"Take a trip into the remote Valley of Flowers, to just about the most northerly point on the legendary Silk road"
The picturesque Nubra Valley is accessible only by foot, or via a long drive along the world’s highest motorable road, the Khardung La pass (5,602m). To begin your two-week tour, you’ll spend a few days acclimatising to the high altitude in Leh, the capital of the Ladakh region. Explore bustling bazaars and beautiful monasteries, gaining an insight into the region’s people and cultures before starting out on your trek.
Beginning at the village of Umla, you’ll cross rivers and walk through meadows, maybe even spotting elusive marmots along the way. At 5,350m, the Lasirmo La pass provides spectacular sweeping views across the Karakoram Range and, after climbing all the way up, you’ll be thankful for a chance to rest and enjoy the scenery! Crossing the majestic Lasirmo glacier, you’ll continue pass shepherds tending their flocks of sheep and yak. As you reach the Nubra valley, the far-off sand dunes give the landscape a central-Asian feel, and the emerald-green centre of the valley provides a welcome contrast to the barren arid scenery all around. As you journey through the Nubra Valley, exploring local monasteries and remote villages, you’ll appreciate the close proximity of nature as you trek.
Active India Holidays are local operators and, as such, have seen first-hand the benefits that tourism can bring to some of India’s most remote regions. They understand that tourism often helps to alleviate poverty and develop communities and, as part of the global tourism industry, acknowledge that they too have a crucial role to play in providing commercial benefits and financial impetus in local communities. The company is conscious of both the negative and positive impacts its operations potentially have within sensitive environments and communities, particularly in the Himalayas where most of Active India’s trekking and adventure operations are conducted.
To ensure that they operate in as responsible a way as possible, Active India trains all of its tour leaders and support staff on sustainability practices. One example is their ‘Leave no Trace’ policy, which ensures that campsites and trails are left free from any waste. The company even extends this policy to include the waste left by travellers who have come before them, collecting and disposing of any extra rubbish in a safe manner. Active India hopes to contribute towards building a tourism industry that brings pleasure to travellers whilst also constructing a future for the local people and places that the industry depends on.
Arrival in Delhi: Arrive in Delhi’s international airport at night, and receive a traditional welcome from Active India’s representative. Next, board an early morning flight to Leh.
Delhi – Leh: Your flight from Delhi to Leh takes you over the Himalayan Range, giving you amazing views of majestic peaks and huge glaciers before you touch down in Leh, a verdant valley north of the Indus River. Transfer to your hotel and start to acclimatise to the altitude (3,500m). In the afternoon, take a gentle stroll through the bazaars of Leh, and see the nine-story Namgyal Palace that dominates the town. The palace has been likened to Lhasa’s Potala Palace.
Shey – Thiksey – Hemis: Depart in the morning for a sightseeing excursion to three of the area’s main monasteries. Visit Shey, the castle of Ladakh’s first king, and admire its 350-year-old sacred statue of Lord Buddha. From here, you’ll continue to the hill-top monastery of Thiksey, known for its distinctive red and white buildings. Marvel at sacred shrines, precious artefacts and a splendid image of the Future Buddha. Finally, you’ll stop by at the Red hat Hemis Gompa, the region’s largest and richest monastery. The gompa houses an impressive collection of ancient relics, stone reliefs and rare 17th century thangkas (murals), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Leh – Alchi – Rizong – Likir: After breakfast, you’ll commence your drive to Likir, visiting the famous monasteries of Rizong and Alchi en route. Rizong is perched dramatically on a cliff-side overlooking the Indus Valley, and belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, making it especially significant for Tibetan Buddhists. Alchi Gompa is famed for its enormous Buddha statues and intricate woodcarvings, and was founded in the mid-12th century. After visiting the monasteries you’ll continue your drive before arriving in Likir, reputed to be one of India’s oldest villages. Likir’s monastery is believed to have been existence since the 11th century, and is known for its 75-foot tall statue of Buddha.
Likir – Umla – Taru: Your trek begins in the village of Umla, with a gentle climb through meadowland. Next you’ll ascend towards a small pass (4,150m), where you’ll enjoy a lovely view of the Indus valley. A short but steep descent then takes you to the village of Taru, where you’ll spend the night.
Taru – Phyang – Murbuk: Today’s trek takes you to the Bong-Bong La pass (4,200m), with a mix of gentle and steeper climbs. Take in the magnificent views of the Stok range from the top, before locating the trail that will lead you to Phyang Gompa. This gompa is one of the most important representing the ‘Red hat’ sect of Tibetan Buddhism: explore the 900-year-old museum containing a collection of Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese artefacts, and admire the monastery’s exquisite wall-paintings. Finally, continue on to the beautiful village of Murbuk.
Murbuk – Pulu: This morning begins with a gentle climb towards Pulu. Continuing to climb for about 3-4 hours, you’ll reach a stream and maybe spot some marmots! You might need to cross the stream to enter a gorge, then walk for another two hours before climbing to reach Pulu. As you settle down to camp for the night, you can see yak all around the site!
Pulu – Lasirmo La – Base Camp: Today sees you scale Lasirmo La pass. You’ll follow the path gently upwards over boulders for around an hour, before climbing a steeper section for around two hours until you reach the top of the pass. You’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views over the Karakorum Range, before descending over the glacier and the moraine for around 45 minutes. Finally, there’s a gentle descent to base camp.
Base Camp – Hundar Dok: Descend into a gorge, passing by shepherd houses (‘Doks’). Pop in to one of the doks for a cup of Ladakhi gur-gur tea (salted butter tea). Tasty! Continue to negotiate ascents and descents for another two hours before arriving at Hundar Dok. Your idyllic campsite is located in a beautiful pasture next to a stream.
Hundar Dok – Skarchan – Hundar: After breakfast at camp, you’ll head towards the village of Hundar, enjoying magnificent views over the Hundar Dok as you ascend and descend. Crossing a wooden bridge, the trail moves deeper into an impressive gorge. The descent to Skarchan on the river’s left side takes around two hours, bringing you to lunchtime. Your walk continues through the gorge for another two hours before opening into the Hundar Village. Here, you’ll see distant sand dunes.
Hundar – Diskit – Sumur: Enjoy an easy day of walking as you explore the attractions of the Nubra Valley. Leaving Hundar Village, you’ll walk through this high altitude desert’s sandy dunes. This area is renowned for its Bactrian (two-humped) camels; take an optional camel ride over the sand dunes and see snow-capped mountains on the horizon. Passing through Diskit Village, you’ll visit the famous cliff-top Diskit Monastery. The roof of the monastery boasts excellent views of the Nubra Valley, Diskit Village and the meeting of the Shiyok and Siachen rivers. Next you’ll drive to Sumur and visit the Samstanling Gompa, a Gelukpa order monastery housing a rich collection of frescos, idols and thangkas.
Sumur – Khardung La – Leh: Enjoy the unique experience of driving along the world’s highest motorable road – Khardung La pass (5,602m). Constructed in 1976, the road was opened to motorised vehicles in 1988 and has seen numerous motorbike and automobile expeditions since. If the sky is clear, the views are simply awesome. Arriving at Leh in the afternoon, you’ll have some time to explore the town, shop or simply relax and reflect on the success of your trek.
Leh – Delhi: Take an early morning transfer to Leh airport for your flight to Delhi, again crossing over the Himalayas. Upon your arrival, check in to your hotel before getting out and about to explore the walled city of Old Delhi. Visit India’s biggest 17th century mosque, Jama Masjid, and barter at the market of Chandni Chowk. Pay your respects at Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi (also known as the ‘Father of the Nation’). Move from old to new with a visit to New Delhi: drive past the Presidential Palace, Secretariat Buildings and along the impressive Rajpath to India Gate.
Delhi – Depart: At the conclusion of your tour, you’ll transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person (on a double sharing basis)
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- Refunds: 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund.
- Breakfasts while staying at hotels
- Full board meals during camping
- Full trekking service including food and equipment (apart from personal equipment)
- English speaking monument sightseeing guides at cities
- All land transport
- Government service tax as applicable
- Travel insurance
- Indian visa fees
- Any monument entrance fees
- Flights (domestic/international)
- Any optional activities or services not mentioned in inclusions
- Services of any professional English speaking tour leader/escort during the tour
- Miscellaneous expenses for tips, laundry, drinks, any medical emergencies and souvenirs etc.