Life Lessons from Ladakh, India By Donnie Sexton

Leh Palace
Leh, the capital of Ladakh, sees a steady stream of locals on the main shopping street, dressed for colder temperatures in late March. Donnie Sexton photos.

A favorite discussion among passionate travelers is “where to next”?   My answer had always been Ladakh, to which most people would get a puzzled look and ask, “Where is that?”

I’m not sure why I felt the need to see this Buddhist region tucked into the Himalayas of northern India.

Maybe it was the remoteness to see a piece of the world unknown to most people. What I did know was the idea of exploring Ladakh had burned a desire into my mind that wasn’t going away.

Digging In My Heels

I had organized a photo workshop to India in March and decided to investigate the options for extending the trip to see Ladakh.  The ideal time to visit runs from April to October, when most of the high mountain passes are open, and the weather is pleasant.

I found considerable reluctance from most tour operators to help me.   Responses ranged from “it’s the wrong time of year,” “it will be too cold,” and “it’s still winter there, nothing will be open.” Really!

Somehow all the negativity made me dig my heels in deeper, determined to go. Indus Trips, who had made superb arrangements for our photo workshop, took pity on me and said they would help if I was determined to go.

I was leaving nothing to chance, spending hours on the internet researching all options for what I could see and experience in Ladakh.  I would use Leh, the capital city, as my base for three days.  I hoped to hear morning prayers at one of the monasteries, explore the local vibe of Leh, drive the Khardung La Pass, and stop by local sights to photograph.

The author and her guide Tensin take the mandatory selfie, proof they made it safely to the top of Khardung La Pass

I gave my laundry list to Indus Trips of what I hoped to accomplish and asked that they arrange a guide/driver.  I splurged on accommodations and booked my room at the luxurious Grand Dragon Ladakh.

Khardung La Pass, one of the highest motorable roads in the world at an altitude of 17,582 feet, was built in 1976 and opened to the public in 1988.

Getting to Ladakh

Getting to Ladakh involves a one-hour plane ride from Delhi.  Most of my fellow passengers were men, dressed in cold weather clothing and toting scruffy-looking carry-ons.

They bore the look of tired souls.   I learned these men worked on road-building crews and were returning after a holiday break.

With many eyes on me, I felt like a privileged white woman.  If only they knew how much empathy I felt for them, knowing how difficult their lives must be.  I sensed the scales of equality in life were tipped in my favor.

I had the dreaded middle seat and tried in vain to see if the local in the window seat would change.  I knew we would fly over the Himalayas, and I desperately wanted to shoot.  I gestured with my camera pointing to the window, but he wasn’t going to budge.

I thought to myself, “ok buddy, I hope you don’t mind having my elbow in your crotch, cause I’m gonna lean over big time to get my shots.” To clarify, I view myself as a very considerate traveler.  But Ladakh was my dream journey, I was going to make it all about me for once.

First Impressions

The views over the Himalayas were spectacular, with snow-covered peaks for as far as the eye could see. I got my shots, and my seatmate got a good dose of me in his lap.   After we landed and made it through customs, I found Tenzin, my driver and guide (who spoke very limited English) and we were off.

It was a blue-bird sky day, and the air was crisp, unlike the ever-present smog of Delhi.  The crowds, traffic, and constant horn honking that defines so much of India were absent.  A sense of unhurriedness and tranquility came over me.

At the top of the Khardung La Pass, the Border Roads Organization that maintains the road has living quarters, along with a souvenir shop and coffee shack.

Altitude Adjustments

My first order of business was checking into the Grand Dragon.  Leh sits at an altitude of 11,562 feet (a high desert area), so altitude sickness can be an issue.  All I had read about this country was to rest on the day of arrival, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol.

Leh Palace is a former royal palace and is currently under restoration. It’s possible to visit the palace, part of which is a museum that holds over 450 artifacts.

The hotel staff was adamant that I stay hunkered down in my room for the remainder of the day to make the altitude adjustment.  “No can do,” I said to myself.  I rested a few hours before Tenzin picked me up, and we were off to explore the capital city.

The Vibe of Leh

Vendors (mostly women) use the sidewalk in Leh for selling vegetables and handmade goods.

It appeared to be market day, and the sidewalks were lined with women sitting on the sidewalk, bundled up in mismatched winter clothing, and selling mostly root vegetables.

A vendor selling dried apricots reached up, and with a sweet smile, placed them in my hand.

When he refused to take any money, I was reminded that the goodness of humans can be found in the most unlikely of places. Older women with weathered faces passed by, some fingering prayer beads and others spinning prayer wheels.

There were several shops selling clothing, medicines, and Buddhist objects used for worship.  The neighboring country of Tibet, its Buddhist culture and ways of life had spilled over into Ladakh.

Morning Prayers in Ladakh

My second day in Ladakh focused on the monasteries (also known as gompas) and the local sites around Leh.

With Tensin at the wheel, we hit the road before sunrise for the drive to Thiksey Monastery, so that I could observe morning prayers.

Thiksey Monastery, the largest in central Ladakh, is home to the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Its twelve stories cascade down the mountainside.

Thiksey Gompa is a 12-story complex clinging to a mountainside that resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa.  As we approached the prayer room, young novice monks were filing in, all wearing the traditional maroon robes.

Visitors are welcome at Thiksey Monastery to hear the morning prayers of the novice monks. After prayers, the boys receive their breakfast of rice and butter tea.

We were welcomed by an older monk who motioned us to some cushions on the perimeter of the room, and soon the chanting of young voices filled the air.

I had read that many Tibetan families in India send at least one child to a monastery to learn about the Buddhist way of life, although it’s a tradition that is dying out.

Full-Fledged Monks

These young boys were novices in training, with some going on to become full-fledged monks.

After the prayers, older kids came around with kettles of butter tea and rice, serving first the young novices, then the elders in the room.

To my surprise, they also offered Tensin and me a cup of butter tea, which we graciously accepted.  I admired the monastery for allowing outsiders to observe the sacred rituals. For me, the experience was very humbling.

We filled the remainder of this day of discovery with countryside drives, including stops at gompas, villages, and monuments for photos.

Khardung La Pass

The third day would be a drive on the Khardung La Pass (17,582 feet), one of the world’s highest motorable roads, and the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.

The route started as a two-lane dry pavement, but narrowed to a single lane the higher we climbed.

Before long, we were driving on a gnarly, snow-covered, icy path to the top.   We were the only vehicle on the drive up until we reached the summit.
In a few spots, we encountered a handful of locals chipping away at the gigantic snowbanks with shovels.  Was this avalanche patrol?

Perched on a hilltop, the Shanti Stupa was built in 1991 by a Japanese Buddhist monk. It’s a popular stop for visitors due to the sweeping views it affords of the surrounding landscape.

Tensin didn’t have an answer, although he pointed out a section where an avalanche had come through two weeks prior and had killed some people.   I didn’t need to hear that!

Most of the road, devoid of any guardrails, had sheer drop-offs into the valley below.  Should some snow breakaway as we passed by, my life would be over.

Tents to Quonset Huts

The Border Road Organization maintains this highway.  Their military outpost at the summit was a hodgepodge ranging from tents to Quonset huts and a few military vehicles. A handful of soldiers were working on the road.  Strings of colorful prayer flags, hallmarks of the Buddhist culture, fluttered in the wind.

We headed back down after mandatory pictures at the summit, and a stop at a pitiful coffee shack for a cup of lukewarm java.  On the way, Tensin invited me to lunch at his family’s home.   Without hesitation, I said yes.

Breaking Bread With New Friends

Tensin lives with his sister and mother on a small plot of land outside of Leh.  As we pulled up, his mother, sister, and aunt rushed out to meet us and quickly ushered me into their simple dwelling.

Tensin’s mother and auntie stand in the kitchen/main room of their simple dwelling. Like most locals, they wear cold-weather clothing both indoors and outside.

Tensin motioned me to take a seat on the floor in front of a low table, then a cup of tea and some biscuits were offered.

The women stood at a small counter with a portable stovetop, preparing momos and soup, then joined me on the floor for a delicious lunch.

I felt honored to break bread with these strangers who subsist on so little yet willingly share.  The best thing to do with the kindness shown to me was to pay it forward.

Watching Tensin’s mom moved me to tears.  My mom had passed away unexpectedly two weeks earlier, just one day before boarding a plane for my photo workshop in India.

I knew I had to go on with the trip, so I stuffed my sorrow deep into my heart, and now, in this remote land, it was bubbled up.  As I tearfully shared about my mother’s death, Tensin’s mom wrapped her arms around me.

Ladakh’s Life Lessons

Looking back, I can’t say that the three days I spent in Ladakh provided clarity as to my obsession with this country.   Three days had reinforced my belief that our environment and the family we are born into shapes our path in life.

I headed home determined to appreciate those things I take for granted – something as simple as shopping inside a clean, well-lit supermarket.

The random acts of kindness shown to me were stark reminders that it doesn’t take much effort to brighten someone’s day by my thoughtfulness – a good life lesson to follow. I had but a small nibble of this Himalayan country.

The desire to see more, especially in a warmer season when all of this region of northern India is open to exploring, calls for a repeat visit.

If looking to explore Ladakh, I recommend Indus Trips (www.industrips.com) to help with arrangements. 

There is a $10US per person permit fee to visit Ladakh.

To read the original article please visit – https://www.gonomad.com/166354-ladakh-where-donnie-keeps-coming-back-to

Maha Kumbh Haridwar 2021 Tour Package

The Kumbh Mela also happens to be the biggest gathering in history, attracting 70 million pilgrims! From this incredible event comes a powerful and uplifting message of harmony, unity and peace for all humanity.

Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world. According to astrologers, the ‘Kumbh Fair’ takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. Kumbh Mela is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage that takes place at the following four locations of India: Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. 

Maha Kumbh Haridwar

Kumbh Fair is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the lucky one which is held after twelve years. The crowd and confusion of buyers and sellers, the native groups in every imaginable costume. Some shine in cloths of gold, surrounded by followers splendidly arranged, others are less expensively but picturesquely dressed, and many are half or full naked or wildly clad.

Maha Kumbh HaridwarThe mélange of priests, soldiers, religious mendicants, half beggars-half bandits, with a smattering of Europeans, exhibit all together an exotic display unique in the entire world. To watch the Kumbh Mela processions is to witness the march of the ages. As the holy saints pass by on their various and sundry conveyances — elephants, horses, palanquins, chariots, cars, and camels — they are continually transmitting waves of powerful shakti (energy) to all the people who witness this awe-inspiring and most auspicious event. Devotees are overwhelmed by the palpable spiritual vibrations that pervade the entire atmosphere.

Here are the bath dates for the 2021 Maha Kumbh Mela.

Maha Kumbh Haridwar

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form

7N/8D Golden Triangle and Udaipur Tour

Udaipur

Explore the Three historic cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur along with the world famous City of Lakes, Udaipur.  This tour is for romantics at heart, writers and photographers who like like their holidays rich and interesting. Walk through stunning palaces, formidable forts, museums and famous monuments. Our 7N/8D Golden Triangle and Udaipur Tour combines the very best of North India in this enchanting journey.

Detailed Tour Plan

Day 01: Arrival Delhi

Delhi International Airport

You will be received by our representative at the airport, who will take you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast, head on a guided tour of New Delhi.

humayun's tombQutub MinarIndia Gate

Some of the monuments you visit on your sightseeing tour include Bahai Temple (Lotus Temple), Humayun’s Tomb, the Qutab Minar, Connaught Place and India Gate. In the afternoon proceed on a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, visit Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Raj Ghat and other memorials. You also take a ride on a cycle rickshaw.

Jama Masjid DelhiMahatma Gandhi's Memorial Delhi

Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Delhi- Agra
After breakfast proceed to Agra.

Red Fort Agra

In the afternoon tour the massive Agra Fort, which was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar. The fort houses various beautiful palaces and mansions that you can visit on your tour of Agra Fort.

Taj-Mahal

In the evening visit Taj Mahal and watch the wonder monument change color as the sun sets. Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Jaipur
After breakfast proceed to the Pink City – Jaipur. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri, the capital city of Akbar, the Mughal emperor. The city has some palatial buildings, a mosque and the shrine of saint Salim Chisti.

fatehpur sikri

Upon arrival in Jaipur, check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Jaipur
This is the day to take in the architectural beauty of the Pink City.

amber fort jaipur

You visit Amber Fort, City Palace, Jantar Mantar Observatory, Hawa Mahal and other important places on your sightseeing tour of Jaipur.

City Palace jaipurJantar Mantar jaipurHawa Mahal jaipur

Jaipur is rich with ancient monuments, which were built centuries ago. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 06: Jaipur-Udaipur
After breakfast transfer to airport to catch a flight to Udaipur. Upon arrival check in at hotel. The city was founded by Maharana Udai Singh about four centuries ago.

pichola lake udaipur

On your tour you visit many important tourist places in Udaipur, which include the Jagdish Temple, the City Palace and Lake Pichola.

jagdish temple udaipurcity palace udaipurcity palace udaipur

Day 07: Udaipur-Delhi
The day is at leisure. Take independent walks in the bustling bazaars of Udaipur.

UdaipurUdaipur

You can also visit Shilpgram, the crafts village to shop for some exquisite handicraft items. Afterwards transfer to airport to catch a flight to Delhi.

Day 08: Delhi
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Refresh and relax. Later transfer to airport to catch a flight back home. Tour ends.

End of Tour

7N/8D Golden Triangle Varanasi Tour

Varanasi

This enchanting tour of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Varanasi is for lovers at heart. It is for writers, poets and photographers. Walk through the stunning places, formidable forts, visit museums and the century old streets of Old Delhi, rediscover faith and devotion at the Ghats of Varanasi and find a new perspective to life itself. This tour is the most popular tourist circuit in Northern India and promises rich experiences and a memorable holiday.

Detailed Tour Plan

Day 01 : Arrive Delhi

Delhi International Airport

Meet at Delhi International Airport and transfer to the Hotel. Overnight in Delhi.

Day-02: In Delhi
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a full day sight-seeing tour of Old and New Delhi visiting Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Raj Ghat, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar.

Jama Masjid Delhi Rashtrapati BhawanIndia Gatehumayun's tombQutub Minar

Overnight in Delhi.

Day 03 : Fly Delhi-Varanasi
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Varanasi. Met on your arrival in Varanasi and transfer to Hotel.

VaranasiVaranasi Varanasi

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Varanasi. Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 04 : Overnight train Varanasi – Agra ( Marudhar Express – 1720 / 0610 hrs – next day)
Early morning dawn boat ride on river Ganges.

Varanasi

Later, excursion to Sarnath.

Sarnath

After sightseeing transfer to the railway station in time to board an overnight train for Agra. Overnight onboard train to Agra.

Day 05 : Arrive Agra
On your arrival at Agra railway station, transfer to the Hotel.

Later sightseeing tour of Agra visiting Agra Fort and a Sunset visit to the Taj Mahal.

Red Fort AgraTaj-Mahal

Overnight in Agra

Day 06 : Drive Agra – Jaipur ( 250 kms / 05 hrs)

Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal.

taj mahal

After breakfast depart for Jaipur en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri.

On your arrival in Jaipur, check in at the Hotel. Overnight in Jaipur

Day 07 : In Jaipur
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a full day sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace and Amber Fort.

City Palace jaipur Jantar Mantar jaipur Hawa Mahal jaipur amber fort jaipurElephant ride to the fort

Your tour includes an Elephant ride up to the Fort . Overnight in Jaipur

Day 08 : Drive Jaipur – Delhi (265 kms /05 hrs) & Depart
We will start early in the morning departure for Delhi by road (265 kms/05 hrs), in time to board your flight home.

End of Tour.

6N/7D Luxury Golden Triangle Tour

Visiting India for the first time? A Golden Triangle Tour of Delhi Jaipur Agra is the most popular tourist circuit that takes you through stunning palaces, formidable forts, museums and monuments. Our escorted luxury tour of Golden Triangle is a travel extravaganza that promises rich memorable holiday experience. Stay in top 5 Star hotels, travel in best of vehicles and get all the local information from our expert guides. Holidays can’t get any better than this!

Detailed Tour Plan

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Delhi International Airport

Arrive Delhi and stay for two nights.

 Day 02: Delhi

Enjoy a full days sightseeing tour of the historical city of Delhi, beginning in the wide avenues of New Delhi, to see Lutyen’s buildings and the India gate memorial, along with the impressive tomb of Humayan and Qutab Minar.

Rashtrapati BhawanIndia Gatehumayun's tombQutub Minar

Afternoon you will visit the bustling and vibrant streets of Old Delhi to see the Jama Masjid and Rajghat, the resting place (Samadhi) of Mahatma Gandhi.

Jama Masjid DelhiMahatma Gandhi's Memorial Delhi

 Day 03: Delhi – Agra

Drive to Agra in the morning (4 hrs). Stay overnight.

Taj-MahalRed Fort Agra

Visit the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal in the afternoon.

 Day 04: Agra – Jaipur

fatehpur sikri

Drive to Jaipur visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri en route (approx. 6 hr including visit to Fatehpur Sikri). Stay for two nights

 Day 05: Jaipur

amber fort jaipur

Today morning you will visit the impressive Amber fort – which is accessed on elephant’s back.

Elephant ride to the fort

Afternoon visit the sights of Jaipur including the City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Jantar Mantar and the Museum.

City Palace jaipurJantar Mantar jaipurHawa Mahal jaipur

 Day 06: Jaipur – Delhi

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Delhi (5 hrs) for overnight stay.

 Day 07: Depart Delhi

Fly back home

End of Tour

Hotel Details

Golden Triangle Luxury Tour 6N/7D

No. of Nights

Place

Hotel

Room Category

Meal Plan

02

Delhi

Taj Mahal Palace

Deluxe room

Bed & Breakfast

01

Agra

ITC Mughal

Mughal room

Bed & Breakfast

02

Jaipur

Samode Haveli

Deluxe room

Bed & Breakfast

01

Delhi

Holiday Inn

Superior room

Bed & Breakfast

Price – Please contact us.

Inclusions:

  • Meet and greet assistance on all arrivals and departures.
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using air-conditioned Toyota Innova / Tempo Traveller.
  • Accommodation for 06 nights on double / twin sharing basis using 2 rooms.
  • English speaking guide for all sightseeing tours as per the itinerary.
  • Entrances and Monument fee as per the itinerary.
  • Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi.
  • Elephant and jeep ride at Amer Fort.

12N/13D Incredible Rajasthan Tour

Lake Pichola Udaipur

Detailed Tour Plan

Day 1: Fly from Delhi to Udaipur. Transfer to hotel for 2 night stay.

Udaipur

Day 2: Sightseeing of Udaipur city followed by boat ride at Lake Pichola.

city palace udaipur

city palace udaipur

pichola lake udaipur

Day 3: Drive to Delwara where you will stay in one of the finest palace hotel. En route you will visit Eklingji and Nagada Temple.

ekling ji & nagda temple udaipur rajasthan

Day 4: Day at leisure

Day 5: Drive to Jaipur. Stay at hotel for 3 nights

amber fort jaipur

Day 6: Sightseeing of Amer Fort (ascent the fort by elephant and return by jeep) followed by sightseeing of Jaipur city.

Elephant ride to the fort

Day 7: Day at leisure in Jaipur

Day 8: Drive to Ranthambhore National Park (famous for Royal Bengal tiger). Check into jungle lodge. Afternoon park safari.

Ranthambore National Park

Day 9: Morning and afternoon park safari

Ranthambore National Park Game Drive

Day 10: Drive to Agra. Visit the abandoned capital city of Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

Day 11: Visit Taj Mahal and Agra fort.

Taj-Mahal

Red Fort Agra

Drive to Delhi in the afternoon.

Day 12: Sightseeing of Old & New Delhi.

Rashtrapati Bhawan

India Gatehumayun's tombJama Masjid Delhi

Day 13: Transfer to airport to board flight to onward destination.

End of Tour

12N/13D Enchanting Rajasthan Tour

Udaipur

Detailed Tour Plan

Day 1: Fly from Delhi to Udaipur. Transfer to hotel for 2 night stay.

Day 2: Sightseeing of Udaipur city followed by boat ride at Lake Pichola.

pichola lake udaipur

Day 3: Drive to Jodhpur visiting Ranakpur Temple en-route. Stay for 2 nights

Ranakpur Jain Temple

Day 4: Enjoy Bisnoi village safari in the morning.

mehrangarh-fort-jodhpur

Afternoon visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thanda

Jaswant Thada Jodhpur

Day 5: Drive to Jaipur. Stay at hotel for 3 nights

Day 6: Sightseeing of Amer Fort (ascent the fort by elephant and return by jeep) followed by sightseeing of Jaipur city.

Elephant ride to the fort

Day 7: Day at leisure in Jaipur

Day 8: Drive to Ranthambhore National Park (famous for Royal Bengal tiger).

Ranthambore National Park

Check into jungle lodge. Afternoon park safari

Day 9: Morning and afternoon park safari

Ranthambore National Park Game Drive

Day 10: Drive to Agra. Visit the abandoned capital city of Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

Day 11: Visit Taj Mahal and Agra fort.

Taj-Mahal

Red Fort Agra

Drive to Delhi in the afternoon.

Day 12: Sightseeing of Old & New Delhi.

Rashtrapati Bhawan

India Gate

Jama Masjid Delhi

Day 13: Transfer to airport to board flight to onward destination.

End of Tour

13N/14D Golden Triangle with Ladakh Tour

Stok-Palace-ladakh

Combine Two of the most popular travel circuits in India and you have a travel extravaganza that promises a memorable holiday. Golden Triangle is the popular tour of the There historic cities of Delhi Jaipur and Agra present a unique insight into the past and take you across stunning palaces, mighty forts, museums  and monuments, while Ladakh in the Northern tip of India is a land of ancient culture and amazing landscape where you will visit centuries old monasteries and well preserved palaces. This unique tour of Ladakh and The Golden Triangle is for those coming to India for the first time and for those who like to experience richness of Indian culture and diversity.

Tour Details

 Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Delhi International Airport

Arrive Delhi and stay for two nights.

 Day 02: Delhi

Enjoy a full days sightseeing tour of the historical city of Delhi, beginning in the wide avenues of New Delhi, to see Lutyen’s buildings and the India gate memorial, along with the impressive tomb of Humayun and Qutab Minar.

India GateRashtrapati Bhawanhumayun's tomb

Afternoon you will visit the bustling and vibrant streets of Old Delhi to see the Jama Masjid and Rajghat, the resting place (Samadhi) of Mahatma Gandhi.

Jama Masjid DelhiMahatma Gandhi's Memorial Delhi

Day 03: Delhi – Leh

Fly to Leh.

Leh

Meet on arrival at Leh airport and transfer to hotel. Day at leisure for acclimatization. In the afternoon, visit Shanti palace and walk around local market.

Leh-Bazaar

Day 04: Leh

Full day sightseeing tour of monasteries of Indus Valley (Shey, Thiksey, Hemis and Stok Palace).

Shey Monastery

Hemis-monastery-ladakh

Stok-Palace-ladakh

Day 05: Leh – Ulley

Drive to Ulley. En-route visit Likir and Alchi Monasteries.

likir-monasteryAlchi-monastery

Overnight stay at Ulleytokpo.

Day 06: Ulley – Leh

Drive further to visit Lamayuru.

lamayuru-monastery

Return back to Leh visiting Phiyang & Spituk Monasteries.

Overnight stay in Leh.

Day 07: Leh – Nubra

Drive to Nubra valley after crossing Khardungla Pass (2nd highest motorable road in the world).

nubra-valley-leh

Rest of the day at leisure to explore Deskit and Hunder Villages.

Hundar ladakh

Day 08: Nubra – Leh

After Breakfast proceed to Diskit monastery.

diskit monasteryAfter sightseeing of Deskit, you will drive back to Leh. Evening at leisure to explore Leh market.

Day 09: Leh – Pangong Lake

Drive to Pangong. Pangong is highest land locked lake.

pangong lake ladakh

Day 10: Pangong Lake – Leh

Drive back to Leh

Day 11: Leh – Delhi – Agra

Fly to Delhi and drive to Agra. Stay overnight. Visit the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal in the afternoon.

Taj-MahalRed Fort Agra

 Day 12: Agra – Jaipur

Drive to Jaipur visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri en route.

Stay for two nights

 Day 13: Jaipur

Today morning you will visit the impressive Amber fort – which is accessed on elephant’s back.

Elephant ride to the fort

Afternoon visit the sights of Jaipur including the City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Jantar Mantar and the Museum.

City Palace jaipurJantar Mantar jaipurHawa Mahal jaipur

 Day 14: Jaipur – Delhi & depart

Drive to Delhi airport in time to board the flight to onward destination.

End of Tour

11N/12D Hornbill Festival Tour Nagaland

Hornbill Festival Tour Nagaland (7)

The Hornbill Festival is a celebration held every year from 1 to 10 December, in Nagaland, Northeast India. It is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’.

Hornbill festival began in 2000 CE with an intention to promote the 16 indigenous tribes of Nagaland, their culture and products to the rest of the World.

Named after a bird, who is a symbol of ‘Respect’ and ‘Folklore’ among the Nagas, it is a week-long fair which commences from December, 1st and is usually extended till the 10th day. The dates for the festival, therefore, are December, 1st – 10th every year.

Hornbill Festival Tour Nagaland

The Hornbill Festival gives you a unique insight into Naga culture, tradition and way of living. Besides that you could participate in the Chili eating competition, try delicious local cuisine, drink some freshly brewed Rice Beer and watch tribal performances.

Hornbill Festival is a sensory extravaganza which promises rich experiences and a truly memorable vacation. Bookings are open for Hornbill Festival Tour 2020.

Tour Details

Day 1, 23 Nov 2020

Arrival Delhi – by International flight

Arrive Delhi and transfer to your hotel. Check-in time is 1400 hours. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2, 24 Nov 2020

Jama Masjid Delhi

Full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi Or we can keep same day trip to Agra (especially for 1st time travelers).

Taj-Mahal

Day 3, 25 Nov 2020

Delhi – Guwahati by Flight

Arrive Guwahati and transfer to hotel. Later visit Kamakhya Devi Temple, on Nilachal hill, 08 kms west of Guwahati city, is one of the most venerated shaktipeeths in India.

Kamakhya Temple

The temple is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya an incarnation of Sati. It is on Nilachal hill, says the Shiva Purana, that the yoni or creative organ of Sati fell when Vishnu, in a bid to save the world from the Shiva’s tandava nrittya or dance of destruction, cut her dead body into 51 pieces with his suddarshan chakra. The garbhagriha deep inside the temple, marks the sacred spot and is kept covered with red silken cloth.

Overnight in Hotel.

Day 4, 26 Nov 2020

Guwahati – Kaziranga National Park drive (approx. 240 kms/4-5 hrs.)

Morning after breakfast drive to Kaziranga National Park and on arrival transfer to your hotel for lunch. After lunch, your first Jeep safari in Central Zone of the park.

Kaziranga

Overnight in Hotel.

IMP NOTE: Kaziranga National Park is closed from 01st May TILL 31st Oct every year.

Day 5, 27 Nov 2020

Kaziranga National Park

Early morning elephant safari in Central zone and return hotel for breakfast.

Kaziranga Safari

After breakfast go for Morning Jeep safari in Western Zone. After lunch we take our last Jeep Safari to Eastern Zone. Overnight in Hotel.

Jeep Safari Timings:
Morning Safari starts from 07.00 am till 09.30 am for 02 hours. And Afternoon Safari starts from 01.30 pm till 03.30 pm for 02 hours.

Elephant Safari Timings:
Central Zone of the park at 05.30 am and at 06.30 am for 40 minutes respectively. Elephant Safari – Approx. 45 mins duration

Note: Elephant safari for foreign nationals are held only on Kaziranga Range, Kohora, Central Range (Elephant ride is subject to availability from the Forest Dept.)

Allocation of elephant riding seats and timings are regulated by the forest department, Kaziranga National Park, Government of Assam. The tickets for the same are issued only on the previous evening of the ride after 7:30 PM. We will try our utmost to avail the seats but cannot guarantee the same

Day 6, 28 Nov 2020

Kaziranga – Majuli Island drive + cruise (approx. 110 kms/3 hrs. + 1 hrs cruise)

After breakfast drive to Nimatighat to catch your ferry at 10.30 am for Majuli Island. On arrival and after lunch we visit Samuguri Satra famous for making Mask.

majuli

Later we visit Uttar Kamalabari Satra, oldest satra of Majuli Island.

Evening free and overnight in hotel.

Majuli is the largest fresh Water mid-river deltoid island in the world. It is situated in the upper reaches of the river Brahmaputra in Assam. This Island, with a population of 1.6 Lakhs, majority being tribal, is endowed with rich heritage and has been the abode of the neo-vaishnavite culture. The island is a bio-diversity hotspot and has rich ecology with rare species of flora and fauna.

Day 7, 29 Nov 2020

Majuli Island – Jorhat cruise + drive (1 ½ hrs cruise + 30 kms/45 mins drive)

majuli

Morning visit Mishing tribal village by walk and drive back to Kamalabari ghat for your return ferry. On arrival at Nimatighat straight drive to your Tea Retreat.  Overnight at resort.

Day 8, 30 Nov 2020

Jorhat – Kohima drive via Dimapur (approx. 195 kms/6-7 hrs.)

Morning after breakfast drive to Kohima via Dimapur visiting Kachari Dynasty Palace Ruins.

After lunch in Dimapur continue drive to Kohima and on arrival transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 9, 01 Dec 2020

Kohima

After breakfast visit Khonoma Village, (approx. 25 kms/45 mins), Khonoma village is the last village where Nagas fought their last battle against the Britishers in 1879.

Hornbill Festival Tour Nagaland

Afternoon attend Hornbill Festival at Kisama village along with inaugural event/function. Overnight in hotel.

Day 10, 02 Dec 2020

Kohima – Full day attend Hornbill Festival at Kisama. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 11, 03 Dec 2020

Kohima – Dimapur airport drop (approx. 70 kms/3 hrs.)

Morning after breakfast drive back to Dimapur airport for your flight to Delhi via Kolkata

By late evening, arrival at Delhi airport and remain in transit to catch your flight back home.

Day 12, 04 Dec 2020

Departure Delhi Airport

End of Tour

Escorted Tours India

All India Tour Packages

Escorted tours by Indus Trips are holiday packages in which travelers are escorted in a group to various destinations, versus a self-guided tour where the tourist is on their own.

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India is cast, colorful, compelling and quite often an unpredictable country where planning a perfect holiday might seem a daunting task but our carefully chosen tours of India take away all the hassles and deliver rich holiday experiences with comfort and convenience.

Our Escorted group tours are easy to customize and include expert guides that provide interesting background information on every place you visit and are usually better all-around bang-for-your-buck.

Our Escorted tours includes the flights, hotels, transportation, transfers to the airport/hotel, most meals and some sightseeing.

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