Delhi - Leh - Stok - Pharka - Hemis - Shey - Tikse - Demtschog - Trag Thog - Chemre - Delhi

1. Day
Flight to Delhi

Reception at delhi around midnight and rest at the hotel.

2. Day
New Delhi

New delhi , the imperial city created as capital of india by the british , is a spacious , open city and a major travel gateway . Here we will pass grand government buildings , the luxurious villas of the rich behind huge walls and locked gates , and the india gate , a memorial to the past world wars . Although in new delhi , the complex of qutb minar belongs to the oldest buildings still erect in delhi . The qutb minar itself is a soaring tower of victory which was started in 1193 , immeadiately after the defeat of the last hindu kingdom in delhi .

3. Day
Old Delhi

The old walled city of shahjahanabad stands to the west of the red fort and was at one time surrounded by a sturdy defence wall . It was the scene for desperate fighting when the british retook delhi during the mutiny . The main street of old delhi is the colourful shopping bazaar known as chandni chowk . The red fort dates from the very peak of mughal power . When the emperor rode out on elephant from the fort to the mosque it was a display of pomp and power at its most magnificent . When we walk the same way today , chandni chowk is hopelessly congested and frantic , a real indian experience .
4. Day
Delhi - Leh

The morning flight to leh is an experience in itself . The snowcovered , rugged and magnificent mountains , the highest in the world , are an amazing feast for the eye during clear weather . Shall we say something out of this world ? When we land at leh , the capital of ladakh , at an altitude of 3500 mtrs , one seems to be enveloped by an overwhelming feeling of unreality can it be true we are at the top of the world ? Due to the rarified air at leh the rest of the day will be for rest .
5. Day

Awakening in the fresh , cold and pure mountain air of one of the highest human settlements in the world we take a slow start to experience this land of stark Ascetic beauty . Our first outing will be a short climb to the king's palace of leh , a replica of the potala at lhasa. For centuries it remained closed to the prying eyes of civilisation and is in urgent need of repair , but let that not colour your appreciation of it - because to the eyes of the native beholder , the palace has never ceased to be an aweinspiring , sacred monument . A fantastic , wonderful view down to the rooftops of leh's stocky houses , throbing with life , clothes fluttering in the wind , and to indus valley a little further away ! It's an easy stroll to the sankar gompa in the late afternoon . Here is an impressive representation of avalokitesvara complete with 1000 arms and heads .
6. Day
Leh - Stok - Pharka - Leh

The stok palace stands a short drive away from leh across the indus valley . The last king of ladakh died in 1974 but his widow , the rani of stok , still lives in this 200 year old palace . It is expected that her eldest son will become king when he reaches an auspicious age . Thereafter we drive along the westbank of the river pharka . It is a small cave gompa , a visit cherished more as the last kilometers can only be covered on foot . An afternoon visit to a typical ladakhi family at leh gives us a glance of a place without any signs of modern achievements , an insight into the hardships endured by the locals during the frozen wintermonths and the overspreading warmth of its people .
7. Day
Leh - Hemis - Leh

An excursion to hemis is a step into mystique , into magic and into a world full of demons . At hemis gompa , one of the largest and the most important gompas in ladakh , live about 500 monks , all dressed in the long , maroon robes , specific for all monks of the lamaistic buddhism . The continuous murmur of the words om mani padme hum the sound of the turning prayer wheels , the unknown smell of rancid butter , all do their bit to put us in a kind of trance . The hemis gompa is famouus for its hemis festival at the end of june , which features elaborate mask dances and crowds of eager spectators .
8. Day
Leh - Shey - Tikse - Demtschoog - Trag - Thoog - Leh

The old summer palace of the kings of ladakh was built 560 years ago and now stands in ruins . However , the palace gompa has a 12mtrs high seated buddha image . The tikse monastery is the most picturesque , superbly sited on a hill top overlooking the village and the indus . The religious ceremonies at noon are preceded by long mournful sounds from the horns on the roof . Tikses new - found tourist wealth is being put to good use in extensive restoration of excellent artwork . A visit to demtschog gompa shows us a good selection of thankas . Trag - thog gompa lies at a high altitude of 4000 mtrs taking our breath away , not only because of the even thinner air than leh , but also by the beauty of its location and paintings .

9. Day
Leh - Chemre - Tibetan Refugee Camp- Leh

Our walk in the valley along the river summons up the unique geographic location of tibet - few clouds creep across the awesome height of the himalayas and as a result ladakh , a part of tibet , is barren beyond belief . Only where rivers , running from far away glaciers carry water to habitation do you find plant life - hence this moonland label , since ladakh is as dry as the sahara . We visit the monastery of chemre and the tibetan refugee camp , which has become an important centre for the study of tibetan literature , history and buddhist philosophy . the afternoon at leh is free for your own exploration .

10. Day
Leh - Delhi

At the airport we can follow the landing procedures of the indian airlines plane which will take us to delhi . It is a strange look back to an other - worldly place . At delhi we have the rest of the day for leisure , to get accustomed to the normal air and climate . We recommend an extension of your himalayan adventure with our tours 8 days rajasthan or culture and wildlife of southindia , but you might extend with any of our tours . If your time is limited , let this out of the world trip be followed by the Golden triangle tour.


11. Day
Delhi - Agra

A comfortable train journey brings us early in the morning to agra , the city of taj mahal . The absolute harmony delhi - agra a dream in white marble in architecture and craftsmanship of india's most famous monument , the taj mahal , is certainly fascinating . Yet - there is also the imposing red fort and the tomb of itmad - ud - daulah to cherish .

12. Day
Agra - Jaipur

Enroute to jaipur rise the impressive buildings of fatehpur-sikri , capital of the great mughal dynasty for only 13 years , deserted for reasons not fully understood today . It's a palace complex and a religious part with mosque and triumphal arch built out of red sandstone , well conserved and maintained . Touring by cycle - rikshaw through the bharatpur bird sanctuary we might spot some rare varieties of exotic and migratory birds .

13. Day

Morning excursion to the amber , tne ancient capital of jaipur state . The fort is a superb example of rajput architecture , stuuningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake which reflects its terraces and ramparts. At jaipur we visit the city palace , the observatory and hawa mahal ( palace of the winds ).

14. Day
Jaipur - Delhi - Flight back home
Before we leave by train from jaipur to delhi in the afternoon you have time to collect more impressions of the pink city on your own . At delhi we have a farewell dinner while waiting for your home bound flight .

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