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iXiGOers Apr 22 2013

Suggest a 3 day tour itinerary for Leh.

Ravinder Malik Apr 23 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Desolate but perpetually surrounded by a divine aura, Leh has for long lured travelers and explorers from all over the world with its mysticism and old world charm. Heed the call of this ancient, cold desert kingdom and come back with memories and experiences to last you a lifetime.

Given below is a 3 day tour itinerary for Leh that you can use while planning your own:

Day 1

As you excitedly make your way towards this two-parts-sublime-one-part-adventure city keep a lookout for the Hall of Fame that will fall your way on Srinagar-Ladakh highway. Essentially a museum, Hall of Fame or War Museum as its also known, is really a narrative on the rich and colorful cultural heritage of Ladakh as well as the heart wrenching sacrifice made by Indian soldiers over the past two decades in their fight against terror and infiltration.

Head over to your hotel and after checking in first up for visit is Leh Royal Palace. Sitting atop Namgyal hill, overlooking the entire region like an affable royalty enjoying peaceful days, Leh Royal Palace spreads over nine floors and presently lies in ruins. An excellent place to get a glimpse of the palace's and Namgyal dynasty's lost glory is the Palace museum that has on display a rich collection of jewellery, Chinese Thangkas over a 450 years old, crowns, ceremonial dresses, and much more. Further up the same hill lies Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, a beautiful, serene 15th century monastery.

Know all about the palace at Leh Royal Palace.

Next up is Shanti Stupa, down Sankar road, Leh’s emblem of peace created and built by Bhikshu Gyomo Nakamura, a Japanese Buddhist and Kushok Bakula. With lunch time overhead, make your way to the bazaar or stop en route at Changspa road where a number of cafes and restaurants like La Pizzeria are situated. Next you could head over to Jama Masjid, a glorious symbol of religious forbearance and magnanimity.

Now that you are in the main bazaar area make your way through the shops that line it up. Look out for Buddhist Thangka house and Ladakh Bookshop. At Buddhist Thangka house you will come across a fine collection of stunning paintings, exotic Turquoise jewellery, antique Tibetan tables, etc while Ladakh Bookshop is replete with an excellent range of books, travel guides, novels and trekking maps.

Be sure to pay your homage at the Prayer Wheels on Fort Road. Integral to Buddhist worship and prayer, spinning the Prayer Wheels clockwise with mantras coiled inside on a paper is a purely transcendental experience.

With night having set in, head back to the hotel for dinner or visit Lamayuru restaurant on Fort Road for delicious Chinese and North Indian fare.

Day 2

First make your way to DC office in Leh and file out the form for Inner Line Permit you will need to cross Khardung la Pass and Nubra Valley that lies beyond. Try to reach there before 10AM and you need to have photocopies and original of your nationality and identity proof like Passport,Driving license. The process usually takes half an hour to 3 hours. Once you have your ILP, arrange for a ride you will need to cover Khardung la pass tomorrow.

At the bazaar head over to any of the restaurants like Tenzin Dickey Tibetan or Bon Appettit for a early lunch and be sure to carry some food with you as most of the attractions next in line are spread apart.

With all the technicalities out of the way and you fueled up get set to explore rest of Leh. First head over to Spituk monastery. While the huge statue of Kali, situated in Paldon Lamo temple set inside, draws visitors to the highest level of Spituk Monastery, it is the incredible sight of Leh's landscape stretching for eternity with river Indus rolling by that meets them there as a pleasant surprise.

Know about the timings and other details at Spituk monastery.

Then head out to Phyang where lies Phyang Monastery, one of the most important, culturally and historically, monastery of Leh.

Next get prepared for quite a drive to Likir Monastery 42 km away on NH 1D. Set by river Indus and recognizable from afar by the large seated statue of Maitreya Buddha, gilded in gold and 75 feet tall. Belonging to the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism, known by their Yellow Hat, it is the official seat of Ngari Ringpoche.

Know all about the monastery at Likir Monastery.

Visiting Likir Monastery and returning back to Leh will possibly take better part of the evening.

While heading back Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is bound to fall en route at Nimmoo. Be sure to pay your homage at the gurudwara, built in 1517 to commemorate Guru Nanak Devji's visit, founder Guru of Sikhism.

As the night sets in head back to the hotel for dinner and turn in early as you have quite a thrilling day ahead.

Day 3

Get up early, have a filling breakfast, pack some food, gear up and head out to Khardung la pass, gateway to Nubra Valley and the highest motorable pass in India. Opened in 1988, it is a Mecca for most biking enthusiasts in India and the ride till up here is considered one of the most exhaustive and taxing ones.

Know all about the pass at Khardungla pass.

Decked in a coat of thick snow all year long, Khardungla translating to 'Pass of Lower Castle' is widely popular for its natural beauty and splendid views of the snow capped Himalayan Ranges.

Keep in mind that vehicles are allowed to enter only in one direction at a given time. From 9AM-1PM in Leh-Khardongla-Nubra direction and from 1PM-5PM in Nubra-Khardongla-Leh direction. Keep your Inner Line Permit handy to show it at the checkpoint and reach there well before 9AM.

Make your way to Nubra valley, 84 km away. Nestled between Karakoram Range and nourished by two rivers, Nubra is a lush green valley brimming with sea buckthorns and alfalfa. Samstanling Monastery and Diksit Monastery out here are two of the most revered monasteries in Nubra and be sure to visit both of them. Keep in mind that you have to reach Khardung la pass well before 5PM when it shuts down for the day.

After this exhaustive but thrilling adventure through the valleys of Ladakh simply head back to the hotel for dinner.

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