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We will pick you up from the Leh airport and transfer you to your hotel in Leh (11,500ft). You will be resting today and acclimatizing yourself to the High-Altitude environment amidst the picturesque Himalayan landscape. This day is called the Acclimatization day and is required to adjust your body to the low oxygen levels of this altitude.
After breakfast, head out to tour the monasteries here. Take a visit to the largest monastery in Ladakh, the Hemis Monastery. Visit the Thiksey Monastery, to admire the stunning statue of Buddha Maitreya and its traditional Tibetan architecture. In the evening, spend some peaceful moments at the Shanti Stupa watching the beautiful sun going behind the ghostly mountains.
After a relaxed breakfast, drive to Kargil via Lamayuru. On the way, you can visit the 10th century built Alchi Monastery to see the ancient Gandhara arts statues and wall paintings. On the way, you can visit the dramatically located Lamayuru monastery and the adjoining “Moonland” hills. After a drive of 5-6 hours, we’ll reach Kargil city. Stay overnight at the Hotel.
Today we embark on our journey to the Zanskar valley. We ride through the roads which only leaves one speechless. Suru valley very well symbolizes the beauty of the mountains. We pass by Penzi La, the gateway to Zanskar. In the middle, the Drang Drung Glacier greets us to the eastern flank of Penzi La. Padum town holds a good amount of population in so much seclusion too.
Padum, named after the Great Odiyana Padmasambhava is the only town and administrative center in Zanskar. Several notable Buddhist monasteries are located near Padum including Bardan Monastery and Karsha Monastery and the newly built Dalai Lama Photang. Padum is a spiritually rich town surrounded by splendid mountains.
After an early breakfast, we ride towards Zangla along the Zanskar river. Zangla palace was the ancient capital of Zanskar kingdom. We’ll drive further to Pidmo village. From here we have to trek for 2-3 hours to reach village Hanamur. After a quick snack break, its finally time to visit the healer, Meme Rangdol (shaman with miraculous powers). Stay tonight at solar-powered village homestay.
After a homecooked breakfast, bid a goodbye to the Shaman and the villagers. Stay on the track towards Pidmo village for 2-3 hours. After reaching Pidmo village go towards the suspension bridge to cross the Zanskar river and board taxi to Padum. On the way, visit the 11th-century old Stongday monastery. Later we’ll continue towards Padum. Rest in the hotel for the night.
After morning breakfast proceed to the Rangdum Monastery. A few hours of drive from Padum you will be climbing the Penzila pass(4200m). This area is very scenic and you will find many shepherd huts here. Rangdum Monastery is an important temple of Zanskar. Built in the 18th century, the monastery belongs to the Gelugpa order of Buddhism and home to some 40 monks.
Today we will drive towards Kargil. After a few hours of drive from Rangdum, we enter into the Suru valley, where you will enjoy the view of massive Nun and Kun peaks and the Parkachik glacier. There are many other unnamed glacier peaks on the way. By noon you will be at Kargil the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. In Kargil stay overnight at Hotel.
The last day of the tour starts on a little relaxed note. After having breakfast and enjoying the view of the river and some historic mountain peaks, the journey begins towards Leh. The easy driving day will permit us to stop at a couple of iconic spots on the way. The journey will end once we reach Leh.