7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh

618

With Leh – Ladakh season in full swing now, lots of adventure lovers prepare themselves to go for a self drive run over the roof of the World via the ever enthralling and adventurous Manali – Leh Highway. I would like to share 7 useful tips for your upcoming self drive expedition to Leh- Ladakh that you might want to keep at back of your mind, rather always on mind, before you dive into the dream drive of your life to Leh – Ladakh:

Ladakh 2012 | Nubra - Shyok - Pangong Tso Route

Other parts of the series
1. Over-confidence is your biggest enemy, so keep it away!!

Never be over confident that you are master of driving, you have done Rohtang Pass ‘x’ number of times, you are a champ driver in plains etc. because driving to Ladakh especially via Manali – Leh Highway could be one of the strangest and adventurous drive you will ever undertake in life. Never think that any overlying stone will not hit the underbelly, never think that the road ahead is straight as an arrow like runway and you can cruise through it etc. … Such a thinking can get you/your vehicle stranded in the middle of no where for hours to up to days.

Even the smoothest and straightest of the roads, which look like super fine, newly laid tarmac are washed in between or have sudden bumps in them which can badly hurt your vehicle. If you see a big rock lying in between on road especially at sections with loose gravel then it is always you better step out and throw it away to make your way instead of taking any chance and getting your car’s underbelly hurt with it.

2. Never rush through a any tricky section of the road

Whenever, you are in doubt about some rough section of the road, may be landslide section or pathetically rough road or a water crossing etc. then never, ever rush through it. Rather, carefully analyse that section by parking your vehicle aside and judging the situation. Try to see how other vehicles are crossing that section. And, if required, check/inspect the trouble section on your foot to prepare an exit route through it in your mind. Then finally go for it.

3. Know Your Vehicle Well

It is very important to know about your vehicle because you might find some of the stretches or sections of the road which are not possible to cross without a hit or scratches under-belly, especially with hatchbacks and sedans. In such, situations you need to know which parts of the underbelly of your car you might need to protect especially oil sump (which you need to protect all round the trip) and which parts you can let get hit from below or have some scratches.

4. Do Not Use Heaters

Use of heaters should be avoided at any cost especially at the places like Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh because the warm air by heater destroys the levels of oxygen content present inside and can make breathing very difficult and aggravate the AMS Symptoms.

5. Do Not Drink & Drive

Should be first and foremost, but still, PLEASE do not booze/drink at all while you are driving in Himalayas, especially the Manali – Leh Highway which runs above 14000 feet at major portion of it. Boozing or Drinking means you will have some real trouble in getting acclimatized with alcohol in your belly 🙂 and of course, will create lapse in concentration while driving.

6. Always Help Others

While traveling in mighty Himalayas, you must always help other people stuck on their way with whatever you can offer, be it a lift, push, pull, fuel, spares, rope etc. because the help is always hard to find especially at places like Manali – Leh Highway, Changthang or other remote routes of Ladakh. Do not forget, this can happen to you at the very next turn and it does not feel much good when someone comes after hours and passes by without offering any help. So, please always help others who are in need. It actually defines the spirit of Traveller inside you 🙂

7. Carry Essentials and other Spare Parts

On a self-drive to Ladakh trip, one should always try to carry:

  • Basic Toolkit including Jack and Spanner
  • Air Compressor and Foot pump
  • Hydraulic Jack
  • Spare Tyre (Check for puncture before leaving)
  • Puncture Repair Kit
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Torchlight
  • Jump Start Cables
  • Spare Bulbs
  • Tow Away Rope approx. 3-6 ton Capacity
  • 1-2 Jerry Cans / Coke Bottles to carry spare fuel
  • Funnel
  • Spare Coolant and Engine Oil
  • A Long Stick/Rod
  • A Shovel and a Hammer
  • 2-3 Packs of M-Seal and Quick Fix/Fevi-Quick/Elfy
  • Plenty of Drinking Water and Snacks/Dry Fruits

For a more comprehensive list of spare parts & tools to carry with you in your car on a Ladakh trip, you can read our guide at the link: How to prepare your car for a Ladakh or Himalayan Trip

Apart from the above driving related list, I use to follow my list of things to carry whenever I Travel anywhere including Leh – Ladakh. Also, do not forget to get your vehicle serviced before 2-3 weeks when you go on a self drive to Ladakh.

Conclusion

I hope the above tips would be useful in your upcoming Leh – Ladakh trip. Please share it with others and if you happen to have done a self – drive to Leh – Ladakh before, kindly share your valuable inputs and suggestions as tips to other travel self drive enthusiasts here who are ready to take on this remote region of mighty Himalayas – Ladakh

If you found above article useful, then PLEASE stay connected with us on Facebook or Twitter or Email Subscription for any himalayan travel queries or travel updates / tips / news / guides on Traveling to Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir and other parts of Himalayas. Travel, off the road with us...


Share.

About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

Ask Your Travel Question Below !!

Accept types: txt, jpg, jpeg, , pdf

Add another file


618 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj – This is very helpful indeed. I need your suggestion on making a Ladakh trip as under:

    Me and my wife wish to undertake this journey second half of June this year. (both close to 39 yrs)

    We have two options for ride. I have a TB500 (close to 10K) and Maruti Ertiga ZDI (Close to 80K).

    We will have 12-14 days to make this trip from Faridabad, Haryana.

    Our intention is to go through Srinagar route and return via Manali.

    Would really like to return via Kaza-Nako-Kalpa route instead of Manali, but I think it may not be open by then.

    I wish to spend as much as I could camping overnights between destinations, rather than hotels/Inns, but not sure what are the options in this route. Any suggestions on camping enroute??

    I’ve driven Spiti couple of times from Shimla side, till Kaza/Kibber, but could never do the entire circuit due to Kunzum closures.

    Please suggest.

    Thanks
    Nikhil

  2. Hi DHEERAJ
    m planning a 10-15 day trip from Jaipur (Jaipur-del-srinagar-leh-manali-del-jaipur) . i hv a Ford EcoSport Desl car is good or not…? and best tym to visit leh may last – june first week is good tym or not and any suggestion for trip.

  3. Ashwini Tiwari on

    The ‘7 useful tips’ are very useful. Thanks for presenting these. I’m searching an sponsored opportunity to drive to Leh. Having experience of driving 75000 km., inclusive of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Shimla, M.P., Rajasthan, New Delhi, etc.

  4. Dr. Rajan on

    And again is there any emergency contact numbers that can be used in case of emergency

  5. Dr. Rajan on

    sir we from chennai are planning to vist leh and ladhak on 1st week of august through bikes from chandighar i have following questions to ask
    is it a suitable time to visit the place using bike ?
    we are planning to use two royal enfield bullets and one apache Rtr is this bike are suitable for the trip ?

    • Dr. Rajan, Bikes are in general fine BUT in August you will have to go through monsoon hassles in lower hills with rains, slush and landslide common in lower hills. Within Ladakh region, due to rain shadow, it shall be OK

  6. Bhaumik Gajjar on

    We are planning to go Leh-Ladakh in May onward from ahmedabad, Gujarat. Few questions r der. Like,

    1) may onward is suitable or in June start is it ok?
    2) we are not planning by any owned vehicles. but From Delhi, how can v travel by road with minimum time & distance? Pl provide options.
    3) Or any alternate route from ahmedabad by passing delhi?
    4) howmany days it take from delhi to delhi?

    Thanks.

    • Hello Bhaumik,

      1. Better to do it in June start as the roads will be stable by then
      2. I did not get this question, please elaborate more.
      3. Yes, there is no need to come to Delhi from Ahmedabad, you can take the road to Panipat directly and then move to Jammu from there on.
      4. You will need about 13-15 days to make the ladakh trip at ease

  7. Hi Dheeraj,

    my most sincere and heart felt thank you for being a lone candle in this dark world , for someone planning this trip from Bangalore the web is truly a web….. a web of misleading and untrue facts… All being validated & scrutinized at the same time hence coming across your web site (unreal & still sinking in) where there is a whole lot of genuine and truthful information is just great, but what takes the cherry on the cake is being able to write to you guys with specific queries and having you reply back to them will all your attention & care.

    Now regarding the adventure planned i have a few queries that i would like to be addressed hence i thought id write my mind out to you, so here goes.

    We are 7 boys planning for the road trip. We plan to use 5 self owned bikes and i Rented 4×4 from delhi. We will be freighting the bikes from bangalore. So my questions are as follows//// FYI-we want this to be more of a road trip than a sight seeing trip.

    1) What time of the year is best to travel ?
    2) Can we hire a 4×4 from Delhi, if yes what or who can we contact, if NO then is there any other alternative?
    3)I went through you link on hotels and accommodation however we are planning to carry our own tents, pitch tents and campfire and be self sufficient for the night. How feasible is this, can we camp in open predecided spots , is there camping grounds. we want to be as close to nature as possible.
    4)What is the time(no of days & night) approx needed for a road trip from Delhi – Manali – Leh – Ladakh & Back
    5)Is this the best route you would suggest , keeping in mind we want a scenic road trip.
    6) Camping and staying in tents is a priority for us, any info to help us achieve this is highly appreciated.
    7) Do we need any permission for the bikes( with Karnataka registration) or any other paper work?
    8) How far is Ladakh from leh cause i have been unable to dig up nothing on it, even google maps is clueless.

    Thank you for taking time out to read to so much of amateur questioning but i guess knowledge is wealth and id be happy to get as much as i can get from you.

    We often undertake such expeditions & roads trips , each time being between 1000 – 3000 km in total however this is the first time for all of us to Leh-ladhak hence we do not know what to expect in terms of conditions and available resources.

    The terrain & nature is something we come to respect hence im sure if we take care of mother nature she will in return take care of us.

    Looking forward to your response and awaiting to interact with you. Is the a phone number or a dedicated email with which i can co-ordinate with you . I would not mind paying for the services rendered as long as its the plain truth.

    Wishing you a pleasant week ahead

    Regards
    Sunil

    • Hello Sunil,

      Sorry for a delayed reply:

      1) Erly to mid June for Snow, for beautiful colors and best roads – September
      2) Outside rented cars are not allowed in Ladakh. You will need Ladakh taxi only
      3) Yes, you can camp on your own. May be ask permission of a villager to let you put camp in their farm and you tip them
      4) For a relaxing trip you will need about 13-14 days
      5) 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.

      6) Suggested above.
      7) You should have bike under your or your father name with all the related paper work.
      8) Please read: Top 12 Myths About Traveling to Ladakh

  8. kartar rana on

    Sir,
    I m jst planing for leh-ladhak trip from delhi by xuv w8 front wheel drive Its nt 4wd. Is this car gud fr my trip or we hve to take bikes. plz tell me some serious stuff about trip n right way fr this trip.

  9. ashish verma on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    first of all i shall like to congratulate you and thank you for your website. the same does contain a lot of useful information.
    I need a little bit of guidance from you.
    I am planning to travel to Ladakh from delhi in June with my family and friends. it would be a group of about 10 people having two kids who are around 5 years each.
    some of the group members are planning to fly into leh while some especially my family want to drive.
    We are proposing the following itenary :-
    day one reach srinagar by a morning flight and start the drive to kargil. overnight at kargil.
    day 2:- kargil to Leh.
    day 3 leh to nubra valley.
    day 4 : Nubra valley to leh
    day 5: leh to pangong lake
    day 6: pangong lake to leh
    day 7 leh to delhi.

    would you have any suggestions regarding the aforementioned itenary. are we missing something or are we trying to overdo something.
    is it advisable to try and travel from nubra to pangong directly or should be come back to leh, especially as we will be having small kids with us.
    should we factor in another day for rest.
    your guidance would be valuable.
    thanks in advance

    • I will defintely suggest that you add one day of rest and acclimatization in Leh before going to Nubra Valley. Those who are flying to Leh MUST HAVE two days of acclimatization. Then you can plan for a day trip to Pangong Tso in case you do not have luxury of number of days on hand. I will not suggest direct route from Pangong Tso – Nubra unless you have multiple vehicles in your convoy because in case of break down it is difficult to get any help on such desolated route.

  10. Hi ,
    I have my own bike bullet 350 cc.
    just to confirm own bikes are allowed in leh or we need to rent a bike there to complete trip .
    as i am confused with previous comment above .

    • Karan, private bikes which are not rented from anywhere under your name or your father name or any relative’s name with whom you can prove the relation with valid document (mother, wife only I guess) you are free to take the bike.

      If you have a bike in someone else’s name or have rented the bike, then only there are issues and you need to get a rented bike in Leh too.

      I hope this clear your confusion.

  11. Hey Dheeraj!

    We are planning a trip to Ladakh. We haven’t finalized the mode of travel yet.
    If we rent bikes, I want to ask about the kind of experience(Biking) you need to have before driving on the Manali-Leh route. Is it risky?

    • Shreyansh, outside rented bikes are banned in Ladakh for sightseeing. You can take them only to get in and out of Leh not for any sightseeing. You need to hire rented bikes again in Leh for any sightseeing in Ladakh.

      • Okay. No issues with that. I read your article on that.

        What I meant asking was about the Manali to Leh route difficulty in terms of difficulty in driving.
        I am a little skeptical about taking bikes since the route seems tough to ride on.
        I’ve been driving bike since last 1 year so that’s why I was reconsidering about the bike.
        Would be really glad if you suggest me something.

        • I will not recommend at least Manali – Leh Highway in case you have just started riding bike for last one year. May be you can reach Leh and then plan a sort bike ride around Leh only.

  12. Vikas Chawla on

    Dear Mr. Dheeraj,
    Lot of thanks for the reply. Kindly let me know if any permit needs to be taken if I travel in my own car ( Punjab Number ) from Srinagar to Leh

  13. Vikas Chawla on

    Want to go to Leh from Manali side by road in my own Zen Estilo car in mid June. Will the car make up in this journey.

    • For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

  14. i m panning to go to leh ladakh on june with my ford ecosport …..i want to knw that dis car will be good enough to complete my whole journey from delhi to leh, tso pangong, kardung la etc…………..also let me know dat is june is d ryt season to travel to leh

    • Akash, yes, your car is fit to make a trip to Ladakh and over Leh Manali and Srinagar Leh route. The time of mid June to mid July/lateJuly and September is a good time to travel to Ladakh

      • thank u so much sir for your suggestion………..
        can u please also guide me dat wat other place r thre to go for a adventure with a beautiful nature of himalaya??also tell me d price of trip diesel cost from surat to leh n again back to surat??approx

        • Akash, Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

          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.

          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

        • thank u dheeraj sir for d guidence i ll choose srinagar to leh………

        • Sir plzzz tell me 1 thing more is it nessesary to take a permission for leh if i ll chose manali to leh………however i have read that now leh government has said that indian r allowed to come to leh without any permissiton from manali to leh highway……

        • Hi akash,

          Permissions are not required to travel to Leh rather permit is required to travel from Manali to Rohtang Pass and cross it. So, that is in Himachal and have different rules. Permits for Indians in Ladakh have been exempted since May 2014. But, since you will travel from Manali to Rohtang Pass you need to get Rohtang Pass permit. This will help you: How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Online

  15. Avdhesh Patel on

    Hi,
    I am planning to Leh-Ladakh in end of JUNE 2016. I have a EECO car and we are six people.
    We are planning to traveling to leh ladakh by eeco car from Vadodara.

    So please give me some suggestion.

    Thank You.

    • For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

  16. Shivam Gupta on

    Hello sir me, my brother and my dad are planning to visit leh in june 2016 in Safari VX 2.2 Dicor . We are from Jammu and we are deciding to go from srinagar and come back from manali . Please give us some important tips about spare parts and do we take driver because my brother and dad drives and they have experince to drive in hilly regions.

    • Shivam, you have a high GC vehgicle and in case you have experience of driving then better drive your self in that case. Please read thearticle above for the rest.

  17. Hi I am Deepika, I want to travel to leh but I do not know to ride a bike. My friends are riding from Manali to Leh. Is it possible for me to go doubles ride with one of my friend? Because He said there won’t be space in the bike(Pulsar) for me to sit because of backpack. Can you please suggest me a solution for this?

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my friend planning to do a trip to LEH from Coimbatore(Tamilnadu). Its a Suzuki Gixxer SF and Apache RTR 180. The trip is about 7000 KMS up and down. Do u suggest this bikes can do it and is 18 days enough for that? Pls Clarify…

    • Mithun, yes, the bikes can sure do the trips as long as you are confident about their conditions and reliability. 18 days is a good time to travel Ladakh

  19. Thakkar Chirag on

    Hi I am planning to travel from Ahmedabad to Leh in June, 2016. Do you think roads are good enough for sedan cars, I am planing to take my BMW 520d do you think it might damage under belly of my car because of the road to Leh !!!

    • Chirag, you must have got all the insights already by reading the article above which also explains the challenges a sedan will face and being further low GC of BMW it will be more difficult without underbelly hits especially in water crossings. So, do take a wise risk.

  20. Sir,Is it true that the zozila pass opens only for 5 hours a day from 2am to 7am??
    if yes how should we plan our travel to srinagar from leh.

    TIA

    • In the early months of opening of Zojila pass upto mid of July when snow is there and road is narrow the one way restrictions does apply with regulated timing. Timings are changed every year, so you should keep an eye on the updates here at DoW for the timings of Zojila as and when it will open next year. We start a dedicated thread for the status of Srinagar – Leh Highway where we post the details, please stay tuned there in.

  21. Dear Sir,

    Thanks for sharing useful information….

    We are planing Mumbai to Ladakh in January last week by Swift desire can u please suggest some tips like where i can take halt and which rout is good for us…. can swift useful on ladakh road and can we complete this tour in 10-12 days.

    or please suggest any other option…..

    Regards
    Sandeep

    • Sandeep, 12 days are good to make a Ladakh trip, but the roads are now closed. It will open back in June from Manali side and from Srinagar side mid of May next year, so you can plan the Ladakh trip next year.

  22. I am also planning on my TATA NANO Car From delhi to manali in last week of Dec-15. but dont know how will NANo perform on hilly areas. lets me know is it safe.

  23. Dave Tesham on

    i’m planning to go leh in 2016 but i have not decided route.

    -which Route is more preferable via shrinagar or manali?
    -on which time it is better to go?
    -basically i am from gujarat so should i start my trip to leh from surat(gujarat) or from delhi?
    -i have my own classic 350 then should i go there with my own machine or rent a bike from delhi or manali?
    -if i go there on my machine then which legal process required from the trip?

    • Hi Dave,

      1. Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      2. Time depends upon if you want to see snow or you want to enjoy colors.

      3. You should take your own bike only I will say

      4. No process required just have a happy ride 🙂

  24. Gourav Mahajan on

    Hello.. I am planning to leave for Ladakh in my Hyundai Eon (Magna). My point of worry is that my tyres are not tubeless. I am planning to go via srinagar and come back via Manali route.
    It is just me and my wife going on this road trip.
    Can you advise whether i can go with conventional tyres..
    Thanks

    • I am also planning on my eon to Spiti via Kinnaur and return via manali suting md sep-15. but dont know how will eon perform on hilly areas. lets see what happened.

  25. Leaving for Leh from Jalandhar on 1st Aug by car via Srinagar-Leh road. Any tips for the journey?

  26. Sir,We are planning to do Hyderbad-delhi-manali-leh-srinagar-amritsar-hyderabad on two royal enfields,The Thunderbird500 and classic 350,

    My question is:1)Would we need to obtain any permit from manali to ride to Leh,
    2)Which part of our journey would have the most treacherous road??
    3)how should we tackle River crossings on the road?
    4)Can we use our Telangana registered vehicles for sightseeing in LEH,LADAKH?
    5)How is the drive to khardung La,Is it not advisable to stay for long there?
    6)Is this trip not advisable for people suffering from asthama?
    7)we are 3 people on two bikes,is is advisable to ride pillion on this terrain?

  27. I have a Indica which is old but well maintained. I wish to go to and complete this journey from New Delhi. Do you suggest that I can take my car? How many days do you suggest I should take for this trip? Also if you can provide me an approximate cost for this trip including fuel for 2 people traveling reasonably comfortably.

  28. Kanwar Sushil on

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning a trip to LEH via Manali, back from Srinagar from 18th to 28th of july this year by own Mahindra Scorpio.

    Is that right time to go?

    Is the legth of the trip OK?

    If Anything awkward, Please Suggest..!!

    • Kanwar, if there are rains, you might face hassles in lower hills but once you reach Kargil you will enter in rain shadow region till Lahaul Valley from where rain hassles might again cause some issues. Length is OK, 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.

  29. Sachin vaid on

    I have Innova car do we require snow chain in this season inova car I ok or not me and my wife planing too going Ladakh

  30. Hi Dheeraj,
    I’ll be buying a XUV soon. I plan to drive down to Leh from Bangalore. Is it ok if i start the trip after driving for 4000 kms and first service of my brand new XUV or you would suggest to postpone the pan by few more days. Tentative plan is to reach Leh in september first week.
    Thank you !

  31. Rajeev Mohan Sharma on

    I have SUZUKI SWIFT vdi. Can i comfortably go to Khardung la pass via manali or srinagar and back other way. When it will best to go ? Approx. how many days will it require and amount i should plan for this trip.

  32. Aayush saxena on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    just got news that TAXI UNION has threatened to bring SELF DRIVE CARS (YELLOW on BLACK ) plate in Leh. Can you plz advise if it is true ? We were planning to take one from ZOOMCARS.com for this SEP.

      • Bhavesh chouhan on

        If I hire a car from Delhi n Leave for leh.
        N when my car crosses the HP border will I need any permit to do that?
        And is it a good idea to take a zoom car?
        No problems right?

        • Bhavesh, It is better to reach Srinagar by Air to save time and some energy. Then, hire a taxi to Kargil from Srinagar and fix a taxi of Ladakh number in Kargil (get help from drivers in the article of taxi rates linked below) which will allow you to do sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway as well (Srinagar taxi will not be allowed) and keep that Ladakh number taxi with you for rest of the trip.

          Taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them for drop-in and take-away modes only. So, the taxi you are hiring locally must have private number plate otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it.

          Starting this year, there are many uncertainties over taking a self drive car with even black number plate to Ladakh as taxi union or local taxi guys have started creating nuisances especially on the route to Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley. There have been reports where tyres have been deflated, people have surrounded/questioned and asked for various documents and proofs to be shown even if you have a black number plate self drive car with you. Having said that, some people have fall victim of it and some have been able to escape the troubles and have visited Nubra and Pangong Tso in their self drive cars in this year itself. So, it appears all by luck that if you escape the eyes of such elements who are creating nuisances up there over self drive cars with black number plates, you are good to go. Otherwise, be ready for some confronting if the day is bad up there. This includes Zommcar self drive rented cars too and they accept it too now formally.

  33. hello dheeraj ,
    i m planning for leh , route dilli-manali- leh. just want to no
    1) is terrano car ok???
    2) wat is d best tym to travel??
    3)can i take honda city along terrano???

    • Hi Nitin,

      1. Yes terrano will do fine
      2. It is good to travel up to mid of July before the rains starts or in September now to Ladakh
      3. Honda City will struggle due to low ground clearance. There will be under belly hits in water crossings, so take a calculative risk if you really want to take it as there will not be any mechanic as well to repair it in case of any issues.

  34. Dear Dheeraj bhai
    Do I need to carry a NOC for the vehicle I am carrying to travel to Leh. It is registered on my cousin’s name.
    If yes, is there a format or just a declaration on a plain paper will do.

  35. Hi Dheeraj,

    I and my husband are planing to self-drive to leh-ladakh starting 27th june from Delhi in Dzire(deisel). I need to know if we can go and come back to leh from Nubra valley via khardunga la pass on the same day. As i read somewhere that there is a way frm pangong lake to nubra valley. Out itenary is as below
    Day1: delhi-patnitop
    Day2: patnitop-srinagar
    Day3:srinagar-kargil
    Day4:kargil-leh(rest whole day)
    Day5:leh-pangong lake(stay at lake for night)
    Day6:pangong-nubra valley/leh-nubra n back to leh
    Day7:leh-sarchu(on way to manali)
    Day8:sarch-manali(stay in manali)
    Day9:manali-delhi

    Do lemme know if the plan needs any change.also we hv an option of taking ritz petrol instead of dzire deisel. Please suggest

    • Priyanka, your journey is quite prone to AMS after reaching Leh. You are not resting in Leh first which is a must, secondly you are going to Pangong Tso immediately which can cause severe concerns of AMS and make you very sick in case you get hit, which highly likely chances are. You do not have enough days to make a risk free journey to Ladakh but still if you want to undertake it, Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as you have 9 days in hand.

  36. Sir;
    I want to go leh from manali by my ritz car on 11july to 18 july . tell me is it right time n right car for this tour . i went to manali two times by ritz previous year .

    • Ravinder, please read the article above as it details out the issues in taking the small hatch car over the Manali – Leh route. You should love adventure or travel more than your car to take it up there to Ladakh

  37. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to take my own bike (RE Desert Storm) for Ladakh expedition.
    I have not received the Registration Certificate from RTO yet.
    How complicated it will be to in case I take my purchase invoice, RTO tax receipt and number booking receipt with me.
    I am concerned specially about security checkpoints Will these documents be enough or Should I drop my plan to carry my own bike?

    Thanks.
    Nayub.

  38. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to travel leh-ladakh this September with my family.
    We are trying to explore routes/ options to go to Pangong Tso from Nubra Valley. Can you suggest some route or the best route?
    How long will it take us?
    Thx
    Smita

  39. I am planning to move by road to Leh on the Srinagar route . I have a Toyota Etios Ground clearance 170mm, my doubt is the capability of the car in terms of ground clearance while crossing Zozila pass.

  40. Sukhjinder sandhu on

    Planning a tour for adventure events like rafting, sky diving, paragliding etc en route from amritsar- Manali -leh-Sri nagar- amritsar on 20th, June.
    Advise the places and duration of days

    • Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

  41. Sukhjinder sandhu on

    My IC Group planning to go leh via Manali on 20th June for adventure events like rafting, sky diving and paragliding etc.
    Please advice where should we stay for these events e route and how many days we need for our tripe as coming back via Sri Nagar to Amritsar

    • Paragliding was banned in Solang as per last reports. Rafting will be available in Leh. Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

  42. Navin Kumar on

    Hi dow
    We are planning a car ride from delhi to leh via Srinagar and returning via manali on 18th july. We are just two guys and both of us can drive but mostly we drive on plain areas never tried the steering in mountains. Should we take driver or is it ok for the two of us to drive.

    • Navin, there will be quite a lot of challenges for sure especially on Manali – Leh Highway and some other sections in Ladakh too. If you have never drive in hills, I will not at all suggest that you take Ladakh trip over the Manali – Leh Highway as your maiden trip to hills. Best is to have driver with you and drive wherever you guys feel comfortable and keep rest with the driver.

  43. Hi Dheeraj , do u recommend me renting a self drive suv from Delhi to go to ladakh …is that gonna be alright because I read about that non leh registered commercial number vehicles are not allowed for sightseeing in whole ladakh region ??? please clearify

    • Pranjal, Regarding self-drive car to Ladakh, this year a lot of queries I am seeing on the questioning of self drive cars being allowed or not allowed. Seems I need to take a try myself 😆 😆

      As per the rule, only yellow number plate is banned for sightseeing and both white and black plates are allowed. This is the basic rule, in case Ladakh taxi union has started creating nuisance about black number plate as well recently I am not aware but by the rule book upto last year black number plates were allowed and I did not read any bad instance for such matter though there could be but not in my knowledge.

  44. Aayush saxena on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are going by our Vehicle from Delhi on 11th Sep, just want to know that can we take our car anywhere in Leh Ladakh or there is any restriction to drive in Leh Ladkah with our personal vehicle.? We will go from Srinagar and will come back from Manali . Kindly let me know if any restrictions thru out our journey.
    Thanks.

    • Aayush, there is no restriction of driving own private vehicle with a white number plate in anywhere in Ladakh. Srinagar – Ladakh – Manali route does not have any permit requirement in that direction as well.

  45. Hi DHEERAJ
    I want to go Delhi to manali via shimla rampur kaza route starting on 1st of June
    I have a alto k10 new
    Its possible by this vehicle

  46. Ashish Bhala on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all Many-2 Thanks for the valuable information, I will to update the same once I had a successful trip.

    As per plan, I m going to take Del. – Srinagar – Leh – Manali / Srinagar (not sure) – Del from June 13 to June 22. I have i20 petrol, would it be advisable to go ahead in it or should I adopt on alternatives. I want to take the journey self drive but in case its not advisable than only I would take recourse. Any specific tips that you want to give although you written a wonderful write-up above.

    Thanks,

    Ashish…!

    • Ashish you may be able to make it as Manali – Leh might not open but the car will struggle on that route for sure. Rest can be managed but for sure car will take a toll on its underbody. I will prefer to have a High GC car in case I have one option with me.

  47. harminder saini on

    Hii there,
    I have a hyundai verna. I wanna drive to leh from punjab via srinagar. I have read and understood your tips. Plz advice any other precautions to take. Can i go to manali from leh on my way back.
    Thanks
    Harminder saini

    • Harminder, it will be tough as you see above but if you love adventure more than your car, then it is fine. You can travel back to Manali in case you planning after 20th June as the road will open by that time only. But, be ready for some bruises at the underbelly of the car.

      • sanjiv sharma on

        hi dhiraj sharma 2day i visted to ur site, for leh ladhakh trip, ur information & tips are marvolus. i have i 20 diesel & going sri amarnath yatra since 2003 regularly , on 5th july we are interested to go leh from sonmarg & return via manali, we r 2 drivers kindly suggest abut the i20 is it the suitable..? & any spl. advice.
        thanks.

        • Sajiv, just now a person by name Gaurav Sharma reported on DoW FB page that he did the entire trip by i20 car. Many others in the past have also done. However, you must not love your car more than travel else you might feel disappointed for taking it. Do Read the above article and please follow the tips mentioned in it.

  48. Yashpal Malik on

    Hello Dheeraj
    m planning a 10 day trip from delhi (del-srinagar-leh-manali-del) from 5-15 june. I ve a Thar and a Fortuner. Which will be a better option. Also kindly advice since there might be snow on the road, some driving tips for driving on such a terrain. And after reading the above comments i ve found that the roads wud be in the worst conditions in early june as compared to the rest of the season, any particular suggestion.
    Thanks

    • Yashpal, as long as you can follow the tips in the article above, it shall be fine. Both vehicles are capable enough to do the trip with Fortuner being more comfortable. Manali – Leh is expected to open on 15th June or a bit late, you keep your option open and plan to come from same route in case high does not open. Else postpone the plan by 10-12 days to do the entire circuit.

      • S N Kumar on

        Hi Dhiraj. Your tips r quite helpful. We r planning to visit LEH via Srinagar route n cond back from manali n follow your suggested route / trip of 14 days from Delhi. Would first week of August would b okay? Whether there may b issues during 15th August? What r the arrangements of stay. Please guide us. Thanks.

        • SN Kumar ji, 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

          It is monsoon time in general up there in North and at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains, though rains does reach Ladakh now but to minimum and mostly it might remains overcast conditions. There is no thumb rule of certainty about weather conditions but above is generally common pictures seen over last few years except ugly 2010 …

          Regarding security issues, in general the tourist areas remain safe there but bandhs can affect the traffic movement. It is advised always that you leave the city in the early morning hours in such cases. Usually these bandhs are pre-declared and hence you can leave the city in early morning hours judging the situation around before the bandh gets active. As long as you can stick to main highway and tourist areas, there is in general no issues.
          If you are really concerned about it more then probably you can skip the stay at Srinagar and move to Sonamarg the same day you reach Srinagar.

Leave A Reply

Love Traveling to Himalayas?

YES?? Then, Let's Stay Connected !!

Get FREE monthly travel updates, news, guides, tips, itineraries, stories, hotel & restaurant reviews, etc.. focused totally on travelling to Himalayas right in to your email inbox.

Don't worry, we will neither SPAM nor SELL your email :)

Send this to a friend