Trans Himalayan Motor Expedition
Delhi – Nalagarh – Manali – Jespa – Tsokar – Leh – Kargil – Srinagar – Amritsar – Delhi
|Day 1||ARRIVE DELHI (INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT)|
|Day 3||DELHI – NALAGARH|
|Day 4||NALAGARH - MANALI|
|Day 6||MANALI - JESPA|
|Day 7||JESPA – TSOKAR|
|Day 8||TSOKAR - LEH|
|Day 11||LEH – LAMAYURU- KARGIL|
|Day 12||KARGIL – SRINAGAR|
|Day 14||SRINAGAR - AMRITSAR|
|Day 16||AMRITSAR -DELHI|
|Day 17||LEAVE DELHI (INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT)|
DAY 01 - ARRIVE DELHI BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Arrive at Delhi’s international airport where a representative will be waiting for you outside the EXIT gate of the terminal, holding a placard. Transferred to your hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 02 - DELHI
After breakfast in your hotel you have the option of a highly recommended sightseeing tour of Delhi.
Starting in Old Delhi, the tour begins at Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; it continues past the magnificent Red Fort which stands majestically over the river Jamuna. It was built from 1638 - 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. Next is the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet. The tour includes a visit to the Qutub Minar, which is the tallest stone tower in India and one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. Started in 1199 AD by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak it was completed by the sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The building is 72.5 m high and has 379 steps from the bottom to the top. The Minar is a tapered column with the diameter of the base being 14.3 metres while at the top floor it is 2.7 metres.
Then on to visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun. This is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, and a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence.
After visiting Old Delhi and the distant past, the splendours of the Raj architecture and town planning can be seen in New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British period.
Or, if you prefer, you can simply relax by the pool, visit the spa and enjoy the benefits of Indian hospitality.
In the afternoon, you can get acquainted with your hire car, GPS, Roadbook, route and do the paperwork.
DAY 03 - DELHI – NALAGARH (300 kms / 7hrs)
After early breakfast drive to Nalagarh in your 4x4 self drive vehicle.
Nalagarh Fort Resort is located on a hill overlooking the town and with a panoramic view of the Shivalik Hills. It rises above a 20 acre estate of forest and orchards and is built on five levels, two of which have well manicured lawns. The fort and the palace of Nalagarh have a series of structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. It has seen better days but is nevertheless a little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi life.
DAY 04 - NALAGARH - MANALI (315kms/ 8hrs)
After breakfast drive to Manali. En-route is, Mandi the sacred land of Rishi Mandvya, known as the Kashi of Himachal Pradesh. The town is dotted with 81 temples which are among the finest examples of this type of hill architecture. Mandi district has many high altitude lakes, snowy mountains, dense cedar forests, lush green valleys, velvety pastures and unbeaten trekking routes.
After a lunch stop drive to Manali, which is 1896mt (6,220ft) above sea level and situated at the northern end of the Kullu valley. A picturesque little town bustling with activity, Manali is the most popular place in Himachal Pradesh during the summer season. Around Manali, nature has lavished the region with forests, waterfalls, green slopes, rivulets and soaring snow covered mountain peaks. Manali also boasts a Mountaineering Institute, which trains mountaineers, skiers and others.
DAY 05 - MANALI
In the morning we suggest you visit Naggar, the capital of Kullu Rajas until 1660. The Ancient castle, now converted into Tourist Bungalows, overlooks the entire Beas Valley. Nicholas Roerich, the famous Russian painter and philosopher lived here and his quaint little house has been converted into a small museum. There are two old temples near the castle. In the afternoon explore Manali town, its markets, old wooden temples and its folk music and dances.
DAY 06 - MANALI - JESPA (140kms /7 hrs)
After an early breakfast drive to Jespa, a small village in the Lahaul region. En route is your first high pass, the Rohtang Pass (13,057ft/3,980metres) and visit Keylong village. The lofty Shingri Glacier is seen in all its grandeur, it’s high passes standing between it and the civilized world. The people of these valleys have an intense love for their home culture; their songs and dances are as chaste and pure as the snow that envelopes the mountains around.
DAY 07 - JESPA - TSOKAR (224kms / 6 hrs)
This day is a fairly long drive and you gain altitude gradually which helps acclimatisation. From Jespa, the region’s main town, the road follows the Bhaga River up towards its source. It hairpins up to the Baralacha-La (16,050 ft/4,892mt), a pass that is perhaps unique in being a tri-junction, with a trail from Spiti coming in from the southeast. We also cross over Nakeela (16,568ft/5050mt) and Lachulung la (16,896ft/5150mt). After crossing the More Plains we turn right towards Tsokar and this night we will stay in a fixed camp situated at a height of 4,000 mt (13,123ft). Each tent has proper beds, mattress, quilts and blankets and has en-suite toilets. Evening meals are served in the communal dining tent.
DAY 08 - TSOKAR - LEH (230kms / 7 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Leh. From Mahe Bridge we drive along the Indus river (which gave its name to India) to Leh. En-route you will spot nomads and picturesque villages dotted along the valley. Leh is rapidly spreading in all directions from its original location beneath the long abandoned Namgyal Palace. While the town has come a long way from the days when polo was played on its main street, Leh still remains a friendly, traditional Himalayan town.
DAY 09 - LEH
Morning free to rest and relax. Afternoon visit Shankar Monastery - a relatively modern monastery closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest, Kushak ba kula. A number of gold icons are found here. Eight kilometres from Leh Spituk monastery stands prominently on the top of a hillock commanding panoramic views of the Indus Valley. Many icons of Buddha and fine thankas are to be found in this 15th century gompa. The gompa also houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and an awe-inspiring image of Mahakli. You can also visit Phyang Monastery which is 17kms from the Leh-Kargil road, built by Tashi Namgyal in the later half of the 16th century AD. It belongs to the Red Cap sect of Buddhist. Hundreds of icons of Buddha and other Gods are on display to visitors.
DAY 10 - LEH
After breakfast you can take in a full day’s sightseeing to the massive Tibetan Buddhist Gompas and monasteries of Hemis, Shey and Thiksey. A few kilometres up the Indus is Shey, the ancient capital, with its palaces, temples, and vibrantly coloured murals, cleaned and restored in the mid 1980’s. Hemis was founded under the direct patronage of members of the ruling Namgyal dynasty.
DAY 11 - LEH – LAMAYURU - KARGIL (205kms / 08hrs)
En-route to Kargil we have marked the Lamayuru monastery which is one of the most important cultural sites in Ladakh. Built in the 11th century, it is a treasure of early Buddhist art in the Kashmiri tradition, a style quite different from the Tibetan art. Here you can also take lunch. After the visit continue the drive to Kargil.
DAY 12 - KARGIL – SRINAGAR (210kms / 07hrs)
Leave for Srinagar early in the morning with a packed lunch. Proceed to Srinagar crossing Zoji La Pass (11,575ft/3,528mt) and Drass Valley, the second coldest inhabited place in world. Stopping at Sonamarg you can visit Thajiwas Glacier. Srinigar is famous for its houseboats and we will stay in one of the finest.
DAY 13 - SRINAGAR
Srinagar is a city of great antiquity. This paradise valley reflects the moods of the changing seasons. Spring breathes life into a frozen world and the air is heady with the fragrance of a million flowers that bloom on trees, shrubs and creepers. Summer heightens the effect and autumn is poignant in its colours of warm introspection. Winter brings with it a blanket of snow. Sometimes the Dal Lake freezes and beneath a leaden sky, the aroma of roasted chestnuts, promise warmth and comfort.
Enjoy the Shikara ride on Dal Lake to view the floating vegetable gardens. This jewel in the crown of Kashmir is eulogised by poets and praised by tourists. We recommend a visit to the Pari Mahal and beautiful gardens of Srinagar. If you are a golfer there is a superb course here.
DAY 14 - SRINAGAR – AMRITSAR (465kms / 12hrs)
We suggest an early morning start for Amritsar to avoid the morning rush hour. It is a long day and by late in the afternoon you reach the holy Sikh city of Amritsar. If you are in time you can visit the amazing Golden Temple as the sun sets.
DAY 15 - AMRITSAR
Located in the state of Punjab, Amritsar is the most important place for the Sikhs of the world. The city is characterised by some of the must-visit religious, historical as well as contemporary sites of importance. The Golden Temple, where Sikhs from all over the world come to pay their respects to Guru Granth Sahib and take a dip in the Amritsara Kund (Pool of Immortality) for spiritual purification, is the major point of interest. Afternoon free to explore the busy city of Amritsar. In the evening you can visit the Golden Temple as the sun sets if you missed it the day before.
DAY 16 - AMRITSAR – DELHI (440kms / 08hrs)
After an early breakfast drive back to Delhi. Later in the evening we have organised a farewell dinner before you head to your flight early the next morning.