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Kinnaur – Spiti – Ladakh Traverse


Kinnaur–Spiti–Ladakh Traverse

Kinnaur – Spiti – Ladakh Traverse (14N/ 15D)


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Day 1

Distance – 135 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 6 hrs.
Pick up from Chandigarh Airport or Railyway station and drive towards Chail. Lunch in route at Barog from where one gets first glimpses of Himalayas. Chail (2250 mts/ 7400 ft) used to be the part of erstwhile princely state of Patiala. Visit Maharaja’s palace which is converted into Hotel now which is one of the most beautiful heritage properties in Himachal followed by world’s highest Cricket ground. O/n Camp.

Day 2

Time for camp activities & nature walk – approximately 5 hrs.
Breakfast followed by short session of camp activities and half day trek to nearby hilltop from where you can have beautiful views of Churdhar peak. Return by early evening. Bonfire & Dinner. O/n Camp.

Day 3

Distance – 175 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 9 hrs.
Early Check out. Obtain spectacular wide angle view of whole Himalayan range from Kufri (2743 mts/ 9000 ft) & visit Zoo which has rare Himalayan species. Sojourn at Narkanda (2621 mts/ 8600 ft) for first view of Kinnaur Himalayas followed by Royal Palace of erstwhile Bushahr state at Rampur (1350 mts/ 4430 ft). Reach Sarahan by late evening. O/n Hotel.

Day 4

Distance – 95 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 8 hrs.
Tiny scenic town of Sarahan (2313 mts/ 7600 ft) is famous for Bhimakali temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, presiding deity of the rulers of the former Bushahr State. The town is known as the gateway of Kinnaur. The Bhimakali Temple is noteworthy in that it contains both Hindu and Vajrayana Buddhist statues and decorations which reflect the trade through here between India and Tibetan regions. Besides this, views of Shrikhand Mahadev peak (5155 mts/ 17000 ft) are magnificent. Check out and drive further on reach Sangla by early evening. Enjoy stunning beauty of the riverside valley and lofty snowy mountains. O/n Hotel.

Day 5

Distance – 52 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 6 hrs.
After relaxed morning, whole day at disposal to explore wonderful Sangla (2670 mts/ 8800 ft). Drive upstream Baspa till Chitkul (3450 mts/ 11300 ft), the last inhabited village before IndoTibetan border. Visitor is enthralled at the beauty of this upper valley surrounded by forested slopes, views of the high mountains, saffron fields and apple orchards. Major attraction at Chitkul are its houses with either slate or wooden plank roofs, Kamru fort & temple dedicated to Godess Kamakshi, the idol of Godess was brought from Guwahati (Assam), a Buddhist temple and a small tower. Enjoy expansive views at this altitude and return to Sangla by evening. O/n Camp.

Day 6

Distance – 51 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 7 hrs.
At leisure after Breakfast. Check out by noon. Drive and Check in Hotel at beautiful and quiet Kalpa (2960 mts/ 9700 ft). Amazing Kalpa is situated above Recong peo (2290 mts/ 7500 ft), district headquarter of Kinnaur. Sutlej River down below hurtles through deep gorges, the winding mountain road is bordered by chilgoza forests. The serenity of this sleepy hamlet is visited by relatively few visitors. The local inhabitants follow a mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism, and many temples in Kalpa are dedicated to both Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses. Drive to Roughi village in the afternoon to visit one of such temple beautifully decorated with intricate wood carvings. O/n Hotel.

Day 7

Distance – 185 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 8 hrs.
Get up a little early for beautiful view of morning as the rising sun touches the snowy peak of Kinner Kailash Mountains with crimson and golden light. Check out and drive along Sutlej river, fading greenery starts paving way to high altitude rugged mountains and barren valleys, at Khab the fast flowing Spiti river confluences with Sutlej. Sojourn at Nako Lake (3662 mts/ 12014 ft) which is surrounded by willow and poplar trees. Near the lake there are four Buddhist temples. Near this place there is a footlike impression ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava. Reach Tabo by evening, O/n Camp at Tabo.

Day 8

Distance – 90 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 8 hrs.
Tabo village (3280 mts/ 10750 ft) is situated on left bank of Spiti River. Visit more than 10 centuries old monastery at Tabo famous for its stucco images, large number of frescoes displayed on its walls depict tales from the Buddhist Gods. There are many priceless collections of thankas (scroll paintings), manuscripts, frescos and extensive murals which cover almost every wall. Check out and drive to Dhankar Gompa (3894 mts/ 12775 ft). The 1200-year-old Dhankar (means fort on the cliff) is wedged between rocky spurs at the top of the Dhankar village overlooking the confluence of the Spiti and Pin Rivers - one of the world's most spectacular settings for a monastery. World Monuments Fund has selected Dhankar gompa as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. Drive through kaza (3650 mts/ 12000 ft), headquarters of Spiti valley to Ki Monastery. Perched beautifully atop craggy hill at 4166 mts/ 13670 ft, it is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley and a religious training centre for Lamas. Key monastery has a collection of ancient murals and books, including Buddha images. A celebration of its millennium (Kalchakra) was conducted in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama. O/n Hotel at Rangrik.

Day 9

Distance – 230 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 10 hrs.
Check out early after Breakfast and visit Kibber village at an elevation of 4270 mts/ 14000 ft, which lies on the summit of a limestone rock and Gete Village at an altitude of 4205 mts/ 13875 ft above sea level are the two highest villages in Asia. Proceed to Langza village famous for presence of marine fossils. Drive over Kunzam pass (4551 mts/ 14930 ft), which connects spiti valley with lahaul & kullu valleys,to breathtakingly beautiful Chandratal (Lake of the moon). The lake at about 4300 mts/ 14100 ft above sea level derives its name from its crescent shape. The most surprising thing about this lake is that there is no visible source of this lake but there is a visible outlet of this lake which means that water to this lake comes from underground. By late evening reach Sissu village in Lahaul valley. O/n Camp.

Day 10

Distance – 147 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 7 hrs.
Sissu (3200 mts/ 10550 ft) is a spectacular village in Lahaul Valley, surrounded by towering mountains, a lake, verdant fields and a big waterfall. The campsite is located next to waterfall and lake. Adjoining village of Shashin is home to the famous deity of Lahual known as Ghepan. Check out after Breakfast, Visit Gondhla fort, drive through Keylong (3080 mts/ 10100 ft) - the headquarters of Lahaul. Evening Tea at Darcha. The trails second pass, Baralacha La (4880 mts/ 16100 ft), lays approx 45 Kilometers beyond Darcha. Leading up to the pass is a 10 Kilometers stretch known as Zingzing bar. The scenery here is spectacular. Sparse vegetation notwithstanding, the bare mountains are a riot of colors - deep crimson, grey-green, indigo, mauve, lilac along with crystal clear waters of lake suraj tal. A brief halt at the top of the pass is mandatory, to allow us to drink in the awe-inspiring spectacle around us. Having crossed the pass another hour's drive brings us to the busy little hamlet of Sarchu (4420 mts/ 14600 ft), our destination for the day. Dinner & O/N stay at swiss cottage tents Sarchu.

Day 11

Distance – 246 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 9 hrs.
Breakfast and check out. Get set for today’s incredible journey, head to Lachlung La (5059 mts/ 16700 ft), the second highest pass on the highway, before descending to Pang (4500 mts/ 14850 ft), 3 km from Pang is the extraordinary Moray Plains (4800 mts/ 15840 ft), a 45 km long plateau encircled by rolling hills and brilliant white Himalayan peaks. Further on, the road starts its ascent from Dibring Camp to Tanglang La at a head-spinning 5,328 mts/ 17580 ft. The Karakoram Range of the Himalayas, visible from here signals that you are approaching Ladakh. This road goes along our ages old Indus River which was the lifeline of India for thousands of years, you get grand sight of this great river at Upshi, gateway to Ladakh. Upshi to Leh, 40 kilometers, there are high peaks crowned with village houses and Buddhist monasteries, ranging from solid stone structures to fairly large temples. The first impression of Leh is that of a desert with green patches fed by the Indus. Reach Leh (3524 mts/ 11560 ft) by evening. O/n Hotel.

Day 12

A day at leisure to unwind and rest. Take a walk to Shanti Stupa in the evening, excellent view of entire Leh town. Take an easy half hour walk to Sankar Gompa which is daughter embellishment of Spituk monastery and residence of Abbot of Spituk. Evening visit is recommended as Sankar Gompa is open the evening and is kept well lit. Eplore interesting Leh market. O/n Hotel.

Day 13

Distance – 340 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 10 hrs.
After breakfast start the ultimate tour towards the Pangong Tso Lake. This route proceeds past the picturesque villages of Shey and Thikse, and turns into the side-valley of Chemrey Sakti. The Ladakh range is crossed by the Chang-la (5360 mts/ 17800 ft) which is one of the easier passes remaining open for much of the year even in winters. Tangtse, just beyond the foot of the pass, with an ancient temple. Pangong Lake, situated at an altitude of (4350 mts/ 14350 ft), is a long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly 3 to 4 kms at its widest point, and over 140 kms long, and bisected by the international border between India and China. Spangmik is the farthest point up to which travelers are allowed. After visiting the Lake, reach Leh late in the evening. Dinner & O/N stay at Hotel.

Day 14

Distance – 100 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 7 hrs.
Breakfast followed Monastery Tour of Shey, Thikse and Hemis. Shey monastery (Appx 3400 mts) is 15 kms South of Leh on Manali highway. Shey village was summer retreat for Kings of Ladakh. Monastery built in 1655 has giant copper with gilded gold statute of seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Thikse monastery (Appx 3600 mts) is 15thcentury gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) monastery, 19 kms from Leh, noted for its resemblance to Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet, is largest in central Ladakh. This 12 storey complex houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, thangkas, wall paintings etc. Main attraction is 15 mts tall image of maitreya Buddha. Hemis monastery (Appx 3600 mts) built in 1630 is the main seat of Kagyu lineage (Red Hat) of Buddhism and appears to be a beautiful cave hermitage. But entrance gives way to large courtyard with its enclosing gallery decorated with painted stone reliefs. Drive back to Leh, O/n Hotel.

Day 15

Drive to Airport for early morning flight to Delhi