Leh – Further & Beyond – I

Self driven leh trip 2015

Join us for Leh Further & Beyond and unleash the traveler in you. Miles away from the hustle bustle into serenity, you are sure to rediscover yourself in the lap of Himalayas.

Day 0: Reach Manali [550 Km, 12 hrs]
Plan to leave Delhi early morning to reach Manali latest by 1800 hrs. For those who fancy checking-in early are welcome to do so as the rooms will be available from midnoon. After freshening up and resting for a couple of hours we huddle up in the evening for an introductory session by Team Terraquest followed by participants’ briefing and an ice-breaker session! The evening is spent in one of the many happening cafés in Old Manali.
Route: Delhi – Ambala - Kharar - Ropar - Bilaspur - Mandi - Manali
Highlights: Café-hopping in Old Manali, Scenic drive along River Beas

Day 1: Manali – Jispa [140 km, 6 hrs]
The expedition flags off from Manali. We start the morning seeking blessings of ‘Hadimba devi’ for a fun-filled, super adventurous trip. The convoy makes its way towards Rohtang Jot , conquering its first high mountain pass. We drive on towards Tandi , and refuel here, as this is the last fuel pump on the Manali-Leh highway for the about 364 km.
Route: Route: Manali – Rohtang Jot – Gramphu – Tandi – Keylong - Jispa
Highlights: Hadimba devi Temple, Rohtang La, Confluence of rivers Chandra-Bhaga
Fun Fact: Rohtang literally translates into a pile of corpses, named after people dying crossing the high-altitude pass, in olden times. La stands for Pass in Tibetan.

Day 2: Jispa – Hemis [310 km, 10 hrs]
This is clearly the most challenging drive of the expedition. The convoy drives through the Zanskar range. A long scenic drive on the famous Leh-Manali highway takes us through multiple high mountain passes, More Plains, Gata loops (21 back-to-back hair pins), multiple passes as well as our first high altitude lake – Tso Kar. En route we get to see myriad rock and sand formations along River Sumkhel Lungpa. We stop for the night at Hemis, just in time for the Hemis Festival which is being held at Hemis Monastery from 25th- 29th June, 2015.
Route: Jispa - Zing Zing Bar - Baralach La – Sarchu – Pang - Ghata Loops – Nakee La – Lachung La – Pang – More Plaines – Tso Kar - Taglang La – Upshi – Karu - Hemis
Highlights: Suraj Tal, Baralacha La, Nakee La, Lachung La, Gata Loops, More Plains, Tso Kar
Fun Fact: More Plains is a 40 KM flat stretch in the valley at 15,000 ft. asl. You’ll often hear us calling it an F1 track!

Day 3: Hemis – Leh [40 km, 1 Hr]
A fun-filled day full of tourist attractions and a lot of sight-seeing, provided we start the day early to get a glimpse of it all. By now you must’ve realized that on most days we start reasonably early! A morning visit to the Hemis Monastery, to witness Hemis Festival. This festival is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, believed to have been born on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Monkey year as predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni. We leave for Leh (a short drive) after an early lunch. En route we visit the Thiksey and Shey monasteries and then check-in to the hotel. In the evening we regroup and head towards the famous Shanti Stupa to get a night view of the city!
Highlights: Hemis Monastary, Hemis Festival, Sindhu Ghat, Thicksey Monastary, Shanti Stupa, Shey Palace, Monastary, Leh Palace
Fun Fact: Juley is one magic word to be remembered while in Ladakh. Juley can be used to mean hello, thank you, how are you or even you're welcome :)

Day 4: Leh – Nubra [130 km, 5 hrs]
After this day, you can proudly tell the world that you have conquered “The Highest Motorable Road” in the world. Khardung La at 18,380 ft. is debated to be the highest motorable pass. We drive towards Hunder, famous for its sand dunes & Bactrian (double humped) camels; with a stopover at the ancient Diskit Monastery. Spend the rest of the day at leisure in the dunes, riding camels or chilling at the campsite inside a beautiful orchard!
Route: Leh - S.Pullu - Khardung La - N.Pullu - Khalsar - Diskit - Hunder
Highlights: Khardung La, Diskit Monastery, Sumur Sand Dunes, Bactrian (double humped) camels
Fun Fact: Nubra, also known as Ldumra - The orchard of Ladakh, is one of the few places in the world (Mongolia, being the other) where one can see the bactrian (double hump) camels.

Day 5: Day at Nubra [170 km, 5 hrs]
After an easy start to the day, the convoy leaves for a day-trip to the virgin destination of Turtuk, the last point in Nubra Valley. The turquoise blue waters of Shyok River, amid sky-high, snow-clad peaks is one sight to remember. Famous Persian lines written in praise of Kashmir, best describe its beauty: “Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast” (If there is ever a heaven on earth, it is here it is here it is here.) The inhabitants here are originally of Bonism religion which is the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. Shyok river follows throughout the journey and offers magnificent views throughout.
Route: Huder – Turtuk - Hunder
Highlights: Cookout, Turtuk and high altitude orchards
Fun Fact: Till 1971, Turtuk was part of Baltistan (Pakistan), and became part of India after the war!

Day 6: Nubra – Pangong Tso [230 km, 10 hrs]
An early start is an absolute must to make it to Pangong Tso in day light! Pangong Tso at an altitude of 13,900 ft., recently came to limelight in the movie ‘3 Idiots’. We spend the day by the lake at leisure and halt for the night in one of the Swiss tents by the shores of the lake!
Route: Hunder - Diskit - Khalsar - Agham - Wari La – Sakthi – Zingral - Chang La - Tsangtse – Pangong Tso
Highlights: Pangong Tso, Wari La, Chang La
Fun Fact: Only 40% of Pangong Tso (Tso in Tibetan means Lake) is in India, with the remainder lying in Tibet. Despite being a salt water lake, it freezes in the winter due to extreme weather conditions.

Day 7: Pangong Tso – Alchi [230 km, 9 hrs]
After having breakfast & tea by the lakeside, the convoy makes its way towards Alchi. Having covered all major attractions earlier, we drive non-stop till we cross Leh and head-on towards Alchi. Soon after Leh, we stop for a quick tribute at the famous Gurdwara Pathar Sahib! We then head-on towards the gravity defying Magnetic hill, and after a quick photograph session we proceed to Alchi via Nimoo, where the two major rivers of Ladakh-the mighty Indus & Zanskar converge.
Route: Pangong Tso – Spangmik – Lukung – Tangste – Durbuk – Chang La – Shakti – Karu – Shey – Leh – Likir - Alchi
Highlights: Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and Confluence of rivers Indus-Zanskar
Fun Fact: At Magnetic Hill, the alignment of the road with the slope in the background gives the illusion as if the vehicle is moving upwards on a downward slope, thereby defying gravity.

Day 8: Alchi – Sonamarg [284 km, 9 hrs]
Early risers can spend their morning walking around Alchi, known for the Alchi Gompa, observing monastic life. Unlike other villages in the region, Alchi is known to be lush green. We then make our way over Fotu La and Namika La towards Kargil and then Dras. Our drive takes us through the Mushkoh & Dras Valley, with a view of Tololing and Tiger Hill (both of which were pivotal during the Kargil War of 1999). Our last pass for the trip is Zoji La, considered to be one of the ‘most treacherous passes’ in the region.
Route: Alchi – Lamayuru – Fotu La – Namika La – Mulbek – Kargil – Drass – Zoji La
Highlights: Zoji La, Lamayuru (Moonland), Dras War Memorial, Tiger Hill, Tololing
Fun Fact: Dras (Gateway to Ladakh), is the second coldest inhabited place on earth. In the local language Dras means HELL!

Day 9: Sonamarg – Jammu [398 km, 10 hrs]
Spend the morning in the lush green meadows of Sonamarg. Then we make our way to Srinagar, and on towards Jammu via Mughal Road, passing Pir ki Gali on the way.
Route: Sonmarg – Srinagar – Shopian – Peer Ki Gali – Bafiliaz – Rajouri – Sunderbani – Akhnoor - Jammu
Highlights: Pir ki Gali Meadows, Chingus Saria (where Emperor Jahangir's entails were buried after he died En route to Lahore in 1627), Noori Chamb (waterfall where Noor Jahan used to bathe during stopovers).
Fun Fact: The Mughal Road was used by Mughal emperors to travel and conquer Kashmir during the sixteenth century. Akbar the Great used this route to conquer Kashmir in 1586.

Day 10: Bid Adieu
With our heart full of beautiful memories, we bid goodbye to each other. And with a hope to meet again somewhere sometime, we head back home to our respective destinations.

Leh Further & Beyond

Duration: 10 Nights/11 Days
Dates: 24th June - 3rd July, 2015

Early Bird :
>> INR 42,999 (Single)
>> INR 79,999 (Double)

(valid till 24th March - 3 months prior to the trip - if anyone does book in advance)

Standard Entry :
>> INR 47,999 (Single)
>> INR 89,999 (Double)

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