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5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road

 

Soon the roads to heaven on earth, named Leh – Ladakh will open its door and lots n lots of travel, adventure freaks hit the highways from various parts of India to live their moments of the year and ride/drive this adventure filled journey to Leh – Ladakh. The biggest question I keep getting is, “While doing the complete circuit of Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Delhi, which direction is best to start the journey?”. Most of the time I reply, go via Srinagar – Leh Highway and come back via Manali – Leh Highway. I will try to enlist 5 reasons below why I suggest Srinagar – Leh direction while going to Leh – Ladakh over Manali – Leh direction

1. Better Acclimatization, Less Health Trouble

When you travel to Ladakh via Srinagar – Leh Highway, you ascent in altitude in a gradual manner. This means body gets more time to get acclimatized for the high altitude of Leh and you feel much better plus relaxed. The more acclimatized your body is, the less health (acute mountain sickness) issues you will face while you travel to Ladakh from Srinagar – Leh Highway.

If you start via Manali – Leh Highway then most of the terrain runs over 4000 Mtrs of altitude (you hit above 5000 Mtrs on second day itself) and by the time you reach such high altitude your body is not properly acclimatized, so high chances of falling sick and ruining the trip. When you are traveling with family including children or old age people, going via Srinagar – Leh Highway makes even much more sense.

Read more about Acute Mountains Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization including some tips at the article linked here.

2. Better Enjoyment of Views on Manali – Leh Highway

When you travel to Ladakh via Srinagar – Leh Highway and then do whole Ladakh sightseeing, your body gets very much acclimatized to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Hence, rather than worrying about your health, you definitely enjoy the beauty and explore Manali – Leh Highway in a much better way as compared to when you travel the other way round.

If you are traveling via Manali – Leh Highway in tweaked manner and get stuck at some high altitude pass (5 passes are on the way) due to some mechanical failure or landslide or road blockage, it will mean some serious trouble for you. Without proper acclimatization there are high chances of worsening the symptoms if you prolong your stay at high altitude. This may cause some serious health issues at one of the remotest places where even help would be hard to find for a long time.

3. Evenly Balanced Travel Distance and Time on Manali – Leh Highway

In order to combat acute mountain sickness issues, many traveler going via Manali – Leh Highway tweak the itinerary and tend to sleep at Keylong or Jispa (about 120 KMs from Manali) at first night. Then they start very early in the next morning from Keylong or Jispa to reach Leh (about 350 KMs from Keylong) by nightfall. Sarchu about 222 KMs from Manali, almost a mid point, is almost at a height of 4200 Mtrs and causes some serious acute mountain sickness issues many a times to many travelers. Hence, the travelers prefer/suggest breaking the journey into 25:75 ratio when you travel to Ladakh via Manali – Leh Highway and still you feel heavy head/nausea in many cases.

All this tweaking means, you will have less time of second day to thoroughly enjoy the views. Now, if you are traveling via Srinagar – Leh Highway and coming back via Manali – Leh Highway, you are acclimatized in much better way to sleep at high altitude Sarchu where you find good accommodation. Halting your journey at Sarchu means, you divide the over all 474 KM long journey very much evenly between two days and hence, more time for explorations the beauty at either day.

4. Better Placement of Tso Moriri Lake in the Itinerary

As you can see in the most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here, if you travel towards Manali from Leh then you can better place Tso Moriri lake in your itinerary and save a day for you. You cannot visit Tso Moriri while coming from Manali – Leh Highway because first, you will not have any permits and secondly, even if you get the permits somehow your body will not be acclimatized to sleep at very high altitude of Tso Moriri lake. So, you have to go to Leh first, do all your sightseeing and then visit Tso Moriri and then again go back to Leh to exit via Srinagar – Leh Highway. All this means, you should have one more day in your itinerary.

Since, you can always exit from Tso Moriri lake towards Manali via Tso Kar or Taglang La over Manali – Leh Highway, it gives more flexibility to place it in the itinerary when you travel from Leh towards Manali. For more details on Tso Moriri Lake, check the comprehensive Travel Guide for it at the link here

5. No worries of Manali – Rohtang Pass Permits for Non-HP Vehicles

In 2011, Himachal GOVT. floated a strange rule which disallowed any non-HP vehicle excluding two wheelers (bike/scooters) to ply on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. The GOVT. stated that this rule was brought into affect to regulate un-necessary traffic plying on Manali – Rohtang Pass road and make the traffic situation a bit better (in reality nothing changed rather got worse, I feel as per the reports last year).

For people going past Rohtang Pass towards Lahaul or Spiti Valley or further to Leh – Ladakh required to get a permit from Manali SDM Office. This meant wasting a day for sure in Manali. The FUNNY thing about this regulation is that only vehicles going from Manali towards Rohtang Pass need that permit but any vehicle coming from Rohtang Pass (i.e Leh – Ladakh or Lahaul Spiti) to Manali do not require any permit. Hence, if you are coming from Leh – Ladakh towards Manali, you do not need any permit :)

For more details on this rule that do not allow non-HP vehicles to ply on Manali – Rohtang Pass road including how to get permit, what documents are required etc, you can read more here.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the article and now understand why we shall choose Srinagar – Leh Highway while traveling to Leh – Ladakh and choose Manali – Leh Highway while you return from Leh – Ladakh towards home :) … If you have been there before, I would love to know your thoughts to on choosing Srinagar – Leh over Manali – Leh. Please share your valuable thoughts and inputs for the same. And, if you happen to be the first timer I hope the above article will help you decide the right way to Travel to Leh Ladakh by road and plan your itinerary in much better way.

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501 Comments

  1. ashish says:

    Hey dheeraj,
    Thanks a Ton for writing This blog it really helps everyone… I was a bit confuse before but now its all clear, thanks again..now we’re taking srinagar leh route but still some questions,does it safe to go via Sri nagar ,I’m worried because of all the terrorist activities, how’s the security out there??
    btw we are planning to go to ladakh on 15 Aug
    suggestions needed
    First and most important question as I’ve never been there before, how much money is enough for a person to cover all the places,food local travel and accommodation (is 10k enough for 1 person??)need desperate help.
    some more suggestions I need
    1) does it hard to get oxygen because of the high altitude ?? If it does what should we do?
    2) 10 days would be enough to cover all the places..?? if not how many days are required…please help
    3) from Sri nagar which way should I go..??please help with the route day by day if you can..i know I’m asking too much but it will really help us coz you’ve been their and after reading this I can guess you had alot of fun..so please help me to plan my journey…I’ll appreciate if you help me in details…
    Thanks a ton again
    Regard
    Ashish

    • nari vanwari says:

      Ashish
      Hi. u r awake at 3.10 wow later than me.
      Srinagar sonmarg, drass, kargil,mulbekh,lamayuru leh. After sonmarg u cant get lost.
      Suggest u openan aa in SBI.Branches everywhere encash a chq,(multicity chqs issued free of charge) or ATM. rs 1000 min balance maybe 0 bal nowadays. After 15/8 generally less of a problem.Start very early in the mornig then u may have lesser problems.Budget it depends specially what u spend on hotels.Fuel is a fixed expense.Hope this helps regds

      • ashish says:

        Hi nari vanwari
        Yeah I was searching for the information. :D
        do you know the bus route and timings form Jammu station to Sri nagar ,and from Sri nagar to Sonamarg and than to kargil
        Timings of the buses and fare charges will help alot
        thanks

        • Ashish, AFAIK, the buses from Jammu to Srinagar are available between 4.30 – 7.00 AM and charges about Rs 450. It is best that you can get the seat a evening before as on the spot booking might be troublesome. Check the link of JKSRTC Website to get the fares and contact info. where you can get the exact timings too.

    • Ashish, as long as you can continue to stick to normal routes, it should be OK. Also, you can skip to stay at Srinagar and pass on to stay at Sonamarg just in
      case required. 10K is too less a budget for a Ldakh trip I feel.

      1) Acclimatize better and drink plenty of fluids in the form of juices, Glucon D, ORS, etc.. to keep your body hydrated.
      2) For a road trip, about 12-14 days should be given.
      3) You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

  2. Dev M says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    While travelling (on Bikes)from Sonmarg to Leh via Kargil & from Leh to Manali via Sarchu, can I get the accomodation in these lonely areas ?

  3. Girish says:

    Hi Dheeraj, First of all, a beautiful post and site…Keep up the good work!
    I had a doubt, m on a package tour and will be getting free on 20th morning at Leh and have to return to Delhi by 23rd morning(preferably via Manali-Chandigarh route). Will I be able to reach on time if I plan to visit Tso Moriri on the way?

    • This is how it goes for Tso Moriri and Manali – Leh

      Day 1 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 2 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – 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 3 | 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 4 | Manali – Delhi/CHD
      – Return by overnight Volvo

  4. Maulik says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all let me tell you one thing, that your blog is a little more than an encyclopedia. It seems you not only traveled the places but also lived. :-)

    Keep it up sir… (y)

    I and my friend are planning to visit Leh in first week of September. Following is our plan.

    30th Aug – leaving from Srinagar to Leh (night at Kargil)

    31st Aug – leaving from Kargil to Leh

    1st Sept – Leh to Nubra Vally via Khardung La pass (night at Diskit)

    2nd Sept – Diskit to Leh via Sachur (night at Leh)

    3rd Sept – Leh to Pangong Tse Lake (night at Pangong)

    4th Sept – Pangong to Tso Moriri (night at Tse Moriri)

    5th Sept – Tso Moriri to Leh (night at Leh)

    6th Sept – Leh to Kargil (night at Kargil)

    7th Sept – Kargil to Srinagar (our flight is at 1 o’ clock from Srinagar to Bangalore)

    Few queries:
    1. What would be the best way to travel from Srinagar to Leh, by bike or by car? (asking because we will be travelling with wives)

    2. How much would be the approx. rent of bike or car for travelling one way journey? (asking in case if we go by bike and comeback from Leh to Srinagar by car)

    3. I heard that staying at Kargil overnight is a bit gloomy!! (Your suggestions???)

    4. I also heard that the weather in September is unpredictable, do you suggest any precautions?
    5. Do you think we need to add/remove anything from our plan mentioned above?

    Could you give us your valuable suggestions??

    Regards,
    Maulik

    • Hi Maulik,

      Ha ha, thank you bro!!

      My replies to your queries:

      1. Since, you traveling with family. Best and convenient way is by private taxi.

      2. Bike cost about 1000-1500 per day depending upon the model and make. Then, in case of one way journey, you have to pay a hefty fees of just dropping the bike to one portal. Regarding taxi, about 14-15K one way.

      3. Never heard so. Majority of people stay at Kargil only.

      4. For me Spetember is always the best time to visit Ladakh as it offers vivid colors like no other month and have bearable enough cold. Yeah, it starts to snow on high mountain passes but not on regular basis.

      5. Yes, you have to add one day for sure in Leh for acclimatization first before going to any other place in Ladakh including Nubra Valley. Then, this means you have to skip Tso Moriri and make 2 day trips to each Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso Lake.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  5. Dev M` says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I have been thru your comments mentioned above and it really helped me a lot. Me nd my frenz hv fixed a trip to Leh on August 15, 2014 & it will be a 12-15 day trip. We will go by our own Byks. We will be taking the route Delhi > Jammu > Leh > Manali > Delhi. Please tell us the : (1)places to visit in these days in Leh nd near by. (2) Provide the details on road conditions.
    (3) Cn I take my Hero extreme 150 CC for this trip as it is 1 year old & already covered 14000 Kms in last 1 year.

    Waiting for ur reply.

    • Dev,

      1. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      2. You will face monsoon hassles.

      3. Many such bikes have done ladakh trips.

      • Abhishek says:

        Hey Dhiraj,
        based on the discussion loop above I have made the following iterinary.pls pour in your suggestions.

        (I am traveling alone, first time from Mumbai and have 10 days)
        Mum to Jammu Tawi via train reaching in afternoon
        D1-Jammu to Srinagar(reaching at night via state transport bus)
        D2-Srinagar to Kargil via bus
        overnight at kargil
        D3-D4-Kargil to Leh via bus
        stay at Leh and sight seeing n getting permits
        D5- Leh to Pangong by bike hired in leh
        D6-7 Leh to Nubra to Leh by bike
        I am unsure of the further travel iterinary.i am ready to spend on return air fare from leh. Cd u pls guide in devising the iterinary further??

        • Abhishek, You do not need permits being an Indian starting this year. Also, just do Pangong Tso lake after Nubra Valley. And rest looks fine to me.

          If you can travel to Manali and have 3-4 more days go to Tso Moriri then to Sarchu then to Manali and then to Chandigarh or Delhi

      • Dev M says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj for ur kind assistance. One more thing I need to ask that what are the risk factors that I have to take care about?

        • Dev, enlisting them is not an option but there will be many risks all you can expect from a tough terrain right from adventure related to landslides and slippery roads. Fatigue levels, toughness or mechanical failures, etc..

  6. Prasanth says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Its really useful. We are planning for leh trip from Aufg 14th to 24. We planned for Manali  Leh bike trip. After reading this am rethinking my decision.
    My doubt is whether bike rented in srinagar can be send back from manali?.

    can you please suggest me some plan for 11 days, (Srinagar > leh> manali )

    • There are no bike rentals that I am aware of which exist in Srinagar. So, you have to hire bike in Leh only and for one way bike rental it will be too much money that is charged.

  7. Sagar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit with my 5 friends Leh from Delhi on 15th August to 25th August via Manali by innova taxi. Will it be safe? Will the Manali-Leh roads be opened in the Mid of August? My Planning is

    15thAug(Evening)-> Delhi To Manali
    16thAug->Reach Manali and Overnight stay.
    17thAug(Early Morning)->Manali to Jispa.
    18thAug->Jispa to Pang.
    19thAug->Pang To Leh.
    20thAug->Leh To Pangong Lake.
    21stAug->Pangong Lake To Leh.
    22ndAug->Leh To Khardungla and Back To Leh On Same Day.
    23rdAug->Leh To Sonamarg
    24thAug->Sonamarg To Udhampur/Jammu.
    25thAug->Udhampur/Jammu To Delhi.

    Please suggest.

    • Sagar it should be OK though you will have to face the monsoon hassles for sure in lower hills. Avoid staying at Pang and from Jispa go directly to Leh. you will not be acclimatized to sleep at Pang. You have very less number of days and with no buffer in monsoons, chances of spoil sport are much higher. Best you can do is below:

      16thAug->Reach Manali and Overnight stay.
      17thAug(Early Morning)-> Manali to Jispa.
      18thAug->Jispa to Leh (very long day)
      19thAug-> Leh Rest and acclimatize
      20 Aug->Leh To Khardungla and Back To Leh On Same Day.
      21 Aug->Leh To Pangong Lake.
      22 Aug->Pangong Lake To Leh.
      23 Aug->Leh To Sonamarg (very long day)
      24 Aug->Sonamarg To Udhampur/Jammu (very long day)
      25 Aug->Udhampur/Jammu To Delhi

      • Sagar says:

        Hi Dheeraj, Thank you so much for reply. Can I cover nubra valley in this schedule with slight changes:-

        16thAug->Reach Manali and Overnight stay.
        17thAug(Early Morning)-> Manali to Jispa.
        18thAug->Jispa to Leh (very long day)
        19thAug-> Leh To Nubra Valley via Khardungla
        20 Aug->Explore Nubra Valley And Back To Leh.
        21 Aug->Leh To Pangong Lake.
        22 Aug->Pangong Lake To Leh.
        23 Aug->Leh To Sonamarg (very long day)
        24 Aug->Sonamarg To Udhampur/Jammu (very long day)
        25 Aug->Udhampur/Jammu To Delhi

        Will it become hectic? If yes then I have to drop the plan for Nubra Valley..

        • Sagar, go ahead with the above plan. Apart from last 2 out of three days, all looks decent to me given the number of days in hand. I will suggest that you add one more day to rest in Leh which is very important for acclimatization before going to Nubra Valley OR make a day trip to Pangong Tso to get that free day of rest in Leh.

    • rimipa says:

      Hi Sagar, Dheeraj
      My friend and I are travelling on same dates to Leh via Manali; we’re on volvo, though would like a share on travel, but also look forward to your recommendations on hiring a taxi from manali to leh via jispa, the charges and the accomodation amidst

      • Rimi, best you to take HPTDC Manali – Leh bus in case you are not wiling to spend about 18K for taxi. The ticket cost 2500 including stay at Keylong with dinner + breakfast. Also, it is a tourist bus and stops at all major tourist destinations on Manali – Leh Highway.

  8. Esskay says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    In August, Rohtang might be a bit dicey. So, can we make a plan to go to Ladakh from Kargil and then return back to Srinagar for a flight back home?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks and bests.

    • Esskay, what do you mean Rohtang will be dicey?? It remains as is throughout in general. And Zoji La pass is no better mind you in monsoons :) … So, this is the risk you will have to take for a journey to Ladakh always :)

  9. ritesh says:

    hi dheeraj,
    what is the best time to visit ladakh?

  10. C. S. RAO says:

    WHAT IF YOU ARE RIDING A BIKE DOUBLE SEATED ON SRINAGAR-LEH ROAD? WHAT ARE THE BARE MINIMUM THINGS YOU NEED TO CARRY? CAN THOSE ACCESSORIES BE CARRIED CONVENIENTLY AND WHAT IS THE MODE/SYSTEM TO DO THAT? WHAT IF WE CARRY JUST ONE RUCKSACK? WILL THAT BE SUFFICIENT? PLEASE ENLIGHTEN. THANKS.

    • Please use Small Caps in your text. If you are traveling light, should not be much of an issue to travel with pillion on a bike. But, pillion had to get down at some places and walk a bit.

  11. shan says:

    hi,
    We are planing a trip to Ladakh from 26 July for 15 days. (2 People)
    We are planning to rent bikes from Delhi (2 bikes). And we have chosen the Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Ladakh-Manali-Delhi route.
    Can you suggest how should we plan each day travel ? One guy is relatively new to the bike riding. So very aggressive plan will not suite.
    Thanks in advance.

    • You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      Since, this is the first time rule is getting implemented no one is sure what will happen or what will not. I personally feel larger groups will be targetted more than smaller groups or individuals.

  12. ritesh says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    We are 8 people (2 families), 2 persons are 60+ and 2 are 50+, rest four are around 24 years. We are planning to go in the month of sep/oct. The mode of transport is likely to be any hired private vehicle (somethn like Traveller, 12 seater). The route would be as mentioned in the above article. According to you, is my plan suited (taking care of age factors of people)and how many days u suggest would be reqd. for overall tour (delhi-srinagar-leh-manali-del)with ease??

  13. sahil sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I really appreciate you helping so many of us first timers to plan our leh trip.

    We 4 people are planning trip to leh from Bangalore blr-delhi-leh via flight and back via same route as we just have 6 days in hand so have to choose flight. I know we will be missing a lot on the way but apart from that views any other concerns in flight and what will you recommend as our itiniery for 6 days starting from Delhi and return. We are planning between 20-27 aug

    • Hi Sahil,

      In that case, you can follow the below itinerary:

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

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

      Day 5 | Leh – 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 6 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

  14. DJ says:

    We are going to Leh by flight on 9th June and planning to return by the Leh-Srinagar route on 16th June. Is the road route safe on our way down or too cumbersome for those ageing between 55-60 years?

  15. Parth says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    When we go to Leh via Sreenagar rout, will we need to break the journey in two parts or can we make the journey in one single day. Even if we can make the journey in one single day, is it advisable to break the same in 2 days, if so please suggest. When we take the break, where should we do it?…we are planing to make the journey on bikes.

    Thanks and Reagards,
    Parth.

  16. Diwakar Kamath says:

    Hi, Dheeraj, Me and my group have arrived in Manali yesterday and are struck due to Manali-Leh road closure. How bad is the condition of the road if you know and what will be the best option now. Read thru your option of going thru Srinagar-Leh road, is that the best option? Awaiting your reply at the earliest for us to take a decision.
    Thanks and regards,
    Diwakar

    • Diwakar, that is the only option. Recent snowfall has triggered more wait and spot of bother for this week opening of Manali – Leh Highway. Go from Srinagar side and if Manali – Leh Highway gets open by the time you return, come back in that direction.

  17. Shivam Dubey says:

    HI There,
    we are ten people planning a trip To Ladakh from Delhi from 13th to 21st June. We are planning to reach Leh via Public transport and then Rent bikes From Leh to Travel around and then return back via Manali route. Can you please suggest us if taking the public transport is a good idea and what can be the Best itinerary.

  18. Sudesh says:

    We (6 person) are planning to do Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Pangong-Leh-Khardungla-Dikshit-Hunder-Leh-Srinagar -Delhi in Hyundai i20 (Diesel) & Maruti swift (Diesel) on 8th June 2014 but after looking at the latest pictures & news about road conditions, we are worried now. Do you think any hatchback can comfortably cross Zozila during First week of June-14. We have no other option but only hatchbacks otherwise we have to cancel my trip. Please suggest. We are from Gurgaon and used to driving in Hilly roads. Please reply. Also tell the timing and direction in which vehicular traffic is allowed from Sonmarg to Drass on 8th June 2014.

    • Sudesh, there is no definition of comfortable with hatches or sedans or even for SUVs when you make a ladakh trip. The challenges increases with hatchs and sedans due to low GC. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      • Sudesh says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        Thx for your reply. Well we are not planning to return by Manali-Leh route. Infact, we have planned to come back via Srinagar-Leh route only. Do you have any idea that what could be majaor hurdle other than Zozila pass in Srinagar-Leh route? We also have an Indian Army Major in our group (My cousin).

  19. Sumit says:

    Hi dheeraj
    We r 5 people planning leh tour for about 15 days via manali. Could u pls tell me wen will manali leh highway open. Coz we r planning to leave from delhi on 28th morning and stay at kasol 1 night.

    • Sumit with recent snowfall in last couple of days up there in Lahaul / Rohtang and Baralacha La, I have serious doubts. Earlier Manali – Leh was scheduled to be open by end of May.

  20. bhargav mistree says:

    Hi i am bhargav.Is it good to go leh by VW POLO 1.6 ?Which route is better ?

  21. Narender Narang says:

    Hi Dheera, I m narender. I am also planning to go to leh ladakh via srinagar route and return via manali route. i have my wife and my 3 kids,one 10year other 12a nd the third one is 16 who’ll be accompanying me . i m planning to take my car hyundai’s accent there.would it be fine to take it

    • Fully loaded Accent is not at all suggested to drive over there along with luggage. I will not recommend it better take a high GC vehicle when you are traveling with kids and complete family.

  22. Abhishek Sontakke says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are 6 persons planning to visit leh-ladakh in june. we have planned the trip from 6 june to 15 june including the journey from Pune to Delhi and Delhi to Pune. We are thinking of hiring bikes from Manali to Leh. I had read your article and got some idea about the route to be followed during the journey. Could you please let me know the bike hiring cost in Manali? If you have any idea. Secondly, I want to know if we reach Leh by 9th June evening then, how can I plan for 10th to 13th in Leh?

  23. Yatish says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am Taking Delhi>Srinagar>Kargil>LEh>Manali>Delhi route, Please suggest itinerary of 10 days. we will be traveling by Bike on this route. and would like to cover either pangong tso or tso moriri. or is their any way i can cover both in 10 days duration

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

  24. Sriram Surapuraju says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    I would like to appreciate your effort towards resolving queries of tourists.

    Similar to many people on this page, even i am planning to visit srinagar-leh-ldakh-manali along with some friends and we have 10 days for whole trip. But, we have some constraints, v.i.z we do not have own vehicle, have very moderate budget and I am a vegetarian (my friends aren’t). Still, dreams fly high! Somehow our hunger for travel has outwitted everything else.

    I request you to guide me with planning this trip and let me know up-to which place govt transport is available. Where can we find affordable accommodation. If in case we hire bikes at leh, which places can we visit from there. Also help us on average rent that people charge for bike.

    What kind of clothes will be required and necessary medication for any problem related to high altitudes.

    I thank you in advance for your time. Really loved your article!

    Regards
    Sriram Surapuraju

  25. jignyanshu says:

    Hi,
    how is the July month for travel , We are palling a trip from july 20th to july 29th.

    July 20th Reach srinagar.

    21st (Monday ): Srinagar – Kargil
    22nd (tuesday) : Kargil – leh
    We have 3 days to spend in leh (23rd 24th 25th)
    23rd (wednesday): Around leh
    24th : (Thursday) :
    25th:(Friday):
    July 26th(Sat): Leh – Sarchu (visit tso mori in between)
    JUly 27th (Sun): Sarchu – Manali
    July 28th (monday) Evening: Start from Manali – Delhi
    July 29th(Tuesday) : Reach delhiDelhi

    Please advice if anything need to be changed .
    thanks in advance.

    • Your dates are good to travel to Ladakh. Regarding places to visit:

      24th : (Thursday) : Day trip to Khardung La
      25th:(Friday): Day trip to Pangong Tso.

      You cannot do Tso Moriri and reach Sarchu the same day. Hence you need to drop Tso Moriri lake.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  26. abhishek says:

    hi dheeraj,

    we are 3 ppl from bangalore and we are totally confused.. need to plan a itinerary for 7days as we have already booked our flights i.e. blr-chandigarh entry and exit from srinagar-blr. pls help us build a itinerary with above route dt of travel-6th june-13th june

    • Abhishek, in 7 days road trip is not possible friend. It will take you 3 days from Chandigarh to reach Leh, then one day rest, and then 2 days from Leh to Srinagar. You are just left with one day. You can either make day trip to Khardung La OR PAngong Tso.

  27. NEERAJ SINGH says:

    hi we are planning to make a trip to ladakh from june 11 to june 24

    we are 6 ppl and 3 bikes
    2 are Yamaha fz and one is thunder bird
    just wanna take ur wise advise is dis trip is possible with pillion rider and some luggage..
    as we will change riding seats periodically, i dont think will face much issue with pillion rider the only concern is will our bike move up the high altitude with over 150 kg of weight on ot

    • Neeraj some luggage is OK but too much luggage will create issues. Also, your pillion need to get down here and there at places, even push the bikes. Having said that a lot of people do bike ride with a pillion. Also, it will be a tiring in comparison too.

  28. Gajendra says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, thanks a ton for very well composed important information which helped me lot in getting lots of information at one place :)
    We are 6 friends, planning to travel from Srinagar to Leh and then Leh to Manali in first week of September. We are thinking of hiring 3 bikes from Srinagar up to Manali. Below is our tentative plan based on information available here.
    Following is our plan for Travel:
    Day Places
    1. Pune – Srinagar (Flight)
    2. Srinagar Halt
    3. Srinagar – Sonmarg – Kargil/Dras
    4. Kargil/Dras – Leh/Ladakh
    5. Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh
    6. Leh (Please suggest places to visit)
    7. Leh – Sarchu
    8. Sarchu – Keylong
    9. Keylong – Manali
    10. Manali – Delhi (Local Transport)
    11. Delhi – Pune (Flight)

    Please suggest if we can continue with above plan?
    Shall we halt at Sarchu and Keylong or directly travel to Manali from Sarchu and stop one more day at Leh?
    Also I am not clear if we can visit Ladakh region and inner line regions with bikes hired from Srinagar? or do we need to hire local taxi for roaming in Ladakh region?
    Also please suggest which inner line permits we need to have while on trip?

    Thanks again :)

    • Gajendra, you have less days in hand and I suggest you should make following changes in the plan:

      1. Pune – Srinagar (Flight)
      2. Srinagar – Sonmarg – Kargil/Dras
      3. Kargil/Dras – Leh/Ladakh
      4. Leh Rest and Acclimatization
      5. Leh – Nubra Valley
      6. Nubra Valley – Leh
      7. Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      8. Leh – Sarchu
      9. Sarchu – Manali
      10. Manali – Delhi (Local Transport)
      11. Delhi – Pune (Flight)

      There are no bike rentals in Srinagar and also outside rented bikes are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh starting this year. So, you need to hire taxi first to reach Leh and then you can hire bike in Ladakh to visit Nubra and Pangong Tso.

      • Gajendra says:

        Thanks Dheeraj, will restructure our itinerary as per suggested.
        I have couple of quick questions,
        1. Can we drive down to Manali on bikes?
        2. If yes, can we go directly to Manali from Pangong Tso instead of going back to Leh?

        • 1. Yes, you can drive to Manali on bikes.
          2. Yes, start early from Pangong Tso in the morning and try to reach Pang or Sarchu by night. Stay there and next day reach Manali.

      • BBM says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        you mean to say bikes hired in delhi are not allowed for sightseeing in ladakh from this year onwards?? I am confused as many people hire bikes and go there..

  29. Harminder says:

    hi,
    I’ve enfield 350 and i want to travel by Chandigarh-srinagar-leh-manali in june or july. Is this possilble with double riding? we are only two persons?

    • Harminder, the problem with pillion is that of luggage and a bit of discomfort too. You have to have a solution or carriers where you can put your luggage in bikes. Just ensure the pillion and yourself that long days of ride will not be such a comfort when riding with a pillion. However, it is completely possible.

  30. Karan says:

    Hi,
    Is it possible to travel from srinagar to leh in 1 day

  31. amit says:

    Hello Dhiraj
    I just want to know about leh via srinagar by car…
    And my qus is…
    Kya roads khul gye h agar nhi to kab open hoge.

  32. Sumit says:

    Hello Dheeraj.. I am planning to go to ladakh from delhi via srinagar-kargil route and return by manali route to delhi. My biggest question is-” will i be able to make it in my i20?” I’m planning to go on 14th of june and yes it would be my first time.

    • For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      • Puneet sharma says:

        Dear Dheeraj

        I am planning to go to ladakh from delhi with my wife and two sons (aged 12 & 4 yrs). I am willing to go via srinagar-kargil route and return by manali route to delhi. I have two SUV one is Automatic Scorpio and other is my newely owned XUV500, I am more interested in taking XUV500. You please suggest which car would be best. I’m planning to go in first week of June approx. on 8th of june and yes also it would be my first time.
        I would be glade if any body from delhi planning te same & willing to join us. As I think that if we have a known vehicle with us it will be a big help in any case.

        • Puneet, you can take your XUV. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

          You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  33. Mikhil naik says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    we are a gang of 5 from hyderabad planning for bike trip to ladakh (3 bullets & 1 yamaha fz with one pillion). Please check our schedule
    may 21st – delhi to hoshiarpur
    may 22nd – hoshiarpur to udhampur
    may 23rd – udhampur to srinagar
    may 24th – srinagar to kargil
    may 25th – kargil to leh
    26,27 & 28 do nubra valley,Pangong Tso etc
    29th return via Manali to delhi
    Now the question is are the roads from Srinagar to Leh open during this time?? and also let us know if the above schedule is tiring or should we like transport our bike to Chandigarh from delhi and start riding from there so that we can cut down our journey and avoid getting tired. And as we have a stopover at kargil,please let us know if its safe to camp putting up our tents,Also please let us know the leh-manali road during may end.
    Hoping u can me help me out.

    • Mikhil, most likely the Srinagar to Leh Highway will be open during that time of the year. 4 Hours of cutting the journey on this mega road trip will hardly help you not to get tired :) … Better prepared for what will come in next 10 days for you and ride on from Delhi. You need to stay for one day in LEh to get acclimatized and take inner line permits. Then 2 day trip to Nubra and 1 day trip to Pangong Tso. Finally 2 days to reach Manali and 1 day to Delhi from Manali.

  34. sanjay bharati says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning to visit laddakh Via Srinagar 8th June 2014 onwards, and will be returning via manali on 18 June 2014.
    Is it right time to go. When did both the roads to laddakh generally opens for regular traffic.
    Thanks.

    • Sanjay, by that time both Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway will be open. Also, make sure to carry heavy woolens as Manali – Leh Highway will be cold during that period.

    • pranav raval says:

      I am also planning srinagar – leh trip along with my family on 8th june. we can accommodate 2 or 3 person in Innova for leh trip .Pls call me on 09322608505 in case if you would like to join us

  35. nikunj jain says:

    I am planning for ladakh biking trip.. its my first time.. please suggest if i can join any group, we are 3-4 boys..

    • DoW has started an initiative under DoW – Himalayan Travel Community for finding Travel Partners or Companions, leave your message in Travel Partners section at the link: Ladakh & Zanskar – Travel Partners Section. There is also a DoW Travel Calendar linked here which can be used to easily and quickly spot a travel partner with similar dates of all the people looking for Travel Partners for their trips. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates.

  36. sanchay says:

    Hi…
    We are a group of 4 people and are planning to visit Ladakh from 2nd May 2014 to 8th May 2014 with the following itinerary. Kindly advise
    Day 1 :Delhi to Srinagar in the morning by Flight and then reaching up to Kargil/Dras by Bike
    Day 2:Reaching Leh
    Day 3: Visiting Nubra Valley
    Day 4 :Visiting Pangong Tso Lake
    Day 5 : Visiting Tso Moriri Lake
    Day 6 :Returning from Tso Moriri and Local sight seeing
    Day 7 :Flight from Leh to Delhi in morning.
    Kindly advise.The dates are chosen as per the availability of flights at a cheaper rates.

    • Hi Sanchay,

      What time do you reach Srinagar? You need at least 8-9 Hrs to reach Kargil from Srinagar and May means Zojila might be single lane if there is too much of snow. Then after reaching Leh you need one day rest + acclimatization. For Nubra Valley, you should keep 2 days. Pangong Tso can be done in one day. Finally Tso Moriri needs 2 days again for a visit and cannot be done in one day. Finally, how do you go on bike from Srinagar? There are no rentals available in Srinagar for bike.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Sanchay says:

        Hello:
        Thanks for your reply.Subsequent to your reply we have amended our itinerary and it is as follows:
        Leaving from Delhi to Manali on 6th June
        Leaving from Manali on 7th on Bike.
        Then Reaching Leh by 8th night /9th morning
        Then we plan to visit
        Nubra Valley
        Pongong Tso
        Tso Moriri.
        Leaving on 16th Morning by flight.
        Kindly advise with the itinerary and other details.
        Sindhu Darshan festival will also fall in these dates .So I want to know whether it will be good to visit during this time of festival.
        Thanks in advance

        • Sanchay, what do you mean by 9th morning here? It will be Manali to Jispa on 7th and then on 8th leave 5 AM positively and reach Leh by evening.

          7th June | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
          – It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
          – Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
          – I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
          – Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

          8th June | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
          – Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
          – Overnight at Leh

          9th June | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          – Overnight at Leh

          10th June | 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

          11th June | 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

          12th June | 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)

          13th June | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          14th June | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          15th June | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

  37. NITIN CHAWDA says:

    we are planning a trip to leh – ladakh from hyderabad , in the month of july’14 by own car maruti ertiga diesel. can you please comment on this plan

    • Nitin, how many days do you have for your ladakh trip? Also, keep in mind that in July first two weeks it is Kalachakra Festival this year which will mean alot of the people being there. Since, you are going with your own vehicle that is fine BUT also pre-book your stays as on the spot booking might not be available till 15th July in Leh.

  38. […] 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road […]

  39. Raghu says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 6 people planning to visit Leh-Ladakh in June this year. We are planning to hire a taxi from Chandigarh and do a road trip to Leh-Ladakh via Srinagar.
    I just want to know is there any permits required for a hired taxi to visit any of the places in Leh-Ladakh?
    Pls help..

    • Raghu, it is not taxi that needs permit BUT actually you need permits for yourself as a person while visiting Inner Line Permits in Ladakh. For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

  40. […] 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road […]

  41. Anil says:

    Hi, is possible to go leh by personal vehicle via srinagar highwa.?
    is any permit required…?

    • Anil, there is no permit required for Srinagar – Leh Highway neither for you as a person nor for your vehicle. However, after reaching Leh, in order to visit Inner Line areas of Ladakh including Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, Tso Moiri Lake, you will need inner line permits for yourself not for your car. For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

  42. Karan sharma says:

    Dhreej Sir,
    Hum friends Group Leh-Ladakh tour karna chahte hai,
    1.Road kab khulta hai April me ya May me….
    2.or Snow kaha kaha milega
    3.or Road sahi milegi ya Jam milega
    4.or stay place kaha kaha milenge..
    5.Hum har 100-150 Km par stopage karna chahte hai
    6.to plz hume stopage place ke naam bateye or
    7.stopage k pass Ghumne k place bhi bataye or
    8. Way ka tempurachere bhi bataye plz.
    9.Hum Open Jeep se ja sakte hai ya nahi.
    10. Hume permission kaha kaha se leni padegi…
    11. Way me hotel kaha kaha milegi..
    12.Plz Manali se Leh or Leh se Shrinagar ke raste me aanewale tourist place k naam or stopage bhi bataye Plz…100-150 Km me
    13.Tempurature Kitna Rahega….

  43. Albert Regan says:

    Hi Dhiraj,

    Hi I am from Bangalore, First of all I appreciate your efforts in helping and promoting HP. I went through all the questions and reverts on it. I am planning a trip with about 8 Ppl from Chandigarh and exit through Delhi. This would be a trip for 8 to 10 Days. I would like to cover maximum places and all the main places like Shimla, Manali, Leh,Srinagar and more. So Let me know if it is possible to do that or it might require few more days to complete all this. Thanks a lot for helping so many travelers like me.

  44. siddharth deshmukh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning to visit laddakh 23rd May 2014 onwards, and will be returning via manali on 31st May 2014.
    Is it right time to go. When did both the roads to laddakh generally opens for regular traffic.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Siddharth,

      I will suggest if you can delay it by couple of weeks, it will be perfect time to undertake the road journey as Manali – Leh Highway wil not only open but stabilized by then too. Are you planning to take flight to Leh?

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  45. Rayna Roy says:

    HI!I am planning to visit Ladakh on 18th april 2014.We(6 peoples)are going by toyota innova from calcutta.As it is a way long journey, I would like to know which way will be easier.Srinagar-Leh or Manali-Leh? Would be happy if you can give me other tips too. And we cannot change the date of departure.So plz give some tips

    • Hello Rayna,

      Both Srinagar – Leh Highway as well as Manali – Leh Highway are closed in the month of April. Even if by slight chance Srinagar – Leh Highway opens in April the conditions are very tricky and unreliable + unstable. Better postpone the road trip to end of May or June.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Akshat S says:

        Hi Dheeraj… its a highly informative blog & i thank u for that!
        I plan to goto Leh around Mid june-july, bt i’m very sceptical about the manali route.
        I feel my Maruti Dzire(Petrol 2013) might not be apt for that route.
        Shall I just avoid the manali rohtang route?
        Thanks for your suggestions in advance!
        -Akshat

        • Akshat, for hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway & Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

          In case you are OK, you can take dZire, but ofcourse there will be challenges which you need to face over that route in June and July. September end is still a best bet for low GC Vehicles. Having said that, people do take small GC cars over to Ladakh with careful driving but challenge will always be there. Do read the above link for sure.

  46. sunny says:

    Hi, very useful info in there. thanks.
    I have been trying to visit Ladakh since many years. I live in Canada so every time I visit Mother India ( in winters) Leh-Manali highway is closed so I have to spend time in Manali, now I know every rock in manali better then the back of my hand. This year however I will prolong my visit till late may or early june.
    So planning to visit Srinagar-leh in april by road.
    So my question is , will this highway be passable for 4 wheelers in april ? And is it worth it ( I mean go to Srinagar then leh then come back using same route) because I don’t think theres any chance that Rohtang pass would be open.

    • Hello Sunny,

      Quite a interesting thing, please do share some practical info. about Manali with us too which is not so known then :D :D … He He… Coming to your query.
      The Srinagar – Leh Highway tend to open early May in general with an exception this year of opening in April. Also, the road conditions aren’t that stable when you consider early season for driving up there. My advice will be since you are coming from Canada all the way, better make it post 15th June so that you can also cover Manali – Leh Highway too while on return.

      Even if you considering just Srinagar – Leh Highway, it will be better to go via Srinagar – Leh Highway and take a flight back to Delhi from Leh to save time and double run over it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  47. […] as the accent to the higher Himalayas is more gradual from Srinagar than going from Manali to Leh. Here are some more reasons to choose this route. Crossing cities, towns, villages, mountains and […]

  48. Zeeshan says:

    Hi,

    i’m planning to go to leh via manali route by bajaj avenger ( 220CC ) for 8 days on 30th Sep 2013
    any suggestions
    about where and when to stay we have sleeping bags tent etc….
    waiting for your response.

    • Zeeshan, firstly the time is end season and it will be very very cold up there in especially over Manali – Leh Highway. Secondly, you have just 8 days and you plan to cover the whole journey from Manali to Manali in 8 days?

      • Zeeshan says:

        yes actually i have to be back by 8th Oct so please suggest and how about driving at night i know it would not be safe but to cover the whole journey in 8 days i think i have to drive most of the time ….
        as per my schedule can you please suggest me where should i stay or what are the important places to cover

  49. Anupam Pagarey says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Firstly, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this awesome blog. This blog is not less than a encyclopedia about ladakh. It consist all the detailed information about ladakh trip and it is very useful for people like me who are travelling to this piece of heaven for the first time with my 5 friends.
    I need your help and some information about my itinerary for 9 days (21Sep-29Sep). So, my itinerary is as follows:
    Day1 (21 Sep): We will take a flight from Mumbai to Srinagar at 10A.M.. We will reach Srinagar by 1:00 P.M. After a quick lunch, we are planning to leave for Gulmarg (50 km from Srinagar) by 2:15 P.M.. We will spend 2 hours in Gulmarg and will leave Gulmarg by 5:30 P.M. We are expecting to return Srinagar by 7 P.M. and will leave to Sonamarg (80Km from Srinagar) immediately, expecting to reach there by 10 pm. We all friends know that it is a very tight schedule for day 1 as we have a fewer days to explore this place, however, we all are very punctual and fully aware about the situations.
    My questions regarding Day 1 are:
    A) Road conditions from Srinagar to Sonamarg?
    B) Is it safe to reach Sonamarg by late night around 12 A.M.?
    C) Accommodation and food availability in Sonamarg?
    D) Can you suggest some good travels company from where we can hire a Innova or Scorpio to complete our dream journey?
    The reason why I am asking these questions is, we are planning to visit Dal lake as well for an hour’s time after returning from Gulmarg and then leave for Sonamarg. (Only if the answers for the above questions are YES ….No compromise with safety and food).
    Day2 (22 Sep): We will take our breakfast at Sonamarg and will start our Journey by 8:30 A.M. heading to Drass (65 Km from Sonamarg). We are expecting to reach Drass by 12:30 P.M. (In this route, we are planning to visit a few important places for a short time (30 Minutes each Max). In Drass, we will have our lunch and will take rest for an hour. By 2:30 P.M., we will start our Journey again heading to Kargil (60 KM from Drass), If possible, we will visit a few famous places (again 30 minutes each) and expecting to visit Kargil by 6:30, then, we will be heading to Mulbekh (40 KM from Kargil) and will try to reach there by 9 P.M. (I heard that there will be good day light by 8:30 P.M. and travelling is possible). We will end our day 2 journey in Mulbekh and stay there for night.
    My questions regarding Day 2 are:
    A) Please suggest 2-3 good spots to visit between Sonamarg and Drass and 2-3 good spots between Drass to Kargil and Mulbekh.
    B) Accommodation and food availability in Mulbekh?
    C) Is it safe to reach Mulbekh by 9 P.M.?
    D) Road conditions from Sonamarg to Mulbekh?
    E) Is it good to stop in Mulbekh? (Keeping in mind about the high altitude sickness) or we can skip the places between Drass and Kargil to Mulbekh and try to cover more distance on the second day itself?
    Day3 (23 Sep): Day 3 will be more exciting I guess. The plans are Mulbekh to Leh (174 Km from Mulbekh), we are planning to leave Mulbekh by 6 A.M. and take a full day to reach Leh from Mulbekh by visiting a few good places by keeping in mind about the High altitude Sickness and physical exertion, hopefully, we will reach Leh by 8 P.M. After reaching Leh, we will take our Dinner and will go straight to bed.
    My questions regarding Day 3 are:
    A) Please suggest some good spots to visit between Mulbekh to Leh as we have the whole day’s time.
    B) How are the road conditions from Mulbekh to Leh?
    C) Is it safe to reach Leh by 8 P.M.?
    D) Do we get easy accommodation and food in Leh?

    • Hello Anupam,

      Thanks alot. You can get more details on this highway at: How to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway You have all the info. present on the blog to make a successful trip on your own which will save enough money to contribute in the causes part too. Just that, in case you still need some help from travel agent then probably you can get in touch with info@offbeatescapes.com where Gaurav is there and he has good feedback from all the readers who have taken services from him, though I have never been through any travel agent for any of my trips. You can refer DoW or my name to him for special discounts they offer for DoW.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  50. Anupam Pagarey says:

    Day 4 (24 Sep): We will wake up early in the morning for Permit in Leh. After getting the permit, we will immediately leave for Khardung La (39.7 Km from Leh) and then to Nubra Valley (75 KM from Khardung La). We will stay in Nubra Valley for Day 4.
    My questions regarding Day 4 are:
    A) Is it easy to get the permit in Leh?
    B) Do we get easy accommodation and food in Nubra valley?
    C) Is it safe to stay in Nubra Valley?
    D) Am I really irritating you by asking too many questions? (Just kidding, I know u won’t mind as you are the only reliable source for this important information, we really appreciate it).
    Day 5 (25 Sep): We will leave Nubra Valley by 7 A.M. to Leh (115 Km) and expecting to reach Leh by 11 A.M., then, we will take lunch in Leh and leave Leh by 12:30 P.M. to Karu (35 KM from Leh) and then to Chang La (45 Km from Karu) and then to Final Destination for Day 4 which is Pangong Lake (80 K.M from Chang La). We will stay in Spangmik town for the night.
    My questions regarding Day 5 are:
    A) Do we get easy accommodation and food in Spangmik town (Planning to stay in tent for a night near lake, if possible)?
    B) Road conditions for Day 5
    Day 6 (26 Sep): We will spend some morning time besides the lake and will come back to Karu (124 KM) by 12 P.M., we will have our lunch in Karu and will leave for Tanglang La via Upshi (100 Km from Karu) and planning to stay in Pang (40 Km from Tanglang La).
    My questions regarding Day 6 are:
    A) Do we get easy accommodation and food in Pang?
    B) Road conditions for Day 6
    c) How late can we reach to Pang (according to safety Measures)?
    Day7 (27 Sep): We will leave pang by 8 A.M and will complete our journey at Keylong (180 Km from Pang). We will take the whole day to reach Keylong via Lachlong and planning to visit some good places in between.
    My questions regarding Day 7 are:
    A) Do we get easy accommodation and food in Keylong?
    B) Road conditions for Day 7
    c) Some good spots to visit between Pang and Keylong?
    Day8 (28 Sep): We will leave Keylong early morning by 7 A.M. and will end our journey at Manali (117 Km from Keylong) via Rohtang.
    My questions regarding Day 8 are:
    A) Road conditions for Day 8?
    B) A few good places to visit between Keylong to Manali.
    c) Some tips regarding safety measures as I heard that this is the most dangerous patch in our trip.
    Day 9 (29 Sep): We will stay in Manali for some time and leave Manali by 12 A.M. to Delhi (550 Km from Manali) and planning to reach Delhi by 12 P.M. as we have our return flight from Delhi at 3 P.M.
    My questions regarding Day 9 are:
    A) Road conditions for Day 9
    B) Is it safe to travel in night from Manali to Delhi? (I know it is a bit dangerous but we have no options as we are utilizing our maximum time till Manali).
    C) No more questions as I have irritated you enough…lolz
    So, Dhiraj, this is our planned itinerary in detailed. I know we are not covering much places in Leh but we are planning to visit again next year to visit remaining places. Your response is highly appreciated and we are waiting for your response eagerly.
    Thank you sooooooooooooo Much.
    Regards
    Anupam Pagarey

  51. sai says:

    I have fiat punto with gc of 185mm is it OK to travel to leh

  52. Vivek Borkar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are 6 friends, planning to visit laddakh next month (22 Sep-01 Oct) from pune. We are planning to reach Delhi by flight on 22 Sep at 11:00 am. Please let me know, how I can plan my itinerary accordingly so that I can reach pune back on 01 Oct by air from Delhi. Which route will be more convenient? We are planning to hire a car from Delhi; will that be a good option? Which car will be a good option in terms or good ground clearance and durability? Also, let me know about the important accessories required on this trip (Shoes, Jackets etc). Your response is highly appreciated. We are going together first time and need your help to make this trip a memorable one. Thanks.

    • Hello Vivek,

      To be very fair, you are planning to make a trip from Delhi for about 9 days, which is a tad less for Ladakh Road Trip. Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as you have 9 days in hand.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Vivek Borkar says:

      Thanks Dheeraj,
      I appreciate your quick response. Is there a way, we can skip manali route and go by Srinagar route to complete the tour in 9 days. will that be a good idea? or If we add two more days to our trip, will that be sufficient to complete the trip Delhi-srinagar-leh-manali-delhi? Thanks again and sorry for asking too many questions but this is important for us to take advice from a experienced person like you.

      • Vivek, no issues. Well, if you add 2 more days but go via Srinagar Leh Highway then at least one day will be added more because via Srinagar it takes 4 days to reach Leh by road from Delhi. Hence, your 1 day will be utilized there. Remaining 1 day you can use to do 2 day trip to Nubra Valley. In case you have not booked the tickets, will be much better to fly to Srinagar and start the journey from there by road and get one more extra day to be spend in Ladakh, may be 2 day trip to Pangong Tso then.

  53. sonu says:

    Hello Sir ji,
    me and my friends have planned to visit leh on august 15 via jammu srinagar route i have some questions regarding this trip
    1. is sringar route better or manali route better to visit leh
    2. is their any problem to visit on this season (monsoon) i mean like any landsliding or something if we travel via sringar or manali
    3. roads are all open or not in this season

  54. tinku says:

    hi Dheeraj this is tinku from Raxaul bihar (nepal border)i wanted information on the Srinagar LEH highway status………..and i shal starting my tour from RAXAUL BIHAR (NEPAL BORDER)1 aug 2013 & plan 2 return 15 aug via manali leh highway…………….
    pls give me advise when r MANSOON time ?when MANSOON season is end ?i know ladak is a rain shadow region and very little rain happend over there……..pls give me advise…honda brio car is much beter ? cbr honda bike much beter to go leh?

  55. tinku says:

    hello sir,
    iam planning to go to leh’d via the manali route on my bike honda cbr250 with couple of my friends in the month of july 27 for 10-12 days, please tell me that what are the necessary precautions and things to keep in mind…!! :)
    and do tell me what budget will be reuired for the trip…!!
    i would be gratefull to you if you do the same for me..!!
    thank you…!! :)

  56. Tekchand Sharma says:

    Hi Associated ,

    I think this is the bet way , thanks for your intervention to all .

    I am supposed to go delhi to leh -ladhak by road trip of bikes . pls clear my some issue .

    content .
    1 . we are 4 boys with well health , we are using 3 bikes ( 1st is pulsar 220_2013 model , 2nd is also same , 3rd is pulsar 180 2010 model )

    2 . we are not supposed to rest out in any hotel , camp etc . we are going to use are own camping for every night .

    3. guessing almost 3000 km is up down

    4 as i mentioned we are 4 boys and 3bikes ( 2 boys will ride individual along with all luggage’s , 3 bike will ride with two boys only without any thing )

    5. supposing route Delhi – chandigarh – manali – rohtang – leh_ladhak – back to same with Delhi turn

    7 we are supposed to visit next year between June to Aug 2014 .

    8 we will not ride bikes after 6 PM Max .

    above mentioned details are for as on date expected content . This is first time are doing this for all boys to live our life’s atleast for 13 to 17 days .

    pls answer my quest pls .

    1—> Between June to Aug is fine with this rout .

    2—-> is any specific order or permission require by anyone

    3—> above mentioned road rout is fine or suggest .coz we more comfortable with is ( as we are used to of this till manali )

    4—> 12 to 16 days are enough

    5—> we are carrying our own camp is OK ? , can we make our own camp anywhere or else ?

    6—> in food are only carrying noodles , rice , tea pack with tea powder , and dry fruits , is it OK ?

    7—> which drink is best for keep away any cold fever , ( Rum or Whisky )

    8—> is any animal or terror threat is there ?

    9 —> do we require any knife for our security purpose ?

    10 —> final – also suggest snowing area in between this rout ,

    thanks & rgrds
    tekchand Sharma
    mail – mannminni@gmail.com

    • Hello Tekchand ,

      I will try to answer some of your queries:

      1. Better go between June 20th to July 20th before the monsoons

      2. Yes, you need permits for bikes for going from Manali to Rohtang Pass. Once you reach Ladakh, you will need Inner Line Permits. For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

      3. I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

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

      5. You can pitch your own tents anywhere but I will suggest you pitch them at a place where there are some dhabha tents put up by locals or where other camping guy pitch theirs or somewhere near some house in village or in their garden/lawn. All you will need is to gently ask them (villagers/dhabha guys/camping guys) for permissions. Most likely they will allow, other wise negotiate for small little tip or move on to some other such place nearby. This will give you sense of security too.

      6. Yes

      7. None recommended :)

      8. Nothing much, check point 5.

      9. It is an adventure trip. Better have a small one.

      10. You will find snow between June & July on Manali – Leh highway

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Tekchand Sharma says:

        Thank you so much dheeraj , God bless u , u help me a lot and i really appreciate your action on this ,

        one more thing i heard something about new diligence or rules by the himachal tourism, that we can not use above 3 year old bike while this trip as i mentioned above , is it correct or just rumors ?

        • It is partially correct. You cannot use COMMERCIAL vehicles older than 4 years. So, you are OK with your bikes as long as they are personal and I think bikes are always personal, even the rented ones ;)

  57. Abhay Krishnan says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I would like to know whether Rahtang pass is still open after the recent Uttarakhand floods ?

  58. Ankit says:

    Hi, Can you suggest if KARGIL – ZANSKAR VALLEY – KEYLONG ….direct route is open for motorcyclists?

  59. kapildev says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all I would like to appreciate all the patience and hard worm .I am planning to enjoy the natural beauty of Leh- LADAKH with my family((9 Person).I will b reaching manali on 10 august 2013 evevning.I wish to start my trip to LADAKH via MANALI-LEH highway by hptdc volvo bus/Taxi on 11 August 2013.its 6 days Trip (11 aug to 16 aug)I would request u to please help me out WITH THE BEST AVAILABLE OPTIONS.Please answer a few of my queries.
    1.6 days is sufficient to visit the leh ladakh.
    2.Which option is best for travelling hptdc volvo bus or private taxi(11 seater).
    3.how much cast both the option(hptdc volvo bus or private taxi) for 9 person.

    • Kapil,

      1. Are you planning to come back via flight from Leh? If yes, 6 days are good enough otherwise 2 days will be used to reach Leh, 2 days to come back and finally 1 day for acclimatization & permits. You will be left with just 1 day.

      2. There is no volvo that runs over Manali – Leh Highway. It is a semi deluxe mini bus. Better go with tempo traveller on your own which will give you more flexibility on stopping over places in between.

      3. 2000 per person for HPTDC Bus including accommodation + a meal at keylong night stop, though it is not that good of an accommodation. Tempo Travller should cost about 24-25K.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  60. Kuldeep Rathod says:

    Dear Dheeraj, I m from Surat, Gujarat and we are planning to travel by road to leh via srinagar (as u suggested) in late July may be after July 25. As we start from surat so we’ll be on Leh – Manali road at end of July or Starting of September so is it advisable time to travel and As i have Chevrolet Cruze, Is it advisable vehicle to travel with

    • Kuldeep, It is monsoon time and at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains, though rains does reach Ladakh now but to minimum and mostly it might remains overcast conditions. There is no thumb rule of certainty about weather conditions but above is generally common pictures seen over last few years except ugly 2010 …

      Cruze will struggle there especially in monsoons. Please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  61. Siddharth says:

    Dheeraj, this is awesome! Thanks a lot yaaR! :)
    My Q’s please:
    1. From where can I make my ladakh bike trip a 5 days trip Srinagar-Ladakh-Srinagar?
    2. If yes, which bike to prefer? Would srinagar give me a high condition Enfield?
    3. I would also be having a pillion. What all changes now?
    4. It will be super wonderful if you could give me your contact info on sokahansiddharth@gmail.com . I have so many questions qhich I must clarify, and you seem so helpful and the best! thanks :)

    • Hi Siddharth,

      1. If you have 5 days ex. Srinagar then two days will be used to reach Leh and 2 days to come back, then just 1 day remains which is required for permits and acclimatization

      2. From Srinagar you cannot get rented bikes.

      3. Nothing much, just that pillion needs to get down at a place or two.

      4. You will get a mail as I reply here, please reply back to it and I will share the contact.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  62. Suprita jha says:

    Hello
    I wanted information on the current Jammu—-Srinagar—-LEH highway status.I’ll b starting my tour from jammu on 1st July and plan to return on 13th july via leh —manali highway with stops in tso moriri and other required places as per ur suggested itinerary.Actually we’re worried about the recent disaster in Uttarakhand.So pls share all the info u can provide us. Thankyou for ur support.

  63. Robin says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for your article, its inspiring as well as informative. I along with my 7 male friends are planning to go to Leh & Ladhakh. We shall travel upto Jammu from Mumbai by train and from there we are planning to go to Leh on our bikes. We would bring along our bikes as cargo in the same train. The following are our queries for the trip that we are planing in the 2nd Week of Sep 2013.
    1. Which is the best route to follow from Jammu to Leh on a bike?
    2. Do we require any road permits to be obtained in-order to travel on bike en-route Leh?
    3. What may be the weather like during that time of the year?
    4. How about availability of fuel stations and Tyre repairs on the way?
    5. Any specific gears to carry apart from the regular ones?

    Your response is highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Robin

  64. Mudita says:

    Hi
    i was going through this thread and i must say you’re doing a great job in helping us plan our trip to the leh-ladakh region .
    i wish to visit the same in mid-september this year with 6 other of my friends . what car would u suggest we take ? innova fits the role ? and which route would you suggest while we go towards leh . also we were planning on going via road and coming by air .. so how can we pan that out ? i hear there are some festivals going on in ladakh in sep ? the roads are safe to travle via the srinagar route ? also are 9 days enough or should we have a buffer of 1-2 days ? pleaseeee help me with this . its not an easy trip to plan . thank you !

    • Mudita, better go with Scorpio or Xylo. Innova does not fit this terrain, yet driven. As you read the article, better to go via Srinagar and come via Manali. Roads are safe to travel in September generally and in case you have 9 days then just opt for any one of the route among Srinagar OR Manali and then fly back from Leh.

  65. siddharth saxena says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    After reading your wonderful blog, i have decided to take srinagar – leh route. i with my 6 friends for the first time are planning this adventure in mid of august.can u please suggest what should be the total duration of trip starting at srinagar and ending at manali. and can u also guide me what mode of transport we could use as we dont have any of our own. we were wondering if it is possible to hire the bike at srinagar and leave at manali. If yes then any idea of rent?? I know i have lot of question but please please answer me as i am unable to find it and its for our first time. Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Hi siddharth,

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2013-14 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  66. sukhjinder says:

    Hii dheeraj…
    Thanx for providing such a useful suggestion
    We r 5 frnds planning a trip from ludhiana to leh via srinagar nd returning via mnali…v all r doctors nd v hv jst 7 days ..plz suggest best plan to us..

    • It will take 3 days to reach Leh from Manali side and 3 days to come back and then 1 day is required in Leh fro acclimatization. Ideally, you do not see anything in Ladakh. So, I feel you should increase the number of days in hand.

  67. Sachin says:

    Oh looking forward traveling on the Leh Manali highway next summer and explore my third world slum Indian driving and of course its roads!!

  68. SUSHIL KUMAR says:

    Can we go to a new santro to leh from shri nagar with four person.

    • Will be difficult but doable. You might want people to get off the car at many places especially in water crossing and where you need high GC.

    • Karl Rodrigues says:

      it can be done in a Santro, but believe me your heart will bleed cos at many many places the underside will scrape. + you will have to travel at low speed making the journey time increase manifold. (FYI- at some portions there is no TAR only kaccha road, with deep craters (potholes) – so deep that water will enter the car flooring carpet will be wet)

      • SUSHIL KUMAR says:

        Dear sir,
        Can we go on 15 from delhi to leh or wait for some two or three days.
        Please suggest

  69. Jean Mathew says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    Your articles are extremely informative and precise and they have made life easier for us as we plan to ride a thunderbird from Bhopal to Leh. We are two people travelling one bike and just wanted to know if the bike will take the load. The condition of the bike is very good. Also want to know if there are any special permits or documents required for Delhi Srinagar Leh Manali Leh route and apart from the Bike papers and our identity do we need anything else. Looking forward to hear from you. God bless

    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks alot. If you are traveling from Srinagar side then you do not need any permits but if you travel from Manali side then you will need permit to go to Rohtang Pass from Manali side. Other direction permits are not required. Having said that, you need inner line permit in Ladakh not for the bike for you two. Bike shall be fine enough but at times pillion have to walk down some stretches.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  70. amit vashisht says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Thanks for your this blog, it helped me a lot to plat my trip to LEH, Further i would like to know can i plan this trip on my Maruti Ertiga (Diesel). Do you think this car can safely ride on steep and bumpy roads.

    Reply preferred on mail.

    Regards,

  71. Mayank Butola says:

    hello sir,
    iam planning to go to leh’d via the manali route on my bike yamaha r15 with couple of my friends in the month of july for 10-12 days, please tell me that what are the necessary precautions and things to keep in mind…!! :)
    and do tell me what budget will be reuired for the trip…!!
    i would be gratefull to you if you do the same for me..!!
    thank you…!! :)

  72. Manika says:

    Dear dheeraj,
    Iam planning to travel to leh with my husband and kids of age 6 and 9. Can u please suggest me saftey tips for them . What all can they do? What kind of food we should carry and is the route via Srinagar safe? I mean roads.
    I have little consern in regards to petrol pump and good hotels.
    Please suggest me the time we should leave from a place and at what time we would reach our next destination.
    Thanks

  73. Abhi says:

    Hi everyone,i have been through Delhi-Manali-LEh – srinagar-Delhi highway twice in last two years.. i prefer goin towards Leh from Manali and not Kashmir ..
    The Permission From SDM office dont take more then 30mins . & is a free of cost document.
    its just a kind of formality.
    i have gone by mahindra scorpio both years with my cousins and friends. avg 3-5ppl …. this is how we plan our itenary enroute
    Day1 – Leave delhi in night
    Day 2- Reach manali by 11-12am,, take SDM permission and leave for rohtang.reach KEYLONG by 8pm day2.
    Day 3- start from KEYLONG at 9am,,reach PANG(alt15300feet)by 5pm after crossing sarchu.stay overnight in tents(rs-150/bed)

    Day-4 Leave PANG at 9am,crossing tanglangla, reach Leh city by 3pm.overnight stay at LEH

    Day5 – Leave for srinagar via Drass and KARGIL crossing ZOZILA PASS .. reaching SONAMARG by 10pm

    feel free to ask any queries ,,

    • Hello Abhi,

      Though you might have survived this tough on road travel with overnight stay at Pang with your friends BUT please try and educate people with the aftermaths of staying at High Altitude without any acclimatized body. I know taking a permission from SDM office is quite trivial but it does count for loss of day many a times. But, taking over the high altitude is something everyone must be aware of and in remote places like Manali – Leh Highway where there is no getaway in case things get worse, it is always better to draw a line between over-adventure, adventure and craziness!!

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Shailesh Agarwal says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        You have done a wonderful job by mentioning all the details for Leh Trip, I highly appreciate this. I am having Tata Safari and I am planning to tavel Leh-Ladakh via Srinagar-Leh Highway sometime in the middle of July so will it be a good time to go? I mean what abt rains at that time? Also I think taking tata safari on that route will not cause me much problem in respect of ground clearence, water logging etc. Please also share some useful information which is required for taking care of my SUV.

  74. vikas chaudhary says:

    hi dheeraj,
    we are planning for a 10-12 day trip to leh on 23rd May 2013. we are 04 persons travelling. Car options are laura ready for trip or if we get a self driven SUV on rent then we will prefer suv(though i know very difficult to find rental SUV for leh in 2 days) We will take srinagar-leh route and return back via manali to delhi. Is laura capable of doing the trip. We cannot extend the trip till june, so have to leave in 2-3 days. Please advise is it good time to do the trip.
    regards,
    Capt.Vikas

    • For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      • He Man says:

        Dheeraj,

        Your knowledge of this sector as well as the willingness to share it is indeed commendable!

        I’m planning to go with my fammily (2 kids – 10yrs/5yrs) on Del-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Del trip during Jun 8-22. We plan to travel in a Honda City.

        2 qns:
        1. Ok for kids? Our kids have done enough road trips, but none at such high altitudes. WOuld Diamox work for them?
        2. Sedans, & Honda cars in particular, have very low ground clearance. I don’t mind scratches anywhere, but what precautions should I take to avoid getting stranded?

        Thanks

        • Dharmender Rana says:

          Mr. He Man,
          do not ever think of taking honda city to Srinagar – Leh – Manali road, i gurantee you, you wont be able to come back by that car.
          Its better you take any other car with higher grd clearance.

          I travel to this patch every year and done 3 rounds in Alto and 2 rounds in Swift.
          this year i am also going alone by SX4 on 8-9 June.
          you can talk to me on 9953325771

        • I think with your dates there are already couple pf people in Travel Partners forum of DoW, please check if you can get connected there. It will be great to have your experience sharing in the DoW Himalayan Travel community with all your previous encounters to Ladakh :)

        • Hello He Man,

          Though we have had a word over email but still

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

          2. Guess we discussed it over mail :) … Still, For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

          You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

          Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

          7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  75. Karl Rodrigues says:

    Hats off to a Wonderful Blog !
    am planning on a trip from Goa-Srinagar-Leh-Manali departing Goa on 14th May 2013 with my Mother,Wife, & kids aged 7 & 2.
    I have just one question which would be a better car to take for the trip SX4 petrol or i-20 Diesel….
    Rest all you have elaborated very well, Thanks

    • Karl, though it might be late but still I will suggest that take SX4 anyday. i20 might struggle with ground clearance.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      PS: Sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling to Spiti Valley for past 10 days.

  76. Harit says:

    Hi Dheeraj, Am planning to Visit Leh in Private Car (Innova with Delhi Registration) via Srinagar Route. Do we require any Permit / Registration duty to be paid for driving to leh via Srinagar? if yes than pl share details of the formalities and the estimated cost as well as where the permits can be taken.

    Thanks & Regards
    Harit

    • Hello Harit,

      Nopes, you do not require permit on Srinagar – Leh route. But, once you reach Ladakh you will need inner line permits for yourself not for the vehicle. For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      PS: Sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling to Spiti Valley for past 10 days.

  77. Prathamesh Jain says:

    Hi Dhiraj,
    i am from maharashtra and planning to visit manali,leh,shrinagar and other places near by to it.
    i Just want to ask u that we have our manza car with self driven
    and want to go by manali leh highway.
    will we get it open from about 19-22 of may 2013 to cross it and return back by leh-shrinagar route.
    can the permits be eaisly obtained to go through it at manali offices.
    thank you…..

    • Hi Prathamesh,

      Manali – Leh Highway is expected to be open by mid May types. I will suggest you follow the route in other direction so that it stabilizes as well as open by the time you are planning to make a visit. Read above 5 reasons as well in the article.

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh by Air followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 8 days: Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Prathamesh Jain says:

        thanks dhiraj for your valuable comment.
        i would like to ask you also that….
        1)are there also tough challenges for sedans on shrinagar-leh highway or it can be crossed eaisly????
        2)are there all tar roads on shrinagar-leh highway??
        3)can we get taxi or we are able to go by our car in mid of may with taking guide from leh for kardung la,numbra valley,pangong lake at reasonable rates if yes then which tour operator or guide will be better???
        4)is in mid of may also they are covered with snow? can we play with it?
        5)i saw in one of your post a photograph of swift dezire registered at delhi standing at spiti valley…is you went by that car…i am just asking about this beacuse i want to make sure about my manza car….
        Thank You………

        • Prathamesh Jain says:

          sorry,as it is mentioned in point on 5, it is not spiti valley, it is a pin valley..

        • Hi Prathmesh,

          Please find my replies below:

          1) When you talk about Trans Himalayan region, nothing comes easy for vehicles of low GC though with cautious drive and little skills it can be managed. In comparison to other parts of your trip, Srinagar – Leh highway will be a bit easy.
          2) It is mix of all but majority is tarred.
          3 +4) Mid of May, you might face snow on the raods of Passes. If you do not have any experience over driving in snow, then try to avoid I will say.
          5) Yes, it is my car only and I have driven to Spiti with it twice and been to too rough roads on it. Pin Valley is a part of Spiti Valley only. I feel Manza would be more better than dzire :)

          Regards
          dheeraj Sharma

  78. manish k sethi says:

    hii dhiraj
    we are group of 5-6 friends we want to visit leh via manali. we want to explore manali leh highway at its fullest we can spend 4-5 days on manali -leh highway and another 5-7 days in laddakh please suggest itinerary

  79. GAURAV SHARMA says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    we are 5 frnds planning to go leh from delhi by car… tell me which route z better??? and we have 3 car, wagonR, duster n pajero tell me which one z best??
    one more question that we are planning for 7 days trip i.e. 11-18 may so is it enough or may we some more days???
    thanx

  80. nitin says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am Nitin Sharma, planning a trip by my car…Can I explore Leh- Laddakh with personal car?
    Will I need some extra permission.
    also please let me know… from New delhi- Leh-New Delhi…how much time it will require for journey.
    I have planned my journey from 15th June 2013 from Bangalore….plan to drive from Bangalore with my 2 friends…pl. suggest …..

  81. manish k sethi says:

    we are group of 5-6 friends we want to visit leh via manali. we want to explore manali leh highway at its fullest we can spend 4-5 days on manali -leh highway and another 5-7 days in laddakh please suggest itinerary

  82. raj says:

    We are 02 couple visiting Shree Amarnathji Yatra 2013 in first week of August 2013. Thereafter, we are planning to visit Leh Ladhak in a rented car from Katra. We have total 09 days in our hand for said visit. Please give me a plan for same.

  83. Vikas Chandra says:

    Planning to go by road from Delhi to Leh Ladakh on my own SUV,time 7 to 10days,kindly suggest my route of travel & economical hotels to halt for 7 adult.

    • Vikas, you can follow the below route plan:

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Leh
      – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      – 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 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      – Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – 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 9 | 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 10 | Manali – Delhi

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  84. shruti says:

    we are planning to visit leh, leaving from delhi on june 3rd, we want to hire a taxi from here to leh, can u please tell me what are the things i need to make sure from the car company in terms of what are al the required documents and permits and where should i get them from, planning to travel to and fro from manali-leh route due to certain unavoidable circumstances

    • Shruti, how are you hiring a taxi from outside Ladakh. Only Leh – Ladakh taxis are allowed inside Leh Ladakh. You can use outside taxi only for exit and entry into Leh. Rest of the sightseeing should be carried by Leh taxi only

      • Dharmender Rana says:

        Hello Shruti,
        i am a regular traveller to Leh, this year i am going alone by my SX 4 Petrol. to minimize the travel cost, i am looking for 4 people to join me. My Car having j & K no. so no problem in entering any area of J & K. if you have already planned your trip, you can recommend any other group, my no. is 9953325771

  85. Tenish Kansal says:

    Hi Dheeraj!

    We 9-10 friends are planning to tour leh via manali on bikes this june…
    Need ur advice regarding route nd all…

  86. Minakshi says:

    Hi Dheeraj!!

    I have finalized the dates of travel as per the time window you had suggested (June 29th to July 14th 2013). I will be reaching Delhi on 30th morning.

    For going to Leh, Delhi – Manali-Leh is set, but I am not able to decide the route for coming back, I want to cover everything possible :)

    Is it advisable to take Srinagar highway from Leh for return trip? I can take a train to Mumbai from Jammu. Please help me finalize itenary for the trip.

    Also would you be able to help me with the accommodation options (wherever tents possible :)

    Cheers,
    Minakshi

    • Hi Minakshi,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons in the article above.

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  87. Rushi says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Is the road way from Leh to manali suitable to travel in june last week??
    or do we prefer Leh to Manali via srinagar???

  88. Suman says:

    Hi Dheeraj, thanks for the article. It’s very helpful indeed. We, a small family of 3 from Kolkata are nature-lovers and avid trekkers by nature. Planning a 13-14 days trip to Leh-Ladakh in mid to end Sep’13 and intend to take the following route: Delhi-> Srinagar(flt)-> Leh (Road) -> Manali (Road)-> Delhi. We wish to cover Leh Town, Khardung-La, Nubra valley, Pangong-Tso and Tso-Morari. I will really two pieces of information:
    1. Is it a good time to visit ladakh ? I know we would miss the view of snow-capped mountains & roads, but that’s okay.how it would be otherwise ?
    2. Since we are just 3 and chances are remote that another family joins in..what could be the budgetary cost of hiring a 4-wheel vehicle to visit the places around Leh and drop to Manali (via Tso-Morari) ?

    • Hello Suman,

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

      1. Yes, indeed it is good time to visit as rains might have gone away and you will see Ladakh in its most beautiful form.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  89. Suprita jha says:

    Namaste Dheeraj
    I really appreciate ur patience in answering all kinds of varied questions by tourists and that too such meticulously.MY queries r
    1} U’ve repeatedly suggested to choose SRINAGAR-LEH route for ascent and LEH-MANALI HIGHWAY for descent.In july 2011 I had been to AMARNATH VIA SRINAGAR–SONAMERG–BALTAL ROUTE.Till AMARNATH I did not face any physical problems[excluding slight stiffness in leg while climbing the stairs up to the main shrine as I had travelled till the base of cave on horse] But I hav’nt travelled at higher altitudes.Now as I’ve already visited the adjoined areas I am planing to stay in MANALI on 1-2 july’13 and then start for LEH USING MANALI-LEH HIGHWAY ON 3rd july’13.KINDLY GUIDE ME.I also plan to return by the same route.
    2}Should Iplan to base my trip in LEH and move to other tourist spots like nubra valley,pangong lake etc and return by evening or I should change my places of stay?
    3}Should I book hotels in advance or decide on the spot.Will JULY b the crowded season in LADAKH.
    4}Should I hire a single taxi for the entire tour of ladakh[excluding reaching LEH and returning} or keep changing. Which will b cheaper?DO I need to talk yo ur recommended taxi drivers now itself or bargain after reaching leh .
    5}LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST
    ‘PLEASE PLAN AN ITENERARY FOR MY TRIP” BEGINNING FROM DELHI ON 1 JULY AND REACHING CHANDIGARH BY 15 JULY 2013.WE ENJOY NATURE TOURISM SO PLS SUGGEST ACCORDINGLY . OFCOURE IMPORTANT PLACES OF INTEREST ARE ALSO APPRECIATED BY US.PLS RESPOND IMMEDIATELY AS I’VE TO BOOK MY RETURN TICKETS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE{or else I’ll b at eonomical loss}
    REGARDS
    SUPRITA

    • Hello Suprita,

      1. If you are planning to start from Manali then better stay at Solang Valley which will help you in acclimatization and like I suggested in other reply, you will stay at Keylong first and then move directly to Leh. Take rest in Leh and keep the body hydrated.

      2. I have suggested the itinerary for the same, try to follow that and you should be OK. This is linked here

      3. July is definitely a peak season and it depends how many people are traveling with you. If there are many then there should be some issue and you should try to book in advance. If there are few and all are OK with searching for a hotel a bit here and there then try to get it done once you reach Leh.

      4. You can choose any path again, book from here or book them after reaching there. There should be a difference when you talk in person than when you do it over phone. Better keep a dedicated taxi for yourself but if you are 2-3 then it might be costly, so look for shared taxis of your tour which gives less flexibility but saves money.

      5. Guess, already replied at the link here

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  90. Suprita jha says:

    Namaaste Dheerj
    I stay in Mangalore.First of all I would like to appreciate all the patience and hard worIam planning to enjoy the natural beauty of LADAKH with my family.I will b reaching DELHI on 30 june 2013 and plan to reach MANALI ON 1st JULY by HPTDC BUS.From MANALI I wish to start my trip to LADAKH via MANALI-LEH highway by hptdc volvo bus on 3 july 2013.Due to lack of leave we will return BY the LEH—MANALI HPTDC BUS latest by 13 JULY 2013 .I would request u to please help me out WITH THE BEST AVAILABLE OPTIONS.Please answer a few of my queries

    • Hello Suprita,

      There is no Volvo bus from Manali to Leh rather a deluxe mini bus that runs on Manali – Leh Highway. You can follow the below plan in that case:

      Day 1 (3rd July) | Manali – Keylong
      Day 2 | Keylong – Leh
      Day 3 | Leh Rest + Acclimatize
      Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
      Day 5 | Nubra Valley – Leh
      Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso
      Day 7 | Pangong Tso – Leh
      Day 8 | Leh – Tso Moriri
      Day 9 | Tso Moriri – Leh
      Day 10 | Leh – Keylong by HPTDC bus
      Day 11 (1th July) | Keylong – Manali

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Suprita jha says:

        thankyou so much for ur immediate response.I’ll plan accordingly and will again disturb u for some other queries if required.
        thanks once again
        regards
        Suprita

  91. rishi says:

    hey dheeraj,I am planning to ladakh by mid may.me with a group of 6 people ll leave from pune.please suggest me from where should i start my journey so that i can enjoy biking n all highway fun?? what will be the best starting point for us as we all want to have fun riding bikes through mountains ??

    • rishi says:

      I am planning to be there for 10 days including JOURNEY from pune to LADAKH n return..

    • Rishi, in 10 days it will really be very very difficult but still if you want I can suggest you the following itinerary for Ladakh:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley
      – Better stay at Solang Valley and avoid Manali as sleeping at Solang Valley does help in acclimatization
      – If going by own car, get the permit made in advance to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road through hotel/travel agent in Manali
      – Overnight at Manali/Solang Valley

      Day 2 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
      – It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
      – Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
      – I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
      – Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

      Day 3 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      – Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

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

      Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      – Stay overnight at Sarchu

      Day 9 | 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 10 | Manali – Delhi
      – Return home

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

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Laxmi says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        We are planning a road trip self driven from Hyderabad to Manali in 1st week of May. Is it advisable to go to Manali-leh–Srinagar with 2 kids of age 10 and 12?
        We had been to many self driven family trips earlier and our last trip was to Rajasthan in October 2012.

        I have read reviews about the altitude sickness so I’m rethinking to go directly to srinagar from Manali .
        What do you advice?
        Will the Manali –leh roads open in may.

  92. Swati says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I must tell you your blog is very informative for a first timer like me. Me and my husband have been thinking of planning a trip to J&K for quite some time and I am hopeful that this June we should be able to do so.
    Like I mentioned as this is a first time we would want your help in letting us know what is the best possible itenarary for Leh. We plan to take the Srinagar – Leh across 2 days time and then reach Leh to explore further. We are looking at doing a 10 days – 11 night trip post reaching Srinagar by flight, halt at Srinagar and explore the place for 2 days and then head towards Leh which means I get only 9 days to do the road journey and explore the best possible place in Leh.. Question being is it good enough time for everything?? I am not in favour of doing mad rush to see everything post reaching Leh, instead I would prefer picking up 2-3 most popular place and explore in and around that rather than going everywhere.. I would majorly need your help in letting us know what is the best possible itenary..I have gone through possible all your comments but right now it is too much information for me and I am kind of confused on what to cover and what to leave…
    It will be definitely a great help.

    Tnx….

  93. Sparsh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 7 people planning a trip to leh via Srinagar. Our flight lands somewhere around 12 noon on 22 June.
    1. Can we start our road journey to leh on the same day(22 Jun)?
    2. Do the taxi drivers drive during the night on the srinagar leh road?
    3. What all tourist places can we visit on Srinagar leh highway?

  94. HITESH says:

    HI DHEERAJ,
    I AM PLANNING A TRIP TO LEH IN JUNE THIS YEAR.
    A LITTLE CONFUSED ABOUT THE TRAIN/BUS /FLIGHT ROUTES WHICH I SHOULD FOLLOW FOR NEW DELHI TO LEH,PLEASE IF YOU COULD HELP ME ON THAT??:-)

    • Hitesh, how many days do you have in hand. Train do not go to Ladakh by the way. You have the option by road which will take at least 12 days from you or by flight which will need at least 8-9 days from you. Let me know and we can surely discuss the plans.

  95. Col PKS Bedi says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Your travel advice and comments are very useful. For more doubts, I need a few clarifications, which will help decide my route. Assuming that we will travel in 2 or 3 of our own Scorpio vehicles,with two infants aged 1 and 2 yrs, with an Army background (Retd) and Army connections in Leh, I need to know the following: –
    1) Lowest valley ht between the passes enroute, to which a vehicle can descend, IF we are stranded and need to lose height.
    2) Emergency air evac if stranded, and cost.
    3) Use of LASIX Tabs for medical acclimatisation.
    4) The kind of help Army gives enroute in case of problems.
    5) Does a night at Keylong assist acclimatisation?
    6) Is there snow on the road at the passes?
    7) What kind of wear and tear will our cars suffer, if the journey goes smoothly? Is it worth taking our own vehicles?

    Looking forward to answers to these questions and any more suggestions you can give.
    Thanks and warm regards.

    Col Bedi.

    • Hello Col. Bedi,

      Thanks alot. Please find below my replies in the exact order of your queries:

      1. It will depend upon the place you are starnded. AFAIK, If on Manali Leh Highway then at least upto Jispa/Keylong you will have to Descend to be in safer limits and if in Ladakh then Nubra Valley is a good place at tolerable altitude, if on Srinagar side then Alchi is a bit lowere and then Kargil is much lower too.

      2. No idea, guess no evacuation I am aware of.

      3. Again sir will not be able to comment on such medicine, in fact cannot comment on any medicine :)

      4. Very very very much helpful and always there for anyone in need.

      5. Yes, definitely Keylong will help you assist for Leh overnight but not for any other place in between. Hence, from Keylong or Jispa you will have to directly reach Leh the very next day. I will suggest better stay at Jispa, much closer to nature.

      6. Mostly you will find all gone aside roads by mid of July and then only passes will have some remaining ones. On road, you will find only very early in season and that too on some passes.

      7. A Good amount of wear and tear for suspension/shockers for sure and some under body scrapes/scratches too here and there. If one can drive with care and caution plus want to save some money then yes, it does help a lot. I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:
      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Col PKS Bedi says:

        Dear Dheeraj,
        Thanks.
        Can you give me the exact heights of the passes on Leh-Manali Road and the heights of the lowest places between every sat of passes, e.g. between Taglang la and Baralach la.
        Thanks.

        • Hello Col Bedi,

          I will request you to refer the article: Places on Manali – Leh Highway | A Detailed Description

          You will find altitude of all the places that fall on Manali – Leh highway along with a graph of distances v/s altitude over the entire highway.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Rakesh Sachdeva says:

          There are a total of 5 high passes that you need to cross to get to Leh.
          Rohtang pass (3978 meters)
          second pass – Baralacha-La at 4930 meters
          Sarchu is at a height of 4290 meters
          3rd high pass en route-Nakee La. At 4965 meters
          4th pass i.e. Lachung La (5079 meters)
          The 5th Pass Tanglang La is supposed to be the world’s second highest pass at 5359 meters.

  96. [...] 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road [...]

  97. Col PKS Bedi says:

    Thanks for such a clearly written travel-advice. This plus the comments have saved so much time on research through other means. Thanks Dheeraj.

  98. [...] 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road [...]

  99. Ankit malhotra says:

    Hi,
    Dhiraj
    I want ask u that I wana go to leh
    on a bike like duke-200 on may 12[sunday]plz suggest me road And it will be right time to travel to leh[road]

  100. hiren mehta says:

    ITERNARY;

    29 th may – arrival at shirnagar airport at 1.30 pm and local sightseen in shrinagar.

    30 th may – shrinagar to gulmarg and night stay in shrinagar.

    31 st may – shrinagar to via sonamarg-vally at night stay in kargil.

    1 st june – kargil to leh and night stay in leh.

    2nd june – local sight seen in leh .

    3rd june – nobravally and night stay in nubravally.

    4th june – nubra to khadogara and night stay in leh.

    5 th june – pangog lake and night stay in leh.

    6th june – early morning at 6.00 am return to sarju and night stay in sarju.

    7 th june – kalimong to manali at 4.00 pm so we pick up volvo manali to delhi.

    Number of person – 5 adults and 2 child above 5 years

    Hotel two star category or resort , two room in every hotels.

    we only breakefast and dinner and vehicle is inova or zylo . (vegetarian.)

    urgent quote for above iternary and call or mail .

    hiren mehta

    • Shared your contact details with a friend, hope you get a good deal from him.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hiren, since you want a tour package, I have referred your name to a friend who is good in providing Ladakh tours. May be he will help you out with the same.

    • Arvind says:

      Dheeraj ,Tour Operator From Srinagar Saying road will open from last week of april for srinagar – leh highway .. are they are lieing .. or shall i take flight from delhi .. my trip date is 29th april throu srinagar -leh highway kindly suggest wat to be opt for

      • Arvind, it is not a certainty. If you have your plan flexible then only plan it. Sometimes it takes about a week or two into May to open Srinagar – Leh Highway. And also be prepared with initial road blocks and jams too.

    • Shivam says:

      hey…v r planning the same trip..!!
      if u find some suitable solution then plzz contact me…and i’ll do the same.

      • Just messaged you a contact of a friend. I am sure he will help you out. Manali Leh High will not be open by that time and even if it will open it is not recommended to travel at that time due to unstable road conditions which incurs lots of snowslides. If you are looking to do the circuit by road please postpone the trip by at least two weeks.

        • shah512 says:

          this is the first blog iv read which provides wit all d minute of details..thanku for helping each one of us..

          4 adults
          date: somewhere b/w 25-30th april

          my queries:
          1.Srinagar-Leh road would be favorable to travel thru at this point of time?
          2. Can we find company to travel along with?
          3. Would i enjoy snow during this time?
          4. Average pricing for hiring a taxi?
          5. considering we visit pangong lake in first week of may, can we have an overnight halt there?
          6. The colorful lake can be captured during first week of may?

        • Hello Jesal,

          Please find below replies to the queries:

          1. May be or may not be, though BRO has made progress all the way through zero point of Zojila Pass and expected to open Srinagar – Leh Highway by 5th april. However, things will still depend upon weather in coming week or so.

          2. Once, you reach Leh chances will be more and more higher.

          3. There will be plenty of snow!!

          4. For Srinagar to Leh, you will be paying almost about 13-14K with overnight halt at Kargil. do not include accommodation in this price. It is just the cost of taxi :)

          5. Might not be possible but cannot say because tented accommodation starts generally mid of May.

          6. It starts to melt by that time. I was there last week of April at Pangong Tso last year and it was partially melted and partially froozen. Check my travelogue for the last year in Ladakh section or Travel Tale sections.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

    • arup chakraborty says:

      thanks fr updated informations..tips….i need to know that any permit is required fr private car to travel..frpm srinagor to leh.

      • Arup, no permits are required for your car from srinagar to Leha dn then from Leh to Manali. However, you will need permits for yourself or people traveling with you once you reach Ladakh and do sightseeing for Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri.

    • arup chakraborty says:

      actually i am planning to get a round trip with my own gypsy..from kolkata…srinagar…leh..nubra ..pangong…upsi…manali …kolkata..starting from kolkata 20th may 2013 and return back with in june 15th…how far my program is right in terms of season ….i cant go july -aug..though i had bike expnc there on 2003.pls advise me.

      • Arup, your plan seems to be alright to me and since you have Gypsy so that also removes any roadblock in terms of road conditions. I am sure you will be able to manage through it. Manali – Leh Highway will also open most likely by the time you will reach that leg of the journey and it would be much better if you can delay the plan by a week of 10 days to let the roads get more stabilized. If not, then give it a shot with these dates only, if you are not that unlucky ones like me then you will be able to make it through :)

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  101. Dattaraj says:

    Hi, I am planning a trip to Ladakh with my spouse from May 8 to May 17. I am confused about my travel plans as to whether I should opt for the flight to Leh from Delhi or take a road trip via Srinagar Leh highway.
    Is it advisable to take a direct flight to Leh, only concern being getting acclimatised to the high altitude.
    What is the probability of Srinagar Leh highway to open by May 8 and usually what is the road condition when the road opens for civilians. Thanks in advance for all your help

    • Dattaraj, if you can get the flights for yourself then I will suggest better take it as option because road conditions would be terrible since either the road might have just opened or will not be open by that time. If dates aren’t flexible for you then better go bby Air. Regarding acclimatization, yes there might be a little concer but you can try your best to rest for first couple of days. You can follow an itinerary similar to below:

      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
      – Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      – Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      – Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      – Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      – Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      – If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      – Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
       
      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      – Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 7 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      – Overnight at Leh
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.

      Go down to Alchi on first day if you want to be on much safer side and then come to Leh the next day since you have that spare day with you. It will help alot in terms of acclimatization.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dattaraj says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj. What about last week of May. Is it a feasible option to travel via road during this time and what will be the road condition this time round

  102. Arpit says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I read your blog and kudos to you for your passion.
    I am here to ask for some help. I am planning trip to Leh in April 1st week. will that be enjoyable and safe?
    Regards

    Arpit

    • Arpit, in first week of April it will be very cold and food options will be limited too. Both Pangong Tso as well as Tso Moriri lakes will be frozen thereby will not offer the multi colors they are famous for. Try making the trip in June or May end.

  103. ARVIND says:

    DHEERAJ LET ME KNOW CAN ANY TAXI OR TOUR OPERATOR THEIR FOR DROP FROM SRINAGAR TO LEH WITH ONE DAY STAY AT KARGIL … MY JOURNEY DATE IS 29TH APRIL .. REACH LEH BY 30TH APRIL.

    SUGGEST ME SOMETHING

    2ADULT 1 CHILD

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

      There is a list of drivers as well here, contact Naseer as he does come to pick tourists from Srinagar too. The advantage you will get is better price (if he do not offer any discount, refer my name) as well as Ladakh taxi number which can halt at other places of sightseeing on the way to Leh from Srinagar which srinagar taxi cannot.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  104. Meet Thakar says:

    Hello sir, u have done a commendable job with this blog about choosing Srinagar leh highway. I had a query and I hope ur experience will greatly help replying it. I am going to Kashmir and Ladakh on 20 may. It is mainly for photography purpose. Shud I choose to drive to leh from Srinagar via kargil or shud I take the flight option. If there are possible photography places on way via kargil I will readily accept that option. Please reply soon. Thanks in anticipation.

  105. Armin says:

    hello Dheerajji, We 2 of us are planning on a bike trip to leh-ladakh. initially i thought we could bike it from manali but after reading some of your blog, i think it would be better to fly into leh and bike it from there to manali. we want to travel around 22 of May after just getting married. we are coming from Pune and have around 8-10 days at hand. we would like our trip to include the more off the beaten track places than the usual tourist destinations.. though they r also welcome. On top of that we dont have a huge budget. Do you think we coud do it? n whats a good itinerary for it? could you suggest what would be a good plan? also if biking is not possible then what can be a good mode of transport and how much cost should we be looking at? thank you

    • Hello Armin,

      You can follow the below 8 – Day itinerary for Leh – Ladakh:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      – Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      – Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      – Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      – After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      – If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      – Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      – Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      – Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      – Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      – Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      – Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      – Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      – If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      – Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
       
      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      – Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 7 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      – Overnight at Leh
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.

      Yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 600 to Rs 1200. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  106. manish k sethi says:

    we 6 friends are planning to visit laddakh via Manali (Road Trip) and return leh to delhi by flight. please suggest itinerary and what is the minimum time required. will it be ok if we plan the trip in 1st week of July

  107. Nikunj Shah says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    I am planning for a trip to Leh from 8th-21st May 2013. Had a couple of queries:
    • I have a 5 year old kid. Is it safe for him from his health perspective? Am worried in case he is not able to adjust to the altitude
    • Does Srinagar Leh highway opens up from 12th May.
    • I would be staying for 1 night at Pahalgam, Kargil, Alchi each before reaching Leh on 14th. Does this provides me enough time to adjust to the altitude there.
    • Is it safe to stay overnight at Pangong Lake. As it is at an altitude of over 14K ft I am a bit worried if we would be able to the same. I am sure it would also be extremely cold at night over there.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Hello Nikunj,

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

      2. It may be open or may not be open. Chances are 60:40 as generaly by first week of May it does get open.

      3. Yes, very much.

      4. It depends how well have you acclimatized. Usually, after couple of nights at Leh and Nubra Valley, people cope up with night halt at Pangong Tso. In your case too, I feel should be fine.

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

      • Nikunj Shah says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj for your response.

      • manish k sethi says:

        dear dhiraj ji
        we group of 6 persons planing to travel manali to ladakh (7-8 days) plz suggest itinerary and we are planning to visit in last week of may so will it be feasible to travel manali to leh in May.

        • Manish, if you have 7 – 8 days just for road trip to Ladakh then I am afraid it will not be feasible. Also, in May, Manali – Leh Highway is unlikely to be closed.

  108. Sanjiv says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    We are planning 2 weeks trip from Mumbai to Leh-Shrinagar-Gulmarg between May 5 to 18,2013.We are four in the family.Request you to suggest us the best itenary,approximate cost of hirring vechile and hotels serving veg food. Will Leh-Shrinagar highway be open by this time.

    Regards
    sanjiv

    • Hello Sanjiv,

      Most likely the Srinagar – Leh Highway should open by that time of the year. Will you be flying back from Leh? Or will you be coming to Srinagar back from Leh and then may be would like to fly from Srinagar to Mumbai? Let me know and I will suggest the itinerary accordingly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sanjiv says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your response.As regards my flying back to Mumbai,I am open to both the option i.e. either from Leh or Srinagar whichever you advise is best. Request you advise me the itinerary which is best.
        Also should I do the hotel bookings in advance or do on the spot on reaching the destinations ( as per your itinerary), which option will be economical. Please advise the hotel details also at these locations.
        regards
        sanjiv

        • Sanjiv says:

          Dear Dheeraj,

          I refer to my request of Feb 11 & 15,2013 seeking your advise for our Leh-Srinagar trip in May’13. Request your revert to enable us do our bookings accordingly.
          regards
          sanjiv

        • Dear Sanjiv,

          You have about 14 days and yo umight like to follow the below itinerary:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar
          – Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
          – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
          – Overnight at Srinagar

          Day 2 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
          Day 3 | Pahalgam – Srinagar
          Day 4 | Srinagar – Gulmarg – Sonamarg
          Day 5 | 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 6 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 7 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
          – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 8 | 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 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 12 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 13 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 14 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
          – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
          – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          – Overnight at Leh

          I hope this helps. Sorry for delay, I missed out on your query earlier.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Sanjiv says:

          Dear Dheeraj,

          Many thanks for your quick response of Feb 26, 2013 giving itinerary for Leh-Srinagar trip. I had also asked your advise on should I do the hotel bookings in advance or do on the spot on reaching the destinations ( as per your itinerary), which option will be economical. Please advise the hotel details also at these locations.
          Request your advise on above also.
          regards
          sanjiv

        • It depends on your choice. If you do not plan to stay at any specific hotel and if you are OK with searching the place a bit after seeing the room conditions once reaching the place, then I guess you could save some good amount of money too on the hotel bookings. Secondly, it provides you with more and more flexibility in terms of dates you reach on a particular place and allow you any last minutes changes. In places like Ladakh where road conditions are uncertain enough to force a change in plan, the flexibility always top the list.

          Finding a place is not that difficult in Leh and your taxi will be able to help you through. Keep this list handy with you: A preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  109. sandeep says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning a 8-10 day Road trip from Delhi – Srinagar – Leh -Manali – Delhi in last week of May. Will Leh- Manali be open by then fro the return leg of the journey? My friend is planning to take along his kids who are 3 & 4 year old, is that safe? will appreciate if you can suggest an itinerary.

    Cheers

  110. kaushik says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are a group of 10 people travelling from Bangalore. We plan to arrive in srinagar on June 1st 2013 and start the same day. We are planning to rent an SUV for 4 ppl and the remaining 6 will ride to LEH. We will take SRINAGAR-LEH highway and exit from LEH-MANALI highway. Our plan is for about 14 days. Can you please let me know the following:
    What are the options to rent a car ?
    What is the cost and is it better to go for a taxi or rent a car ?
    We plan to put all our luggage in the SUV so that we can ride on our bikes freely and just have the basic stuff in the saddle bags, do you think this is a good idea ??
    We plan to have the bikes in the front and the car at the back in case of an emergency .

    • Hello Kaushik,

      1. If you are talking about self drive, then sorry, you will not get that on hire neither in Srinagar nor in Manali.
      2. Taxi will cost you about 12-13 K with overnight halt at Kargil
      3. Will work nicely brother and help you travel/ride light. Plus will give you an advantage of backup vehicle as well.

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

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

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • kaushik says:

      Hi Dheeraj,
      Thank you so much for your quick response and really appreciate it and your blog is awesome :-), in fact I am so happy i found one of this kind that i have don’t have to think too much, i can just ask you suggestions and make my decisions accordingly.

      Warm Regards,
      kaushik

  111. Shivakumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    we are group of 6-7 guys planning for bike(rented bike) trip to Leh in July.
    We are planning to start from Chandigarh-Manali-Leh-Kargil-Srinagar but dont want to drive back to Chandigarh.
    Are there any options to take bike from Delhi/Chandigarh and leave it in Srinagar :) :)

    Thanks,
    Shiva

    • Hi Shivakumar,

      Nopes, you might not be able to leave it in Srinagar but yes there will be options a bit costly, which will allow you to take bike either from Leh and drop at Manali or take bike from Manali and drop at Leh. If you are planning to ride in this way I will suggest that you go via Srinagar side and come back via Manali side as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Shivakumar says:

        Thanks Dheeraj for your reply.

        Actually we thought for Srinagar-Leh but due to some reasons we are planning from
        Chandigarh-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Chandigarh.

        Can you please provide a itinerary for this route.
        We can spend around 14-15 days.

        is July-midweeks are fine to go by bike ?

        Thanks in Advance.

        Regards,
        Shiva

        • Shivakumar says:

          Dheeraj,
          i would like to know the places to see in between Srinagar – Chandigarh.

          Regards,
          Shiva

        • Nothing much but may be Patnitop in place of Jammu and then last day Patnitop to Delhi/Chandigarh as per the below itinerary.

        • Hello Shivakumar,

          In that case follow the itinerary below:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley
          – Better stay at Solang Valley and avoid Manali as sleeping at Solang Valley does help in acclimatization
          – If going by own car, get the permit made in advance to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road through hotel/travel agent in Manali
          – Overnight at Manali/Solang Valley

          Day 2 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
          – It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
          – Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
          – I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
          – Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

          Day 3 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
          – Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
          – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

          Day 6 | 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 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 8 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 9 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 10 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
          – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
          – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 11 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
          – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          – Overnight at Kargil

          Day 12 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
          – Enjoy the vistas enroute
          – Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
          – Overnight at Srinagar

          Day 13 | Srinagar – Jammu
          – Overnight at Jammu

          Day 14 | Jammu – Delhi
          – Back Home

          Day 15 + 16 | 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.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • shivakumar says:

          Thanks a lot for providing itinerary.

          I will check and get back to you for more information.

          Regards,
          Shiva

        • shivakumar says:

          Hi Dheeraj,
          Do you have any contacts for hiring bikes from Chandigarh.
          It would be great help as its bit difficult to find out in chandigarh.

          Thanks
          Shiva

        • Sorry on this front brother, no contacts.

        • shivakumar says:

          Dheeraj,

          Is July month is best time to visit Leh by bike.

          Thanks In Advance.

          Regards,
          Shiva

        • It is always nice to plan your journey in last 10 days of June or first 2-3 weeks of July when you can find ample of snow on roads and roads will be open by that time from both Srinagar as well as Manali side to Leh – Ladakh. However, please keep in mind that road conditions hardly improve on Manali – Leh road and remains almost quite challenging + adventurous all throughout the season. It improves slightly towards the end of season that is September or October first week but by that time snow is all gone and risk of road closure increases. So, you need to be prepared for all the adventure that Manali – Leh Highway offers a traveller in the month of June – July and situation worsens when monsoon comes in late July, August and early September now a days. So IMHO, overall whatever best window you will get so that you avoid monsoons, see ample of snow and roads are open for you will be like 15th June – 20th July window.
          If you want to see beautiful colours of Ladakh then second half/late of September is THE best time to visit Leh – Ladakh when these colours are oozing and burning out vividly and of course, the road conditions does get better in late September type when rains reside the region completely. It is my favorite time to visit Leh – Ladakh region and yeah, tourists head count all dips a bit in late in the season.

  112. Nikhil says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 6 males aged around 25 yrs planning to visit Leh in August 2013. He is our travel detail:
    Leaving B’lore on 11th August and will reach Srinagar at 1:30 PM. We want to go to Leh by Road. Some suggested that vehicles to Leh will start early morning only so wen cannot start our journey to Leh on 11th.

    Kindly suggest what type of vehicles would be available for us and how much will it cost? And since all the vehicles halt at Kargil what would be the accommodation cost??

    Also I guess we reach Leh on 13th and we have to get time to acclimatize and also I guess we need to get some permission from magistrate or DC as we want to roam around Leh on bikes. We are thinking to hire bikes in Leh. So 14th August also we cannot do much.

    Now our trip will actually start from 15th August. Our return flight to B’lore is from Leh on 21st August. Kindly plan an itinerary for us from 15th August to 20th August in Leh.

    Regards
    Nikhil

    • Yunus says:

      hey nick
      I think u should keep some uncertainties. That’s where d fun lies. Discovering it yourself rather than following someone’s itinerary

    • Hi Nikhil,

      Very true, you will be reaching Srinagar at 1.30 PM, so better not to venture any where else rather enjoy Srinagar and start journey next day. You have about 7 days in Leh – Ladakh only and you can follow the following itinerary starting 14th August:

      Day 1 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 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

      Day 6 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 7 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

      You can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 600 to Rs 1200. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

      For doubts related to budget for Leh – Ladakh trip, I am sure the link below will help you alot for getting an idea of overall budget:
      How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
      Still, in case you have any doubt, kindly let me know.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  113. Bipin says:

    Hi, Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 7 People (5 Adults, 2 Kids (10 & 12 years) r planning to Kalka – shimla – Manali – leh – Srinagar – Jammu
    in Mid may (starting from 13th May from Kalka).

    Pls advise about , transport and hotels

    • kishore nair says:

      Hi Bipin

      We were planning to be in Ladhka in May – but were advised to travel by air to Leh from Mumbai. But still, since the roads would not be open till june, thre will be very few workers to run the dhabas, taxis and other service areas. So, my view is to be there after the roads open.

    • Bipin, in May Manali – Leh Highway very likely be closed at that time of the year. Do you still want to make a trip?

      • kishore nair says:

        Hi Dheeraj. Our current plan takes us to Jammu from Mumbai by train. Then, Can we drive from Jammu to Leh – where would we halt for a night? Our schedule is 15th June and return to Mumbai via leh>Manali on 1st July. Will we be hitting per-monsoon at that time? Please advise. Regards, Kishore

        • Hi Kishore,

          For Jammu to Leh by road, first night you will halt at Srinagar and next night at Kargil. Yes, it is before monsoon period only. 15 days is good enough to undertake this trip.

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

          For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

          Regards
          dheeraj

  114. Sameer Ahmed says:

    Hi,

    Dear Dheeraj,

    I am planning to 5 night visit to Srinagar via flight from Delhi in the month of March 4th Week, It would be possible to reach Leh via Road from srinagar during this season

    • Hi Sameer,

      At that time of the year, the roads to Ladakh both Srinagar – Leh Highway as well as Manali – Leh Highway remain closed. So, you will not be able to make a journey by road to Leh in April. If you are lucky enough Srinagar – Leh might get open in the last week but usually it is mid may that is safe bet for it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sai says:

        Hi Dheeraj

        I am planning to go to Leh via srinagar, by road, around 20th May this year. Do you think the road would be open by then? Also I would travelling with my wife and 9 year old daughter. Is it safe to take a taxi and go on those lonely roads ?

        • Hello Sai,

          Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open by then, so no issues on that front. Manali – Leh Highway might have a slim chance of opening towards they end of your trip. Ladakh is one of the safest places in India at least as far as human crimes are concerned I have ever been, people are always there to lend you a helping hand where ever possible and always greet you with a lovely smile… So, I feel you should not have any issues on that front.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  115. ram says:

    hello Dheeraj,
    am Ram from Kerala, we are 4 ppl are palnning to visit Srinagar on this May 17 – 26 (10 Days). We would like to go through this route = Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Delhi. And we have no idea how can we go this route, and the places to visit. can u please guide me?

    • Hi Ram,

      For 10 days, you can follow the below itinerary:

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

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

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

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

      Day 5 | Leh Local 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 – Leh
      – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      – 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 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      – Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – 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 9 | 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 10 | Manali – Delhi

      Hope this helps, let me know in case of any further queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  116. Kanti Patel says:

    Thank a lot Dheeraj for such a nice information. I am planning for leh and ladakh during Amarnath yatra from Sonmarg, kindly guide me.

    • Hello Kanti,

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  117. radha says:

    I am planning to go from srinagar to leh via road route on 25th May 2013. Will this time be okay? Can I go with my 4 year old daughter?

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

      I will suggest do take advice from your pediatric doctor as well.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  118. Rolf says:

    Wonderful blog, Dheeraj! Besides AMS, what risks and challenges, if any, might two Canadian tourists (male 62 and female 45) face on spiritual trip to Hemis Monastery, Leh, and Srinagar for about 7-10 days in late Aug or early Sep 2013? Where are foreigners not allowed? Thank you.

    • Hi Rolf,

      Thanks alot. Since, you are going via Srinagar side, you might not face much issues. Just try go slow and steady, may be it is ind of Spiritual trip, so try staying at Alchi before finally arriving at Leh. I do not see any specific issue around it excluding the monsoon time of late August. You might be facing some furious rains on the way to Leh from Srinagar but those shall fade away as you get closer to Ladakh, being rain shadow region.

      Foreigners are allowed to do the basic routes in Ladakh that is Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso, Dha-Hanu,Nubra Valley but not beyond there or any other unconventional route connecting these places. So, if you are targeting them then you will be able to visit it.

      Also, You are just 2 and private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are :)

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you need any further info. or have any doubt.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  119. Matt says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to travel at the begining of June from Manali to Kishtwar via Udaipur and Killar, then onto Leh to do the usual sightseeing.

    My question is, is this route possible so early in the year?

    Many thanks,
    Matt.

  120. ravi says:

    hi dheeraj…i and my friend had gone to ladakh this year in august…it was wonderful..we covered pangong tso and nubra valley in 9 days…we are again planning to go there this summer (2013)…thought this time, we would like to explore this place you had been to this year(2012)…there is this valley you had been to that is accessible via kargil…can you please share the itinary for the same with me…and about how to plan the trip and what all to expect..that would be really greatful.
    cheers

    • Hi Ravi,

      I had been to both Ladakh – Changthang region and Zanskar Valley. Which one would you like to know about?

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

      • ravi says:

        hi Dheeraj,

        i was interested in knowing the preparations required to visit both these places…we plan to go there this march-april..please also advise me if 10-12 days are enough to cover both the places or we need extra time.
        cheers

  121. Ankur Jainjaib says:

    hi dheeraj
    I really need Ur help.actually we r 7 frnds planning to leh in December last.first we have to go to Jammu by train and then go to vaishno devi and then we r thinking to hire a taxi frm srinagar for leh.bt we hav to come to Delhi in maximum 6 days.and we hav to do it.so plzzz help us to plan our trip.and we can’t cancel any of Jammu srinagar or leh..and we hav to come back to Delhi by train.coz we can’t afford flight tickets.

  122. Hi Dheeraj,
    The first three weeks of september 2013 we are planning to cycle the Srinagar-Leh-Manali route. We are a group of 8 Dutch cyclists and maybe you can help us on the following matters:
    1. what to bring for clothing & sleeping bag/what to expect to low temperatures
    2. the airport Kullu-Bhuntar seems closed, could that be temporary?
    3. what is the best way to arrange transport for us and our 8 bicycles from Manali to Delhi
    4. water: what to expect on the route; we carry waterfilters, is that doable, or do we buy water in bottles/from tap; and are there enough watertaps for cyclists (we cycle 60-80km per day)
    5. can we buy Diamox in Srinagar
    6. is there always enough room for a group of 8 people in the accommodations on this route; we could take our own tents, but probably that would be too much.
    It would be great if you could help us on one of these matters.
    By the way: keep up the good job; hats off for all the hard work you put in this site!

    Jim van den Berg, Rotterdam, Netherlands

    • Hello Jim,

      Please find my replies below:

      1. In September, first half the rains does prevails due to delayed monsoons for the last few years. So, carry a rain gear for sure. Then, for sleeping bags – yes. It helps you to stay even in tents without much biting cold. In then second half of the September the day times are pleasant and sometimes a bit hot too but nights get cold. Much colder and close to sub zero sometimes on Manali – Leh Highway almost majority of it as it runs over 14K altitude mostly.

      2. I guess yes, but do not rely too much on it. Sometimes due to lack of flights it works like that only and in winters guess it closes though I am not 100% sure on this fact. It all depends upon availability of flights.

      3. Hire a private tempo traveler I will say. It will be most apt and comfortable too and accommodate all of you in one vehicle only.

      4. Yes, very much doable with water filters. Else there are mineral water bottle available almost throughout the routes over tea shacks or dhabhas or sops. Will say avoid taps once you are away from Trans Himalayan region though personally I never faced any water issue, may be being native to India and used to water here.

      5. I guess, it will be available in Srinagar. But, I think going via Srinagar will help you very much in acclimatization and you might not need its dosage.

      6. I will say avoid tents and travel light. You will find plenty of accommodation options and in September tourist number also drops, so unless it is any festival in town you will be able to find it easily.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

      For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks for your quick reply, this information will certainly help us.
        I was also thinking of an alternative out of Leh, which is Leh-Taktok-Tangtse-Merak-Chushul-Mahe-Korzok-Tso Kar-Rumtse-Leh.
        Is that possible for foreigners, and if so, can we find sufficient accommodations?
        Jim

        • Hello Jim,

          Nopes, you will not be able track that route. Foreigners are not allowed on that circuit of Inner Line of Control. Max. you can go to Pangong Tso is at Man-Merak check-post from where you will have to return to Leh. But, yes once you return to Leh, then you can go over to Tso Moriri and from there via Tso Kar exit towards Manali – Leh Highway.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Jim says:

          Thanks for the detailed answer, really helpful.
          Now I’m facing the following choice. First I thought of cycling Leh – Manali, but now I’m thinking of the route Leh – Pangsong – Shyok – Kardung-Leh. Looking even more tempting. What would you advise?

        • Hello Jim,

          Well, Leh – Manali journey cannot be compared with anything like one cannot compare Ladakh with anything ;) … So, if you happen to take only one of the two route I will strongly suggest you to go for Manali – Leh Highway and you will remember the journey for a long long time :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Thanks for the detailed answer, really helpful.
          Now I’m facing the following choice. First I thought of cycling Leh – Manali, but now I’m thinking of the route Leh – Pangong Tso – Shyok – Kardung-Leh. Looking even more tempting, but maybe we need a tent for 1 or 2 nights between Durbuk-Shyok-Diskit. What would you advise?

    • Neha says:

      HI Dheeraj,

      We are 9 people (in our late 20s and early 30s) planning for a road trip Delhi – Srinagar-Leh-Manali- Delhi. How feasible is this for a 9 day schedule ? Could you suggest a travel itenary for a 9 day Leh road trip ?

      • Neha says:

        Just forgot to mention, we are planning this trip in the first week of June 2013

      • Hello Neha,

        Very difficult for a 9 day trip unless you are only interested in Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highay but not in Ladakh. Best you can do for 9 day trip is:

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

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

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

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

        Day 5 | Leh Local 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 – Leh
        – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
        – 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

        OR

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

        Day 7 | Leh – Taglang La – 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 8 | 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 9 | Manali – Delhi

        I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you have any query or doubt.

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  123. karamjeet says:

    hii sir
    i m planing to go leh ths summer in my ford figo via srinagar….ths will be the first time i vl drive on such a route …plz suggest me some imprtant points to while i go on trip….

    • Hello Karamjeet,

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  124. Indranath says:

    Last July i visited Leh and took the same route. Srinagar to Leh while going and Leh – Manali while coming back……

    It was a wonderful experiance…

  125. ASHU says:

    Hi dheeraj,kindly suggest me the best Itinerary For leh ladakh (Srinagar-Leh-Manali-delhi) bike trip for 20 days,covering (Gurudwara{pathar sahib},lamayuru,sarchu,magnetic hill,tso moriri lake,pangong tso lake,nimmu,kargil,gulmarg,sonmarg,spiti valley and some good monesteries,etc. And pls share stay accomodaion also with ur suggested Itinerary.im planning to go in june or july 2013. kindly share the best Itinerary.

    • Hi Ashu,

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh. You can include a 2 day trip to Dha Hanu Villages and 1 day trip to Sham Valley. Keep 2 days as buffer for Manali – Leh Highway

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

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

      For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  126. ASHISH SHARMA says:

    hi dheeraj, will u suggest any map , for leh ladakh bike trip (15-20 days) ? and which camera will u prefer for this trip ?

    • Hi Ashish,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      Well, it depends how much you know about photography. Otherwise, anything that can click will do a good job for you in Ladakh.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  127. Suman Chanda says:

    Hu Dheeraj Bhai

    As you knew I had to go Leh ladakh trip in september,2012 but due to acute illness of father-in-law I failed to go and cancelled my tickets and dream plan. Again hoping to go in early 2013. Suggest 13days plan( including GULMARG, NUBRA, PANGONG,MANALI MUST). I will start from Srinagar-leh road as this is your suggested road. I want to go Gulmarg also, please suggest when i will go and when i can see heavy snow without road block etc. You are requested to give total plan for me and my wife.

  128. ASHU SHARMA says:

    hi dheeraj,PLease suggest the best Itinerary for leh ladakh trip (15-20) by bike .

    • ASHU SHARMA says:

      hi dheeraj, please ignore previous comment,Basicly im belong from Udaipur (Rajasthan),Please suggest the best Itinerary for leh ladakh trip (15-20 days) by bike from Udaipur (Rajasthan) .

      • Hello Ashu,

        Considering a 2 day buffer and 3 day to-from from Delhi – Ahmadabad, I feel You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

        For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

        I hope that helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have some queries or doubts.

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  129. ASHISH says:

    hi dheeraj,can u suggest the best Itinerary for leh ladakh trip (20-25 days) via bike .including sri nagar,manali and any other good location.

    • Hello Ashish,

      For 20-25 days I will suggest you follow something 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
      – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 3 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
      – Overnight at Pahalgam

      Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
      – Overnight at Gulmarg

      Day 5 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
      – Overnight at Sonamarg

      Day 6 | 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 Nimmu
      – 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

      Day 9 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Turtuk
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – enjoy the culture in the Turtuk Village
      – do mention Turtuk on the permits

      Day 10 | Turtuk – Hunder
      – Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
      – Overnight at Hunder

      Day 11 | Hunder – Deskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur/Kyagar
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
      – Enjoy drive upto Panamik, visit Yarab Tso Lake and back to overnight stay at Kyagar or Tiger or Sumur
      – Enjoy walks in Hunder, Deskit, Sumur villages for the last 3 days

      Day 12 | Sumur/Kyagar – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 13 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 14 | Leh – sham Valley
      – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      – Overnight at Alchi

      Day 15 | Alchi – Dha/Hanu Villages
      – Do mention Dha Hanu Villages on the permits
      – Enjoy the local culture at Dha Hanu Villages

      Day 16 | Dha/Hanu – Leh
      – Overnight at Leh
      – Enjoy local Leh

      Day 17 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)

      Day 18 | Pangong Tso Lake – Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga – Tsaga Village – Loma – Hanle
      – Mention all the places of this route as mentioned above on the permits and Nyoma as well
      – Overnight at Hanle

      Day 19 | Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Korzok / Tso Moriri Lake OR Hanle – Chumur – Tso Moriri Lake
      – Overnight at Tso Moriri lake

      Day 20 | 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 21 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
      – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      – Overnight at Jispa

      Day 22 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      – Overnight at Manali

      Day 23 | Manali – Delhi
      – Return home

      Day 24 + 25 | Buffer Day

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • haritha says:

      planning a trip to srinagar, gulmarg, sonamarg from 11/Nov to 15/nov.

      q#1:is it a good time to travel?
      q#2: planing to leave delhi by innova with my family ( husband, 2 children – 6yr son, 2yr daugther). how long the travel would be?
      q#3should we stay overnight somewhere?
      q#4is it safe to go by Innove or take any Volvo bus?
      q#5: any idea on tour operators who operate good volvo buses?
      q#6:or best would be travel by
      flight?
      q#6: what’s the best route to take?
      q#7: any other place to cover during the enroute?
      q#8: what precautions to be taken for my children if we decide to travel by Innova?

      pls advise. your inputs will greatly help for better planning and enjoying the trip

  130. ASHISH says:

    hi dheeraj,can u suggest the best Itinerary for leh ladakh trip via bike .

  131. kishore nair says:

    Dear Dheeraj

    I am palanning to be in Leh from 2nd May 2013. Are the Srinagar>Leh>Manali road open at that time?

    If no, then I will fly Mumbai>Delhi>Leh. But again, will I able to travel to Nubra Valley, Kargil, Ladakh in the first week of May? I mean, will the roads be open?

    I understand that JKTDC buses operate from SRinagar to Leh to Nubra?
    What could be the temperature?
    Regards

    Kishore Nair from Mumbai

    • Hello Kishore,

      50-50 Chances of opening of Srinagar – Leh Highway and very least almost NIL chances of opening Manali – Leh Highway. A lot depends upon how much it snows this year. You can visit all other places within Ladakh anyways including Kargil, Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley. I was there in the last week of April this year only and you can check my experience details in the Travel Tales section of the blog and see how it looks like in April last or May first week: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/my-never-ending-journey-ladakh-2012/

      Temperatures will be cold and very cold at night and it is just the onset of season in Ladakh so do not expect too much in terms of food quality but still there will be very decent food options in first week of May. There might be spells of snowfall as well.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • kishore nair says:

        That was prompt. Thanks Dheeraj.

        OK, I will fly into Leh on the 2nd of May. But will the road from Leh to Ladakh be open at that time? I mean, will i miss any place in Leh and Ladakh by visiting in the first fourteen days of May 2013 due to roads?

        Regards, Kishore

        • Hi Kishore,

          Leh is the captial town of Ladakh district, so even if you visit Leh you are in Ladakh itself. For rest of the places, most of the routes are functional throughout the year but yes, it might close down due to heavy snowfall at any pass on a particular day and if that happens to be the day of your travel then it is your luck :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • kishore nair says:

        I did visit this: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/my-never-ending-journey-ladakh-2012/ AWESOME!!!!

        Just need your info on ‘whether we will miss any place by visiting Leh and Ladkah during May 2nd to May 14th due to weather?

  132. SHELLEY says:

    hi. I am reaching leh by air on 12th sept and leaving from srinagar on 19th Sept. Can you pl. suggest me the places what we can visit during this period. As I m keen for Leh Srinagar by road.

    • Hi Shelly,

      You have about 8 days for the trip and you may like to 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
      – 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 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
       
      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 5 | Leh – 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 6 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

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

      Day 8 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Would have been much better if you did this trip in opposite direction.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  133. Akshit says:

    HI Dheeraj !!!
    Thanks for such a valuable advise and being done the Ladakh trip in the 2nd consecutive year , i do agree and appreciate your suggestions , as far as being wid family is concerned and time schedule of including tso morori is concerned .
    However i have personally done the trip in the reverse order , i.e. while going Manali-Leh (NH-21)and while returning Leh-Srinagar(NH-1D). The reason being , we did the bikers trips without any time constraints . The reason for doing so was that Malai-Leh highway is more tough and pictursque with the landscapes and topograpies like nowhere in India , so doing that early with full enthu and excitement is also a good option but a bit risky as on day 2 its really difficult as the altitude increases . But doing that and after covering Leh-Ladakh-Nubra -Shok valleys when we descend on Srinagar highway its a sign of relief after crossing Zozila pass and entering Sonmarg and finally reaching Srinagar is a perfect end to the trip , provided u are comfortable and not wid families ..
    Thanks again Dheeraj for your views .

    • Akshit, truly said brother. It is very important to understand and prioritize what you are upto and then decide which Highway to take. For adventure seekers, taking a chance is the only option and yes, Manali – Leh beauty is completely unmatched to anything, anywhere!! It is much better if one takes Spiti Valley side and goes to Manali – Leh Highway and finally to Leh but number of days is a concern here. So, if no issues with number of days this is the best road tripone can under take in life :D

      Thanks for sharing the views brother.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  134. Maria says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning on flying into Srinagar and going on the route you recommend. We need to make an extra stop at Shimla however, at what point should we include this? If budget is no limit, what car/four wheel drive would you recommend as a rental (with driver) for driving through these routes?
    We would rather not travel in the midst of winter but the melting snow/ice could pose problems during the summer. What month is the best time to travel to these places? Thanks for posting this great guide!

    • Hello Maria,

      Late September (third/fourth) week type is good time to travel to Leh – Ladakh, as you get to see some magnificent colors. You can hire any Xylo or Scorpio, which would do just fine on this terrain and loads of them are available. However, You will need three taxis for the whole trip. for a drop from Srinagar to Leh, then within Leh and other sightseeing in Ladakh along with drop to Manali and finally one for Manali to Shimla.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Jaisingh says:

      I am traveling on this route in a couple of days

      • abhishek says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Please let me know if going to Leh in 3rd or 4th week of september is fine in an Innova.

        Regards,
        Abhishek

        • abhishek says:

          Also will it be fine to hire a taxi from delhi with a private number or hiring a taxi in leh is a must??

        • Taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them from drop-in and take-away modes only. So, the taxi you are hiring locally must have private number plate otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it.

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

          Sorry for the delayed reply.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Yes Abhishek, it is perfectly fine to travel at that time of the year. You will see some amazing colors of Ladakh at that time.

          Sorry for the delayed reply.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • All the best for your trip.

        Regards
        Dheeraj

  135. subodh says:

    Hello there,

    Seems like you are really helpful. I need your assistance as much as possible as I have planned a clueless plan to visit these places. Heres my plan, ME and my frnds fly frm Dubai to Srinagar on 1st of sep. roam n stay in Srinagar on 2nd.

    Late night or early morning of 3rd we start frm sringar to Leh. This is where I need your help. Shall we take a cab ! how long is the journey ! and whats the best way to plan from 3rd to 8th !

    on 8th we plan to move early in the morning to haridwar and reach haridwar on 8th eve and stay there for 2 days.

    on 11th early morning, planning to move frm haridwar to agra and stay in agra on 12th.

    13th flight back to dubai frm delhi .

    I know its confusing , beleive me we need your help in sorting it out. cheers ;)

    • Hi Subodh,

      Well, buddy you have just 3 days in between for Leh – Ladakh!! I do not think it is worth going there for just 2-3 days. But, anyways you can follow the below plan:

      3rd Sept | Srinagar to Kargil (hire a taxi to Leh from Srinagar Taxi stand)
      4th Sept | Kargil to Leh

      5th Sept | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits (6th August)
      – 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

      6th Sept | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Leh
      -– Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      -– 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

      7th Sept | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      –- Day trip to Pangong Tso
      –- Overnight at Leh

      8th Sept | Early morning flight to Delhi from Leh and then by road to Haridwar

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  136. Inzanemelodies says:

    Hi Dheeraj, I see that you are an experienced who can wisely guide travellers.i am from bangalore and plan for a trip to ladakh from sep1 to sep13. do you have any suggestions for our itenary? is it a good time?

    • Hi Inzane,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Inzanemelodies says:

        Thank you for the quick response Dheeraj. Whether September is a good time for visiting? Correct me if I am wrong with my plan. I am planning to drive my car.
        Sep 1 Saturday
        Bangalore to Delhi

        Sep 2 Sunday
        Delhi (stay)

        Sep 3 Monday
        Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil (stay)

        Sep 4 Tuesday
        Lamayuru – Leh (stay)

        Sep 5 Tuesday
        In Leh – Get the permit along with some sight seeing (I saw tuesday is a holiday so can I get the permit one day early

        via some agents or through hotel? Will I be loosing a day due to this?

        Sep 6 Wednesday
        Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder (stay)

        Sep 7 Thursday
        Diskit – Khardung La – Leh (stay)

        Sep 8 Friday
        Pangong Tso Lake (stay at Spangmik or Lukung)

        Sep 9 Saturday
        Leh (tour to Sham valley) – Tso Moriri via Chumathang (stay)

        Sep 10 Sunday
        Tso Kar – Debring – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu (stay)

        Sep 11 Monday
        Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – manali

        Sep 12 Tuesday
        Delhi

        Sep 13
        Bangalore

        If I need to reduce a day, then which will be better to opt out of these places?

        • Hi Sanju,

          1. You cannot reach Srinagar in one day unless you are flying in.
          2. Sep 8 = You need to make a day trip to Pangong Tso from Leh. You cannot stay overnight at Spangmik or Lukung.
          3. Sep 9 = You cannot do Sham Valley and plus you need to carry fuel for about 550 KMs for Tso Moriri + Manali Leh Highway.

          So, summarizing, the rest day you planning in Delhi, you have to be in Jammu/Patnitop to reach Srinagar on Sep 2. To reduce a day you will have to skip Tso Moriri. Yes, get the permits in advance if it is a holiday at DC office, through some travel agent or hote guys.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  137. Mohit says:

    Hi all,
    Based on the inputs of this post and the comments, we planned and executed our trip to Leh successfully in my Beat Diesel. The entire stretch from Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Delhi.
    No photograph or video can show what you are in for.
    We crossed Zozila, Fotula, Changla, Khardungla, Tanglangla, Barchalala easily, but Rohtang Pass was risky, as the roads were very muddy and slippery, and there was a huge traffic jam, and we had to drive after dark.
    Overall 9 days and 10 nights of thrill and awe.
    Loved offroading on More Plains on Leh-Sarchu route, and how it dramatically ends. Perfect.

    Special thanks to Dheeraj!

  138. Viks says:

    Hey Dheeraj,
    We are about 4 guys, travelling to Srinagar on 25th August’12. Want to take D1 to Leh. Need your help in getting bikes in Srinagar. (Hard to find any over the net)Do you know of any, where we can rent from ? Any tips about biking? 100cc bikes will do – unless suggested otherwise. Please let me know.

    Thanks again for you suggestion.

    Cheers,
    Viks.

    • Hello Viks,

      You will not find bikes in Srinagar for rent AFAIK. Best option is to travel Srinagar – Leh by taxi shared or private and then hire bikes in Leh. You can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 600 to Rs 1200. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  139. Yash says:

    Hi dheeraj, I am thinking of flying to Leh for a trip of 5 days only. I will be accompanied by my wife and a 2 yr old daughter. You have mostly discussed about the road route. How about flying to Leh from Delhi? Is it ok for a 2 yr old? What would be the best travel itenerary?
    P.S – your blog has some fantastic insights. Kudos!!!

    • Hello Yash,

      For 5 days, you would have to fly in and out of Leh only as you cannot make the road journey in 5 days. Still, I feel the number of days are short but, you might like to 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:
      – 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 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  140. arunava says:

    Hi Dheeraj, Can u please suggest any hotels in Kargil?

    Thanks a lot

  141. Saurabh Arora says:

    hii dheeraj,
    we are planning to hire Xylo from delhi, n we have 9 days at our dosposal. After going thru ur various posts, we are thinking to go via srinagar n return via manali. cud u help us in making a itinerary so that we can take out maximum of our time.

    • Hello Saurabh,

      9 days would be tough, make it 10 days buddy. For 10 days you can follow a 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
      – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      – Overnight at Srinagar

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

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

      Day 5 | Leh Local 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 – Leh
      – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      – 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 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      – Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – 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 9 | 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 10 | Manali – Delhi
      - Back home

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  142. Vivek Vijay says:

    Hi Dheeraj!

    The inputs provided by you are very helpful. We are planning a trip arnd 10th August. how is the weather at that time? any concerns to travel at that time?

    • Hello Vivek,

      At some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains, though rains does reach Ladakh now but to minimum and mostly it might remains overcast conditions. There is no thumb rule of certainity about weather conditions but above is generally common pictures seen over last few years except ugly 2010 …

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  143. Paresh says:

    hello Dheeraj,

    V 6 of us r planning for leh ladakh trip via Manali for 10 days.I need ur help for d same,.firstly is 10 days sufficient or v shld extend.

    2idLy,v wanna go by public transport by takin halts @ keylong n sarchu n proceed further.

    3rdly is thr arrangement for hiring , bicycle or motor cycle in leh 4 site seeing.

    Plz kindly help me thanx :)

    Paresh

    • Hello Paresh,

      Avoid sleeping at Sarchu or Pang at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there. It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you minimize the chances for falling sick or hit by AMS while going to Leh from Manali. And, then next day carry on the rest of the journey to Leh without sleeping in between anywhere by leaving early in the morning say, by 4-5 AM types. I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa. If you are coming back via Manali – Leh, then it should be OK to stay at Sarchu as your body will be acclimatized by that time.

      Opt for the schedule of HPTDC bus service for Manali – Leh Highway.

      If you can add a day or two, then it will be much more less hectic and yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 600 to Rs 1200.

      Do you need a plan for 11-12 days?

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  144. ashwin says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Need some tips or input for making a planned ladakh visit.

    we(6 members) booked tickets from bangalore to delhi, will reach delhi by 12PM on july 14th, will be back to bangalore on july 22nd. almost 8 day trip. Planning to hire a cab from delhi. can u suggest the best route with in this period also best places for night stay and visit in this duration.

    Thank You.

    Rgds,

    Ashwin

    • Hi Ashwin,

      8 days are too short for a road trip to Ladakh, buddy :( … Least you can plan is of 9 days and that too taking chances with AMS by traveling on Manali – Leh highway. For 9 days you might like to follow the below itinerary:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley
      – Better stay at Solang Valley and avoid Manali as sleeping at Solang Valley does help in acclimatization
      – If going by own car, get the permit made in advance to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road through hotel/travel agent in Manali
      – Overnight at Manali/Solang Valley

      Day 2 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
      – It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
      – Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
      – I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
      – Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

      Day 3 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      – Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | 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 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Leh
      – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

      Day 7 | Leh – Taglang La – 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 8 | 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 9 | Manali – Delhi
      – Reach back home

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • ashwin says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        We are planning to hire a cab from delhi(thinking of scorpio,any suggestion for modification of vehicle) can i expect that they will be having the permits whihc you mentioned. Also please let me know whether these cabs are allowed for sightseeing at leh, also if you know any best cabs details from delhi -ladkah , please let me know.Also If yo have details of any good hotels please share the info.

        Thank You.

        Rgds,

        Ashwin

        • Hi Ashwin,

          You need to arrange all the permits yourself and no modification are required, just a good driver :) … Taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them from drop-in and take-away modes only. So, the taxi you are hiring locally must have private number plate otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it.

          For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • ashwin says:

          Hi Dheeraj,
          Thanks for the info ..
          Is it possible to check the weather information for next week, if so please let me know…
          Could you please tell me where we have to take the permits….

        • Hello Ashwin,

          For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

          You can check Leh weather at this website: http://yr.no

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • Abhai says:

      you have awesome data on travel to Srinagar – leh – Manali. I was planning a trip via Manali, now have change it via Srinager – Leh – Manali Delhi. i plan to travel in my petrol ford fiesta with my wife and i have 14 days at my disposal from Aug 25th…can u please suggest a plan?

      • Hello Abhai,

        Thanks alot for liking the information and I am sure this wise decision would help you alot. For 14 days, you can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

        For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

        For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

        You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

        Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

        7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  145. binod singh says:

    Dheeraj ji, Thanks for reply again, please write me, leh and ladhak is same or any diffrent part, also how many hours it will be take by car from ladhak to manali, how long distance from leh to ladhak?

    • Hello Binod,

      Ladakh is a district and Leh is the capital town of Ladakh district or may be call sub-district where all the administrative offices are present including the Airport. It is a large town/village as compared to other villages of Ladakh. All other sightseeing places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri etc. comes under Ladakh and Leh is where from all the roads to these places are connected.

      Leh to Manali will take more than 15 Hrs and distance is about 474 KMs, all in hills

      I hope this helps. Please let me know in case you need more info or have any doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  146. binod says:

    hello dheeraj ji, Thanks for each reply, all I want to khnow again, by sentro car not stay some where in sarchu or at kelong or any where, possible by sentro car can go direct from ladhak to manali in two days? Please write me, just in same day can some one come to manali from ladahk or how many hours it takes? to reach in manali from ladakh? please write me, also any root from shimla to ladhak? is possible? by sentro car.

    • Binod, while coming back from Leh towards Manali you can stay one night at Sarchu and then doSarchu to Manali on the other day. In single day, it is possible but very very difficult and not recommended. It generally takes more than 15 Hrs to reach Manali from Leh. Yes, you can do route from Shimla as well but that is long route and takes at least 2-3 days extra than Manali route.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  147. D Biswas says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 6 people (2 families), planning for a Leh trip from Chandigarh on 5th August via Manali. Please suggest if Innova is suitable for the journey.

    • kiran says:

      Yes definitely innova is suitable .bring good clothes for cold atmosphere.

      • Hi Kiran,

        Innova is JUST suitable but not good and if the person behind the wheel is amateur, then there are high chances of getting stuck in water crossings, landslides that require good GC and some skills to negotiate. Over the past 2-3 years of my trans-Himalayan experience, majority of vehicles I have seen getting stuck in water crossings and landslides/slush apart from Sedans/hatchbacks are Innovas!!

        So, it is just good as long as you have good skills behinds the wheels. No doubt, it is best in comfort!!

        Regards
        Dheeraj

    • Hello D Biswas,

      Innova would be able to do it with careful and cautious driving especially at Manali – Leh Highway, though with tendency of getting stuck in water crossing Innova always comes at least priority for me for Ladakh journey. I hope it is not a taxi as Taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sighseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them from drop-in and take-away modes only. So, the taxi you are hiring locally must have private number plate otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  148. binod singh says:

    by car without stay any wehere can it is possible come to manali from ladhak by sentro car in two days?

    • Hello Binod,

      I did not understand what do you mean by without stay. You can do Leh to Manali journey in two days with night stop at either Sarchu (only consider it while going back to Manali from Leh) or Keylong or Jispa. Next day reach Manali from either of the place. Now, for driving in Santro on Manali – Leh highway:

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  149. PARAS says:

    First of all thanx to Devil on Wheels which assisted me greatly in undertaking this adventure trip of life time in my Indica Car from Jammu-Srinigar-Leh-Manali-Chandigarh in first and second week of june. Well yes an Indica can do it after a through preperation. There are a lot of passes which are really trecherous and spine chilling and require guts to achieve GLORY. I did it with my family, but please forewarn and prepare you family mentally for the route in advance. Taking your eldery parents is not advisable as it is very tiering and high altitude sickness is prevelent. The route can be planed as, One day from jammu to Srinagar. One day from Srinagar to Kargil (Zojilla is bad). One day from Kargil to Leh. One day from Leh to Sarchu (Route after Taglang la does not exist). One day from Sarchu to Manali (Barchala la is beautiful with lots of snow and Rothang was pathetic with bad road, dirty snow and comlete stretch infested with vehicles along with snow crazy tourists). One day from Manali to Chandigarh (Welcome back to civilization). Places to plan for a stay for 2-3 days, Srinagar-Leh-Manali. Go ahead plan and have a life time experience.

    • Thanks alot for this awesome update Paras. Would surely like to see some pictures of your such great adventure, please share them at DOW's FB wall if possible for you, so that we can also live such moments with you :) … I am sure you would have already started planning for the next year :D … and yeah, Rohtang Pass is ugliest of places I have ever been too.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  150. Hemant Wadhwani says:

    Is it possible to take my Chevrolet Cruse to Leh Via Srinagar-Leh route and come back vit Leh-Manali route.

    I tried to google to find a story of Cruze touching Leh but could not find any.

    What measures I need to take if this is possible.

    • nari vanwari says:

      hi hemant

      I have driven to leh in a beat.No off roading and no rohtang pass/manali return.

      AFAIremember Spark/nano has done it,even the rohtang/manali part.What is the GC of cruze?Be prepared for underbelly hits.

      There is no chevy dealer north of srinagar and mandi.From where would u be starting from and when?rgds

      • Hemant Wadhwani says:

        Hi Nari,

        GC of cruze on paper is 165 mm. But when its loaded, I have experienced that it touches some speed breakers easily.

        I would be coming from Pune. I do have a Wagon R and i10 Automatic. While I am not at all considering the i10 as I hate the Auto transmission , I can consider to take Wagon R .

        Please suggest.

        Thanks

        Hemant

    • Hi Hemant,

      With Cruz it would be very difficult but again if you love adventure more than your car then keep reading.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Hemant Wadhwani says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your sugesstion.

        Its really very helpful .

        I do have a Wagon R . How about using an Wagon R compared to Cruze ..

        Wagon R has new tyres , new clutch plates , next service due in July 12

        Please suggest.

        Thanks

        Hemant

        • Hemant, I feel WagonR would be much better choice the Cruz. But, do go over the tips in the articles mentioned earlier to prepare yourself properly and always be ready for the unknown in the land full of adventure :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  151. vinod singh says:

    some time people from north indians think moutain travling is very easy for them, but when they reach on mountain withoust khowldge they start suffering, this kind of infomation very much help for travel.

    • Truly said Vinod, have seen many instances of people abandoning their trips due to negligence in planning or getting stuck at places.

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  152. Sachin says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for sharing Good Information.

    Can u suggest, whether Leh-Laddakh trip is recommended with children of 5-6 years of age or not. Any precautions.

    • Hi Sachin,

      Yes, you can take the kid that old but do make sure that he/she is not suffering from any illness prior to start of the trip and keep an eye on him over the activities to check nothing is troubling him/her internally. The problem with children is that they are not able to convey their uneasiness when hit by AMS, so as a parent you need to watch over him. Just take it easy with the plan and do not rush through the places. Initial days after you reach Leh, make sure the kid does not run around too much to avoid exertion so as to minimize AMS.

      In the end, do read the article linked here: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  153. Waseem says:

    Hi,

    Need your suggestion..

    I am planning to go to Leh in July.

    I have 9 days in total and directly flying to Leh (early morning). Now i need an idea of itenary and also the return way to delhi. Which way should I use to come back…either via Manali or Via Jammu (catch flight from Jammu)>

    please suggest…will b so helpful to u

    • Hello Waseem,

      Following itinerary will be of some help for you I guess:

      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 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
       
      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      – Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 6 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 7 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – 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 8 | 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 9 | Manali – Delhi
      – Return
       
      Day 10 – Buffer day 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 you need more info. or have any queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  154. Vishram Rajhans says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are travelling from Manali to Leh by deluxe bus of HPTDC on 01.07.12. Do we need permit to cross Rohtang la? If yes, how and where can we get it?

    • Hi Vishram,

      You do not need any permits to cross Rohtang La. When you will reach Leh then you will need Inner Line Permits for sightseeing in Ladakh. For more details on inner line permits of Leh – Ladah process and to download application form read the link : http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-per

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  155. Dinesh Choudhary says:

    Hi Dheeraj, on 2nd of june we 4friends are planing our trip from Delhi to leh via srinagar then leh to Delhi via manali by own Swift Dzire care (self driving) Please provide any prequtations we should take during the trip.

    • Hi Dinesh,

      I would suggest you please go through the article linked here: 7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh.

      Apart from that, also, if I missed something here then read below:

      For dZire taking on Manali – Leh Highway, I will suggest you read about section “Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Ladakh” in the article linked here: How to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway to give you an idea what to expect in self drive in hatch back. For a quick read:

      The roads may be stabilized by that time but you will need to face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route which is opened for light vehicles earlier (most likely) and will be stabilized by then. It will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh Ladakh come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which yo might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnely, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Dinesh Choudhary says:

      Hi all we four friends travelled by own swift dzire car on 4th to 11th june from faridabad srinagar then back by manali way. The trip was so amaging we cant say J & K (sonmarg & Pahalgam)is the beautiful state way way is good at some places it was bad but hemank has done great job for BRO. The way when we started climbing rohtang pass was realy realy bad mud all the climbing and going down to manali, any how the trip was funtastic now we are thinking to go again on this trip.

      • Dinesh, thankd alot for updating the details of the trip here and about road conditions. Ladakh is such a places that once visited the mind/soul keeps forcing you to visit again and again :)

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dinesh Choudhary says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        How r u? Myself and one my friend wants to visit J&K (Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Dal Lake & Sonmarg) in the month of December 2012 with my kids of age 1.5year and 6years please suggest me can we visit the place by own swift car ( same car by which we have visited leh ( delhi-jammu-leh-manali -Delhi)or by air.

        • Hello Dinesh,

          Yes, you can definitely Travel to these places in your car. Roads are good in conditions, much easier drive than drive to Leh :) … How many days are you planning?

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Dinesh Choudhary says:

          Thanks Dheeraj for your sharp reply, We have 6days for the trip.

        • Dinesh, with just 6 days in hand better go via Air not by car as you know it takes 2 days to reach Srinagar from Delhi.

          Day 1 | Srinagar
          – Take rest for the day. May be enjoy Shikara ride or stay in house boat itself.
          Day 2 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
          Day 3 | Pahalgam
          – Just relax for the day and spend sometime around
          – May be a visit to Chandanwari
          Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
          – Explore ruins of Awantipura
          – Enjoy vistas en-route
          Day 5 | Gulmarg – Srinagar
          – Enjoy vistas enroute, especially between Tangmarg to Gulmarg
          – Enjoy in snow at ski slopes snow points and may be check out Golf course, if you feel like
          Day 6 | Back Home

          If you are flying back on 7th day then better make a full day excursion to Sonamarg as well.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  156. MAYUR PANCHAL_103 says:

    Hi Dheeraj,this is the excellent site for Leh Travelling knowledge, really appreciate your work.
    We are 3 Couples from Mumbai planning to Travel Ladakh & Kashmir from 3rd June to 16th June2012. We are getting info that Manali route is not open yet,do you think it would be open by 3rd June,wen we reach .? THank You.

    • Hi Mayur,

      Thanks buddy!!

      Manali route should open at any day because only the road widening work is going on and it is open from Leh side. The problem going via Manali side is that since it is officially not opened, so SDM at Manali office will not give you permits if driving by your own car.

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey into almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

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

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip at the link here.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  157. MAYUR PAMCHAL says:

    Hi Dheeraj, want some details regarding LEh Trip.

  158. Pranay walondre says:

    Hi dheeraj

    its really important information u shared wid us .good knowledge u have with whole trip .i have seen manali in december .so dat time rohtang was closed .but in Future ,will must go on dis road . thnx for motivating people , for dis beautiful journey

  159. Sandeep says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you very much for all this information. Its very helpful for planning the trip.

    We are a group of 6 people (3 couples), planning for a Leh trip for 8-9 days. We are all from Delhi and have not yet decided on dates but it might be either July first week or August 2nd week. I had some questions:

    1. Is it advisable and safe to travel by road during August as its Monsoon time in India during that season and there might be safely concerns on roads due to landslides.

    2. Can we plan for one side road trip and return by flight. What could be best no. of days to plan for such a trip. What could be the estimated cost expenditure for such a trip.

    3. Travelling in July is better or in August considering above travel plan (1 side by road and return by flight).

    It would be grateful if you could share some experience of yours with us.

    Regards,

    Sandeep Mangal

    • Hi Sandeep,

      1. No one can predict landslides, but yes of course the monsoons makes them much more vulnerable. Better plan in July first week, when you can also see some snow as well.
      2. You should do it this way only. Plan to fly to Leh rather taking Manali – Leh highway upfront and then after sightseeing and getting acclimatized in Ladakh start journey back to Manali from Leh. For evertything related with budget for Ladakh trip, check: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
      3. July as suggest above :)

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sandeep says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj for the detailed reply.

        I am planning for the following trip in June end. Can you let me know if its ok or I need to increase/decrease some day or adjust some days.

        29-Jun Friday Departure from Delhi to Manali via Volvo

        30-Jun Saturday Manali Stay and rest and Sight Seeing

        1-Jul Sun Manali to Keylong/Jispa/Sarchu

        2-Jul Mon Keylong/Jispa/Sarchu to Leh

        3-Jul Tue Leh rest and some local sight seeing

        4-Jul Wed Leh to Nubra Valley – Night Stay

        5-Jul Thur Nubra Valley to Leh

        6-Jul Friday Leh to Pangong Lake – Night Stay

        7-Jul Saturday Pangong Return

        8-Jul Sun Leh to Delhi via flight

        Thanks,

        Sandeep

        • Hi Sandeep,

          Sandeep, plan looks fine to me. Just, do not sleep at Sarchu as you will not be acclimatized by then. Sleep at either Keylong or Jispa only. Rest looks OK but again if possible try to add a buffer between 7th and 8th may be by extending it to 9th, so that in case you cannot reach Leh by evening of 7th, you have a buffer day of 8th and you do not miss the flight. You can use un-utilized buffer day of 8th to do Sham Valley tour.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  160. Arunava says:

    Dear Dheeraj, it is really pleasure to read your comments & the vast knowledge & experience you have in that part of world.

    We are 4-5 Adult, 2 childred 9 yrs,planning for Sringar-leh-Manali from Aug 10-22, 2012, inspired by your view. Can you please suggest us places to visit, from whom to hire cab & budget hotels to stay at Srinagar, kargil, Leh. Thanks in advance for you reply.

    • Hi Arunava,

      Thanks alot for the words of appreciation :) .. Considering, you have 13-14 days, I will suggest you can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here

      For the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 and the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  161. Chandu says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Great inputs really very helpful. I plan to start from Hyderabad on Jun16 and reach manali on 19. I plan to travel with my kids ( 10 and 6 yrs). Is this a good time to go or do I postpone it to next month? Srinagar to Leh will increase the days of travel so plan to take Manali-leh-manali only. Please advice if this is safe for kids?

    • Hi Chandu,

      I guess the article says it all, my mind always vote for Srinagar – Leh Highway while going to Leh – Ladakh and Manali – Leh Highway while coming back, it takes one more day only but benefits are huge and specially going with Children I will rather do not think twice in taking that route and may be perhaps have just one day trip to Pangong Tso.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  162. vishvas Jain says:

    Dear Dheeraj, is it possible to visit nubra valley for day visit and return back on same day. Kindly reply soon as we r due to go there on 20th may and what r taxi charges…..

    • Hi Vishvas,

      Leave by 6 AM from Leh and you might be able to do it. However, so early in season you might find snow on the roads of Khardung La which will slow down your progress alot. So, in case there are frequent jams or there happens to be snowfall on that day then keep a buffer day as either might have to return if you have not crossed Khardung La or you will have to go back in worst case to Nubra Valley. In late season, one can do Nubra Valley (at least Deskit and Hunder) in a day if they start early.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  163. Edoardo says:

    Dear Dheeraj Sharma first of all thank you very much for all this information. You can't even imagine how helpful are all this information for someone who has to plan everything from the other side of the world! :)

    around June 15th, me and two friendsare planning to do Srinagar-Leh-Manali trip by road and we're looking for a reliable taxi for the entire trip……

    do you have any suggestions ?

    anyone else who is planning to do the same trip in the same period?

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Hi Edoardo,

      Thanks alot, pleasure that the article were useful in planning your trip :) … And yes, some really expressive pictures on your website, great work!!

      Actually, the problem is for the entire trip you will not be able to hire taxi because Srinagar – Leh taxi is only allowed for drop in Leh and then within Ladakh you will need to hire another taxi for the rest of your route. IN fact you can somehow reach Kargil in Srinagar taxi and then for the rest of the trip any driver from Leh can pick you from Kargil and be with you for rest of the trip.

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

      Here, Naseer I guess can also pick you from Srinagar as well and be with you for the rest of the trip. Rest of the drivers can pick you only from Kargil I guess.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  164. puneet agrawal says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a Leh-Ladhak trip from June 9 – jun 16. I know time is little less so i will try to push it from Jun 6 – Jun 16. can you suggest me some plan. We are in a group (friends) of around 6-7. Can you also help us in the mode if transport for whole trip (public or taxi or Bike rent).

    • Hi Puneet,

      9 days appear to be short considering the unstabilized condition of Manali – Leh Highway at that time. Also, you have to take the risk of traversing Manali – Leh Highway only since you are short of time rather than going via Srinagar side and coming back via Manali side. If possible, for relaxing journey kindly increase the number of days in hand. For 9 days you can follow the below plan at best:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley (stay at solang for little acclimatization)
      Day 2 | Manali/solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa (Jispa is more scenic and close to nature)
      Day 3 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      Day 4 | 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 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
      Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh
      Day 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      – Day trip to Pangong Tso Lake
      Day 8 | Leh – Sarchu
      Day 9 | Sarchu – Manali
      Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

      I hope this helps. Let me know incase you need more info. or have any queries or doubts. Do you need contacts or suggestions on how to go about this plan in terms of mode of transport?

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • puneet agrawal says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,

        I didnt understand why we should not take Srinagar via Highway?

        and also can you guide me on mode of transport considering we are travelling in a group of 6-7 people.

        • Hello Punnet,

          Not sure, I guess there is some confusion. The above article is suggesting 5 reasons why you should take Srinagar – Leh Highway and NOT Manali – Leh Highway to reach Leh. You have to take a taxi from Srinagar – Leh taxi stand which will drop you to Leh and then you have to take a taxi in Ladakh for sightseeing purposes in Ladakh.

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

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

  165. Harpreet Sasan says:

    Hi Dheeraj, really liked your tips for manali leh tour. But I am resident of Jammu and I have planned the Bullet Trip via manali to leh. What do you suggest me ? I have sufficient days for my trip.

  166. Bikash says:

    Sir I and two of my college friends are planing to go to Leh via Srinagar and return by Leh-Manali road to delhi

    We have decided to take hired tata indica from delhi @750 Rs per day. What will be the overall distance of the whole trip
    delhi-jammu-leh-manali-delhi plus some local sight seeing at Leh-ladakh ..
    Thanks in advance

  167. Arunava says:

    Thanks a lot to all of u 4 all valuable tips. Can u pls help about from where & how to hire cab for Jammu-Srinagar-leh-Manali. & what will be the approx cost.

    • mukul says:

      from srinagar to leh you have to pay 1800 in shared taxi & 11000 for full taxi.
      for taxi pls vist TRC Srinagar.

  168. pooja says:

    hii i m planning for a trip to jammu and srinagar for 10 days kindly guide me ….the places to visit and route also …i m from chandigarh

    • Hi Pooja,

      For 10 days you might follow something like below:

      Day 1 | Delhi/Chandigarh – Srinagar by flight
      – Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      – Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | 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 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

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

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

      Day 9 | 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 10 | Fly back from Leh to Delhi/Chandigarh

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma
      PS -> I am traveling to Ladakh on today for 10 days, so might not be able to reply instantly.

  169. ramamoorthy says:

    Dheeraj
    Nice article.
    Hoverer imho, it's all about heart over brain. Brain says to go via Srinagar and heart says to go via Manali. I am glad I chose my heart in 2011 :)
    return trip came back via this route..but deliberately avoided Srinagar and Jammu.. Kargil_ Sonamarg_Ramban_Amritsar..

    • Hello Rama,

      Correctly said!!! Mind will always say you to go with Srinagar – Leh and come back via Manali – Leh but heart will mostly say go via Manali – Leh and come back via Manali – Leh only :D … However, if you are traveling with a family or old people or do not have much experience of driving in hills then following MIND will always makes much much sense rather than jeopardizing the trip in between :)

      to be frank enough, I have always preferred my heart but with my junior now on board, ready to join me on Himalayan adventures soon, I might go with Srinagar – Leh both ways :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  170. Ekta says:

    Hi,
    I have been thinking about Ladakh for a while but never really got a chance to do it. So for one by reading your blog, I really motivated to do this within next one year itself. Really informative and exciting blog and reviews. Thanks,

    • Hello Ekta,

      Thanks alot. I am glad you found the articles useful and informative. Kindly, let me know incase you need any further information regarding planning your trip to Leh – Ladakh. BTW, I am just heading there again next week hoping to explore some unexplored places of Ladakh again :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  171. superbly u have penned the words

  172. nari vanwari says:

    Can add 2 more.

    When you are driving from Srinagar to Leh the mountain is on your left which makes it safer.I have not travelled from Leh to Manali(as I returned via srinagar)but feel that the drop will be on your left so a lot less safer.

    Since you will be going downhill on a road that is worse than srinagar leh(when u are going uphill) you will be saving on fuel consumption

    • thanks alot for your valuable inputs Nari. BTW, I feel the mountain side changes at Manali – Leh Highway but yes we can say that the drops are deadly scary on Manali – Leh Highway plus the nallas are much more nastier on Manali – Leh Highway as compared to Srinagar – Leh. Hence, for first timers the drive is a bit less tensed.

  173. Hemant says:

    Thanks for the great tips. Would be a pain for someone to discover all these on his own. Probably would spoil half the fun, especially as everyone runs on tight schedules nowadays..

    One more thing.. The link for the travel guide to Tso Moriri lake at the end of Point 4 above is missing..

    • Hi Hemant,

      Thanks alot for letting me know about the missing link, just updated the article now :) … I am glad you found the article useful. Kindly, let me know incase you need any further information regarding planning your trip to Leh – Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  174. Amit Agarwal says:

    Thanks Dheeraj, I plan to go there sometime in near future!

  175. ठीक है जी अबकी बार श्रीनगर से जाकर मनाली से बल्कि कल्पा व रामपुर से आऊँगा।

  176. H V Kumar says:

    All points bang on! Only negative is that I would prefer to enjoy Srinagar after a drive to Ladakh than while going when I am in a hurry to get to Leh.

    • Hi HVK sir,

      I agree with you too and yes, one will somehow sacrifice his/her urge to explore Srinagar in a hurry to reach Leh :) … When Amarnath Yatra starts and till it ends, there are few negatives which also comes up while traveling to Ldakh via Srinagar.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

 
 

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