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The Hemis High Altitude National Park Trek 16 Nts / 17 Days

Snow leopard

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. We also take a stroll among the back streets reminiscent of a medieval town passing wayside vendors selling delicious Mughal cuisine 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. 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 Naggar 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: Manali- Sarchu: 243 Kms. We leave Manali after breakfast and drive uphill to the famous Rohtang Pass at 3978m / 13,050ft . We then drive down into the relatively barren Lahaul valley and driving beside the Chandra River and passing small oases' like villages reach the main town of Keylong. We drive past small villages and green fields below bare mountains to the small village of Jispa and then emerge into 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 5: Sarchu Pang Rumtse Leh: 232 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 from where we begin our 20 Kms ascent to the 5200m / 17,582ft high Tanglang La our last and highest pass on this drive. From here it's a descent into the Leh valley where we come across Rumtse our first village after leaving Lahaul. From here we drive along the Indus River till we reach Leh by evening to check into a comfortable hotel.

Day 6: Rest day in Leh. You can stroll around; walk through Changspa a tourist village and visit the Shanti Stupa a kilometre away on a ridge with spectacular views of the town; then walk up to the imposing Leh palace high on a hill above Leh. The evening can be spent shopping for interesting artefacts and curios in the main bazaar before returning to your hotel for the night.

Day 7 : After breakfast we drive towards the Hemis National Park, and begin our short trek for 3 hrs from Spituk Gompa to Rumbak village at 3810m / 12,500 ft . Rumbak has some comfortably furnished homestays and we stay in a local house for the night.

Day 8: After breakfast we explore a small monastery and meet with other villagers who are involved in conservation activities. After an early lunch we trek towards Yurutse at 4115m / 13,500ft where on the way we excellent chances of spotting some of the fauna that inhabit the national park. We camp near Yurutse for the night in tents.

Day 9 : Today on the 5- 6 hour trek we walk along a winding trail up a steep slope leading to the 4389m / 14,400ft Ganda La pass . After a two hour descent spotting marmots and maybe a wooly hare and a few Ibex and Blue sheep we enter the Markha valley and arrive at Skyu at 3505m / 11,500 ft where we set up our camp.

Day 10: The trail today goes over a river and enters a vast barren plain to arrive at the small hamlet of Chaluk from where we take a gradual climb to Markha village at 3688m /12,100ft. We set up our camp beyond the village on the banks of the river after having trekked for six hours.

Day 11: Our trail goes along the valley floor to Thachungtse past the small village of Hanker. On the way we spot different fauna and also get to see some birdlife. On reaching Thachungtse we set up camp at 4145m / 13,600ft.

Day 12 : After breakfast we walk along the vast grazing hi-lands of Nimaling where we get to meet a few Changpa nomads with their herds of Yak, sheep and goat. After a 5 hour walk we reach our campsite at 4724m / 15,500ft with fabulous views of the Kang Yatse peak

Day 13 : Today we rest up taking short hikes in these seemingly endless plains and spot marmots; possibly herds of Kyang (Tibetan Wild Ass) and the Tibetan wolf. It's also a time for reading, writing your journals or simply gazing into the horizon and resting.

Day 14: Our 7 hour trek today takes us up to the 5090 / 16,700ft Kongmaru la pass. From the pass we get breathtaking views of the snow clad Ladakh Mountains before descending to our camping site at Shang Sumdo at 3657m /12,000ft.

Day 15 Our last day of trekking for two hours takes us to the famous Hemis Monastery the wealthiest of all monasteries in Ladakh. From here we take a Jeep that awaits us and rive to Leh past the imposing Thiksey Monastery and later the Shey Monastery both of which we visit briefly before reaching Leh by evening where we check into our hotel.

Day 16 : In Leh: The entire day is free to wander around the colourful bazaar shopping for curios and souvenirs. For dinner enjoy dinner with traditional Ladakhi food before returning to your room for the night.

Day 17: Today is an early day as we drive you to the airport to board your early morning flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we transfer you to your hotel. In the afternoon you can relax or opt for a half day of sight seeing. After a farewell dinner we escort you to the airport to board your homeward flight.

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