About Me

First and foremost, very warm Welcome and Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

Dheeraj Sharma

I am Dheeraj Sharma, 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.

Lately, I found that using your passion to dive into the unknown and testing your limits of soul and body really boosts your individuality. Since then I never looked back. Frequently, I get on my wheels to hunt this unsatisfied hunger of rejuvenating myself in the endless beauty which Himalayas does offer to us. While traveling to Himalayas, I feel I went through a kind of metamorphosis that led to my reincarnation. I am working hard to materialize the vision & mission of DoW Travel Community with the support of all other devils of our community.

Well, professionally I am into Software Development, you can call me a Software Project Manager now ;)… Besides traveling, I enjoy and love my work to the core, trying to be ever competitive in challenges offered to me in my professional life. Personally, Cricket, Computers and Hollywood Movies always finds a special attention in my day to day life. Before I die, I would love see the vision of DoW Community getting materialized where both Himalayan lives & travelers gets benefit from each other without any middlemen between. Just as everything starts with a cause, so do this whole chapter of Traveling in my life. If you are interested to know more please read the post “Everything has a start…

One day a thought rippled through my mind for sharing all I learn from Travel with likes of you, hence I choose to start this Blog.  This Blog (& recently started DoW – Himalayan Travel Community) is all simply about my hobby and passion towards Traveling to Himalayas and getting connected with them in one or the other form. You can expect experiences, learning, thoughts, tips, guides, routes, maps, suggestions, hotel reviews, travel news etc. You all are most welcome to join in, be a part of DoW – Himalayan Travel Community and share your comments, experiences, thoughts, suggestions etc or any stuff related to traveling, driving, dining, riding etc.

The Vision of the DoW Blog is all about living my passion for travel & driving but at the same time to share as much valuable + more practical Himalayan travel information and experiences as possible with other fellow travelers or tourists in order to help them travel with a difference in Himalayas…

Regarding community, you can read: Launch, Focus and Vision | DoW – Himalayan Travel Community

Over the past few years, Travel has taught me many things and if you are interested to know more about it, you can read How Travel Transformed and Made Me Feel that Alive is Awesome. Along with it you can also read about the 6 Reasons Why I Travel

I dedicate this blog and offer my sincere Thanks to my Family (Lovely Mom and Dad and a beautiful wife, my little super hero), Relatives, Friends, Uncle (Mr. Dev Dutt Sharma) for their never ending love, care, affection and support. Of course, they sacrifice their time with me and allows me to help me grow this Himalayan Travel Platform to benefit the lives of all Himalayan Travelers and Himalayan Lives. May GOD bless each one of them and their families too.

You are most welcome to leave a comment if I missed something, I will get back to you within no time. I hope you will subscribe or join the community to read / share what’s new in Himalayan Travel with each passing day and keep on visiting again and again to share your Travel (or driving or riding)  experiences, comments, thoughts, suggestions etc.

2,723 Comments

  1. nidhising77 on

    Hi Dheraj

    I am recent registered member on DoW. I am an indian national living outside of India and am looking to plan a trip to Manali and (maybe Spiti valley/ladakh – open to suggestions:) with my family which include my husband and two kids aged 6 and 8 in June 2017. I need some inputs into planning my trip with kids in tow. I understand that June is peak season and is likely to be crowded but I am hoping to find some quieter places along the way…I have many many questions but to start with, I’d like to know – 1) if its ok to travel with my kids to Spiti valley, ladakh/leh
    in terms of altitude, things I should consider etc.) 2) what would be the best way to approach the trip. (as in; is it better to fly directly in leh/ladakh from delhi? or find a hired car and driver for del-manali? I have heard this route can be very crowded in June; Any suggestions on the car companies I can use to hire a comfortable car and driver etc. ) I have about 15 days to do this trip.

    Thank you in advance
    Nidhi

    • Hello Nidhi,

      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 should opt for either Spiti or Ladakh, I have suggested Ladakh plan above let me know if you need Spiti one.

      1. PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

      2. Best is to fly to Srinagar and then start from there to Leh – Ladakh and come down to Manali – Chandigarh. 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.

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

      To know about AMS and acclimatization including the tips to combat AMS, please DO READ: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  2. Dhanapal2323 on

    Hello Dheerajangam

    I’m a retired Forest officer from Tamilnadu. We (four men 50_60 age) plan to travel by air to Leh during 19_24 April 2017. Air tickets are booked but confused about travel agent.
    Advise me to plan hotels and vehicles to see Nubra valley and Pangong lake.

    With regards
    Dhanapal

    • Hello Dhanapal ji,

      If you are looking for Ladakh tour and packages, you can connect with info@offbeatescapes.com as most of the readers in the past couple of years have had very good feedback about them and especially their transparent policies along with being there with you all the time in need. So, we trust them the most. You can refer my name or DoW to Gaurav, the guy who runs it. He knows us very well and should be able to offer some special rates being a DoW Member. You can just refer him the DoW Community Member Username in such a case or screenshot of this reply here.

      Else you can pretty much follow the below plan for 6 days
      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      — Do not plan to stay overnight at Pangong Tso as you will not be acclimatized and may fall sick. So, make a day trip only.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR Sham Valley tour OR Fly back home
      — Overnight at Leh
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib

  3. Hi,

    Nice to see a great community online. me and a couple of my friends are planning Leh Ladakh Bike Trip in July / Aug 2017 and plan to take our wives with us. Just wondering if any of other members of this group may be interested to join as a couple. Plan is a leisurely trip Srinagar – Lah – Manali with some days for Nubra, Pengang, Tsomorori etc. A slow moving luxirous trip with a back up van. I guess we need 5-6 more couples to join us so that it will be affordable for all. myself and my friend are second timers so we are aware of the terrain and climatic conditions etc. However we are not planning this as commercial venture.

    do ping me on jbhala@hotmail,com if anyone is interested.

    have a great time, bye.
    Bhala

  4. Hello Dheeraj,

    I have plan to go to Sangla/Chitkul in early April this year. After that, I was thinking to go further in Tabo, Kaza and spend couple of nights there and return via the same route.
    Would it be possible to go into Spiti at this time? I am travelling with my family.

    Regards,
    Biswadeep

    • Yes Biswadeep, you can surely make the plan to Spiti in April but it is not recommended as you will be traveling with family and things willl be harsh in Spiti even in April with hotels closed and toilets not having water. So, better plan a family trip to Spiti in season time only.

      • Biswadeep Dasgupta on

        Hello Dheeraj,

        Much thanks for your reply!
        We had a trip to Spiti (full circuit via Kunzum Pass) in June, and so this time wanted to go little early (in April).
        I could get in touch with one hotel in Tabo (Dewachen retreat) and they mentioned that they can give accommodation, but with bucket waters only which was ok for us.
        I will take a final decision after talking to them while I am at Chitkul this April.

        Regards,
        Biswadeep

  5. hello dheeraj…u r really doin a gr8 job….m planning for a ladakh trip this year…i wantd to ask what happens if the tube tyre of bikes get punctured in the middle of nowhere and help is atleast 50-70 kms away….what is to be done in such situation…plz help me with ur xperienc….???

    • You should know how to fix the puncture tyre or carry puncture resistant liquids/foams based solutions. Else, you will have to wait for some empty pickup to come and put your bike in it or take out the tyre and take lifts to reach the shop and get it repaired and come back the same way to install it back.

  6. aditya k bafna on

    hiii dheeraj sir planning to go manali leh srinagar bike tour ,i am in talk with himalayanrider 12 day tour 40,000 is cost for 2 person on 1 bike ,what is ur opinion on this is it right cost ??? i am confused which road trip to choose ,manali -leh ,only or complete circle as i am going for the first time and i am not a rider as well,so ur opinion on both the q will help me alot cause ur the man whos words will be final for me …. thanx in advance

    • Aditya, I am not sure about the cost but if it is for two persons for 12 day trip including everything looks OK it seems. You should explore options of making the trip yourself as well as you have all the info. available for help here.

      If you are not a ride, I will not suggest a bike ride as such as that one to Ladakh as it can be taxing for non riders. Best is to reach Leh – Ladakh and ride for short trips upon reaching Leh.

  7. Puneet Piyush on

    Dear Dheeraj

    I am planning a 2 week bike ride to Leh.

    Delhi (2 days) – Amritsar (2 days) – Jammu – Srinagar (2 days) – Kargil – Leh (2 or more days) – Khardungla – Pangong (1 day) – Hanle (2 days) – Pang/ Sarchu – Manali – Delhi (2 days).

    Please provide your feedback on the itinerary, what are the things we can add or remove. I really want to spend some time at Hanle.

    Also, how feasible will this be from 13 – 28 May. We will be having 4 bikes with 2 pillion.

  8. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your passion for Himalayas and to help people like me to sort out travel plans is commendable.

    Would you be able to guide me to take a trip to Himachal/Uttarakhand on a budget for twin sharing basis in March?

    In Himachal, We would like to visit Kasol, Manali and around for a week. Then head to spiti. I checked your blog for budget trip to spiti and iv been there before.

    Please advice. Thanks

  9. Hi

    I am planning to go to Deoria Tal -Chopta-Tunganath-Chandrashila Peak in first week of March.My queries are:
    1. Is it possible for 64 years old to trek there? Dad has easily managed Char Dham many times.
    2. Will it be too cold to camp at Deoria Tal with 4 year old kid?
    3. Do we get porter facility for Kid?

    I will be starting on 27th Feb from Haridwar.

    Thanks.

    Regards

    • Hi Vidhya,

      1. Tunganath trek isn’t much difficult but in first week of March, there will be snow which means it will be different ball game altogether. However, since he has experience with hiking in mountains, you can surely give it a try and in case it becomes arduous you guys can come back from that spot. DO NOT take unnecessary risks as an injury could mean more hassles. Take a guide with you for sure as in snow hiking path will be covered with snow only.

      2. March is OK at Deoriatal but do go prepared with woollens.

      3. You may get it but you should check with some local guide, he should be able to help you with it. You can find few references of the guides in the article: Tungnath – Chandrashilla – Chopta – Deoriatal – Most Common Itinerary

      Again DO NOT take unnecessary risks in case you see over there.

  10. Hello Dheeraj Sir,

    I am planning a bike trip from 16 June 17 to 25 June 17 (10 days) starting from Chandigarh – Manali – Leh – Srinagar.

    I would be pleased if you could provide me the travel itinerary for the same which will help me for exploring ladakh in a shorter time 🙂

    Regards
    Shrikant

    • 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

  11. Richa gupta on

    Hello Mr.Dheeraj,
    I won’t say that I’m a passionate traveller but yea I love to travel alot & here I need ur help in this trip. I’ve very limited tym to complete my journey in 10 days. I’m planning a trip leh laddakh via spiti from 1st April to 10th April from delhi. I’ve travelled alone different places shimla manali tirthan etc before n it was good n manageable for me.
    But here I heard a lot about leh laddakh n spiti n again m travelling alone as I really want to. So plz here guide me for the route by public transport n is this good tym for sightseeing n all. How abt a nyt stay near moon lake or tsomoriri lake?? Looking forward to here 4m u soon. Thanks

    • Hey Richa, the roads are going to be closed in April and you cannot undertake road trip to Ladakh from Spiti Valley in April. Also, doing Spiti + Ladakh is a bit too too much in just 10 days any day. You should focus either one of them only.

  12. Hello Dheeraj,

    It was a pleasant surprise to come across your blog – amazingly informative write ups with lots of passion.
    In fact I came across your blog, while searching for places to see snow/snowfall near to Delhi.
    Though its extremely short notice, a window of 5-6 days have suddenly opened up for us on the 26th Jan week, first choice would be a place with snow , however there are certain constraints.

    We’ll be travelling with your 3 year old child so cannot do long stretches of driving. Also my husband is not convinced that she can handle the cold at this age.

    It would be a great help ,If you can please share your thoughts of some locations , both with or without for planning this trip,

    Thanks ,

    Regards,

    Minakshi

    • Thank you Minakshi !! 3 yr old shall be good enough as my kiddo is traveling with us since he was like 20 months and that too in winter months to snow places too. All matters is that you take enough clothing and don’t be over adventurous. You can opt for Kausani/Gwaldam and around in Kumaon. Also, to be more offbeat and secluded, Chopta/Ukimath will be more promising for snow.

  13. Sudeep Joshi on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Fantastic write ups ans really informative stuff. I quite agree when you said your soul is still up there and I think I share a similar feeling. Having been to Ladakh 3 times – Chadar, Stok Kangri and Bike, I dont know what is it about this place that make me wanna visit again and again.

    Just had a query. I am planning our office trip to Leh from 9th to 13th March 2017 and below is the rough plan.

    Day 01 : 9th Mar’17 – Arrive Leh and transfer to hotel. Resting and Acclimatization. May be visiting the Market if everyone is acclimatized.
    Day 02 10th Mar’17 – Morning Visit to Shanti Stupa, Sham valley sightseeing visiting confluence ( Zanskar & Indus), Gurudwara pathar sahib, Magnetic hill and Hall of fame museum.
    Day 03 11th Mar’17 – Excursion to Pangong Tso and back via Chang La – 17590 ft ( 5 to 6 hrs one way travel visiting Chang La, Durbuk, Tangtse – Any possibility of staying somewhere close to Pangong Tso?)
    Day 04 12th Mar’17 – Excursion to Khardung La top and back
    Day 05 13th Mar’17 – Departure

    Although I am confident I will be fine, but I am just concerned about the rest of the guys since most of the guys and girls here have not been to negative temperatures and such high altitude and hence keep on wondering if it is a good idea to do this in March.

    Is it advisable to go during this time?
    Is this trip too short?
    Is there a place near Pangong where we can stay so that we dont have to come back?
    Any other suggestions to make this trip happen! 😛

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    Sudeep Joshi

    • Sudeep, you are pretty much experienced with the conditions and I am sure with AMS issues too. Cold does not help acclimatizing well and in March more or less Pangong Tso will be forzen. So, if those kids have dreams of blue hues from 3 idiots or bollywood movies, they will be more or less shattered 😉 …

      Trip certainly is short and I will suggest adding couple of days to at least explore Nubra Valley to add some charm to the trip. Do Pangong Tso day trip towards the end of the trip and only place to stay will be Tangtse where guest houses should be open.

      • Sudeep Joshi on

        Hey DS thanks for your reply. Extending the trip is sort of not possible so we have to live with the duration for now. Any contacts in Tangste where we could stay and what sort of places that they will be? I am expecting only home stays there and most of the people who I am going with are touchy about stays so this may not be a good idea! 🙁

        Just in case we dont get to stay, what do you feel about going to Pangong Tso in the morning and returning by evening? I think even if it is frozen they should be OK. But how much time should this return journey take? and will this journey be taxing to the group? We are a group of 15-16 so moving around is bit of an issue for us. 3,4 different cars/ managing transport locally/discounts etc.

        Would like to know your thoughts!

        Thanks dude.

        • Sudeep Joshi on

          Great! Will get in touch with the ones that you mentioned.

          I guess we will try for a 1 day trip only which, on one side can be exhausting, but on the other side can be so fulfilling! This needs to be drilled into these guys who unfortunately have not had the Ladakh experience.

          Newy, thanks for your help. Can you inbox me your number, just in case I need to get in touch with you!? That will be mighty nice.

          Cheers buddy.

          Keep travelling!

        • Hey Sudeep,

          Sorry about the number as I am currently in US, so it makes hard to communicate due to office work load and time differences 🙂 .. You can catch me up over the blog anytime and mostly I ill be quick to reply.

    • Dr Gaurav Tripathi on

      Hello dheeraj.i want to know the season in 2017 mid may.can we travel at this season to complete circuit of srinagar leh highway and return via manali leh highway.or any other suggestion.we are group of 8-10 members

      • Hello Dr. Gaurav,

        Well, yes, Srinagar – Leh Highway opens by that time and Manali – Leh Highway opens by end of May. Considering the whole road trip will be around 13-15 days there are high chances that you will be able to complete. I will suggest starting the trip by 23-24th o May or later to be on safer side

  14. Hello I m Meghana from Pune, Maharshtra. Exremely grateful for this superb initiative of DOW.
    I am here right now to ask reviews if any of a taxi driver in Ladakh who puts his name as Sanju Leh Ladakh.
    Thank you !

      • Hi ! I had already checked the list… he isn’t listed there.. his contact is listed under ladakh taxi serivces on just dial.. but i have no idea how reliable that is ! He is the only one so far who has been super fast on communication! Also sent me images on whatsapp.. n has asked an advance of only 5000 prior to the trip ! So if i get to know someone who has travelled with him.. would be wonderful!

        • There are 50+ of them and have mostly supported by many travellers who have traveled with them. You can get in touch with others too.

  15. Milad Tangshir on

    Hello dear Dheeraj,
    My name is Milad Tangshir and I’m an Iranian film director based in Turin, Italy. With the Italian studio RossoFuoco we are in the middle of the production of a feature documentary film, called Star Stuff. Please let me give you a synopsis:
    “A journey to 4 observatories in 4 different continents in search for our place in the cosmos. Interviewing the veterans operating those telescopes and uncovering their personal revelations. Exploring the night sky to discover that we all share a dot in the cosmic ocean. And to realize how insignificant are our misunderstandings and our diversities.
    Nearby those observatories, astonishing humans live in remote villages. The film penetrates into their daily life and explores their dreams and passions. 4 places so distant to one another, but inhabited by humans who share the same vulnerability and longing for life.”
    Our four locations are: Chile, India, Canary Islands and South Africa. We have already shot the Canary Islands (La Palma). I’m in the final stages of my research about the Observatory in Hanle, and I came across your very useful website. I know you have precious information and experience about that region. I want to ask if it’s possible that I ask you few questions about this matter.
    Thank you very much for your kind attention.

    All the best
    Milad Tangshir
    http://www.starstuffthemovie.com/

    • Sure, Milad, I will be more than happy to help on providing information related to Hanle. Feel free to post any questions you have or you can always reach me at my email mentioned in the Contact Us page.

      • veenudigreat on

        Chat conversation start

        Sir, i need help for leh trip in last of march. 5 day tour 25 march to 30 march for six young member. pls suggest for what to do we want cover the maximum area of ladakh in 5 days. i call 4 driver you listed in your website he tell me cost 5 days tour 25k to35k. pls tell how many & famous palace cover in five days. pls help plan for trip. we are reach at leh on 25 march 7 .30 a.m.

        • Hello Veenu,

          With just 5 days in hand you will be at the mercy of weather and luck to cover Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso. First two days you have to take rest in Leh and acclimatize so that you do not fall sick. So, follow the below plan:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh
           
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

          Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
          — Do not plan to stay overnight at Pangong Tso as you will not be acclimatized and may fall sick. So, make a day trip only.
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 6 | Fly back home

  16. Hello there!! I’ve some queries. I’ll really appreciate help.
    I’m along with six members of our family planning to visit Ladakh on the first week of January. We’ll be coming from Bangladesh. From kolkata to leh we’ll be traveling by air. It’ll be a short trip of 2-3 days because after that we’ll be heading to chennai by flight. Now my questions are, is it possible to go there because i heard winter isn’t really a perfect time to visit ladakh, what r the places we can visit at that time?
    Thanks in advance

    • Shafayat, winters are very cold in Ladakh so go prepared and you wont be able to visit much but will end up acclimatizing for couple of days in Leh and then may be make a day trip to Khardung La pass on Day 3 or just explore Sham Valley

  17. Alok Sheoran on

    Greetings

    I have travelled some parts of himalayas with public transport.
    Now I want to travel on 150cc bike solo. is 150 cc a feasible option ?
    Please tell for a beginner what all should i pack and what all should i care about including risks.
    Please reply or best write a detailed article.

  18. Ranabir Ray on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Himachal with my wife during mid January. From Delhi we will reach Manali on 15 January.

    The itinerary as i have planned :

    Day 1 – Arrive in Manali. Will do local sightseeing if possible.
    Day 2 – Visit Solan valley and back to Manali.
    Day 3 – Visit Naggar, Manikaran, Kasol. Please let me know if we can visit Kasol and came back to Manali the same day.
    Day 4 – Shoja. We will stay in Shoja if i can arrange FRH or PWD guest house.
    Day 5,6 – Sarhan
    Day 7, 8 – Visit Kalapathar
    Day 9 – Visit Narkanda
    Day 10 – Simla
    Day 11 – Board bus to Delhi

    If Shoja accomodation is not managed then we will stay at Narkanda for 1 more day.

    Please suggest if the itinerary works well. Will this be a kind of hurried plan? Apart from Manali & Shimla, we will be staying in HPTDC hotels only. I hope they provide room heaters during winters. Please let me know your thoughts.

    • Hello Ranabir,

      No need to come back to Manali, you can either stay at Kasol or Naggar only. The plan looks quite relaxed to me but the problem is that road ahead of Shoja will be closed. You should opt for Chindi and then from Chindi you can go over to Sarahan.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

        • Ranabir Ray on

          I was wondering if we need to spend 2+2 days in Sarhan & Karapathar. We haven’t been to these places and would love to visit but is there any other places where we can visit along with these 2 places Or this itinerary is just fine. We would love to have your suggestions. Thanks again for your help.

  19. hey,

    hello,i am planing to visit in himachal pradesh for 8 to 9 days…i want to cover places like shimla,manali,kasol -kheerganga,dharmshala and kaza…can we cover all the places???????would you advice against planning such a trip???and yes whats the best route????planning this trip from kolkata…plz suggest…

    thanks in advance
    ankita

    • Kaza is a bit different territory all together. You can make rest of the places for sure in one go. You can follow a plan like below:

      Day 1 | Reach Shimla from by overnight Volvo from previous night. Check-in and rest at hotel. In the second half explore local Shimla including Shimla Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Back to Hotel By Evening.
      Day 2 | Shimla – Narkanda – Hatu Peak – Narkanda – Shimla OR you can do Shimla – Kufri – Chail – Shimla OR Shimla – Naldhera – Tattapani – Shimla
      Day 3 | Shimla – Manali
      Day 4 | Manali Local sightseeing which includes Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple, Mall Road, Local Monastery, Vashisth Hot Water Springs (never found it interesting), Hike the woods around Old Manali, Jogni Falls etc.
      Day 5 | Manali – Snow Point either at Solang Valley or Marhi/Gulaba on the way to Rohtang Pass or Rohtang Pass if safe to reach there. Enjoy in snow and come back to Manali and on the way do paragliding at Solang Valley, if required.
      Day 6 | Manali – Naggar Castle – Kasol
      Day 7,8 | Spend time in Kasol for a day or two. If in summers, you can make a trip to Kheerganga
      Day 9 | Start back to Delhi

      • vivek dhaka on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I quickly need to support as we (3 friends) are planning to Air trip to leh on 1st Dec -o4th Dec 16. this trip is just to visit Leh and Pangong. kindly suggest the details and contact person for Taxi and Hotel.

        Thanks.

        • Vivek, 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.

          Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
          — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
          — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
          — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
          — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
          — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
          — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
          — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
           
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
          — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 3 | Day trip to Khardung La
          Day 4 | Day trip to Pangong Tso

  20. Joemon Kurain on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    We are from bangalore. planning for a bike ride from manali to leh in the month of june 2017. We are 6 people ( 3 couples). Can you please suggest a good road trip package from manali, considering ladies in the our group.

    • 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

  21. ADITYA K BAFNA on

    sir grt work ur giving pricless information which many ppl dont share ,nice work vey much respect for u …. i hv one question in mind from 2 yrs didnt find any solution im shure u ll help me with it … how to visit siachin base camp ,cause permit is required ,where i can get that permit ,wheather i can get permit if i dont have any contacts in army ????? too many q but im trying hard to get ans for a long tym hope u ll help with it ????

    • Aditya, you can get the permits for Siachen base camp by visiting the army CO office in Leh and getting the permits from the army. Else yes if you have contacts in army they can help you provide the reference which makes it a bit easy.

  22. Soham Gambhir on

    Hello Dheeraj

    Okay this may sound crazy but me and my parents (age near about 50) have decided to visit Leh in mid-january next year and our tickets are already done so we are determined for this adventure. Now I know and have read that it is not advisable and everything and we don’t really expect to sight see a lot.

    In fact we just want to travel very less after landing in leh. We will be there for s total of e days and since first day would just be to acclimitize, we will be having only three days in which we just want to cover local sightseeing points which do not demand a lot of travelling. Fair amount of travel here I mean is about 2 hours driving at max.

    It will be really helpful if you could throw in some pointers regarding any special care that we must take and most importantly which places would be the most ideal for us? If it’s not too much to ask, it will br really appreciable if you could draw up a rough brief itinerary.

    Much Thanks in advance buddy.

    • Hello Soham,

      You should read: 6 Special Tips for a Winter Trip to Ladakh

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Acclimatization
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 3 | Leh – Sham Valley Tour
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight stay in Leh

      Day 4 | Make a day trip to Khardung La or take monastery tour to Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries

  23. Hi Dheeraj

    have read your article Winter trek to Prashar Lake.

    Now this year we are planing to trek to Prashar lake in December near year time. Would like to know how many days prior we need to book the guest house? also if this year shall we get good amount snow there at that time?

    • Krishanu, December ideally is not good time in case you want to see snow at Prashar unless it snows during that time. You should be lucky to get snow in December. However, the trek will have snow on the way and road may not be open during that time.

        • Yes, road will be open till Baggi vilagge and about 10 KMs beyond it. There are two routes one through woods which takes 10 KM but need a local guide and the road is 20 KM long.

  24. poonam deepak chawla on

    hi dheeraj i am from mumbai i had already visted to leh ladakh in june 2015 i have enter to leh from kashmir and end my trip to manali route. i was great experience.

    now i want to travel to spiti valley i want to enter from shimla and come out from manali . or vis vera pls suggest how to travel. and what is the best reason.

  25. Jwalant Shah on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to take a course on Basic Skiing in Jan’17 at the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering & Winter Sports at Pahalgam in J&K. The course duration is from 3-16 Jan’17.

    I was hoping if it will be possible to visit Kargil during Jan’17. I have not yet done my bookings, so I can plan either before the course or after.

    Hope you would be able to help me based on your experience with the terrain and its weather conditions.

  26. milind thakur on

    Dear Dheeraj

    I am planning to drive the Delhi -leh – manali circuit in July/august 2017.

    I have a couple of questions.

    1 is it ok to drive Automatic four wheel drive in ladakh. I am going to hire a vehicle from Delhi.

    2. if yes which is the appropriate automatic vehicle in your opinion.

    Thanks

    Milind

    • Hi Milind,

      Outside rented vehicles are not allowed to roam for sightseeing in Ladakh. They can come in and go away from Leh only. You have to hire a local taxi within Ladakh for sightseeing purposes and can use the outside rented vehicle for only drop in and drop out of Leh

  27. ADITYA K BAFNA on

    sir grt work ur giving pricless information which many ppl dont share ,nice work vey much respect for u …. i hv one question in mind from 2 yrs didnt find any solution im shure u ll help me with it … how to visit siachin base camp ,cause permit is required ,where i can get that permit ,wheather i can get permit if i dont have any contacts in army ????? too many q but im trying hard to get ans for a long tym hope u ll help with it ????

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