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Namaste! to the start of your eye-opening Himalayan adventure! Our friendly team will be collect you today for flight to Srinagar, where you will be met at the airport upon arrival and transferred to your house boat.
This morning we board one of the colourful shikara to visit the floating gardens. Later we visit 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, Nishat Bagh translates in Hindustani as "Garden of Joy" which is entirely fitting. Later we visit Shalimar Garden, equally as stunning and located on the northeast side of the lake. The gardens are linked to Dal Lake via channel. We also visit the more modest Chesmashahi gardens en route to the Pari Mahal garden perched majestically atop the Zebanwan Mountain. After our tour the rest of the afternoon is free.
Today we visit the Old City of Srinigar, or as it's also known downtown Srinigar, with its winding streets and alleys lined with shops selling and making the finest Kashmari goods. Next up, we visit Hari Parbat, also known as the Mughal fort, a hill fort, situated on Shakira Hill to take in the views and then explore the 700 year old Jama Masjid mosque and the Shah Hamadan Mosque situated on the right bank of the Jhelum River. We return to your houseboat for lunch before tour with a visit to the Tomb of Zain Ul Abideen, well hidden in the streets of the bazaar this mausoleum marks the final resting place of Sultan Sikander's favourite wife.
Today is entirely yours to do as you please. Explore the local markets for some bargains or just relax on your house boat with the stunning surrounds of Lake Dal.
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. This is not your ordinary scenery. En route a stop will be made at Sonmarg - known as the gateway to Tibet - where the views are astounding. Stops will also be made at Zozilla Pass, a vital link between Ladakh and Kashmir, bringing you to an elevation of over 3500 metres, 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. Arrive into Kargil, the second largest town in the area after Leh, to enjoy a free evening after a long day.
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. The monastery houses a two storey high-seated image of Buddha cast from copper and covered with gold leaf. Thiksey monastery is situated on a hilltop and the views of the green Indus valley from its rooftop are splendid. Then, explore Hemis Gompa which is the biggest and wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. On our way back to Leh a stop will be made to visit the 14th Century Stok Palace and museum.
Today 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.
Sadly, today marks the end of your incredible Himalayan journey! After breakfast and hotel check out we transfer you to the airport in Srinagar for your onward departure journey and bid you a fond farewell.
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