Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

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Tourism in Ladakh has risen in the last few years and many people prefer to self drive to Leh – Ladakh for satisfying their hunger for adventure 🙂 … There are many tourist places in Leh – Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Sham Valley etc and most of them are connected via Leh town except the adventurous connecting routes which exist between them. However, it always a good idea to plan your Ladakh journey well enough so that you do not come with a nightmare experience from heaven, which I found many people had this time when I was present in Ladakh. And, one of the key areas or things is to know about road conditions that you might expect along with the fuel stations or availability of fuel within Ladakh or in roads to Ladakh like Manali – Leh Highway and Srinagar – Leh Highway, once you reach Ladakh and drive on your own. I know there are many great articles or maps available over the Internet and even in Ladakh section of my blog but I will just try to add two more OK types article in the list :)…

In the first article of this series “Ladakh Self Drive Tips“, we will talk about the petrol/diesel or fuel availability within Leh – Ladakh and in the second article we will talk about the standard road conditions within Leh – Ladakh.

Tandi Indian Oil Petrol Pump on Manali - Leh Highway

Petrol/Diesel Pumps or Fuel Availability in Ladakh

Without fuel (petrol or diesel) one cannot drive or ride and we all have limited capacity fuel tank in our vehicles. The mileage of the vehicles also decrease in harsh terrain like Ladakh where hills are not the only thing that results low fuel efficiency but rough or non-existent roads, rarefied oxygen (just guessing on this one) also joins the party. Hence, one thing that you should always keep in mind when self riding or driving within Leh – Ladakh is that petrol or diesel is available only in Leh town (guess 2 petrol pumps are in/around Leh) and one petrol pump is present in Karu town which is about 45 KMs from Leh on Manali – Leh Highway. There is one petrol pump available in Nubra Valley’s Deskit town as well but that rarely is functional and cannot be relied upon. Sometimes, even the fuel is not available at Leh petrol pumps as well for first half of the day. Now, what is the problem that lies behind it?Update 2016: Deskit Petrol pump is fully functional now and also work in winters. Availability in Leh is tremendously improved as well now for last few years.

The biggest problem is that, most of the tourist destinations within Ladakh are not near to Leh rather about ~150+ KMs away from Leh and a return journey will make them about ~300 KMs. You will be able to easily get away with it, if you are coming back to Leh every time you go to one or other destinations because you can get your vehicle refuelled and ~300 KMs trips can be managed in most bikes and car very easily. The problem is when some of us do not want to come back to Leh rather do circuits like, Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Leh or Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh or Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh etc. Such routes are not possible to be done without carrying spare fuel (petrol/diesel) along with tankful of fuel in the vehicle.

Listed below are some of the common long routes in Ladakh along with the approximate distances that you will be covering on them without any fuel (petrol/diesel) pumps:

  • Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Leh via Wari La = 600 – 650 KMs
  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh via Hanle = 650 – 700 KMs
  • Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh = 900 – 950 KMs
  • Leh – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Manali = 550 KMs
  • Leh – Karu – Rumtse – Taglang La – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali = 350 – 400 KMs
  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali = 900 – 950 KMs

Hence, you can keep these routes in mind and plan to carry spare fuel with you based on the distance you will be traveling, if required. [highlight]In case you may run out of fuel on any of these routes,[/highlight] you can also try villages on these routes (especially Tangste, Chumathang, Khalsar, Deskit, Hanle, Pang etc.) where you may find the black diesel/petrol sold by the villagers, (of course, highly likely, with quality compromised) which can be handy in such odd circumstances.

Conclusion:

I hope the above article will be useful in planning your trip to Leh – Ladakh by giving you a better idea when you might need to carry spare fuel (petrol/diesel) and how much based on the mileage your vehicle offers. In the next article, we will talk about the other important factor when self – driving in Leh – Ladakh, that is, the road conditions within Leh – Ladakh. If you have ever self-driven to Leh – Ladakh and have some valuable tips to share, please share it with us too, so that it could be helpful to other self-drive enthusiasts and fellow travellers planning their upcoming trip to Leh – Ladakh 🙂 …

P.S-> One good place to find some real helpful self-drive tips is respected Indian Highways encyclopaedic – HV Kumar’s Facebook Page linked here.

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103 Comments

  1. Vaibhav Singh on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    We are planning a journey on 2nd June i have doubt regarding petrol issues.

    Day 1 – Manali to Lispa
    Day 2 – Jispa to Leh
    Day 3 – Leh rest day
    The doubt is here we will be having two bullets.
    Day 4 – Leh to Nubra Valley
    Day 5 – Nubra to Pangong via Shyok valley
    Day 6 – Pangong to Tso Moriri
    Day 7 – Tso Moriri to Sarchu
    Day 8 – Sarchu to Manali
    So are there any option for petrol refilling Except karu as it a circuit of around 1000 km till we reach tandi 110 km from manali.
    or please help me in the details that whether we can get petrol there or not or adjust my plan accordingly.

    With regards
    Vaibhav Singh

    • Hey Vaibhav,

      You will get fuel pump at Deskit now in Nubra Valley but you still have to manage the petrol for about 800 odd KMs without fuel for above circuit. You will get fuel in black at some villages but not all, so always preferable to carry some extra with you

      • Hi dheeraj,

        Thanks for the update can you when manali leh highway is opening we are leaving on 2nd june from delhi. Thanks for your quick response.

  2. Mangesh deshpande on

    Sir I’m planning to go leh ladkha on bike my plan were according to mi as follows chandigadh – manali-jispa-serchu-tsomoriri lake via tsokar lake-hanle-pangong-nubra valley-leh city via khardula pass-leh kargil-sonmarg…
    Pls suggest mi about my plan n route
    1) pls suggest mi petrol pumps on my routs
    2) any changes in plan according to u…
    3) were I hire bike n leave
    4) where I staying????

    • Hi Mangesh,

      PLEASE DO NOT make a trip to Tso Moriri while going to Leh from Manali and also avoid overnight stay at Sarchu as you will not be acclimatized to sleep at these places.

      1. For petrol pumps, you may read article above.
      2. Suggested above
      3. Hire in Leh unless you want to pay twice.
      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

  3. Akshay Rajan Joshi on

    Hi dheeraj… we are leaving frm leh on 30th June… leh – pangong – tso kar – jispa – manali… can u pls provide info abt the fuel stations on this route… plus how much fuel do u think we shud carry… (mileage is 30 approx)

  4. prudhvi teja on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am seeing many posts saying permits are not required for self driven cars. We are thinking to travel from delhi-jammu-srinagar-sonmarg-kargil-leh, leh-nubra via khardung la top, nubra-leh via dikshit excursion,leh-pangong and back to leh via hemis, leh-jispa-manali-delhi

    Can you please confirm if we need to take any extra permits. We will be travelling by swift dezire, it w any could also be helpful if you can suggest any changes based on that

    • B B Pandhi on

      Dear Tejas
      Permit from Manali to Rohtand route is required. No permit is required to travel upto Leh. But to kardungla, nubravelly, pan gong, tsomorni are required. Single permit with photocopies for each route. To make permit photo and identity proof required.

  5. Kanishk Patil on

    Heyy Dheeraj!! I live in Pune and i’m planning to go to leh next week, solo. I’ll be staying at Air Force Station Leh as my dad’s in the Air force. I wanted to travel to Pangong Lake and from the many possible options, i found renting the bike to be the best. I wanted to know, is the trip feasible alone? Also, should i carry spare petrol? If so, approx how much should i carry? Should i make it a 2 day trip? I’m not interested to travel any further than the lake!
    Your advice will be much appreciated!!
    Thanks 🙂

  6. Dheeraj brother, I want ur advise on our upcoming bike trip to Leh regarding the “Permits” required (as ppl say that its NOT req for INDIANS). Is it TRUE.??
    n next as to the amount of fuel required as per our circuit as follows:
    Day 1 – Day 3 : Delhi to Srinagar
    Day 4: Srinagar to Kargil
    Day 5: Kargil to Leh
    Day 6: Leh to PanGong
    Day 7: Pangong to Nubra
    Day 8: Back to Leh and stay Over for a Day ( Contingent Day )
    Day 10: To Tso Moriri
    Day 11: To Sarchu
    Day 12: TO Keylong
    Day 13: To Manali and stay over for a Day ( Contingent Day )
    Day 15: To Delhi.

    • Yes, since 2014 May, no permits required for Indians in Ladakh. Your plan does not look good to me. It has to be like below:

      Day 6: Leh rest and acclimatization
      Day 7: Leh to Nubra
      Day 8: Back to Leh and stay Over for a Day
      Day 10: Leh to Panogng Tso
      Day 11: Pangong Tso To Leh
      Day 12: Leh to Sarchu
      Day 13: Sarchu To Manali and stay over for a Day

      • HI Dheeraj.

        Thanks for the advise.

        It wud b very helpful if u can guide out with the petrol pumps for the trip..

        Moreover Leh to Sarchu (Day 12) and Sarchu to Manali (Day 13) as per ur advise is back to back 230-240 kms so we can break that into 3 days.

  7. Hi dheeraj,
    What is ur views about this???
    We hd 2 bullet classic 350 nd we r 4 frnds???
    Nw tell how much litre cans should be carry by us for spare fuel???
    4 july jalandhar to patnitop 290 km
    5 july patnitop to srinagar 185 km
    6 july srinagar to kargil 202 km
    7 july kargil to leh 211 km
    8 july leh rest
    9 july leh to hunder 116 km
    10 july hunder to leh 116 km
    11 july leh to pangong 158 km
    12 july pangong to hanle via maan,merak 160 km
    13 july hanle to tso moriri 131 km
    14 july tso moriri to sarchu 230 km
    15 july sarchu to sissu 137 km
    16july sissu to kaza 157 km + 19 km
    17 july kaza to reckong peo 211
    18 july reckong peo to shimla 226 km
    19 july shimla to jalandhar 220 km

    • Looks good to go but a bit hectic. You will need permits to travel to Hanle from Pangong Tso and can be possible that you are turned from Chusul post itself.

  8. hey Dheeraj, how R U doing ???
    We had planned a road trip from Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi commencing on the 11th of September 2014.
    Considering the floods, what is the current situation of the roads and is it advisable to disembark on 11 Sep 14 ???

  9. hey bro, actually m having a intruder 1800. and m thinking of whole India road tour on it from jan first week. I wanna know that what could be the most distance between two petrol pumps in Jammu and leh area? my bike average is 8kmpl tank capacity 19.5 litres. as in my journey of 18000 kms m gonna pass through main cities only so in other states it will b not such big trouble. pls guide me how can I cover leh and Jammu.

    • Hi Sharry,

      Please check the article above which enlists the distance between the fuel pumps in Ladakh and which route will have which coverage. On Srinagar – Leh Highway, there wont be much of an issue. But, in Ladakh since the petrol pump is only in Leh there you need to carry extra fuel with you. Even for a trip to Nubra Valley which is 130 odd KMs one side, you will need fuel. In Ladakh there will be decrease in mileage of the bike too by about 30-35% as well. On Manali – Leh Highway, the difference between two petrol pumps of Karu and Tandi is 365 KMs.

      Regards
      dheeraj

      • Karan S Sisodia on

        Dear Dheeraj Ji,

        Further to your above post, would like to know why the Innova or any vehicle should not be Taxi, if self driving.

        Being a Tour Operator I have all the vehicles with T permit and myself planning a 12-15 day road trip to J & K + Kullu – Manali – Shimla, Entering via srinagar and Exit by Shimla Manali – Chandigarh Route.

        Awaiting Your answer.

        • Karan, Self drive rented cars and taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them for getting to Leh and getting out from Leh but not sightseeing. So, the self drive cars you are taking must have private number plate, mostly should be under your name, your wife name or your father name otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it. You can read: Rented Self Drive Cars in Leh – Ladakh Banned “FORCIBLY”

  10. Satej Prabhu on

    Hi Dheeraj Bhai,

    I am planning
    Leh -Karu – Pangong(35+115km): Stay
    Pangong-Chusul-Chumathang(150km): Stay
    Chumathang- Tso Kar- Sarchu(250km): Stay
    Sarchu-Tandi(115km): Refuel and go ahead to Spiti.
    Tandi- Spiti valley(180km): Stay
    1. What do you think about 650 km journey(Leh-Tandi) w/o petrol pumps?
    2. or there are any on the way?
    Map Link:
    https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr=Manali,+Himachal+Pradesh&daddr=Jispa,+Himachal+Pradesh+to:Leh+to:Mulbekh+to:Kargil+to:Lamayuru+to:Leh+to:Khardungla+pass+to:Deskit+to:nubra+valley+to:Leh+to:Karu+to:Lake+Pangong,+Pangong+Tso,+Ngari,+Xizang+(Tibet)+to:chusul+to:Chumathang+Gompa,+Chumathang+to:Kyagar+Tso+to:Tso+Kar+to:Upshi+to:sarchu+to:Tandi,+Himachal+Pradesh+to:Spiti+Valley,+Lahaul+and+Spiti,+Himachal+Pradesh+to:Kaza,+Himachal+Pradesh+to:Manali,+Himachal+Pradesh&hl=en&ll=33.45436,77.393188&spn=2.786361,6.28418&sll=32.967195,77.563477&sspn=2.801908,6.28418&geocode=FRDw6wEdas6ZBCk_0D8WCIcEOTHNdlC-DqgpgQ%3BFSgI8gEdncCZBCk9YfO103cDOTHev4PdnGTrOQ%3BFYogCQIdXbufBCmF7V9EIev9ODEQ94ZQlwm70Q%3BFbWQDAIdxkiNBCnvrsXaGdTiODENhRcPNXdRUw%3BFUoNDwIdyseJBCm73lLAsSPjODGuzE_rIyA_pw%3BFR0fCwIdzneTBCnr6SQc7zz9ODGYl41rNhAnwQ%3BFYogCQIdXbufBCmF7V9EIev9ODEQ94ZQlwm70Q%3BFSIOCwIdpyagBClLwbnz_sD9ODHx2XZX1V3sNw%3BFZc0DwIdwF6fBCm5c34RZrX9ODGe2ueZZ38jVQ%3BFX4bEQIdHa2fBCGVCYSYrwMUhilD5i_nr8v9ODGVCYSYrwMUhg%3BFYogCQIdXbufBCmF7V9EIev9ODEQ94ZQlwm70Q%3BFbmTBQIdRzCiBCl5uZMMjPf9ODHQbeh6LDum4w%3BFQRKBgId7I-sBCFJ6tE5GpC9-ykhLr6xZCf-ODFJ6tE5GpC9-w%3BFVS9AAIdVjKwBCnFiHQzMrUBOTHNucAjbXpihA%3BFccW_QEdbWerBCEFPGWjhmFb3imV4IWcs6MBOTEFPGWjhmFb3g%3BFTEs-QEdDsqqBCnxMYv3Fw0BOTECwXdEHaEVnQ%3BFXNG_AEdH5KmBClx8HFxx4YBOTHLT4WT3b1whw%3BFdg1BAIdxVmjBCkdIDcCvgYCOTHp7igZaYrD4A%3BFQgf9gEd5cufBCEo1-cX2l4NLik7DTQUS8cDOTEo1-cX2l4NLg%3BFe3D8AEdA4yWBCnLl5GvcmUDOTHjRTyplxQtbQ%3BFeJp7AEdG5CmBClnrqcVJqQGOTHMR1VIVFgPwA%3BFQ_B6wEdzkSnBCmLn6-gdKMGOTFHXRehBVDIbg%3BFRDw6wEdas6ZBCk_0D8WCIcEOTHNdlC-DqgpgQ&oq=Upshi&t=h&mra=ls&z=8

    Satej Prabhu

    • Satej, personally I feel it should be more than 650 KMs though I have not done the exact maths. You will get fuel in black at Chumathang, may be at Sarcu/Pang too but no guarantee. but, any how you need to carry extra fuel with you. Why missing on Tso Moriri?

      • Satej Prabhu on

        Point taken Bhai. I’ll be doing 520 km Loop with extra fuel as “Karu-PangongTso-Chusul-Chumathang- Tso Moriri-Tso Kar-Upshi” with refill at Karu and Upshi.
        1. Is Road via Chusul open?
        2. We two guys are carrying our own tent. Can we camp at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri? Any precautions and suggestion.

  11. Rishi kishore on

    Dear Dheeraj

    Below is your prepared itinerary for some one. I would like a bit of changes in it. I would be grateful if we can exchange emails for my better understanding and approx cost.

    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 – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
    – Enjoy the vistas enroute
    – Have late brunch 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 / 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 7 | 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 8 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
    – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
    – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
    Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
    – Cover Karzok Monastery
    – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
    Day 10 | 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 11 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
    – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
    – Overnight at Manali
    Day 12 | Manali – Delhi

    I know you would be busy & yet have graciously agreed to reply to a lot of people. Yet I wish to pick ur brains for this trip I wish to plan. Kindly advise.

    Kind Regards

    Rishi

    • Rishi, you are good to go with this one. It is very much the common itinerary on the blog without extra day and overnight at PAngong Tso. Perfectly doable.

        • On Day 9 you can go to Hanle from Leh. Then on next day can come to Tso Moriri from Hanle and follow the itinerary as above. Please keep in mind to do this stretch you need to have about 750+ KMs of fuel as backup.

        • thanks dheeraj.
          we will be 12 person in xuv500 and ecosport. will ecosport cover the itenary as above?
          will have to take 20-20 lts diesel extra after getting tank fulled at leh

        • Yeah ecosport will manage the above Ladakh itinerary with careful driving. There is a fuel pump at Karu, 36 KMs from Leh towards Tso Moriri – Hanle route, tank up there and carry extra fuel from there only. Then take a shot. If you feel you can make it to Manali then refuel at Manali only because the fuel at Tandi might be not good with quality as people suggested sometimes. So, rely on Tandi after crossing Keylong if you think you will not be able to reach Manali or to short on fuel. Else, use your spare fuel from Karu only.

      • one more thing. in ladakh i want to paste DOW sticker on my vehicles. from where can i get it

        • Farogh, we will be launching DoW Store over coming weekend and you can get you Sticker Pack from the DoW Store itself. Please watch the Main Menu or Facebook Page for the updates for a link to DoW Store.

      • dear dheeraj.
        can i take my family along on this trip to ladakh in my beat diesel having GC of 175mm and 57.6 bhp power.

  12. rohit yadav on

    sir can u gave me use full things to get with us in trip of delhi-manali-leh-sringar-delhi.
    we are 5 person on self drive bolero

        • Yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 800 to Rs 1300. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

  13. Hi Dhiraj,
    I am planning a Leh trip on May’13 with my wife.

    Below is the itinerary planned.

    Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Kullu – Delhi

    On road – 7d, total km – 3000 km

    Places covered:
    New Delhi, Srinagar, Sonmarg, Drass, Kargil, Lamayuru, Leh, Likir, Alchi, Uleytokpo, Khardungla pass, Nubra valley (Valley of flower), Diskit, Pangong Tso Lake (Zanskar), Manali, Kullu, New Delhi

    Route
    New Delhi – Srinagar (838km) – 1d
    1d rest
    Srinagar – Sonmarg (80km) – Drass (63km)- Kargil (62km)- Lamayaru (106km)- Leh (109km) – 1d
    Leh – Likir (48km )- Alchi (19km)- Uleytokpo (62km) – Leh(2km) – 1d
    leh – khardungla pass (40km) – nubra valley (84 km) – diskit (40km) – 1d
    leh – pangong tso (185km) -1d (Zanskar)
    Pangong Tso – Manali (501km) -1d
    Manali – Kullu (40km) – New Delhi (513km) -1d

    Is this itinerary is feasible and what would be the cost we should look for this itinerary, my options are:
    1. Self driven car from Delhi
    2. Private taxi for entire tour.

    • Judhajit, brother this is one heck of a ride!! Delhi to Srinagar and Srinagar to Leh both are done in 2 days and you are doing them in one day?? Very difficult. Then Pangong Tso to Manali again not possible to be done. Over all a road trip will need atleast 9-10 days if you are looking for a hectic trip to Ladakh.

  14. Pingback: Routes and Road Conditions In Leh - Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips - DeViL on WheeLs...

    • Dear Dheeraj,
      Thanks for all the information, this is really awesome, Am a travel freak, am planning a road trip to Delhi-Srinagar-leh-Manali-Delhi on a new Scorpio in 2nd week of June along with 2 of my friends,
      I have gone thru your various articles on this route and it has actually encouraged me to do this trip, though the info provided is sufficient for any person travelling on this route, I would request if you can update me on latest development on this of any
      Thanks & best regards

        • Sir, I just need latest info on road conditions and in caase there is any police or army restriction. Enroute, any spl instructions

        • Javed, road condtions will remain mostly as mentioned in the article. They hardly change over a time. You need permits to travel to these places.

  15. hi there..
    i am actually thankful to “Mr. Dheeraj Sharma” for his blogs and post on site..
    inspired from it and got a boost & way for my desire to explore leh ladakh..
    I am planning for a road trip from MUMBAI in my new SWIFT DZIRE..
    We are 4 of them with age group of 25 – 28..
    will like to get guidance for the follwing queries..
    1. when can we start our trip (when r d roads open)..?
    2. wats the best tym to explore leh ladakh..?
    3. we wanna make it as soon as possible..as we dont wanna get whole snow melted..
    4. suggest an itinerary with most of the places are covered and with less no. days and all the main spots and highlights are involved.
    Thanks in advance..
    Simit – Mumbai

    • Thanks alot Simit. Please find below my inputs for your queries:

      1. Best time to start the trip will be third week of June upto third week of July before the monsoon starts, when both roads are likely to be open and stabilized too.
      2 + 3. 15th June to 20th July would be ideal for road trip if you like snow, else make it later half of September for great vivid colors.

      4. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  16. Hi Dheeraj,
    Your articles have been very useful, We are a group of 9 people planning trip between 26th Sept to 6th Oct, From Chandigarh to manali Keylong to Leh – Kargil – Srinagar. Following is rough itenary we have come up with, kindly comments:
    Day 1: Chd to Solang Valley
    Day 2: Solang to Keylong – (Via Rohtang Pass
    Day 3: Keylong to Sarchu –
    Day 4: Sarchu to Tsomoriri
    Day 5: Tsomoriri to Leh
    Day 6: Leh – Pangong lake – Leh
    Day 7: Leh to Nubra Valley
    Day 8: Nubra Valley to Turtuk
    Day 9: Nubra to Lamayuru
    Day 10:Lamayuru to Kargil
    Day 11:Kargil to Srinagar

    • Hello Roopa,

      Doing it in the other direction would have made much more sense but it is fine towards the late season due to the risk of closing of Manali – Leh Highway for a day or two.

      The above itinerary is a killer one!! Please do not attempt it. First, I totally avoid going via Manali – Leh (rather prefer coming back), then avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost if at all going via Manali – Leh, finally you have gone a step ahead to sleep at Tso Moriri which would make it further more dangerous even if you can manage the permits in advance for Tso MOriri… Your body cannot acclimatize to sleep at such places so fast. Better do it like:

      Day 1: Chd to Solang Valley
      Day 2: Solang to Keylong – (Via Rohtang Pass)
      Day 3: Keylong/Jispa to Leh
      Day 4: Leh Local Sightseeing and Permits
      Day 5: Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
      Day 6: Nubra Valley – Leh
      Day 7: Leh – Pangong lake – Leh
      Day 8: Leh – Tso Moriri
      Day 9: Tso Moriri – Leh
      Day 10: Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
      Day 11: Kargil – Srinagar

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  17. Sikander Singh on

    kya mai current week (5 to 10 september 2012) ke beech mai leh ja sakta hu from delhi way manali
    (persently i am in manali )
    PLEASE Help me for plan to this trip

      • Sikander Singh on

        Thanks Dheeraj for Suggestion/Information.
        Dheeraj mai 6/09/12 ko start ( From Manali)to 11/09/12 ko Return pahuchne ka program banau to kesa rahe ?
        And i have royal enfield Classic 350 mai Batal to Baralacha La Jana Chahta hui way Chandra Tall ( parallel to Chandra river Route ) PLEASE SUGGEST/ADVISE.

        • Sikander bhai, pehle aapko Manali se Chandratal jana hoga Battal hote hue and then uske baad wapise aana hoga Leh – Manali highway par Baralacha La jane k liye. Manali – Chandratal Camps – 1 Day, Chandratal Camps – Chandratal – Keylong – Day 2, Keylong – Baralacha La – Keylong – Day 3, Keylong – Manali – Day 4. One day left can be used at Chandratal.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  18. I am planning to visit Leh with my Wife in May’13.
    Pls help me plan the trip:-
    1)First,is it actually a good time to visit the place.
    2)Hotel costs seems to be above Rs 1500 min. ,,how is the tenting accomodation arrangement there…is that worth counting on and what shall be their charges(approx)
    3)how much the taxi will charge for 7 days for all sight seeing etc…

    Can i consider Rs 40K for the total trip inclusive of all…

    • Hello Amit,

      1. It is fine time to go there, make it late in May so that all lakes are frozen by that time.

      2. It is usually the start of season time ad you will get good hotels even in Rs 1000 and guest houses even below. For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      3. For the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  19. going to leh end of july. how is the weather usually . i hope its ok to take children 10/11 years. have searched over the net and found that families do take children of this age. similarly what kind of basic medical kit is required or better to carry , to deal with weather or AMS.

    too much research is also harmful ! isnt it ? at times i am getting nervous b'coz of reading too much about altitude, road conditions, weather and blah blah. i have overnight stay at nubra and then overnight stay at pangong. its not a circuit but after coming back to leh. your words of courage plzzz 🙂

    • Hello Wally,

      It is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The only issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a felling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      I will suggest you read some tips mentioned in the article here for better acclimatization and reducing chances of AMS.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hello Mahidhar,

      Mobile networks on Manali – Leh Highway works upto Keylong or Jispa only and then you are at your own upto Upshi/Karu near Leh, where you get them back.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj
        one more help and suggestion needed, need some contact number to book bikes
        and will bajaj avenger comfortable to take on this roadtrip??

        Regards
        Mahidhar

        • Not sure, about the comfort with avenger since I do not ride much. For contacts, do you want them for Leh or Manali? You can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 600 to Rs 1200. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

          For renting bikes in Manali check: How to Hire or Rent a Bike or Motorcycle in Manali

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  20. Trivikram Shendye on

    धीरज भाई, आप को लाख लाख धन्यवाद,

    • Hi Nitin,

      Yes, July first two weeks is a good time to visit before the onset of monsoons. Once, monsoons start things become ugly especially on the in-roads to Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  21. Hi Dheeraj,

    i read your posts and found them very helpful.

    can i seek more help from you.

    me and few of my friends are planning for this trip from Manali – Leh – Manali on bikes.

    here are few question i would be glad if you can answer them for me…

    1) Can we make the trip in 7-9 days on Bikes from Manali to Leh and back to Manali?

    2) How much could it cost for the whole trip renting bikes, hotel, and site seeing which come in the way?

    3) can we ride on avenger on this route smoothly?

    4) we are planning in the in month of August – will it be fine?

    Thanks & Regards

    Mahidhar

    • Hello Mahidhar,

      1. In 9 days ex. Delhi, yes but difficult with days mostly on roads. Do you have 9 days ex. Delhi or ex. Manali?
      2. Please check the link: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
      3. Technically cannot say being not a rider. But, I have seen even splendors/discovers doing it.
      4. Well, in August you need to keep buffer days. Mostly you will be running with monsoons in these 9 days because it is only Ladakh where you do not find monsoons much otherwise most parts of Manali – Leh Highway will be affected by monsoons only.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.
      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • HI Dheeraj,

        thnx for your response.

        and yes the trip is excluding delhi, 9days is from manali-leh-manali..

        and if in August its raining there than which month would be better?

        Thanks & Regards

        Mahidhar

        • Hi Mahidar,

          I guess then it should work fine for you because you can atleast keep 1 day as buffer. The only issue is with blockades which might happen on Manali – Leh Highway due to rains. Once you cross Baralacha La the other side is a rain shadow region and hence not much issues there 🙂 … If yo can then plan after mid-September when resides and you have less tourists plus better road conditions.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  22. Parini Vyas on

    Hi again Dheeraj, Is it feasible for us to return via Panglong – Tso Moriri to Manali as mentioned by you above. Our plan earlier was as below:

    Day 1- Reach Delhi. Delhi to Manali

    Day2 – reach manali and spend a day there

    Day 3- Manali to Keylong/Sarchu

    Day4- Keylong/Sarchu to Leh

    Day5- visit Alchi, Lamayuru, Spituk and other monasteries and get permits required-monday

    Day 6- Chang la and Pangong lake in shared taxi. come back to Leh

    Day 7- Khardungla, Nubra Valley return to Leh

    Day 8 – Leave from Ladakh. overnite at keylong/sarchu

    Day 9- Keylong- Manali

    Day 10- Manali to Delhi

    Day 11- Fly back to Pune

    Kindly let me know if we can go by this route or as mentioned by you above.. Also if we go via the route from Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali.. Can we spend a nite at Pangong LAke..We are planning to hire a shared taxi. Kindly suggest

    • Hi Parini,

      Please do not stay at Sarchu, you guys will not be acclimatized for the altitude of Sarchu and might get hit with AMS. On the way back, you can stay at Sarchu.

      Since, I see you will be doing it in shared taxi, so you will not find partners easily to do this customized journey. In private taxi, you can do the above route in 4 days but mind you that after Pangong Tso upto Manali all three days will hectic and tiring.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Parini Vyas on

        Thanks so much Dheeraj..So you mean while going from Manali to Leh we should halt for a night stay in Keylong and stick to the previous plan. Day 6 should be Khardungla and Nubra Valley and Day 7- Changla and Pangong Lake.. And i think if its two of us only we can hire a 2 wheeler also. The modified plan is as below:

        DAY 5- SPITUK GOMPA,ALCHI, Lamayuru and get the required permits

        DAY 6- Khardungla, Nubra Valley

        DAY 7- Pangong lake..back

        DAY 8- Leave from Ladakh. overnite at sarchu

        DAY 9 – Keylong- Manali-

        Day 10- Manali- Delhi

        Day 11- Fly back.. I thik keylong-Manali- Delhi can be done in a day.. But do not want to take risk.. otherwise we could stay one night in Pangong :(.. Kindly let me know if any changes are required in the above plan :).. Thanks again 🙂

        • Hello Parini,

          Yes, you got it right. Yes, you can hire bike as well. Go to fort road at Leh and you will find plenty of bike rental shops there. Fo good quality ones but a bit high in prices check with Apex Bike Tours. Instead of Keylong – Manali – Delhi, do it like Sarchu – Manali (doable) and then Manali – Delhi. This way you will be able to have that much needed buffer day that can be used in case of any disruptions.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • Also, I forgot to mention that it will be much better if you do Pangong Tso Day trip after day trip to Nubra Valley. It will help you enjoy more and your body will feel light on going to Pangong Tso which is at higher altitude than Nubra Valley

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Parini Vyas on

      Sorry my mistake Keylong- Manali and DElhi not in a day.. I hope we can reach Delhi the next day by taking an evening bus on Day 9 itself..??

  23. Vikas, We plan to do a similar itinerary.

    1. Delhi to Patni top

    2. Patni top to Srinagar to Sonamarg

    3. Sonamarg

    4. Sonamarg to Kargil to Leh

    5. Enjoy Leh

    6. Leh to Nubra Valley

    7. Nubra to Pangong Tso

    8. Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri (Kyagar Tso)

    9. Tso Moriri to Sarchu

    10. Sarchu to Kaza

    11. Kaza to Delhi

    • Hi Namit,

      My 2 cents on the itinerary:

      You need to carry spare fuel so that you can do this 950+ KMs without any fuel pump. Nubra to Pangong via Shyok is real bad, via Wari La depends upon if it is open or not. Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri is again very long and very bad road, mostly. Sarchu to Kaza again is too long for one day. Kiagar Tso comes on the way to Tso Moriri after Sumdo.

      6. Leh to Nubra Valley
      7. Nubra to Pangong Tso
      8. Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri (Kyagar Tso)
      9. Tso Moriri to Sarchu
      10. Sarchu to Kaza

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  24. dheeraj bhai pangong to tso moriri -tsokar -pang kitna distence hai? Is it doable in bolero 2 wd with ladies also???

    • Hi Vikas,

      The approximate distance are as follows:

      Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Chumathang = 339 KMs
      Pangong Tso Lake to Tso Moriri Lake via Changthang (Merak – Chusul – Nyoma) = 235 KMs
      Tso Moriri Lake to Pang via Tso Kar Lake = 155 KMs

      Doable but the roads via Changthang (Merak – Chusul – Nyoma) are not really roads rather dirt tracks that does create some sough of discomfort. If that is OK, the beauty is totally unmatched.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  25. SANDEEP PANWAR jatde on

    सच में तेल वाली बात वहाँ याद रहनी ही है, मैंने ऐसे लोगो को देखा था जो अपनी गाडी बीच में छोड़ तेल लेने वापिस दुसरे के वाहन से आये थे

    • Ek dum sahi Sandeep bhai. If one do not plan the ride carefully to Ladakh, many people go running and coming back saying, I will never go to Ladakh due to such ill planned journey that causes nightmares on their trip.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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