Magical Lahaul & Spiti

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specialDepartures: July, August & September
The unknown world of Lahaul and Spiti-Tibetan monasteries, yaks grazing and barren, mountain passes. Plus to add to the adventure both districts are very different. Lahaul has glaciers and Spiti a high desert. A restricted region of Himachal Pradesh has kept both districts intact environmentally and culturally. Trails and lakes are pristine. Discover the remote monasteries of Dankhar and Ki on addition to Nako and Tabo. Meet the mountain people who embrace their spirituality, land and their way of life. Magical Lahaul & Spiti is for you travelers who have seen the best of places and deserve to see more!

Day 1: Arrive New Delhi
Arrive in Delhi. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax. Overnight: Hotel in Delhi (2 Nights)

Day 2: Delhi
We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit Birla House, the Former Residence of Mahatma Gandhi before he was assassinated by Nathu Ram Godse on January 30, 1948. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun’s Tomb*, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, built in 1570. We continue to Qutab Minar and its Monuments* Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques.

Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement and each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. Next we visit the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. We end our tour with a bazaar experience at Chandni Chowk, the street of silver and goldsmiths. In the evening we enjoy a welcome dinner at Garam Masala Restaurant. (B, D)

Day 3: Delhi – Chandigarh by Air (Flight # SG 2111 ; Departure : 08:10 Hrs / Arrival: 09:15 Hrs. & Drive to Shimla (105 Kms 04 – Hrs approx.)
After an early breakfast we are transferred to airport in time to connect our flight to Chandigarh. On arrival in Chandigarh, we are met by our local host and there onwards we drive to Shimla, one of the most famous of the British “Hill stations”, this city is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of 6,700 ft/2,100 m, it afforded a resort-type atmosphere for the British rulers of India. On arrival in Shimla, we check in at our hotel. Post lunch at hotel, we take a small tour of Shimla visiting the famous Mall road, Christ Church, the second oldest church in Northern India. Later we return to our hotel for dinner & Overnight. Overnight: Hotel in Shimla (1 Night) (B, L, D)

Day 4: Shimla – Rampur – Sarahan (1920 M) – 183 Kms / 07 – 08 Hrs. approx)
After breakfast leave hotel for Sarahan en route visit Rampur Palace & Temple. There onwards we continue our journey to Jhakri where we stop for late lunch.

After lunch drive to Sarahan. On arrival we check in at our hotel. In the evening we visit the famous temple of “Bhima- Kali” dedicated to Hindu goddess “Bhima Kali” presiding deity of the rulers of former Bushahr . Later we return to our hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Sarahan (1 Night) (B, L, D)

Day 5: Sarahan – Sangla (2680M) – 100 Kms / 03 – 04 Hrs. approx
After breakfast we check out from our hotel and proceed our journey to Sangla on the main highway (NH22 ) all along with River Satluj up to Karchamm. Near Karchamm we cross the bridge drive and drive uphill onto narrow Baspa Valley. After a journey of 20 Kms up Hill we arrive Sangla (2680 Mtrs). We check in at our hotel.

After lunch we visit Chitkul ( 3450 M ) the last village on Indo Tibet Border. After visiting the village we return back to our hotel for dinner & overnight stay. Overnight: Hotel in Sangla (1 Night) (B , L, D)

Day 6: Sangla – Kalpa ( 2960 Mtrs/ Drive 87 Kms 03 – 04 Hrs. )
After breakfast we leave for Kalpa en route visit the famous Buddhist monastery at Kalpa. Next, we check Inn at our hotel where a hot lunch is served. Depending upon the weather conditions, one can view the towering Mountain of Kinner Kailesh 6050 Mtrs , Redling Mountain and Jorkhandan. After lunch we visit the nearby Rogi Village and later walk back to our hotel. Dinner & Overnight: Hotel in Kalpa (1 Night) (B, L, D)

Day 7: Kalpa – Nako (2950M) – Tabo (3050 M) – 123 Kms / 6 – 7 Hrs. approx
Today we leave for Nako village located in the Kinnaur district. The village lies in the sensitive restricted zone along the border with Tibet. An inner line permit is required to travel through this area.

At Nako we enjoy a hot lunch and there onwards visit Nako Lake located (3662 Mtrs) above sea level. The lake is known for its natural beauty surrounded by willow and poplar trees.

We also visit the famous Nako monastery founded by Ringchen Zangpo in 996 AD. After visiting the monastery we continue our journey to Gue Village where we see the Mummy of Monk Sangha Tenzin - the only mummy in India to have undergone natural mummification, which was found inside a tomb in Gue village.

We later continue our journey to Tabo. On arrival at Tabo, we check in at our hotel. Later, we visit the famous Tabo monastery which is more than 1010 years old and home to many precious Thanka paintings, including the pillar of a thousand Buddhas. The entry to the monastery complex, covering in total 6300 square meters, is made of earthen walls with marvelous colorful frescoes inside. The ancient paintings depict the life cycle of the Buddha, and legends from the Jataka Tales and were made in the Tibetan style by artists from Kashmir.Tabo monastery is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is also called the Ajanta of the Himalayas. Remainder of the day is free to relax. Overnight: Hotel in Tabo (1 Night) (B, L, D).

Day 8: Tabo – Lalung – Dhankar – Kaza (3600M) – 117 kms / 6 – 7 hrs approx.
After breakfast we check out and leave for Lalung Village. Lalung is home to Lalung Monastry, famous for its beauty and statue of the three cornered Buddha. The statue was made with three sides to symbolize the Buddha looking in all directions at once. We visit Lalung Monastery and there onwards continue our drive to Dhanker Monastery.

Dhankar is the ancient capital of Spiti and seat of the Spitian Kings and is home to their ruined castle as well as a splendid 16th Century Monastery. Situated mid way between Kaza and Tabo it’s slightly of the route on top of a steep sided mountain ridge jutting out over the valley. To properly visit the fort and monastery at Dhanker requires several hours and from Dhanker it is only a short trek to Dhankar Lake, allow for one and a half hours roundtrip hike. After visiting Dhankar monastery we drive to Kaza. Dinner & overnight:
Hotel in Kaza (2 Nights)
(B , L, D)

Day 9: Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Komic – Kaza (130 kms / full day visits)
Early morning after breakfast leave for Ki – Monastery (3926M). Ki Monastery, also known as Kee, Kye or Key Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is close to the Spiti River, positioned between Kaza and a small village called Kibber, in the Lahaul and Spiti district.

We visit the Ki monastery and later continue our journey to Kibber Village 4250 Mtrs. We walk around the Kibber village drive back to Kaza for lunch. After lunch we leave for Komic Village 4580 Mtrs enroute visit beautiful village Langsa. After visiting the village we return back to Kaza. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

Day 10: Kaza – Manali (200 Kms / 8 – 9 Hrs. approx)
Early morning we check out from our hotel and drive to Manali with packed lunch. Enroute we visit Kunzum Pass 4551 Mtrs and continue drive along with Chandra River ( Moon River ) up to Grampo and again uphill up to Rohtang Pass 3980 Mtrs. on to Manali. On arrival in Manali, we check in at our hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax. Overnight: Hotel in Manali (2 Nights) (B, L, D) .

Day 11: Manali
After Breakfast leave for sightseeing tour of Manali. We visit Naggar castle, Vashist temple , Hadimba temple. Later return back to hotel for late lunch. Remainder of the day is free for shopping in the local bazaar. Dinner and overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

Day 12: Manali – Kullu Airport for Flight to Delhi
Kullu / Delhi (Flight # AI 9806 Departure : 07:40 Hrs / Arrival : 09:00 Hrs)
Early Morning we are transferred to Kullu airport in time to connect our flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, we are met and transferred to our hotel. We check in at our hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax or write a journal. In the evening, we share our memories and experience with our fellow members on a farewell dinner. Overnight: Hotel in Delhi (1 Night) (L, D)

Day 13: Depart Delhi
After breakfast, we are transferred to international airport in time to connect our flight homebound or onward.

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