How to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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The 434 KM long Srinagar – Leh Highway is almost like a lifeline in the form of road connectivity between Leh – Ladakh and rest of India via Kashmir Valley. Srinagar – Leh Highway also known as National Highway – 1D (NH – 1D) is the most reliable and one of the only two ways to reach Leh – Ladakh by road, the other one being Manali – Leh Highway (Check: Travel Guide for Manali – Leh Highway here). Generally, travelers or adventure lovers from all over world loves or dreams to undertake this road trip of their life time by covering both routes connecting Leh – Ladakh to rest of India i.e. a lifetime experience road trip traversing Srinagar – Leh – Manali Highways. Apart from being famous for its enchanting views, this highway holds a strategic importance for India and being close to LOC, you see the heavy army presence on it when you travel through Srinagar – Leh Highway.

The highway runs along side the Indus River and through some extremely harsh and barren terrain including the three high mountain passes named Zozi La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs) and Fotu La (4108 Mtrs). In any case, Srinagar – Leh highway offers some breathtaking landscapes ornamented by various historical and cultural constructions which are just like a dream treat for any traveler driving/riding through Srinagar – Leh Highway.

Generally, people traveling or flying directly to Leh – Ladakh suffers from acute mountain sickness as Leh (3500 Mtrs) due to sudden disturbance of altitude with which the body is adapted. However, Srinagar – Leh highway provides a gradual ascent to travelers thus helps them fight any chances of acute mountain sickness (AMS) caused due to high altitudes and let them enjoy the beautiful vistas in relaxed manner.

Season to Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

The 434 KM long Srinagar Highway generally remains closed for about 6 months in an year starting from November to May due to heavy snowfall on the mountain passes mainly Zozi La pass. Zozi La pass starts receiving snowfall in the month of November and then any day of November (generally 15th November officially) the highway ceases to close officially as it becomes extremely difficult for BRO to clear the snow. Then, again as the winter months resides, the BRO guys begins the snow clearance process in spring season that is in March and repair the damaged roads, bridges and other parts of the highway. Finally, after completing this rigorous job of snow clearance and fixing the roads, bridges etc BRO announces the opening of Srinagar – Leh Highway generally around mid – May or by June first week.

Hence, the best season to travel Srinagar – Leh Highway is between June to October. In May, if the highway gets open then generally the roads are in really bad shape and only improves as the season progress with constant repair work conducted by BRO. By end of June as the road condition stabilizes the monsoon comes to the party in July and creates havoc in lower hills connecting Srinagar to Jammu and further to other parts of India. The landslides are almost inevitable in monsoon season which causes road blockages ever now and then. The Amarnath Yatra being in full flow in July – August, do expect heavy traffic and rush from Jammu – Srinagar – Kargil parts of highway. Even the dominance of armed forces also increase in July – August owing to the security of pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra.

It is almost a nightmare to drive through Zozi La Pass in July – August especially when its raining or has rained previous days but at any day better than Rohtang Pass on Manali – Leh Highway which becomes more than hell during monsoon season. One should always avoid Srinagar – Leh Highway during days alongside Independence Day in India i.e. 15th August which is when the bandhs and strikes gets more active. As the end of August approach, the Amarnath Yatra is over and monsoon starts to reside from Northern India, the conditions improve much more to travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway and in September it could be called as best time to travel but you will not find any snow of course. Even in August and late July snow will be hard to touch except few patches on Zozi La pass.

Since, the other side of Zozila Pass mainly Kargil onwards comes under rain shadow area where only the dry winds of monsoon reach. So, in July – August you need to tackle the monsoon rains and their havoc in lower hills only including Jammu, Srinagar, Zozi La pass i.e. till you reach Kargil where there is very little rain during these months.

Throughout the season, you need to let pass large convoys of army trucks as army also stock up required materials in Leh – Ladakh through Srinagar – Leh road majorly. This may cause delay of few hours every now and then in your entire journey on Srinagar – Leh highway.

Modes of Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Ladakh

Most people prefer to self drive or self ride to Ladakh by their own car or own bike and some also prefer to self drive or self ride to Ladakh by hiring a bike or car. In any case, hired car/bike or personal car/bike, idea is to live the passion of driving or riding through one of the toughest and adventurous terrains accessible in India. You can take your own or rented, car or bike to Ladakh but one must be careful while driving or riding through slushy roads, snow and water crossing or nallas. Also, it is always handy to learn little maintenance tasks of your vehicle prior to the start of this comparatively less arduous journey than Manali – Leh Highway.

For cars, although an SUV/MUV is good to have and a 4WD SUV will definitely help but I have seen hatchbacks (including Altos and Nano) and sedans doing good enough job on Srinagar – Leh Highway than on Manali – Leh Highway. If you want to try your sedan or hatch back drive to Ladakh then Srinagar – Leh Highway is better bet when compared to taking a sedan or hatch from Manali – Leh Highway. However like on Manali – Leh Highway, with sedans / hatchbacks one must drive with extra care and caution even at Srinagar – Leh Highway and especially around Zozila pass (ascend and descend both).

You get less number of challenges on Srinagar – Leh Highway as compared to Manali – Leh Highway with only major hurdle being Zozila Pass. However even then, whenever you are in doubt, always step out of your car, walk down the path, inspect with your foot and plan the path of exit before crossing a dangerous landslide or water crossing on your vehicle. You can also park aside and see how others are crossing the risky section to plan your route of escape. In deep water crossings try to maintain the momentum without any half clutch measures and complete the entire stretch in one go only. Similarly, in slush stretches do not force the issue rather keep the smooth momentum with required speed to pass you through, without half clutch measures. Do keep an eye on the direction of the vehicle too. If you get stuck in slush then try to back and forth your vehicles to get out of the stuck position. It is always handy to ask your fellow co-travelers to get out of the car and push the vehicle from behind incase the car is struggling to pass through the slush or water crossing stretch.

Basic toolkit, screw driver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three “2 ltr” empty bottles of pepsi / coke / limca etc to carry extra petrol or diesel (jerry cans will leak, cold drink bottles do not leak), funnel, towing rope, spare tube (must for bikes), elfy or fevi quick (2-3 sachets), jump start cables/wires, M-seal to prevent leakage etc. were among the few things which I carried along on my trip to Ladakh. Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the Ladakh journey. This will ensure that you have proper time in advance to test your serviced vehicle and get fixed any hitches that may have been introduced in that service

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

All taxis (except Ladakh registration number) having taxi number or tourist permits number plates are only allowed for a drop in Leh – Ladakh. As per the taxi union rules only taxis with Ladakh number are only allowed to roam in the Ladakh region for sightseeing purposes. If you want to travel within Leh – Ladakh in your private taxi hired from a place other than Ladakh then in that case you need to hire a taxi with private number plate only. However, in the latter case be ready for some queries by the local taxi drivers in Ladakh or police constables on your route. You need to ensure everyone interrogating with you that the vehicles is not hired.

If you can get hold of some taxi driver in Ladakh then hire that taxi only else go to Kargil first and change taxi from there. From Kargil, the Ladakh taxi driver can pick you and you will have the advantage to cover the sightseeing places en-route Leh on Srinagar – Leh Highway like Alchi, Basgo, Likir etc before you reach Leh. If that is not your plan then hire a direct taxi from Srinagar to Leh but with taxi hired with Srinagar number plate you will not be able to do sightseeing en-route especially Sham Valley, as far as I know.

To hire a taxi, go directly to Srinagar taxi stand and bargain hard with the local drivers only, for a drop to Leh. Do not involve any tour operator or hotel staff at any stage. The local taxi drivers will charge about Rs 1200-1500 extra for a planned night halt on the way to Leh. The charges are close to Rs 9000 to Rs 12000 for a drop to Leh from Srinagar with one night halt, depending on your bargaining power, tourist rush and the time of the year you are visiting.

Srinagar – Leh Bus Service, JK SRTC and Others | Economical mode of travel

JK SRTC ply buses on Srinagar – Leh Highway which are available at Srinagar Bus Stand near Lal Chowk and near Polo Ground in Leh. I guess JK SRTC have both standard as well as semi-deluxe buses which run Srinagar – Leh Highway with cost of about Rs 500 – Rs 600 for Standard bus and Rs 600 – Rs 700 for semi-deluxe types. There are also few private bus operators running semi-deluxe buses between Srinagar – Leh who charge about Rs 800 – Rs 900 per seat.

These buses generally stop at Kargil for the night and Sonamarg for tea and snacks. The JK SRTC buses may not be as comfortable though but comfort comes with the price. The buses leaves Srinagar around 5 AM and Leh around 6 AM, I guess.

Shared Taxi | A Cannon ball run

You can also buy yourself a seat in a shared taxi which runs every mid-night from Srinagar and reaches Leh on next evening without any night halt. In the same way, shared taxis are run from Leh to Srinagar as well.

You need to pay about Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 per person for a drop to Leh from Srinagar or a drop to Srinagar from Leh. Of course, since it is shared with 7-8 other people plus the driver and completes the back braking cannon ball run of Srinagar – Leh in 16-18 hours, you can imagine the level of comfort yourself. This one is the second cheapest mode of travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway but mind you, it could be the toughest on the body too :)

Also, not staying at Kargil will mean less acclimatization which may make you feel a bit sick in the first few days when you reach Leh.

Other travel modes

You can also get in touch with some travel agent or taxi union in Srinagar who also runs their private buses or Tempo Travelers on Srinagar – Leh Highway.

Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Based on my experience, you can opt to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway in one of the following ways –

Two Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

The options of stay or accommodation are very limited on Manali – Leh Highway due to the limited civilization but on the Srinagar – Leh Highway you get the respite as there are plenty of civilized places enroute and you get to find accommodation either one or the other place. You will find accommodation option ever 70-80 odd KMs on an average. But still, a two day journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway is the most common among all travelers as you tend to see the beauty in relaxing manner as well as you help your body to accilimatize to the altitude of Leh. Private Taxis and buses run by JK SRTC also cover the Srinagar – Leh Highway in two days with night halt at Kargil. Mostly, people break up the journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway in the following ways over a span of two days –

Srinagar – Kargil / Drass (Day 1) and Kargil / Drass – Leh (Day 2)

This option is mostly preferred by people as it evenly distributes the travel time of the entire journey in two days. However, on the second day, you need to leave early in the morning if you are interested to stop at every other point to take pictures and still reach Leh in time :).

Personally, out of Kargil or Drass you shall prefer to stay at Kargil due to varied options of accommodation available at Kargil. But, many a times finding vegetarian food becomes difficult in Kargil in the late evening and hence, you can opt to stay at Drass which does offer a few accommodation options. The distance between Drass – Kargil is about 60 KMs only which means about 2 hours of more travel time on next day.

If you are a vegetarian then most likely, what you can do is that if you are reaching Drass by about evening then its good to take your dinner there and reach Kargil by the late evening or early night time. May be a tea or coffee with some biscuits will make you feel good for rest of the night. It will surely help rather than sleeping without vegetarian food due its unavailability in Kargil :)

One Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway
Srinagar – Leh (Day 1)

This option of completing the journey of Srinagar – Leh in single day is mostly common among local people or people who are in high rush and is least recommended if you want to enjoy your travel. Shared taxis are the preferred way to avail this option. Although, it could be the cheapest or time saving for you but this back braking, cannon ball run of 15-16 Hrs with least stoppages does put a heavy toll on the body as well as the mind of an average traveler. This long journey is extremely tiring and by traversing through the varied amount of altitudes in a single day, you are definitely running a risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) or some severe headaches and for initial days spent in Leh. Of course, this is true incase you have not stayed overnight in Gulmarg or Pahalgam or Sonamarg on previous nights of your tour. Doing in a single day, may certainly kill the joy of the journey.

Three Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway
Srinagar –  Kargil/Drass (Day 1) and  Kargil/Drass  – Lamayuru/Alchi (Day 2) and Lamayuru/Alchi – Leh (Day 3)

Well, by extending the journey of Srinagar – Leh Highway in three days, you give yourself a chance to explore the sightseeing places en-route thoroughly. There are many tourist destinations in Ladakh region which are situated on Srinagar – Leh Highway and requires time if you really wish to explore them. Hence, by extending the journey with one day you give your self ample of time to explore these tourist places before you reach Leh. For more details on sightseeing refer section: Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway, below in the article.

Very few people follow this option due to lack of time and to save money. If these two things have no place for consideration at your grounds then I will say just go with it and you will make your journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway much more than a memorable experience :). I guess the comparison of night halts (Drass/Kargil) is already done in first option, so opt as per your taste.

This option will mostly be available, if you are traveling by your own vehicle. To be very frank, this option is not even available if you are hiring a private Srinagar registered taxi as well because Srinagar registered taxi are not allowed for local sightseeing in Ladakh region especially Sham Valley where all these tourist places are present. In such a case you need to book a taxi to Kargil first from Srinagar and then hire yourself a taxi from Kargil to Leh or you need to hire a Ladakh registered number taxi. Confirm in advance from the driver if he will do sightseeing for Sham Valley before booking it. Then, in next two days after covering all tourist destinations including Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Redzong, Alchi, Likir, Sham Valley etc on the route you can reach Leh.

Staying one night at Alchi, which is lower in altitude than Leh, also make sure that your body is much more acclimatized to the altitude of Leh and you enjoy a lot better conditions once you reach Leh after a stay at Kargil and Alchi on previous nights.

Alternate Route to Leh from Kargil via Batalik and Dah

There exist an alternate route to reach Leh once you reach Kargil which is a bit more scenic than the usual route. The usual route goes like Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Leh and the alternate, less used route goes like Kargil – Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh.

Please make a note that the route via Batalik requires you to get the Inner Line Permits from either DC Office Kargil or DC Office Leh. So, I will advise that you go to Leh from Kargil via Lamayuru following the usual route and then you can come back to Kargil via Batalik after getting the permits from Leh DC office at the time you apply permits for Ladakh sightseeing places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso etc. If you are returning via Manali – Leh Highway then you need to take permits from Kargil DC Office to go via Batalik route and thereby miss the usual route to Leh which goes via Lamayuru.

Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Well, while traversing this beautiful road of Srinagar – Leh Highway you also give yourself a chance to visit the following places either on the route or with little diversions from the route –

Maitrey at Mulbek, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscape, Redzong / Rizong Monastery,  Alchi Monastery, Likir Monastery, Basgo Palace, Confluence at Nimmu, Magnetic Hills, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Phyang Monastery, Spituk Monastery.

You need to give yourself time to explore these places especially Lamayuru, Alchi and Likir monasteries. Hence, if you plan to cover these sightseeing places either while going towards Leh from Srinagar or towards Srinagar from Leh, then give yourself at least 3 days to cover the entire Srinagar – Leh route.

List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Srinagar – Leh Highway is much better than Manali – Leh Highway in terms of accommodation options it offers and one can find decent place to stay within 125 odd KMs at max. At some places like Mulbekh, Sonamarg, Drass etc the accommodation options could be very limited and basic guest house / home stay types while places like Kargil, Lamayuru does offer varied amount of accommodation options. So, it always better to break the journey at Kargil or Lamayuru but of course there are not much worries for places of stay on Srinagar – Leh Highway than on Manali – Leh Highway. You can also take diversion to the towns of Alchi / Likir for a stay there as well. Of course you will find basic home stay types of accommodation at both Alchi / Likir but it would be a worthwhile experience in any case. Here is the break up of accommodation options available on Srinagar – Leh Highway with distances –

  • Srinagar – Sonamarg (80 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Sonamarg
  • Sonamarg – Drass (65 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Drass
  • Drass – Kargil (55 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Kargil
  • Kargil – Mulbekh (40 KMs) | Few basic / home stay accommodation options available at Mulbekh
  • Mulbekh – Lamayuru (70 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Lamayuru
  • Lamayuru – Alchi / Likir (55 – 65 KMs / 65 – 75 KMs) | Few basic / home stay accommodation options available at Alchi / Likir
  • Lamayuru – Leh (125 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Leh
  • Alchi / Likir – Leh ( 65 KM / 55 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Leh

Please keep in mind that Alchi and Likir are not exactly on Srinagar – Leh Highway and you need to take diversions near Sasapol, I guess, for either of them. The distance between Alchi – Likir is about 18 – 20 KMs only.

Acclimatization and its importance on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Unlike Manali – Leh Highway, the journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway goes through gradual increase in altitude thereby helping our body to get acclimatized properly for the altitude of Leh. That is why going through Srinagar – Leh Highway is always preferred for road trip to Ladakh than going via Manali – Leh Highway. By going to Leh – Ladakh from Srinagar – Leh Highway, one gives himself a chance to properly acclimatize to the high altitudes there by decreasing the chances of being hit by AMS. In the return leg, you can go via Leh – Manali Highway so that your body is properly acclimatized by the time you under take the varied high altitudes on that route. This helps you enjoy the Manali – Leh highway in a better way as well.

Having said that even on Srinagar – Leh Highway its always good that you take little precautions to further minimize the effects of high altitude  sickness. Here are some tips which will help acclimatizing the body faster

  • Try to cover the Srinagar – Leh journey in two days with a night halt at Kargil most preferably.
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.
  • Avoid sleeping at high altitudes.
  • Avoid over exertion.
  • Avoid tobacco and smoking and alcohol and other depressant drugs.
  • Keep your body warm and eat lots of carbohydrates.
  • Avoid sleep during the day.
  • Sleep in upright position, if possible.
  • Carry preventive medicines for AMS.
  • Immediately descend, if symptoms increase.

For more information on Acute Mountain Sickness and all above acclimatization tips, please refer the following link at least once: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Fuel or Petrol Pumps on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Again, unlike Manali – Leh Highway, it is easy to find fuel or petrol on Srinagar – Leh Highway. One can get fuel or petrol on Srinagar Leh Highway at:  Srinagar, Kangan, Sonamarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha,  Khaltsi, Leh

ATMs on Srinagar – Leh Highway

As per my knowledge there are ATMS available at Ganderbal, Drass, Kargil apart from Leh and Srinagar ATMs. I guess you should carry enough cash with you in Ladakh because ATMs at these limited places can run out of money or become un-operational at any day or time.

Places on Srinagar – Leh Highway with their Distances and Altitudes

Generally, the places of on Srinagar – Leh Highway majorly goes like Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbekh – Namika La – Fotu La – Lamayuru – Khaltsi – Sasapol – Nimmu – Leh and the approximate distances between these places is shown below briefly –

  • Srinagar – Sonamarg (80 KMs)
  • Sonamarg – Drass (65 KMs)
  • Drass – Kargil (55 KMs)
  • Kargil – Mulbekh (40 KMs)
  • Mulbekh – Lamayuru (70 KMs)
  • Lamayuru – Leh (125 KMs)

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Facility

Places

Accommodations / Stay Options

Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil (Many options), Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Alchi
Food / Beverages Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil (Many options), Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Alchi
Diesel / Petrol Pumps Mangan, Sonamarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha, Khaltsi
Mobile Connectivity
  • Upto Sonamarg both BSNL and Airtel post paid connections work, then in Drass only BSNL, once you reach Kargil you will get the Airtel signal, but then in Mulbekh and Lamayuru only BSNL works, in Nimmu Airtel is restored along with BSNL and once you reach Leh both Airtel and BSNL works.
  • Of course BSNL has more coverage and better connectivity within this range than any other operator. Airtel works in Ladakh but with poor connectivity.
  • SMS does work fine for both BSNL and Airtel.
  • Vodafone did not work after Srinagar and but now works in Leh – Ladakh with Aircel. Surprisingly, Anadi reports recently (June 2013) below that it does not work anymore, may be contract renewal did not happen or what. So, do not rely on Vodafone.
  • Aircel also work in Leh and adjoining areas.
  • Packet data works but only with BSNL that too with EDGE only.
  • Prepaid connections from outside Jammu and Kashmir do not work in Leh – Ladakh. Carry only post-paid.
  • Anadi reports below: Vodafone postpaid still does not work after anywhere after Srinagar on Srinagar-Leh Highway and towns falling on the said highway.(It works in Gulmarg and Pahalgam). It did not work in Sonemarg, Drass, Kargil, Mulbek, Khaltse, Nimmu and Leh. Bsnl was omnipresent. In Leh, Bsnl, Airtel and Aircel were working. Vodafone, Reliance and Idea were not working.
Fixed Phones Ganderbal, Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Alchi, Nimmu and in between these places as well
Electricity Almost all the towns en-route have electricity and I wonder if there is any town which lacks it.
Medical Facilities Sonamarg, Drass (limited), Kargil, Lamayuru (limited)
ATMs Ganderbal, Drass, Kargil
Mechanic / Puncture Shops Ganderbal, Sonamarg, Kargil, Lamayuru (Puncture), Mulbekh (Puncture), Nimmu (Puncture)
Liquor Shops Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil

Conclusion

Have you ever been to Srinagar – Leh Highway? If yes, please share your view points, suggestions or inputs as comments below, it will help other fellow travelers to plan their own journey on one of the beautiful highways of India. Are you planning to go to Ladakh via Srinagar – Leh Highway? If yes, please feel free to ask any queries or doubts you have regarding the same as comments below. I will be happy to reply and discuss them with you. Looking forward for your responses :)

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1,674 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj,

    Please can you suggest as per your itinery for 2 day trip from Srinagar to Leh, my Flight from Kolkata to Srinagar will reach at 12 noon. Do you think it is possible to leave for Leh on the same day in Taxi reaching Kargil by night for dinner and stay.

    • Avijeet, you will reach Kargil in that case by 8-9 PM and will miss the beauty on the route especially after Zojila pass as I believe it will be evening by that time.

  2. Aditya Pande on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for all the wonderful information you have compiled for other travelers. Me and my brothers are planning trip to laddhak this July. We plan to rent self drive car from zoom car. We are leaving from gurgaon, planning to go via srinagar to leh and return via shimla. Following is the itinerary i have planned currently. Let me know you suggestion. WE all are 6 people and all of us know driving and we are renting XUV500.
    day 1: Gurgaon to Jammu
    Day 2: Jammu to srinagar (Can we do gurgaon to srinagar in 1 day, if we leave early ?)
    Day 3: Srinagar to kargil
    Day 4: Kargil to Leh (visiting places on the way)
    Day 5 : Leh to Nubra (Back to leh same night. What all we can cover in this trip ? )
    Day 6: Leh to Pangong Tso (Overnight stay)
    Day 7 : Pangong Tso to Tso morir (I undestand this is too long, can we on previous day, i.e day 6, start for tso Morir and take break mid way and then cover rest of the distance on day 7)
    Day 8 : Tso morir to sarchu/keylong
    Day 9: Sarchu/Keylong to Manali
    Day 10: Manali to Gurgaon

    Also, till how late time can we drive ? I mean 7-8 PM ? Leh town, how long is it awake ? On day 5 we plan to come back same day, so till what time it is advisable to reach back ?

    Thanks
    Aditya

    • Hi Aditya,

      My replies below:

      1. Gurgaon to Srinagar will be too long to stretch
      2. You are trying to cover too much in too little time and I am afraid there are lot of challenges in it with major one being AMS. If anyone of you hit with AMS, the trip is all gone unless you plan to risk the life of that person to fulfill the plan of covering too much in too little. Read more about acclimatization: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization
      3. You should plan a rest day on Day 5, then do Nubra valley day trip on Day 6, then day 7 to day trip to Pangoong tso and then do Leh to Sarchu or Pangong tso to sarchu on Day 8. Day 9 reach Manali and day 10 reach Gurgaon.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  3. arunkumarparathody on

    Hi dheeraj
    First of all thank you for the awesome work you are doing here.

    We are a group of three from kerala planning to make a trip as per the itinerary you suggested, starting on the second week of July. I have two questions:
    1. We are planning to rent a self drive car from delhi. As per your article only private number taxis are allowed to ply around ladakh region. The self drive rental cars have yellow number plates. Is that going to be a problem? Any way around this problem you can suggest?
    2. Do we need to book our accommodation beforehand or can we get reasonable stay for our family group on a walk-in basis?

    Thanks in advance,
    arun

    • Hi Arun,

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

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

      If you are open to search here and there at few places and do not have any specific place to stay, then it is fine to book on the spot.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  4. Hi Dheeraj..

    We are group of 4 from Haridwar and planning to travel Leh with our own car Swift petrol variant from Haridwar itself via Srinagar and will return via manali route.
    We have 14 -15 days in which we want to explore srinagar, kargil , leh , nubra valley, pangong lake, hunder.

    Can you please guide us
    – the best possible route to travel leh from haridwar as we unable to comprehend the route like how much kilometers we should travel per day, where we need to take hault for rest and which route option we should opt.
    – Will it be good option to take our swift (Total travel kilo-meter distance till date 11K)

    Thanks
    Mayank

  5. hiii
    dheeraj
    is there any oneway traffice timing from srinagar to leh…
    i am planning to go leh from (srinagar -drass-kargil-leh in 1and half day )
    please suggest me
    so i can plan accordingly
    thank you

  6. vishal Singh on

    Hi Dheeraj G,

    we a group of 8-9 members including 3-4 kids of age group 3-7 yrs, are planning to Srinagar- Leh- Manali with our own cars Scorpio and Duster ( self drive) on 19th to 26th June15.

    I have some doubts kindly clear.

    1- Is it safe to travel with kids of these age group?
    2- Are 8-9 days are sufficient for this trip?
    3- Are these cars fine for this trip or not ?

    kindly guide

    waiting for your reply.

    vishal…

    • Hi Vishal,

      1. It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to 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 less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling 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!!

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

      2. Less number of days you have in hand. 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.

      3. Cars are fine but driver should also be good enough to drive in these conditions. It will be an adventure trip not a family vacation.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  7. Hi dheeraj. Nice info. Just wanted to know. Is it advisable to start from manali leh highway and the return journey on srinagar leh highway. What would be the approx time from Leh to reach srinagar. And then srinagar to delhi if taken by road. Thanks :)

  8. Hai Dheeraj, please kindly inform what about the avalaibility of methylated spirits (or spiritus or denatured alcohol) for Trangia stove in Srinagar and Leh? Is it common or easy to find in what shop in Srinagar or only one-two shop selling that fuel? What kind of shop? Where did I can buy that fuel in Srinagar and Leh? Please reply as I really need the info about this..Thank you so much

  9. hi Dheeraj

    I am from punjab and planing for a solo trip in mid of june to leh via srinagar and return via manali. i have plenty of time near about 18-20 days. i will be choosing public transport for my trip. Can you please guide me with itinerary with all possible resources i can use to make the best out of it. thanks..! XX

    • abhinav malik on

      Hi Dheeraj I am planning to leave from Delhi to leh in my own swift dzire diesel on 15th of may..we are 5 ppl in all..can u plzz suggest if its possible to do this in dzire..via Srinagar..

      • Abhinav, I will not recommend dzire that early in the season especially if you love your car. The road conditions at Zojila pass will be quite challenging to tackle. You will have to tackle it twice too, going and coming back.

    • Hi Chetan,

      Since you will be doing it with public transport, I will suggest for the plan and flow suggestion you refer the itinerary in the plan: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      This will help you on basic flow and based on the availability of public transport, you can continue in this flow.

      You are alone and private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • :) awesome…! your info really makes me feel lighter as i was bit scared and worried about my plan before. thanks

        • Abhinav Acharya on

          HEY CHETAN,

          Me and my two friends are going by public transport
          If you wish, you can join us. The trip will be great fun..

          ABHINAV
          9806165964

  10. Hi Dheeraj

    We are group of 4 people planning for a trip to Leh.
    Plan outline :
    1. Will be reaching from delhi to srinagar on 19th June around 4 in the evening and planing to leave for kargil on the same day and will do an overnight stay @Kargil.
    2. Next day will be moving for Leh and planing to stay and roam around there for next 5days and will be coming back to srinagar to board our flight on 7th day.

    Queries that we have :

    1. Is traveling is allowed and safe during evening to Kargil, will be starting around 5 from Srinagar to kargil???

    2. Shall we book a cab for all the 7days (if so which cab for 4 people and how much will they charge) ?? This include going from Srinagar to Kargil stay overnight, from Kargil to Leh and continue with the cab for roaming around the places in Leh.

    3. Or should we go via bus or public transport from srinagar–>>Kargil and Kargil –> Leh after a overnight stay in kargil??

    4. Good budget guest house in an around leh.

  11. hi dheeraj..

    thank you for detailed info you shared.

    we are planning our trip from 14th may from ahmedabad by private car safari decor2.0

    i have certain queries, would you pl. help me out

    we will be at srinagar on 17th MAY

    do we need road permit for our personal vehicle to travel from srinagar to leh ?

    after reading you post, we were thinking of covering the places on the way from kargil but

    also we are planning for a trek in leh so, pl. suggest what to do?

    we are planning for 6-7 days of trek.

    in return which route do u suggest leh – Manali or leh srinagar.

    • Hi Keyur,

      1. You do not need any permits for the personal vehicle to travel to Leh
      2. You will be able to cover all these places in 2 days. Then you can trek in Leh. Which trek you planning?
      3. Leh – Manali Highway will not open by that time when you return.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  12. Arvind Tiwari on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I cannot Thank You enough for your posts. I prefer planning my vacations rather than opting for packages offered by travel portals & travel agents. After reading your posts, I planned the following itinerary for my vacation.

    1. Please tell me if you would recommend any changes to my itinerary:
    28-May (Thu): Mumbai to Delhi to Agra & back to Delhi
    29-May (Fri): Delhi to Srinagar
    30-May (Sat): Srinagar to Gulmarg
    31-May (Sun): Srinagar to Sonmarg to Kargil
    1-Jun (Mon) Kargil to Lamayuru & on the way sightseeing to Leh (hopefully will find a Leh car for the whole trip)
    2-Jun (Tue): Leh Local Sightseeing & searching for good car & guide to rent for 7-day trip (if not found above)
    3-Jun (Wed): Leh to Nubra valley
    4-Jun (Thu): Nubra to Leh return trip
    5-Jun (Fri): Leh to Pangong Tso
    6-Jun (Sat): Pangong Tso to Leh return trip
    7-Jun (Sun): Leh to Tso Moriri
    8-Jun (Mon): Tso Moriri to Leh return trip
    9-Jun (Tue): Fly out of Leh to Mumbai

    2. Speaking to the Car drivers listed on your website. Most of them mention 40 K for the Leh – Nubra – Pangong – Tso Moriri – Leh part of the trip (without including the Srinagar to Leh journey). It is just me & my wife and this seems pretty steep. Is this the amount to be expected for the taxi/car rent?

    3. I checked the taxi fare card also, will it be less expensive to hire separate taxis/cars for each of the following outings, as I will be having time in Leh:
    a. Leh to Nubra (night halt) & return on 2nd day
    b. Leh to Pangong Tso (night halt) & return on 2nd day
    c. Leh to Tso Moriri (night halt) & return on 2nd day

    4. I can search for share taxis in Srinagar, Sonmarg, Kargil, or Leh to reduce the cost but not sure if there will be sharing options available to meet the above itinerary. Any recommendations?

    5. I checked your calendar. Are there any visitors who can share a car for reducing cost for any part of above Ladakh itinerary?

    • Hi

      1. Your itinerary seems fine to me. Nice home work done :)

      2. Yes, veryy correct. It will come around that much only.

      3. Hiring taxis on different routes will be more costly than hiring a single taxi for entire route as driver eventually will give more discount to you for entire tour.

      4. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are :)

      5. If there is no entry in the calendar on such dates, make yours if someone else have same needs at least they can get connected.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  13. Dheeraj,

    This is an extraordinary article. Very well written, can’t help you enough for how much insight has this shared with me.
    Though I wanted to ask you:
    1. Is there a possibility to camp at any of the spots on this highway? I’m sure there are permission protocols to follow too, just curious to know if this can be done.
    2. Okay, so what we are planning is to take the bikes from Bombay by Cargo (train) till Jammu Tawi and then start our journey from there, cover Srinagar-Leh and while coming back, we’re doing a full-fledged road trip back to Bombay.
    What are the limitations to this? If you can shed some light or bring in a better suggestion, we’d be more than happy :)
    Thanks bro, already.

      • Hey Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the reply.
        We re-looked at the entire plan, we ended up deciding that we load our bikes back at Delhi while coming back. We’d love to consider Ambala now.
        Thanks for sharing the link, I’ll take a good look at it.
        We’re doing this first week of september, with an avenger 220 and a Honda Activa.
        Still a little skeptical on Activa but we don’t have an option, would that do? :)

        • Omkar, with determination and will and some efforts to do it in tricky sections like Water Crossings and Slush sections, you shall be fine to do it. Travel as light as possible :)

        • Your reply will help me convince my fellow riders a lot, they weren’t ready at all. And early september sounds good too, right?
          Thanks a lot, means a lot Dheeraj. :)

        • Dheeraj,

          Sorry to bother but one last question.
          While coming back, we’re doing back from Leh to Manali, even that works right considering the majority that travels Manali to Leh on the same highway.

  14. Hi Deeraj Sir,

    We am from Chennai. Myself and 2 more friends planned to travel Ladakh july first week via srinagar –> kargil–>leh–manali–>delhi.
    Our Plan . Please assist our plan and guide us

    Day 1: Reach Srinagar night Stay
    Day 2: BY Bus from srinagar to kargil
    Day 3: kargil to leh

    Day 4: Hire bike in leh .Please guide us from here where and how to visit places.
    day 5: ????
    day 6:????
    day 7:????
    day 8:???
    Day 9: Let – sarchu ( any taxi)
    day10 : reach manali
    day 11: manali -delhi.

    or
    we can travel back to chennai from leh ( by flight) after site seeing in leh. which is best option .

    Deeraj Sir, please assist us on the above plan . after hire bike in leh how we can go for site seeing or any procedures to be followed. We are totally dependent on your suggestion for this tour

    • Hi Praveen,

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      Regarding your plan:

      Day 5 | 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 6 | 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 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

      Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9: Let – sarchu ( any taxi)
      day10 : reach manali
      day 11: manali -delhi.

      • Thank you Deeraj Sir,

        One more help. If we plan to return via flight leh to delhi directly instead road way(leh-manali-delhi). we have 3 more days .ie Days 9,10,11
        Is there any other place we can visit for 2 more days in LEh instead of below plan.

        Day 9: Let – sarchu ( any taxi)
        day10 : reach manali
        day 11: manali -delhi.

        • Yes, Praveen, you can do Tso Moriri lake in that case and rest for Day 11 or fly out.

          Day 1 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          — Cover Karzok Monastery
          — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

        • Dheeraj Ji,

          How to return to Manali from Leh on our own. we are only 3 members.

          Any Bus service Running from Leh to Manali ??

          Thanks
          Praveen

  15. Paromita Mukherjee on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Your post is really helpful. Actually I am planning for Ladakh trip. So I think it will be worthy for me to plan my tour more properly.

    Regards
    Paromita

  16. Hi Dhiraj,

    Awesome info, Plz suggest if the following plan can work out:
    – Day1: Evening start from srinagar to Kargil. O/n stay at kargil.
    – Day2: Start from Kargil to Leh.
    – Day3: Leh to Nubra Valley. O/n stay at Nubra.
    – Day4: Nubra to Leh. O/n stay at Leh.
    – Day5: Bike ride to Pangong Lake. O/n stay at Pangong.
    – Day6: Back to Leh and o/n stay at Leh.
    – Day7: Start for Manali early morning. Stay somewhere on the way.
    – Day8: Continue to Manali and then hike another cab for Delhi airport and reach early morning next day.

    I would like to know the following details:
    – Stay suggestiion at Srinagar as few of them will reach a day earlier and places can touch early morning at srinagar in few hours.
    – Stay suggestion at Kargil
    – What all permits will be required overall for all the places i mentioned along with the place where i need to get it from and how long it takes to get all this.
    – I am not sure on the place to stay on way to manali from leh.
    – What all places I should not miss on way to Leh-Manali.
    – Places i can cover which i should not miss on way to Srinagar-Leh.
    – Also, to cover points between Srinagar-Leh, do you suggest Ladakh vehicle or I can rely on Srinagar number plate vehicles.
    – Last one, if i start from Leh on 7th early morning, can i reach delhi airport by 9th day early morning say by 9AM ?

    Looks to be too many questions :) .. Thanks a lot in advance.


    • Govind, best you can do is below:

      Day 1 | Srinagar rest or go up to Sonamarg
      Day 2 | Sonamarg to Leh
      Day 3 | Rest in Leh
      Day 4 | Leh – Nubra
      Day 5 | Nubra – Leh
      Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      Day 7 | Leh – Sarchu / Jispa
      Day 8 | Sarchu / Jispa – Manali

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  17. Maulik Patel on

    Hello Dhiraj ji,

    I am sure you are doing great… As let me start with saying thanks here for your suggestions in all aspects of Leh trip.

    As we are a small group from Ahmedabad and will start our journey on 20 AUG.
    Day 1: AMD to CHD by train, Unload the vehicle and assemble it. Stay at CHD night.
    Day 2: CHD to Srinagar by bike ( will leave early morning) Stay at Srinagar
    Day 3: Srinagar to Kargil ( Stay at Kargil)
    Day 4: Kargil to Leh, Stay at Leh ( Local sight seen, Please suggest place which are must visit)
    Day 5: Leh to NV via Khardung LA. ( If possible We will come back same say, Please suggest if possible) or will stay at NV
    Day 6: Leh to Pangong TSO , Stay at Pangong TSO (
    Day 7: Pangong TSO to leh
    Day 8 : Leh to TSO Moriri, stay at TSO moriri
    Day 9: TSO Moriri to Sarchu, Stay at Sarchu
    Day 10 : Sarchu to Manali, Stay at Manali
    Day 11 : Manali to CHD and then on the way to AMD via train.

    Please advise here if any changes required.

    • Maulik all looks fine except that you are not sleping a night in Leh which should be done for better acclimattization. And also, Leh – Nubra Valley in single day without acclimaitzation will leave signs of AMS.

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you for all the incredible information in the article. It helped me plan my itinerary.

    Here is the plan. Please do let me know as and when you get time if this looks fine.(3rd july to 13 july)

    Day1: delhi to jammu. reach jammu by evening
    Day2: Jammu to srinagar, relax in boat house
    Day3;srinagar to kargil: stay at kargil, sightseeing if we reach a bit early
    Day4: kargil to leh via batalik dah (permit required, will try and get that in kargil)
    day5: relax in leh and local sightseeing
    Day6: nubru valley and come back by evening
    Day 7 : Pangong Tso from leh and camp overnight (not sure if this is allowed)
    Day 8: come back to leh and start towards delhi via jipsa
    Day 9: jipsa to manali
    day 10 : manali to delhi

    Please do let me know if I am doing anything wrong in the itinerary. Any suggestions as according to this I have 1 reserve day as well with me.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Following are my suggestions Raunaq

      Day 7 : Pangong Tso day trip or Leh to Pangong tso
      Day 8 : Leh to Jispa / Sarchu or Pangong tso to Sarchu
      Day 9 : Jispa / Sarchu to manali

      • Raunaq Deo on

        Thanks for the suggestion… Highly appreciated..:)
        Just a small enquiry….isnt the journey from pangong to sarchu too long like 13/14 hrs…would it be recommended that I come to leh from pangong and leave next day…and do rafting in leh if available

        • Raunaq, yes the journey is long but with less days some people does make it. However, if you want you should come to Leh, may be do rafting if time allows in second half and next day leave for Sarchu. However, this will need 2 days of trip to Pangong Tso.

  19. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are a group of 4 friends planning to visit Leh – Ladakh in the second week of June. We are basically from Mumbai and planning to hire a car from Zoom Cars, Delhi . We have 15 days in our hands including travel from Mumbai to Delhi and vice-versa.. could you please suggest me full itinerary? considering we want to explore all the place in Ladakh.

    • Alok, 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

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Thanks for your reply. I want to visit unexplored/less travelled places in Ladakh. Could you suggest me those places and routes to accommodate them in the itinerary you have mentioned in the link..

        • Alok, I believe with 15 days in hand better stick to the itinerary suggested as for the first time everything will be less explored for you guys. Feel it an adventure trip not a vacation trip. The less explored places comes ith greater risk of isolation and no help in miles plus bad roads. So, it is better to feel the conventional ladakh which in anyways will be new to you in relaxed and comfortable manner. Keep something for the second visit too 😀 😀

      • Hi I am planning to do the trip with family on self driven car. Kids 11 and 13 years… going via Srinagar and coming back via manali.

        Any specific advise for kids ?

        thaks
        prabhu

        • In general, it is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D.. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to 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 feeling 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!!

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

  20. Hi Deeraj,
    First of all , you are doing a good job and thank you so much for your service.
    Can you please help with whether my plan below will work or not ?

    Group info – 5 male adults , average age – 32 , decent fitness and 4 of us are good drivers
    Car – XUV 500 ( planning to take it from zoom cars, delhi)
    We are from bangalore
    Late night on April 29th, we will reach Delhi by air and then take zoon rental car and then the idea is to drive to Leh via thru srinagar and return via manali to delhi by late evening on 3rd May .
    if not 4 days, extending it by one more day, can we make it ?
    Do you think it is practical and possible ? please suggest

    Thanks
    Madhu

    • Madhu, first of all, Manali – Leh Highway is not even close to opening, so forget on that front. Srinagar – Leh Highway is expected to open in the last of April, though there was a recent snowfall again few days back. Hence, again it is dicey to say that it will open or not and even if it opens for tourist vehicles, then in that case the road conditions that early remains a bit risky as cut snow melts quickly and many a times cause avalanches etc..

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Thanks for your reply. I checked somewhere in your site only on some other post that srinagar leh route will be open from 26th April. How do I get the latest update on this ?
        Also, if I take return route back from leh to delhi via srinagar only, do you think we can make it in 4 to 5 days ??

        Thanks
        Madhu

        • Madhu, here is a thread with all the status updates on Srinagar – Leh Road: http://devilonwheels.com/india/road-status-conditions-f32/srinagar-leh-highway-status-2015-2016-t2398.html

          There has been a spell of snow couple of days back and rains too up there. Hence, the expected date might shift. It takes two days to reach Srinagar from Leh and vice-versa. If you have just 4-5 days in hand for the entire trip, better skip this trip instead of just being on the road for 4 days.

        • Hi Dheeraj,
          Thank you so much for your time. I understand that to cover what I earlier said might not work. I have made changes to the plan. Please let me know your opinion
          Day 1- Arrive directly to Srinagar
          Day 2 – Take rental bikes and drive from srinagar to kargil and over night stay
          Day 3 – Drive from Kargil to Leh and stay
          Day y- Relax at leh and take a direct flight back from leh to bangalore.

          The challenge here is, the transportation costs to carry the bikes from leh to srinagar, ( Lion Tour & Travels) is charging Rs.10k per bike which is too high.
          Is there a way that I can get one way rentals from Leh, so that I can book my flight direct to Leh and drive till srinagar and drop the bikes.
          Your quick reply is highly appreciated, since I have very less days to start my trip. :)
          Thanks
          Madhu

        • Madhu, in general the rates are such only for one way bike rental :) … Similar charges will be required for Leh bike being dropped in Srinagar.

  21. Dheeraj Ji Pranaam !

    I am planning to hit road from Srinagar to Leh on my Bicycle. I wanted to know whether Khardungla Pass does fall in this route. If no, from where should I deviate to reach Khardungla pass & then reach Leh.

    If you could enlighten me on this query, It would be really helpful for me to plan accordingly.

    Dhanyavaad !
    Chetan

    • Pranaam Chetan ji,

      No, Khardung La pass is 39 KMs from Leh. Once you reach Leh, you can paddle up there from Leh after spending a day or two in Leh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  22. Hi,
    Your post is really helpful but I still have some queries.
    1.We are five friends and we ll be coming down to ladakh on 30th of April.We ll reach ladakh on 30th via flight, so ll it be difficult for us to acclaimatize there?
    2.We are planning a stay of around 6 days in ladakh including Nubra valley. So plz suggest us how can we accommodate aur time?
    3. We’re planning a return road trip to Srinagar with a day hault in kargil.So is a 3 day trip enough?

    Please help us out.

    • Hi Ankur,

      You can follow the plan like below but returning to Srinagar will not be possible in these days unless you skip Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley.

      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

    • surender jain on

      My flight will land on Aug 23, 2015 at about 10 am at leh &return flight is at Aug 28, 2015 from shri Nagar I am 55 years old with my wife how to plan my journey please suggest the best option

      • Surender ji, effectively you have just 5 days in hand with you out of which first two days MUST be followed as below for best acclimatization else you may fall ill.

        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 with taxi driver and you can refer the thread for a comprehensive list of drivers: List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali
        — 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

        Then you have one day with you and I will suggest that you make a day trip to Khardung La on this day. Then start moving towards Srinagar as below:

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

        Day 5 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
        — Enjoy the vistas enroute
        — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
        — Overnight at Srinagar

    • Hi dheeraj,
      Thanks for your reply it was really helpful.
      I would like to tell you that we wolud stay in Ladakh for 6 days + 3days travelling to Srinagar. It makes the travel time to 9 days.
      So I wana ask that will the Highway (leh-Srinagar) open by then?

      • Ankur, authorities have analyzed the situation and also have looked into the priority of shipping raw products and vegetables to Leh from Srinagar in few days from now as they expect the Srinagar – Leh Highway to open very soon in coming days. Again I will say chances of allowing tourist that early might be 50:50 only.

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for the information. A small help- We are a group of about 10 people travelling to Leh from Srinagar in Sep this year. Would you be able to share contacts of people in Srinagar who can give bikes on rent. We will be flying out from Leh and would like to leave the bikes in Leh itself. Thanks in advance.

  24. cs khokhar on

    thanks for the detailed information!!

    i am planning this summer (2015).i want to hire self driven SUV for Leh. . from Gurgaon planning to go via srinagar and come via manali. i will be crossing delhi, punjab, J& K, and Himachal. where in i have to pay the interstate tax. can you please guide about,
    1). do we need to pay each entry?
    2). how much in each state ?
    3). any other hassles related to this like waiting at border etc..
    4). under the pressure of taxi union in Manali, they are charging for private and out side taxis to go to rohtang pass. how much they charge and how to pay when you are coming from other side of rohtang ( kargil Leh).
    5). your information that only ladkh taxi no, can run there, raises concern as the hired car will have a taxi no. and self driving is the main charm of the travel. i do not want my new city’s bruised belly so planning to hire a SUV.
    thanks!!

    • Hi,

      1. AFAIK, black number plate self drive cars do not need to pay any taxes but you can confirm from the rental guys.
      2. Not sure about commercial ones.
      3. I do not think so as IMHO, you will just pay toll only
      4. There is no permit required when you come from Leh side. It is only for Manali to Rohtang Pass road and that too in that direction only.
      5. As long as it has black number plate, there will not be any trouble.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  25. Hi Dheeraj,
    You are doing a great job and your experience on this route is evident. We are 7 in a family group. We have Mahindra XUV 500. Our plan is to drive from Delhi to Leh. Doubt is that will the vehicle be okey to drive through Zozila Pass. What is the status of road from Jammu to srinagar after the floods.
    Puneet

  26. how much kms it is about if we are planning delhi to leh via srinagr thn all famous places at leh laddakh and then back to delhi via manali??

  27. Gisele Oliveira on

    Dear friend,
    First of all, thank you soooooooo much for such wonderful information. It is really useful. I´ll use your website for planning my trip to Leh-Ladack region for sure!
    I´m with lots of doubts, but every time that I look for your website I can solve one of them! :-)
    I´m a single traveler from Brazil and to be honest I concern of travelling alone.
    it seems that the region is safe for solo woman traveler, isn´t it?
    Another thing is: Is it easy to find transportation in Srinagar going to Leh? I really would like to do like you suggested: in 2 days (exploring a little bit and taking time to see the beautiful road instead of going in a rush). I´m travelling on vacation, so I´ll have just few days (maybe 12 in total). Because of this, I need a reasonable plan, in order to make a memorable trip!
    Any advice will be really aprecciated it!

    • Hello Gisele,

      It is pleasure to know that site is helpful in clearing your doubts for Ladakh trip. Region of Ladakh is more or less safe for traveling solo and many people travel solo up there every year. You can get a shared jeep to Kargil from Srinagar easily at the taxi stand opposite tourist reception center. Next day take a shared jeep from Kargil over to Leh. Then rest for a day in Leh, get your Protected Area Permits done and book over shared taxis for Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso for couple of days. Finally book a shared taxi for Manali – Leh Highway :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  28. Mahesh Naik on

    Hey buddy… must say this is not only usefull but also valuable information shared by yourself… but frankly speaking I am nervous after reading it.. need your help… I’m visiting Leh this June. I desided to come via Jammu hence I hav booked train tickets thinking I’ll take the Srinagar – Leh route. I was under an impression that it will take me 1 day to reach Leh form jammu via srinager… but going through your blog it seems srinagar to leh would take me 1 day including a night stay in kargil… I’m dam confused… I think my planning has gone wrong…

      • Mahesh Naik on

        Thank you for ypur prompt reply Dheeraj. Just wanted to know will i get hotels for over night stay if on the spot in Srinagar and Kargil??? Or will i have to book it in advance. I’m enable to find any cheap hotels in Kargil…

  29. Prateek Agarwal on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all i must admit that this blog of yours is very informative and is more than enough to plan a trip to Leh Ladakh just by going through it.
    I am planning for my Leh trip via Srinagar – Leh NH 1D after Amarnath Darshan on 27th July 2015.
    Most Probably ill take a night halt in Baltal on 27th.
    I would be very grateful if you plan me a trip starting from 28th July from Baltal, i will have to fly from Leh on 3rd August, So basically i have 28, 29, 30, 31, 1 and 2 (6 Days) from Baltal to Leh.
    And we are 4 people, we need to see Alchi, Likir, Sham Valley as you mentioned above on route via highway so suggest us from where we need to hire rented cars or taxis (in our case we are starting from baltal). And information on permits and approx cost will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Prateek Agarwal
    Kolkata

    • You can do something like below. You do not need any permits for it.

      28: Baltal – Kargil / Lamayuru
      29: Kargil / Lamayuru – Sham Valley – Leh
      30: Leh Local + Rest
      31: Leh – Nubra Valley
      1: Nubra Valley – Leh
      2: Day trip to Pangong Tso

  30. Meenakshi on

    Hi,
    All d informations u hav given r great n vl b helpful.
    I wanted to ask u is it safe for two people to travel by road on a bike,
    I wanted to know d safety point during d travel.Are der enough policemen
    or army personal on d full journey of Sri-Leh highway?
    Any type of theft or nuisances by miscreants?
    Please help me to plan my trip by answering d query on safety measures if
    2 people r travelling by road on a bike,is it advisable acc to u or not.
    I m planning my trip by June 15.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Meenakshi, yes it is more or less safe to travel by road and loads of people do it. Also, you get fellow bikers on the way and can accompany for one or other section. theft or nuisances by miscreants are very very uncommon, in fact in the last 5+ years of being connected with these regions have heard only couple of such incidences only. Locals are very nice and very helpful at any odd hour of the day.

  31. Monish Dayal on

    HI Dheeraj, I noticed that your article is from 2011. Is there any update in the phone connectivity on the Srinagar to Leh route? I will be travelling by bike in July 2015 and need to keep in touch with my wife who will understandably be worried. Which towns on the route will my Vodafone postpaid work in? Do I need to get a BSNL connection? Are there any towns on the way in which there is no mobile signal? Please do give an update. And thanks for the very helpful and informative article. Cheers! Monish

    • Monish, the article is old but is kept updated with almost latest updates. You can consider it last season version mostly. If anything important changes, it gets updated. There will be places where you will not get any connectivity of any postpaid connection. The signal will fade away after Sonamarg and then comes around Drass / Kargil region. So, in between you may not get connectivty, however end of everyday you will get connectivity.

      Carry a postpaid connection of BSNL/MTNL as that has the maximum coverage.

  32. Harshet Katyal on

    Hi Dheeraj, I’ve been following DOW for a while now and i must say you guys do a great job and it’s very helpful for people like us.

    I am doing this route in May 2015. We have a prepared itinerary given below. Kindly guide if there are any changes to be made. We are a group of 7 people and we plan to take a hired taxi. What is our best option? As per your suggestion, We need to take a LADHAK number plated taxi from Kargil, yes? If so, do we need any further permits for them to take us forward to Nubra and Pangong?

    Also, it would be very kind of you to provide a little detailed explanation of places to visit on the Srinagar to Leh highway. In the sense of what will be coming first along the route etc

    Date Source Destination
    17-May Mumbai Srinagar – Sonmarg
    18-May Sonmarg Kargil
    19-May Kargil Leh
    20-May Leh Leh
    21-May Leh Nubra
    22-May Nubra Pangong
    23-May Pangong Leh – Upshi
    24-May Uphsi Jispa
    25-May Jispa Manali
    26-May Manali Amritsar/Chandigarh – Mumbai

    Regards,
    Harshet

    • Hi dheeraj…..HV been following up on or blog…..u do an amazing job!!! I need help…..will be travelling wit my 9mnth baby girl frm the 14 the sept to the 22nd sept….want to tk the Srinagar to ladakh route…..can u help me work an ITenary….as am a lil confused…….would b of grt help…..since hv my baby along…..its gonna b her first trip…….thankss

      • Also would like to add……we HV our tickets booked arrival and departure would b Srinagar…..

      • Sharleen, It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to 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 less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling 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!!

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

        Regarding itinerary you have 9 days in hand and can follow something like below plan:

        Day 1 | Delhi – 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 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – 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 3 | 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 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
        — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
        — Overnight at Leh

        Day 5 | 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 6 | 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 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
        – Day trip to Pangong Tso
        – Overnight at Leh

        Day 8 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
        — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
        — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
        — Overnight at Kargil

        Day 9 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
        — Enjoy the vistas enroute
        — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
        — Overnight at Srinagar

    • Hi Harshet,

      Seeing the bad weather so late in the season, I highly doubt that roads to Leh will open by that time of the season, especially Manali – Leh is very unlikely to open before second week of June :(

      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.

      The Leh taxi guys now can come up to Srinagar and pick you guys up. In case you do not have any foreigner in the group, there are no permits required for the itinerary places you have mentioned.

      Your itinerary is more or less looking fine to me except Pangong Tso to Nubra Valley via Wari La will be closed at Wari La. Here is the detailed version of Srinagar to Leh

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – 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 3 | 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 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | 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 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Wari La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 7 | Leh – Chang La – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh / Upshi
      Day trip to Pangong Tso

  33. pramod kumar singh on

    I am planning for a trip in oct-2015, on 25 oct, I am in Leh by air from Delhi, from there, after sightseeing in leh, I wish to take govt. bus for Srinagar , plz clerify

    • Pramod, apart from cold conditions in Ladakh during that time of the year, traveling on Srinagar – Leh Highway is fine. You will get the JKSRTC buses plying on the highway.

  34. pramod kumar singh on

    I am planning journey from leh to Srinagar via road via road, plz guide me, abt stay in between i.e kargil or elsewhere, plz

  35. Hi

    I am from Belgium and I am planning a 2 months trip to India.

    On 18th July I will reach Srinagar where I will spend few days.

    On 23 th July I intend to reach Kargil by road.
    On the following day I will reach Lamayuru or Alchi or Uletokpo
    En route I would like to do sight seeing : Maitreya Buddha at Mulbekh, Lamayuru Monastery, Moon landscape and Rizong Monastery
    On the following day I will reach Leh
    En route, some sightseeing Alchi, Likir, Basgo, confluence at Nimmu, etc

    I would like to know if there are always taxis available or if it is necessary to book in advance. If it is necessary, could you please advice. How many days before ? Where ?

    The same question for accomodation.

    Thanks for your reply
    Best regards
    Philippe

    • Hi Philippe,

      The taxis will not be available that random. You can book taxi from Srinagar to Kargil in one go. Then from Kargil book a taxi which can take you all the way to Leh in next couple of days covering the above places. This will be more convenient. It is not necessary to book in advance at these two locations and can be managed at the Srinagar and Kargil taxi stand respectively on the spot.

      Regarding accommodation too, in case you are comfortable with searching few places, that can also be managed on the spot. Also, your taxi guys can be able to help you too in it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheera

        Thaks for your early reply.

        During my stay in Laddak I would like to visit Nubra valley, Pangon Lake, Tso Moriri Lake, Turtuk … places where, as a foreigner, I still need a permit.

        Could you tell me if it is quite easy to get that permit (I will stay fews days in Leh before my programmed tour) or if it is better for me to organize my trip though a local agent, that means a more expensive program.

        Thanks for your help.

        Regards
        Philippe
        from Belgium

        • Hi Philippe,

          It is mandatory for you as a foreigner to go through a travel agent for getting the permits to these places. However, it is not necessary that you book tours through them and get them expensive. Hence, after reaching leh, get in touch with some local travel agent who can arrange permit for you. Pay them the required fees for the permits and then photocopies done for the permit, about 8-10 which needs to be submitted at various checkposts on the way to sightseeing places in Ladakh. After that you can start looking for travel partners to share taxi costs to sightseeing places and make your own plan of travel. Just keep in mind that order of visit should be like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake and then Tso Moriri lake at last in order to have better acclimatization schedule to fight AMS.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  36. Sayantani Maiti on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    A really informative piece of work. I have a few questions.

    1) Could you gimme an idea of the taxi charge/rate if I have to spend 6 days in leh covering Nubra valley, Pangong , Tso Moriri lake and in and around leh.
    2) I am thinking of going from Tso moriri to Pangong directly to save a day. Please give your opinion on this.
    3) Sham Valley can be done while coming from Kargil to Leh ?
    4) A 9 day itenary from Srinagar to Leh covering travel and budget accomodation with 2 meals per day should be approx how much ?

    • Hello Sayantani,

      1. I feel these 3 places should cost you around 37-38K
      2.
      Regarding Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route or Pangong Tso to Hanle, the permits to Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga or remote Changthang routes are being given by DC office in Leh at ON and OFF basis, so keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best if they start issuing the permits by the time you visit or issue you on your lucky day. Also, even if the permits are given then as well there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to cross Chusul Post or not because since last year several such incidents happened and people with permits also had to return via same route. The story is same this year too and only handful of people have passed through Chusul this year too on their lucky days. Then this is completely a dirt track all the way with quite a bumpy ride upto Tsaga. That churns most things in your stomach 😀 … Finally, totally isolated with no one around you in miles. All this will mean that you will have to risk it for at least a day getting wasted if you are not allowed because there will be no guarantee until you cross Chusul and Tsaga post. Otherwise, you have to take the traditional routes only via Upshi – Chumathang.

      3. Leave early from Kargil to cover Sham Valley at ease.

      4. Take 900-1200 per person per day for food and stay in case you looking for budget accommodation and on the spot.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  37. Hello Sir, I need a taxi for my following itinerary. Please guide me with the approximate cost so that it helps me to bargain….

    Day 1 | Reaching in Srinagar ( **NO TAXI FOR THIS DAY… AS I WILL BE RESTING AT THE HOTEL)

    Day 2 | Srinagar to Kargil ( TAXI NEEDED FROM THIS DAY IN MORNING)
    — Overnight at Kargil

    Day 3| Kargil – Leh
    — Overnight at Leh

    Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
    — Overnight at Leh

    Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
    — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit

    Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

    — Overnight at Leh

    Day 7| Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake

    — Overnight at Pangong Tso

    Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh

    TAXI TILL 8th DAY NIGHT…. AS I WILL BE LEAVING FOR DELHI THE NEXT DAY from LEH AIRPORT on My Own
    **********************

    Day 9: *No taxi as I m leaving on my own

    (Therefore Taxi for TOTAL 7 DAYS… that is from 2nd day morning till the 8th day night)

    Thank you.

  38. Hi dheeraj……
    I am planning for leh ladakh from srinagar by road .
    Will reach srinagar @ 4 pm on 2nd may.
    Please give a balanced route plan for this trip .
    arrival : 2/5/15 @ 4:00 pm @srinagar airport
    Departure : 8/5/15 @ 10’30 am from leh

    We need jain food .
    Please help me with your valuable guidance

    • Praveen, it is very unlikely at present that road from Srinagar to Leh will be open during that time of the year considering that late snowfall in April.

  39. Hello Dheeraj,
    We are planning a trip of 10-11 people to Leh-Ladakh around 15th May 2015. We plan to reach Srinagar from Bangalore and from there travel to Leh via Kargil by road. Is this time suitable and safe for the travel? Also would be great if you could chalk out a rough itinerary for the overall trip since we don’t want to miss out on any must-see places. We plan to spend around 12 days for the trip from Srinagar.

    Thanks,

    Regards,
    Manisha

    • Manisha, these is a very fair chance that road to Srinagar – Leh will not be open during that time of the year considering late weather snowfall and hampering of snow clearance operations. Are you still sure you want to risk it?

  40. Rahul Kaushal on

    Hello Dheeraj :)
    First of all thankyou so much for regular updates on Shrinagar-Leh-Manali trip.
    The knowledge you share is very precious for us.
    I am planning to visit leh ladakh in may end or june first week with my friends from Chandigarh.
    First of all we are confused in choosing a vehicle , We are a group of 6-7 people and if things work fine then we will hire a taxi.
    Scorpio comes with jump seats in third row so its gonna be quite uncomfortable for 6-7 people in a scorpio.
    Second option is Mahindra Xylo , I think its comfortable for 6-7 people excluding driver and it has a proper third row.
    Last but not least , Toyota Innova , We all know that its gonna be comfortable but i have doubts about its ground clearance.
    Bolero is also an option but once again i am not very sure if it has a proper third row or not.
    We will go by shrinagar-leh highway and come back through Leh-Manali highway.
    We have to hire a taxi from Chandigarh only , and as you mentioned above that tourist vehicles outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing , So once again there is quite a confusion here.
    Please guide us as we all are first timers in our group.
    Thankyou :)

    • Hi Rahul,

      Best bet considering all options will be Xylo. You can use your taxi outside Ladakh for traveling into Leh and then exiting Leh but for inside Leh – Ladakh you will need to again hire a local Leh taxi.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Rahul Kaushal on

        Thankyou so much Dheeraj :)
        You have already mentioned some phone numbers for Local Leh drivers ,, and we will try to contact them as soon as we reach there or before starting from chandigarh.
        Cheerz !!!

  41. raj kumar goswami on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Plz guide me,
    I plane 4 day tour from leh to Srinagar with family(wife & son) in mid of sep.
    Its my first tour to leh , so plz guide about place and from I get safe taxi and hotels.
    thanks

    • Raj, it takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar with overnigth stop at Kargil. Are you sure you want to do Ladakh trip in 4 days? 2 days you have will be used again to return without seeing anything in Ladakh?

  42. Arihant Jain on

    Greetings to you sir!
    I am planing to make a road trip to Leh from Srinagar.
    I have no days limit…n want to explore this scenic beauty to the extreme(even in the odds)…leaving no regrets!
    If convenient please make a full plan for me…best time to visit…considering i am free!

  43. mohit jain on

    Hello Sir, Can you please guide me on my itinerary for a road trip to Leh from Srinagar. We are 3 people. I will be landing in Srinagar on 25th June in noon and hv booked return ticket on 3rd July from Leh to Delhi.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Mohit,

      You can follow up the below itinerary for Leh – Ladakh:

      Day 2 | Reach Srinagar and rest up there
      — 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 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 + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — 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 – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

      Day 9 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      It starts from Day 2, but that actually will be your Day 1 and hence, making it a 8 day plan which you need as you will fly on Day 9

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  44. Rohit Chopra on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Great article i must say, now i can easily plan my trip i.e Sriniagar – leh.
    1- I am planning to go in mid of sept. is it safe at that time.
    2- How many days trip do i need to plan to cover the most no of spots.
    3- Will i get bikes on rent in srinagar and is it advisable to drive with pillion passanger(bike).
    After reading your article i am getting a felling that Manali – leh route is not so safe, so i am planning to come back via leh – Srinagar covering Batalik route, or should i go with Leh – Manali route. Do we have any good points to cover at Leh – Manali route?

  45. Hi Dheeraj,
    article was awesome and found me very useful lamp-post for Srinagar-Leh journey.
    I was to Manali-Rohtang Pass in the June 2015. Now I am planning for Srinagar-Leh, self-drive trip in December this year. Plz guide me about-
    1. How much safe it is to travel this time?
    2. Whether military allows to travel this road in December or do I need to take their permission?
    3. Else suggest me a good chilli winter time (early winter or post winter) to travel.
    4. Do I get / How to get self drive SUV/MUV in Srinagar?

    Thanks

    • Hello Warun,

      1. Quite unsafe, in case Zojila is open, it may close anyday, so the risk of getting your vehicle stuck is very high even if Zojila is open during that time of the year.
      2. All depends if Zojila Pass is open or not. In case it is open, they will allow but risk is up there as mentioned in point 1
      3. By road you cannot travel to Ladakh in winters, you can take flight into Leh and then can travel within Ladakh.
      4. You will not get any self drive car in Srinagar. Only taxis will be available.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  46. Nipun Patel on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    can you do me favour to make itinerary for 6 days trip from Srinagar to Leh to Manali.

    regards,
    nipun

    • Nipun, 6 days will be too less for Ladakh trip. It takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar, then 2 days from Leh to Manali. One day you need to rest in Leh only for acclimatization. With one day left with you, you can either make a day trip to Pangong Tso or Khardung La.

      • Nipun Patel on

        Thnx for your quick response…. i’ll try to extend some days nd come back to you.

        again thnx a lot.

  47. tejas shah on

    Ok…1last question…if i incrrase my trip by 1night…you would prefer tso moriri or a extra night in manali to enjoy rohatang pass…

    • I will prefer Tso Moriri anyday, it is pristine and journey to it is just too wonderful while Manali is totally crowded and many a times chaotic especially in May – June. Rohtang Pass, I never ever liked somehow :(

  48. Tejas Shah on

    Kindly guide me on my itinerary as follows, do tell me if I need to change it…

    DAY COUNT DAY DATES –
    1 SUNDAY 27th June Dasy 0 – : BVI to JAMMU
    2 MONDAY 28th June Transfer in Train Reach jammu on 29th June @ 1.45 am (midnight )
    3 TUESDAY 29th June Day 01st : Arrival Srinagar via Jammu & sightseeing at pahalgam and full day sight seen .Overnight stay House boat
    4 WEDNESDAY 30th June Day 02rd : Srinagar – Gulmarg . Overnight stay Gulmarg .
    5 THURSDAY 1st july Day 03th : Gulmarg -Srinagar – Enroute Sonmarg sightseeing and transfers to Kargil – Kargil – Overnight stay Kargil
    6 FRIDAY 2nd july Day 04th : Kargil – Transfers to Leh- Overnight stay Leh
    7 SATURDAY 3rd july Day 05th : Leh local sightseeing . Overnight stay Leh
    8 SUNDAY 4th july Day 06th : Leh-Pangon Lake . Overnight stay Panang lake
    9 MONDAY 5th july Day 07th : Pangong Lake –Leh. Overnight stay Leh
    10 TUESDAY 6th july Day 08th : Leh –Nubra Valley. Overnight stay Nubra Valley
    11 WEDNESDAY 7th july Day 09th : Nubra Valley –Leh. Overnight stay Leh
    12 THURSDAY 8th july Day 10th : Leh-Tanglangla Pass- Sarchu- Jispa . Overnight stay Jispa .
    13 FRIDAY 9th july Day 11th : Jispa –Keylong –Rohtang Pass-Manali . Overnight stay Manali
    14 SATURDAY 10th july Day 12th : Manali –Amritsar . Overnight stay Amritsar .
    15 SUNDAY 11th july Day 13th : Local Sight in Amritsar and evening drop railway station / Airport an end of services

    Also let me know if we can add Tso moriri if we go directly from Pangong to Nubra, will save 1 night there, which we can use to go tso moriri

    • Hi Tejas,

      1. On Day 3, I assume it is Srinagar not Pahalgam
      2. Day 5, start a bit early in the day
      3. Please do Nubra Valley first and then do Pangong Tso lake. Very important else you may fall ill due to AMS.
      4. Rest looks fine to me.
      5. If you can add a day here or probably drop Gulmarg then you can do Tso Moriri. Or you can do a day trip to Pangong Tso and then do Leh to Tso Moriri, Tso Moriri to Sarchu and Sarchu to Manali. I will not recommend direct route of Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri due to its uncertain access nature and long journey. Keep it a bit relaxed like above to enjoy properly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Tejas Shah on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the prompt reply…

        Kindly tell me if I save a night by travelling from Leh – Nubra – Pangong – Leh

        Where sould I utilize it??
        night in Tso Moriri or a night in Maniali….As what I heard from travel agents is that both Pangong & Tso moriri is alomst same feeling…

        Need you guidance for the same…

        • Tejas, I will suggest that you keep it relaxed the way it has been done or add one day to include Tso Moriri OR drop Gulmarg is what I will suggest except anything. Risks associated to Wari La route are higher than dropping Gulmarg or adding a day.

    • Regarding Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso route, in order to take Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok village, you need not need any permits. However, with such a small distance it appears tempting to be done BUT just to analyze the difficulty I will strongly suggest that you read:Trip Report | Nubra – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso Route. The report is from couple of year back in June & in July/August, most likely the route is washed away. Similar, reports are there from last year as well. So better confirm first, analyze the high risk involved and then only attempt it or better avoid it unless very much sure.

      Next possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is also a bit desolated but doable enough. If your driver agrees to travel on this route then take the Wari La route to Pangong Tso. Remember that any help required on both these routes will be HARD to find in miles of distance. If you have couple of vehicles then only take this route otherwise best is to avoid it.

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