The capital of the states of Punjab & Haryana, this showpiece of modern architecture is the start of this circuit. Chandigarh is well serviced by Air, Road and Rail links. It already has variety of accommodation.
Swarghat (88 Kms from Chandigarh)
This is the entry point of the route to Leh through Himachal Pradesh. Recently, the HP TDC complex.
Bilaspur (40 Kms from Swarghat)
The historic city of Bilaspur was submerged by the waters of the Gobind Sagar. Subsequently a new city took shape by the shores of this large man made lake. The city has water and aero sports already available but there is considerable scope for expansion. The importance of the place lies in the fact that it lies mid way between Chandigarh & Manali.
Mandi (60 Kms from Bilaspur)
Mandi is often called ’Kashi of the Himalaya’ and is famous for its finely crafted temples. It is also a district headquarters.
Rewalsar (22 Kms from Mandi)
Legend has it that this was the place from where Padmasambhava left to spread the word of the Buddha in the eight century. This has three monasteries built around a small lake. Now rebuilt, the oldest one belongs to the Nyingma-pa order. Adorned with tiny prayer flags, the lake has tiny clusters of floating reed, which are regarded to embody the spirit of Padmasambhava.
Kullu (70 Kms from Mandi)-Manali (45 Kms from Kullu)
Existing tourist destinations, Kullu and Manali have four recently built Buddhist monasteries. The main one is located in the city centre. Manali is the melting pot in which the Buddhists from Lahaul, Kinnaur, Spiti, Nepal and Tibet live side by side with the local Hindu population.
Rohtang (50 Kms from Manali)
The once dreaded Rohtang Pass is the only land link between the Kullu valley and Trans Himalaya Lahaul. It is the gateway to the route to Leh.
Koksar (15 kms from Rohtang)
Koksar is the junction of the roads that lead to Lahaul and Leh on one hand, and to Spiti & Kinnaur on the other.
Keylong (35 Kms from Koksar)
Keyong is the district headquarter of Lahaul & Spiti. It is perfectly sited for visiting for several Buddhist monasteries and the ones that can be conveniently visited from Keylong are - Guru Ghantal (8 Km), associated with both Padmasmbhava and the Great Teacher and Translator, ’Lotsaba’ Rinchensang-po: this is regarded to be the oldest one in Lahaul. Kardang (5 km), is one of the most revered places of the Drug-pa sect. Tayul (6km) and Gemur (18 km) are other important monasteries near Keylong. The monasteries ofShashur, Guru Ghantal and Triloknath are other famous ones to visit.
Shashur Gompa near Keylong
Jispa is a new tourism centre coming up with the monasteries of Yarji and Photang where his Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the Kal Chakra sermon a few days back to the Buddhists all over the world. The mountaineering Institute of Manali has a sub centre here for adventure tourism.
Sarchu (114 Kms from Keylong)
Sarchu is the last inhabited point in Himachal Pradesh on the Manali-Leh route- which is regarded as one of the highest highways in the world. Presently, it has tented and limited built accommodation.
Leh (246 Kms from Sarchu)
Leh lies in the head of a triangular plateau in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is renowned for its unique architecture, rich culture and its monasteries.