Experience India’s rich cultural heritage reflected in it’s ornate palaces scattered throughout the country, some still in pristine condition, replete with royal descendants and tradition.
Destination : Delhi, Leh, Manali, Dharamshala, Amritsar
Duration : 14 Days.
Upon arrival, after clearing immigration and custom, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (Checkin at 1200hrs) Overnight at hotel.
Delhi / Leh (Flight)
Following breakfast transfer to airport to connect your flight to Leh
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Rest of the day for acclimatization Leh is at an altitude of 3524 metres
Overnight at hotel.
Leh / Spituk / Phyang / Sankar / Leh
Following breakfast visit of Spituk, Phyang and Sankar Spituk: 14kms from Leh, the 15th century monastery, which tumbles down the sides of a steep knoll to a tight cluster of farmhouses and well-watered fields, is altogether more picturesque. Approached by road from the north, or from the south along a footpath that winds through Spitok village, its spacious rooftops command superb views. There is the grave of a very high reincarnation at the Gompa and the Spitok head Lama is also the head Lama of the Sankar Gompa in Leh.
He also represents Ladakh as a member of the Indian Parliament. Gurphug in Stok and Pashi Gephel in Sabu are also under monasteries of Spitok. The Gompa has three chapels of which the highest, the Paldan Lumo temple (Kali Mater), is the most impressive. The temple Gonkhang is approximately a thousand years old. From Paldan Lumo temple, on the peak of the mountain, a small path leads past a red Latho to the monastery proper. The built in Dukhang is well worth seeing. The shrine to Vajra Bhairava, a Tantric guardian deity of the
Gelug-pa order, is distinctly spooky.
Phyang: Built by kind Lkra-Shis_namgyal, founder of Namgyal Dynasty, in 1500 after defeating the last of the Lah-Chen King and is the home of the Sri Khing Pa sect
(Red Capped). On approaching the monastery entrance, on the grounds, is a long flagstaff on an elaborate pedestal put up by the king after he had won the throne. Several temples have scenes from the eight members of happiness painted on the walls. Suddenly the red waters of the Indus disappears in the sand, ahead lies vast stretch of desert, the horizon while the mountains appear to form two straight parallel lines running alongside the road.
Sankar Gompa: 3-km north of the town centre, is among the most accessible monasteries in central Ladakh – hence it’s restricted visiting hours for tourists. The monastery, a small under Gompa of Spitok, is staffed by twenty monks, and is the official residence of the Kushok Bakul, Ladakh’s head of the Gelug-pa sect. Appropriately for such a high-ranking ‘Rinpoche’, his glass-fronted penthouse enjoys pride of place on top of the main building, crowned with a golden spire and a “Dharma Chakra” flanked by two deer, symbolizing the Buddha’s first sermon in Sarnath. A flight of steps leads from the courtyard to the Du-khang. Beyond the lords of the four quarters and wheel of life Mandala that adorn the verandah, one enters a high ceilinged hall whose walls writhe with lustrous multicoloured murals. Those on either side of the doorway are the most amazing: many armed potbellied bovine monsters drink blood from skull cups, while the copulating “YabYum” couples to the right are garlanded with severed heads and engulfed in swirling red and yellow flames.
Overnight at hotel.
Leh /Shey /Thiksey /Hemis / Leh
Full day excursion to Shey, Thikshey and, Hemis Shey – Until the 16th century it was the royal residence, Kings of Leh were supposed to be born in the monasteries. This Palace Monastery has the largest
statue of Maitreya Buddha (Buddha to come) in Ladakh. Erected in the mid17th century, worked out of gold and gilded copper sheets with blue hair, it stands 17.5metres high.
Thikshey:-19Kms from Leh, spectacularly most impressive gompas. There are several temples in the gompa containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha which are exquisite.
Hemis: It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is also has the largest thanka in Ladakh which is unfirled once in 12 years. On these days hundreds of pilgrims will gather at hemis to pay their tribute and homage.
Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengg Namgyal, an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It flourished under the Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favored the Drukgpa Sect which managed the monastery. It is divided into two, the assembly hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang, is also used
as a “green room’ by the dancers during the festival.
The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist ‘Wheel of Life “and the ‘Lords of the Four Quarters” besides rows of prayer wheels.
Overnight at hotel .
Leh /Alchi / Likir / Lamayuru / Leh
Following breakfast, visit Alchi, Likir and Lamayuru.
Alchi: 70Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus River, is the Alchi Gompa dating a Thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature-sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer an active religions center, it is looked after by
monks from Likir.
Likir : 52Kms from Leh Founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century AD, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present gompa dates back to the 18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent thankas, earthern pots and carved folding wooden stools, live here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view. A magnificent giant juniper tree, one of the few survivors of its species, stands in the courtyard.
Lamayuru Monastery: Situated at the altitude of 3800 meters between Fotu-la and Khalsi. As per the legend, in ancient times a lake covered this site. One day a Hermit predicted that there will be a monastery one day and he throws the grain of rice on the earth which automatically forms the shape of Swastika (Yundrung) from where the name comes (Yundrung Tharpaling Gompa), constructed by Rinchen Zangpo one of his 108 constructions. Monastery noted for the sect drigungpa. In the gallery see 35 Buddha painted on the wall. Chapel of Avlokiteshvara – the 2mtrs high image of him with 11 heads and 1000 heads.
Overnight at hotel.
Leh / Stok Palace / Leh
After breakfast visit Stok Monastery or Stok Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in Stok, Leh district, Ladakh, India, 15kilometres south of Leh. It was founded by Lama Lhawang Lotus in the 14th Century and has a notable library including all 108 volumes of the Kangyur. A ritual dance-mask festival is held annually.
Next to the monastery is the 71 feet (22m) high seated Gautama Buddha statue and temple, constructed between 2012-2015 and consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama on 8 August 2016.
Around 2 km from the monastery is Stok Palace, built in 1820 and still the summer home of Ladakhi royalty from the Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh.
Overnight at hotel
Leh / Sarchu (249kms / 6-7hrs approx)
Following breakfast, drive to Sarchu-Sarchu at an altitude of 4,290 m
Upon arrival, check in to your hotel. Overnight at hotel
Sarchu / Jispa80kms / 3hrs approx)
Following breakfast visit Sarchu, a picturesque town is located at the height of 4253 meters. This is the last point on the Himachal-Ladakh border that offers splendid views of snow-capped mountains. The
unspoiled natural beauty of Sarchu offers a perfect ambience to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
After visit, continue your drive to Jispa – Jispa (altitude 3,200 m )
Upon arrival, check-in into your hotel. Overnight at hotel
Jispa /Key long / Manali (140kms / 6-7hrs approx)
Following breakfast, drive to Manali en-route visit
ROHTANG PASS (3979 m): Rohtang pass is 51kms from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular Mountain View. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh.
There are beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks and Chandra River flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer (mid June to October).
KOTHI: Situated on the road to Rohtang pass, a picturesque spot, Kothi is 12kms. from Manali. A PWD rest house is situated on a ridge overlooking a narrow valley with a very good view of mountains and valleys.
Large numbers of films (movies) have been pictured at this place and are the ideal resting resorts of poets, writers and the lovers of peaceful environs. After visit, continue your drive to Manali. Manali at an altitude of 2,050 m (6,726ft).
Upon arrival, check-in into your hotel. Overnight at hotel .
Following breakfast Manali: Manali, the paradise on the land is situated at the northern point of the Kullu Valley. Manali is awe-inspiring with spectacular views of snow coated peaks and wooded gorges. With the Beas gushing across the rocky alleys amid grasslands wrapped in layers of wild flowers and bushes. The rich
and healthy environment offers marvelous walks too fruit orchards and mesmerizing forest of pines and deodars.
Hadimba Temple: The main attraction at Manali is historically and archeologically famous the Dhoongri Temple dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of the Hindu Epic Mahabharat. The temple has four-tiered Pagoda like roof and the entrance is carved with mythological shapes and symbols. Located about 2.5 km from the tourist office, amidst dense forest of deodar, the temple was built in the 1533 A.D.
Vashist Hot Water Springs and Temple: Situated 3 km from Manali is Vashist, a small village situated on the left bank of the river Beas, onwards Rohtang pass. The place is worth a visit for its renowned hot springs and temples. Close to this, is a stone temple in pyramidal
shape, dedicated to Vashist Muni? There is another temple dedicated to Lord Ram, based at this place. Natural hot sulphur springs (said to have curative value) with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always crowded with tourists.
Overnight at hotel.
Manali / Dharamshala 250kms / 6hrs 30mins approx)
Following breakfast, drive to Dharamshala. (Altitude 2,082metres (6,831 feet) Upon arrival, check in to your hotel.
Afternoon, visit Dharamsala: Overlooking the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A busy bazaar town, Dharamsala has established itself as the traveler’s base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains. The Kotwali Bazaar provides the entire colour and characteristic of a small town, which is mixed with the simple life style. The colourful temple and Gompas, which reflect the culture of Tibet, adds attraction for the visitor. The Kangra museum gives an overview of the rich past of the region and on the other hand there are institutes that have been established to preserve the Tibetan art, cultures and traditions.
Dharamsala has become the synonymous to the Tibetan government in exile and the home of Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Even if the Tibetan community dominates the town, still it has retained the colonial lifestyle and British fervour. Kangra Art Museum This treasure trove of the Kangra valley’s arts, crafts, and rich past, displays artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The museum also includes a gallery of Kangra’s famous miniature paintings and a representative collection of sculptures, pottery, and anthropological items.
Overnight at hotel.
Dharamshala /Amritsar (200kms / 5hrs approx)
Following breakfast drive to Amritsar Upon arrival check in to your hotel
Late afternoon: excursion to Wagah Border :( less than 30 km from the city), between India and Pakistan, where you can view the ceremonial changing of the guard at dusk. Be in your seat just half an hour before sunset. Make sure you have a grandstand view of the highstepping guards as they go through the immaculately contrived nightly parade of closing the border and ceremonial lowering of the flags.Later return to Amritsar.
Overnight at hotel.
Amritsar / Delhi (Train)
Following breakfast, visit Amritsar: Known for its Golden Temple, the most sacred shrine of the Sikhs, Amritsar is the most revered place of the Sikh Community. Amritsar derived its name from the water pool (Pool of Nectar). The town is also known worldwide for the
occurrence of massacre, in the historic Jallianwala Bagh by the British General Dyer’s. The added charm of the place is spectacular Ram Bagh Garden. Today, Amritsar is not only a historical or religious city, but also an industrial city with numerous small and medium scale industries. Amritsar houses several Textile Industry, paint industry, machine tools, rice, fan industry, etc., which place a significant role in the India economy.
Visit The Jallianwala Bagh is a memorial of the martyrs of the 1919 massacre by the British General Dyer. Today, here one finds a small gallery with photos of key personalities involved in the 1919 freedom struggle, the well into which the crowds jumped to escape the murderous hail of bullets and a simple memorial at the site that shaped India’s destiny.Check out 1200hrs
Late afternoon, transfer to railway station to board train to Delhi.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
Overnight at hotel.
Morning transfer to international airport for your flight back home.