Trans Himalayan Journey - Manali to Leh


Travel through the mighty Himalaya to the state of Ladakh. Explore the mountains and monasteries of this former-Buddhist kingdom in the ultimate Himalayan adventure.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (2N) - Agra (1N) - Delhi (1N) - Shimla (2N) - Manali (2N) - Jispa (1N) - Sarchu (1N) - Leh (4N) - Uletokpo (2N) - Leh (1N) - Hunder (2N) - Leh (2N) - Delhi (1N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Depart late evening on Day 1 for your overnight flight with Singapore Airlines to Delhi for an overnight stay.
Day 3: Agra
Transfer to the station and take an express train to Agra. On arrival visit the 17th-century Itmad-Ud- Daulah, nicknamed the 'Baby Taj', and the colossal Agra Fort. (B,L)
Day 4: Taj Majal
Rise early for an enchanting sunrise over the magnificent Taj Mahal. Drive back to Delhi and tour New Delhi, visiting India Gate, passing the grandiose Parliament buildings. Finish in the heart of the city, at the vibrant Connaught Place. (B,L)
Day 5: Travel to Shimla
Transfer to the station and take a train to Chandigarh, before continuing by road to Shimla. The rest of the day is free. (B,D)
Day 6: Explore Shimla
The summer capital of British India, and nicknamed the 'Queen of Hillstations', Shimla has a spectacular location. Start the day with a hike to Jakhoo Temple, which sits at the highest point of the city, offering amazing views. Continue to the Himachal State Museum and admire the renaissance grandeur of the former Vice Regal Lodge. Spend some time in the heart of town, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the views. (B,L)
Day 7: Travel to Manali
Drive to the picturesque town of Manali, passing through some breathtaking scenery. (B,L)
Day 8: Around Manali
Take an excursion to Naggar, where you'll find an old castle and temples, and the Roerich Art Gallery. Set upon a hill, the views are as impressive as the paintings. This afternoon, discover more about the town of Manali with a city tour. You'll visit Hadimba Temple, Vashisht hot water springs and old Manali village. (B,L)
Day 9: Jispa
Drive to the small village of Jispa, going over the Rohtang Pass (3,980 metres) en route. Visit Keylong village to browse the local market and explore the 12th-century Khardong Monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Baralacha Pass
Travel on to Sarchu, making photo stops regularly along this spectacular route as it heads up into the mountains and over the Baralacha Pass (4,800 metres). This afternoon is at leisure, where you can spend some time exploring your home for the night – a beautifully located tented camp. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Travel to Leh
Drive on to the captivating mountain-enveloped town of Leh, crossing more spectacular mountain passes, La Chung La (5,065 metres) and Tanglang La (5,360 metres). This evening is at leisure to acclimatise to the altitude. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Around Leh
Surrounded by stark mountain peaks, wherever you go in Leh brings more and more spectacular views. Today your explorations will include 11th-century Spituk Gompa, the Tibetan-Buddhist Sankar Gonpa and the hilltop Phyang Monastery. (B,D)
Day 13: Hemis Monastery Festival
Spend a day at one of the largest and best-known monasteries of the Ladakh region, Hemis. The Hemis Festival is a colourful affair, with masked lamas performing dances and making sacrificial offerings to the divinities of the Buddhist Drugpa order. (B,D)
Day 14: Ladakh's monasteries
Visit Thiksey Monastery, an excellent example of Ladakhi architecture, before exploring Shey Palace, built by the first king of Ladakh. (B,D)
Day 15: Uletokpo camp
Drive to Uletokpo, stopping at Likir Monastery en route. Arrive at the Sham Valley, where you will be spending the night in a tranquil eco resort. Take a pleasant walk through the woods to Ridzong Monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 16: Lamayru
Explore the centre of the Ladakh region, an area that has a high concentration of Buddhist monasteries. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Return to Leh
Hit the road back to Leh, stopping en route at Alchi Monastery, which boasts particularly beautiful sculptures and wood carvings. (B,L)
Day 18: Nubra Valley
Travel to the Nubra Valley via the route that is said to be the highest drivable road in the world. Crossing the Khardung Pass (5,260 metres) you'll have incredible views down over the Indus Valley. Tonight's tented camp is close to the beautiful village of Hunder, an oasis in the desert of the Nubra Valley. (B,L,D)
Day 19: Camel safari
This morning, visit the famous sand dunes of this high altitude desert and take a camel safari. This afternoon explore Diskit Monastery, which is full of tangkas and statues to admire. (B,L,D)
Day 20: Return to Leh
Travel back to Leh, where the rest of the day will be at leisure to explore or relax. (B,L,D)
Day 21: Day in Leh
Spend the morning at leisure before an afternoon walking tour that takes you through the historic bazaar and the narrow backstreets. (B,D)
Day 22: Fly to Delhi
Fly to Delhi. Take the afternoon to explore the sights of Old Delhi; drive around the outside of the colossal Red Fort; browse the bustling bazaar of Chandni Chowk; and visit Jama Masjid, India's largest and most impressive mosque. Visit an Indian family home before dinner this evening. (B,D)
Day 23: Depart Delhi
After breakfast visit the Delhi Haat and enjoy some free time to shop and pick up souvenirs. Return to your hotel where you will have a late check-out before transferring to the airport for your flight to Australia. (B)
Day 24: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel Room Option from $2,790
Land Only (Delhi to Delhi) 22 days from $6,545 pp
Additional charges: Tipping - US$170 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.


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