LEH KASMIR
10 DAYS // AUGUST 5-15, 2016

Friday August 5:  Arrive in Delhi, India                  

Upon arrival in Delhi, our representative will be holding a sign with your name  at the International Airport. You will be escorted to your hotel and assisted with check-in. In the evening, we will have dinner as a group.

Overnight at Hotel.
 
Saturday August 6:  Srinagar, Kashmir                                                                       
In the morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Srinagar. In Srinagar, the largest city of the Kashmir Valley, you will find yourself surrounded by a labyrinth of alleyways, mosques and intricately-carved wooden houses, including the stunning maze of waterways that comprise Dal Lake and its famous houseboats. Upon arrival, you will be assisted and transferred to your hotel. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the local markets.

Overnight at Hotel.

Sunday August 7:  Srinagar, Kashmir                                                                                
We will start the day with a Shikara ride (a small gondola type boat) to visit Dal Lake’s floating fruit and vegetable markets. 
 
In the afternoon, we will continue on to the Heritage Walk, starting at the Shah e Hamdan Sufi shrine in Old Srinagar. From here, we will explore the old city and walk through the narrow alleys, passing by local markets and historic buildings. We will end up at the city’s Grand Mosque, famed for 370 beautiful wooden pillars.
 
Overnight at Hotel.
 
Monday August 8:  Srinagar, Kashmir                                                                                 
We will spend our day photographing and exploring beautiful mosques. 
 
The Hazratbal mosque is located on the banks of the Dal Lake. The mosque complex is situated on the western shore of the Dal Lake opposite Nishat Bagh and commands a grand view of the lake and the mountains. 

Overnight at Hotel.

Tuesday August 9:  Srinagar, Kashmir                                                                                      
In the morning we will visit the Mughal gardens. The Garden of Bliss is and architectural masterpiece laid over seven terraces. These gardens are perfect examples of the Mugal-style with terraced lawns, evergreen cypress trees, flowering bushes and fruit trees.

In the afternoon we will drive to a nearby village where we will photograph the villagers planting rice and working the lush fields.

Overnight at Hotel.

Wednesday August 10:  Srinagar, Kashmir - Leh, Ladakh                                                
Today we will transfer to Leh. The flight is spectacular: crests of the Himalayas will be visible from the air.
 
Situated in the far north of the sub-continent at 11,500, Ladakh (often referred to as ‘little Tibet’) is geographically, anthropologically and culturally part of Tibet. Upon arrival in Leh, we will be met and transferred to our hotel and spend the remainder of the morning relaxing. Minimal exertion is recommended to enable acclimatization to the rarefied oxygen levels in this high altitude region. 

Late in the afternoon, we will visit the Ladakh local market. Followed by a drive to the Shanti Stupa to photograph the sunset. After dark, we will photograph a cultural dance performed by the locals.

Overnight at Hotel.

Thursday Aug 11:  Leh, Ladakh                                                                            
Today after early tea/coffee, we will travel to the Thiksey monastery situated on a picturesque hill-lock. The monastery houses a two-story stucco statue of Maitreya Buddha. Upon arrival, we witness the monks gathered in the assembly hall for the Morning for a Prayer Ceremony. We visit the other parts of the monastery with a guide, then enjoy a breakfast at the Thiksey monastery restaurant. 
 
Afterward, we will travel along the banks of River Indus to visit Hemis monastery. Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. Later, we will visit Shey monastery.

In the late afternoon we will visit Leh Tsemo, a ruined monastery and a fort. This site is ideal for stunning photographs of the town of Leh and the Indus Valley. There is a spot where millions of prayer flags are strung up on top of the hill which offers beautiful pictures during sunset.

Overnight at Hotel.

Friday August 12:  Leh, Ladakh      

Today after breakfast, we will be drive to Warila Pass, a beautiful pass with spectacular views of the Karakoram Ranges towards the North and Ladakh & Zanskar Ranges to the South. The region is the pasture land for herds of Yaks and a paradise for rich flora and fauna.
 
Later in the afternoon, we will drive to Chushot village to witness the Central Asian Polo Match. Today you will witness the traditional fanfare associated with the game of Polo. Each team consists of six players and the game is fast and furious in this rugged terrain. Each goal is accompanied by a burst of song and music from the surna and daman, traditional Ladakhi musical instruments.

Depending on the weather, we will try to shoot some star trails and long exposures with Leh Tsemo in the foreground at night.

Overnight at Hotel

SaturdayAugust 13:  Leh, Ladakh

We will spend the day at the Dak Tok festival, one of the most famous monastic festivals to commemorate birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. 

Overnight at Hotel.

SundayAugust 14:  Leh, Ladakh

Full day at the Festival.

Overnight at Hotel.
 
Monday August 15:  Leh, Ladakh - Delhi

Today, flight transfer from Leh Airport to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, we will escort you to your hotel where rooms are booked until your international departure.
 
Itinerary is subject to change.