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Welcome to India and the start of your journey exploring incredible scenery, small villages, tribal people and markets. Arriving into Delhi Airport you will meet with our local friendly team who will take you onto your hotel.
No trip to North India is complete without a stop in Agra and today you will discover why! Driving to Agra we visit Agra fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind it’s fortified walls. During its history it has been a palace, a fort and a prison! After, comes the highlight of the day being a visit to the incredible Taj Mahal where you have plenty of time to wander around and behold the ambience before returning to the big city.
This morning early rise and you will get to travel to Amritsar by train. Train travel is a must-do experience for any visitor young or old! The friendly locals will be vying for a chat with you. Arriving into the city meet with our local team who will take you onto your hotel. This evening we will take you to the Golden Temple to witness the Palki ceremony. (OVERNIGHT HOTEL BEST WESTERN MERRION)
This morning in light of day we visit the Golden Temple which is the seat of the Sikh religion. Built in 1803 and made of marble, copper and pure leaf gold, the temple is an amazing architectural feat. This afternoon learn about some of the more grisly past with a look at Jallianwala Bagh. We conclude our day with a drive to the final frontier, Wagah to watch the sunset changing of the guards and ceremonial lowering of the flags. (OVERNIGHT HOTEL BEST WESTERN MERRION)
Getting off the beaten path begins today as we head to the airport and catch a flight to Srinagar. Upon arrival you'll be met and transferred to your houseboat on Nageen Lake, part of Dal Lake, which will be your home for the nights. Dal Lake covers an area of 18 square kilometres and is lined with stunning Mughal Gardens, resorts, houseboats and colourful shikaras - the small wooden vessels used to transport almost everything around the lake from goods to people. This evening we will take a ride in a shikara to witness the sunset.
This morning we board one of the colourful shikara to visit the floating gardens, known as "Rad" in Kashmiri, where mounds of earth make for a fascinating display as they protrude from the water topped with all sorts of growing local produce. Tomatoes, cucumbers and melons have been found to grow the best with the constant source of irrigation. Later explore some of the stunning Mughal Gardens that Srinagar is famous for. We visit the terraced Nishat Bagh or Nishat Garden on the eastern side of the lake, and Shalimar Garden, equally as stunning and located on the northeast side of the lake.
Today is at your leisure to head out and explore and wander around Srinagar is a fascinating town with a broad cultural difference you will discover what I mean as you head out and simply get lost it s always easy to get a taxi back at the end of the day!
Today set out for Kargil, the day will mostly be taken up by driving but the epic sights of the himalayas all around will make the time fly by. En route a stop will be made at Sonmarg - known as the gateway to Tibet - where the views are astounding. At around 2800 metres above sea level the surrounding mountains dwarf the valley as they rise to 5000 metres and beyond, snow capped mountains truly give the sense of high altitude. Stops are made along the way as well as a stop at Drass, considered to be the second coldest place on earth with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 45 degrees celsius in the winter!
Today continue your mountainous journey and make our way to Leh. On the way we will visit Lamayuru and Alchi monasteries - considered to be 2 of the oldest Gompa's in the region, dating back to somewhere in the 10th or 11th centuries AD. A stop will also be made at the Magnetic Hill where it is said the laws of gravity are broken as a magnetic pull drags vehicles up a small hill, however, despite what seems to be an amazing feat of nature it is argued that it is actually an optical illusion and despite the hill seemingly going up hill it is actually a slight decline. Arrive into Leh, hotel check in and evening at leisure.
Enjoy an excursion to Shey, Thiksey & Hemis monasteries. Shey monastery situated on a hilltop is about 15km from Leh, was the summer palace of the royal family of Leh. Thiksey monastery is situated on a hilltop and the views of the green Indus valley from its rooftop are splendid. Hemis Gompa is the biggest and wealthiest monastery in Ladakh contains a large number of gold statues, stupas and thangkas, one of which is reputed to be the largest in existence and is exhibited once every 12 years. On our way back to Leh a stop will be made to visit the 14th Century Stok Palace and museum.
Today we enjoy a full days roundtrip fantastic journey to the high altitudes and the scenery of Pangong lake situated at 14,000 feet. We will be stopping in a few different villages along our journey which will give you a great insight into local life that not many tourists ever get to see.
oday it is time to get higher than you ever have before - on land at least. Take a drive to Khardungla Pass, the highest point on earth that can be reached by vehicle. At a mere 18800 feet high the surrounding vistas offer views like never before. Now you really are on top of the world. Afternoon return to the hotel and evening at leisure. Perhaps after dinner opt to take a stroll through the markets for some last minute souvenirs.
This morning after breakfast we have an onward transfer to Srinagar airport where you catch your flight back to reality and the big smoke of Delhi. Spend this afternoon in Delhi shopping it has some of the best shopping on the planet for the lover of textiles word of advice stay away from tourist emporiums to get authentic goods!
Sadly your epic journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
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