Explore Ladakh with our 4n/5d trip. Visit the famous Khardung La and Pangong Tso and popular attractions around Leh.
A short trip to Ladakh for those with a limited travel time. Explore Khardung La and Pangong Tso and visit all the main and popular attraction around Leh town. Delve into the architecture and culture of the place or go on a thrilling bike ride to one of the highest passes in the world.
Leh Town, Khardung La, Magnetic Hill, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Hall of Fame, Chang La, Pangong Tso, Hemis Monastery
Best time to travel
April till October
Breakfast and Dinner
Local experienced driver
Leh fly-in. Check in and rest. Acclimatise today. Visit Let Palace, Shanti Stupa and Leh Market
Drive to Khardungla top. Visit Magnetic Hill, Gurudwarda, Hall of Fame and Sangam (if possible)
Leh to Pangong Tso via Chang La. Camping at Pangong.
Pangong Tso to Leh. Visit Hemis monastery on the way
Airport drop. Leh fly- out
Day 1 – Fly-in to Leh. Visit Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa and market
As the majestic barren mountains welcome you and you feel the crisp, clean Himalayan wind on your face you know you have arrived in Ladakh. The first thing you do as you are flying – in, is head to your hotel, have a hearty breakfast, drink ample water and rest. Acclimatisation is key on the 1st day to ensure you have a good trip. After a good long nap, you are ready to explore the market and the very best of Leh town. Have lunch at your hotel or Leh market and head over to Shanti Stupa. A symbol of peace and harmony, Shanti Stupa’s white dome stands tall at 3,609 metres above sea level. The stupa offers some jaw dropping panoramic views of Leh town. A lovely green in summer, the leaves of the trees in this trans- Himalayan region turn amber-brown in the autumn and disappear by winter.
Next we head to the 17th century Leh Palace. The Archaeological Survey of India is slowly restoring this 9 Storie palace and it is still a work in progress. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet, the Leh Palace offers unobstructed views of the Indus river, the Stok Kangri peak and the mighty Zanskar range beyond it. Stroll through the Leh market area in the evening. You can get everything from Pashmina shawls and winter wear to handcrafted prayer wheels and unique turquoise jewellery. Head back to the hotel to call it an early night.
Day 2 – Visit Khardungla Top. Tour of Magnetic hill, Gurudwara, Hall of Fame, Sangam
Get ready for an unforgettable drive to Khardung La after breakfast. One of the world’s highest motorable passes, Khardung-La is one of Ladakh’s most popular destinations. The gateway to Nubra Valley and Siachen glacier, paved roads from Leh town to South Pullu checkpoint become gravel and dirt for the last 15 kms or so. Staying hydrated goes a long way as you reach dizzying heights from 3500 metres to over 5300 metres in just a couple of hours. Crisp mountain air greets you as you step out on top of the pass. Walk around for enchanting views of the valleys around Ladakh if you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a clear day. Your visit to the top won’t be longer than 20 minutes, as acute mountain sickness (AMS) could kick in owning to the altitude. Roads here are unpredictable and the weather and other elements can cause unprecedented delays, but you should be back in Leh in time for lunch. After a sumptuous lunch, we head to the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers.
A drive of nearly 48 kilometres from Leh town would take you to the point where the rivers Indus and Zanskar meet. The muddy waters of the Zanskar merge with the turquoise blue water of the Indus to flow westwards. Just before the Sangam, get up close and personal with the super-charged famed magnetic hill. Pay close attention as your car climbs up without any thrust on a seemingly uphill tarmac. After visiting the confluence we head back to Leh with a pit stop at the Gurdwara Patthar Sahib. Legend has it that a demon who terrorised the area, pushed a boulder onto Guru Nanak who had come to help – leaving a hollow impression of a person on the stone and the Guru unscathed. Discovered in the 1970’s while building a road, the boulder has now been placed in the gurdwara maintained by the Indian Army.
Day 3 – Visit to Shey Palace and Thiksey monastery enroute Pangong so via Chang La
Stop by Ladakh’s summer capital, Shey Palace on your way to Pangong Tso. Located on a hillock, Shey Palace and the Shey Monastery, seem unaffected by time since 1655 from afar. Upon closer look, the effects of time are clearly visible with the palace partly in ruins. The monastery’s main attraction is this 12-metre tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha that occupies three floors. This is the second largest statute of Buddha in the Ladakh region. Next we visit the Thiksey monastery. With fascinating art across the 12 storey complex, stupas, thangka paintings, statues and numerous artefacts make for a very interesting visit.
Moving ahead, we take a break and stop for a hot lunch at Karu before beginning the next leg of the journey to Pangong. Pass through charming hamlets and picturesque open stretches before the steep ascent to Chang La pass. A couple of kilometres down, you find green pastures with yaks and sheep grazing alongside the road besides small streams.
Pangong Tso is best known for being a part of the last scene Bollywood’s blockbuster “Three Idiots”. This beautiful 604-km2 lake is partly in India and partly in China. The lake at 4305 metres above sea level, is a spectacle to witness as the water changes several shades of blue throughout the day. The crystal clear water will have you mesmerised. Head over to Spangmik village as the sun slowly goes down and the chill sets in. A warm dinner and a cosy bed at your camp awaits you.
Day 4 – Drive back to Leh; Visit Hemis monastery on the way
As the sun rises, watch the transparent waters turn blue. A hearty breakfast later, begin the long drive back to Leh.
Stop at Hemis Monastery. Perched on a hill, nestled between mountains, Hemis is better known as India’s Shangri-La. Founded in 1672, Hemis monastery is said to have existed before the 11th century. Hemis was made famous by claims in the late 19th century by a Russian journalist, Nicolas Notovitch, that the library contained works on Jesus Christ’s lost years (this was proven to be false). The Cham mask dance is performed is in June-July for 2 days at this monastery.
We stop for lunch at Karu on our way back to Leh. With stunning views of the mountains beyond with the contrast of green and purple against clear blue skies make for most of the serener on the drive from Hemis to Thiskey.
Head back to your hotel or visit the local markets for some last minute souvenir shopping once you’re back in Leh. A hot dinner awaits you at the hotel.
Day 5 – Airport drop; Fly-out of Leh
Get ready to leave with a heavy heart as you board your flight back to the plains. Picturesque views and memories of Ladakh will keep fresh in your memory for the next few weeks.
• All Transport in one vehicle (Toyota Innova or Mahindra Xylo – 4-5 people in each)
• Accommodation for all the 4 nights on twin/double sharing basis
• 2 meals on each day (breakfast and dinner) at the hotel
• Inner line permits fee (different for foreigners)
• Ladakh Environment fee
* Snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
* Any kind of insurance/ emergency/ evacuation cost
* Any monument entry/ camera fees
* Any personal expenses
* Flight/train/bus tickets to or back from Leh