A real journey of a lifetime, this epic overland adventure promises some of the world's most spectacular scenery as you venture from the bustle of central Delhi through the hill stations of the Raj, and on to India's most remote state. Climbing to heights of over 5,000 metres, your route will lead you across some of the highest motorable passes in the world as you follow the Indus River to Leh, the laid-back capital of Ladakh. Continue on the Leh-Srinagar highway into Kashmir before finally returning to Delhi via one of the great sights of India; the Holy City of Amritsar. Provided with a trusty 4 x 4, a comprehensive route and a GPS, you're all set for the ultimate motor expedition.
This is just a suggested Itinerary. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
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• Camp amongst the lunar landscapes of Ladakh
• Encounter the spiritualism of Northern India in the Holy City of Amritsar
• Navigate the mountain passes of the Himalaya
• Stay in a houseboat on the waters of Lake Dal
These are just suggested inclusions. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
18 x Breakfast, 3 x Lunch, 16 x Dinner
Hotel x 14 nights, Camp x 2 nights, Houseboat x 2 nights
Train, Domestic Flights, Private Vehicle
Welcome to New Delhi's new International Airport. You will be met with a traditional Indian floral welcome by a local representative, following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection. Your private driver will be waiting to transpot you to your hotel in the city to rest after a long day of travel.
After breakfast this morning you will have the option of a highly recommended sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. This afternoon, take some time to get acquainted with your hire car, GPS, roadbook and route. There will also be some paperwork to complete before your self-drive adventure gets underway.
Following an early breakfast, being your long journey north to Shimla - the Queen of the hill stations. Set at an altitude of 2130 metres, Shimla was discovered by the British in 1819 but it was only in 1822 that the first permanent house was built here by a young officer, Major Kennedy - and became the summer capital of the British Raj.
Drive Time: 8hrs/350km
After breakfast, embark on a heritage walk around Shimla. The first stop will be the former Viceregal Lodge. now known as the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. This walk takes in the major buildings of the British era, including the Shimla Club Gaiety Theatre, The Mall and Gorton Castle, which is now the office of The Accountant General and the State Museum of Himachal.
Shoja is a little village at about 5kms from the Jalori Pass, which links the Shimla and Kullu Districts. The thickly wooded mountainside, densely populated with conifers, deodars and toosh characterize the uniqueness and beauty of Shoja.
Drive Time: 6hrs/143kms
After breakfast, drive on to Manali which is 1896m (6,220ft) above sea level and situated at the northern end of the Kullu Valley. This is a picturesque little town bustling with activity. Around Manali, nature has lavished the region with forests, waterfalls, green slopes, rivulets and soaring snow-covered mountain peaks. Manali also boasts a mountaineering institute, which trains mountaineers, skiers and others.
Drive Time: 105km/4hrs
Today will be spent exploring Naggar, the capital of the Kullu Rajas until 1660 AD. The Ancient castle here overlooks the entire Beas Valley.
Spend today driving to Jispa, a small village located in the Lahaul region. To get there you will need to cross the Rohtang Pass (13,057ft / 3,980m). Stop en route for a visit to Keylong Village.
Drive Time: 140km/7hrs
Today will be a fairly long drive, gradually gaining altitude in order to help you acclimatize. You will cross the passes of Nakeela (16,568ft / 5050m) and Lachulung La (16,896ft /5,150m). Eventually you will reach your campsite for the night, situated at a height of 4,000m (13,123ft)
Drive Time: 224km / 6hrs
Today's drive will lead you to the Himalayan city of Leh. From Mahe Bridge, you will drive along the Indus River (the River that earnt India its name), to Leh. En route, stop off in beautiful villages and encounter families of nomads. Leh has come a long way from the days when the main street was used as a polo field. It is now a pleasant and traditional Himalayan town.
Drive Time: 7hrs / 230km
Enjoy a free day to rest and relax. This afternoon there will be the option to visit the monasteries of Shankar, Spituk and Phyang.
After breakfast, enjoy a full day of sightseeing to the massive Tibetan Buddhist Gompas and monasteries of Hemis, Shey and Thiksey. Return to Leh for the evening.
Drive to the Lamayuru Monastery, one of the most important cultural sites in Ladakh, situated en route to Kargil. Built in the 11th century, it is a treasure of the early Buddhist art in the Kashmiri tradition, a style quite different from the Tibetan art. Here you will also be able to take some lunch. After the visit, continue to Mulbek where you will stay the night in a tented camp.
Drive Time: 6hrs/175km
This morning, proceed to Srinagar crossing the Zoji La Pass (11,575ft/3,528m) and Drass Valley, the second coldest inhabited places in the world. En route, stop at Sonamarg to visit the Thajiwas Glaciers.
Drive Time: 7hrs/235km
Srinagar is a city of great antiquity. This paradise valley reflects the moods of the changing seasons. Enjoy the Shikara ride on Dal Lake to view the floating vegetable gardens. Later in the afternoon, visit Pari Mahal and the beautiful gardens of Srinagar.
Today will be a very long day of driving. After an early start, you will make tracks for Amritsar. You are due to reach the Holy Sikh city of Amritsar late this afternoon/early this evening.
Drive Time: 12hrs / 465km
The Holy City of Amritsar is like a pool of nectar. Visit the famous Golden Temple, where Sikhs from all over the world come to pay their reverence to Guru Granth Sahib and take a dip in the Amritsara Kund (Pool of Immortality) for spiritual purification. Spend today exploring this fascinating city and enjoy a rest day from driving.
After an early breakfast, drive back to Delhi. Later in the evening as your epic adventure draws to a close, enjoy a farewell dinner and return your rental vehicle.
Drive Time: 8hrs/440km
At an appropriate time today you will be transferred to the airport for departure.
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