A TOUR FOR THE ALPINE GARDEN SOCIETY
Rubbing shoulders with the fabled flower-rich valleys of Kashmir and mysterious arid lands of Ladakh, the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh contains a diverse selection of flora within a leech-free slice of the high Himalaya. It is replete with its own spectacular peaks topping 6000 metres including 6220 metre Indrasan that rears up close to the bustling hill station of Manali. Here there are slopes hosting the elegant emerald spathes of Arisaema jacquemontii and pink Iris milesii, rocks covered with the lovely Roscoea alpina, and higher passes thronging with alpines now the snows have finally receded.
This tour will follow a circuit north via the Rohtang Pass where we’ll find the ravishing purple Primula macrophylla var moorcroftiana, Iris kemaonensis whose reddish-purple falls are dotted blue, and tall green-flowered Fritillaria roylei. Above Marhi are ledges festooned with sweet-scented Primula reidii, dwarf pink Primula reptans, the choice and delicate Paraquilegia anemonoides, pure blue Meconopsis aculeata and the amazing woolly ‘balls’ of Saussurea gossypiphora, surely one of the ultimate high alpines. Slightly lower down are cerise Rhododendron lepidotum and the white bells of Cassiope fastigiata, the deep purple pea Thermopsis barbata, and the handsome yellow-flowered Morina coulteriana and pale pink aging to deep pink Morina longifolia. From here we move onto the higher, drier valleys bordering Ladakh towards the breathless 5100m Baralacha La, past stands of Aquilegia fragrans and rocky stream-sides with Geranium regelii and the lovely woolly-leaved pink Waldheimia tomentosa. We’ll also spend time in the Baspa Valley and some superb high passes for Lilium oxypetalum, gorgeous blue-flowered Geranium wallichianum, Cortusa brotheri and tall golden-yellow Pedicularis bicornuta. Here is also the magenta Pedicularis siphonantha another of a range of beautiful louseworts. An extension takes a short trek onto the Nalgan Pass in search of the stunning Corydalis meifolia var. violacea, Saussurea simpsoniana, Primula stuartii and many other choice high alpines.
Himalayan Flowers. Mountain Landscapes, Birds, and a little Culture.
Usually quite easy with three or four miles a day the norm, a little more on some days such as one of the days on the Rohtang Pass, though always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. There are some steep slopes and the ground varies from nice turf to rocky. Having said this many of the plants are roadside. On the Twin Passes Trek much more demanding with three days each with walks of between 800 and 1000 metres (reaching altitudes of 4600m or so) with descents of the same magnitude. Paths will be steep in places, with some rocks, scree and possibly snow patches.
Included in the Price
All flights. Accommodation, transport, meals and tips in India. Services of your leaders. Please note; items of a personal nature including travel insurance, drinks and Indian Visas are not include
Minimum group size is 4 and the maximum is 15.
After a night at the modern Park Hotel in Delhi we’ve three nights near Manali where we’ll stay in the large suite-sized chalets of the Raison Neerlaya. The rooms have very good facilities and the setting by the river is lovely amid large landscaped grounds with good birdwatching. Our base for exploring the Rohtang Pass will be the Tashi Deleg Hotel at Keylong where we’ve three nights. The rooms are large, light and comfortable. Next are two nights at the pleasant Sarai Resort a few kilometres outside Kaza and this is followed by two nights at the Sangla Resort, a colonial style guesthouse set amid apple orchards. And then back to Delhi for a night at the Park Hotel. Those on the extension have three nights fully-serviced camping on the trek before a night in Sangla and thence to Delhi for the final night in the Park Hotel. All rooms on the main tour have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are from London Heathrow to Delhi. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Generally warm and sunny, but above 4000m it cools down quickly and can be cold. We can expect to have rainfall for a time on a number of days.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form (or contact us and we will send one to you) from the Booking Information section. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date Health News. Flower and bird checklists are available.