- Shanti Stupa
- Diskit Monastery
- Thiksey monastery
- Morning Prayers at Thiksey Monastery
- Village walks
- Stok Palace
- Bright & Bizzare blues of the Pangong
- Camping Al-fresco
- Road trip through the highest mountain pass in the world
- Personally curated village homestays
- Remote village walks
- A night within monastery walls
- Camping al-fresco by the Pangong Tso
- Indigenous food
- Age-old monasteries
- Traditional architecture
- Striking landscapes
- Dizzying Mountain Passes
- Drive along the Indus
- Basgo Fort and Ruins
- Delicious food from a Traditional Ladakhi Kitchen
- Alchi Monastery
- Magnetic Hill
- Confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers
- Trek Up to the Namgyal Tsemo
- The brilliantly restored Lala’s Café
- Hall of Fame
- Leh Old Town & Market
Arrival & Departure Point: Leh Airport
Journey with us …
The passion we possess and attempt to inspire is one that stems from the raw and rustic roots of authentic travel. A journey ceases to contain soul and depth when it is tied up in a safety net and drained out by commercial tourism. Keeping caution in mind, we urge you to break mainstream barriers and follow the uncharted trail...
With each day, we will unearth a fresh tale that leads us onto historic trails, up winding paths to monasteries and down the rugged roads of the daunting Himalayan terrain.
A slow and steady pace will allow you to soak in a surreal, parallel world, bound by stories of ancient cultures and traditions. And since the journey gives us a lifetime of stories, we do our bit by incorporating sustainable aspects into our travel.
• Staying in local homestays
• Avoiding plastic
• Carrying our own re-fillable water bottles
• Opting for locally sourced goods in the markets
are humble, small ways of giving back to the fragile and changing ecosystem of the Himalayas.
Our close-knit groups ensure that our journey remains an amiable and intimate affair and that we do not disturb the peace and
calm of this far-flung, remote and pristine valley.
Day 1: The Beauty of doing Nothing
• Acclimatising in the land of high passes is key to the
entire journey. From the greatest travellers in the 12th
century to the mountaineers of the 21st century, each has
always practiced one simple and crucial rule when in high
altitude – precaution is better than cure!
• Day One is set aside for acclimatization as a requisite of
24 hours is necessary for your body to get used to being
at a height of 11,000 feet above sea level.
• Lounge around, get to know your fellow travellers, keep
yourself hydrated and appreciate the beauty of doing
• Travel tip: Sipping on ginger-lemon honey tea and other
concoctions makes this process yummier.
Day 2: tracing art, history & food
• A day of road tripping through the scattered villages of Sham
Valley will take you through Nimoo, to Basgo and Alchi…
• Envision old homes, open fields and a drive along the banks
of the Indus… On the periphery of it all, the mountains of
Ladakh rise and fall, like sentinels of an ancient landscape,
standing tall and heavy with the mystery of a quiet spectator
that knows one too many secrets.
• Monastic murals from the 12th century, fortified ruins of an
ancient capital, the classic and warm aroma of a Ladakhi
Travel Tip: For those who like to wander down historic
memory lanes, carry a note-book and pen.
• Driving time: 3.5 – 4 hours (1.5 – 2 hours one way)
Day 3: a night within Monastery walls!
• East of Leh is bound by a bucolic charm, with villages dotting both
sides of the Indus. Medieval hamlets, hidden from the world and
tucked away in the folds of the Himalayan terrain are thriving with
life and bursting with the colours of seasonal activity. In the harsh
terrain, shared fraternal values tie the village together in a snug,
• This day offers a glimpse into the rural and rustic shades of
Ladakh, the life within that tiny green oasis amidst expansive,
barren terrain. Spend your day within the emblematic whitewashed
chortens and archetypical mudbrick homes, strewn
across the barley fields of Ladakhi villages.
• Walk up to a gleaming new statue of Shakyamani Buddha for
gorgeous views of the entire village and beyond. Also visit the
Stok Palace, a 14th century standing ovation to an ancestral past.
• Finally, spend the evening and night within the walls of the
• Travel Tip: A comfortable pair of shoes and a bottle of water will
make the process more enjoyable and enriching.
Day 4: the unforgettable walks
- Begin your day with the sound of cymbals, drums and deep chanting carried by the wind and resonating in the mountains as you immerse yourself in the prayers at Thiksey Monastery.
- We then make our way to PangongTso, dizzyingly azure at a height of 14,270 ft, running a length of 132 km across the Ind0-China border.
- Departed from the chaos of the world, the lake is isolated and illusive, home to the nomadic Chang-pas. The setting flaunts a fabled visage, that of a reclusive retreat overlooking the crested calm of the waves, while the jagged peaks rest on the periphery.
- We will be camping al-fresco, beside the allusive allure of the lake. It is a day for star-gazers and early risers, as a night by the Pangongoffers both, a stirring night under the stars and a morning, fresh and free, glistening in the light of dawn.
- Travel tip: The surface of PangongTso is often wind-haunted and icy cold, so carry an extra set of gloves and caps to keep yourself well clad.
- Driving Time: 6 –7 hours
Day 5: navigating through Nubra!
- Wake up to the striking blues of the lake. Post breakfast we make our way into another world entirely!
- In the vast hinterland of Ladakh’simpenetrable terrain, North East of Leh, lies a reclusive deeply engraved valley brimming with natural, austere and desolate expanses of wild beauty.
- Yawning valleys nourish rivers with glacial origins, etching Shyokand Nubra amidst the painted peaks and towering troughs of the Karakoram Range.
- This valley has inherited a Silk Route past with long lines of double-humped camels and colossal caravans dotting the sand-dunedterrain.
- Driving Time: 6 –7 hours
Day 6: world’s highest motor-road
- We start the day at the oldest and the largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubravalley, the Diskit gompawhere a gleaming 32 meter statue of MaitreyaBuddha sits looming over the valley like a protective parent.
- Today the more relevant routes have garnered fame, we drive through Khardung-La, currently holding a claim on being the world’s highest motor-able road. Perilous yet popular, the jagged road ascends to an altitude of about 18,600 ft.
- Walk to the white-domed Shanti stupa (time and energy permitting ) to watch the sun set over Lehin the evening.
- Travel tip: Sip on a lot of water through the journey this morning to make up for the lack of oxygen as you drive up towards Khardung-La.
- Driving Time: 6 –7 hours
Day 7: a special surprise!
- Mystery is an integral part of travel. It’s all about the experiences we unearth all along.
- Having lived in Ladakh for quite some time, we have a few well-kept secrets up our sleeves. Allow us to customize a day for you that will take you far off the beaten bath.
- You may find yourself on a covert mission… or a far-off hidden cave? Who knows! All we can promise is the surprise will most definitely be pleasant.
Day 8: explore the heart of Leh!
- Once a historic trade post on the Silk Route, today the commercial hub of all activities, Leh has inherited an amalgamation of traditions over the course of an era. The streets of Leh, old and new, brim with bustling bazaars, multi-cultural museums, historic cafes, 12thcentury palaces and age-old forts.
- Spend a day in the shadows of Old Ladakh, following heritage trails that reveal the timeless tales of an era gone by and paint an intriguing picture of the times to come.
Day 9: departure day
It is never easy to say goodbye to Ladakh, a land that builds an alliance as easily as the sun sets on the day.
The terrain can be difficult and the altitude takes your breath away, quite literally. But when the day comes to leave, the heart hesitates.
Until next time!
Dates: 28 Jul - 5 Aug 2018
*Accommodation will be arranged on a twin sharing basis in most places, but in case of an odd number of travellers, there might be triple sharing in one of the rooms. Travellers are expected to be a little flexible. If however, you need a room to yourself, a single supplement will be applicable.
It’s a good day to satisfy cravings for souvenirs! You will be directed to all the places where you can get locally sourced goods instead of the classic commercial items in the market.
few points to note;-
Ladakh is a high altitude region. Since few people have been to such altitudes, it is hard to know who may be affected by
high altitude sickness. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that co-relate with susceptibility
to altitude sickness. While every precaution and enough time will taken to let our bodies acclimatize to the increase in
altitude, we usually advise dosage of Diamox 2 days before flying in to Leh as a precautionary measure. It is recommended
though that you consult your doctor before considering to take this medication.
• All timings between places mentioned in the itinerary above are based on ideal road conditions. But the mountains often
have their own way! Landslides and various other disruptions en-route are common in this terrain and in fact very much
part of the adventure. Trails with Tales reserves the right to alter/ amend the journey plan in such a scenario.
• While all due precautions would be taken to ensure the safety of all travellers, Trails with Tales will not be responsible for
• All in all, a journey to Ladakh is not a luxurious one. One goes there knowing that the roads are bumpy and mobile network
sparse. The terrain can be difficult and the altitude takes your breath away, quite literally. What we can promise though, is
that the striking landscapes and heart-warming locals make the journey completely worthwhile and when the time comes
to leave, the heart will hesitate.
My recent trip to Ladakh was the bet I ever had. Beautiful landscapes, lovely homestays, visit to Monasteries. Everything was just beyond what I had imagined. Thanks to Simran for organising a well thought out trip & taking good care of everyone. Looking forward to travelling more with Trails with Tales. - Nidhi Kaushik
Couldn't have chosen a better person or a better group to go with. Brilliantly organized trip. Got a feel of the actual Leh. Not a typical touristy checklist but so much more than that. And yes now battling the post travel blues. Good Luck!! - Richa Sharma
Trails with Tales