by Car
INDIVIDUAL TOUR GROUP TOUR

The Heart of Himalayas

  • 2745 km
  • 22 days / 21 nights
Chandigarh - Manali - Sarchu - Leh - Pangong - Leh - Nubra Valley - Leh - Dras - Srinagar - Patnitop - Amritsar - Chandigarh
Activity :
  • Adventure
  • Culture
  • Culinary
Terrain :
  • Mountain
  • Desert
  • Urban

A road-trip to Leh is among the most exciting journeys one can undertake. This almost-mystical journey is challenging and exhilarating, and comes with bragging rights few other road trips will give you. The 2500km-plus itinerary you are about to check out, takes you through some of the best parts of North India. Leh, of course, is a highlight, but so are Manali, Spiti, Srinagar and Amritsar.

Trip Type
Self Drive 365
Forget early wake-up calls, scheduled departures and the regular battery of sight- seeing destinations. That’s because when you’re out on a self-drive holiday, you decide where to go, what to see, and what to drive. And with Self-Drive 365, the road, the destination and that palpable connect between man and machine is all yours to explore!
Skill Level
Difficult
This trip is not for the faint-hearted. It's for those adept at tackling hilly roads, bad roads, no roads, the works!

Is this road trip for me?

  • If a long, exciting and challenging road trip is what you seek, this one is just for you.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a city tour of Leh, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Manali and Srinagar
  • Explore other parts of Ladakh such as Pangong, Kargil and Nubra
  • Have a blast in the snow, or go zorbing and paragliding at Solang Valley, Manali
Start of Tour Chandigarh
Day 1
Total Driving Distance 2745 km
End of Tour Chandigarh
Day 22
  • Day 1 Chandigarh
    • None (Meals on your own)
    • Arrive and pick up your rental car from the airport / railway station and drive to your hotel in Chandigarh.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Transfers

    Arrive and pick up your rental car from the airport / railway station and drive to your hotel in Chandigarh.

    A road-trip to Leh is among the most exciting journeys one can undertake. This almost-mystical journey is challenging and exhilarating, and comes with bragging rights few other road trips will give you. The 2500km-plus itinerary you are about to check out, takes you through some of the best parts of North India. Leh, of course, is a highlight, but so are Manali, Spiti, Srinagar and Amritsar.

    On arrival at the airport / railway station in Chandigarh, pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel.

  • Other Recommendation

    The day is free for you to explore this brilliantly planned city as per your liking.

  • Day 2 Chandigarh
    • Breakfast
    • Enjoy a city tour of Chandigarh.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Activities

    Enjoy a city tour of Chandigarh.

    Kick-off your self-drive holiday in the brilliantly planned city of Chandigarh. Start your day with a visit to the Rock Garden, brainchild and work of Nek Chand, and also the city's prime attraction. It's popular for its statues and sculptures, all of which are made from construction waste and household discard.

    Chandigarh is also home to Asia's largest rose garden, the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden. It hosts Chandigarh's annual Rose Festival, which is held from February-March.

    Designer Le Corbusier's Open Hand Monument is a spot that you should visit after sunset, as the hoisted hand symbol looks stunning with all its lights switched on.

  • Day 3 Chandigarh
    • Drive
    • Distance:320 km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Chandigarh to the resort in Manali.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Chandigarh to the resort in Manali.

    To drive to Manali, take NH205, which you can reach via Hoshiyarpur. Stay on NH205 till you reach Bilaspur, where you need to switch to NH154.

    Follow NH154 till Mandi. Thus far, the pit stops worth making en route include Shere-e-Punjab (before Bilaspur), Hotel Raja (in Jarol) and Visco Resort (in Mandi). Although regular fare, the food at these places is good, the restaurants are clean, and prices reasonable.

    At Mandi, switch to NH3, also called the Manali Highway. The road hugs the turquoise-blue river Beas all the way to Manali.

    Heading towards Manali, you will pass Dhakpo Shedrupling, a Buddhist Monastery nestled in the hills alongside NH3. It's a school and place of refuge for Tibetans. This perch also gives you the best view of Kullu's picturesque surroundings.

    Manali is another 33km from here.

  • Day 4 Manali
    • Breakfast
    • Explore the town of Manali.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Activities

    Explore the town of Manali.

    Explore local Manali (mostly Old Manali) on your first day at the hill station.

    Manali is believed to be where Sage Manu stepped onto land from his arc to restore life after a great deluge submerged the world. The Manu Temple located in Old Manali is the sole temple in the world dedicated to him. Just a walk away from the Manu Temple is the other prominent shrine, the 500-plus-years-old Hadimba Temple. This temple is named after Hadimba, the demon wife of Bhima, the Pandava.

    If a hang-out spot is what you're looking for, head straight to the Manali Club House. It has a restaurant, gaming zones and zip-lining across the Manaslu river. Most of Manali's happening restaurants are also located close by: Johnson's Cafe, the Lazy Dog Lounge and Il Forno. The latter is a rustic heritage home known for its authentic Italian food.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Day 5 Manali
    • Breakfast
    • Enjoy an excursion to Solang Valley.
    • Overnight in Manali.

  • Activities

    Enjoy an excursion to Solang Valley.

    Reserve your second day in Manali for a trip to Solang Valley. Our chauffeur will pick you up from your hotel in the morning. Located north of Manali, Solang Valley is a famous skiing spot. In the summer, when the snow melts, zorbing and paragliding are the main adventure activities here.
    Note: All adventure sport activities are at your own cost.

  • Day 6 Manali
    • Drive
    • Distance:230 km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Manali to the camp in Sarchu.
    • Overnight in Sarchu.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Manali to the camp in Sarchu.

    It's the first day of your thrilling drive to Leh! Keep your permissions for Rohtang Pass and medication for High Altitude Sickness ready.

    Stop by the picturesque Deepak Tal on your way to admire the valley view.

  • Day 7 Sarchu
    • Drive
    • Distance:240 km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the camp in Sarchu to the hotel in Leh.
    • Overnight in Leh.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the camp in Sarchu to the hotel in Leh.

    Your first challenge for the day is clearing the Gata Loops - a set of 21 back-to-back hairpin bends that climb 2000 ft. This stretch is an absolute treat for those who like to drive.

    Your next attraction before descending into Leh is Tanglang La (17,480 feet above sea level), one of the highest motorable mountain passes on the planet.

    Famished already? You could drop by the Trishul Bakery at Karu. It is located just off the highway, inside the local military base. Try their plum cake and coconut biscuits with tea; just the sugar rush you need after the arduous drive.

  • Day 8 Leh
    • Breakfast
    • Overnight in Leh.

  • Other Recommendation

    When in Leh, acclimatisation should be your top priority. Give the body at least a day to adapt to the thinner air and cold climate. Refrain from as much physical strain as possible.

  • Day 9 Leh
    • Breakfast
    • Enjoy a city tour of Leh.
    • Overnight in Leh.

  • Activities

    Enjoy a city tour of Leh.

    Keep this as an easy day for you to explore Leh locally. Visit the Military Hall of Fame, the Shanti Stupa, and roam the local market.

    When you visit the market, make sure you stop by Hot Millions for piping hot samosas, jalebis and thick lassi, Chopsticks for Tibetan food and thukpa/noodle soups and Lala's Cafe for chocolate cake and ginger tea.

    Note: Park your car at your hotel in Leh. A local taxi or hired motorcycle will be provided as self-drive cars are not allowed by the taxi-union in Leh.

  • Day 10 Leh
    • Drive
    • Distance:230 km
    • Breakfast
    • Be driven from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Pangong.
    • Overnight in Pangong.

  • Transfers

    Be driven from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Pangong.

    Pangong Lake is among the most visited destinations in Ladakh. The lake has gained popularity in recent times, especially thanks to movies like 3 Idiots and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

    Today, after breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel in a chauffeur-driven car for a trip to Pangong. Enjoy the view of the lake in the evening, and stay the night at Pangong.

    Note: Leave your car at your hotel in Leh. A local taxi or hired motorcycle will be provided as self-drive cars are not allowed by the taxi-union in Leh.

  • Day 11 Pangong
    • Drive
    • Distance:230 km
    • Breakfast
    • Transfer from the camp in Pangong to the hotel in Leh, visiting Hemis Monastery and Stok Palace on the way.
    • Overnight in Leh.

  • Activities

    Transfer from the camp in Pangong to the hotel in Leh, visiting Hemis Monastery and Stok Palace on the way.

    Today, make your way back from Pangong to Leh. The road from Pangong to Leh passes by some of Leh's major monasteries and palaces. Among these, a visit to the Hemis Monastery and the Stok Palace are definitely worth your while.

    The Hemis Monastery, a 400-year-old monastery, is the largest in Leh. It has a large Buddhist museum with precious artefacts, paintings and statues, some from as early as the 1st century BC.

    The Stok Palace, on the other hand, is the current summer home of the Ladakhi royalty. Part of the Palace has been converted into a boutique hotel. The hotel is also the start-point for many major treks in Leh.

    Note: Leave your car at your hotel in Leh. A local taxi or hired motorcycle will be provided as self-drive cars are not allowed by the taxi-union in Leh.

  • Day 12 Leh
    • Drive
    • Distance:172 km
    • Breakfast
    • Transfer from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Nubra Valley.
    • En route, stop at Khardung La, Samstanling Monastery and Diskit, followed by riding a Bactrian camel.
    • Overnight in Nubra Valley.

  • Transfers

    Transfer from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Nubra Valley.

    Today, hop into your chauffeur-driven car for a trip to the serene Nubra Valley.

  • Activities

    En route, stop at Khardung La, Samstanling Monastery and Diskit, followed by riding a Bactrian camel.

    Your first stop is Khardung La, one of the world's highest motorable passes. Driving through the icy, windy pass is an event in itself; get ready for a lot of jealousy 'Likes' on your selfie with the "World's highest motorable road" sign-post. If you feel like grabbing a bite, the Army post at Khardung La maintains a cafe that doles out piping-hot snacks and tea at phenomenally affordable prices.

    From Khardung La, head to the Samstanling Monastery in Sumur. It's a 140-year-old monastery popular for its Buddhist murals.

    Next, stop at Diskit, known for the biggest monastery in Nubra. The highlight of the Diskit Monastery is a 22-metre-tall Maitreya Buddha statue that overlooks the valley.

    Head further to Hundur, where you can ride the rare double-humped Bactrian camel (found only in Nubra and Kazakhstan).

    Ahead of Hundur lies Turtuk, the furthest accessible point in Nubra. The drive to Turtuk takes you through what is the most scenic stretch of road in Ladakh, running alongside the turquoise blue waters of the Shyok river.

    Note: Leave your car at your hotel in Leh. A local taxi or hired motorcycle will be provided as self-drive cars are not allowed by the taxi-union in Leh.

  • Day 13 Nubra valley
    • Drive
    • Distance:172 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Transfer from the camp in Nubra Valley to the hotel in Leh.
    • Overnight in Leh.

  • Transfers

    Transfer from the camp in Nubra Valley to the hotel in Leh.

    Return to Leh and settle in for the day.

    Note: Return to Leh in the local taxi or hired motorcycle provided to you on day 12.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore Leh.

  • Day 14 Leh
    • Drive
    • Distance:290 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Dras.
    • Overnight in Dras.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Leh to the camp in Dras.

    After a hearty breakfast, pick up your car from the hotel and drive up the brilliant NH1 towards Dras.

  • Other Recommendation

    A little outside Leh, you will come across the famous Patthar Sahib Gurudwara. This Sikh shrine commemorates Guru Nanak's visit to Leh in the early 16th century.

    About 30km down Patthar Sahib is a little town called Likir, popular for the Likir Monastery. This 11th century shrine is one of the oldest and most well-maintained monasteries in Ladakh. The seated Buddha statue in the temple is 75 feet tall.

    Continue on the NH1, and you will reach Mulbekh Gompa, known for its 30-foot rock sculpture of the Maitreya Buddha. The sculpture dates back to the 8-9th century.

    Your last halt before Dras is at the Kargil War Memorial. This museum commemorates the recapture of Tiger Hill from the Pakistani Army in July 1999. Mind your step, because you may be under enemy surveillance here.

  • Day 15 Dras
    • Drive
    • Distance:141 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the camp in Dras to the hotel in Srinagar, halting at Sonmarg on the way.
    • Overnight in Srinagar.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the camp in Dras to the hotel in Srinagar, halting at Sonmarg on the way.

    En route, you can some spare time to explore Sonmarg, a hill-station that comes on the way to Srinagar. It is popular for horse-riding, and the Thajiwas Glacier, a major tourist attraction. Trekkers can also head to Vishansar Lake,Krishansar Lake,Gangabal LakeorGadsar Lake from here.

  • Day 16 Srinagar
    • Breakfast
    • Enjoy a shikara ride in the evening.
    • Overnight in Srinagar.

  • Other Recommendation

    It's true that if there were paradise on earth, it would be Srinagar; such is the beauty of the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir. Most major attractions of the city are located along the rim of the Dal Lake, itself located at the heart of Srinagar. Start your day at the Shalimar Garden, the biggest, most popular garden in the city. It was built by Mughal ruler Jehangir for his wife Noor Jahaan. Head next to the Nishat Garden, which is located just a stone's throw away from the Shalimar Garden.

    Other notable gardens in the vicinity include the Nehru Botanical Garden, the Tulip Garden (open only during April, when tulips blossom) and the Chashma Shahi Garden, the smallest Mughal garden in Srinagar.

    If you are religiously-inclined, you should head next to the Shankaracharya Temple. It is believed to be the abode of the South Indian Saint Adi Shankaracharya when he travelled to Srinagar in the 3rd-4th century.

    You could also visit the Hazratbal Dargah Sharif. Counted among the most respected Islamic monuments in India, it is believed to house the sacred hair of Prophet Muhammad.

  • Activities

    Enjoy a shikara ride in the evening.

    Reserve the evening for a shikara ride in the serene Dal Lake.

  • Day 17 Srinagar
    • Drive
    • Distance:185 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Srinagar to the resort in Patnitop.
    • Overnight in Patnitop.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Srinagar to the resort in Patnitop.

    Patnitop is a picturesque hill-station in the Kashmir valley. To reach Patnitop, exit Srinagar via NH44, and stay on the highway. At Barthal, NH44 dives to the left, towards Patnitop.

  • Day 18 Patnitop
    • Breakfast
    • Overnight in Patnitop.

  • Other Recommendation

    Patnitop is a popular destination for paragliding; in winters, skiing is the major attraction here. Hikers will also have it good, as the trek to Nathtop (2711 metres above sea level) also starts from here. As such, there's ample to keep you occupied if you are the adventurous types.

    Even if you aren't, the serene, pine forest-laced surroundings make Patnitop the perfect place to sit back and take a day off from driving.

  • Day 19 Patnitop
    • Drive
    • Distance:285 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the resort in Patnitop to the hotel in Amritsar.
    • Overnight in Amritsar.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the resort in Patnitop to the hotel in Amritsar.

    Leave early for Amritsar in order to reach by late afternoon.

  • Other Recommendation

    In the evening, you may head to the Wagah Border to watch the flag ceremony. Every day, India and Pakistan briefly open their borders as a gesture of brotherhood and cooperation. The highlight of the ceremony is the fervent march parade performed by soldiers from both countries. It's a spectacle that you mustn't miss if you happen to visit Amritsar!

  • Day 20 Amritsar
    • Breakfast
    • Overnight in Amritsar.

  • Other Recommendation

    Begin your day by paying a visit to the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), the most revered Sikh shrine in the world. A visit to the Golden Temple is absolutely incomplete without eating at the Gurudwara's langar. Despite being simple, it is undoubtedly the most delicious meal you will have had in a while.

    The infamous Jaliyaanwaala Bagh should be your next stop for the day. It is located outside the Golden Temple's compound. This is where General Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on unarmed protesters gathered in the garden compound on 13th April, 1919. Lots of protesters died due to bullet injuries; the bullet marks on the wall can still be seen here.

    Before you get out of the city, make sure to make a halt at Giani Lassi. This hole-in-the-wall shop has been dishing thick, frothy, creamy lassies in XL-sized tumblers for several years now. Just one of these bad boys should keep you full till noon, if not longer.

    Other notable restaurants worth your while include Kesar Dhaba (for paranthas and phirnis) and Bharavan da Dhaba (for kulchas and dal makhani).

    Next, head a couple of kilometres out of the Golden Temple compound to the Durgiana Temple. Also called Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, the architecture of the Durgiana Temple mirrors that of the Golden Temple. Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu are worshipped here.

  • Day 21 Amritsar
    • Drive
    • Distance:250 Km
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Amritsar to the hotel in Chandigarh.
    • Overnight in Chandigarh.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Amritsar to the hotel in Chandigarh.

    For the home-run, you will head to Chandigarh from Amritsar on the Grand Trunk (GT) Road, one of the oldest and longest major roads in Asia.

  • Other Recommendation

    Your sole attraction for the day is Gobindgarh Fort. You'll see it en route, as you exit Amritsar.

    The Fort is named after Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and last leader of the Sikhs. It was constructed in the 18th century to protect Amritsar and the Golden Temple from looters who arrived via the GT Road. It was recently renovated, converted into a museum and made open to the public.

    After reaching Chandigarh, check-in to your hotel.

  • Day 22 Chandigarh
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel to the airport / railway station in Chandigarh.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel to the airport / railway station in Chandigarh.

    Enjoy breakfast and check out of the hotel. Drive to the airport / railway station in Chandigarh.
    Once you reach the airport / railway station, handover the vehicle and take home experiences of a lifetime!

    Please share your feedback on feedback@selfdrive365.com.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation as per hotels mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Car as per your package selected.
  • Travel insurance upto age of 70.


Exclusions

  • Any transport to / from Chandigarh. Your tour price starts ex Chandigarh.
  • Car Insurance
  • Meals, tips, Laundry, telephone, optional excursions and other items of a personal nature.
  • Cost of Petrol / diesel for the vehicle provided.
  • Client has to pay in case of damage to the vehicle by accident.
  • Spare parts / engine oil of any kind.
  • Any items / services not specifically mentioned under inclusions.
  • Goods and Services Tax of 5%.
Categories Full-Size Sedan - Honda City or similar MPV - Innova Crysta or similar SUV - Toyota Fortuner or similar
ECONOMY 1,00,260 1,11,260 1,32,260
STANDARD 1,06,260 1,17,260 1,38,260
  • Chandigarh 3 Nights

    Hotel View
    Hotel 6 Zirakpur
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Manali 3 Nights

    Hotel View
    Sarthak Resorts
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Sarchu 1 Night

    Deluxe Camp
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Leh 4 Nights

    Hotel View
    Hotel Kidar
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Pangong 1 Night

    Hotel View
    Deluxe Camp
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Nubra Valley 1 Night

    Camp View
    Deluxe Camp
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Dras 1 Night

    Deluxe Camp
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Srinagar 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Hotel Aksa
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Patnitop 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Vardaan Resort
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Amritsar 2 Nights

    Room
    The Grand Galaxy
    Economy Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
    • FULL-SIZE SEDAN

    Honda City or Similar.
    Starting from
    4 Pax including driver
    Included in trip
    • 4 Doors
    • AC
    • Manual
    • Diesel
things-to-carry

Appropriate equipment is a component of a successful journey! Travel light, try to stay under 45 lbs (20 kg).

  • Driving licence
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Smartphone for maps
  • Phone charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Swiss knife
  • Water
  • Music
  • Tissue box
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Mints
  • Spare plastic bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Small toolkit
  • Warm clothes
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