Circuit in the heart of the Himalayas
Circuit in the heart of the Himalayan chain: discover a land of high passes, spectacular landscapes, by taking the road that goes from the Golden Temple to Amritsar to the Buddhist temples housed on the roof of the world! Welcome to Ladakh!
This tour combines nature, adventure and spirituality. From Delhi, we suggest taking you to Amritsar (Golden Temple), then to Dharamsala (home of his SS The Dalai Lama) and then to take the road from Manali to Leh. In Leh, you will visit some of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh, valleys including Nubra, where a green nature, surrounded by huge rocks and arid mountains, unfolds before your eyes.
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From CHF 3'445.-
details of the circuit
number of days : 15D / 13N
theme of the circuit :
Adventure, Spirituality, Nature
Region : Northern India
Ideal period : Fixed dates: from 6 to 20 July 2019
number of people :
8 à 12
Main activities : Delhi > Amritsar > Dharamsala > Manali > Rohtang Pass > Keylong > Sarchu > Leh > Nubra > Leh > Delhi > Agra > Delhi
Day 1 (July 6): Departure from Switzerland
Arrival in Delhi around midnight. After a warm welcome at the airport, transfer to the hotel for your check-in.
Day 2 (July 7): Visit Delhi
After breakfast, visit New & Old Delhi. Near Old Delhi:
The Red Fort: one of Delhi's most magnificent monuments, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, who also had the Taj Mahal built in 1648.
Jama Masjid: India's largest mosque in front of the Red Fort. Built in 1656, it is an eloquent reminder of Mughal religious fervour.
Auto-rikshaw" hiking in the narrow streets of Chandni Chowk, the nerve centre of Old Delhi.
The President's house: Passage through the official residence of the President of India.
Gateway to India: A majestic 42-metre high arch, built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War.
Qutub Minar: The 72.5-metre high tower dates from the 13th century and is one of the greatest legacies of Islamic culture.
Sikh Temple (Gurudwara Bangla Sahib): Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is located in the heart of Connaught Place.
Day 3 (July 8): Delhi - Amritsar by train
Early morning transfer to the station to take the train to Amritsar (departure at 07:20/arrival at 13:25). On arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Amritsar is one of the main cities of the Sikh religion. It was founded by Guru Ram Das Sahib in 1574.
In the afternoon, you can visit the Golden Temple: Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, which means the Temple of God.
Sikhs from all over the world wish to visit Sri Amritsar daily and prostrate themselves to Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.
In the evening, visit the busy streets of the local bazaars (markets).
Day 4 (July 9): Amritsar - Dharamsala (1700m) 200km/4h
In the morning, another visit to the Golden Temple and continuation of the visit with the discovery of Jallian Wala Bagh: this place is known for the most notorious massacre in its province under British rule. It is located 400 meters north of the Golden Temple. At that time, in 1919, British General Dyer was the country's lieutenant governor.
Later in the morning, we set off again towards Dharamsala, perhaps better known as "Little Lhasa". Dharamsala nestles in the steep mountains of Dhauladar, amidst pine and deodar forests. The region offers fantastic views of the Himalayan peaks and the Kangra Valley. After China's invasion of Tibet in 1959, the fourteenth Dalai Lama and his Buddhist government were granted asylum in Dharamsala, which is also a former British mountain resort.
Since then, many Tibetan exiles have settled there and some of them still cross the wild Himalayas in winter to escape oppression and to get closer to the man they consider their religious and political leader.
In the evening, visit the busy streets of the local bazaars (markets).
Day 5 (July 10): Dharamsala
We suggest you visit the Namgyal monastery in front of the Dalai Lama's residence. The monastery contains large golden bronzes of Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokitesvara. Buddha Avalokitesvara - the bodhisattva of compassion - of whom the Dalai Lama is the embodiment, was saved from the Tokhang temple in Lhasa and brought here during the massive destruction caused by the Chinese cultural revolution.
The visit will continue at the school of the Tibetan Children's Village, which is located near the monastery. The school has housed, cared for and educated more than 2500 orphaned Tibetan children under the patronage of the Dalai Lama since 1960. You can also discover the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which was re-installed in India in 1961. It is an Institute of Traditional Tibetan Practice and Care.
Day 6 (July 11): Dharamsala - Manali (2050m) 235km, 5h
After breakfast, on the way to Manali. On the way, we will cross small towns and villages, such as Palampur Mandi and Kullu, along the Beas River.
Manali is located at the end of the valley, on the national road leading to Leh. The scenery at this stage of the tour is breathtaking. We can see snow-covered peaks, and in the heart of the valley, the Beas River that flows through the city. On the other side, there are deodars and pines, a succession of fields and orchards. Manali is a very popular tourist destination in India.
Upon our arrival, we will visit the 16th century Hadimba temple, the thermal spring of Vashisht and the old Manali - to this day still an enclave of the hippie movement.
Day 7 (July 12): Manali - Rohtang Pass (3'980m) - Keylong (3'350m) 117 km, 5h
After breakfast, you will head to Keylong. You will cross the famous Rohtang Pass (4'000m), the first of our journey. Along the way, you can admire the spectacular scenery of the Lahul Valley, along the Chandra River, as well as the confluence of the Chandra River and the Bhaga at Tandi. The road we will take to Keylong is upstream along the Bhaga River.
Keylong, popularly known as the "country of monasteries", is the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district. The exhilarating and archaic mountain ranges and green valleys are breathtakingly beautiful!
Upon arrival, we offer a 2-hour hike to Khardong Monastery, which is thought to date back to the 12th century. This monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Buddhist writings in Bhoti.
Day 8 (July 13): Keylong - Sarchu (4'250m) 140km, 5h
In the morning we offer you a 2-hour walk to the monastery of Shashur, founded in the 17th century AD. It belongs to the Red Hat Sect and is located among the blue pines. The paintings on display there, which you can admire, represent the history of 84 Buddhas.
Afterwards, we will continue our journey towards Sarchu. The landscape becomes more and more austere and barren as we climb from the top to the Baralacha Pass, at an altitude of 4,875 m. This pass, the second of our trip, offers you a magnificent panorama with very beautiful views of the meadows and snow-covered mountains.
In the late afternoon, we will arrive at the small hamlet of Sarchu which is located on a large plateau.
Day 9 (July 14): Sarchu - Leh (3,400m) 235km, 8am
Early in the morning, the road to Leh gives you the impression of being on the Tibetan high plateau. Going up from Sarchu, the road first follows a series of loops, composed of 32 hairpin bends. At the end of the Pang Valley, we cross the Tzanspo River and continue to another plateau for a long crossing of the legendary Moore Plain. It is the highest Tibetan plateau at 4200 meters above sea level. The road then continues to Tanglang La (5'280 m). It is the second highest pass in the world that can be crossed by car and offers breathtaking views of the Zanskar mountain range. A pleasant journey of about 20 km then takes you to the hamlet of Ladakhi, Gya, announced by prayer flags. A few more villages will still have to be crossed, before finally reaching the great Indus River.
The journey will continue for a few more hours to the city of Leh.
Day 10 (July 15): visit of Leh and its monasteries
Hemis Monastery is distinguished by the fact that it is the largest and richest monastery in Ladakh. It dates back to 1630 and was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso.
Hemis Monastery is located in a gorge, about 47 km from Leh.
Stakna Gompa of Ladakh is located on the right bank of the Indus River, about 25 km from the city of Leh. The name,'Stakna' literally means'tiger nose'. The monastery was so named because it was built on a hill, which has the shape of a tiger's nose. Ladakh Takthok Monastery is located in the village of Sakti, about 46 km from the town of Leh. The site where the monastery is now located once housed the Mahassid meditation cave "Kunga Phuntsog". The name Takthok literally means "Thiksey monastery with a stone roof", located about 18 km from the city of Leh. One of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh, it belongs to the Gelukpa Order of Buddhism.
Day 11 (July 16): Leh - Nubra (5,360 m) 130km, 5h
After breakfast, we head towards the Nubra Valley via the Khardung Pass - the - (the highest road in the world) at an altitude of 5360 m.
The Nubra Valley is located in the far north of Ladakh; this desert land is characterized by its white sands.
Hike around the villages and interact with the local population. Visit Diskit & Hunder Monasteries.
Diskit Monastery, is located on the highest point near the village. Belonging to the Gelugpa sect (yellow hat), parts of the gompa, which houses 120 resident monks, are about 760 years old. Hunder gompa, this little gompa, was built during the time of King Jamgyal Namgyal who came here with his wife Gyal Khatun. We suggest you to discover the village which has some beautiful old houses.
Optionally, a 30-minute camel ride.
Overnight at the camp.
Day 12 (July 17): Nubra - Leh, 130km, 5h
Morning visit to the village of Samstanling. Then back to Leh.
On arrival, visit Leh Palace, Sankar gompa, and shanti stupa.
Leh's Palace is a majestic 17th century palace that was built for King Singge Namgyall. The architecture of Leh's palace is very impressive.
The Shankar gompa is located a few kilometres north of the city centre.
A relatively modern monastery, it is closely associated with the Spituk monastery.
Shanti Stupa: In order to advance the cause of world peace and the spread of Buddhism, a Japanese Buddhist sect established the Shanti Stupa in Leh. The Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1985 and its main objective is to spread peace and the message of Buddhism throughout the world.
Day 13 (July 18): Domestic flight from Leh to Delhi, then drive to Agra (210 km, 4 hours)
Early morning transfer to Leh airport for Delhi.
Arrived in Delhi, transfer by bus to Agra.
In the afternoon, departure for the visit of the famous Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unique and unique in the world. The monumental work of love of a great sovereign for his beloved queen. The ultimate realization of Emperor Shahjahan's dream. One of the wonders of the world. From 1631 A.D. onwards, it took 22 years of work. An estimated 20,000 people worked to complete the enchanting mausoleum on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Day 14 (July 19): Agra - Delhi, 210 km, 4h
In the morning, visit the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 AD, although additions were made until the time of his grandson Shahjahan. The exterior of this fort hides an inner paradise. There are a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid - a white marble mosque.
In the afternoon, we set off again in the direction of Delhi.
On arrival in Delhi, you can check in at the hotel near the airport for a rest and refreshment (up to 22.30 hours) before your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Switzerland.
Jour 15 (20 juil.) : Vol de retour
Departure of your international flight to Switzerland.