5 Reasons to Avoid Manali – Leh Highway in October

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Everyone loves going via Manali – Leh Highway and why not, it offers you the most mesmerizing views, least time to reach Leh by road and extreme adventure. But, once the season gets over that is by late September and October one should definitely think at least once before venturing the journey on Manali – Leh Highway as it could be risky and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere for couple of days. Below I enlist my thoughts or risks which you must consider before starting any journey on Manali – Leh Highway in late September or October:

The Majestic Views on Manali – Leh Highway near Sarchu
The Majestic Views on Manali - Leh Highway near Sarchu
  • 1. Being Stranded & Likely Snowfall: Firstly, by late September winter season starts to set in Trans Himalayas and all high passes in Himalayas starts receiving snowfall at frequent intervals. The chances of road closure due to the same starts increasing. Although the BRO tries to maintain the Manali – Leh road open by end of October but you can surely get stuck or delayed for a day or two or may be more due snowfall. So, it depends upon weather altogether and if lucky you may get through without any single blockage. The point is there is risk of 2-3 days delay which must be kept in mind before planning any journey to Manali – Leh Highway in late September or early October.

  • 2. Lack of Accommodation or Stay options: Secondly, the tented accommodation options or food joints and dhabhas starts to pack up from late September onward at places like Sarchu, Pang, Bhartapur City etc. This leaves you with very limited choice on bargaining as well as options of stay. These places may require you to stop in case there is snow on some adjoining mountain passes or other reasons of road closure. The point is risk of running out of the limited accommodation options in case you get stuck at some unplanned place. So, better carry your own tent and camping kit so that you are not stranded in the middle of nowhere without a place to stay.

  • 3. Buses on Manali – Leh Highway: Thirdly, the HPTDC Manali – Leh Luxury Bus Service also stops plying after second week of September. And if you are looking for public transport then shared taxis comes the other option which does the cannon ball run from Manali to Leh in one day. At any day I will avoid going in a shared taxi which does cannon ball run of about 16-18 Hrs from Manali to Leh. HRTC does run the buses till the roads are open as suggested by Vistet here but again although they are definite options of travel but not as comfortable as HPTDC buses which are for tourists and does sightseeing on the way too.

  • 4. Motor Rallies: Fourthly, October (generally first week) is when Raid De Himalaya rally is carried out at Manali – Leh Highway due to which you may find various road sections to be closed for their smooth run. Moreover, finding an accommodation among the limited open options also becomes a huge challenge as most of the hotels/stay options are pre-booked for participants. This further means trouble and delays.

  • 5. Cold Conditions: Finally, you will need to bear some really cold conditions and at night almost sub-zero temperatures as almost 250+ KMs (beyond Darcha) section of Manali – Leh Highway runs above 4000 Mtrs in altitude. In day time the it could be warmer than expected though but strong cold winds will always leave you numb especially when biking. So, go prepared with proper gears..

Having said that in late September and being close to end of season, you will find least crowd, best roads and best bargains on taxis/hotels 🙂 (of course except Raid De Himalayas time)

Conclusion

In Late September or first week of October, if you do have couple of days of buffer time and you are OK with some definite cold conditions especially at nights then only consider going via Manali – Leh Highway. It is STRONGLY suggested NOT TO attempt any travel on Manali – Leh Highway after second week of October or be ready to either get stuck for much longer time or sell/leave your vehicle then and there itself and bear a huge loss.

I would like to update: The Safe Date thing as stated by Vistet here –:

“Weather changes both gradually and suddenly and September can mean real problems as well . In 2009 the road was out two or three times before mid -September, and mid-September 2008 meant among other things eight people killed in an avalanche on the road. More examples could be mentioned. The practical approach : keep track of updates on the road conditions, always plan at least a buffer day before mid-September , and two later in the season”

I hope you will take into consideration the above five points rather risks before planning your journey on Manali – Leh Highway in late September or early October. Looking forward for your inputs as well and especially from the ones who have travelled in late September or October to get get an account of their experience.

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380 Comments

  1. Hi Deeraj,
    I have read your replies and now it my turn to ask your advice and a favorable reply. We are 2 persons planning to do a road trip from Srinagar to Leh , Numbr, Pangong and back via Manali. We plan to leave Srinagar on 29th September and would like a itenary when in ladakh and back to Manali. We are driving by our Maruti 800. Can u pls let us know how many days are good enough for us in have a feel of ladakh and drive safe to Manali. Your valuable advice and kind help would be appreciated.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Thank Dheeraj for you reply. But do you think it is safe to travel during that time in a maruti 800, heard so many no, but would like to have your advice please.

      • It is still fine to make the trip during this time now a days, just it will be a bit cold. Water crossings will be dried so no worries on low GC car to cross them. Every year 1000s of people do Ladakh trip in hatches and sedans, so as long as you are cautious and careful in driving, it should be OK in general.

        Possible = Yes, Difficult = a bit, at quite a few place. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  2. Vijay Varman on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Firstly I should your appreciate your patience in answering so many questions and the knowledge you have on Leh Ladakh.

    Coming to my question… I own a Tata Sierra and I want to do Leh at least once in my car. I have some questions as I was going through the blogs and trying to understand what it takes to make this trip.

    I would like to know if I can take my car which a 96 make and also the best route from Bangalore to Leh.
    I would like to know what are the formalities and till where can I go without a permit.

    I have few more doubts but the above mentioned are the most concerned for me now.

    Looking forward for your reply..

    Thanks,
    Vijay Varman

    • Hello Vijay,

      Thank you so much 🙂

      Well, if you are confident of the condition of the car, you may certainly take the car. You may face challenges at places as many cities may have restrictions of driving a 15 yr Old vehicle but I am not 100% sure. Once, you hit the hills, there is unlikely chances some one will bother about it. Regarding the route, I hope you can workout Delhi – Bangalore, for rest, You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      If you follow above route, you can go without permit for your car on the whole route. Permit is required if you travel from Manali side to Rohtang Pass not from other side.

  3. Hi,

    I am planning with family to go leh via manali in mid of Novemeber, 21st Nov’16. kindly update the manali leh highway status and is it doable as return tickets from leh to mumbai is already booked.

        • Yes, you can fly from Delhi to Leh. Please keep in mind it will be very cold and harsh out there in Leh. If you guys are not used to such cold, better not to travel on a family trip to Ladakh in winters.

    • Manali – Leh is open but snowfall has started now. Tourists have been cautioned by the authorities for avoiding traveling on Manali – Leh road as it can be quite dangerous now.

  4. Hi Dheeraj, we are planning a short rented bike ride from Manali to Rohtang pass and return, on 11-Oct’16.

    1. Please suggest if it is doable.
    2. Please suggest any specific precautions to be taken (we are 1st timers for both severe cold conditions & adventure bike rides)

    • Yes Rohit, it is doable. You need to take online permit to reach Rohtang Pass either online or from sDM office in Manali. It wont be that cold in October, and road up to Rohtang Pass from Manali side is mostly fine.

        • Hello Dheeraj,

          In extension to our plan from Manali – Rohtang pass….is it ok if we continue till Keylong, night stay there and start back to manali the next day morning?

          This plan was suggested by the local guys @ Manali.

          (Just to remind you, we are 1st timers for such a biking trip)

          Your inputs would really help us out. Thanks a lot in advance 🙂

        • Rohit, go over up to Sissu and stay overnight at Sissu. Keylong will be too long a ride for the first time. Even for sissu only do in case you feel very confident of your ride. The Northern part of Rohtang Pass road towards Gramphu – Sissu – Keylong is bad in shape mostly.

        • Hi Dheeraj

          We have completed our trip and wanted to give a feedback on the same, if it could help in any way:

          1. There were no passes issued till Rohtang for bikes. We had to take a pass till Keylong, and the plan was to stay overnight and come back the next day (seems same day return is not permitted).

          2. The roads till Rohtang were manageable and we didnt struggle much. But the roads beyond were in extremely bad shape and the weather was changing very drastically. So most of the people who started on the Manali-Leh highway had turned back. Hence, though we went some 15-20 kms ahead, we had to turn back. And they allowed us for the same day return because the authorities themselves were encouraging to avoid the manali-Leh highway.

          3. Snowfall had just started the day we went. Not sure if that continued.

          4. Since it was a 1st time biking experience for us in such extreme conditions we found it slightly difficult to withstand, but it was a very beautiful experience and now we have the confidence to plan a Leh-Ladhak trip next year.

          Lastly, your inputs were very helpful which definitely made our journey easier and memorable.

          Appreciate your efforts 🙂

  5. Hi Dheeraj

    Awesome Post Man. It certainly made planning so much easier for me.

    We are a group of 5 friends planning a road trip on rented bikes from 11 Oct – 16 Oct
    You have mentioned that Manali – Leh Highway will be a dangerous affair.

    Do you suggest we should do Leh – Manali road trip, or
    would it be better to do Leh – Srinagar Road trip.

    Also, is there an option to leave rented bikes at the destination (i.e. Manali or Srinagar),
    if you have any such place in mind, please share the contact info.

    Awaiting for your reply.

    • Himanshu, better go only from Srinagar side and come back only from Srinagar side in case the situation in the valley is calmed down and safe for travellers. I will not suggest traveling over Manali – Leh Highway that late in the season.

  6. hello to all ..
    I need to be in Manali-Leh route in beginning of Oct 2016 for some typical work and need to have very cold temperature in the early morning for that. We have planned to stay in keylong or Jispa. if I refer accuweather it says, Jispa is much colder than Keylong. But weather.com and the other sites says it is same. Do any of you guys have idea about this? Is Jispa expected to be more colder than Keylong?

  7. ANOOP PHILIPS on

    Hi DHEERAJ
    I could read that travelling Manali-Leh is not advisable from mid late September onward from your article. But I wish to visit these places when we can enjoy the real nature and blue sky other than the snow laden mountain. The next best season June-July is also full of snow as I read. so I hope the best season to travel on Manali-Leh highway is the mid September. Am I right ? Also is there any local tour guides available with 4×4 cars ?

    • Yes Anoop, mid September to at max. first week of October is fine to travel over Manali – Leh road now a days with change in tenparature and much better road conditions.

  8. Himanshu Tyagi on

    Hi,

    Your article is very informative and after reading it, I wanted to know if our plan is good enough or not to travel from manali to leh,

    1. 25th Sept Manali to Jispa
    2. 26th Sept Jispa to Leh
    3. 27th Sept Leh to Khardungla , back to Leh by afternoon
    4. 28th Sept Leh to Pangong Tso
    5. 29th Spet Pangong Tso to Pang
    6. 30th Sept Pang to Manali

    Please do guide us, we are 4 people (2 guys and 2 gals).
    1. What will be the best time to start our journey and by what time should we stop it in the evening?
    2. Do we need gum boots and rain gear at that time?
    3. Is this plan safely doable, or we should make any changes in it?

    Would love to take up your suggestion.

    • 1. I will not advise at all going to Khardung La without taking rest in Leh for the day. Your body will not be acclimatized to go for it. Same is true for sleeping at Panogng Tso and Pang where as well your body will not acclimatized to sleep.

      I will strongly advise to add at least 2-3 days in the above plan and then think about doing it.

      • Himanshu Tyagi on

        Thanks a lot for you input,
        How about:
        1. What will be the best time to start our journey and by what time should we stop it in the evening?
        2. Do we need gum boots and rain gear at that time?

        • 1. I always start at max by 7 AM, the early the better always in Himalayas.
          2. Not really, but no harm in carrying them as they are not that expensive.

    • It’s doable, But add atleast one extra day at Leh for acclimatisation. You might very well stay at Keylong than Jispa, it’s only 15 kms or so! “CARRY SLIME SPRAY” to save you in case of punctures. Add two buffer days. We had two buffer days and we used both. One due to snow fall and another due to a flat tyre at Tanglang La at 7PM. Get those Balaclava from the army canteen at Jispa- helped us. Gum boots will be handy for sure, There will be water crossings. Make sure to reach destination latest by 4PM, sun goes down early and the place freezes over by 6:30 even when there is no snow! Drink plenty of water, eat a lot of calories. Stock up snickers and Perk.
      Wishing you good luck.

  9. Hi, we are planning to ride by bike from manali to leh from september 23rd. Is it fine now a days?

    Thanks,
    Vikas

  10. Hey Dheeraj, we are planning for a trip to kullu manali from October 11 to 15. What are the places to visit in Manali. We thought of taking the trip to Leh, after reading your article we are somewhat confused about taking trip to Leh. We have to return to delhi on 17. Pl. advise. Our family consists of is two adults and two children aged about 8 yrs and 3 yrs. Whether children can get acclimatise to the weather in kullu Manali.

  11. shreyas Macwan on

    opps i posted this on otther’s reply…sorry for that..

    This we have to do…this is the only time slot we can afford i been to leh in 2009 and again planned on 07/oct to 16oct 2016….

    Vehicle : Duster 4*4.
    Person: 3 avg age 33
    dates: 07 oct start from Delhi
    Route: manali leh up journey and if for back journey manali leh have issue than srinagar leh..if srinagar have civil unrest than we have to back by manali leh

    The problem u mentioned will be faced by us.

    1. sharing dates with raid th himalaya…but it means roads are working.
    2. no stay at sarchu as they will done with season on 15 sept
    3.we will land manali on second Saturday 8th oct biggest issue.

    my questions are..

    1. as i we have to stay at keylong and keylong to leh run is 357 can it be done in 12 hours?? …or 16 hours??…we can start even at 3 or 4 am thats not an issue.but we will stop for photographs.

    2.U said Leh to Panagong road is nice…wow news for us..but what about october?

    3. we start at 4 or 6 am from leh for Nubra …cover khardungla..hunder…diskit…can we get back to leh before dark lets say 7pm? we are ready to skip any of diskit or hunder…i want two humo camles and sand dunes.

    4.if we do canonball run (we all three love driving) for leh to srirnagr…start again at 4 am from leh can we reach srinagar in 12 hours or 16 hours?

    please answer…and Sir…Dates cant be changed…lets assume “hum oct mai ja hi rahe hai…

    thanks in advance

    • Hi Shreyas,

      Well, permits are now issued on Second Saturday and Sunday as well. So, one thing you will not face.

      1. Start at 5 AM, stay at Jispa instead of Keylong. Roads are much better now and will not take more than 12 hrs
      2. It will mostly be same in October or much better due to dryness. In case it snows during those days at Chang La, Taglang La or Khardung La, roads might close as well.
      3. Start at 6 AM, it shall be fine.
      4. Yes, it takes about 15-16 Hrs to reach Srinagar from Leh.

      • shreyas Macwan on

        amazing…thanks for Reply…

        my conclusions are..

        1 yeah it snows and block roads…but most porbably…on high passes…more than 13000ft…oke if that happan i can take uturn and get back to safe place…if chang la is blocked…i can skip pangong….if khardunga is blocked i cans skip numbra….right but i dont want to get in situation where i need to sleep in car at -10 c…thats it…yup issue can be at those 5 mighty passes on manali -leh but i think uturn can save us…

        2 raid the himlaya people can do it why cant we…?? we have enough experience of driving…high alitittude not more than 19000fr…understand AMS..We are excited but not like teenagers…we”ll take enough precaustions..

        we are going ….thanks…

        • Hi Shreyas,

          1. My recommendations are all mentioned in the article above. I cannot assure that if you U-turn might save your from sleeping inside the car or not, it all depends where you get stuck. My friend got stuck on the way to Taglang La in a heavy snowfall for about 30-40 odd minutes in September end. It was enough to take him to hospital still being in car and get his friend to undergo surgery of index finger as he was on bike and stuck about 1 KM behind them. They could not drive/ride due to intensity of snowfall. Not scaring you but helping you with real life incident what can go wrong and it does not need an overnight blockade to make things ugly.

          2. I have given you the real life incident that happened with my friend. It is one of those cases, but it is a case that did happen and can happen to anyone, anytime. Again nothing to scare but make you aware that things can go wrong in a matter of an hour or so.

          If you are comparing Raid, well, they have a team of doctors, backup vehicles and assurance of heli-rescue in case of life threatening situation. They pay enough as an insurance to them to protect them no matter what. So, things are but different for them.

  12. Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m planning My trip to Delhi-Srinagar-Gulmarg-Leh-Manali-Delhi or vice versa from 15th sept to 25th.
    I have no idea how should I travel, of course cant afford flight. So please guide how should I plan my itinerary, mode of transport from one point to another & places to see. as I’m not aware of places to visit around leh.

    we are 5 of us taking this trip.

    Besides there is unrest in Srinagar now, any alternate way to the trip if You suggest.
    awaiting Your valuable guidance.

    Thanks & Regards

    Adil

    • Adil, this article will help you first get an idea of what and how: How to make a Ladakh trip in 9 days

      First read it so that you have basic understanding of Ladakh trip and how you can make that trip. This will help you clear what options are available for mode of transport. Then, you can follow: Ladakh from Manali – Most Common Itinerary as currently unrest is going on in Kashmir and it is not suggested to travel from that route.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

    • shreyas Macwan on

      This we have to do…this is the only time slot we can afford i been to leh in 2009 and again planned on 07/oct to 16oct 2016….

      Vehicle : Duster 4*4.
      Person: 3 avg age 33
      dates: 07 oct start from Delhi
      Route: manali leh up journey and if for back journey manali leh have issue than srinagar leh..if srinagar have civil unrest than we have to back by manali leh

      The problem u mentioned will be faced by us.

      1. sharing dates with raid th himalaya…but it means roads are working.
      2. no stay at sarchu as they will done with season on 15 sept
      3.we will land manali on second Saturday 8th oct biggest issue.

      my questions are..

      1. as i we have to stay at keylong and keylong to leh run is 357 can it be done in 12 hours?? …or 16 hours??…we can start even at 3 or 4 am thats not an issue.but we will stop for photographs.

      2.U said Leh to Panagong road is nice…wow news for us..but what about october?

      3. we start at 4 or 6 am from leh for Nubra …cover khardungla..hunder…diskit…can we get back to leh before dark lets say 7pm? we are ready to skip any of diskit or hunder…i want two humo camles and sand dunes.

      4.if we do canonball run (we all three love driving) for leh to srirnagr…start again at 4 am from leh can we reach srinagar in 12 hours or 16 hours?

      please answer…and Sir…Dates cant be changed…lets assume “hum oct mai ja hi rahe hai…

      thanks in advance

      • Hi Shreyas,

        Well, permits are now issued on Second Saturday and Sunday as well. So, one thing you will not face.

        1. Start at 5 AM, stay at Jispa instead of Keylong. Roads are much better now and will not take more than 12 hrs
        2. It will mostly be same in October or much better due to dryness. In case it snows during those days at Chang La, Taglang La or Khardung La, roads might close as well.
        3. Start at 6 AM, it shall be fine.
        4. Yes, it takes about 15-16 Hrs to reach Srinagar from Leh.

  13. Hi Dheeraj

    We (myself, my wife, my friend, his wife) are planning for a taxi trip from Manali-Leh-Srinagar between 14 Sept 2016 to 18 Sept 2016. Please advice if there are any health risks, road, accommodation and food risks during this period.

    • Jasmeen, well, just 5 days? It takes two hectic days to reach Leh from Manali and then one day you will rest in Leh and then two days you will need to reach Srinagar from Leh. You do not see anything in Ladakh in this case.

  14. Hi I want go Kinnaur spiti pooh am alone and no motor. But Jama jarur my no 9996399964 first msg me or whatsapp

  15. Dheeraj,
    I suppose to go to leh via jammu by bike on september last or oct first .Its up to my vacation .My question is ,if i my route get blocked by any reason, then can i go from jammu to TSO morri via udhampur-kelong route because i am very inerested to visit TSO.

  16. Aditya rattan on

    Hii Dheeraj wanna knw better time 2 visit Leh via Manali in between July to September in bikes

  17. Hi, I read your article and it is really interesting and informative. I just wanted to know, is it safe to visit Kullu-Manali (not Leh) from 12-15th October from Delhi? I read about Dussera festival. Would the roads be blocked due to that? We would most probably go either through bus or hired cab. Would we be able to see snow?

    Thank you so much.

    • Yeah Swati, but like you have read Dussera is a big festival during that time in Kullu, it will be better that you be there well in advance to avoid traffic jams. Snow wont be there during that time.

      • Thank you so much for replying. I guess, I will have to change the trip to summer time.

        I read some of your other articles too and they are really nice and helpful. You should write more.

        Thanks again.

        • shreyas Macwan on

          This we have to do…this is the only time slot we can afford i been to leh in 2009 and again planned on 07/oct to 16oct 2016….

          Vehicle : Duster 4*4.
          Person: 3 avg age 33
          dates: 07 oct start from Delhi
          Route: manali leh up journey and if for back journey manali leh have issue than srinagar leh..if srinagar have civil unrest than we have to back by manali leh

          The problem u mentioned will be faced by us.

          1. sharing dates with raid th himalaya…but it means roads are working.
          2. no stay at sarchu as they will done with season on 15 sept
          3.we will land manali on second Saturday 8th oct biggest issue.

          my questions are..

          1. as i we have to stay at keylong and keylong to leh run is 357 can it be done in 12 hours?? …or 16 hours??…we can start even at 3 or 4 am thats not an issue.but we will stop for photographs.

          2.U said Leh to Panagong road is nice…wow news for us..but what about october?

          3. we start at 4 or 6 am from leh for Nubra …cover khardungla..hunder…diskit…can we get back to leh before dark lets say 7pm? we are ready to skip any of diskit or hunder…i want two humo camles and sand dunes.

          4.if we do canonball run (we all three love driving) for leh to srirnagr…start again at 4 am from leh can we reach srinagar in 12 hours or 16 hours?

          please answer…and Sir…Dates cant be changed…lets assume “hum oct mai ja hi rahe hai…

          thanks in advance

        • Hi Shreyas,

          Well, permits are now issued on Second Saturday and Sunday as well. So, one thing you will not face.

          1. Start at 5 AM, stay at Jispa instead of Keylong. Roads are much better now and will not take more than 12 hrs
          2. It will mostly be same in October or much better due to dryness. In case it snows during those days at Chang La, Taglang La or Khardung La, roads might close as well.
          3. Start at 6 AM, it shall be fine.
          4. Yes, it takes about 15-16 Hrs to reach Srinagar from Leh.

  18. Batsayan Das on

    Dheeraj,

    I plan to be schedule my trip srinagar-leh-manali from 7th to 17th Oct 2016 by self driven car ( Alto or Eon) . I have read you post for NOT doing this leh-manali trip beyond mid october, but still I need to go with this schedule as it matches with my vacation plan. I will be traveling with my family (wife 38yrs, son 9yrs, me 42yrs). My questions are

    1. Can I hire one experienced driver to help me to navigate leh-manali stretch in around mid Oct 2016? If yes pls provide some references and indicate possible charges.
    2. Do you know the schedule of Raid De Himalaya rally for 2016? No information information is provided in their website.
    3. Hotel/tents/guset houses that has a high probability to be open around mid Oct at Pang/Sarchu/Jispa/Keylong.

    Thanks in advance
    –Batsayan Das

  19. Tanay Deb Sarkar on

    Sir
    As per your proposed tour plan I will like to visit Leh ladak in coming Oct. We r planning to start from Srinagar 7th Oct and finished up at Manali by 16th Oct. We will go with our family members including childrens. Sir whether it will be safe to travel Leh within first two or three weeks?
    Eagerly waiting for your advice….

  20. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly Kudoos to you & DOW>>>
    Its from this blog that we got so much information & thus we have planned our journey

    we are planning for a road trip from Manali to Leh starting on 20th September 2016, this is the itinerary that we are about to follow:

    Sep 20th : Manali to Jispa
    Sep 21st : Jispa to Leh
    Sept 22nd : Leh to Khardunla & back
    Sep 23rd : Leh to sarchu
    SEpt 24th Sarchu to Manali

    Kindly let know if this can be done or are there any difficulties that we could face….
    Waiting for your comments…

    • this can be done or is feasible BUT there will be high chances that you may end up in hospital due to AMS. You will have to take rest in Leh. and then you will always be on road only for rest of the 4 days.

      • hy Dheeraj,
        heared dat rented mltorcycles are now banned in the manali leh highway….
        any updates regarding this.. or any alternative solutions …

  21. Hi Deeraj,

    I am planning Blr-Leh-Blr in Sept 2016 with my Duster 110ps. I will be reaching Leh from Srinagar side on 17th Sept 2016 and will be there till 21st Sept 2016. Please advice it is good time to do it. Short daywise plan

    16th Sept 2016 :- Srinagar to Kargil
    17th Sept 2016 :- Kargil to Leh
    18th Sept 2016 :- Leh to Khardunla to Leh
    19th Sept 2016 :- Leh to Pangong Tso
    20th Sept 2016 :- Pangong Tso to Leh
    21st Sept 2016 :- Leh to Sarchu
    22nd Sept 2016 :- Sarchu to Manali

    Please advice it is good time to do above trip. Will I get accomodation at Pangong Tso & also on the way to Manali?

    Is there a way from Pangang Tso to Manali directly without going to Leh? If yes can you help me plan that part of the trip.

    • Sejal, I would have rested in Leh after reaching there and then only I would have attempted to go to Khardung La. Rest you do not have enough time to do anything else.

      • Point noted Dheeraj.

        One more thing during 22nd Sept to 25th Sept will I get tented accommodation in Sarchu on my way back from leh to manali???

        Thanks once again.

  22. Pallav Dasgupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my wife are planning for honeymoon trip to Manali during 10-Sept-2016 to 16-Sept-2016, is it a good time to visit Manali ?

    • Pallav, well, Manali will be OK to travel in September. There wont be much attractions I will say and if you plan a trip to Kinnaur Valley, it will be more beautiful and away from croud.

  23. Deepak Parikh on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Your inputs are very valuable
    I plan Manali-Leh rout from 6th sept. After reading your comments we plan to make two stops one at Darcha and another at Sarchu 7th and 8th September 2016.
    My questions is
    1- How will be climate, road condition and camp facility during this time.

    If I reverse my trip (after reading your comments in another thread) and do it last, I will be on this route around 12-14th Sept 2016.
    i am not sure about road condition and camp facility.
    Please guide
    TIA
    Deepak

    • Hello Deepak,

      1. It is better you halt at Jispa and then make trip directly to Leh instead two halts which will not do any good to you but may cause AMS. Climate will be cool during that time and night will be a little cold. I am not sure about reverse as I do not have your plan?

      • Deepak Parikh on

        Thanks Dheeraj for prompt reply

        I have planned as per your suggested itinerary

        Day-1 4-9-16 Mumbai-Jammu-Patnitop
        Day-2 5-9-16 Patnitop-Srinagar
        Day-3 6-9-16 Srinagar-Kargil
        Day-4 7-9-16 Kargil-Leh
        Day-5 8-9-16 Leh
        Day-6 9-9-16 Leh-Nubra Valley
        Day-7 10-9-16 Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake
        Day-8 11-9-16 Pangong Lake to Leh
        Day-9 12-9-16 Leh- Tso Moriri via Chumathang
        Day-10 13-9-16 Tso Moriri to Sarchu
        Day-11 14-9-16 Sarchu-Manali

        Please opine, if need be suggested changes
        as per this itinerary I will be on Leh-manali highway 13 and 14th sept
        What will be road and weather condition?
        Is it doable?
        TIA
        Deepak

        • Deepak, this looks doable and fine to me. Please note that Wari La is a desolated route, so have full faith and confidence in your vehicle before moving up that route as any help will not be available in miles. If possible try to tag along with any other vehicle with you. September is one of the best time, in fact the best time to visit Ladakh or trans-Himalayas

        • Thank you very much
          i will definitely let u know my experience once I do this trip

        • Dear Dheeraj,

          Sorry to bother u again.
          I learned yesterday that 20-26th Sept 2016 there will be annual festival at Leh. Thus I need to change my Plan.
          Can I leave Leh on 22 or 23rd September 2016 for Manali?
          What will be road condition during that time?
          Will I get one night accommodation? i am under impression most tented accommodation are removed by 15th September

          If I can do this, then I need to choose between Pangong and Tso moriri Lake Please guide? What is/are differences between these two lakes?

          We are Indian citizens so do we need any inner line permit?

          I like many other members, have benefited tremendously from your guidance.

          Thanks a lot

          Deepak

        • It shall be fine to travel during that time of the year. There will be accommodations remaining but yes majority of them do pack up by third week of September. You can hit for Jispa where you will find the stay

  24. FEROSE MAJEED on

    Haiiii…. Am planning biketrip chandigarh-srinagar-leh-manali-chandigarh during august . Heard abt heavy rainfall,roadblock during august. What r d problems likely to encounter during august ??

  25. Hi planning to travel from Oct16-28 from manali- leh- Srinagar please suggest climate conditions n from manali how can we travel to leg n Srinagar and what will b the travel charges

    • Annu, I will not recommend traveling over Manali – Leh road that late in the season. You must have read the article above for the very detailed answers against it.

  26. ramswarup on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    I and my two friends want to go manali on 20 oct from chandigarh to manali. Can we go essily.

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    Greetings of the day. I am from Bangladesh. Presently undergoing a training in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. My training will be over on 10 Oct and i have planned to start my tour on 11 Oct. On 13 Oct I will be in Delhi. I am aware that by than it will be too risky for planing a Manali-Leh trip by taxi. But if there is at least 50% chances I would like to take the trip. Rest of the part of my tour plan is ready. Only dilemma is here. If it is too risky, or not possible then I will get to Leh by flights.

    One more thing to know, I have planned to go to Srinagar from Leh because I wanted to reach Leh as early as possible considering the closer of rotang pass. But, if I fly Leh-Delhi/Delhi-leh then what would be better? To start it like Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Delhi or Delhi-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi.

    Between, thanks a lot for your tremendous effort to make our traveling so easy. Your numbers of taxi drivers and all the info on food, budget, accommodation, etc are extremely helpful.

    Regards

    • Replied Saif to the other comment in detail about the permits. First sought the permits and then plan the trip I will say else replan it to some other place which you can visit.

  28. Hi Dheeraj, first thank you for your nice and usefull advices. Me and my friend have booked air ticket to India in october 18 th. Our plan is visit Leh. Is it some oportunity in this late offseason time? We alredy bought air ticket from Leh to Delhiin in october 27th. Do you think, we have some chance to manage this trip? Greatings from Slovakia✌️

    • Yes Martin, it will be offseason by then and in fact already is offseason. If you are OK with a bit of cold and good on budget as shared taxis might not be present in Leh due to lack of number of tourists, then still you can go ahead and make this trip since you are flying directly to Leh

      • Thank you for your quick reply, i appreciate it. We want to avoid make this way by plane(avoid altitude sickness) if is it possible. What about rout via Srinagar during this time? Is it operated by some bus company, or other way? Our motto is that “Journey is the goal”. Regards, Martin

        • Yes Srinagar to Leh over Srinagar – Leh Highway will be possible during that time of the year. Buses or shared taxis should be running by then.

  29. Hey Dheeraj
    Greetings!

    Need your expert comments for our travel to Del-LEH-Del.
    Start Date (Delhi): 2nd Oct
    Return Date (Delhi): 9th Oct

    Q1. Which would be a better route to take: via Srinagar OR via Manali
    Q2. I would be driving on Honda Amaze (sedan). Is it safe/feasible for the roads during this time period and is the driving safe?
    Q3. Would be carring my own tent and sleeping blankets. Can you please help with the places where I can put them up and spend my night (Is spending night in tents safe) ?
    Q4. Any other necessary items OR precautions to take care while on the trip?
    Will be waiting for your revert eagerly.

    Thanks and Regards
    Vikas

    • Hi Vikas,

      You must have read the article above, the snowfall has started now and camps have been packed on various places at Manali – Leh Highway. Road was closed couple of days before for 3 days at Baralacha La due to heavy snowfall. You can understand the risk yourself and take a call.

      1. I will suggest Srinagar – Leh since you are short on time, will help your car too.
      2. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.
      3. Time has passed now for the season Vikas to put up camps anywhere now. If you havent camped in harsh conditions it will be extremely cold and windy now to camp in Ladakh

  30. Hey buddy, I’m on a cross-asia motorbike trip which started in Vietnam and I badly want to go on the following route within October:
    – Delhi to Sreenagar
    – Sreegar to Leh
    – Leh to Manali/Himachal

    Bad roads are a pain but don’t scare me. Few days delay is a minor problem (few weeks would suck though…). I have my own tent and sleeping gear. Leaving my bike behind is not an option at all though.

    Do you think that’s be manageable? You only mention the manali road above… Thank you much!
    Matt

    • Yes, Srinagar – Leh is still OK if we leave aside cold. However, Leh to Manali will be a very risky affair with frozen roads and no options of stay with no commute or people for any help. Snowfall has already started in high passes of Manali – Leh and Baralacha La was closed for last three days a day ago only.

  31. Bharatt Varshny on

    Hi I am going to Leh on First of October then will be back by 10th of October only question is should we use Manali road or not .

    • Bharat, risk will start, make a dash after seeing the weather conditions only in Manali as soon as possible. You will have to do Manali – Jispa and Jispa to Leh on Day 2 and in between it will be very cold as well as no or very limited options of stay.

  32. Hi … We are planning for road trip from Manali to Leh on October 4 to 10. Can you suggest me accommodation in jispa ?

    • Santhya, do read the article I shared in reply to Gagan, understand the risk and then take a call of making Manali – Leh road that late in the season. Also, you might have option of Padma Lodge or Hotel Ibex to stay that late in the season.

  33. KALPESH JAIN on

    me n my frnd r planning a bike trip to manali -leh in october first week..?
    how ll b the wheather condition over der..? can yu help me out..
    n if possible do suggest some gud bike rental contact number or address in manali…

    • Kalpesh, it is season end and things starts to get tricky with snowfall on High passes. In fact yesterday as well passes got good snowfall. The risk of getting stuck becomes a bit higher for some days but the main problem is very less places of stay once you cross Darcha as tents at Sarchu will be winded and only dhabha tents as dormitory will be there in Pang that too less in number. In case of any issue traffic will be less and finding help will also be a bit difficult.

  34. Rakhi Tomar on

    We are planning to go to leh ladakh during 1st wek of October. We will reach manali on 3rd October, 2015 and will start for Leh on 4th October. Our travel days will be 2 Oct- 11th Oct.

    is is a good time to visit Leh in Honda Amaze(sedan). We will be driving by our own

    • Rakhi, it is a risky period. Snowfall has already started on high passes of trans Himalayas. There will be very less traffic on Manali – Leh Highway and to add to it, there will be no tents too at Pang or Sarchu or may be some remains in Pang.

  35. Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all thank you for this blog, you’re doing a amazing job here. I have been reading this from quite a long time now and I have to say it that it is the only blog which provides complete and actual information about traveling to Leh, Ladakh.
    I am planning to go to Leh in the coming week (23-25th Sept most probably) all by myself and planning to take the Manali to Leh road.
    This is how my itinerary looks like :
    Day 1: Delhi to Manali (Overnight bus)
    Day 2: Manali to Keylong
    Day 3: Keylong to Leh
    And then I’ll have 4-5 days more to explore the regions around. I have few friends already staying in Leh from past 20 days for Advance Mountaineering course in JIM, Shey. So they might be joining me after this.

    As I am a budget solo traveler these are few questions I would like to ask :
    1. Are the HRTC buses still running from Delhi – Manali – Keylong – Leh.
    2. If not HRTC buses then what could be the least expensive way to reach Leh via Manali.
    3. Are there any specific spots where we can pitch a tent or nothing like that. (First time carrying a tent along)

    Please provide your valuable inputs.

    Regards,
    Ujjwal

  36. Hi Dheeraj,

    Greeting to DoW community.

    You have explained the Hills so good that there is nothing much to ask 😉 .

    After thinking, planning, plotting of 3 years, we are finally ready to go Leh. 😀 😛 , All thanks to you.
    We are travelling from Sept 26 to Oct 4 by Swift Vdi.
    However, my queries are
    1. Is it okay to travel in swift car with 5 people on board.
    2. Is this feasible for a person to drive whole Delhi-Leh-Delhi way. (Other 4 don’t know how to drive. 🙁 )
    3. We are thinking about renting tents from Delhi or Chandigarh. Is it a good idea to stay in Tents at this time? Adding to it, we have not much experience of Tent accommodation.
    If it is okay, then please suggest anyone.

    Any advise from your side.

    Thanks.

    • Thank you so much Praveen.

      1. It is too much to ask with all the lugage as well. Ensure you do not love your car before taking it especially the condition of Sarchu to Manali road which will take a toll on it
      2. All depends upon how much determined and used to the driver is for such long drives.
      3. You are going towards end of season, stay in tents will surely give nightmare of cold conditions if you are not used to it.

  37. Hi Dheeraj ,

    First of all , I really admire that you are helping travel passionate people in your own way .
    I need your suggestion .
    I am planning to go to Laddakh from Delhi on 23rd sept to 27th sept . We will be back on Monday 28th sept by taking flight .

    I am thinking to go via flight from delhi to manali and then leh via some private taxi as you have mentioned somewhere that if we land to leh , then you can miss so many things .

    Also , we are little bit scared of the weather .
    Can you please guide me to how to plan for this trip .

    Regards,
    Mamta

    • there are nothing problem. and the weather and atmosphere is normally, so u can go and enjoy your trip.

  38. Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks for such valuable blogs, most of my quires are resolved by your blogs.
    We are four friends, planning for a road trip (self driven car, Zoom Car) from Delhi to Leh via Manali and Leh to Delhi via Srinagar.

    I am aware of the Zoom car problem in Leh, so we will not use the Zoom car in Leh for local Sightseeing.

    I have few questions. Firstly, below is our detailed plan, please check it and let us know whether it is okay or not.
    Details:-
    14th September- Delhi to Manali
    15th September- Stay at Manali/Naggar.
    16th September- Manali to Sarchu.
    17th September- Sarchu to Leh
    18th September- Stay at Let and local sightseeing.
    19th September- Leh to Nubra Valley (Hunder) via Khardung la to Leh.
    20th September- Leh to Pangong tso.
    21st September- Pangong Tso to Leh.
    22nd September – Leh to Kargil/Dras
    23rd September – Dras to Srinagar.
    24th September- Stay at Srinagar and local Sightseeing.
    25th September- Stay at Srinagar and local Sightseeing.
    26th September – Srinagar to Amritsar.
    27th September- Stay at Amritsar and local Sightseeing.
    28th September- Amritsar to Delhi.

    Q1) I have discussed with some of my colleagues who visited the Leh via Manali recently (In August) regarding the route from Manali to leh and most of them suggested me to take a driver and not to self drive in those roads, especially after Rohtang Pass. So, is it safe to drive a car (SUV – Ecosport) on these roads? What would you suggest?

    I have driving experience in ghat sections, but never driven in the Himalayas.

    Q2) Shall we change our route, and start our trip from Delhi to Srinagar to leh to Manali to Delhi?

    Please provide your valuable inputs.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Ratul

    • Hello Ratul,

      Sarchu is not recommended to sleep that early due to AMS, better go with Jispa and start early next morning for Leh. Rest looks OK apart from Srinagar to Amritsar long drive. In case you are not experience with hill driving and challenging roads, then yes it might be challenging to you. Changing the route does helps a lot in acclimatization and also distribute the journey between Leh and Manali.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hello Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for your inputs. So, we have decided to go with Srinagar route instead of Manali. Below is our detailed modified plan.

        Details:-

        14th September- Delhi to Amritsar
        15th September- Amritsar to Udhampur.
        16th September- Udhampur to Srinagar.
        17th September- Stay at Srinagar and local Sightseeing.
        18th September- Stay at Srinagar and local Sightseeing.
        19th September- Srinagar to Dras/Kargil.
        20th September- Dras/Kargil to Leh.
        21st September- Stay at Leh.
        22nd September – Leh to Nubra Valley (Hunder) via Khardung la to Leh.
        23rd September – Leh to Pangong tso.
        24th September- Pangong Tso to Leh.
        25th September- Leh to Sarchu/Jispa.
        26th September – Sarchu/Jispa to Manali/Naggar.
        27th September- Stay at Manali and local Sightseeing..
        28th September- Manali to Delhi.

        Thanks & Regards.
        Ratul

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