 09 - Leh
Drive back to Leh en-route visit Hemis and Thiksey Monasteries
Morning after breakfast we board the vehicle to drive back to Leh en-route we visit Hemis Monastery; it is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage. It holds the distinction of being the biggest as well as the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh. The annual Hemis festival in which locals including the monks (Lamas) celebrates the birth anniversary of honoring Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) at the courtyard of Hemis Monastery. Then we drive towards Thiksey Monastery which belongs to Gelukpa sect (Yellow hat), located on the top of a hill which holds the resemblance of Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet). A recently built temple contains a magnificent image of the Future Buddha (Maitreya). Afterwards we continue our drive towards Leh, reach there and check-in at the hotel. (3500m | distance: 190km approx.)
DAY 10 - Nubra Valley
Drive to Nubra valley en-route cross Khardung La (5602m)
In the morning we have breakfast and start heading towards Nubra valley which is also known as valley of flowers where the Shyok River meets the Nubra River and makes a valley. The drive is quite interesting loaded with breathtaking views of snow-peak mountains range and it takes us to the world’s highest motor-able pass of Khardung La (5602m) which is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. Here we stop for some time and then drive towards Nubra valley, late afternoon we reach there and check-in to the hotel. (3050m | distance: 125km approx.)
Overnight Guest House
DAY 11 - Nubra Valley
Visit Diskit and Samstanling monasteries
Today after breakfast we visit Diskit Monastery located on a hilltop, this is the oldest and largest monastery in Nubra valley and belongs to Gelugpa sect (Yellow hat). Then we move towards Samstanling Monastery located in Sumur village, built in early 19th century by Lama Tsultim Nyima. The new assembly hall of the monastery holds elegant paintings and murals of Lord Buddha and his teachings, of Dharmachakra and other facets of Buddhism. An optional bacterian (double humped) camel safari can also be arranged at Hunder Sand dunes. Afterwards we return back to hotel and relax. (3050m)
Overnight Guest House
DAY 12 - Leh
Drive back to Leh, evening free
Morning we have breakfast and drive back towards Leh (Distance: 125Km). We reach Leh and have free time to explore the market and do some shopping. (3500m)
DAY 13 - Agra
Fly to Delhi, drive to Agra
Early morning we will be transferred to the airport to board the flight for Delhi, arrive Delhi airport and we will be transferred to Agra by surface. Reach Agra and transfer to hotel; evening is free for us to relax at the hotel.
DAY 14 - Delhi
Agra sightseeing, drive to Delhi international airport
Today we wake-up early in the morning to visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal at sunrise (remains closed on every Friday). Taj Mahal is a symbol of eternal love which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. The Taj Mahal is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor. In the afternoon, we visit Agra Fort, whose mighty red sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Later we drive back to Delhi and you will be transferred to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi to catch your onward destination flight.
Tour Map (Only key areas marked)
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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.