On arrival in Delhi you will be met by a World Expeditions representative and transferred to your hotel. Should you arrive earlier in the day we are happy to assist with any optional sightseeing. Overnight group hotel.
Note: If you are arriving in Delhi on a late night flight, you may like to arrive the day before the trip commences. Please talk to your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent for pretour accommodation options.
We fly from Delhi to Srinagar and transfer to our luxurious houseboats moored on Nagin Lake.
From our houseboats we watch the world float by with the call of the flower man, the chocolate man and the other vendors who ply the waters - while taking in views of the historic Hari Parbat set against the snow capped background of the Pir Panjal Range.
We include a full day to visit the Shalimar and Nishat gardens as well as Pari Mahah prized by the Moghul Emperors who held court amid terraced flower gardens and waterways.
An early morning visit to the vegetable gardens will be followed by a hike up to the Hari Parbat fort to gain commanding views across Srinagar. We also visit Harvan the site of some of the oldest Buddhist sites in Kashmir (established many centuries before Ladakh was converted to Buddhism) and the Dachigam Wildlife sanctuary where we undertake short walks to view wildlife and a wide variety of birdlife.
We board the spectacular mountain flight from Srinagar to Leh in the Indus Valley. If the conditions are clear you will be rewarded with grand views across the Great Himalaya range before landing at the capital of Ladakh. On our first day in Ladakh we spend time wandering the bazaar and imposing Leh Palace. We have the opportunity to visit the Victory Fort (above the Palace) built in the 17th century to commemorate Ladakh's independence from the invading armies from Baltistan and Kashmir. From the Palace we can also appreciate the alleyways that comprise the old town of Leh, located to the east of the main bazaar.
We include a sightseeing trip to Shey Palace, before visiting Tikse monastery. Shey Palace originally housed the Ladakh royal family before they moved to Leh in the 17th century. A few km up the Indus valley is the spectacular setting of Tikse monastery perched on the summit of a sugarloaf mountain. On return to Leh we have the opportunity to visit to the Shanti Stupa at Chanspa, as well as visiting the Ladakh Ecological Centre to appreciate how the Ladakhi people have been able to incorporate new technology into their traditional lifestyles.
From Leh we drive to Zinchen (3380m), a small settlement to the south of the Indus Valley. After our packhorses are loaded we head up a spectacular gorge to our campsite (3850m) below the village of Rumbak.
An opportunity to acclimatise. We undertake day walks to Rumbak village and up side valley leading to the base of the Stok La that afford spectacular views of the Trans Himalaya.
A short day following a trail that winds up past the solitary house at Yurutse to our camp (4350m) at the base of the approach to the Ganda La. From camp there are impressive views of Stok Kangri. That afternoon we have devised a more challenging walk that heads way above the scree slopes to a magnificent viewpoint affording views back down to the Indus Valley and across to the high peaks that form the Stok Kangri range.
Above our camp we gain views of the snow-capped Stok Range. After gradually ascending a series of switchbacks we make the final gradual ascent to the Ganda La (4950m). From the pass there are views south across the endless folds of the Zanskar Range and the snow capped summits of the main Himalaya Range before completing the gradual descent to the village of Shingo (4150m).
Below Shogdo the trail enters a narrow gorge where willow, poplar and rose bushes provide a natural canopy alongside the river course. The Skui monastery (3435m) marks the confluence of the stream coming from Shogdo and the Markha Valley. From Skiu we head down to the pulley bridge over the Zanskar river before reaching the village of Chilling where we will transfer by road to Alchi.
After visiting the 11th century monastery of Alchi, famed for its wall painting that were inspired by artists from Kashmir we drive back to Leh
A rest day in Leh with time to explore the bazaar and complete shopping.
We board the flight to Delhi and anticipate another spectacular flight that leads over the Zanskar and main Himalaya rages to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight and onward arrangements.