Knee deep in Ladakh

Knee deep in Ladakh

Introduction

This is our extended Ladakh journey that captures the complete circuit from Kashmir through Ladakh into Himachal Pradesh.

In this itinerary, you will see the transition from green valleys to high-altitude deserts, combining multiple cultures and dramatic landscapes.

Spanning a fortnight, we’ve provided options for both active holidaying and deep relaxation.

Our tried-and-tested selection of routes ensures that you get to experience a quieter and more authentic side of Ladakh.

Read on to get a taste of this holiday.

You can also check out our 11 day journey and our 8 day journey for a shorter excursion.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2: Sonmarg & Kargil

We receive you at Srinagar airport and drive to our riverside cottage in Sonmarg. Spend the night at an
altitude of nearly 9000 feet and begin the acclimatization process before you enter Ladakh.

Drive to Kargil the next day, via Zoji La, the gateway to Ladakh. Your road trip is a showcase of dramatic transitions from forested hills to the stark, rocky mountains of the Ladakh.

Days 3 & 4: In the Sham Valley

We spend the next couple of days in one of the former capitals of Ladakh situated on the banks of the Indus River. You have the option of stopping at Lamayuru before arriving here.

The village is guarded by a 15th-century castle that sits on a hillock. Spend your time here enjoying the slow pace of a traditional Ladakhi village. Go on walks, visit the local school, the monastery, and exchange stories with the local community.

Days 5 & 6: Enter the capital

A short drive from the former capital brings you to the current one, Leh. En route, stop at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. Once here, you’ll stay in a home tucked away from the main town.

Explore Leh by car or foot. Visit the fascinating Central Asian Museum, Leh Palace, and Shanti Stupa.

The next day, visit two historical villages on either bank of the Indus River that are famous for their palaces, heritage homes, traditional lunches, and museums.

End the night by visiting some of the bars and restaurants in town.

Days 7 & 8: Drive to Nubra

Cross the Indus Valley into Nubra Valley, over one of the more well-known passes of Ladakh – Khardung La.

We skip the popular circuits of Diskit and Hundar and cross to the eastern bank of the Nubra River to a village famous for hosting merchants and caravans coming in from the Silk Route.

While here, embark on a full-day trip to a 500-year-old monastery, a petroglyph site, take a dip in a sulphur hot spring, and hike to a mythical lake.

Cap it off with a sunset by the dunes.

Days 9 & 10: Twin lakes of Changthang

Embark on spectacular drives through the vast Changthang plateau.

In typical Knowhere Travel fashion, we skip the touristy pockets of Pangong Tso and drive further to reach our camp.

The next day, drive through the Changpa heartland to reach Tso Moriri, as blue and majestic as its twin.

Days 11 & 12: Back to the Indus Valley

Re-enter the Indus Valley via Chang La, another iconic mountain pass of Ladakh. Spend the night by the river in a comfortable guesthouse.

The next day is light and relaxed, ideal to rejuvenate after a few days of exploration. Take a long walk to the nearby monastery or just enjoy picnics by the Indus River.

Day 13: Exit Ladakh

Today will be the longest journey with nearly 10 hours of driving. However, this drive is likely to be satisfyingly thrilling since you’ll cross multiple high-altitude passes such as Tanglang La, Lachulung La, and Baralacha La.

You’ll also get a real feel of the Tibetan plateau as you drive past Morey Plains.

Spend the night in Jispa, which is just across the border, in Himachal Pradesh.

Days 14 & 15: Relax in Manali

Jispa to Manali is now a shorter drive than ever, thanks to the Atal Tunnel, an engineering marvel in its own right.

Arrive in Manali for a lip smacking lunch in a beautiful homestay. You are conveniently located just outside town.

Spend the next two days amongst lush apple orchards before going home.

Day 16: Onward home

You’ve managed to explore quite a bit of Ladakh and its surroundings this holiday! We will drop you to Chandigarh to complete this journey.

On your next visit, we can help you dig deeper at each of these locations.

We hope to see you again.

Julley! Salaam! Namaskar!

Accommodation

Stay in scenic, locally-owned guesthouses, small hotels, camps, and cottages.

A riverside homestay in Sonmarg

Start the journey surrounded by incredible alpine forests and the sound of the gushing river, in a brick-red cottage with warm proprietors who grow their own vegetables and fruits.

 

A lovely bed and breakfast in Kargil

Reach Kargil, and unwind after a long drive in this bed and breakfast in the heart of town.

This is a taster of the type of rugged landscape your Ladakh trip will entail.

A family-run hotel in Sham Valley

An hour from Leh, this heritage home is nearly a century old. Recharge your batteries here, and go on beautiful walks around the village, exploring trails that lead to the mountains.

Guesthouse in Leh

This is our favourite guesthouse in Leh! It’s situated on the outskirts of the town, but close enough that you can get to the market in 15 minutes. There’s a fabulous sit-out with books of all kinds. The hosts have decorated the guesthouse tastefully, and you’ll see all the markers of traditional architecture but blended with modern amenities.

Riverside cottages at Nubra

Our guesthouse in Nubra is comfortable, warm, and surrounded by vistas of the mountains on every side. Spend the evening at the glorious sit-out in the garden. You might meet other travellers. At night the stars come out to play. Count the shooting stars, there’ll be at least a few visible to the naked eye.

There’s a short walk to a very pretty dining area in the main house. Food is simple and delicious. For breakfast, have some fresh juice or hot coffee with your meal.

Tented camp at Pangong Tso

We’ve partnered with a tented camp accommodation well away from the crowds. Pangong Tso is a tourist-heavy region, so this was an important factor in our selection. The tents themselves are pristine and comfortable.

Of course, open the flap of your tent and the shifting blues of Pangong Tso will keep you in a trance.

There’s a common dining area with lots of healthy food options before you set off to explore the lake in all its glory.

Guesthouse in Tso Moriri

Stay in a quaint hotel in this remote village on the banks of Tso Moriri, another surreal lake in Changthang. You can walk to the lake, the nearby monastery, and visit the town on foot.

There’s a common dining area with healthy food options for a hearty meal.

Guesthouse by the Indus

Spend a night near the banks of the Indus River. It is constructed using locally available materials like wood and offers bright rooms with views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Nearby attractions include Thiksey Monastery, Stakna Monastery, and Shey Palace.

A lodge in Jispa

It’s a long drive to leave Ladakh. Your first stop for the night is at an extremely hospitable lodge in Jispa. Situated a little away from the village, the lodge has a great location with easy access to the riverside. The rooms are spacious and comfortable

A quiet homestay in Manali

The best place to end your long journey is on the outskirts of Manali.

Stay in these meticulously-designed stone cottages amidst an apple orchard. Your trip ends with a view of the mighty Dhauladar and Pir Pinjal ranges. Visit Manali town and treat yourself to a nice drink at the local bar.

Pricing

For 2: INR 126,099 per person
For 4: INR 87,099 per person
For 6: INR 74,099 per person

Includes stay, most meals, transportation
(01 car), permits, and service charges.

5% GST extra.

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