Ladakh

Ladakh landscapes
Ladakh the Wonderland
A road trip of a lifetime through Ladakh in the Northern most part of India bordering China and Pakistan must be on every traveler's bucket list. Popular destinations in Ladakh include Leh, Shey, Khardung la Pass, Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri Lake, Diskit, Turtuk, Kargil, Zanskar and Hanle with jaw dropping landscapes and ancient Buddhist / Tibetan monasteries.

In Ladakh you can chose to stay in the home of a local Ladakhi family or resorts and hotels of all budgets. However, the stories, personal attention, home cooked food and overall hospitality offered by a Ladakhi family is spectacular and many chose that over a typical hotel. In some places like Pangong and Tso Moriri Lakes where the weather is in-hospitable for more than six months in a year, most of the accommodation offered is in tented camps with attached bathrooms. 

Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh
Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh


My local contact in Ladakh lives in his ancestral home in Shey. Shey is a really small Ladakhi village about 13 KM from the hustle bustle of Leh and is also home to the school where the three idiots movie was shot. The village is very rustic and has all the elements of Ladakhi culture and architecture intact with open fields. If you are looking to get away from the maddening crowds and traffic in Leh, then Shey is the best option there is. 

Although, I recommend first timers touring Ladakh to plan for at least 7 nights and 8 days, I can work with you to add days and consult with you on putting together a more tailor made experience in Ladakh fitting to your requirements. 


Traditional Ladakhi attire
Wearing traditional Ladakhi attire with our Ladakhi hosts in Shey

This experience is ideal for groups of friends, families with children and couples. Ladakh altitude goes from 11,000+ and people with known respiratory or heart related diseases should take caution before traveling to Ladakh. 

Please note that most of the places you will be visiting in Ladakh beyond Leh will not have wifi or television and your phones will not get data either. During your time in Ladakh you will be staying at a combination of homestays, hotels and tented camps with attached bathrooms. Be assured all the places are safe, clean, hygienic, offering great service, food and hospitality.


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:
  • Fly in to Leh airport. There are several flights from Delhi. Please let me know before hand if you plan to drive in your own vehicle to Leh.
  • Meet & greet your local Ladakh host at the airport. Check in to your Ladakhi homestay in Shey or your hotel in Leh.
  • Rest and do nothing. It is very important that you don't exert yourself during the first couple of days, no manual work, no push ups, attempted hikes or acts of machoism no matter how fit you may think you are. Your body needs a couple of days at-least to acclimatise to the oxygen levels at high altitudes of 12,000 feet above sea level. 
  • Breakfast and dinner (as per your meal plan) at the homestay / hotel, over night in Shey or Leh.
Shey Village in Ladakh
Shey Village in Ladakh

Day 2:
  • After breakfast, we visit the 17th century Hemis Monastery. Enroute we drive along the scenic blue waters of the Indus river.
  • We then visit Shey Palace which has stunning views of Shey village and surrounding mountains
  • Post lunch, we visit the amazing Thiksey Monastery which is on top of a hill a few minutes drive from Shey. 
  • Breakfast and dinner (as per your meal plan) at the homestay / hotel, over night in Shey or Leh.
Lamayuru, the rock formation resembles that on the Moon
Lamayuru, the rock formation resembles that on the Moon

Day 3:
  • After breakfast, visit the ancient monasteries in the village of Alchi and Lamayuru. Lamayuru is also called Moonland due to the surface resembling the surface of the moon. Not only will ancient Tibetan architecture and wood work in Alchi leave you speechless but so will the unbelievable landscapes in Lamayuru.


Alchi Monastery
Alchi Monastery
  • We also visit Sangam - which is the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers and Magnetic Hill.
  • Breakfast and dinner (as per your meal plan) at the homestay / hotel, over night in Shey or Leh.
Turtuk Village, Ladakh
Turtuk Village, Ladakh
Day 4:
  • After an early breakfast we will depart for 3 nights. First leg of the trip will be at the village of Turtuk or Nubra Valley. Turtuk and a few other villages were a part of Pakistan but India took over control after Pakistan lost the war in 1971. It is a very small village with criss-crossing streams, zero vehicular movement, lots of greenery and the mighty Shyok river along the lush green meadowns and farms on the banks. You might get a chance to munch on some fresh walnuts and fruits during the summer. 
Snow at Khardung La Pass
Snow at Khardung La Pass
  • On the way to Turtuk, we stop briefly at Khardung La which is one of the highest motorable roads in the world (17,500 feet above sea level). Enjoy some tea or coffee.
  • Over-night stay in Turtuk (dinner and breakfast included at the homestay/tented camp in Turtuk)

Day 5:
  • After breakfast, we continue from Turtuk to Nubra Valley and visit Diskit Monastery.
  • Nubra valley is famous for the massive expanse of desert and sand dunes and bactrian camels (double humped camels). I personally do not go on joy rides on animals and don't encourage their use but I leave it to you to decide if you want to go on a joy ride on a bactrian camel or not.
  • Diskit Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh. It has amazing views of the desert and the valley.
  • Over-night in Nubra Valley (dinner and breakfast included at the homestay / hotel in Nubra Valley)

Day 6:
  • After breakfast, we continue to Pangong Lake. Yes, this is the same lake which was made famous in the movie three Idiots. India shares the lake with China who controls approximately 60% to 70% of it. This lake is at an elevation of over 14,000 feet. Please wear warm clothes including inners as the temperature in Pangong Lake is known to fluctuate without any prior notice.
  • Explore the lakeside, (never) get tired of taking pictures of the lake.
  • If you're in to birdwatching you might get to see some rare and exotic birds along the shores of the lake.
  • Over-night at Pangong Lake (dinner and breakfast as per your meal plan).
Three Idiots Pangong Lake
Three Idiots Pangong Lake, September 2017

Day 7:
  • Time to say goodbye to Pangong Lake, post breakfast, make your way back to Shey or Leh.
  • This is a long journey but the views are spell-bounding and completely worth it.
  • Breakfast and dinner (as per your meal plan) at the homestay / hotel, over night in Shey or Leh.
Day 8:
  • Check out.
  • Drop off to Leh airport.

Price Inclusions:

  • Hotels, breakfast and dinner. Let me know if you have any medical conditions or dietary restrictions before hand.
  • Transportation for the entire duration of the trip in an Innova or similar with an excellent local driver.
  • Travel permit charges for various places you will be visiting in Ladakh.

Price Exclusions:

  • Transportation or air fare from your departing destination to Leh and back.
  • Lunch expenses
  • Personal expenses, camera fees, visa and medical insurance fees (if any).
  • Entrance fees to historial places.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and mineral water
  • Any expenses that occur due to reasons that are beyond our control such as weather, road closure, medical issues, strikes, political etc.
View of the Valley from Hunder Sand Dunes
View of the Valley from Hunder Sand Dunes

Price:

  • Contact +919717148483 or email kunal@totravelwith.com

Payment Terms:

  • 50% advance payment in order to confirm booking.
  • Remaining 50% to be paid 02 weeks before check in date or as per the hotel's payment policy.
  • Cancellation charges as per the respective hotel's policy.
Chukar Partridge
Chukar Partridge 

Please note:

  • Carry warm clothing, gloves, scarf, warm hat (it will be below zero or below degrees Celcius in Pangong Lake and other places)
  • Sturdy pair of walking shoes
  • Backpack or a strolley for the 3 day road-trip to Turtuk, Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake
  • Photo ID and copies of it as you will need for your travel permits. If you're not an Indian citizen, best to carry your passport and/or resident Indian permits and clear copies of it.
  • Indian currency (including bills in 100 & 500 denominations) for personal expenses. ATMs are rare and functional mostly in Leh. Cards are accepted mostly in Leh.
  • Caps, hats or vizors, sun block, sun glasses and lip balm.
  • Cameras, battery charger and memory cards and binoculars (recommended)
  • Books or magazines, download movies / videos on your Ipad or other gadgets. Most places in Ladakh will not have wifi / television.
  • Toilet paper, hand soap, hand sanitizer
  • Munchies, nuts, chocolates and other 'exotic' food items.
  • Medication for common ailments like cold etc, and medical insurance policy including emergency air evacuation.
  • High altitude sickness medication (consult with your GP / doctor before purchasing any medication that is used for treating high altitude sickness).
  • If you have any respiratory issues or are known to suffer from high altitude sickness, then please consult with your doctor before traveling to Ladakh.
  • There is no guarantee that you will see the above wildlife. The river and / or sanctuary is their habitat and sightings depend on water level in the river, human interference, climatic conditions, weather and other factors, migratory pattern of birds, most of which are beyond your and my control. I will do my best to show you all there is to see. 
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol is strictly not permitted in National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  • Please do not throw trash on the floor even if you don't see a trash can. Please ask me and I help to dispose it off properly.
  • To prevent any disturbance to wildlife, I do not permit the use of any call playback to attract birds, feeding or baiting of wildlife. Despite this, if you do and are caught by the authorities or called out by locals or fellow wildlife enthusiasts, then you are entirely on your own - embarrassment, fines and other penalties as per the local laws governing national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are to be borne by you.

Please email kunal@totravelwith.com or call +91 9717148483 if you have any questions or would like to make a booking. Thank you.


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