The 472 km overland journey is open for just three months in a year i.e. from June to end of September. The jeep safari trip from Manali to Leh can be extended to Nubra valley across Khardung La pass, the highest motorable road in the world or to Srinagar after crossing Zojila Pass. The Manali to Leh drive can be completed in two days with an overnight stay at Sarchu or Darcha. Another option is to drive to Leh via Tsokar and Tsomoriri Lake. For undertaking this tour you will have to arrange your tour through tour operator from Leh, who can send you a permit to enter Tsomoriri Lake with a local taxi. The journey starts from Manali driving through the lush green and foggy hills offering a splendid view of Manali on the way.
Day 01: Manali – Sarchu 4253 mts (225 kms/7-8 hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive to Saruch via Rohtang Pass & Baralacha La. This Journey is the beginning of our exciting and spectacular journey through the mountains into the lap of the Himalayas. Overnight: Camp
Day 02: Sarchu – Leh (245 kms/7-8 hrs)
Early morning drive to Leh gives you a feeling of being in the high Tibetan Plateau. One climbs a series of Galta loops consisting of 32 hairpin bends on the way up from Sarchu and come out in Pang valley. Cross to the other side of the Pang, Tzanspo River to continue drive up to yet another plateau for a long traverse on the legendary Moore plains. The highest of the Tibetan Plateau at 4200 Mts. Continue driving Tanglang La (5280 Mts.) the second highest motorable pass in the world that commands breath taking views of the Zanskar range. A pleasant drive about 20 Kms brings you to the Ladakhi hamlet, Gya, heralded by prayer flags. After crossing few more villages one reaches the great Indus River. Further drive to Leh town, over night at hotel.
Leh: Leh is the fascinating capital of the Autonomous Hill Council of Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet. The important monasteries to visit in and around Leh are Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Spituk, Shakar as well as the Shanti Stupa, Stok Palace and main Bazaar. The Leh palace dominating the town was the former home of the Namgyal Dynasty. The monastic festivals are very popular and Hemis, Phyang and Lamayuru festivals in summer are visited by lot of tourists who throng to see the Cham Dances.
Day 03: Leh – Shey – Thiksey – Hemis
On this day you will go a sightseeing trip to some ancient monasteries in this area.
Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17’Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.
Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.
Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17’Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.
Day 04: Leh – Tsokar – Tsomoriri () 8-9 hrs
Start early for Tsokar. On the way, you will pass Tanglangla, the second highest motorable pass in the world and part of the Changthang plateau called More Plains. After spending some time at Tsokar, head to Karzok which is on the banks of Tsomoriri. Stay the night at Karzok.
Day 05: Tsomoriri – Shakti (210 kms/7-8 hrs)
Explore the lake and surrounding areas. Look out for high altitude wildlife such as Kyang (the Tibetan wild ass), bar-headed geese, snow fox etc.
Day 06: Shakti – Pangong (95 kms/4 hrs)
Trace the route to Pangong Lake over Changla pass to the huge Pangong Lake, 2/3 of which lies in Tibet. Overnight stay at Spangmik on the banks of the lake.
Day 07: Pangong – Leh 4 hrs
Return to Leh. You can explore the Leh for the rest of the day.
Day 08: Leh – Phyang (3600m) by car (1h) and walk towards Taru (3700m)
We visit the Phyang monastery and continue onwards with a pleasant walk. A short day necessary for our acclimatization.
Day 09: Taru – Taru La (4200m) – Nyemo (3700m)
The trail climbs steeply towards the first pass of the trek, and descends to the Nyemo village.
Day 10: Nyemo – Nie (3800m)
The route traverses Basgo, dominated by impressive ruined fortresses. A quite stricking succession of shortens, sanctuaries and a palace line the path.
Day 11 : Nie – Likir (3600m)
We enter an arid and bare landscape. Visit of the Likir monastery, one of the oldest in Ladakh.
Day 12: Likir – Yangthang (3600m)
The route goes through two low passes, the Phobe La (3700m) and the Charatse La (3800m), opening to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Day 1 3 : Yangthang – Hemis Shukpachan (3600m)
En route, visit of the Ridzong monastery, which is set in stunning surroundings and hidden amongst the hills. After a tiny pass, we descend towards Hemis Shukpachan.
Day 14: Hemis Shukpachan – Temisgang (3700m)
This part of the trail has been carved out from the ochre rocks into a balcony. We climb towards two passes at 4000m and arrive at Ang. Then on to Temisgang, ancient capital of the Syham Kingdom, and its monastery.
Day 15: Temisgang – Lamayuru – Leh by car
En route, visit of the Lamayuru and Alchi monasteries
Day 16: Leh – Diskit via Khardung La
Early morning, drive from Leh to Nubra (7 hrs drive), The Nubra Valley lies in the north of Leh and is accessible over the Khardung la (18,380 ft.) one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The valley is on the trade route from Leh to Khardung via Saser and Karakoram passes. Apart from unparalleled trekking opportunities, the valley houses several Buddhist monasteries such as Sumur (Khagar) and 350 years old Diskit Gompa famous for its murals. From Khardung la, drive to the village of Khardung and then through starkly beautiful countryside to the TCP at Khalsar where permits have to be registered/checked. From here, one has to turn to the left of Shyok River and drive for about 15 miles over a narrow steep road to Diskit where one has to stay in camps.
Day 17: Diskit – Leh
After breakfast, drive downward Shyok River. An extremely rough and rocky stretch of flat ground. Cross the river over a bridge and arrive at the first village of Tirith. The road from here is extremely bad all the way up to Panamiki. The scenery however is spectacular with the snow-capped Karakoram Mountains in the background. The weather being much warmer in comparison to the Indus Valley, vegetation is thicker with a variety of trees and flowers. Visit the 150 years old Samasthanling Gompa at Bumur/Khagar. It is a big complex of 7 temples including the Ricpoches room. Walk half an hour from the gompa to Tegar village where there is another small gompa. Walk through the village and explore the surroundings. Also a small lake lies there. Later, transfer to Leh (106.8 miles). Dinner Overnight at hotel.
Day 18: Leh – Sarchu (245 kms/7-8 hrs)
Night Stay at the Campsite.
Day 19: Sarchu – Manali (225 kms/7-8 hrs)