A picture perfect scene with snow clad-mountains, sparkling lakes with sailing shikaras, tuft of colorful tulips and steady houseboats inflate lungs of the onlookers. Kashmir, the northwestern province of the Indian subcontinent is a serene, scenic and sensual landscape that nurtures the valley as an ideal destination for holidays in Kashmir. A proud capital of the state, Srinagar invites all for a resplendent treat of sailing through the sparkling Dal Lake, a stroll through the gardens of Shalimar Bagh and seeking blessings at Jama Masjid and Shankaracharya Temple. Gulmarg, the land of ski resorts, carpets of flowers and quixotic ambiance invite you to experience nature at its best. It opens door for a world of adventure and priceless peace amidst the tranquil landscape that simultaneously inflates lungs with the onrush of adventure activities.
Dominated largely by long stretches of Scenic Mountains, the Valley of Kashmir covers an area of 224,739 sq km. The Great Himalaya range separates Kashmir from Ladakh. Ladakh is the highest altitude plateau region in India (much of it being over 3,000 m), incorporating parts of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River valley. In Ladakh the nature has rendered a magical, unbelievable and fantastic landscape which is extremely breathtaking. The people are gentle and their culture is rich and colorful, centering around the beliefs and practices of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, the predominant religion.
This popular tour of Kashmir and Ladakh combines two of the most sought after travel destinations in the world and promises a magnificent travel extravaganza.
Itinerary: Srinagar – Gulmarg – Sonmarg, Kargil – Lamayuru – Alchi – Likir – Phyang – Leh – Nubra – Khardung La
DAY 01: DELHI
Arrival at Delhi. Welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel. Later start your exploration of India with a city tour of Old Delhi that includes visit to Jama Masjid, built in 1650 A.D. and the amazing Red Fort which was the seat of Mughal Empire for more than 250 years. Also enjoy shopping the ancient bazaar of Chandni Chowk. Then drive past the imposing India Gate, Parliament Buildings and President House. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 2: DELHI – SRINAGAR (BY FLIGHT – 1 ½ HOURS)
Transfer to airport to catch flight for Srinagar. Arrival at Srinagar and transfer to Houseboat.
Srinagar is acclaimed to be one of the loveliest places in India, in terms of natural splendor. Set in the picturesque Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1730 meters, it is a tourist’s paradise. Afternoon enjoy Shikara (boat) ride at Dal Lake. which has, within its periphery, four enormous water bodies, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal, Gagribal and Nagin. The lake is not a flat, continuous mass of water, but an intricate labyrinth of waterways, that constitute a spectacular sight and an amazing locale to explore.
Overnight stay at Houseboat.
DAY 3: SRINAGAR
Half day tour of world famous Mughal Gardens, as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period is a marvel located in Srinagar. These gardens are beautifully decorated with bright flowerbeds, terraced lawns and well maintained cascading fountains. Visit Nishat Bagh (The garden of pleasure) and Shalimar Bagh (Abode of love).
Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at Houseboat.
DAY 4: SRINAGAR – GULMARG – SRINAGAR (110 KMS, 5 HOURS)
Full day tour of Gulmarg which is one of the most beautiful summer resorts in the valley. It is also popular for its golf course in summer season, the highest in the world and Skiing during winter season.
Enjoy the splendour of nature and the snowy mountains. You can have Gondola ride (cable car) from Gulmarg to Khalinmarg. In the evening return to Srinagar. Overnight at Houseboat.
DAY 5: SRINAGAR – SONMARG – KARGIL (225 KMS , 8 HOURS)
Leave in the morning and drive to Kargil. The road passes through panoramic village, Sonmarg (2740 Mtrs). Then drive through Zojila pass (3527 Mtrs) which is also called Gateway of Ladakh. Continue drive towards Drass (The second coldest inhabited place in the world) and stop here for tea and passport check. Another two and half hours drive will take you to Kargil (2710 Mtrs).
After arrival check in at hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 6: KARGIL – LAMAYURU – ALCHI (175 KMS / 6 HOURS)
Morning departure for Leh. Today, you have to ascend three passes, so the day will be tiresome but panoramic too. First Buddhist village will be Mulbek. You have to cross the highest pass on Srinagar Leh route. At lunch time you will be at Lamayuru, Finally arrive Alchi which is the only monastery in ladakh on flat ground. This is also the largest and most famous of all of the temples and built by the great translator Ringchem Zangpo.
Overnight stay at Alchi.
DAY 07: ALCHI – LIKIR – PHYANG – SPITUK – LEH (80 KMS, 4 HOURS)
Morning departure for Leh and on the way visit Likir monastery which was founded in 14th century by Lama Dhwang Chosje, a great champion of meditation. Also visit Spituk and Phyang.
Continue drive to Leh and after arrival check in at hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 08: LEH (MONASTERY TOUR)
Full day excursion to visit Thiksey and Hemis monasteries. It is quite interesting to visit the Thicksey monastery early in the morning to witness the “praying ceremony”. Also visit one of the biggest monasteries of Leh “Hemis”.
On the way back visit Shey Palace. Overnight stay at hotel.
DAY 09: LEH – NUBRA (DISKIT & HUNDER) (130 KMS, 5 HOURS)
After early breakfast at the hotel departure for Nubra Valley with lunch box along. Stop en route and visit Disket and Hundar monastery.
The valley is on the trade route from leh to Khangar via Samsar and Karakoram passes. Apart from unparraled trekking opportunities, the valley has several Buddhist Gompas. Visit Diskit Gompa which is 350 years old. Overnight stay in Camp.
DAY 10: NUBRA VALLEY
After breakfast visit Panamik village. The incredible thing about the village is the superb irrigation system built over decades, the system though rudimentary provides an effective means to channel precious water during summer to the homes as well as the fields. Return to the camp for Hot Lunch.
Afternoon visit Samtaling monastery in Sumur village. This monastery belongs to the Gelukpa sect of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama’s branch.
In the evening come back to camp for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 11: NUBRA – KHARDUNG LA – LEH (130 KM, 5 HOURS)
After breakfast at the camp, departure to Leh with lunch box along. En route stop at Khardungla Pass (5359 m) – world’s highest motorable pass. Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia.
Continue drive to Leh and on arrival check in at the hotel. Rest of the day is free for shopping and independent activities.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
DAY 12: LEH – DELHI (BY FLIGHT – 1 ¼ HOURS)
Morning transfer to airport to catch flight for Delhi.
Arrival at Delhi airport and transfer to hotel. Then start tour of New Delhi which is in complete contrast with Old Delhi with wide tree lined avenues, parks and fountains surrounding the imposing Government and State Buildings. Drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament Buildings and President House. Visit Qutab Minar, built in 1193 A.D. It is a striking medieval tower of victory of Persian architecture style.
Overnight stay at hotel.
DAY 13 : DELHI
Transfer to airport to catch flight for onward destination.