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LEH/ LADAKH

India... a country which will enchant you with her beauty and diversity, delight you with her colorful pageantry, enrich you with her culture, stun you with her modernity, embrace you with her warmth, and overwhelm you with her hospitality--a land where the ancient and the contemporary exist side by side, where thousands of brilliant images fill the soul with wonder and where quaint and startling contradictions juxtapose to lend an extraordinary vitality, texture and poetry to life.

India ~ the ancient land of mystery, palaces and kings, romance and intrigue, nobility and grandeur.
A land steeped in a tradition of services and privileges to royalty. A land which has the largest Tiger population in the world.

Kerala ~ India's most idyllic state, better known as God's own Country is today one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. Secluded beaches, palm fringed backwaters, mist clad hill station, lush tropical forests, waterfalls, exotic wildlife, monuments, art form and festival gives it a distinctive charm.

Day 01

ARRIVE DELHI
Upon arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

A capital way to begin your discovery of India

"I asked my soul what is Delhi?

It replied, the world is the body; Delhi is its soul….. this is how a 19th century poet described this city that has ever been so many things to so many different people. To the weary travelers on the ancient silk route it was the first plain after having crossed the Himalayan Mountains with the promise of shelter, food and business opportunities. To the Afghan, Turk, Greek, Arab and Roman kings it was a vast and inexhaustible source of treasures of all kinds to the Chinese travelers it was the land of knowledge and wisdom. Its ageless face saw the advent of Islam. It saw empires being built and destroyed or even merely dismantled to make way for the new and Delhi lived on...

The British created their own Delhi with large well planned avenues and planted 10000 trees with a 112 kms of hedges that it would be green round the year abundant with flowers a botanical paradise. The seat of the British Empire Delhi of 1911 was planned to resemble ‘an Englishman dressed for the climate’. Its planners and main architects decided that it would be neither Hindu, nor Muslim, nor Buddhist, nor English nor Roman but IMPERIAL a house for the Viceroy that resembled ‘a giant Indian bungalow, embattled Rajput fortress and Mughal tomb with shades of Buckingham Palace with English country house comforts. Delhi is perhaps the only city in the world that fuses its past present and evokes its future without losing an iota of its identity. 1300 monuments speak of her antiquity of the ambitions of men who thought they could hold on to her but history proved otherwise. A popular superstition is that it is also known as the ‘graveyard of dynasties’ with every one of its cities built there heralding the death the dynasty that built it.

Thus, Delhi is a Melting Pot of cultures, politics and religions of India’s colourful past in its monuments, its palaces, and in the faces of its people that they narrate the story of their glorious past.

Overnight: Hotel in Delhi

Eat, Pray, Love
Day 02

DELHI

Old Delhi – Happily Chaotic!
Begin the day with a traditional breakfast of puri, chole & aloo (traditional fried bread with beautifully spiced chick peas and potato curry). Wash it down with a glass of sweetened buttermilk or piping hot cardamom spiced tea

We proceed for our unique yet fascinating experience of Old Delhi. Visit the mighty Red Fort followed by “cycle rickshaws” through the lanes of “Chandni Chowk” or silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy Avenue heading west from the Fort. Chandni Chowk literally means “moonlit crossroads” and an area which best represents the “super-Oriental”- the glory and the guile; the grandeur and the grime, with its crowded bazaars, twisting lanes, maze of small streets strange aromas, the pungent odour of Oriental spices, the cries of shopkeepers, coolies and “rickshaw- walas” and the clatter and whirr of furious industry. The thrill of being driven through the narrow, winding lanes is a memorable experience. This is perhaps one of Delhi's most populated areas and the largest marketplace.

Visit the famous Rakab Ganj Gurudwara (sikh temple). The shrine is the scene of constant devotional music, whose ethereal tones are relayed throughout the entire complex. A Sikh temple without a Community Kitchen or “Langar” is inconceivable. Food is serviced in the kitchen of the Gurudwara 24 hours to all visitors without any distinction of caste, creed, color or religion. All people - high or low, rich or poor sit in the same queue. Approximately 40,000 visitors share meals everyday.
The Jama Masjid (Muslim house of worship) also located in this part of the city is the largest mosque in Asia, and demonstrates the importance of a mosque in the life of an ordinary Muslim.

Conclude the tour with Raj Ghat – Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial

Overnight: Hotel in Delhi

Eat, Pray, Love
Day 03

DELHI

New Delhi: Touch of Faith, Philosophy & British India

The discovery of New Delhi starts with a visit to Qutab Minar which is Delhi's Eiffel Tower, its Statue of Liberty and Nelson's Column. Visit the mosques, mausoleums and ruins of forts that lie around it.

A short stop at the Chattarpur Temple complex will introduce us to the pantheon of Hindu Gods and their various avatars, and the importance of religion in the life of an Indian.

Later visit the Humayun’s tomb - the magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble – one of the finest examples of the garden tomb and a precursor to the Taj Mahal.

Food from the different Indian states is as individualistic as the people, language, culture and dress of each of the areas, and the amazing thing of living in Delhi is the availability of all types of Indian cuisine right at our doorstep. At lunch, we enjoy a typical South Indian meal of idli, dosa, sambar, vada and various types of chutney. Gorge on the best of Tamilian cuisine right in the heart of the capital.

We drive to one of the most colonial part of New Delhi called Raisina Hill. Drive past the Viceroy's House (now known as Rashtrapati Bhawan, present residence of the President of India) Lutyen's magnum opus; the India Gate, a war memorial arch.

Overnight: Hotel in Delhi

Day 04

DELHI-LEH (EARLY MORNING FLIGHT)

Catch an early morning flight to Leh. On arrival at Leh airport, you will be transferred to the hotel. Have your breakfast in the hotel. Take rest throughout the day and in the evening enjoy a short walk around Leh bazaar. Stay overnight in the hotel.

Day 05

Leh-Monasteries

Enjoy a short trip to the famous monasteries. Visit early in the morning to enjoy the praying ceremony at Thiksey monastery. Continue drive to Hemis monastery, which is one of the most famous monasteries of the Ladakh region. On the way back, visit the magnificent Shey Palace. Spend the night in the hotel.

Day 06

Leh - Alchi – Uletokpo

From Leh leave for the Uletokpo camping, which is one of the most beautiful camping in the Ladakh region. On the way, visit the splendid Spituk monastery, which is just 5 kms from Leh town. Continue drive to Alchi monastery, which is the only monastery in the Ladakh on flat ground. By the lunchtime you will reach Uletokpo. In the evening, enjoy sitting on the bank of the river coming down from the Ridzong side. Spend the night in the camp.

Day 07

Uletokpo - Lamayuru – Leh

In the morning, start for Lamayuru via Khaltsi. Visit the oldest Lamayuru monastery, founded in the 10th Century. In the late afternoon drive back to Leh, which will take about 4/5 hours drive. Spend the night in Leh.

Day 08

Leh - Khardongla Pass – Leh

After breakfast, start for a full day excursion to Khardongla pass. The Khardongla pass, which is the highest motorable pass in the world, has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. At the top, you can enjoy the natural beauty of snow-capped mountain. In the evening return to the hotel and spend the night there

Day 09

Leh - Pangong Lake – Leh

In the early morning leave for Pangong Lake through Changla pass, which is at a height of 5486 mts. While ascending Changla pass, enjoy the beautiful view of the villages below the pass. After crossing the pass, you can halt for a picnic lunch at Tsoltak, the summer pastureland of the yaks. And then visit Durbuk and from there a short drive will take you to the western shore of the lake. This famous blue brackish Lake of Pangong is 5/6 kms wide and over 144 kms long. In the late afternoon drive back to Leh. Stay overnight in the hotel.

Day 10

Leh – Delhi
Morning Flight back to Delhi.