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The Himalayan Hi-Altitude Lakes Traverse: 11 Nts / 12 Days


Day 1: We meet you on arrival at Delhi airport and transfer you to your pre-reserved hotel. As most International flights arrive in Delhi in the early morning, the entire day is kept free for you to relax. If you feel up to it we can arrange a half day sightseeing tour of historical Old Delhi in which you visit the majestic Red Fort and the largest mosque in Asia- Jama Masjid both built in the 15 th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. We also take a stroll among the back streets reminiscent of a medieval town passing wayside vendors selling delicious Mughal cuisine of Kebabs and Mutton Pilafs besides an array of knickknacks. We return to the hotel in time for dinner and the night.

Day 2: Delhi- Chandigarh - train: 266 Kms > Manali on National Highway 21: 323Kms . After an early breakfast we transfer you to the railway station to catch the 7:40 am Shatabdi Express to Chandigarh where you reach by 11:10 am. We meet you at the station and then after lunch proceed to Manali by Jeep. The 6 to 7 hour journey takes you through the Himalayan foothills into the Outer Himalayas. On arrival at Manali by early evening we take you to your pre-reserved hotel.

Day 3: Day free in Manali for acclimatization. Our Jeep Safari will take you to higher altitudes in the coming days and it is essential to get acclimatized before proceeding. In the morning we take you on a sightseeing tour of the Hadimba Devi Temple, the Manu Rishi Temple, and the Vashisht village famous for its hot springs. Returning to town for lunch we then drive to the quaint village of Naggar once the capital of the Kullu kingdom. We visit the ancient castle now a heritage hotel; we also visit the charming cottage of the legendary artist and philosopher Nicolas Roerich. It is now a museum displaying his hauntingly beautiful landscapes and portraits. We return to your hotel by late evening.

Day 4: We take you today to the beautiful Solang Valley 13 Kms north of Manali for the day. Here you can walk around through green meadows and if you feel like take part in paragliding or ATB rides through the hills. We return to Manali by evening and get ready to begin our journey into the Greater Himalayas.

Day 5: We leave in the morning after breakfast and drive up to the 3977m / 13,050ft high Rohtang Pass the gateway to the hi-altitude cold desert regions of Lahaul Spiti and Ladakh. Crossing the Pir Panjal mountain range we head north into Lahaul valley and reach the small village of Jispa 3319m / 10,890ft by early evening. On arrival we check into a comfortable hotel for the night.

Day 6: Jispa – Sarchu: 75 Kms . After breakfast we drive through some of the most awesome hi altitude terrain seen anywhere in the world. Here we drive past mountain streams and bare hills of granite and pale brown shale without any habitation or vegetation in sight. Our drive gives us views that'll remain in our memories forever. We bypass Deepak-tal a miniature lake before coming up on the larger Suraj Tal a large turquoise body of water below the 4650m / 16,500ft high Baralacha la the second pass on our journey. The road now descends into a large open plain where we stop for the night at the Sarchu Camp site at 4253m / 13, 950ft.

Day 7: Sarchu – Pang –Debring: 154 Kms After breakfast we drive leisurely through awesome landscape. We pass fantastically sculpted brown and rust hills in bizarre shapes and colours with the traverse of the sun in a deep blue sky. The road ascends 21 hairpin bends known as the Gata loops as it reaches the Naki la pass at 4950m / 16, 250ft and a bit ahead the higher 5064m / 16, 616ft high Lachulung la pass our third and fourth on this journey. Driving down to the tiny settlement of Pang we stop for some lunch and then continue on our way crossing some extremely impressive gorge country before emerging into the vast More plains - 4650 m / 15,252 ft. The road continues arrow straight for 45 Kms till we reach the small nomad camp at Debring at 4700m / 15,416ft.

Day 8: Debring- Tso-kar – Tso Moriri: 84 Kms. We begin our drive on a dirt road through the extensive More plains and 7 Kms later reach the large Tsokar a brackish water lake known for its enormous salt deposits and migratory avian population. On the way we can spot the large Yak wool tents of the Changpa nomads who inhabit the vast Rupshu plateau grazing their flock of sheep and goats. We may also glimpse herds of Kyang (Tibetan Wild Ass), several colonies of Marmots, and the Woolly Hare besides the Red Fox and the Tibetan wolf, if lucky. On reaching Tso kar we set up camp on the lakeshore. Tso Moriri is popular among a few rare migratory birds including the bar headed geese, black necked crane, both of which come to breed in these waters during these months. There are other avian species including the common red shank, ruddy shelduck, lesser sand plover and resident finches and martins can also be seen. This 120 turquoise blue lake now known as the ‘Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve' is our campsite for the night.

Day 9: Tso Moriri. A rest day at this exquisite lake appearing like an inland sea, takes us for walks around Karzok the only permanently inhabited village at the northern shores with a medium sized monastery; strolls along the shores viewing the delightful bird life on the lake and meeting the ever smiling Changpa nomads. We camp overnight in tents.

Day 10: Karzok – Leh: 240 Kms. We now head north from this charming village and drive up to the small settlement of Sumdo after which we cross the Mahe Bridge and then continue to the small village of Chumathang famous for its healing hot sulphur springs. The scenery is stunning in its stark beauty and surrealistic shaped hills a we drive on to Leh where we reach by evening and check into a comfortable hotel.

Day 11: Today is a rest day at Leh. You can opt to visit the two prominent monasteries close by – Hemis the wealthiest and most famous in the valley housing the largest thangka in the world and the Thiksey Gompa known for its priceless murals and gilded images. In the evening stroll the bazaar for shopping. You can get deals in Changspa and the Tibetan market for antiques, yak bone curios and other fascinating handicrafts. Return to your hotel for the night.

Day 12: We leave you at the airport to catch the early morning flight to Delhi.

Other Jeep Safaris:
S. No. Tour Days
1. The Himachal Leh Jeep Crossing 10

The Trans Himalayan Jeep Expedition



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