Day 01: Arrival / Delhi
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon
arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our
representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the
documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi
devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for
giving us the opportunity to serve you!
The Connaught - a 4* Down Town Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 02: Delhi
This morning, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting
such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayun's Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar
72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian
world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather
for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the
Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and
main shopping district of the capital.
Later we cross the
city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the
Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni
Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of
shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red
Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in
Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat
and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and
thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.
Overnight at The Connaught - a 4* Down Town Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 03: Delhi / Jaipur (270 Kms)
After breakfast we will drive to Jaipur Upon arrival check into the
Mandawa Haveli which is located in the heart of Jaipur City. The
hotel combines old world charm with the best of present day
facilities. The rooms are well-appointed with intricately carved
wooden beds; historic photographs and king-sized royal portraits.
There are pleasant courtyards, lawns and terraces with a view of the
splendid Nahargarh Fort. It has a beautiful dining hall overlooking
one of the terraces.
After rest and relaxation, we
explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur. An essential
starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block
printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish
in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here
to tailor make outfits to your design and size.
explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewelry, which
offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewelry to enameled
gold to modern diamond jewelry. Kundan (art of stone setting) and
enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that
of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes &
patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the
champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold
and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with
semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take
great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The
skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and
birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio
beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.
Overnight at Mandawa Haveli (Deluxe Room)
Day 04: Jaipur
Following breakfast, we proceed on a guided
tour of the Amber Fort. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, the
Fort is a superb example of Rajput (Medieval Hindu) style of
architecture. A slow elephant taxi takes us to the top of the Fort,
which houses several graceful buildings.
We will ride up
to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing
through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered
for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of
this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves,
dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today's
visitors as they did their former royal residents.
shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied
structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately
honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It
was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen
by the world through its 593 stone screens.
proceed for a guided tour of the City Palace & Observatory. The
City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani
and Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven storied
building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens and
the city. Next stop of the City Palace is the Solar Observatory - an
astronomical treasure house, with solar device that gives accurate
predictions till date.
Overnight at Mandawa Haveli
Day 05: Jaipur /
Fatehpur Sikri / Agra (245 Kms)
This morning we drive to
Agra, stopping at deserted Capital City of Fatehpur Sikri. This
abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly preserved city at
the height of the empire's splendour. The city divided into
religious and secular parts has interesting well-sculpted buildings.
From here we continue our ride to Agra.
check into Howard Park Plaza
Rest of the day is at
leisure for your independent activities.
Howard Park Plaza
Day 06: Agra / Delhi
We are about to witness one of the greatest sights of one's lifetime
- the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Before departure for the monument we
shall be served tea/coffee and cookies so that our eyes open real
wide to behold this breathtaking sight. A dawn visit to the fabled
Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections
of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white
After breakfast we ride to the massive
Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting
synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by
Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private
chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti
Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the
ancient Indian architects.
Later, we will drive to Delhi.
The journey is along one of India's finest 4-lane dual carriageway.
Also, our travel in our luxury car would ensure the smoothest and
the most comfortable journeys. We would have opportunities to stop
at well-appointed restaurants for refreshments and washroom
Upon arrival check into your hotel The
Overnight at The Connaught - a 4* Down Town
Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 07: Delhi /
Leh (9W 1609 - 0630 / 0745 hrs)
Morning transfer to the
airport for your short flight to Leh. This surely is one of the most
sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over
the top of the Greater Himalaya before dropping down in a series of
steep turns, to land at the small military airport at Leh. During
the flight you should get good views of the distant Karakoram
including K2; the second highest mountain in the world, and will
pass over some of the highest peaks in Jammu & Kashmir (which
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and
transfer to your Hotel Spic n Span
On arrival the advice
is to lie down for a day, until your body catches up with the
Day free for leisure & independent
Late in the afternoon, you may gently stroll
out to visit Leh's wide street bazaar that runs east-west. Together
with the labyrinth of adjoining side streets and alleys, the bazaar
is the center of business and shopping -- particularly for visitors
who find the plethora of antiques (and not-antiques) shops worth
checking out. The bazaar is an incredible example of traditional
Ladakhi lifestyles. Watch out for the pavement vegetable sellers and
the traditional homes that exist on top of the stores which sell
only the very basic provisions
Overnight at Spic N
Day 08: Leh / Shey / Thiksey /
Hemis / Leh
This morning we proceed on a guided tour of
Shey, which is a small town in comparison to Leh. Shey Palace was
built in early 17th century AD by Deldan Namgyal as a memorial for
his father, Singay Namgyal. The palace houses a three storey copper
statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Overlooking the Shey palace are the
ruins of the fort built by the first king of Ladakh, Lhachen
Spalgigon. Shey also has a very large scattering of stupas all
across its landscape
From here we drive to Thiksey Gompa
(monastery), it is located 17 km on the main highway from Leh in the
direction of Manali. The present day monastery founded by Paldan
Sherab, overlooking the village below, was not the original
location. It was originally built at Stakmo. This monastery hosts
the festival of Thiksey Gustor.
Later we drive to Hemis
Gompa (monastery) which is the most important and the richest Gompa
in the whole of Ladakh and is dedicated to Guru Padama Sambhava the
great Indian teacher & philosopher. This monastery located among
the beautiful landscape of the Hemis National Park was founded in
1630 AD. It is located at a distance of 45km from Leh and is one of
the most popular monasteries visited by travelers. It is also famous
across the world for the Hemis Festival hosted by it.
Evening we drive back to our hotel in Leh
Spic N Span
Day 09: Leh / Nimu / Leh
Today we drive to the Rafting camp and commence RAFTING till Nimu.
The river valley is quite narrow here and the rapids are Grade
III/IV. Rafting will finish after the confluence of River Zanskar
and Indus at Nimu. Later, we proceed for a short village visit to
Afternoon we drive back to our hotel in Leh
Overnight at Spic N Span
Day 10: Leh /
Likir / Uletokpo
Following a leisurely breakfast we drive
to Uletokpo Visiting the Likir Monastery on the way. The journey
itself through spell bounding scenes of natural beauty is worth the
effort. Snow capped Himalayas dot the background while craggy dusty
mountain ranges and the swiftly flowing Indus river as well as
patches of farm make up for the fascinating foreground.
At Nimu we witness the magical confluence of the two main rivers of
the region - Indus & Zanskar.
aspect of our journey would be the opportunity to travel past
several Ladakhi Villages where time has stood still. We will walk
into these villages and experience traditional Ladakhi Villages,
lifestyles and occupations.
We make a brief stop at the
Likir Monastery that houses many gigantic clay statue of Buddha in
various forms. The primary attraction is, however, their 1000-year
old wall painting which make a visit more than worthwhile.
Upon arrival at lunch time we check into tented accommodation at
Uleytokpo. This place is heaven on earth ! the accommodation here
are lovely fixed camps run by a Ladakhi family. The tents have
attached toilets and beds, and are set amidst apricot orchards. The
place is right in the lap of nature and you would very much enjoy
the feel of the breeze, the scent of flowers, delightful nature
walks, views of the snow capped Himalayas and the gentling rolling
sound of the Indus river. If you are a bird lover there are great
possibilities of viewing a variety of birds.
Just 4 kms
away is Ridzong, the most isolated monastery of all the monastery of
Ladakh. One can still find the small caves where Lamas used to
meditate for years cutting themselves from the rest of the world
except for an one feet square outlet window from where they accept
the one time meal of the day. Also close by is a nunnery. Food and
clothing besides shelter is provided to the Nuns. There are a few
very old retired Nuns. A visit here shows us the day to day living
of the Nuns, as well as the trainings they receive here and also an
opportunity to witness the performance of the evening prayers.
Overnight at Uletokpo Tented Camp
Day 11: Uletokpo / Lamayuru / Uletokpo
A half day
excursion through paradise as we visit Lamayuru. Every twist and
turn brings to you new vistas of natural beauty. But, wait till you
get to the 'Lamayuru Moonland'. We look down on this landscape which
appears to be a dusty surface of the Moon itself with craters &
hills . The snow rising in the backdrop of this sandy script reminds
you that you are in Ladakh.
The landscape around Lamayuru
monastery is one of most spectacular things one could see on earth.
Lamayuru monastery popularly known as, "Yangdrung
Gomp" is situated 126 km west of Leh, on the Leh - Srinagar
highway. In ancient times there was a huge lake in this place. The
great saint Nyimagung, made a prophesy saying: " May a
monastery be founded in this place" and he then offered a
votive water offering to all the naga serpent spirits who were the
guardians of that place. The grains of that corn that formed part of
this offering were carried by the waves of different places along
the cliff side by the edge of the lake and when they had become
mixed with the earth they sprouted forth as corn in the shape of a
swastika. At the time when a monastery was later founded there it
was called Yangdrung "swastika". In the 11th century the
mahasiddha Naropa came to this place and the cave where he resided
and meditated is still to be seen today. Then Rinchen Zangpo, the
Translator came and built many temples and stupas and so the
teachings of the Kadampa School came to flourish greatly there.
Thereafter, for many years the monastery was administered by the Red
Hats order of the Tibetan Buddhism., but later it was taken over by
Digungpa order. Then the rituals and observances of the Digung
Kargud School were introduced and the monastery received the name of
We return to Uletokpo by lunch
Afternoon is at leisure for nature walks .
Alternatively, your 24x7 guide would be happy to walk you to the
neighbouring Mangyu village (3hrs). This would be another
opportunity to witness traditional Ladakhi country life unchanged
from time immemorial. We will interact with locals and also learn
more about Ladakhi living.
Overnight at Uletokpo
Day 12: Uletokpo / Alchi /
After breakfast we drive back to Leh Visiting Alchi on the way.
The village of Alchi in lower Ladakh is to be considered
one of the most important cultural sites throughout the Himalayas.
Consisting of four separate hamlets, the village contains numerous
historic monuments of different ages and in various states of
repair, the oldest and most famous of which is a monastic complex.
The 1,000-year-old three-storied Himalayan temple, with its unique
murals and iconography, is a fragile wooden structure. Confirmed a
World Heritage site by UNESCO, this is one of only four surviving
monasteries of the 108 founded by the Great Translator, Lotsava
Rinchen bZangpo in the later 10 th and early 11 th century. The
temple preserves some of the finest examples of Kashmiri art of the
Following the tour of Alchi, we continue drive to
Leh and get there by lunch time. Upon arrival, transfer to your
Hotel Spic n Span. The afternoon is at leisure and you may wish to
walk into the bustling bazaar or catch up with your reading and
This evening we are invited to a typical
Ladakhi home for high tea and interaction with different members of
the Ladakhi family. The kitchen is the heart of the Ladakhi house.
These are people for whom food is so central it forms the basis of
their all-purpose greeting, "Julay", an economical word
used for hello, goodbye, please and thank you. Its literal
translation is "good digestion"; it reflects their
philosophy that if you have good digestion, you have everything.
Overnight at Spic N Span
13: Leh / Khardung La / Deskit / Hunder
Today we travel
north from Leh over the highest motorable road and the Khardungla
Pass (5570m), to the Nubra Valley which is little visited, as it is
inaccessible for all but a couple of months in the year, its high
passes closed by the winter snows. In comparison to the Indus valley
which is cooler the Nubra is a comparatively warm valley where
walnut, apricot, apple and mulberry trees grow and yak, sheep and
goats graze in small forests and along the river Shyok. The journey
brings us excellent view of great Karakoram Range.
ancient times the fertile Nubra Valley formed a part of the overland
route between Tibet and Turkestan. Once dotted with garlands of
camel and yak caravans, this Silk Route glen is also known as the
'Valley of Flowers' of Ladakh, and is amongst the greenest valleys
in the region, .During early summer, Nubra is clad in endless bushes
of yellow and pink wild roses, and once the valley is through with
the season of roses around August, a carpet of wild lavender lies
gently on it.
On our way we visit the Diskit Village
which is amongst the larger villages in the region, and home to the
350 year-old Diskit Gompa - the oldest, and the largest monastery in
the Nubra Valley . We will also find time to walk along the Nubra
village. The people are amazingly friendly inspite of their lack of
material disposition. Their traditional lifestyles and homes give
you the feel of a Living Museum.
We reach Hunder Village
through a gorgeous stretch of sand dunes. This is where we will camp
tonight. The main attractions in this area are the Bactarian Double
Humped Camels. This is the ancient Silk route and these animals were
abandoned by the traders. Successive generations have procreated
over centuries. This evening we enjoy camel ride over the Sand
Dunes. This is a high mountain desert country with fertile dots of
land in between. Sand dunes eclipse the mountains; rock and snow
capped mountains rising majestically against a pastel landscape.
Truly a soul stirring experience where you experience communion with
We end the day in absolute peace with ourselves. It
is so simple to celebrate the mountains, sun the moon, water, stars
and sky - this feeling of presence of a creator that has managed to
create such beauty and wonder.
Overnight at Tented
Day 14: Hunder / Panamik / Hunder
This morning we will spend some time exploring the village. Hunder
is a quaint and beautiful village, maze-like in its formation,
winding paths bathed in dappled sunlight, branches forming tunnels.
The Ladakhi people are creative in the way they devise for water to
enter homes and fields in turn, with tenderly cared for gardens and
fruit orchards. The houses are thatched, built with mud-dried.
The people are so hospitable and look on curiously, smiling. They
radiate joy, with their rosy sun burnt cheeks, wide smiles and eyes
speaking volumes about the depth of character and humane goodness
they exude. They are humble, joyous and childlike, with a palpable
dignity. It would hit you to realize how material culture and luxury
do not provide happiness.
Today we continue to explore
the Nubra Valley and the quaint villages that dot the landscape.
Sumur is one such village where we interact with the people and also
visit the citadel of their faith - The Samtanling Gompa which is
definitely worth a visit, and houses a fine collection of idols,
frescos and tangkhas (painted and embroidered scrolls).
Continue a short way away to Panamik which used to be a busy centre
being the last major settlement before the caravans entered into the
mountains of Karakoram. Today, Panamik is a sleepy village, its
inhabitants quietly going about their work in the fields. On the
mountainside above the village, hot water bubbles out of the earth
in thermal springs, reputed to have therapeutic qualities. Across
the river, clinging to the mountains, are a few trees rooted among
the rocks surrounding the tiny Ensa gompa.
afternoon, drive back to Hunder
Overnight at Tented
Day 15: Hunder / Leh
Morning we retreat back to Leh
Upon arrival transfer to
your Hotel Spic n Span
Rest of the day is at leisure for
your independent activities. This is the day to catch up on your
shopping. Think about people who are in your thoughts and who
'deserve' souvenirs from this magical destination.
at Spic N Span
Day 16: Leh / Delhi (9W
1610 - 0825 / 0940 Hrs)
Morning transfer to the airport
for your flight back to Delhi
Meeting and assistance upon
arrival and transfer to hotel Connaught
Rest of the day is
at leisure for your independent activities Delhi today is truly the
melting pot of India, and the main gateway to one of the most
fascinating cities in the world. Your Hotel in Delhi is a Downtown
Hotel - The Connaught Place is the heart and pulse of New Delhi.
This Hotel will give you an opportunity to view the busy streets and
bazaars of the capital of India. In other words, you will 'feel'
Home Visit & A Farewell Dinner with an Indian
Family: This evening we would visit an Indian family for an Indian
home experience. The evening is designed to give you a 'feel' and
insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian
hospitality and home made Indian food.
The Connaught - a 4* Down Town Hotel (Standard Room)
Day 17: Delhi / Departure
Transfer to the international
airport to board a flight back home.