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Location: Leh

Day 1 - 5 Jan 2022

Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport

Leh, Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport

Content: Arrival at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport Flight route: Delhi to Leh Duration: 1.5 h ➣ Book your tickets well in advance. During winters, the fare ranges from 3-3.5k INR. Window seats fill up fast - don’t wait till the last minute to block your seats. You have to pay additionally for the window seat (the view is worth every penny) ➣ Be well prepared for the temperature drop from 20 °C to -9 °C or even lesser. Make sure you at least have 2-3 layers on before you board the flight to Leh. ➣ Leh is a high altitude region which would mean you’re likely to feel a little uneasy when you land. Acclimatization on the first 2 days is very important and cannot be neglected. ➣ Covid protocols are strictly followed in the region and failing to adhere would lead to penalty. Whether you’re vaccinated or carrying a negative PCR report, you will be tested upon arrival. Be mindful and maintain distance from the fellow passengers. ➣ Foreigners should register themselves at the International Arrivals desk. Note: SIM cards purchased out of Ladakh do not work in this region due to security reasons. You’ll have to buy a new SIM card upon arrival.

Airbnb

Leh, Airbnb

Content: Check-in at guest house/ hostel/Airbnb for 2 nights. ➣ We stayed at Junaid’s guest house which is 800 m away from the bus stop. Freshen up and rest for couple hours. Since Leh is a high altitude region you’re likely to feel a little uneasy. If you feel giddiness or have a headache just have a Diamox pill. Price of room per night: INR 1000 with heating They also serve basic Indian food which is around INR 120 per meal. ➣ If you are on a tight budget then you can also stay at a hostel for around INR 500 per bed at Zostel (1.2 kms from the bus stop)

Leh main Market

Leh, Leh main Market
Leh, Leh main Market
Leh, Leh main Market
Leh, Leh main Market

Content: ➣ Stroll around the Leh main market. ➣ You can try out some Tibetan food or local cuisine. We went to a restaurant called 'New Wazwan Planet’ where the food is delicious and the portions are quite satisfying. ➣ Buy some handmade woolens, souvenirs or dry fruits. Enjoy the vibes around the market and call it a day!

Location: Leh

Day 2 - 6 Jan 2022

Leh Palace

Leh, Leh Palace

Content: After breakfast, sort out Inner Line Permit for restricted regions. Do note that although the Inner Line Permit requirement has been scrapped off, you will still have to pay the environment fee of INR 300 to visit these regions. ➣ Visit Leh Palace and Namgyal Tsemo Leh Palace has an entry fee of INR 25 Duration: About 2 h ➣ Post exploration, grab some lunch from the main market area.

Location: Shanti Stupa

Day 2 - 6 Jan 2022

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa, Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa, Shanti Stupa

Content: After lunch, head towards Shanti Stupa which is a 2 km walk from the main market area. It’s a nice little hike up to the Stupa and you get to see the panoramic view of the city from up there. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. The towering stupa is made of marble and there are brilliantly intricate statues of the Lord Buddha here. *keep yourself hydrated always because it is a high altitude region*

Location: Sangam Point & Magnetic Hill

Day 2 - 6 Jan 2022

Confluence of Indus(right)and Zanskar(left)

Sangam Point & Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Indus(right)and Zanskar(left)
Sangam Point & Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Indus(right)and Zanskar(left)
Sangam Point & Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Indus(right)and Zanskar(left)

Content: ➣ Take a local taxi to Sangam Point which is the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. The green-tinged Indus river originates in the Tibetan Plateau near the Manasarovar range, whereas the shiny blue Zanskar has its source in the Zanskar valley. Both the rivers meet each other near the scenic Nimmu valley, that falls between Leh and Kargil. ➣ Stop by the Magnetic Hill ➣ Head back

Location: Shey

Day 3 - 7 Jan 2022

Shey

Shey, Shey

Content: After breakfast, Check out and head to the bus station. Take a bus to 'Shey' which is towards the south of Leh. Distance is approximately 15 kms Bus fare: INR 30 (Alternatively, you could make it a day trip by hiring a local taxi)

Dokpa Guest House and Home Stay

Shey, Dokpa Guest House and Home Stay

Content: Check-in at any homestay/guest house. We stayed at Dokpa Homestay. Price for a room per night with heating: 900 With food: 1500 Note: During winters, due to scarcity of water, majority of the homestays have 'dry toilet' concept.

Shey Palace

Shey, Shey Palace
Shey, Shey Palace

Content: After check-in, walk towards the Shey Palace. A quaint place with an amazing view of the village. ➣ Visit the Rancho’s school which became famous after Aamir Khan’s movie '3 Idiots' There aren’t too many restaurants or shops around this village so I’d suggest you eat at your homestay and spend some quality time with the locals.

Location: Thiksey

Day 3 - 7 Jan 2022

Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey, Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey, Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey, Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey, Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey, Thiksey Monastery

Content: We then went to largest monastery of central Ladakh which is just 4 kms away from Shey Village. The 12-storeyed monastery is built atop a hill and structured in a unique hierarchical manner, where the top of the hill has the monastery and the official residence of the chief lama while the foot of the hill has living quarters.

Location: Stakna

Day 3 - 7 Jan 2022

Stakna

Stakna, Stakna
Stakna, Stakna
Stakna, Stakna

Content: Then we visited the Stakna Monastery which is also known as the Tiger’s nose. The monastery sits on the left banks of the river Indus and offers wonderful views of the valley.

Location: Hemis

Day 3 - 7 Jan 2022

Hemis

Hemis, Hemis

Content: Hemis monastery is impressive and intriguing and is located on the western banks of Indus River. The monastery is decorated on all four sides by colourful prayer flags which flutter in the breeze and send prayers to Lord Buddha. After visiting all the monasteries, head back to the homestay and spend the rest of the evening with the host family.

Location: Nubra Valley

Day 4 - 8 Jan 2022

Khardung La

Nubra Valley, Khardung La

Content: Rented a private taxi for the next 3 days and we set off for Nubra Valley early in the morning. The distance from Leh is approximately 160 km. Permits: Because of the sensitivity of the areas around Nubra Valley, foreign nationals and NRIs need to pay environment fees to gain entry into the valley. The conventional route that is preferred by almost everyone who comes to Ladakh, the Leh to Nubra road via Khardung La takes you over one of the highest motorable pass standing at the height of 18,380 ft above sea level. We stopped at the pass to submit our entry papers and to click some amazing pictures of the view from up there. Duration: The entire journey takes about 6 to 7 hours depending upon the number of stops taken or the road conditions around that time of the year.

Location: Diskit

Day 4 - 8 Jan 2022

Diskit

Diskit, Diskit
Diskit, Diskit

Content: We arrived at Diskit around Lunch time. ➣ We stopped at a local Dhaba for quick lunch and then we spent around an hour here exploring the Monastery and the village. Diskit village is the administrative headquarter of Nubra valley. It hosts the oldest and largest monastery in the whole valley.

Location: Hunder

Day 4 - 8 Jan 2022

Hunder Sand Dunes

Hunder, Hunder Sand Dunes
Hunder, Hunder Sand Dunes
Hunder, Hunder Sand Dunes

Content: Upon arrival in Hunder, we first checked-in to our guest house, freshened up and then walked towards the sand dunes. ➣ In one of the highest deserts in the world, you can find one of the most unique sights in the world; the double-humped camels called the Bactrian Camels. ➣ You can also do ATV or quad biking there. Head back to the guest house and enjoy a scrumptious meal prepared by the locals.

Location: Turtuk

Day 5 - 9 Jan 2022

Turtuk

Turtuk, Turtuk
Turtuk, Turtuk
Turtuk, Turtuk
Turtuk, Turtuk
Turtuk, Turtuk

Content: After breakfast we proceeded towards Turtuk - which is a secluded region. Known as the village divided by a border, Turtuk is situated on the banks of the Shyok River and the village was in the Baltistan region which was under the control of Pakistan until the 1971 war, when the Indian soldiers captured some of the villages. It was a 3 h drive from Hunder. ➣ Around Turtuk, we visited the Balti Heritage Home, the mosque and the museum. ➣ You’ll find small Dhabas where you can get delicious Aloo Paratha for just INR 25 After walking around the village for couple hours, learning about the history and talking to the Balti people, we head back to Hunder.

Location: Pangong Tso

Day 6 - 10 Jan 2022

Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso, Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso, Pangong Tso

Content: After breakfast, we set off for Pangong lake also known as 'Pangong Tso' which is one of the most famous lakes in Ladakh. From Hunder, it takes about 6-7 h to reach Pangong Lake. We went around the time when the lake was still frozen so we couldn’t see the beautiful colours of the lake. Best time to visit: May to September You can ice skate on the lake and take tons of pictures of the frozen lake.

Location: Leh

Day 6 - 10 Jan 2022

Chang La

Leh, Chang La

Content: We returned to Leh via the Chang La pass which is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.374m (17,631ft) above the sea level. Tucked away in northern India, the pass, guarded and maintained by the Indian Army (due its proximity to Chinese border), is covered with snow throughout the year. We stopped here for 10-15 mins for pictures and toilet break. We arrived back in Leh quite late and went back to the homestay we were staying at. We ate dinner with the family and slept early because we were exhausted from the road trip.

Location: Leh

Day 7 - 11 Jan 2022

Leh airport

Leh, Leh airport
Leh, Leh airport

Content: Check-out and take a cab to the airport. Until next time 🏔!