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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1,594 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj, what a write up !!! I planned for Leh in 2010 but it was cancelled due to the flash floods .. I m planning this year in Sep. Is that a right time ? i guess the monsoon wud have receded by then so i might face less hardships .. We plan to fly from Delhi to Srinagar . then we take a taxi from Srinagar to Leh and back .. please help with the itinerary

    • munir shah on

      Hi dheeraj, very useful information. i am traveling on 24th may. my itinerary would be two days in srinagar, 1 night in kargil, 1 night in alchi, 4 nights in leh, 1 night in nubara valley. i just wanted to know what will be expected temperature during this period i mean 24th may – 2nd june.

      • Hi Munir,

        The temperatures will be pleasant in Leh ranging somewhere around 15 deg C to 20 deg C. Do take heavy woolens with you.
        I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have any queries or doubts.

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Deepak,

      For me September is always the best time because you see burning colors of Ladakh in full glory… Amazing scenery. Try to make it by mid September types. Traveling to Srinagar and then going to Leh is the best way to plan it :) … Let me know the number of days you have in hand and I will assist you with the itinerary. Also, you can check a balanced version of most common itinerary on the link here and may be cut down it according to your needs.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • please post some contact details of drivers from Srinagar if possible. Also is it possible to bargain on travelling costs in LEh

      • Hi Rachit,

        I have one for Srinagar and you can check by calling him "9419090310 – Mehraj" if it is working. Otherwise, try calling Naseer – 9469293183, 9906229203 who is based in Leh. He many a times picks people from Srinagar itself and being Leh based you do not have to book another taxi again. Bargain could be like 12-15% at max, I believe.

        Other Good Drivers in Leh – Ladakh:
        1. Rigzin – 09622954779
        2. Naseer – 09906229203 and 09469293183
        3. Dorjey – 09419372742
        4. Tashi – 09906994647, 09419342238
        5. Tsewang – 09622993372

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  2. Kshiprankit on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I was in planning phase of Srinagar-Leh trip but I must confess now, while reading your blog I made my mind to be there from 02Aug-06 Aug2012. Best informative travelling blog, I ever came across with. Appreciate the modesty of article. Thanks!!!

    Would like to ask here if we opt for Srinagar-Leh throughout with JKSRTC buses, can we do sightseeing and cover the places en-route Leh on Srinagar – Leh Highway like Alchi, Basgo, Likir etc before we reach Leh?

    Itinerary would be:

    02/Aug:Reaching Srinagar,

    03/Aug:Srinagar-Kargil,

    04/Aug:Kargil-Lamayuru/Alchi/Leh,

    05/Aug: Leh-Khardunga La-Leh,

    06/Aug: Fly out.

    Please suggest.

    • Hi Ankit,

      Thanks alot, glad that the information present on my blog is useful for you. If you go by buses then you will have least amount of sightseeing on the route. They will stop whenever they plan to and you do not have control over them. Also, they will not stop at sightseeing purposes en-route. They are only meant to drop at Leh or Srinagar.

      The itinerary is OK but I do not think you can do it JK buses because as I said above they will not stop at sightseeing places.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks once again Dheeraj, I believe Srinagar-Kargil is ok with JKSRTC. And from Kargil we can hire for a Leh-plated taxi no. Please suggest.

        We are four in no. and planning to take 2 two men tents, please suggest if we can pitch tents at Kargil, Alchi etc.

        Regards, once again-Ankit

        • Hi Ankit,

          Yes, that will be fine if you reach Kargil and then hire a taxi from there. It depends upon the local villagers if they allow to pitch the tents or not. Most probably they will allow you to do so.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  3. Hello,,,we are two girls form Italy,and we are arriving in Delhi on 11.5. we have 20 days,more less, for Ladhak but we were thinking to go via terra,by Srinagar-Leh road.As you are the expert in Ladhak :) we are more than appreciate to adwice us on this.We have all ready been in India before,but never in Ladhak .So what is the best way,we are awere that the road will be in bad shape,but do you think that 2 foreign girl are able to do it ,hehe :) We we thinking to go Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Leh, and maybe to go back,return by Manali road(if open)!2weeks for Ladhak 1st week,,Leh,monasterys,and 2nd week Nubra walley.Thank you for all your information that you giving us considering Ladhak ,it is all very helpfull.Chears

    • Hi Natasa,

      You can go to Ladakh via road from Srinagar side because now it has been opened for public/tourists. The journey from Delhi to Jammu and Srinagar is pretty much bland and do not have anything interesting. I will rather prefer taking flight to Srinagar from Delhi as it will be most likely similar in economic terms as well. Once you reach Srinagar, you can take either a public transport bus or shared tourist taxi from Srinagar to Leh. It will night halt at Kargil and then next day you will reach Leh. So, no problem I see you two making to Leh :), Leh – Ladakh in fact is one of the most safest places in India and you see there one of the best people in India. Manali – Leh will also be most likely open by the time you plan to start back from Leh towards Manali. Srinagar – Leh Highway was decent condition as per the drivers I met last week when I was in Ladakh, so conditions will improve in coming days. Manali – Leh by that time may also stabilize as well because Rohtang Pass has already been opened for light vehicles.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  4. hi dheeraj,

    we r planning our trip to leh in end of may in our own car. i would like to know which car do u prefer, and i would like to know is there any need to book the accomodations prior to the trip. we wl go thru srinagar- leh highway and come thru manali – leh highway.

    • Hello Sahil,

      Firstly, good decision that you will be going via srinagar and coming back via Manali. You will surely enjoy more in this case. Well, you should prefer a high ground clearance vehicle to make it hassle free. I hope you have some experience of driving in hills.

      Regarding bookings of hotels, I guess, you do not need to pre-book any accommodation unless you want to stay at some specific property and are OK with searching the hotel a bit here and there after reaching Leh or other places. In most cases, taxi drivers does help very much in helping you get an accommodation. But, to keep a lits of hotels handy, check the comprehensive guide for accommodation within Leh Ladakh starting from the article linked here.

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

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hello Sahil,

          For list of preferred accommodation around Pangong Tso Lake, check the article linked here.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  5. Hi Dheeraj,

    Really your site is very informative and useful too.
    I need some information about accomodation in Leh. We are a group of 34 heads and our stay duration in Leh from 30th May to 5th June.
    Our budget is upto 1000/- per day for double room. Can we get Hotels within this budget for those days mentioned? I'm looking forward to your reply please.

  6. Vishal Chauhan on

    Hey dheeraj ur blog is awesome. I intend to go Jalandhar- manali-leh-srinagar-Jammu- Jalandhar for 14 days with a group of 6 adults and two kids from 3 June to 17 June. Kindly let me know.
    1. Probable dates of opening up of the highway.
    2. I have a Toyota innova. Will that be fine or should I take a Toyota fortuner or Mitsubishi pajero. Other members are travelling in an innova and Scorpio.
    3. Can kids of age 6 and 10 ages endure the journey.

  7. Please tell me:

    i m planning to go leh from srinagar.
    can you tell me how much time will it take by bus with a halt in kargi??

  8. Hi Dheeraj,

    Hats off to you for this blog man. It is reall informative and absolutely appreciate your efforts for helping everyone with all of their queries.
    Me and my friends have planned a long tour from Pune-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Pune. We will drive in a 4×4 for the entrie tour.
    We have about 13 days between 4-June-2011 untill 16-June-2011 to explore around the heavenly Srinagar-Manali stretch.
    During this same period between 9-June-2011 to 13-June-2011 our families would be joing us in Leh(Flying in-Out of Leh)

    Was wondering if you could help us in shortlisting the places where we should stay back in the Night. Food/stay/Fund/Time No constraints. Absolutely in for anything as long as it is fun and adventure. Even if you help us with just the places where we should stop for the nights then probably I will study your and some other blogs to find more info and finalize on the places to see and things to do.

    Thanks n Regards
    Atul P

  9. Hi Dheeraj,

    Hats off to you for this blog man. It is reall informative and absolutely appreciate your efforts for helping everyone with all of their queries.
    Me and my friends have planned a long tour from Pune-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Pune. We will drive in a 4×4 for the entrie tour.
    We have about 13 days between 4-June-2011 untill 16-June-2011 to explore around the heavenly Srinagar-Manali stretch.
    During this same period between 9-June-2011 to 13-June-2011 our families would be joing us in Leh(Flying in-Out of Leh)

    Was wondering if you could help us in shortlisting the places where we should stay back in the Night. Food/stay/Fund/Time No constraints.

    Absolutely in for anything as long as it is fun and adventure. Even if you help us with just the places where we should stop for the nights then

    probably I will study your and some other blogs to find more info and finalize on the places to see and things to do.

    Thanks n Regards
    Atul P

    • Hi Anupam,

      Thanks buddy, feel free to let me know if you have any queries or douts in regard to planning your trip to Leh – Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the informations, I would apprecate if you can share some more informartion on DELUX BUS SERVICE FROM SRINAGAR TO LEH AND THEIR PROBABLE PLACE OF AVAILABILITY for our information. Also if these bus tockets can be booked online ?

        • Hi Gautam,

          These are not deluxe buses rather semi-deluxe types and are mostly run by private travel agents/tour operators. Not sure if they can be booked online but you can find them at Srinagar bud stand.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  10. Pingback: 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road - DeViL on WheeLs...

  11. Hello bro.. First of all thanks for such a wonderful write up ! It almost gave anything or everything i wanted.. Can you please look at my plan and let me know if i can do this. I have 9 nights and 10 days..

    I want to do Manali to Leh (via Keylong, Sarchu).. Leh to Nubra Valley.. Leh to Srinagar via Kargil, Also i want to go back from Srinagar to Manali within 10th day evening.. Can i do this by any chance.. My plan is as below.. Can you comment on the best route from Srinagar to Manali please.. i have problems with that route..

    Day 1 manali to sarchu

    Day 2 Sarchu to Leh

    Day 3 Leh to Disket

    Day 4 Disket to Leh

    Day 5 Leh to Kargil

    Day 6 Kargil to Srinagar

    Day 7 Srinagar

    Day 8 Srinagar

    Day 9 Srinagar to Keylong

    Day 10 Keylong to Manali

    • Hi Vivek,

      Thanks alot. what is your starting point Manali?? Are you renting a bike from Manali?? The itinerary needs to be re-shaped a lot, because spending first night at Sarchu – very deadly. You are not seeing anything in Ladakh here rather just covering Manali – Leh Highway which will take most of your time on road and then running to Srinagar. I will say drop any sightseeing in Srinagar. You also need a day in Leh to arrange permits for Nubra Valley. Let me know answers to above queries and I will try to sketch the itinerary for you.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hello Dheeraj,

        First of all Many thanks for the reply. Can you please re-shape the itinerary. I would like to see more places than simply travelling. FYI this is money honeymoon trip :D :D.. What do you say as i have opted for a honeymoon bike trip. Is it good to go ahead with this?

        Can you please help me by preparing a itinerary for the below places for 11 days..

        1) Manali (2 days stay booked in a hotel from 15th 12 pm to 17th 12 pm)

        2) Leh

        3) Nubra Valley

        4) Manali

        I have 2 days for site seeing in manali (as i have booked stay for 2 days) and 9 days in hand for Manali Leh bike trip. Starting 17th June to 26th June. Please help me with this. I have to travel back to Delhi and catch a flight to bangalore on 27th afternoon. If you think 9 days is too much for Manali Leh Manali, I don't mind winding up Manali Leh trip a day or 2 early as i can visit Delhi and Agra if time permits.

        To summarize things again, Please help me prepare itinerary for 2 days of manali and 9 days of manali leh manali bike trip. Many thanks for your time.

        Regards,

        Vivek

        • hello Dheeraj, I had missed few things. Yes i am hiring a bike from Manali. 500 CC machismo from Abhinav. Read your complete blogayana :) Awesome dude.. almost saw pangong tso.. Tso moriri :) So i got few ideas.. thought i can go for a draft itinerary with that. which you can review once. 9 days plan.

          Day 1 Manali to Sarchu

          Day 2 Sarchu to Leh

          Day 3 Local site seeing and permits

          Day 4 Leh to Diskit

          Day 5 Diskit –> Panamik –> Leh

          Day 6 Leh to Pangong Tso

          Day 7 Pangong to Sarchu via Shakti

          Day 8 Sarchu to Leh

          Day 9 Buffer (which you strongly recommed)

          Please edit the above itinerary wherever needed. And need little info on stay as i will have my wife with me. Thanks again for the valuable time :)

          Regards,

          Vivek

        • Hi Vivek,

          I have replied to your other comment with draft itinerary. Let me know incase you need some details.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hello Vivek,

          Congrats a ton for the marriage buddy. If you both are adventurous you will remember the trip always otherwise you will remember it always ;) … Things can easily get screwed up at Manali – Leh Highway, so do wish for the best and be prepared for the worst ;) … I am sure you have experience of riding long hours on bike and your wifey too…

          Jokes apart, I will strongly suggest you spend at least one of the 2 nights of Manali at Solang Valley to acclimatize a little.

          Day 1 | Reach Manali, Hire Bike and do local sightseeing for testing the bike. Overnight Manali
          Day 2 | Manali – Naggar Castle – Manali – Solang Valley. Again it will help you test the bike. Overnight at Solang Valley
          Day 3 | Solang Valley – Rohtang Pass – Jispa (leave early to avoid Rohtang Pass jam mess)
          Day 4 | Jispa – Leh (Do not stay at Sarchu else you will hit AMS and it might be difficult to carry out rest of the journey. You need to leave by 4 AM from Jispa to reach Leh with daylight left in the day. It will be the longest, toughest and remotest drive you might have ever done. Be ready for some great fun and breathtaking viewes)
          Day 5 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
          — Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
          — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link : http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-per
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
          Day 7 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 8 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
          — Day trip to Pangong Tso
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 9 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
          Day 10 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Manali

          Day 11 + 12 | Buffer days to be kept incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.

          I hope this helps. Let me know incase of any queries or doubts.
          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  12. this is my Proposed Plan for 11 days…..but this has become too long….so could you plz help me reduce it by 2 dayz!!!!

    Day 1:- Jammu-Srinagar….halt @ srinagar

    Day2:- Srinagar-Pahelgam….halt @ pahelgam

    Day3:-Pahelgam- Gulmarg….halt @ Gulmarg

    Day4:-Gulamrg – Srinagar…..sight seeing….halt @ srnagar

    Day5:- Srinagar- Kargil….halt @ kargil

    Day6:- Kargil –Uleytokpo…..Halt @ Uleytokpo

    Day7:-Uleytokpo-Alchi-Leh….halt @ Leh

    Day8:- sight seeing n permit@Leh

    Day9:- Leh-Hemis-Leh…night @ Leh

    Day10:- Leh-Nubra valley….halt @ nubra valley

    Day11:-Nubra valley-Pangong Lake-Leh….halt @ leh….

    END

    waiting fr ur suggestions!

    • Hi Abhijeet,

      I will recommend you either skip Ladakh or Kashmir to make it more comfortable and enjoyable. Day 11 is not feasible at all unless you wanna drive more than 15-16 Hrs in a day, may be more. And then you want to cut two more days ;) … You can either fly to Srinagar directly or leave Gulmarg very early in the morning on Day 4 and skip Srinagar sightseeing and then head to Kargil. Perhaps best I can suggest:

      Day1:- Jammu-Srinagar….halt @ srinagar
      Day2:- Srinagar-Pahelgam….halt @ pahelgam
      Day3:-Pahelgam- Gulmarg….halt @ Gulmarg
      Day4:- Gulamrg – Srinagar – Kargil/Drass (leave a bit early from Gulmarg to make it to Kargil or Drass for overnight stay)
      Day5:- Kargil – Leh…..Halt @ Uleytokpo
      Day6:- sight seeing n permit@Leh
      Day7:- Leh-Nubra valley….halt @ nubra valley
      Day8:- Nubra valley – Pangong Tso
      Day9:- Pangong Tso Lake – Leh

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  13. Dear Dheeraj, would you kindly suggest if this program is feasible:

    Days Origin Destination Events

    Day 1 Jammu Srinagar – Dal Lake Night Halt

    Day 2 Srinagar Gulmarg & Pahalgam- Srinagar Night Halt

    Day 3 Srinagar Kargil – Sonamarg – Drass – Kargil Night Halt

    Day 4 Kargil Mulbek, Lamayuru – Leh Night Halt

    Day 5 Leh Alchi, Likir, Magnetic hill, Night Halt

    Hall of Fame, Khardongla Pass- Leh

    Day 6 Leh Thiksey/Hemis – Pangong – Leh Night Halt

    Day 7 Leh Return journey

    • Hi Sunil,

      Yes, this is very much feasible. I will suggest that instead of reaching Leh on Day 4, halt at Alchi only. And then on Day 5 after exploring Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Phyang Moastery and return to Leh for overnight stay.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks Brother for your kind suggestions,keep it up. I will definately consult you before finalizing our tour.

        Thanks Again.

        • Hello Sunil,

          You are most welcome anytime. Let me know any queries or doubts you have regarding planning your trip to Leh Ladakh :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  14. Man you are amazing! Appreciate your patience and passion to assist one and all in their trip to Ladakh!

    Good on you!!

    I will be needing your guidance in 2013 when I plan to ride to Leh from Mumbai and be atop the Khadungla pass on my 60th birthday on 01aug13!

    Cheers!

    • Thanks alot Deepak. Glad to know that you like my efforts, really thanks for the appreciation :) … Do let me know whenever you need any assistance in planning your ride to Ladakh. I will be more than happy to asist.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  15. Pingback: Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2012

  16. Hi Dheeraj

    I have been dreaming of going to Ladakh for 15 years, and now I finally have decided to go there. I have been reading so much about it, but let me tell you your articles, replies to comments has been very informative & comprehensive. Since you are a seasoned traveler to Ladakh I feel you the the best person to guide me. My 1 year old son & I am planning on going to Ladakh end of July. We want to go from Srinagar. I have travelled earlier with him to Sikkim & other places, but somehow people are scaring me about just the 2 of us going to Ladakh, saying it's dangerous.Is it unsafe for a woman & a teenager to travel by themselves?

    I am planning on taking a bus from Srinagar to Kargil(halting at Sonamarg & Drass )staying overnight at Kargil, then bus again to Lamyuru. From Lamyuru to Leh, not sure whether to bus or taxi..I want to save money for taxi in & around Leh..what is the frequency of buses? My itineary is below, using ideas from your articles & others..If possible can you advice me on the following…

    – do we do Alchi from Kargil or head to lamaruyu

    -budget hotels with room heater

    -taxi drivers in Leh

    -Approximate cost of traveeling to places on my itineary

    -Safety

    -Things I need to keep in mind

    Thanks

    Anjali

    1. Srinagar – Sonamarg – Drass – Kargil (stay) – Mulbeck – Lamayuru (stay) –Nimmu – Leh

    2. Leh – Khardungla – Khardung –Khalsa – Diksit – Hunder – Diksit (stay) – Sumur – Panamik(Nubra valley)- leh

    3. Leh –Shey – Karu – Shakti – Changla –Durbuk – Tankksey (stay) – Lukung –Spangmik (Pangong Tse)

    4. Leh – Upsi – Chumathang – Mahe Bridge – Tso moriri – Korzok –Mahe Bridge – Tso Kar – Moore plains –Tanglang la-Upsi –Leh

    5. Kargil – Panikhar – Parakachik –Rangdum (stay) – Pensila – Padum (Zanskar Valley)

    • Hi Anjali,

      Thanks alot, glad you find the info. present on my blog about Leh – Ladakh useful enough.

      Did you make a typo error or are you saying you plan to do this circuit with one year old kid? In terms of safety from humans, the whole Leh – Ladakh is one of the safest places I have been to in India but talking in terms of natural calamities, no one can predict them in Trans-Himalayan region. Now, assuming that you are going ahead with one year old kid, I will advise you that although going via Srinagar – Leh Highway does help in terms of acclimatization and minimizing the chances of AMS but still problem with such small children is that they cannot convey if they are having problems. In AMS, if you are feeling the symptoms then best bet is not to ascent higher or go lower if symptoms rises. Now, with one year old child you might not be able to judge how he is feeling and he will not be able to convey you the uneasiness, if at all present. Hence, I will suggest first consult a good doctor and then only plan this trip to Leh with such young kid with all the precautions. The problem is that the medical services might not be readily available in remote regions of Ladakh and hence, I feel it is better to avoid the journey and wait until he grows to an age where he can convey his emotions and feelings easily and help you take necessary steps. Otherwise, there is no issue I see with you two going to this majestic place.

      Also, about the itinerary, is it for 5 days? How many days you have in hand?

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj

        Thanks for the prompt reply. Yes , it was a typo…my son is 14. So it wont be a problem.

        Regards

        Anjali

        • Hi Anjali,

          Like I said, in such a case you will not have any problem. Plus you are going via Srinagar side, hence body will be acclimatized in better way before you reach Leh. You should do Kargil – Alchi on the day, so that you get more close to Leh and even enjoy the culture around. On the bus to Leh from Kargil, you can get off at Sasapol I guess and from there you may get a shared taxi or lift for Alchi.

          For the budget hotels check the link here and here

          For anything related to budget, refer the link here

          Safety, as I said – Ladakh is one of the safest places in India (human safety) and people are super friendly. For list of things to carry, you can check my travel list here

          Now, taxis are extremely costly in Ladakh and hence, it will be better if you get hold of some shared taxi (shared among tourists) with people traveling on similar dates. There are lots of flyers/banner which foreigners or other domestic tourists put on cafes, dine-in at main market and changspa road to share taxi cost. Check them out or you can even check forums such as India Mike or BCMT to find Travel Partners in the respective section and tie along them for sharing the taxi cost. Contact some travel agent to get a shared taxi, if nothing works.

          I will suggest that you drop the plan for Zanskar and make dedicated trip to Ladakh only.

          Please tell me the number of days you have in hand and I will suggest a suitable itinerary accordingly. I get the list of places you want to visit but couldn't make out the number of days you have with you.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  17. John Thomas on

    Hi

    Your blog was very informative. Could you please help me in a trip that I have planned. We are a group of central government staff from Mysore 9 in number 6 adults (4 male + 2 female) and three children (2 girls aged 12 and a boy aged 4). Due to constraints in flight reservations we are flying in to Leh on 13th June and planning to take a road journey down to Srinagar on 15th June. after reading your blog I am sure it certainly not the right way to do it. but with a mad rush in June due to a special facility extended to central government employees coming to a close we cannot afford to replan. Is it very difficult to take the journey as we plan to do. Will acclimatization be a major issue? We just want to lap up the beauty of the landscapes which is our main choice. Can children sustain the journeys? Any travel houses where we could hire a transport for the journey preferably a TATA winger or Van? We are middle class group with concerns on the budget too. We are looking forward to your valuable comments please. JOHN

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your kind words. I am a bit confused here, why do you want to go towards Srinagar from Leh when you plan to fly-in? Are you planning to travel Kashmir or Leh – Ladakh? If you want to explore Kashmir then tickets to Srinagar will be very cheap as compared to Leh from Delhi and then if you want to explore Leh – Ladakh then you do not need to go back to Srinagar.

      Let me know the place you want to explore and how many days you have in hand, I will suggest the itinerary and the whole plan accordingly :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  18. hey dheeraj,

    i ve been going through your write up for last couple of weeks.The article is very interesting and i am sure that it is gonna help me in a great way in planning my trip to leh and ladhak in either Sep or Oct.

    Ill be undertaking this trip with my wife on my own bike from srinagar.We ll be flying in to srinagar.And i ll be considering to carry out the 3 day itenary for the drive to leh.How many more days will be required to cover the whole of leh after i reach there.It would be a great help if you could let me know if i could rent a bike at srinagar and the rates for it?Hope to get a reply form you.Before i end up ,i would like to praise your effort ,dedication ,motivation and hardwork put up by you to help your fellow travelers to leh -ladhak cheers mathew

    • Hi Mathew,

      Rather than taking the Srinagar – Leh Highway on bike I will suggest that you hire/rent bike in Leh – Ladakh only. There are two reasons for it, first you do not have to back track the same route just to give the bike again and secondly I doubt if you will be able to get the bike on rent in Srinagar, it is quite fragile place as you know. Also, you are planning late in the season when heavy snowfall can close the Zozila pass for a day or more, so in such a case riding back just to return the bike will not be worth.

      Hence, reach Leh by bus or shared taxi or privately hired taxi (whatever suits your budget) and then hire bike in Leh once you reach there. You can do Leh – Kargil in one day, and then Kargil – Leh on the other day. If you want to take it easy then you can halt second day at Alchi and explore Alchi, Likir and Basgo in the evening or next morning before heading to Leh.

      Now, even months are less to explore whole Ladakh region and it depends very much on your choice on what to be seen and what not. I have prepared the most common itinerary followed by travelers to Ladakh and you can read it here. You can curtail or pick the places you want to explore and if required we canwork on your itinerary depending upon the number of days you have in hand.

      For all about renting bikes, do read the article here. The tips and tentative prices are almost equally application within Leh as well though the article talks about Manali Bike hire/rent services.

      I hope this helps and thanks for your kind appreciating words. It does help a lot. Let me know for any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharmna

      • hey dheeraj,

        It is really commendable the energy and enthusiasm with which you treat each mail of yours.It is reflected in the promtness in which you reply.

        Though you have advised me to rent a bike at leh -ladhak and ride down to kargil,in many of your blogs you ve advised the travellers to travel in their own bikes ,taking into consideration the por quality of bikes and the repairs u may need to undertake in the midst of the journey.

        If i intend transporting my bike to srinagar and then travel to leh -ladhak,is there any option to transfer the bike from leh -ladhak back to my home town(as in any transport company or courier service).

        i tried searching the transport rates for gati ,but i guess it has services only till srinagar,not even kargil :(.

        But im sure there might be some transport ]company from leh -ladhak as there is so muc military presence there and all the army men need to transport their vehicles.

        it would be nice if you could find out something regarding this.

        We plan to do this in a group of 6 in three bikes and on our way back we ll be flying back from leh -ladhak.hope to see ur reply soon as always.

        cheers

        mathew

        • Hi Mathew,

          Thanks alot again for such kind words. I can't really tell how much they help in motivation apart from the diehard passion I have for traveling.
          Yes, it is always better that you take your own bike rather than renting the bike. However, I guess it will cost you too much to ship your bike to Srinagar and then back to home from Leh, since you are flying in. Hence, it is not a good pick to take your bike in such a case rather rent a bike in Leh itself. The risk though being still there is much lower than renting a bike in Manali because within Leh then distances that you need to cover without any civilization is less if you are interested in common tourist places where as at Manali – Leh Highway there are stretches running over hundreds of KMs without any civilization. In case, your bike break down then help might take long time to come on Manali – Leh Highway but within Leh, if you are not going to the remote regions then probably you will find help in good time only comparatively, so the risk is lowered but will be present always :)

          Best thing is to hire a bike, do couple of days of local sightseeing that ensure the condition of bike and then go ahead with other plans. So, better rent the bike within Leh itself rather than thinking of exporting the bike from home to first Srinagar and then back home.

          Also, when you will rent the bike from Leh you need not ride back to Kargil, guess there is some confusion here. You should explore Ladakh then as you will be covering Srinagar – Kargil – Leh by road either by shared taxi/private taxi or public buses.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    This blog is amazing. We a group of 5 are planning to a BLR – Leh trip some time in Mid July or Aug First week. We will be traveling on a 4×4. Our biggest constraint is time. As per the current schedule we can be @ leh only for 4 days. Have some queries, 1) If we have to reach LEH by 10:00 Am, how soon we should start from Kargil ?

    2) If we need to go thru Batalik for leh, we need to get ILPs from kargil, can we get ILPS for Pangong and neruba and other places from Kargil itself ?

    3) We plan to do Srinagar – Leh – Manali, do we need to get any vehicle permit as ours is non HP registered car ?

    4) Can you let us know how we can plan our 4 days optimally in LEH. we don't mind stretching ourselves a bit as all of us are gents and don't have kids or ladies with us.

    Once again awesome blog, People like you motivates us to travel and explore.

    • Hello Praveen

      Thanks buddy. Great that you will be traveling by 4×4, you will enjoy the trip. Please find answers your query in the respective order of your queries –
      1. I guess by 2 AM, which means you will not be seeing much enroute in the dark.
      2. I am not sure, most likely it will not be issued from Kargil office but as I said I am not sure about it. You can get Batalik permits from Leh that I know but getting Pangong Tso and Nubra permits from Kargil, not sure about it.
      3. No, you will not need any permit in that direction. If you are going to start via Manali then you will need permit to travel on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. Since, you will not need it if you are going to Manali from Leh.
      4. You can do something like:

      Day 1 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      Overnight at Leh

      Day 2 | 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
      About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and at Khardung La

      Day 3 | 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
      About 7-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

      Day 4 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      Day 5 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu
      Day 6 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Manali

      OR

      Day 4 | Leh – Tso Moriri
      Day 5 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Pang – Sarchu
      Day 6 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Manali

      OR

      Very optimistic, covers everything and tiring …

      Day 1 | Leh Local sightseeing
      Day 2 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit/Hunder
      Day 3 | Diskit/Hunder – Wari La – Pangong Tso / Diskit/Hunder – Shyok village (if route is open) – Pangong Tso
      — Latter via Shyok village is shorter route but may/may not be opened because as per BRO they planned to open this route this year only. So, check before going towards it else go via Wari La route, longer one.
      — need permits for both Wari La and Shyok Village
      Day 4 | Pangong Tso – Man – Merak – Chusul – Loma – Nyoma – Tso Moriri
      — You will need permits for every place that comes on this route starting from Man/Merak. Check the permit link for details
      Day 5 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Pang – Sarchu
      Day 6 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Manali

      Also, in order to attempt this route you need to carry spare fuel for doing about 800-850 KMs without fuel pump I guess. Do not forget to carry spare fuel and tank full from Leh only as in Nubra Valley, diskit petrol pump might not be operational.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know for any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  20. Arvind Patil on

    Hey Dheeraj,

    Firstly, very commendable and awesome job on putting your views and suggestions across for all the enthusiastic drivers. ;-)

    I have a few queries, which I hope you could help me out with.

    We have not finalized the details yet. We are a group of 5-6 people planning for a 15-18 day trip from Chandigarh/Delhi to Leh/Ladakh, in the month of July/August.

    1) As I went through your different posts on the site, I'm sure that you are more inclined towards taking the Srinagar – Leh route, instead of Manali – Leh route. Any specific reason, other than the problems with Gas stations?

    2) I'm more inclined towards taking a round trip. So, which would be your choice of route to go ahead with & why?

    3) In your opinion, what would be the average cost, per head, for the whole trip (say we start and finish @ Chandigarh)?

    4) Regding accommodation, is it advisable to carry tents/sleeping bags with us? Or, would you recommend to stay in a guest house at different places? Also, is there any restriction on putting up tents at different places along the highway?

    5) Any other points you would like to share ! :-)

    Thanks, in advance & awesome job, once again ;-)

    Cheers !

    ~Arvind Patil

    • Hello Arvind,

      Thanks alot buddy. Please find my answers in respective order of your queries.

      1. Yes, there is much more stronger reason than fuel pump that is acclimatization. The ascent is gradual from Srinagar side and hence your body adapts/acclimatize to the high altitude slowly and in much better way than on Manali – Leh Highway where most of the highway runs above 14000 feet which is considered as very high altitude as per specification. Unless the body is not acclimatized, you are bound to suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness which is not a good thing to get in such a remote region like Manali – Leh Highway. Secondly, to minimize the effects of AMS you need to plan tweak the journey such that you do not sleep at High altitude of Sarchu by staying either at Keylong or Jispa. This means that you will be covering 25% of the journey one day and rest 75% of the distance on the other day, without evenly balancing the journey. On the other hand, while you are coming from Leh side towards Manali, you body is acclimatized to the altitude of staying at Sarchu which is at an even distance from Manali and Leh and hence, you enjoy the journey in much much better way instead of rushing through it. Third and the last, if you are going via Manali side and in your own vehicle or hired vehicle outside Himachal you need to take permit from Manali DC office to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road which will waste surely a day, if not taken in advance through travel agent or hotel staff and that too if you are not reaching on a holiday (like Sunday or second Saturday or other local/public holiday) at Manali. Holiday means waste of another day. You can read more about acclimatization on the link here

      2. As stated above, to enjoy the magnificent views of Manali – Leh Highway more, go via Srinagar side and come back via Manali side. I hope the above point makes it much clear in taking decision.

      3. For all about budget for leh – ladakh trip read my blog's link here: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip. If you still have any doubts I would be happy to answer :)

      4. If you have tents, then carry them because first it will save you the money and secondly, you can bargain more and in better way at places like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and Sarchu. As such there is no restriction but you need to check with the locales, like at Tso Moriri you cannot pitch the tents because it is a wetland reserve area. So, always check with locales or plan in a way where tents are required least. Most places have guest houses, and where ever not you can pitch in your tents. Also, you can always ask the already pitched tents to let you pitch your tents aside them as well by paying a very basic fees. It will ensure you the much needed safety and surety in any case :)

      5. I can keep writing about ladakh for months :D … much I have shared in the Ladakh section. Please explore and feel free to have any queries or doubts…

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      If you have 15-18 days, I will suggest you go with

  21. hii dheeraj,

    i ll be taking my own bike,karizma..plan a trip for me for 18 days,satrting point ll be delhi…delhi-srinagar-leh-manali.and do suggest me the best time to visit these places,even mention the best places near srinagar and ladakh as well…

    • Hi Jaison,

      You can check the itinerary below and if you have strict 18 days then you can skip Kashmir part so that you have atleast two buffer days for sure for such long itinerary. Otherwise, you can follow the below itinerary in case days are flexible. You can either attempt it pre-monsoon between mid-June to mid July, of course here will be Amarnath Yatra rush for sure :( … or you can plan it in post monsoon in September types. In between (July – august), you will have to go through rains at least upto you reach Ladakh and then again on manali – leh highway.

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

      Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 3 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
      — Explore a bit a Srinagar like Mughal Gardens, Shikara rides etc and then ride to Pahalgam
      — If time allows visit Chandanwari about 15-16 KMs
      — Overnight at Pahalgam

      Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
      — Ride from Pahalgam to Gulmarg and rest overnight at Gulmarg
      — Overnight at Gulmarg

      Day 5 | Gulmarg – Srinagar/Sonamarg
      — Enjoy half day at Gulmarg and then ride back to Srinagar or you can further continue to stay at Sonamarg overnight

      Day 6 | 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 7 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      — Overnight at Leh
      — Bike Service

      Day 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | 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)
      — Do carry spare fuel for traveling about 550-600 KMs without fuel pump

      Day 12 | Pangong Tso Lake – Man – Merak – Chusul – Hanle (Changthang)
      — Whole Changthang places must be mentioned on the permits.
      — Very arduos and remote drive but extremely beautiful.
      — Cover Hanle Observatory in the evening
      — Overnight at Hanle

      Day 13 | Hanle – Nyoma – Tso Moriri (Korzok)
      — Cover Hanle Observatory in the morning or if done around Hanle
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 14 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Upshi – Karu – Leh OR Tso Moriri – Chumathang – Upshi – Karu – Leh
      — In case of later, cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh, left while going to Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 15 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping or you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh
      — Bike Service, if required

      Day 16 | Leh – Karu – Upshi – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      — Enjoy the ride over Manali Leh highway
      — Overnight at Sarchu

      Day 17 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 18 | Manali – Shimla
      — Return Home

      Day 19 + 20 = Buffer Days

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need further details or have any queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hi dheeraj,
        thnx a lot for ur timely reply,is there any chance to add spiti valley,days are flexible,20days strict.

        • Jaison, I was writing you over the email :) … Well, I will suggest if you want to add Spiti Valley then better drop Kashmir. This will give you the required number of days to equally explore Spiti Valley. This is what you need to do to follow Spiti Valley to Shimla. Since, it is added below the itinerary you can take decisions if your buffer days are not utilized and you also go with Kashmir. Dropping Kashmir will be better idea I feel if you want to explore Spiti Valley and Hindustan Tibet Highway. Man this will surely be the trip of your lifetime :) … You can do it something like:

          Day 17 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong/Jispa
          – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          – Overnight at Keylong or Jispa

          Day 18 | Keylong – Kunzam Pass – Losar
          – Return Home

          Day 19 | Losar – Chandratal – Losar – Kaza
          — If you have time, explore the ever beautiful Chandratal from Losar or to save day, skip the day and move towards Kaza and do Day 20

          Day 20 | Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Komic – Hikkim – Langza – Kaza
          — Cover Langza – Hikkim – Kaumik in one half and Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the other half.
          — Skip the above places as per your fatigue level
          — If bike is troubling then get it serviced in Kaza and hire some local taxi or bike to cover these places

          Day 21 | Kaza – Dhankar – Pin Valley (Drive upto Mud Village) – Tabo
          — Leave early to cover all these places
          — If short on time then skip this day and move straight to Kalpa from Kaza with short halt at Tabo moanstery

          Day 22 | Tabo – Nako – Nako Lake – Kalpa
          — Explore Nako lake on the way and reach Kalpa by evening to enjoy the sunset

          Day 23 | Kalpa – Narkanda – Shimla

          Day 24 + 25 = Buffer Days

          Now, you can add remove days in the whole itinerary according to the time in hand. I hope this helps. Please feel free to let me know for any queries or doubts :) .. Do keep buffer days in hand for sure in case of any road blockage or mechanical failure with the bike etc.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • hi dheeraj,
          as u said i want to make this a trip of life time,but you can plan it in a bit different way cos now it reached 25days,mate i want to cover the best n the most beautiful places in those area,my starting point ll be delhi only,i can go either via srinagar or via simla manali and come bak via srinagar and end in delhi,pls do help me,as i told i need to cover spiti valley also….but days are limited upto 20 only…so pls plan accordingly,thanks a lot for ur timely reply.

        • Hi Jaison,

          You can follow the plan like below:

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

          Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
          — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
          — 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 Zanskar
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
          — Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
          — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
          — Overnight at Leh
          — Bike Service

          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

          Day 10 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping or you can do tour to Sham Valley
          — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          — Overnight at Leh
          — Bike service day

          Day 11 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          — Cover Karzok Monastery
          — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
          — Carry fuel for 550 – 600 KMs including tank capacity

          Day 12 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

          Day 13 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong/Jispa
          – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          – Overnight at Keylong or Jispa

          Day 14 | Keylong – Kunzam Pass – Losar
          – Go to Kaza via Kunzam Pass

          Day 15 | Losar – Chandratal – Losar – Kaza
          – If you have time, explore the ever beautiful Chandratal from Losar or to save day, skip the day and move towards Kaza and do Day 16

          Day 16 | Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Komic – Hikkim – Langza – Kaza
          – Cover Langza – Hikkim – Kaumik in one half and Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the other half.
          – Skip the above places as per your fatigue level
          – If bike is troubling then get it serviced in Kaza and hire some local taxi or bike to cover these places

          Day 17 | Kaza – Dhankar – Pin Valley (Drive upto Mud Village) – Tabo
          – Leave early to cover all these places
          – If short on time then skip this day and move straight to Kalpa from Kaza with short halt at Tabo moanstery

          Day 18 | Tabo – Nako – Nako Lake – Kalpa
          – Explore Nako lake on the way and reach Kalpa by evening to enjoy the sunset

          Day 19 | Kalpa – Narkanda – Shimla

          Day 20 + 21 = Buffer Days

          OR

          Day 14 | Keylong – Kunzam Pass – Kaza
          – Go to Kaza via Kunzam Pass

          Day 15 | Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang – Komic – Hikkim – Langza – Kaza
          – Cover Langza – Hikkim – Kaumik in one half and Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in the other half.
          – Skip the above places as per your fatigue level
          – If bike is troubling then get it serviced in Kaza and hire some local taxi or bike to cover these places

          Day 16 | Kaza – Dhankar – Pin Valley (Drive upto Mud Village) – Tabo
          – Leave early to cover all these places
          – If short on time then skip this day and move straight to Kalpa from Kaza with short halt at Tabo moanstery

          Day 17 | Tabo – Nako – Nako Lake – Kalpa
          – Explore Nako lake on the way and reach Kalpa by evening to enjoy the sunset

          Day 18 | Kalpa – Narkanda – Shimla

          Day 19 + 20 = Buffer Days

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • hi dheeraj,
          thanks a lot,i really appreciate your work..any idea of the total kilometres i ll be covering during dis trip,i mean from delhi and end point shimla.even please do let me know how much cash should i need to complete this trip and is there any atm in those areas…

        • hi Jaison,

          Delhi to Delhi it will will be about 3800 to 4000 KMs approx and Shimla to Delhi is about 420 KMs I guess. So, you are looking about 3500 KMs approximately upto Shimla. You will find ATMs in Leh, Kaza, Keylong, Srinagar, Kargil, Jammu. so, you can take out money at least from these places. Once in Leh, carry enough money to do all sightseeing within Ladakh, as there are always long queues at ATMs in Leh.

          Per day average cost for food and lodging could be somewhere between Rs 500 to Rs 800 and depending upon the mileage of your bike you can calculate the fuel required and calculate the fuel cost. Plus about Rs 1000 – 1500 could be kept for miscellaneous expenditure like permits, tolls etc. excluding any personal shopping.

          I hope this helps.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

          PS -> Please never use CAPS while posting comments on public forums/blogs, as all CAPS mean offending or shouting :)

        • thanks a lot mate,i ll keep in touch wit you,ll update you the date and all days down….any suggestion on things that i should take with me,medicines,protective gears……original documents of bike and license required?

        • Hi Jaison,

          Definitely you need to carry all valid documents for you bike including DL, PUC, RC and other required papers. Apart from ride protection gear, you can refer the list in the article linked here for most common things that I carry when I travel. I hope that helps.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Jaison,

        Well, it depends how hard you are. I have known many freinds who have done it solo but on the other have known quite a few too who came back in between. So, it depends upon the passion and your endurance and the KEEDA for adventure :D … You will find plenty of others like you on the road, so you can tie with them any day you feel like lone :)

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 7 people planning to visit Ladakh, We will be starting from Chandigarh and we want to complete the CHD-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-CHD in 10 days. We don't wish to spend anytime in Manali. Please help us plan the itinerary with good stay options as we will be traveling with girls. Is overnight stay at pangong a good idea?

    Warm Regards,

    Nikhil

    • Hi Nikhil,

      10 days could prove less to explore Ladakh and I guess you should atleast add a couple of days. Still, I will suggest an itinerary below:

      Day 1 | Chandigarh – Jammu / Patnitop
      Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

      Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
      Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      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 | Chandigarh – Lamayuru – Leh
      Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar
      Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

      Day 8 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
      Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Pang – Sarchu
      Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      Overnight at Leh

      Day 10 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      Overnight at Manali

      Day 11 | Manali – Chandigarh
      Return Home

      Now, you can either get permits in advance and head for Nubra Valley on Day 5 itself or drop the idea of going to Nubra Valley and make day trip to Khardung La on Day 5 and then two day trip to Pangong Tso, to save a day. Still you will not have any buffer days which are really required in most cases.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know fr any queries or doubts. For accommodation you can check the series of articles linked here

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  23. hi dheeraj,

    as u sugggested i have changed my plan of going to leh via manali,instead i ll be going to srinagar from delhi and then l ll be coming down to manali,via leh manali highway,pls do tell me the picnic spots in sri nagar,i would like to visit kashmir too and plan a trip for me,i ll be going on bike and have around 25 days,cos i need to spend nearly a week in shimla..i have to visit khardung la also,and suggest me the best time ,i mean month for fis trip,,,waiting for your reply

    • Hi Jaison,

      In the 25 days do you want to cover both Kashmir as well as Ladakh and then be at Shimla for 1 week? I guess this way you will have about 18 days in hand for Kashmir + Ladakh. Also, what is your starting point? I mean these 25 days in hand are ex. Delhi? Are you planning on your own bike?

      Please let me know and I will suggest the itinerary accordingly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  24. Sharmeen Khan on

    Thanks a lot Dheeraj. I was reading that western toilets are a rare. Is that so in the whole of the region or is it just in Pangong? Are there any toilets at all on the Srinagar-Leh highway since it is a very long journey? Where can I find your reply here, I got to read it in my email?

    • Hi Sharmeen,

      Yes, it is just the accommodations around Pangong Tso in your itinerary. At all other places in your itinerary, you will be able to find western style toilets easily. Also, on Srinagar – Leh Highway as well, you need to halt at places/dhabhas that may have toilets in the villages. Otherwise, there are no specific toilets available AFAIK.

      You can read the reply just below your comments and also in the email that is sent as soon as someone reply to your comment.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any queries or doubts you have.

      Regards

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sharmeen Khan on

        Thank you for being so prompt, Dheeraj. Any small chance of experiencing mild snowfall in Laddakh during the period we will be there. Been to Himachal so many times but could never experience snowfall. Once snowfall had just stopped some time before we reached Manali.

        • Hi Sharmeen,

          I guess you might encounter some snowfall at Khardung La or Chang La if you are lucky enough otherwise I do not see any chances elsewhere for snowfall. Again nothing is certain with respect to weather and no one can predict it. So, keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.

          Regards
          Dheeraj sharma

        • Sharmeen Khan on

          Then you too pray that there is snowfall right at the moment when we are at Khardung La. About the tetra packs of ORS that you mentioned, are these available in Srinagar?

        • Surely will pray fromt he same. Not sure, if they will be available there or not. You can carry the ORS saches from home in such a case.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  25. Sharmeen Khan on

    Hi, I intend to travel to Kashmir in June with my husband and son. We are flying to Srinagar from Delhi on 12th June and plan to cover Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar first and then drive to Leh on 18th June with a night halt at Kargil. I have a few queries and will be thankful if you can answer them. 1)Should we visit Sonmarg on our way to Kargil or should we make it a separate day trip from Srinagar? We would like to see the glaciers so if we are stopping on our way to Kargil will we have enough time? 2)Is it difficult to find vegetarian food in Laddakh or will we be able to get Delhi type food, I mean food that will suit our taste? 3)While our Srinagar sector plan is chalked out, we are still confused about the Leh sector. We are arriving in Leh on 19th June and flying back to Delhi on 25th June. So we have 5 days in hand but we will like to take it easy and not make it a hectic trip because I suffer from both high blood pressure and diabetes. 4)Do we pass through the magnetic hill and KhardungLa on our way to Leh or will we have to visit these places separately? 5)Should we stay overnight at Nubra valley or return to Leh in the evening? 6) Same about Pangong Lake, should we stay overnight or not? 7)And finally, how to engage a taxi in Leh to visit all these places? Is it better to take a taxi from the hotel we will be staying in or is it better to take one from the taxi stand? Thank you in advance.

    • Hello Sharmeen,

      Please find below my answers to your queries in respective order –

      1. You can leave early from Srinagar and check the Sonamarg on the way to Kargil. I feel that shall be enough, or perhaps after visiting Pahalgam instead of staying at Srinagar you can reach Sonamarg for night stay and then by 11 AM next day, when the traffic gets green signal from Srinagar side towards Zozila, leave for Kargil. Glaciers, not sure apart from Zozila, but you will be able to explore whatever comes on the way to Kargil.

      2. In Ladakh at most places you will be able to get suitable veg. food apart from remote regions where only deluxe camping site offers variety of food. Thupka, Maggie, Rice and Dal you will be able to find every where in Ladakh.

      3. For five days, you can take it easy and follow a plan like below:

      Day 1 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 2 | 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 3 | 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 4 | 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 5 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      4. You can visit Magnetic hills on the way to Leh from Kargil. You will be able to visit Khardung La on the second day of your stay in Leh when going towards Nubra Valley.

      5 and 6. I guess, yes, you should stay at Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso overnight as mentioned above. Will be relaxing a bit. If you are not feeling OK at Pangong Tso then come back to either Leh or stay back at Tangste.

      7. You will be able to get taxi at Leh taxi stand. Reach in Leh and on the first day arrange the taxi at Leh taxi stand. Talking directly to drivers there will save you about 10-15% of the overall price.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need more details

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  26. Pingback: Travel Guide for Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh

  27. Jinesh Shah on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I read your blog and found it very helpful. I have finalised on the below itineary. Let me know if this looks good:

    D1 Del- Leh – Shanti stupa- leh palace

    D2 Mag.Hill -Sangam Pt. & Gurudwara

    D3 Leh to Pangong + Thiksey Monastery

    D4 Pangong to leh

    D5 leh to nubra via khardung La – (Highest motorable road)

    D6 nubra to leh

    D7 fly out

    Let me know if i should add/less something from the above plan.

    Also, i wish to travel in the last week of May via the Srinagar – Leh highway. I don't want to fly directly to Leh because firstly the tickect from Mumbai is 20k which is far more expensive and secondly i don't want to miss the experience of driving through all the beautiful locations. If i have to hire a private taxi form Srinagar, how many people can travel in 1 SUV and what would be the charges for the same.

    Please help me with the above queries and let me know your views about the same.

    • Hi Jinesh,

      I will advice you follow the below plan –

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-per
      — 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 include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      — 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 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping or you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      — Day trip to Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 7 | Fly back home

      This will help your body acclimatize a lot and have a better stay in Leh since you plan to fly in directly. Now, it might be possible that in May, Srinagar -Leh Highway will not be open then in that case you need to fly in and also you do not have number of days in hand to go via Srinagar – Leh Highway and cover all above places. If budget is a constraint then you can follow something like –

      Day 1 | Reach Srinagar
      Day 2 | Srinagar – Kargil
      Day 3 | Kargil – Leh
      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Leh
      Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      Day 7 | Fly out

      The taxi price is about 10-10.5K between Srinagar – Leh and you can have about 5-7 people in that taxi. I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have any doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Jinesh Shah on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for the informative reply. I plan to reach Srinagar on 26th of May. Wouldn't the highway be open by then? I have heard of the highway opening up around mid May or something. Would you have a rough idea of when it has been opened to public in the last few years?

        Also altering the schedule that you have provided how would the below plan look:

        Day 1 | Reach Srinagar

        Day 2 | Srinagar – Kargil

        Day 3 | Kargil – Leh

        Day 4 | Shanti stupa- leh palace- Mag.Hill -Sangam Pt. & Gurudwara

        Day 5 |Leh to Pangong + Thiksey Monastery (Overnight camping at Pangong)

        Day 6 |Pangong to Leh

        Day 7 |Leh to Nubra via Khardung La (Overnight in Hunder / Diskit)

        Day 8 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

        Day 9 | Fly Back home.

        Also, i have a tour operator who is providing me the above package from Day 3(check in)-9(check out)

        for Rs. 15-16k incl of food, stay, travelling in an SUV and Inner line permits. Would that be a good deal?

        • Hello Jinesh

          In that case, I will suggest you follow the below itinerary

          Day 1 | Reach Srinagar
          Day 2 | Srinagar – Kargil
          Day 3 | Kargil – Leh
          Day 4 | Shanti stupa – leh palace- Mag.Hill -Sangam Pt. & Gurudwara
          — Do no cover Shanti Stupa as it will take enrgy out of your body which may not be good as your body will not be acclimatized that much to handle such exertion.
          — You need to get the permits on this day as well
          Day 5 | Leh to Nubra via Khardung La (Overnight in Hunder / Diskit)
          Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          Day 7 | Leh to Pangong + Thiksey Monastery (Overnight camping at Pangong)
          Day 8 | Pangong to Leh
          Day 9 | Fly Back home.

          Doing Nubra Valley before Pangong Tso will help you sleep at Pangong Tso without much AMS issues or any kind of sickness. You body will be more acclimatized by then, so yo would be in better position to spend overnight there. I guess as per the article how to calculate the cost of Leh – Ladakh trip, I feel the budget is OK for you considering everything involved into the package.

          And as per the road status, though Srinagar – Leh does open up by that time but last year it opened in June first week. So, there will always be one IF/BUT attached to the travel plan to Leh via road at that time of the year.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have some queries or need any help.

          Regards
          Dheeraj sharma

      • Jinesh Shah on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Awesome. Thank you for your inputs. I guess the itinerary dat you have provided now looks perfect…

        I am still wondering if i should take the risk of booking my flights for the 26th of May :) .

        • Well, Jinesh I feel it might be open by that time considering BRO aiming to open Manali – Leh Highway by mid-April, very unlikely as always but still they have this target again :) … Srinagar – Leh Highway usually opens before Manali – Leh Highway. So, fingers crossed you might be able to sneak through the Srinagar – Leh Highway at that time. Nothing is certain in such terrain, always keep in mind :D

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Jinesh Shah on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Based on your guidance i have almost finalised my bookimgs for Leh in the 1st week of June.

        I just have one query. Can you help me get quotes for travelling from Srinagar to Leh and back in a Scorpio/Innova?

        Thanks once again for your amazing efforts in maintaining this blog.

        Thanks & Regards,

        Jinesh Shah.

        • Hello Jinesh,

          Srinagar to Leh taxi cost about 10.5 K around as per last year taxi union rates. This year it is expected to go up by 20%, so with bargaining of 10-15% types in place you will most likely get it about Rs 10.5K. Thanks for the words of appreciation :)

          Kindly, let me know in case you have any queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  28. hello dheeraj,

    pls. give me detail of weather at the time of june end last week of june i want to go to leh by road by bike from shrinagar and also suggest me rate for bike from shri nagar to leh and how i reach leh from shrinagar.

    • Hello Arvind,

      By end of June as the road condition stabilizes and the monsoon comes to the party in mid July types. So, end June would be good time to travel Srinagar – Leh Highway. I do not think, you will get any bikes for rent in Srinagar. So, either you need to reach Leh by shared/private/public taxis and then hire bike once you reach in Leh. Do go through the article: How to Hire or Rent a Bike or Motorcycle in Manali as most of the stuff is equally applicable for hiring bike within Leh. It also mentions the approximate rates for rent.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know for any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  29. Macvin Gonsalves on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning for trip to Leh-Ladakh in 1st week of July. Could you please give us an idea on how will be the weather and road conditions during this period.
    We will goig by road (Srinagar-Kargil-Leh)(2 Days) 1 night in Nubra, 1 Night in Pangog.

    Thanks for your help
    Regards
    Mac

    • Hello Mac,

      Weather will be good and pleasant at that time. Nights might be cold but not that much. Also, there might be pre-monsoon showers but you never know if that will happen or not. Ideally, you will enjoy the whole journey in July first week because by then the initial snow sliding caused by melting of snow also gets settled and road conditions are more stabilized in comparison to early season in June.

      How you plan to commute?? hiring a taxi or riding any bike? Let me know incase you have any doubts or queries.

      Also, the series of articles starting from the link mentioned below on accommodation in whole Leh – Ladakh region might interest you and help you in choosing the right place to stay Leh, Nubra or Pangong Tso. Check the link here:

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thank Dheeraj,

        We are six people planning to hire a Xylo or Innova from Srinagar. Any other precautions we should take before we start our journey from srinagar

        • Hello Mac,

          I guess Srinagar – Leh Highway is pretty much safe and inhabited by people at many places, alomost about 60-70 odd KMs. So, nothing specific just make sure you do not drive at night :) … The only pain point will be Zozi La pass but since you are traveling with a driver, so not much of a concern for the local guy.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  30. how much should I have pay for a vegetarian breakfast, Lunch and dinner on way to Ladak from srinagar.how much a tea cost? do these dhaba have different rates for regulars and tourist?

    • Hi Sadananda,

      I guess for a vegetarian meal you will need to pay about Rs 50-100 at a road side dhabha depending upon what you order and how much you order.Tea cost around Rs 5-6 only. No, all these dhabhas would be having same rate AFAIK :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hi…..

        can u tell hw much a taxi for 6 ppl. will charge from srinagar to leh via kargil with a night hault at kargil? ane contct nos….?

        • Mehul, charges for Srinagar to Leh journey as per last year's taxi union rates were about Rs 10200 for a taxi with one night stop at Kargil. So, keep that figure in mind. Also, for detailed budget analysis of your entire Leh – Ladakh trip, refer the link here.

          Some good drivers for whole Leh – Ladakh trip are as below:
          1. Ringzin – 09622954779
          2. Naseer – 09906229203 and 09469293183
          3. Dorjey – 09419372742
          4. Tashi – 09906994647, 09419342238.

          I hope this helps.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • hi dheeraj……

      Very useful information provided by you on your site. we r planning from 3rd june to 10th…….or 22nd june to 29th june…..just wanted to know which would be the better period? considering weather & road traffic….

      • Thanks alot Mehul Glad you liked the info. I will suggest that you plan for 22nd June to 29th June as by then roads will be open and stabilized too from any snow sliding in comparison to early season. So, consider the latter period to travel, if you can. Let me know incase you have any queries.

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  31. Hi Dheeraj,

    Very useful information provided by you on your site. I got to know lot of details from your site for Ladakh trip. We are planning for 10 days trip n first week of July mostly from 1st to 10th.

    Can you please let me know how is weather at that time in Ladakh?

    Thanks and Regards,

    Atima

    • Hi Atima,

      Thanks alot, I am glad that you loved the information available on the blog. Are you planning the road journey from Delhi in 10 days? I guess you will need to add atleast 2 more days for the same to cover atleast major tourist destinations of Leh – Ladakh. Else, you will be hoping from one place to another only, leaving some of the places which demand worth a stay. Let me know the starting place and mode of transport, I will suggest a suitable itinerary for you and also number of days in hand.

      Weather is generally pleasant in Leh – Ladakh. June – July is also the time window when the snow melts on high passes creating almost tiny rivers or water crossings (nallas) on roads in the early stages. This is quite a challenge to dodge, especially with the vehicles having low ground clearance. Post afternoon, when the sun is burning at its best, some of these water crossings or nallas becomes so violent that they are almost impossible to cross. This may force you to halt the journey of the day in the middle of nowhere or return back to some civilized place for a night halt. The best way to overcome these water crossings or nallas, is to know the specific nallas on Manali – Leh Highway and plan to cross them as early in the morning as possible.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  32. Thanks dheeraj for this usefull information

    I have planned for leh by road with taxi

    on 8th may 2012.what do u say should I

    get road opened on this day frm Srinagar

    to kargil to leh.

    • hi Alpesh,

      Well, it is difficult to predict if the road will be open by that time. Best bet will be to track the road conditions as the clearance process starts in March. If weather remains clear there might be chances that Srinagar – Leh Highway gets open in May, however nothing is certain. So, keep track of road conditions. I try to provide all the updates I get for the Manali – Leh Highway and Srinagar – Leh Highway, so stay tuned to the blog :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  33. Pingback: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip

  34. Thanks for all your guidance for my Leh trip!

    It was indeed very helpful.

    Further my answer to your query: "Have you ever been to Srinagar – Leh Highway?" is Yes & No both!!!

    No, but I have been on Have you ever been to Leh – Srinagar Highway!

    The shared taxi starts at 4:30 PM in the evening and reaches Srinagar at around 5:30 in the morning! So forget viewing the beauty en-route!

    Further, the road is in very poor condition and whole route (except hardly 20 kilometers) is very dusty!

    I would avoid this route in future!!

    • Hello PraKaant,

      Well, regarding shared taxis this info is quite new, I am not sure when it started or it may be possible that they run in evening too which frankly I never heard or aware off. You can get shared taxis which start in the morning too, many of my friends have used them. One of the drivers I know run his taxi in day time only and that too shared many a time from Srinagar to Leh. There are tourist shared taxis also available which are different from normal ones as they put a night halt at Kargil and of course they run in the day. So, there may be taxis available in night as well which I was not aware off and then this is something new I heard. Thanks for sharing the info here.

      Regarding road conditions, dust usually depends at the time when you travel and road conditions are more or like that or even bad infact if you visit them early in the season. If you go via Manali – Leh road you will actually realize what bad road means. Rohtang Pass this year gave nightmares to many whom I adore and praise as great drivers of trans-Himalayan range. The Srinagar Leh Highway apart from near Zozi La pass is used to be quite nice when compared to Manali – Leh Highway.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      p.s. -> I have never been to Srinagar – Leh highway that is why you do not see any pictures :D … The info. is a part of my research and what all info. I collected on my trip to Ladakh but unfortunately couldn't come back on road as we got stuck in Leh flashfloods and had to fly back leaving our car at Manali only :D… This year all this is waiting again and I will be on my way.

      • Sorry, Dheeraj Sir,

        I could not get back to you for a long time due to some personal reason!

        Regarding the evening shared taxis, as we were eager to travel during day-time, we had inquired at the taxi stand at Leh and were informed that there is no taxi which starts in the morning. There were in total eight taxis which started in the evening together. We had also inquired about the bus and were informed that there is no bus coming from Srinagar so no bus would be going back; but there was a chance of a bus next day coming from Kargil which would have left Leh at 2 PM next day. Hence did book the taxi for next day.

        Further in stead of complaining, I was stating the condition of road hence sorry if sounded offensive. Main regret was to miss the beayuty of mountain view en-route.

        Altogether, the whole trip was memorable.

        Would love to go back with longer duration in hand! So expect me to coming back for more information.

        Once again thank you for all the help provided by you!

        Regards, PraKaant

        • Hey Prakaant,

          Thanks buddy again for the update here and sharing the info. with us. Please call me Dheeraj only, sir makes me years old :D … May be it happens at the end of the season time, that evening shared taxi part or may be there are other tourist shared taxis which are run by various tour operators which might run in day time. I will surely update your info in the original article anyways, so thanks again dost. I didn't take it as offensive as perhaps you just shared the info with fellow travelers here, so that they can inquire well in advance if the taxi runs in the morning or evening. My sincere thanks for the same. Also, yes I can understand that going that far and then not seeing the actual beauty of the region is quite disappointing as I have also felt same way many a times :) … It will also help clearing the expectations of Srinagar – Leh Highway as compared to Manali – Leh Highway as the latter one sweeps it completely away in terms of adventure as well as beauty.

          Glad to know that your trip was memorable and you really enjoyed it. Feel free to contact me anytime you like to Travel and I will be happy to reply with all the little knowledge I have with me.
          Cheers!!!

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  35. Hi dheeraj,

    See what i have planned and guide me buddy:-

    I will come to srinagar on 25th may 2012, then will come to leh after two days then i had got 8 days to stay and visit various points and leh. So guide me that what should i see in those 8 days. And after 8days i will be comin back to manali by leh manali road and see the rohtang pass while coming on road… And after that se manikaran , mandi and simla.. And will come to kalka by shimla kalka mini train… And if possible i will see delhi also…

    *if the leh – manali road will not get open till what i hav planned then im ready to pospone the dates also*

    i think that pongong is one night halt trip, and from their leh manali road will near and easier. so if it true what i think then kindly reply me buddy. plzz plan my trip day wise, that what should be then plan after reaching srinagar.. with cost also. plz reply dheeraj. Now my full trip depends on how much beautifully plan it. so plz guide me.

    -Omkar.

    • Hello Omkar,

      That is quite a number of days you have, ideal for Ladakh trip. Frankly, I or nobody can guarantee whether the Manali – Leh Highway will be open or not by first week of June when you plan to return. I guess by postponing the trip by a week and ideally by two weeks, you give yourself a very fair chance that Manali – Leh highway will be open on your return. In first week of June chances I will say are 50:50, may be it will be open or may be not, it all depends. I will suggest the following plan based on the number of days you have in hand along with the taxi union rates for 2011 (you can bargain as per your needs and skills with drivers directly):

      Day 1 | Srinagar – Kargil
      Day 2 | Kargil – Lamayuru
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Monastery
      Day 3 | Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Confluence at Nimmu, Magnetic Hills, Pathar Sahib, and if possible Phyang and Spituk
      Taxi Union Rate = 10264 (Srinagar – Leh) + 1425 (Extra Day Charges) + 350 (Night Halt for extra day) + 1958 (Alchi – Likir – Basgo)

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing
      — Cover Leh Palace, Main Market, Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame, Sankar Gompa and Namgyal Tsemo Gompa and if possible Phyang and Spituk
      Taxi Union Rate = 1425 (Whole day taxi)

      Day 5 | Leh – Diskit – Hunder/Diskit
      — Cover Khardung La, Diskit Monasteries and Hunder Sand dunes with Camel Safari
      Day 6 | Hunder/Diskit – Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Leh
      — Cover Sumur Monastery and Panamik Hot Water Springs
      Taxi Union Rate = 6931 (Diskit,Sumur,Panamik,Hunder)

      Day 7 | Leh – Hemis – Pangong Tso/Spangmik
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      Day 8 | Pangong Tso – Thicksey – Shey – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      Taxi Union Rate = 6757 (Pangong Tso + Shey) + 600 (Hemis, Thicksey)

      Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu (Manali – Leh Highway)
      — Cover Tso Kar, Moore Plains , Taglang La
      Day 11 + 12 | Buffer Days
      Day 13 | Sarchu – Keylong – Rohtang Pass Manali
      — Cover Baralacha La, Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal, Rohtang Pass
      Taxi Union Rate = 20964 (excluding buffer days)

      Day 14 | Manali Local Sightseeing includes local monastery, mall road, hadimba temple, manu temple etc
      — No taxi required

      Day 15 | Manali – Naggar Castle – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol
      — Taxi Union Rate = Rate for Manali – Manikaran with Kasol is Rs 1100 and for Manali – Naggar is Rs 400 along with sightseeing enroute for both of them.

      Day 16 | Kasol – Shimla
      — Taxi Union Rate = Rs 3000 – 3500

      Day 17 | Shimla Local sight seeing including Kufri, Jakho Temple, Mall road etc
      — Taxi Union Rate = Rs 500 – 1000

      Day 18 | Shimla – Kalka by toy train.
      — No taxi required

      Please keep in mind these prices are for single taxi and will give you only a approximate idea.

      For complete information on Manali including accommodation options, food joints, must see places etc you can go through the Manali travel guide available at the link here

      For information on Manali – Leh Highway including accommodation options, food joints, must see places etc you can go through the Manali – Leh Highway travel guide at the link here

      I hope this helps. Let me know for any further queries or doubts.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hey what is there on Day 11 and Day 12??? and i want to reach leh on Day 2 is it possible???? i dont want Day 6… i want to do whole trip as u said in 13 to 14 Days… so just compress some points naa…. coz i want 3 day for delhi also….plzzz reply

        • where is nubra valley???>?? and as i said i want the trip in 13 to 14 day and in that trip i want to reach leh on Day 2 i will take a halt at kargil and on next day i will do lamayaru and get to leh is it possible??? and dont want Day 6… what is on that area means lake or anything else on Day 6..??? plzz reply …. thanxxx… i will be there on 25TH MAY at airport… from then i have 17 to 18 days to see leh , manali and delhi… so kindly reply me buddy..

        • Well, Day 11 and Day 12 are kept for buffer days incase you get stuck due to landslides or snowfall somewhere. Now, the overall trip is 16 days only and if you want to skip places of interest on the way to Leh from Srinagar then remove Day 3. So, just do Srinagar – Kargil on Day 1 and then Kargil – Lamayuru Monastery – Leh on the Day 2. This was you save one day and your Day 4 becomes day 3 where you need to arrange Inner Line Permits to visit all these places in Ladakh. The buffer days can be used in place of sightseeing like Manikaran or Shimla. If they are left unused and you have smooth run then utilize those two days to visit these places in lower hills such as Manikaran and Shimla. I will strongly advice to visit Nubra Valley (Day 5 and Day 6 below) as it is one of the most beautiful in entire Ladakh. You can skip Manikaran in that case or sightseeing in Manali to accommodate Nubra Valley.

          Day 1 | Srinagar – Kargil
          Day 2 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          Day 3 | Leh Local sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
          Day 4 | Leh – Diskit – Hunder/Diskit
          Day 5 | Hunder/Diskit – Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Leh
          Day 6 | Leh – Hemis – Pangong Tso/Spangmik
          Day 7 | Pangong Tso – Thicksey – Shey – Leh
          Day 8 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          Day 9 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu (Manali – Leh Highway)
          Day 10 | Sarchu – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          Day 11 | Manali – Naggar Castle – Kasol – Manikaran – Kasol
          Day 12 | Kasol – Shimla
          Day 13 | Shimla Local sight seeing including Kufri, Jakho Temple, Mall road etc
          Day 14 | Shimla – Kalka by toy train and then to Delhi

          Please keep in mind that you do not have any buffer days. In case buffer days are required then skip Day 11 for one day and Day 13 for another if further required. Please visit Ladakh completely as, there is nothing much to see in lower hills apart from commercialization and buildings stocked up like anything into hills. I hope this helps now as a plan. If your taxi driver agrees then you can also Tso Moriri directly on Day 7 from Pangong Tso itself which will save you another day. But, that will mean that you will be just rushing and rushing and rushing through the places. Make an ease out journey concentrating on just Ladakh and skip lower hills for some other time :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Means where on which route NUBRA VALLEY comes on Day5 OR Day6>>???(Day 5 | Hunder/Diskit – Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Leh

          Day 6 | Leh – Hemis – Pangong Tso/Spangmik) Are this places near to Nubra valley or it will take mee to nubra valley and do we have to take a halt at nubra valley??? and from nubra valley will he directly take us to pongong??? this plan which u have gave is the perfect.thanxx… and what about permit from where should i get it for how much cost????

          and just give me the total amount that will be required for the whole trip for 10 peoples… we dont want deluxe or high standard.. we just want stardard class and pretty good…

          plzz just tally the whole amount and reply me… And the plan which u have given is awesome…. u r d best….

        • Hello Omkar,

          Thanks alot for the appreciation.

          Following is the Nubra Valley tour in your new plan –
          Day 4 | Leh – Diskit – Hunder/Diskit
          Day 5 | Hunder/Diskit – Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Leh

          Hunder, Diskit, Sumur, Panamik all comes under Nubra Valley which lies on the Northern side of Khardung La pass (highest motorable road in the world)… Yes, you will be halting at Diskit or Hunder on Day 4 in Nubra Valley and it is required to enjoy the beauty. You can go to Pangong Tso directly from Nubra Valley but again it depends upon if your taxi driver agrees to take that much spare fuel with him. Also, it is long way away and will mean a tiring day. Instead when you have time then better enjoy the places rather than rushing through them. come back to Leh on Day 5 from Nubra Valley and then start for Pangong Tso on Day 6 after a much needed rest. It will help you enjoy buddy. I guess the cost for below plan will approximately come out to be Rs 51000 for one taxi that makes it about Rs 102,000 for two taxis, if you can get Tempo Traveler then it may be less even as you all can accommodate in it easily. These are just the amount of taxi and you may add about Rs 400-600 per person per day for average food and decent accommodation for these places. It may be lower or higher than this range and depends on your taste and preferences for food and stay options.

          For complete details on Inner Line Permits (ILPs), how to apply them, how to process them faster go through the detailed article on ILPs present at the link here.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know for any queries or doubts.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • as you said i will nt rush. ok. and what about tempo traveller where could get it? how much people can come in a tempo traveller? does it look like a huge truck tempo or it looks like a car? can u link me a photo of that plzzz. And as u planned the trip its best, so can a
          can u tell the person who can arrange the whole trip as we have planned from Srinagar to Shimla-Kalka? Ok. if tempo traveller look like a Crusier car? Crusier car is 12 to 14 seater. is any car available there like crusier? can u send me the number of the arranger or u will arrange.?

        • Hello Omkar,

          Check the picture of Tempo Travaler at the link here. You all an easily accommodate in it as about 12 persons can be easily seated. Omkar, the whole trip cannot be planned by single tour operator. I do not prefer tour operators and prefer directly bargaining with drivers at respective taxi stands. You should get in touch with local taxi stand at Srinagar (who will be responsible for Srinagar to Leh drop), Ladakh (who will cater Ladakh sightseeing and finally drop to Manali) and then once you reach Manali you need to hire a tempo traveler from Manali to continue with rest of your plan in Himachal. Taxis outside Leh – Ladakh region are not allowed to roam around in Ladakh and same rule applies to Himachal as well that Ladakh taxis are not allowed to roam in Himachal. Hence, for your Ladakh sightseeing and drop from Leh to Manali, you need to hire taxi/tempo traveler that belongs to Led taxi stand, then for Srinagar-Leh route you need to hire taxi/tempo traveler from Srinagar taxi stand and for rest of the tour in Himachal, a Himachal taxi/tempo traveler should be hired from Manali taxi stand.

          I will advise not to involve any of the tour operators in between so that you can save some money as they tend to be higher. You have the plan with you, although it is good to have spot hunting for hotel but still if you need I can provide you some references of hotels for each stay and you can check them out once you reach the place. The only doubt I have if you can manage tempo traveler from Srinagar to Leh as I am not sure if they are available there. But, you can always check or hire two taxis in that case for a drop from Srinagar to Leh and then hire tempo travelers in Leh and Manali.

          I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more details.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

          p.s -> I do not arrange tours/taxis but just help my fellow travelers to plan them and enjoy the tour to the best in whatever limited time they have in hand by providing all the little knowledge I have of the respective place.

        • for leh seightseing including nubra valley, pongong tso, and etc points of leh which we have planned can be done by tempo traveller or we have to hire two sumos??? how much the tempo traveller would cost to us???…

          means from srinagar to leh i will get one tempo traveller and after getting to leh i will search a new tempo traveller their at taxi stand for further leh trip including nubra valley, pongong tso, tso moriri, etc… okkk… and while coming from leh to manali i will hire a new tempo traveller… okkkk

        • Hello Omkar,

          You need to hire tempo traveler or taxi three times for:

          1) Srinagar to Leh at Srinagar taxi stand
          2) Leh – Ladakh Sight seeing and Leh to Manali drop at Leh Taxi stand
          3) Manali – Kasol – Manikaran – Shimla from Manali taxi stand

          Regarding the cost of tempo traveler, I am sorry I am not sure as I never hired it. But, there is still time and I will try to search if any of my friends have hired it or have any contacts of drivers from where you can hire them at all these taxi stands. You can hire tempo traveler for Ladakh sightseeing including nubra valley, pangong tso, tso moriri etc and other places of leh – ladakh

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • if possible then plzz tell me the cost of tempo traveller… ok.. when i get to srinagar taxi stand i'll get a tempo traveller their naa u have gurantee na.. that there will be a tempo traveller at srinagar to leh taxi stand.. and when i'll be in leh then i would get a tempo traveller their naa for seightseing an nubra valleyy, etc… it is alloweded na to visit nubra valley, pongong tso, tso moriri, etc. by tempo traveller??? plzzz reply

        • Omkar, that is what I have written earlier that I am not sure if you will be able to get Tempo Traveler from Srinagar as I have not been to that highway. But, I have seen Tempo Travelers in Ladakh as well as Manali, so feel it will be accessible in Ladakh and Manali. I cannot guarantee if they will be available or not for you. It is just a suggestion as two taxis might be costly than hiring a single tempo traveller. I will check with my friends else you might need to contact respective taxi stands at Srinagar, Leh and Manali for their availability. Yes you can roam or visit any places in Leh – Ladakh as long as your vehicle is either private vehicle or if it is a tourist/taxi vehicle then it must be hired from Leh taxi stand only.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • bt buddy plzz ask someone who ,might know about the tempo traveller and about its cost…. and else thing are good and best planned….

        • Hi Omkar,

          For Tempo Traveler, you can contact Mehraj – 09419090310, taxi operator/driver at Srinagar for Srinagar Leh tour, for Leh you can contact Leh Taxi Stand: 01982 – 253039 or 01982 – 252723 for Leh – Ladakh tour + Manali drop and for Himachal tour you can contact Manali Taxi stand at: 01902-52450, 01902-52205, 01902-52120. You can get the quotes from them for respective routes and book the tour based on the above suggested itinerary.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • hey dheeraj thanxxx buddy for guiding me…….. the trip plan is awesome…. u r great…..

        • Thanks a lot Omkar. Have loads of fun on the trip and do share your experience/pictures with us too on the blog's facebook page :) … Feel free to let me know for any queries/doubts.

          Cheers!!
          Dheeraj sharma

  36. hi dheeraj

    i have very practival qury that is …how much wil be the expenditure…srinrg to leh trip……..as i m student …..price is pririty for me…..

    • Hey Rahul,

      Well, you should get a seat in a shared taxi in order to reach Leh from Srinagar. It will cost you Rs 1500. You can also get a ticket in JK SRTC bus which costs about Rs 600 – 700. Out of these two you can choose any option you like. I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  37. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to undertake a trip to ladakh during the end of September 2011, by srinagar leh Express Way.. I will be reaching srinagar from Delhi by latest 10:30 AM. I propose to take a individual taxi and move on to leh.. Do u think it is the right time for me to move then ? If I leave Srinagar by 11:00 AM, say, what time can I make it to Kargil? can you please suggest me with the phone nos. of any of the Taxi Guys you know who can help me undertake this travel. Also can u guide on the ladakh number (Registration no.) vehicle which I can get from Srinagar taxi stand. Do you feel travelling by road during the end of September is advisable? Does the cost written Rs. 10K hold good till date?

    • Hello Anand,

      Yes, I guess if you move by 11.00 AM you will be able to reach Kargil or Drass by evening, where you can stay for the night. Contact Naseer at – 09906229203 and 09469293183 and may be he will be able to pick you from Airport if he has any plans to reach Srinagar on the previous day. You can even check with Dorjey 09419372742 in case Naseer do not provide anything. They will be able to give you discounts for about 10-12% but keep in mind once you reach Srinagar and talk directly to the taxi drivers, you may get a bargain for even 15-20% too. Yes, on Srinagar – Leh Highway you will not face much trouble due to weather (but again no one can predict the exact weather now a days) in September end. Yes, the 10K cost is for this season and since it is off season you will be able to get decent discount too.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need any further info or any queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks a ton for your timely response.. have noted down all the information provided from your end.. I just plan for a short stay at Leh of 5 days, excluding the travel from Srinagar to leh.. Plan to cover Lamayuru on the way from Srinagar to Leh..

        Plan for a day of local sight seeing (Stok, Shey, Hemis, Thikse Monastery), followed by 2 days to Pangong Tso and a day to Khardungla..

        Can you suggest me with any other places of visit during the period of late september – early October?

        I think Inner Line permits have to be made for places of visit to Pangong Tso & Nubra Valley.. Do we need to be physically present to get these permits worked out.. Can u suggest any good hotels for stay in leh with Vegetarian Food.. Expecting your reply.

        • Hello Anand,

          Well, for 5 days in Leh I will suggest something like below as Hemis, Thicksey, Shey can be covered on the way to/from Pangong Tso and Leh. May be you can do –

          Day 1 | Leh + Permits for Pangong/Nubra Valley + Local Sigtseeing in Leh which includes Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Namgyal Gompa.
          Day 2 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder/Diskit
          Day 3 | Hunder/Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          Day 4 | Leh – Shey Palace – Pangong Tso
          Day 5 | Pangong Tso – Hemis – Thicksey – Leh

          Yes, if you are processing the permits then you need to be present else you can get in advance via some travel agent or hotel owner. But, I will suggest you do yourself as it is fairly simple process. For all required details you can go through the link on Inner Line Permits for Leh Ladakh here and download the permit form + know how to make the permit process much faster.

          In Leh, you can go for any of the Shanti Guest House, Oriental Guest House, Asia Guest House, Shia La Guest House with first two my favorites and economic too.

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

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

  38. Dear Dheeraj

    Again wonderful article! I am loving it!!

    Could you help me in finalizing following program:

    (Please note: Tickets are booked, hence would not be able to change the dates OR extend the programme)

    14-Oct-11: Start for Leh by 0545 flight. Arrive Leh at 0700, Ticket booking for Srinagar via Kargil for 17-Oct-2011 Shopping includes Pashmina Shawl & Night Stay at LEH

    15-Oct-11: Visit to Nubra/ Pangong. Back to Leh for night stay (if possible!)

    16-Oct-11: Continue visit to Pangong, Back to Leh. Dinner

    17-Oct-11: Bus to Kargil, Dinner. Night stay at Kargil

    18-Oct-11: Bus to Srinagar; Local sightseeing; Lal Chowk; in evening enjoy Shikara ride at Dal Lake; Dinner Srinagar (House Boat)/ Hotel

    19-Oct-11: Leave Srinagar by 1425 flight. Tour complete

    Thanks

    Regards

    PraKaant

    • Hello PraKaant,

      Though it is extremely tight schedule but I will advise that you rest at Leh for two days to better acclimatize your body out of 3 days you have in Leh. Not sure if you will feel alright if you go directly above 18000 Feet at Khardung la on the second day itself. Same is true for Pangong Tso. Hence I will advise something like below –

      14th – Leh + Permits for Pangong/Nubra Valley + Local Sigtseeing in Leh which includes Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Namgyal Gompa.
      15th – Leh Sham Valley tour – Leh. Sham Valley includes Magnetic Hils, Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Pather Sahib, Confluence at Nimmu.
      16th – Leh – Pangong Tso – Hemis Gompa – Leh
      or
      16th – Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Khardung La – Leh
      17th – Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
      18th – Kargil – Sonamarg – Srinagar.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you have some queries or doubts. Have a great journey ahead.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your advice!

        Two more queries! We are two traveling to Leh.

        1. Would we be requiring permit for Sham Valley tour also.

        2. Shall we book local vehicle (as Share taxi)for all these sight seeing and how much they might charge us?

        Sorry for troubling you

        Regards

        PraKaant

        • No Problems PraKaant, you can let me know any queries you have and you are most welcome for it. As for your queries, you do not need any permits for Sham Valley tour. Secondly, you can book the taxi for a single day individually which costs about 1405 Rs per day as per taxi union rates. You will be able to get 10-20% discount when you bargain directly with the driver at taxi stand of Leh. For one day visit to Pangong Tso it may cost about 6k-7K.

          I hope this helps.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Thanks Dheeraj for all your support!

          Wish me best of nature's blessing!

          I would be reporting entourage on return!!

          Regards

          PraKaant

        • Hey PraKaant, all the very best for your journey. Have a great time and I am sure you will have most memorable journey of all time in your life :)

  39. Sharath Chandra on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Needless to say, you are doing an amazing job by sharing all these info with aspiring travelers. Am certain it's proving helpful to loads of people…

    Could you please respond to this query of mine – how is the 3rd week of October (around the 20th) to travel on the Leh-Srinagar highway. For paucity of time, we are unable to do the Leh-Manali trip and intend to fly in to Leh and fly out of Srinagar. Also is there chances of encountering snow (at least in the higher reaches like Khardungla)?

    • Hello Sharath,

      Thanks a lot buddy, I am glad the info present here is useful for fellow travelers. By third week of October be ready to get some real chill and almost sub zero temperatures at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. So, go with heavy woolens for surely. Also, many of the tented accommodation options will be packed up by then at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri but you will be able to find some or the other homestay in near by villages. It is good that you are not doing Leh – Manali as it is not advised at all in that season.

      Leh – Srinagar Highway is much safe to travel at that part of time but again go prepared with woolen clothes. You will not have any trouble getting the accommodation and also you will get some decent discounts too owing to off – season. Yes, there will be chances that you might (might) be able to see snowfall/snow at Khardung La and Chang La depending upon your luck. The day time could be lot warmers as compared to nights in Ladakh.

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

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sharath Chandra on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks a ton for the prompt response…

        I have one more query – would you know of any place or person in Leh, from where we could hire bikes. We plan to ride to pangong tso, Nubra valley… and any help that you can provide regarding hiring of bikes would be of great help…

        Regards,

        Sharath Chandra

        • Hi Sharath,

          Well, I am sorry I personally do not know any contacts in Leh where you can hire a bike but I saw plenty of options on Changspa road to hire one. I am sure you will be able to find it without much trouble. I will try to search if I can find some reliable contacts and then share with them you and you may check them

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  40. Mate,

    The info was very helpful.

    I am travelling Srinagar-Leh highways in first week of Sept.

    Can you tell me if we can rent a bike from Srinagar? and how much will it cost?

    Cheers

    • Sorry Ankur, but I guess I have not come across anyone who has rented a bike in Srinagar. So won't be able to help you much on this :(

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  41. anil moses on

    very useful information given by you dheeraj. I am planning to do Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi next year in June. The information provided by you will definitely help me.

    • Thanks alot Anil. Do go through manali – leh highway guide as well (link above) which will be also useful in planning manali – leh highway journey as well. I am glad that the information was useful for you. Let me know if you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards,

      Dheeraj Sharma

  42. parag satardekar on

    thnks dheeraj for very usful article. we r 6 ppl leaving srinagar 13sep mrng. can we find a taxi from kargil 2 leh WITOUT PRIOR BOOKING. since we r planning to visit alchi likir BASGO lAMAYURU MULBEKH SANGAM ON D WAY. AND IS IT POSSIBLE TO COVER ALL THINGS IN A DAY?what could be the estimate cost for a taxi from kargil to leh with all sightseeing

    • Hello Parag,

      I am glad that the information was useful for you. Yes, you can get the taxi from Kargil without prior booking mate. As per taxi union rates 2011, total cost to book taxi from Srinagar to Leh is 10264 with one night stop at Kargil and from Leh to Kargil is 5216 which leaves you with 5084 for Kargil to Srinagar. Now, if you land directly there at taxi stands and bargain you may get about 10-15% discount or may be more while if you talk to them over phone the bargain is limited. If you can get hold of Ladakh number taxi at Srinagar taxi stand then that will great because it gives you time to leave Kargil early in the morning and cover places enroute as you mention above. If you leave Kargil early morning and then spend not too much time on these places you can cover them. Otherwise on the go you can either cover Lamayuru, Lunar LAndscapes, Mulbekh Maitrey, Redzong Monastery and either stay at Alchi to cover rest of the places on the next day or move to Leh and come back to visit Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Magentic Hills, Pather Sahib, Spituk, Phyang and confluence at Nimmu on the preceding days. These places are not too far from the Leh and can be covered by hiring the taxi for the one day and it may cost you about 2000 – bargain you will get.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • parag satardekar on

      thank you dheeraj. 1 more thing. whn it is refered taxi how many people can seat in it?6 or 8?

      • Hello Parag,

        Taxis easily accommodates 6 people viz. 3 in the mid row + 1 at the front seat + 2 at the back. Of course 1 driver along as well. While this is generally the case with privately hired taxi. If you will go with shared taxis then they take 7-8 people usually which makes the person sitting at the back a bit cramped for such long journeys as they have to accommodate 1 or 2 more with them. I hope this helps.

        Regards,
        Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hello Ashwin,

      Thanks alot. Glad you like the information about Srinagar – Leh Highway here.

      Coming back, I guess Srinagar route is doing good apart from few landslides around Jammu. Amarnath yatra is over for this year so that is one relief and by the time you are rains may start residing the valley too, so you may not face any issues at all. In any case if the weather is still not favourable then you may face road blockages on Jammu – Srinagar highway. Once, you cross Zozila Pass after Sonamarg you enter rain shadow region, so again no worries of rains after that as well. So, keep the fingers crossed, pray to weather gods and you are in for a dream journey to heaven called Ladakh :)

      I hope this helps. Let me know in case you have any queries or doubts.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Chandra,

      Thanks alot, I am glad Chandra that you like the article. I have tried to compile all the relevant information on Srinagar Leh Highway that I can. Now, looking forward for queries and hope that this text will help everyone plan their trip on Srinagar – Leh highway and Manali – Leh Highway in apt manner.

      Regards
      dheeraj Sharma

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        i had booked tickets to srinagar on the 27th of sept and i had planned to travel to Leh via the srinagar-leh highway. Is this a good idea considering the situation there or should i cancel my tickets??

        • Gopal, Srinagar – Leh Highway is open but inroads in Srinagar are still flooded. Hence, I will suggest to wait for a week or so before deciding.

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