Best Time to Travel Ladakh & Zanskar Valley

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A lot of people ask me this many a times on the blog to suggest best time to Travel to Leh – Ladakh and I thought it is better to pen it down in an article so that it helps others too and does not repeat on the blog all over again and again.

Well, there are two roads that lead you to Leh Ladakh viz. Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway and both of them generally remain closed for more than 6 months from November to April or Mid-May every year because of heavy snowfall on various mountain passes that comes on these adventure roads. So, the only time to travel by road to Leh – Ladakh is from Mid-May to Mid – October types with second half of October being a risky affair to travel and May being the only likely option for Srinagar – Leh Highway as Manali – Leh Highway generally opens by June first week or late May. But, still the question is, “What is the best time to travel in these 5-6 months?”

Those beautiful curves over Srinagar – Kargil Highway…
Those beautiful curves over Srinagar - Kargil Highway

April to Mid-May

April is the month when tourists or travellers from all parts of the world start to come in to Ladakh. Restaurants start either to open or to setup for the season. So, are the guest houses, camps at Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri lakes starts to setup. By second week of May, generally the Srinagar – Leh Highway opens and influx of tourists starts to get into Ladakh. Supplies flow in along with fresh vegetables and fruits, hence the life come to normalcy.

In late April, all lakes including Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri start to melt and by mid-May they completely melt and starts radiating the ever beautiful blue hues under sunlight. Tourists / Travellers coming in, gets heavy discounts as it is the onset of season and with least tourists around, it is better place to be.

The passes, both Khardung La and Chang La, are under heaps of snow and passing through them is quite an experience in itself. Carrying shades/glares/goggles is highly recommended at this time of the year.

Vehicles Lining Up to Khardung La Pass in Snow…
Vehicles Lining Up to Khardung La Pass in Snow
Mid-May to July

As I said, in May, most likely you will only find Srinagar – Leh to be open, so if you are interested in complete circuit then it is not the right time. In June beginning, Manali road just opens with opening of Rohtang Pass. For the initial 7-10 days the roads are pretty much unstable with common snow slides and intermittent blockages also happens but gradually it settles down. And from Mid of June to July just before the onset of monsoon season, it is a very nice time to travel and indeed a lot of people undertake the road journey to Ladakh at this specific window only.

It is perfect time for those who want to enjoy snow around the road and drive through the snow walls of Rohtang Pass / Rani nalla and sometime Baralacha La too :)… However, keep in mind that Snow starts to melt which means, ferocious water crossings and rivers are pretty common in this period. Later you will reach at a water crossing in the day, slim are the chances to cross it. So, plan to leave early in the day and reach early in the day on destination.

Water crossings or Nallas over Manali – Leh Highway…
Water crossings or Nallas over Manali - Leh Highway
That is Zing Zing Bar Nalla at Manali – Leh Highway…
That is Zing Zing Bar Nalla at Manali - Leh Highway
August to Mid-September

In this period Monsoons are on full flurry and rivers, water crossings go ferocious at times when rains are running around. Landslides are common too in this period. However, there is a catch, that the region beyond Zozi La Pass towards Leh from Srinagar side and beyond Baralacha La pass towards Leh from Manali side, being rain shadow region do not get much affected by rains. But, definitely you will be facing the monsoon music up to Baralacha La pass from Manali side and Zozila Pass from Srinagar side. Of course, as happening for last 2-3 years Rohtang Pass most likely to be a nightmare in this period.

Even the rain shadow region definition is changing now and we have started getting rains in Ladakh too or at least over cast conditions with slight drizzle every now and then. So, be ready for surprises even in rain shadow region of Ladakh though not much or major unless it changes drastically in coming years.

Nightmarish roads of Rohtang Pass…
Those beautiful curves over Srinagar - Kargil Highway
Nightmarish roads of Rohtang Pass…
Those beautiful curves over Srinagar - Kargil Highway
Mid-September to Mid-October

Personally, this is my favourite season to Travel to Ladakh with burning colors all over in full glory. Post monsoon, the region becomes devoid of water and moisture too and chill starts to set in with intermittent snowfall. But, the colours of fall/autumn are almost burning with beauty all over the Srinagar – Leh, Manali – Leh roads and of course Ladakh. The road conditions also improve a bit in comparison to the rest of the season, in fact the best roads of the season since the maintenance works also settles by that time.

Even the water crossings are timid in flow with less water in them and are easy to pass by. The rivers are turned aqua blue again giving an entirely different aura to the regions. Your body is at max exposure of UV rays and due to lack of moisture, it become difficult to acclimatize as well. But, beauty on offer is worth anything 😀

Also, it is time when some camps have closed, packed up and some still run. There are occasional snowfall as well which might close the road for a day or two temporarily. And also, Raid-De-Himalayas rally also happen in this window which also disturbs you as traveler to some extent. I will suggest that you DO read: 5 Reasons to Avoid Manali – Leh Highway in October

Even Artist Would Feel Envy There Colors near Drass
A Teaser... Even Artist Would Feel Envy There Colors near Drass
Mid-October to Mid-November

This is the period when cold has settled into Tran Himalayas completely with sub-zero temperatures at almost all places above 14000 feet especially over Manali – Leh highway and high altitude lakes. The colors though are still beautiful in the region, tourists have almost gone away and only few brave ones remain.

Most of the guest houses, hotels and restaurants are closed by this time along with camps at lakes which are up by last week of September. Dhabhas and camps at Manali – Leh Highway are also deserted and locals go away to their homes to get ready for the hibernation in cold winters.

Though both Manali – Leh and Srinagar – Leh remain open unofficially, it is highly not recommended to travel over them especially Manali – Leh with such cold conditions, with least shelter available and black ice on roads that makes driving very risky affair. Black ice is quite common in this period, in fact it starts to appear in October starting as well at some of the places though does not last longer in early stages or winter season.

Also DO read: 5 Reasons to Avoid Manali – Leh Highway in October

Aqua Colored Zanskar River…
Aqua Colored Zanskar River in Zanskar Valley
Mid-November to March

This period is the coldest period in Ladakh where January is the coldest month of all seasons and Ladakh is cut-off from rest of the world by road. Only few brave and bold tourists are around even though the roads to Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso Lake over Khardung La Pass and Chang La Pass respectively are kept open all round the year barring few days of heavy snowfall. Mid-January to Mid-March is also the time when many adventure tourists come to Leh – Ladakh to walk over frozen Zanskar River from Padum in Zanskar Valley to Leh, popularly known as Chadar Trek

In this period, you are on the mercy of extreme cold. Snowfall as well is pretty common and mingled with high altitude terrain, it makes life difficult to survive and acclimatize as well. Key is to take rest, ample of rest in the initial days. Then, gradually start over reaching other high altitude places. The food options are very limited and most of the restaurants lives are deserted as their cook are out to their homes.

From November to December / Mid-January types, if the sun is shining the colors in the Lakes such as Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri are breathtaking but the options of stay near them are none or limited just to Home Stays in nearing villages which very basic facilities to brave the extreme cold.

After Mid-January, both Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri along with other high altitude lakes start to freeze and become solid as earth as you can literally drive your car over it, leave alone walking over it :)… These lakes remain frozen almost up to May first week type. So, those looking forward to see the magical changing colors of these lakes with sunlight in the day, shall refrain themselves from making a trip to Ladakh from Mid-January to early May, that is almost for 5 months.

Yet Another Time We Stuck… Towards Khardung La Pass…
Yet Another Time We Stuck… Towards Khardung La Pass
Conclusion

Are you still confused?? Don’t worry 😉 … I will suggest if you want to see heaps of snow and have full adventure in place then you must execute your road trip to Ladakh starting June first/second week up to mid of July types.

However, if you are more interested in nature’s lovely colours pallet and may be you are very much into photography then late season is the time, you do not really want to miss out on i.e. mid-September up to first week of October when colours are oozing out vividly all over Ladakh!!

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647 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj, firstly thanks a lot for writing this blog. Its very informative. I have always wanted to take a bike trip to Leh. I have not been riding much for past few years & I am someone who is very much susceptible to cold. Going by you blog, road conditions are poor in June-July season and in mid-September temperature will be a challenge. This has got me confused. Can you suggest which time i should go ? Also I want to opt for a packaged tour. Can you suggest any particular group or website ?

  2. Hi Dheeraj,

    Last year i had trip from 10 June16 to 21June2016 through Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Pangong-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi.
    In 2017 i want to start the trip in April last week or early may.
    What you suggest Please Guide.

    BR
    Ashish

    • Ashish, you will be able to only make the trip to Ladakh in April by air only. Are you going by Air? Or in case in May if Srinagar – Leh road opens, you will be able to take that road. How many days you are thinking?

      • Thanks for your reply Dheeraj.
        I am planning around 10-11 Days by Own car.
        Please suggest the earliest suitable time and Itinerary.

        • Earliest will be June month to go from Manali – Leh Highway.

          It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

          Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

  3. hey dheeraj,

    kiddo to the blogg. honestly i have been researching about my trip for the last one month nothing helped expect your blogg..we are number of 4 on bikes, planning to travel on 1st week of july 17.around 10 days trip .can please help us with details.i have covered almost all the parts of south india on bike,what are the best places to visit during this time and which route preferably. we are planning to rent a bike from LAH or delhi.one of this place preferably what-so over is better.thank you so much in advance .regards shemeem (Kerala)

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

      Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

      Regarding bike rentals in Leh, check: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2017-18

      • thank you so much dheeraj .do you advice taking flight instead to leh and rent a bike would save some time ?? please advice as me and my friend are looking for a good bike trip :’) is it possible during the 1st week of july

  4. Devendra Thakar on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    I am having Safari Storme SUV -Ex (2 wheel drive) and planned to visit Ladakh by road via Manali-Leh route in 3rd week of June-17. I would like to know, other travelers are using 2 wheel drive or 4×4 is compulsory?

  5. Dheeraj, I am very confused now. I am planning this trip in late August’17. Most probably between 25th August and 10 September. Is it sane to go as I do not have much biking experience. I have done few trips on my bike and I cannot postpone it to 2018 as my friend has already decided to go this year no matter what. Only 2 of us will go on separate bikes. What would you suggest considering we will be on bikes not cars.I am not considering June or July as there will be a lot of rush that time. And its all about peace 😛

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are four cousins (men) planning to take Manali Leh in mid June’ to July 2017as mentioned in this article (Mid of June to July just before the onset of monsoon season)- Could you share the road time table and also the good time to travel

  7. This is a very nice blog and it was very memorable trip It was such a fantastic post I really really like It
    Thanks for sharing
    Nice Information

  8. Thank you so much for your blog. You made my jaw dropped because of many amazing information you have provided.

    I plan to solo travel to Ladakh this September with budget trip. My itinerary is as below:

    Day 1 (Wed): Arrive Leh from New Delhi, rest in Leh
    Day 2 (Thu): Rest in Leh
    Day 3 (Fri):
    Day 4 (Sat): Tso Moriri, overnight in Changpa
    Day 5 (Sun): Tso Moriri, overnight near the lake.
    Day 6 (Mon): Back to Leh by bus, overnight in Leh
    Day 7 (Tue): Head to Nubra Valley, rest in Diskit/ Hunder
    Day 8 (Wed): Diskit/ Hunder/ Nubra Valley, overnight in Spangmik
    Day 9 (Fri): Back to Leh by bus
    Day 10: Head to Pangong Lake, overnight near the lake
    Day 11: Head to Leh, rest in Leh
    Day 12: Head to Padum, Zanskar Valley, overnight in Padum
    Day 13: Head to Leh
    Day 14 + Day 15: From Leh to Delhi.

    Do you have any recommendation? Is it ok if I should take a cab to go to Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake and back by bus? Is it safe for female traveler to bike in Ladakh?

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Hi Sol,

      You have good amount of days in hand and hence I will suggest you to follow the route as per acclimatization rules. First visit Nubra Valley, then visit Pangong Tso and then visit Tso Moriri. Padum, Zanskar requires 4-5 days at ease from Kargil, so I do not see you having time for it.

      • Thanks so much Dheeraj! I really love to go to Padum and Zanskar. It’s not easy for me if I skip those places 🙁

        • Do you have any recommendation to change my itinerary so that I can have 4-5 days for Padum and Zanskar? I can skip other places. Thanks Dheeraj.

        • Hello Sol,

          I am going to suggest following plan:

          Day 1 (Wed): Arrive Leh from New Delhi, rest in Leh
          Day 2 (Thu): Move to Kargil
          Day 3 (Fri): Kargil to Padum (Zanskar)
          Day 4 (Sat): Rest day at Padum (Visit Karsha, roam around in Padum)
          Day 5 (Sun): Rest day at Padum (Visit Zangla, Stongde monasteries)
          Day 6 (Mon): Move to Kargil
          Day 7 (Tue): Move to Leh
          Day 8 (Wed): Move to Nubra Valley
          Day 9 (Fri): Nubra Valley to Leh
          Day 10: Head to Pangong Lake, overnight near the lake
          Day 11: Head to Leh, rest in Leh
          Day 12: Head to Tso Moriri
          Day 13: Tso Moriri to Leh
          Day 14 + Day 15: From Leh to Delhi.

  9. Sachendra Pal on

    Hi Devil,

    This is an amazing website.

    I am planning to start my bike expedition from 21st of September. My route is Jammu – Srinagar-Kargil-Zanskar-Leh-Nubra-pangong-Tso moriri-Keylong-Dalhousie-Dharamshala

    It will need atleast 25 days to cover all these places and i am least concerned about time as i had quit my job. Now i have questions like,

    1) If i start from Jammu on 21st and reach Kargil on 23rd, Is it advisable to reach Zanskar(Padum) on 24-25th? Are roads accessible at that time?
    2) If i start from jammu and follow the Sarchu – Manali highway in 2nd week of October, Is it advisable?
    3) Contrary, if i start from Manali Leh highway, can i cover zanskar in the second week of October? I had to cover zanskar anyhow, thats why my plans are becoming very confusing.

    Please reply as its becoming very confusing for me.

    I also manage my personal blog, http://www.theCrazyRider.com

  10. Hi Dheeraj,

    We have an offer for Pajero white board from a rental company. Do we face any issues in Leh from taxi union check posts?

    Best Regards
    Gopinath

  11. mamatha n on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    your website is a bible. I have almost figured out everything reading it. I am planning to visit Leh in the first week of october. Flight from Delhi to Ladakh. Could you recommend some hotels good for this season? ANy special care I should think of since I am travelling with 10 year old.
    Thanks.

    • You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh by Air followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 9 days: Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air.

      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 2015 – 16 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% 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.

  12. Supriyo Das on

    We are a couple from Kolkata planned to travel Kashmir and leh with all sightseeing via kargil road by hiring motorcycle.From 11th October to 21 October… Will it be troublesome?? But we don’t want to cancel it….please suggest me in details…

      • Supriyo Das on

        Thanks for your suggestion .But we are not going to pensi la.we want to travel lamayur,nubra,pangong. in motorcycle.Please suggest in details how safe are these.Is it safe for a single couple to travel Kashmir and leh by bike in that time??

        • You said Zanskar Valley, so thought you want to go to there. That should be OK but avoid coming back from MAnali side. Srinagar – Leh route is still OK in October. It will be cold, there will be less tourists around and most hotels/restaurants will be closed for the season.

        • Supriyo Das on

          Thanks. But I want to know how safe is pangong and nubra road for bike tour for a single couple in 3rd week of October…?? Please suggest..what may be the difficulties for single couple??

        • Safety wise, Ladakh is one of the safest places in terms of crime and they treat tourists like guests. But, it will be damn cold and yes of course deserted roads will be there as less tourists will be present. The response time in case of need or any help will be more and more as less people travel on these routes..

        • Supriyo Das on

          Please suggest me where can we get bike for hire in Srinagar and leg in October… Do we need to book it early or available that we can go and burgain there.

        • Supriyo, most things are shut in Srinagar now a days. You cannot use a srinagar bike in ladakh for sightseeing, so be aware about that. One side drop of bike will cost around 10K more.

        • Supriyo Das on

          Thank you.I have installed and registered in DOW apps but but I can’t post anything..
          Anyway, we are a single couple planned a bike tour from 11october to 21 october.We have planned to hire bike in Srinagar for 4 days and travel to leh via kargil by public transport and again hire bike in leh for 5 days.Please suggest for..
          1.Where can we hire bike in Srinagar?? Cost??terms?? Anything else that I don’t know??
          2.Where can we hire bike in Leg??Cost??terms?? Anything else??
          3.Is panggong,nubra,lamayuru routes will be OK in those seasons for bike riding??
          4.what are the necessary things we should carry??
          5.how to know if anybody want to join us??
          6.Budget stays in pangong,nubra etc.
          Please suggest anything more to keep in mind that I don’t know…

  13. Hi Dheeraj,
    Congratulation for your blog.. it is really interesting and useful.
    My girlfriend and I would like to go to ladakh the newxt november.. but it seems so cold overthere… so What do you think? are there any other interesting mountains sites in the India Himalaya region that are more accessible in that period?
    Or… if I decided to go to Ladakh in that period… where do you think could go around? and how many degrees below zero could I experience?
    Thanks so much
    Simone

  14. Abhi Punglia on

    Hello

    Planning to go in mid august with friends and bike trip in and from leh itself..?
    Is it recommendable to go during that time of rains..?

  15. Hi Dheeraj

    Your article is quite informative. Thanks. It would be nice if you can help me plan up my trip to Lay-Ladakh .
    Myself and my wife ( mid 40) and twin daughters aged 16 planning to travel to Lay from Bangalore on 9th of October, because, that’s when children get holidays and would like to stay at lay-Ladhak till 16th of October. ( basically 5 day, stay in Lay) Can you please suggest the places that we can cover and suggest an itinerary for me. We plan to take up a flight from Bangalore to Delhi. and after that, I have absolutely no idea about the mode of transport or route i should take. Is it better to go on our own or take up a camp. if taking up a camp, which one is better? Hope, that’s not very expensive. Please suggest.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Warm Regards,

    Niranjan

  16. Hello Dheeraj,

    I will be in leh on 12th July till 20th July 2016.

    I have some questions in mind so could you please suggest me the best answer

    In which place shall I stay in Leh?

    Also, where shall I get good accommodation like tent or home stay?

    In which place shall visit during the period i.e. between 12th July to 20th July 2016?

    Also, it would be better if you suggest me the place where shall I get Bike on rent?

    On 22nd July, I have trained from Jammu so is there any public transport or anything else through which I can go from Leh to Jammu via Kargil?

    Apart from that you can suggest me better plan.

    Awaiting for your prompt reply.

    Thank you.

  17. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to do circuit from Chandigarh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Chandigarh.
    Dates are 2 nd august to 13 august.

    1. What is your opinion above dates of travel?
    2. Will it be good for bike riding?
    3. As heard of uttarakhand cloud burst.. So any chances of consequences? (I can understand it cannot be assured right now… but still if you have any predictions.)

  18. Harshlata sharma on

    Hie

    I am planing to travel Leh-Ladakh…we are 6 people…we will be traveling to and fro Leh airport from mumbai…
    But we are very much confused about the dates..
    Please suggest
    Aug 26th to 4th Sep
    Sep 2nd to 11th
    Any 1..thou there isn’t much difference in the date…we are preferring Sep…but jz rains may spoil the trip so need your guidance

  19. Supratik Das on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I am from Bangalore and planning to do a solo trip on a budget in the month of August 2016. I have planned out a small itinerary, would love to have your opinion regarding the same.
    Day 1 : Bangalore to Delhi by flight
    Day 2 : Delhi to Manali by Volvo bus
    Day 3 & 4 : Manali to Leh by bus with overnight stay at Sarchu
    Day 5 : Local sightseeing/Rest
    Day 6 : Hire a bike in Leh for the rest of the trip. Sham Valley
    Day 7 : Leh to Nubra valley. Overnight stay at Hunder.
    Day 8 : Nubra valley to Leh
    Day 9 : Leh to Pangong Tso. Overnight stay at Spangmik.
    Day 10 : Pangong Tso to Leh.
    Day 11 : Leh to Delhi by flight. Delhi to Bangalore by flight.

    Let me know what you think of this.

  20. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to travel to Leh-Ladakh in first week of October 2016 with hubby and 8 year old daughter. Please help me with below questions,

    1. Is this time of the year OK for travel ? (considering kid in mind)Will it be too cold ?
    2. Planning for self drive from Manali to Leh and then back from Leh by flight.
    3. Is it good for traveling around Leh ? Weather conditions ?
    4. Is it OK to travel by road with the kid ?

    Thanks
    Ashwini

    • Hi Ashwini,

      1. No, time is not OK most of the camps are winded up and it gets cold in high places in Ladakh
      2. Manali – Leh is not recommended at all in October and especially with kids, will not suggest taking risks, even though now a days it is slightest.
      3. Cold mostly.

  21. Karen Sandhu on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are following for advice to driver via Srinagar to Leh. But question are we allowed to driver a hire tempo traveller from punjab via Srinagar to Leh. And for local ladakh sight seeing via taxi.

      • Karen Sandhu on

        Yes Dheeraj. I’m aware about the local sightseeing must be done via their local transport.
        But reaching Leh on our own hire vehicle(Tempo traveller) from punjab – are we allowed that via srinagar.

        Or we need to take the tempo from srinagar itself.

        • Karen Sandhu on

          We are planning our journey as below from 14th Jul to 25th Jul.

          Day 1 – Delhi to Srinagar (flight)
          Day 2 – Srinagar to Pahalgam to Srinagar
          Day 3 – Srinagar to Gulmarg to Srinagar
          Day 4 – Srinagar to Kargil (Via Sonamarg and Dras)
          Day 5 – Srinagar to Leh
          Day 6 – Leh (Tour of Local Monasteries)
          Day 7 – Leh to Nubra Lake
          Day 8 – Nubra Lake to Leh
          Day 9 – Leh to Panggong Lake and Back to Leh
          Day 10 – Leh to Kelyong
          Day 11 – Kelyong to Manali
          Day 12 – Manali to Chandigarh

          1. Need your advice on the plan – is it ok ?
          2. Taking tempo traveler from punjab (For day 2 to 5 and 10,11, 12)
          3. For local sighting seeing will take the local transport in leh
          (For day 6,7,8,9)

          Regards,
          Karen Sandhu

  22. Hi, please give me update infomation for bus service timing from Leh to srinagar nowdays (Days and timing) and also tell me bus service or taxi in Low budget for visit Pangong Lake,Tso morriri , Nubra valley, khardungla top etc.

  23. Sagar Agarwal on

    Hi Dhiraj,

    I am planning a trip to Ladhak from 6th Aug to 17th Aug. A brief itinerary is as follows

    Day 1st Pune – Srinagar airport – Local Trip
    Day 2nd Srinagar – Gulmarg– Srinagar
    Day 3rd Srinagar – Sonamarg – Kargil – Lamayuru ( We would prefer staying at Lamayuru instead of Kargil. Is this feasible?
    Day 4th – Lamayuru – Leh
    Day 5th Tour of Local Monasteries
    Day 6th Leh – Pangong Lake
    Day 7th Pangong – Leh – Khardungla – Nubra Valley
    Day 8th Back to leh
    Day 9th leh – Sarchu Here can we cover morey plains?
    Day 10th Sarchu – manali
    Day 11th Manali local sightseeing
    Day 12th Manali – Chandigarh Airport Drop

    1. Any comments/suggestions on the itinerary?
    2. Can we hire open jeep/mahindra thar in leh? If yes, can you share some relevant contacts?Chauffeur driven would also do.
    3. You have already mentioned details about the weather conditions in the first week of August, but as we wont be riding on bikes, how much difficulties we might face?
    4. How much it would cost approximately for the above itinerary considering we are 4 adults travelling.

    • 1. Changes suggested below
      2. No self drive option available in Leh, you can hire taxi there
      3. Well, below Ladakh range, there will be rains which will have swollen water crossings, slush on roads, landlsides will be common too
      4.

      Day 1st Pune – Srinagar airport – Local Trip
      Day 2nd Srinagar – Gulmarg– Srinagar
      Day 3rd Srinagar – Sonamarg – Kargil
      Day 4th – Kargil – Leh
      Day 5th Tour of Local Monasteries
      Day 6th Leh – Nubra Valley
      Day 7th Back to Leh
      Day 8th Day trip to Pangong Tso or go to Sarchu/Pang from Panogng Tso next day
      Day 9th Sarchu/Pang
      Day 10th Sarchu/Pang – manali
      Day 11th Manali local sightseeing
      Day 12th Manali – Chandigarh Airport Drop

      • Sagar Agarwal on

        Thanks for the reply Dheeraj.
        Need clarification on below two points:

        1. Regarding water crossings and slush on roads, how much does it affect while travelling in a four wheeler(we are not riding on bikes)?

        2. Regarding open jeep/mahindra thar – We dont need a self drive vehicle. A car with driver will do. But the main requirement is we need an Open Jeep. So would be great if you can share some relevant contacts.

  24. Hi,
    I am planning to visit leh on 2 Oct 2016 with my wife for around 10 to 11 days. I will fly from pune to leh. Then will book hotel there and take bike of rent i will visit different place there. So i have some question below:
    1. How easily we can get hotel there with affordable rate during given time frame?
    2.I will be traveling different place on bike with my wife , my wife don’t ride bike so is it possible to visit place like Chang La Pass,Taglang La Pass,Khardung La Pass,Tso Kar Lake,Pangong Tso Lake etc. in 7-8 days time frame.
    3. Is it safe to travel in leh alone with wife ?

    Thanks in advance.
    Rahul

    • Rahul in October it is off seaosn in Ladakh and cold too. Most of the camps besides the Pangong Tso lake gets packed up and most hotels/restaurant in Leh gets closed.

  25. Hello, sir I want to know about Local bus service around leh Ladakh Local sightseenig is available on nowdays july 2016.plz Reply

  26. Siddharth on

    I am planning to travel Srinagar-Leh-Manali with my mom. The trip would be for around 10-12 days and wil include Sonmarg, Dras, Kargil, Lamayuru, Leh, Nubra, Pangong, Sarchu, Rohtang and finally Manali.
    Which would be the best time to travel July end (around 27 July.) or mid September (around 20 Sep.)?
    How are the road conditions during the given period?
    Any suggestions or must visit places are welcomed!

    • Mid septembers is a good time to travel Ladakh, always. 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

      • Thanks for the deails.I have planned somewhat similar itinerary. The only difference is we will finishing the tour at Chandigarh.
        How is the weather during the September end (20-30 September)? Are there any chances of rain or snow fall?
        Does temperature dip ver much at night or high passes?
        Can you please mention some advantages of visiting Leh in September over July or any points which are best to visit in September?
        How much time does it take to reach Chandigarh from Manali as the last flight from Chandigarh is at 7 pm. ?
        Thank You!

  27. luckyverma4u on

    Hello DOW

    We have planned to ride Leh in September starting from 16 -Sep to 1st-Oct.
    We are 6 riders on our own starting from Jammu- srinagar-leh-manali-Chandigarh
    My main concern is the weather, road conditions & stay in last 2 weeks of September.
    My question are :
    1: Is riding during this time safe( like landslide & rains) ?
    2: is this the good time for the road trip ?
    3: What about the camp stay in pangong? will that be open ?
    4: Can we setup our own tent ? (with proper Sleeping bag n all)
    5: Will there be snow ?
    6: What about the land slide & rain in last two week of September ? Will we face that ?

    Thanks in Advance

    Regards.
    Bharat V

    • Hello Bharat,

      1. YEs, time is good to travel, in fact best time to travel to Ladakh
      3. Yes, there will be options available
      4. Yes you can setup your own camps where other camps are pitched. DO NOT pitch at banks of the lake as it is not authorized and leagal to camp besides the lake.
      5. In case it snows the day you visit.
      6. Usually things are stable in September

  28. Hi Sir,

    I’m Bhoomik From Chennai

    What are the places would u suggest to visit if i would like to cover Nook and corner of leh ladakh and near by and how many days will it take.
    Please suggest Me everything.

    Thank You.

      • Dear sir,

        I am planning to travel ladakh in mid of june, and I want to visit Zanskar, I’ll follow your suggested common itinerary for this trip. So is it possible to cover Zansakar in this itinerary and if yes, can u please share me the travel guide to cover the same or any other possibilities.

        Thanking you.

  29. Raj Rangi on

    Hello sir, I have planned for visit to Ladakh during 18june to 24 june .Is it the best time to visit .plz Reply

  30. Dear Dheeraj,

    You are doing an excellent job. I would like to thank you sincerely for it.
    I have a query that I want to travel with my husband to Leh from 2 sep to 8sep 2016. But I am bit afraid as I have read that weather in leh keeps changing drastically and at that time it would be monsoon so lot of thunderstorm. I was going to follow your iteneary for this short trip of 6 nights stay.
    Could you please guide me and clear my mind, Is September a good month to travel? I am planning to viist Nubra & Panong Tso and stay 1 night at each place. If we get stuck at somepoint, Is help available? I know probably I am worrying too much but I woul dbe very thankful to you if you can throw some lights on my query.
    Thanking you

  31. Vishal Gupta on

    HI Dheeraj,
    Me and my wife wish to travel in the second week of August. Do you recommend that time for travel? its her birthday so don’t want to mess it up 🙂

    • 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 …

      Please refer the link in our community: FAQ | Is Monsoon season good time to travel to Ladakh? for more details.

  32. Harish chander on

    Hi Dheeraj. We are 4 persons all adults of a family two gents and two ladies plan to visit zhanskar valley from Jalandhar. Pl suggest best itenry We have a total of 7-8 days from 11 June We will be going in Pajero sports 4by4

  33. Gautam Jindal on

    hi Dheeraj.

    Your posts are so so awesome.

    I need your advice on our road trip plan. We are a group of 8 friends, 25-35 yrs old males & females, planning for Delhi-Leh-Delhi by our own two cars. I am keen to have your advice on the following:-
    1. Are Maruti Swift diesels recommended for this trip?
    2. Except me, all other 7 friends are first timers for Ladakh trip but all of them have done lot of self driven road trips in north india, so is it advisable for us to go to ladakh during Jun-July or Aug-Sep?

    your valuable insights will be highly helpful for all of us. Thanks.

  34. VISHAL BHATIA on

    hello Dheeraj,

    I will be travelling to Leh Ladakh during 1st october to 12th october on my Santro. Is it doable on a Santro?
    i will self drive and travel with my wife and son. Please advice.I will be going via Srinagar.

  35. anoop raj on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for setting up all the information in one place. I have planned trip to LEH during September. Travel plan is for ~22 days, in that I would like to cover kargil/leh/manali/delhi[in and around places ]/Agra and then I would ride back to Bangalore. Here’s what I have planned, please help me to head in right direction and plan better.

    TRIP START DATE: SEP 02 2016 [ Friday night ]
    END DATE: SEP 25 2016 [ Saturday ]

    Sep 2nd [ night ]:- I will be getting my bike [ Apache 180 ] from Bangalore via train and reach Delhi on Sunday 04
    Sep 04 : Will head to Pathankot .
    [ THAT’s ALL ]
    After going through all the places suggested by you for other travelers, I had made a rough plan on where to visit. But then I would like to hear it out from the right person rather than going with one of mine.

    Looking forward for advice to plan things even better.

    • Hi Anoop,

      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.

      This is from Delhi to Delhi, now depending upon days left in 22 days with you, you can try to spend more time at places example go to Turtuk in Nubra Valley, take three day journey over Manali – leh Highway

  36. Debjyoti (Kolkata) on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    U r just amazing!!!

    I have planned a family trip to Leh – Ladakh during 10 Oct to 16 Oct 2016. It will be a 12 member group with age ranging from 7 years to 65 years. Will be reaching Leh by flight from Delhi and return on 16 morning by flight. The flight tickets are already booked. I have the the following questions:
    1. Will it be appropriate to travel with such age group? (Keeping in view the temperature and terrain)
    2. Suggest me the places to visit as I have not yet planned the itinerary.
    3. Suggest me suitable hotels/ camps/ homestay for your suggested itinerary.
    4. What is the minimum temperature expected during our visit?

  37. Hi dheeraj
    I read all your post for leh ladak i was very impress
    I would like to take three days journey on Srinagar – leh highway
    I would like to use alternate route which goes Kargil ,Batalik ,Dah,Skurbuchan
    My back journey is leh to manali iwould like to go to spiti valley too
    Can you set my iternary and which is the best season to visit and how many days should I keep no time limite
    I

    • Hello Sonali,

      You can follow th below plan:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
      — Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

      Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 3 | Srinagar – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 4 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La

      Day 7 | Hunder – Sumur/Kyagar – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna 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.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)

      Day 10 | Pangong Tso Lake – Shey – Thicksey – Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 11 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna 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
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 12 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 13 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 14 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Jispa

      Day 15 | Jispa – Chandratal
      Day 16 | Chandratal – Kaza on the way (Ki, Kibber, Gette)
      Day 17 | Kaza/Langza Homestay (Hikkim, Koumik, Langza)
      Day 18 | Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhankar – Tabo
      Day 19 | Tabo – Kalpa
      Day 20 | Kalpa – Narkanda
      Day 21 | Narkanda – Chail / Shimla – Delhi

      Add a day from Kargil to travel to Dah – Hanu villages and next day traveling to Leh from Dah – Hanu or Alchi wherever you take the night halt.

  38. Hi dheeraj,

    Your blog is amazing and definately a bible for ppl who want to travel to ladakh..i’m planning for 11 day trip to leh ladakh starting from either 3rd sept to 13sept or 9th sept to 19th sept.
    Can you please suggest me a gud detailed itinerary and also which dates would be best.
    Im from chennai and would prefer taking flight from chennai to leh and back..also can u suggest me whr all can i rent bikes.i would wanna drive a bike around for the experience and thrill of it..would like to do some camping as well..
    Thanks in advance
    Regards,
    Neelam

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