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  Detail Itinerary

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TRANS HIMALAYAN ON BICYCLE

Review:

This is a real adventure, cycling one of the highest motor able roads with high mountain passes. After having the glimpses of various cultures through the plains, we spend a day in lush green Manali  to look at the Hindu mountain culture, then move gradually towards barren / rugged valleys up to Ladakh dominated by Buddhist with anceint amazing monasteries. 

Ref:

THB.

Duration:

18 Days

Season:

Jul - Sep

Itinerary:

Delhi - Manali - Keylong - Gespa - 06 Days Cycling From Gespa To Tsokar - Tsomoriri - Chemre - Leh - Delhi
 

DAY 01.  ARRIVE  DELHI 
Morning arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel. Afternoon combined guided tour of Old and New Delhi includes Jammia Masjid Mosque, Cycle rickshaw ride through Chandni chowk, Red Fort, drive through India Gate and Parliament house, Qutab Minar and Humayuns Tomb.

DAY 02.   DELHI - MANALI
Morning fly to Kulu and  a short drive of about 40 k. to Manali via Kulu valley, driving through the Beas river gorge which opens out in to a fertile valley. This important fruit growing valley district produces apples, apricots, cherries, pears, peaches and plums. Craft work here includes shawls, Kulu caps, jewelry and home spun tweed garments. Manali itself is in a lovely position, surrounded by dense forests and mountains. Two nights hotel.  

DAY 03.   IN MANALI 
Full day to explore Manali Bazaar (Market) is dazzling with colorful shops selling various Indian and Tibetan handicrafts, Hadimba Devi temple built in 1553, is dedicated to goddess Hadimba and features intricate wooden carvings of dancers and other Hindu characters, Buddhist monastery known as Gadhan Thekchokling built by Tibetan refuges in the late 1960s, it has brightly colored frescoes with a statue of Skyamuni in the center, and Vaishist hot spring baths are about 4 Km. Away from The Mall, surrounded by plenty of old stone houses and some ancient temples. The village was found by the Sage Vaishist Muni and there are several old temples in the village dedicated to the Sage and Lord Rama.

DAY 04.   MANALI - KEYLONG - GESPA Drive 141 Km. 8 Hrs. 
Today begin the adventurous part of the journey, which runs through the great Himalayan divide. Leaving behind the peaceful meadows and pine - clad hills of Lahaul and Manali, the road winds the way up and over the first barrier on our route, the Rohthang pass (4820 m. / 13200 ft.), It is still only a foretaste of things to come! The only other traffic we may encounter along the way is caravans of shepherds with their pat animals en route to or from the highlands of Ladakh and Zanskar. After traversing this high pass, we will descend in to Keylong, District headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti valleys, situated on   the banks of Bhaga river, from here we continue our drive to Gespa, arrive and camp for overnight. 

DAY 05 to 10.   GESPA - TSO KAR  CYCLE   Cycle 258 Km. 
From Gespa  commence cycling  through winding mountain highway over Baralacha - la and Lachung - la passes up to Debring situated at the base of Taglang - la pass, here we meet our  jeeps and take diversion, after a short drive we arrive to Tso kar lake. 

Note: There is  an extra day as security, if the expedition runs on schedule said day could be used as rest day. 

Brief description of the journey from Gespa to Tsokar

A short strech of road brings us to Darcha village where we connect with Manali - Leh road ( This is the starting point of Manali - Zanskar trek). Now we begin to climb the windswept Baralacha pass 4982 mts (16348 ft) a precipitous ascent up the mountainside. From the top a marvelous panorama of Himalayan peaks is spellbinding. We see the spectacular snow bound ranges of Barashigri, Chandra Bhaga and the Mulkila, their summits towering well above 5943 mts. (9500 ft).

The top of the pass is the focal point of the great Himalayan Divide, and  once completed, we begin to thread our way slowly down a precariously narrow track to Serchu. From here road climbs a dizzy series of 21 hair pin bends known as Gata loops to reach the rarified air of the Lachung -la 6498 mts (16400 ft). The curiously colored landscape is subtly tinted with grey, orcheres and crimsons - a totally bleak and barren place, almost unreal and dream like, yet unbelievably beautiful. Once more we decent to a flat plain. In fact, we have now arrived on the highest plateau in the World, so called moore plains at an altitude of 4511 mts.(14800 ft), surrounded by gigantic mountain peaks. Now we leave the Manali - Leh highway behind and take right turn (near Debring) through a small valley (fear weather road)  which opens up at Tsokar.  

DAY 11.   IN TSOKAR 
Full day to explore the Tso kar (Salt water lake), Thogjay Gompa and Wildlife. There are plenty of Kiangs (wild ass) and marmots in this area. 

DAY 12.   TSO KAR - TSO MORIRI                     Drive 80 Km.  
 
After breakfast ascend a small pass called Polo Kongkila (5030 Mt.) to Somdo in the Puga valley - near an old site of Sulphur mines, then over a rolar coaster trek to the head of the Tso morari over a small pass of Namshangla and on to Korzok. Arrive and camp for two nights.

DAY 13.   IN TSO MORIRI
Full day to explore Karzok monastery and nature walks along the lake. If lucky one could see some rare species of birds. (Black neck crane also is some time seen).

Korzok is situated at 4572 Mt. with its dozen or so houses and a Gompa on a hill. This is only permanent settlement is Rupshu; otherwise region is inhabited only by Nomadic Chang-Pa herds people. The Rupshu Chang-Pa live in tents all the year round, moving in accordance with an old established annual routine between the pastures. The wild life population mostly to be spotted is the Kiang, the wild ass of Ladakh and Tibet plateau. The lakes are breeding - grounds for numerous species of birds. Chief among them are bar-headed goose, found in great numbers, the great crested grebe, the brahmini duck and brown-headed gull.   

DAY 14.   TSO MORIRI - CHEMRE            Drive 200 Km
Morning drive back to Puga village and descend down to Mahi (from here the road is black top) bridge (over river Indus), continue the journey through right bank of Indus via Chumathang sulphur hot springs to Upshi, here join again the Manali - Leh highway. A short drive from Upshi to Karu and leave again the highway, drive a few kilometers to Chemri north of Karu for overnight camp. Late afternoon explore the Monastery.  

DAY 15.   CHEMRI - LEH
After breakfast drive back to Karu, cross over to left bank of rive Indus and visit Hemis Gompa. Return to Karu continue the drive to Leh, en route visit Thiksey monastery and Shey Palace. Arrive Leh and check - in at hotel for two nights stay.

Hemis monastery the largest and richest in Ladakh, was founded in 1602 by Pagtsangrepa a monk of the Dugpa Kagyupa order. Hemis monastery posses an enormous thanka considered to be largest in the World and exhibited once every 12 years, decorated in appliqu鬠embroidery, and pearls, representing Guru Padma Sambava in his eighth manifestations.

Thiksey monastery, this fantastic architectural complex takes up a whole hillside on the right bank of the Indus River. Tsongkhapa had prophesied that a monastery would be built here and Thiksey was founded by the nephew of one of his disciples.

Shey consists of two temples within the old palaces enclosure. The lower temple posses an extremely beautiful paintings. At the back, a Mandala of Cakrasavanra is on the left and a Mandala of Vajradhara is on the right, with a great master toktsangrepa between them. The upper temple houses large statue of Buddha, which was probably erected by Daldan Namgyl in the 17th century

DAY 16.   IN LEH
Full day to explore monasteries & Bazaar. Leh is a small picturesque town of about 15,000 people. Situated at 3505 Mt. (11500 ft), the summer days are dry and sunny but nights can be cold. A double lines of "Manies", stone shelters for departed spirits, protects the towns approaches. 

DAY 17.   LEH - DELHI 
Morning transfer to Leh airport and catch Delhi bound flight, arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for overnight stay. Rest of the day at leisure.

DAY 18.   DEPARTURE                                                                                                                         Morning transfer to airport for homeward journey

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