Ladakh ("land of high passes") is a region in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh spans the Great Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and the upper Indus River Valley. Leh, once the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh is the largest town, dominated by the ruined 17th-century Leh Palace. Standing on an isolated ridge outside Leh is Spituk monastery. Travelling North across Khardung La, is the world highest motorable pass.
The Manali to Leh Highway lies in the northernmost part of India. It connects Manali valley in the lower Himalayas with the Zanskar valley in Ladakh, that lies across the main Himalayan range. This Trans-Himalayan road remains open for only about four and a half months in summer. Starting in Manali, the route goes over the Rohtang Pass, 3,978 m, and across the Baralachala Pass at 4,800m, which is the highest point. Drive via Sarchu at 4290m to Leh, located in the Indus River valley of Ladakh.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY LADAKH ADVENTURE…
And, experience an adventurous road journey across the Himalayas.
Want to feel like a Himalayan explorer. In 1981-82, our CEO undertook the first Trans-Himalayan expedition from Arunachal in the north-east to the Karakorams (north of Ladakh) in the north-west covering a distance of over 8,000 kms on foot, in 475 days. It was a once in a life time experience that turned his life forever. Many years later he launched the tour company that offers an experience of travelling as a free spirit. Take the challenge and feel free – AwimAway at leisure.
This Trans-Himalayan adventure from Manali to Leh is one of the most exciting and adventurous road trips you can take in the Himalayas. Although not for the faint-hearted, it has been in high demand during the summer.
Your road trip starts from the charming hill station Manali. You will drive through its deep verdant valleys into the high Himalayas, where the landscape changes to an arid high-altitude desert.
The highlight of this tour is a spectacular drive through some of the world’s highest motorable passes, including the Taklang La at over 5,000 meters. There, while still short of breath, you will stop on high windswept and desolate Himalayan passes to admire and photograph the changing hues and vistas of nature. Such is the beauty of the high Himalaya.
Across the Himalayan passes is Ladakh or mini-Tibet, where you will explore Leh and Nubra Valley, with beautiful monasteries, scattered through the region along the blue waters of the Indus River. If we are lucky, we may see rare wildlife including the magnificent snow leopard. If not, it still will be an amazing journey to remember.
During the driving section of the tour, the camps are basic but elsewhere the accommodation is first-class. The Leh hotel is comfortable but simple.
Ladakh Adventure The road trip from Manali to Leh is one of the most exciting and adventurous you can take in the Himalayas. Although not for the faint-hearted, it has been in high demand during the summer.
Delhi – Chandigarh/Manali - Keylong - Sarchu - Leh - Nubra - Leh
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
Delhi Meet and greet on your arrival in the Indian capital city of New Delhi. After a warm welcome, our representative will escort you to your hotel for 2 nights stay. The rest of your day will be scheduled depending on your arrival time.
The Imperial hotel (Nil)
Day 2 – Transfer & Tour
Manali Experience a 3-hr train journey to Chandigarh and then a picturesque 5-hr drive to Manali. Situated near the end of the Kulu valley enroute to Leh, Manali has breath taking views with well-defined snow capped peaks in the North and Beas River with crystal clear waters below. A popular destination for adventure activities and trekkers.
Day 3 – Tour
Manali Visit the 400 years old Pagoda Temple of Hadimba Devi and the Manu temple. Later explore the town and its surroundings for beautiful views of high snow mountains and deep boulder strewn gorges. This is a good place to acclimatise for the journey ahead. Walk through fields of wild flowers with small picturesque hamlets and fruit laden orchards.
Day 4 – Transfer & Tour
Keylong Continue drive to Keylong the head district in the area via the Rohtang Pass that connects with Lahaul, Spiti and Zanskar in Ladakh. Rohtang pass is known for its ferocious weather and remains closed for over 6 months. Keylong is an oasis of green fields and willow trees but from here onwards, life is tough and luxury is limited to bare necessities.
Day 5 – Explore
Sarchu Today’s journey is not for the faint hearted. Our first climb is from 2050m across the Baralachala Pass at 4,800m to Sarchu at 4290 meters. Sleeping at this altitude means problems – headaches and nausea are the least of your worries. Expect basic accommodation but good food.
Day 6 – Transfer & Tour
Leh Experience a true Trans-Himalaya adventure while driving over the highest passes in the world. The region ahead is remote, harsh and extremely beautiful. The passes are over 5,000m; no one lives here, only tiny colonies of Marmots who occasionally come out to watch and the only animal comfortable here is the Yak.
Day 7 – Tour
Leh Located in the Indus river valley, Leh was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh and at crossroads of an old trading route from Kashgar, Tibet, and Kashmir. In spite of its high altitude, Leh is a bustling tourist town but take it easy during the tour of the city visiting the Lah Palace and Buddhist monasteries.
Day 8 – Tour
Leh As a Himalayan Kingdom, Leh had its share of palaces and monasteries which reflect its past history and grandeur. Your private guide will bring insight into understanding its history, religion and culture.
Day 9 – Transfer & Tour
Nubra Valley North of Leh is Nubra valley at the end of which lies Siachen, the second longest glacier in the non-polar region. The drive to Nubra is across Khardungla pass, documented by the National Geographic in its series “World’s Most Dangerous Roads” and features our CEO as an Himalayan expert. Once in Nubra, you will experience the beauty that is unique and pure.
Day 10 – Tour
Leh Spend the day visiting local monasteries and later take an easy drive back to Leh.
Day 11 – Transfer & Tour
Delhi Fly to Delhi. The capital city of India is a bustling metropolis that successfully combines the ancient with the modern; Old Delhi, once the seat of the Moghul Emperors and New Delhi, established by the British in the early 20th century.
Your private tour begins with a visit to Old Delhi that still reminisces the past and retains its ancient architecture. Places of note in Old Delhi include the 17th century Red Fort that served as the capital of the Moghuls, and its Chandni Chowk market, which is still the busiest in Old Delhi. Also visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Delhi and the final resting place of Mughal Emperor Humayun.
In the afternoon discover New Delhi, which has the imprint of the British architect Edwin Lutyens. Most notable are his India Gate (World War I memorial), the Parliament and the President’s House. The present-day New Delhi, however, has an urban landscape with modern shopping arcades, high-rise buildings with rooftop bars and some of the best Indian and international cuisine restaurants. Wherever you go, you will experience a mix of architectures, cultures and religions.
The Imperial hotel (B)
Day 12 – Depart
Delhi Transfer to the airport for your onward destination.
Make this your holiday
Getting There All major international airlines fly to India’s main airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Airports tend to be on the outskirts of cities. Pre-paid taxi services and auto-rickshaws are stationed outside the terminus to get you into the city.
When to go The best time to travel to India is between September and March. This is a high season and it is advisable to book your holiday well in advance. Summer starts in April and by June, it becomes very hot. By July there is the south-west monsoon, which brings heavy rains to the west coast. September is a generally a clear month though later, between October and December there may be a reverse pattern called the north-east monsoon that appears in the Bay of Bengal, bringing rains to the east coast. The best time for trekking in the Indian Himalaya is between April and November but it varies from region to region and the altitude you are planning to reach.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Indian territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Indian High Commission, embassy or consulate.
All visa applications in UK should be filled online at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk. Cost of six months tourist visa for UK nationals including handling charges is £92.20.