It means that we will not provide a car with driver on that day because it is not needed. Indeed, on that day, you will need a car only for a very short distance.
For the transfer from Leh airport to the city centre, you do not need to book a taxi in advance. Leh airport is only 4 kilometres from the city centre and you can easily find a taxi directly at the airport; a prepaid taxi from Leh airport to the city centre costs approximately ₹ 550. You can also ask your hotel in Leh to arrange the airport transfer for you.
The visit of Leh (Main Bazar, Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Shanti Stupa) can be done on foot or you can get a local taxi on the street.
This tour package takes in fascinating Himalayan landscapes, a glimpse of Ladakhi village life and adventurous drives over the highest mountain passes in the world. After spending the first day in Leh, you will follow the Indus valley to the west for an overnight trip in the Sham region. You will visit the Magnetic Hill, Sangam, Gurdwara Pathar Sahib and the main Buddhist monasteries in the area such as Basgo, Alchi with its 11th-century paintings, Likir and Lamayuru surrounded by moonlike landscapes. In the Dha‑Hanu valley, you will meet the Brokpas and learn about their unique culture and traditions. On day 4, you will drive over the Khardung La pass (5,602m) to the Nubra valley and you will visit Diskit gompa and Hunder sand dunes. The next day, you will head to the idyllic Pangong lake via Sumur and Shayok and Tangtse. You could spend the night in one of the camps on the bank of the lake before going back to Leh via the Chang La pass (5,360m). You will also get the chance to visit the monasteries of Chemrey, Hemis, Thiksey and Shey. On the 7th day, you will embark on a 2-day journey from Leh to Manali via the Taglang La pass (5,328m) and the Rothang La pass. The Leh-Manali highway is the most scenic drive in India.
For a shorter version of this trip, check out the Amazing Leh-Ladakh with Manali Tour Package.
Arrival in Leh, acclimatization & visit
Day 1: Leh
Indus valley to Lamayuru and Dha-Hanu (2-day tour)
Day 2: drive from Leh to Lamayuru monastery via Alchi monastery
Day 3: drive back to Leh via Dha-Hanu valley
Nubra valley and Pangong lake (3-day tour))
Day 4: drive from Leh to Nubra valley
Day 5: drive from Nubra valley to Pangong lake
Day 6: drive back to Leh via Hemis monastery
Leh to Manali (in 2 days), one-way trip
Day 7 & 8: drive from Leh to Manali
For more details, check out this Leh-Ladakh map with the best places to visit.
|Day 1:||Leh airport - Leh (Main Bazar, Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, Shanti Stupa)
Night in Leh
The day starts with a breathtaking 90-minute flight over the Indian Himalayas. If you are lucky enough to have a window seat, you can admire the wonderful panorama of the highest mountain ranges in the world. After reaching Leh airport, head to your hotel for check-in and take a few hours to rest. Indeed, the height of Leh, the main city of Ladakh, is 3,500 metres above sea level and it is advisable to take it easy on the first day so that you can get used to the high altitude. Have lunch at one of the numerous restaurants that can be found in Leh.
Entering Leh’s old town is like stepping in the past. To learn more about the history of this place, you could join one of the interesting guided tours organized by LAMO (Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation). The Leh Palace dating from the early 17th century is reached through a series of narrow alleys. It is a tall dun-coloured building rising above the old town that was designed after the Potala Palace in Tibet. Royal artefacts are on display in the museum located inside the palace. Climb the steep path above the palace that leads to the mud-brick monastery of Namgyal Tsemo perched atop a peak with the same name. When reaching the top, your efforts are rewarded by magnificent views of Leh and the surrounding mountains. The gompa has an interesting shrine with a respected statue of the Future Buddha and well-preserved ancient manuscripts. Later in the afternoon, head to the Shanti Stupa, a white pagoda-style monument overlooking Leh city. It was built by Japanese monks 30 years ago to commemorate 2,500 years of Buddhism. This is the best place in town to watch the sunset, something that you should not miss. Make your way back to the lively Main Bazar where you can sit in a cafe for a cup of Ladakhi tea (salted tea with yak butter) and do people watching. Hidden away behind the market, Gompa Soma is a quiet Buddhist temple surrounded by prayer wheels. Just nearby is the finely decorated Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Ladakh.
|Day 2:||Leh - Magnetic Hill - confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers - Basgo - Alchi - Lamayuru
Night in Lamayuru
This morning is the beginning of the 2-day tour to Lamayuru in the Indus valley. This part of Ladakh known as “Sham” (“West” in Ladakhi) boasts many cultural and natural wonders. Just 20 km from Leh, you reach the Phyang monastery which is home to 90 Buddhist monks. Then, stop at the puzzling Magnetic Hill. When your driver turns the engine off with the gear in neutral, the jeep will start rolling uphill as if attracted by a strong magnetic force that defies gravity… A phenomenon that you must witness by yourself! A few kilometres further on the Leh-Srinagar road, you reach the well-known photo spot of Sangam, the confluence of the Indus river (green colour) and the Zanskar river (blue or brown colour depending on the season). The next stop is at the Basgo monastery and its nearby ruined palace. Basgo was the capital of lower Ladakh until the kingdom was united during 15th century. In Alchi village, you can find several restaurants making it a good place to stop for lunch. Then, visit the famous 11th-century Alchi monastery, the oldest Buddhist gompa in Ladakh. The monastery houses some of the most spectacular murals in Ladakh that are in an excellent state of conservation. Driving on towards Lamayuru and past Ulley Tokpo is very pleasant. Located 116 km from Leh on the Leh-Srinagar road, Lamayuru is one of the most picturesque villages in Ladakh. It has around 100 traditional mud-brick houses dominated by a photogenic gompa. The village is surrounded by an unreal lunar landscape known as “moonland”. If you are looking for an authentic experience and if you want to try typical Ladakhi dishes, you could spend the night in a homestay in Lamayuru. Your driver will help you to find a host family.
|Day 3:||Lamayuru - Dha-Hanu - Likir - Gurdwara Pathar Sahib - Leh
Night in Leh
If you are an “early bird”, attend the morning prayer in the Dukhang (the assembly hall) and observe the monks performing centuries-old rituals. The Lamayuru monastery (also called Yungdrung Gompa) dates back to the 11th century. Inside the gompa, there is small cave in which the Indian scholar Naropa is said to have meditated. Head to the beautiful Dha-Hanu valley where orchards of walnut and apricot trees can be found because it is located at lower altitude than Leh and it is therefore warmer. The villages of Dha and Hanu are inhabited by the Brokpa community. The Brokpas have an Indo-European appearance, they are believed to be descendants of the troops from the invading armies of Alexander the Great. Women wear a traditional headdress decorated with silver coins, ribbons, beads and flowers. Tucked into a side valley, the Likir monastery is one of the largest Gelugpa gompas in Ladakh. It is easily recognizable by its 22m-high statue of Maitreya Buddha adjacent to the main building. Drive back to Leh and visit the sacred Sikh place Gurdwara Pathar Sahib on the way. If you want the driver to stop at the Hall of Fame museum, just let him know.
|Day 4:||Leh - Khardung La - Diskit - Hunder (Nubra valley)
Night in Hunder
From Leh, drive 2,000 metres uphill to the Khardung La pass, the world’s highest motorable road at an elevation of 5,602 metres and the gateway to the Nubra valley. From the pass, enjoy the beautiful panorama of the K2 mountain range (the Karakoram). Drive down to the Nubra Valley which is also known as the “valley of flowers. The valley is situated along the Shayok and Nubra rivers at an average elevation of 3,100 metres. Diskit is Nubra’s largest settlement. The Diskit monastery is perched on a hill overlooking the village and the Shayok river. It is the oldest gompa in the valley, founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 15th century. A few hundred metres from the monastery, there is a huge 32-metre-high statue of Maitreya Buddha. Located 10 km north-west of Diskit, the small village of Hunder has many hotels, guesthouses and homestays.
|Day 5:||Hunder - Sumur - Shayok - Tangtse - Pangong lake
Night at Pangong lake
This morning, explore the Hunder sand dunes and enjoy a camel safari in this impressive landscape. The double-humped Bactrian camels living in this area are a reminder that Hunder was a stopping point for caravans travelling on the Silk Route connecting Xinjiang to India. The next stop is at Sumur, a nice village where you can visit the Samstanling monastery. Then, drive along the Shayok river towards Pangong, an adventurous road trip through wonderful mountain scenery. The scenic Pangong lake is one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Himalayas. Located at an altitude of 4,250m, the lake is 140 km long and 70% of its length is in Tibet. Despite its high salt concentration, it freezes completely in winter. Pangong lake was made famous when it featured in the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” with Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
|Day 6:||Pangong lake - Chang La - Chemrey - Hemis - Thiksey - Shey - Leh
Night in Leh
Take a stroll along the bank of Pangong lake and watch the spectacular sunrise over the crystal clear waters backing onto the Karakoram mountains. Then, drive towards the Indus valley via the Chang La pass located at an altitude of 5,360m. Chemrey village is situated 35 km after the pass. Here, you can visit the Chemrey monastery that was built in the 17th century in memory of the king Sengge Namgyal. The monastery houses beautiful wall paintings and a collection of holy scripture decorated with silver and gold. On the other side of the Indus river, the Hemis monastery is the largest and grandest monastery in Ladakh. It is one of the main gompas of the Drukpa order. Ceremonies and sacred mask dances are performed in the main courtyard during 2-day Hemis Tsechu festival that is organized each summer. Next, drive along the Indus river to Thiksey monastery. The architecture of this picturesque gompa reminds of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Approximately 80 Buddhist monks of the Gelugpa order (yellow hats) reside in the monastery. The gompa has many temples and prayer halls and it houses a highly revered 14-metre-tall statue of Maitreya Buddha with a splendid jewelled headdress. Before reaching Leh, stop at Shey palace, the former summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. Built atop a hill overlooking the Indus river, the complex enshrines a huge seated statue of Shakyamuni Buddha made of copper and gold, studded with precious stones.
|Day 7:||Leh - Taglang La - Pang - Sarchu
Night in Sarchu
The 473-km journey from Leh to Manali is one of the most adventurous road trips in the Himalayas. The Taglang La pass (5,328m) is the highest mountain pass on the Leh-Manali highway. It is located at a distance of 108 km from Leh and it takes almost 3 hours to reach there. From the pass, you will head to Pang on the high-altitude Changthang plateau. From Pang, there is another 76 km to reach Sarchu. The small village of Sarchu is located halfway between Leh and Manali (251 km from Leh and 222 km from Manali) at an altitude of 4,300m. This is the best place for an overnight stopover and tented accommodation is available here.
|Day 8:||Sarchu - Jispa - Rohtang La - Manali
Drive for 83 km on the Leh-Manali highway to reach Jispa in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 3,200m. Here, the landscape starts becoming greener. Finally, cross the Rothang La pass before reaching Manali. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of 2,050m, Manali is 550 km from Delhi and dozens of buses connect these 2 cities every day in approximately 14 hours.
This package is the combination of 2 tours and a one-way trip:
|Indus valley to Lamayuru and Dha-Hanu (2-day tour)|
|Nubra valley and Pangong lake (3-day tour)|
|Leh to Manali (in 2 days), one-way trip|
|TOTAL||₹ 59,155||₹ 57,175||₹ 51,800|
The tour package is arranged with a private taxi (the car is only for you and it will not be shared with other passengers).
The price includes:
✓ Car with Ladakhi driver
✓ Tolls and parking fees
✓ Driver’s food and accommodation
✓ Oxygen cylinder (optional)
The price excludes:
✗ Meals and hotels
✗ Inner Line Permit
For each individual tour/trip, click on the price corresponding to the desired car category and you will be redirected to the booking form.
For more details, check out How to book a tour package: step-by-step guide.
Reviewed in September 2019
It's the best possible trip in beautiful Leh-Ladakh. Thanks to Rigzen for taking care of us during this adventure, he has amazing driving skills and we always feel in good hand in the car with him. Ladakhi are very nice people and it was an honour for us to discover this region. Ladakh has to be on everyone's bucket list!
Reviewed in September 2019
Reviewed in August 2019
Reviewed in August 2019
Mindblowing Leh-Ladakh trip!!!
Reviewed in July 2019
Awesome experience. Great driver mr Chamba. Always helpful and nice discussion with him.
Reviewed in July 2019
Reviewed in July 2019