How to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

 

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

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

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

Season to Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

Modes of Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shared Taxi | A Cannon ball run

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

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

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

Other travel modes

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

Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

Two Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alternate Route to Leh from Kargil via Batalik and Dah

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

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

Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

Acclimatization and its importance on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

Fuel or Petrol Pumps on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

ATMs on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

Places on Srinagar – Leh Highway with their Distances and Altitudes

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

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

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Facility

Places

Accommodations / Stay Options

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

Conclusion

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

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1,362 Comments

  1. Ravie says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Mesmerised to read all info what you have not only gathered but also providing to the community over the years of self experience and feedback you received from the followers. One word comes into my mind it’s Mind-Blowing!

    We are 6 persons and planned for lifetime trip to Leh Laddakh starting from 9th Aug to 17th Aug 2014. Kindly suggest / guide for itinerary and whatever comes to your mind.

    We will be reaching Srinagar on 9th eve 3:30pm by Air and leaving on 17th eve from Srinagar 4:00pm by Air.

    Arrival in Srinagar – 9th Aug
    Overnight stay at Srinagar

    Day 1 – 10th Aug
    Early Morning after breakfast leave for Kargil, by visiting Sonamarg (Known As Meadow of Gold), cross famous Zodjila pass, Drass Village (2nd Coldest Inhabitated place in the World), Enroute have a magnificent view of Kargil war Famous Peaks (Tiger, Tololing) from Vijay war memorial hall site, reach Kargil by evening. Overnight stay at Kargil.

    Day 02 – 11th Aug
    Morning after Breakfast leave for Ule, enroute visit Mulbek, Giant Living Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain, Lamayuru, one of the oldest Monastery of Ladakh and enjoy the view of Moon Landscape. Arrive Ule by afternoon. Overnight stay at Ule.

    Day 04 – 12th Aug
    After Breakfast leave for Leh enroute visit Alchi, Likir Monastery, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara and Hall of Fame museum. Reach Leh by afternoon. Overnight stay at Leh.

    Day 05 – 13th Aug
    After Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake 14,500 ft, through Changla Pass 17,350 ft. (third Highest Motorable road in the world) Arrival at Camp, Hot Lunch will be served aat Camp, Later free time at Leisure and enjoy the color changing lake and the sun set on the banks of lake. Overnight stay on the banks of Pangong Lake.

    Day 06 – 14th Aug
    Early morning enjoy the pictuereque view of Sun rise on lake. After Breakfast drive back to Leh, enroute visit Hemis, Thikse Monastery and Shey Palace. Overnight stay at Leh.

    Day 07 – 15th Aug
    After Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla (Highest Motorable road in the World, 18,380 ft) Arrive at Hundur by afternoon. Lunch at Camp, rest of the day one is free to explore Deskit, Hunder Villages and camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. Overnight stay at Nubra Valley.

    Day 08 – 16th Aug
    After Breakfast visit Deskit Monastery, where you can have a magnificient view of Nubra Valley and drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardungla Pass. Overnight stay at Leh OR Transfer to the Srinagar airport and fly back to Mumbai (flight at 4pm in eve on 17th Aug)

    Questions :
    1. Is this Itinerary good? Or need changes! Especially for journey from Srinagar to Leh! Split into 2 days or 3? For such small (6days trip?) so tht we should not miss places in Leh Laddkah rather than places to Sri nagar – Leh route!

    2. We will be 6 persons and booking a Private taxi (Innova / Scorpio / Tavera) which vehicle you will prefer? Since we will be having backpacks of 50-60 ltrs of each person (need a carrier, do they have carrier on taxied?)

    3. About stay, is it possible to make whole journey with personal TENTS without going for a hotel or local houses. We are almost finalising about buying 3 tents, each tent accommodate 2 ppl. OR there in Kargil or other places any chances of getting tents on rent? (Cost per night?) Since we want to experience the night underneath star lights! Would it be raining heavily in Aug? (Biggest hurdle) Is it allowed to put tents in Kargil or other areas on route or Leh like Pangong Lake etc. do we need to have permission or licence for the same? If yes from where we can get it! Overall is it safe option to go with TENT Option!

    4. Regarding travel expenses (excluding air fare) for return journey from Srinagar to Leh and Leh-Laddakh nearby places (private taxi). Would 15k per person be sufficient?? Or more than that?

    5. About clothing as ur blog says in Aug it would be bit ok ok season to not to carry heavy woollen cloths. A simple jacket (should it be waterproof? Or leather jacket would be fine?) and thermal wears 2 sets would be enough!

    7. Normal sport shoes / woodland would be fine? Or need to have hiking shoes with big soles for this trip?

    I am sure you will definitely guide us to make our dream trip fruitful.

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Ravie

  2. Ganesan says:

    Taking a trip from srinagar on Aug11.
    1)Planing to leave by 5pm and stay at sonmarg. Leave the early morning and reach leh by evening. Is it possible.
    2)Leh-Nubra valley – Pangong Tso – Leh Trip planned. Leh Dep morning, stay overnight at nubra, dep early morning to pangong tso (can we reach before sunset) dep next day back to Leh.

  3. Chandramouli says:

    HI

    We are two persons and would like to explore J&K. We wanted the trip to be of 10 days maximum. Also we are looking for a trip that includes bike ride (for whole trip if possible) and adventure activities such as rafting mountain biking etc, I would request you to help me out with the itinerary.

    Thankyou

  4. Ajay Patel says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    We are 2 couples planning LEh trip form 15th Aug to 30 augg. Our dates and flights are booked. 15th 1 PM we will reach Srinagar and 30th Evening have return flight from delhi. Following is the plan. We are left with 2 additional dayz. Request you to please suggest if following itinerary is good and where 2 days cab be adjusted. I have shown retun as 28th but its actually 30th from Delhi.

    Aug 15 | Mumbai – Srinagar
     Overnight at Srinagar
     About 8-9 Hrs drive.
    Aug 16 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
     Overnight at Kargil
     About 8 Hrs drive.
    Aug 17 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
     Overnight at Leh
     About 9-10 Hrs drive.
    Aug 18 | Leh Local Sighseeing
     Overnight at Leh
    Aug 19 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
     Overnight at Hunder / Diskit
     About 5-6 Hrs drive.
    Aug 20 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
     Overnight at Leh
     About 7-9 Hrs drive.
    Aug 21 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
     Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
     About 5-6 Hrs drive
    Aug 22 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
     Overnight at Leh
     About 5-6 Hrs drive
    Aug 23 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping or you can do tour to Sham Valley
     Sham Valley
     Overnight at Leh
    Aug 24 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
     Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
     About 7-8 Hrs drive.
    Aug 25 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
     Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
     About 11-12 Hrs drive.
    Aug 26 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
     Overnight at Manali
     About 11-12 Hrs drive.
    Aug 27 | Manali – Delhi
     Return Home
     About 13-14 Hrs drive
    Aug 28 | Delhi – Mumbai/Pune
     Return Home by flight/train

    • Ajay, one day for sure can be spent at Turtuk in Nubra Valley. Head to Turtuk straight from Leh and then next day come to Hunder or Deskit for night stay. Finally on Day 3 come back to Leh from Nubra Valley. Regarding 1 leftover day, since it will be monsoons, hence, I will request you to keep it as buffer till Manali and if left unused, visit something near Manali like Kasol – Naggar or Prashar Lake before coming back to Delhi.

  5. deepak sharma says:

    hi again,
    dear dheeraj can u suggest some contact numbers for camping in pangong lack,so that we can stay overnight,or what would be the best option to overnight stay at pangong

    thanks

    • 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

  6. vivek gupta says:

    Hi Dheeraj!
    we have been planning our first-time leh trip for the past few months and have religiously followed ur posts! its awesome!
    we are a couple (me and my wife) planning to drive from srinagar to leh in august.
    our itinerary is as follows –
    august 10 – arrive in srinagar
    aug 11 – drive upto kargil and stay overnight
    aug 12 – drive straight to leh
    aug 13 – explore leh
    aug 14 – explore leh
    aug 15 – explore leh
    aug 16 – drive back to kargil and stay overnight
    aug 17 – drive to srinagar and get flight home in afternoon at 4 pm

    i know this seems to be a short visit. but this is all the time in our hands to spare this time.
    we have arranged a bullet for the drive.
    we have the following queries –
    1. is the plan okay and practically possible? please suggest any modifications
    2. please suggest places on the way where we can stop for short excursions on the road trip while on the drive from srinagar to leh
    3. though we are planning to take enough windcheaters with us, any more precautions to be taken if it rains on the drive and does it rain too hard?
    4. please suggest the best possible places we can see in ladakh over our three day stay
    for example we are amazed by the pangong lake. should we go for it?
    5. our return flight home on 17 aug is at 4 pm. can we reach by driving from kargil to srinagar if we leave early morning or we should stay in dras instead to shorten the drive time? what time should we leave?
    6. how much is the usual time taken to drive on a bike from srinagar to kargil and then from kargil to leh and at what speed?
    7. would we manage to see even a little snow in the mountains at that time?
    8. dude how do u manage to keep such an amazing spirit to keep this wonderful blog alive over the years? it has helped so many people

    cheers!
    vivek

    • Hi Vivek,

      Below are the replies to your queries:

      1. Yes, plan is totally possible just make sure to rest on first day in Leh and do sightseeing in Leh in the evening so that body is acclimatized to some extent. Secondly, do day visit to Khardung La and on Day 3 you have in Leh, do day visit to Pangong Tso.
      2. Refer Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh and take notes of places of your interest
      3. Once you reach beyond Kargil, you will not face much rains because Ladakh comes under Rain Shadow region.
      4. Answered in 1
      5. It will be tight and in case there is any issue at Zojila, there could be issues. And you need to reach Srinagar airport at least 2 Hours before to go through many checkps and not miss the flight.
      6. Refer link in 2
      7. Some remains at the passes only
      8. Ha ha, it keeps my passion running too :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  7. Avinash says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    If we hire a a private cab (say indica for 4 people) from Leh to reach Srinagar, what will be the cost for the same and how much time will it take to reach? Also, what will the cost of hired cab from Srinagar to Jammu and how much time will it take?

    • Avinash says:

      Also, what will be the best option to reach Jammu from Leh, by Bus or by hired Cab, since we have two full days and one half day around 3 pm to reach Jammu so that we can catch the train at 4:15pm?

      • Buses are in general safer than taxis as drivers are more responsible and not in rush to meat money or rush of over driving. On the other hand, taxis are comfortable a bit and faster to move around.

    • Avinash, there are no indicas available in Leh as taxi. All are Xylos, Innovas, Scorpio, Taveras, etc.. type of cars for such long routes. It takes 2 day to Travel Srinagar – Leh with overnight halt at Kargil. The taxi cost about 14-15K this year.

      • Avinash says:

        Ok. Thanks for the reply. The wait for Ladakh is getting over now in two days, with your blog acting as our savior :-). Your blog is like stackoverflow.com for software engineers. Thanks man, keep up the good work.

        • Thank you Avinash and best wishes for the trip. This is the second time the DoW is compared with StackOverFlow and being into software I can very much enjoy the appreciation to highest level :) :)

  8. Virkumar Karavate says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Do we need inner line permit for Kargil – Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh..? As per your post there is no need of inner line permit required from 2014 for indian citizen.
    We are paniing to Srinagar -Kargil – Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh.

  9. Virkumar Karavate says:

    Hi all,
    Is anyone traveling from Srinagr to leh on 27th July morning.
    We have 4 people + 1 kid.(Family) we need another 2 members to join us. So we can hire SUV. Holt at Kargil or Mulbek.
    mail me @ virkumar.kj@gmail.com

  10. deepak sharma says:

    and sorry i forget to mention that we will start our journey from 6 september

    is it ok

    • September is fine to travel.

    • Tarun says:

      Hi Deepak,
      We (3 of us) will start on 10th Sep from Srinagar to Kargil to Leh.
      But I see that you guys are leaving on 9th Sep from Srinagar. Anyway, its good to keep in touch, in case we can tag along with your group.
      My contact number is 9008024835

      • deepak sharma says:

        dear if you are travelling on 10th september,so why don’t you travel early,it will be good to travel togather,only one or 2 day will be diffrence,but don’t worry we will either leave 8 or on 9 september,so there is not a big diffrence,if you wish to travel with us i will be happy to join you,and if we could not meet then we will meet in leh we will be there 10,11,12 september,so waiting for meet,

        my no.is 9719243354

        • Tarun says:

          Hi Deepak,
          Thanks for the response.
          Actually, we had booked tickets already such that we reach Srinagar on 10th Sep afternoon. Anyway, let us be in touch. We can meet in Leh.
          I will call you sometime to discuss about planning the trip

  11. deepak sharma says:

    hi dheeraj,
    i am deepak sharma,i talked to you earlier if you remember,
    we have a plan to leh with 6 guys and we will start our journey from haridwar,please tell if my plan is ok for 12 days round trip,

    day 1- haridwar to jalandhar
    day 2 jalandher to jammu
    day 3 jammu to srinagar
    day 4 srinagar to drass/kargil
    day 5 drass/kargil to leh
    day 6-8 local sight seen in leh
    day 9 leh to sarchu/jispa
    day 10 sarchu/jispa to manali
    day 11 manali to chandigarh
    day 12 chandigarh to haridwar

    please tell if this is pan is good or suggest me a plan and suggest a route plan for local leh sightseen.we have a budget of 20-25 thousand p.p.

    and 1 more thing i have pulsar 150 dtsi can i go with it and it is in very good condition

    • Deepak, itinerary looks OK to me and from Day 6 to 8 you can do following:

      6: Rest in Leh and get acclimatized. visit Shanti Stupa in the evening
      7: Day trip to Khardung La
      8: Day trip to Pangong Tso.

      As you can see you are not exploring much of Ladakh in the entire trip but since you do not have much days, so nothing much can be done here.

      • deepak sharma says:

        and can i go with pulsar 150dtsi,and if we saty 1 more day in leh what option will you suggest me for extra day,

        thanks

        • Pulsar 150, will do the job perfectly for a Ladakh visit. I hope it is maintained well enough and is reliable to be ride. If you have 1 more day then go ahead with 2 day trip to Nubra Valley covering Khardung La, Hunder, Deskit, sumur, Panamik.

  12. Tarun says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I have few questions. Let me first tell our schedule
    My phone number is 9008024835. People who are going on same sate, please contact.

    We are 3 guys planning trip from Srinagar to Leh via bike and back to Srinagar.
    10th Sep – Reach Srinagar
    11th Sep – Srinagar to Kargil
    12th Sep – Kargil to Leh
    13th-16th – Leh to Pangong, Khardung La, Nubra
    17th Sep – Start from Leh and reach Srinagar by 18th Sep.
    Flight back from Srinagar in 19th Sep afternoon.
    (1) We are planning to take bikes from ‘KashmirBikers’. He is offering 2014 standard bikes. He is asking us to transfer 5000 per bike, beforehand to cover his loss in case we don’t turn up. Have you heard about this operator ? Is he a trustworthy source.
    (2) All of us do not know much about bullets. So, earlier planning to take mechanic but it turns out to be expensive. Also, we are on bikes, so how do we carry the mechanic. So,can you advise what is the probability that we get stranded in middle of nowhere or lose 3-4 hours in case of a bike breakdown. Are there mechanic shops every 30-40 KM ?
    (3) Bike spares – Kashmir Bikers bike rent without spares is 1000 per day and with spares is 1500. So, we decided to buy spares from Bangalore and carry them along. This option is super-cheap. Has any tried something like this before ? Any risk involved ?
    (4) Most important – We would like to know who else is planning the same trip on 10th Sep, so that we can go in a group to mitigate the risk of bike failure. Better, we can even share mechanic expense and carry him along. How to know about such groups ? My phone number is 9008024835. People who are going on same sate, please contact.

    • Hi Tarun,

      You cannot do all three Pangong Tso, Nubra in just 3 days unless you plan to carry out 12+ hrs ride back to back days. First day after reaching Leh, have to be for sure Rest + acclimatization. Then only you can head up to other places.
      (1) Never heard, first time guess they have come up in Srinagar. Before that, never heard Srinagar offered bike rentals. This is the first season I am hearing this name, but no feedback on DoW yet about them.
      (2) Mechanic shops are not available everywhere. Only few major towns have it. In Ladakh they are evn more scarce. You have to rely on the bike conditions and risk it in case you do not know anything about it.
      (3) Most people carry spares on their own. Just make sure, spares are of right models. Do consider all this for a bike ride from Srinagar to Leh is worth the adventure and cost for you? If not, then just hire bikes in Leh – Ladakh seeing how much comfortable you are feeling. The advantage is that you can return it the day you don’t feel to ride.
      (4) Check the DoW Community and post under Travel Partners forum

      Regards
      dheeraj

      • Tarun says:

        Thanks Dheeraj.
        1. I am wondering why bike rentals are not common from Srinagar ? Any idea ? Is it related to safety on that route ?
        2. Do you have contact of any other bike rental shop in Srinagar which is already used by someone in DoW community ?
        3. Is it possible to do Day 1- Leh-Pangong(nightstay)
        Day 2 – Pangong-Nubra-KharDungla-Leh ?
        I generally see people doing Leh-Pangong-Leh (2 days) and then Leh-KhardungLa-Nubra (1 day).
        How do you see these 2 options?

        • Hi Tarun, You can get bikes on rent in Srinagar as couple of bike rentals have come up in Srinagar too starting this year though I do not have any feedback on them since it is too early and no one yet have posted the feedback. Even if you rent bike in Srinagar, the one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not. The most recommended option is

          Leh – Nubra – Leh for 2 days first and then Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh for two or one day trip. This helps in best acclimatization. Rest all options carries a higher risk of being hit with AMS as compared to this one.

  13. Binu Jacob says:

    Hii,
    we are 4-5 people planing for a Srinagar-Leh-Ladhak-Srinagar trip. We will be reaching Srinagar on 22 July evening and return is on 30th July afternoon from Srinagar.Can u suggest us a good plan as we likes to cover as much as places we can. Is it recommended to start on 22nd evening around 5pm from Srinagar for Leh?

    • Binu, you have only 7 days in hand. Out of these, 4 days will be used to travel between Srinagar to Leh and back with overnight stops at Kargil. In the remaining 3 days, do something like below:

      1: Rest in Leh and get acclimatized. visit Shanti Stupa in the evening
      2: Day trip to Khardung La
      3: Day trip to Pangong Tso.

  14. Virkumar Karavate says:

    Dear Dhiraj,
    We are planning to travel from Srinagr to Mulbek by bus, stay at Mulebek.
    So to travel from Mulbek to Leh can we get taxi in Mulbek..?
    or we will get taxis only at kargil..?

    • I am not 100% sure if you will be able to get some taxi from there or not. May be the place where you will stay, they can call up the taxi from Kargil for you.

  15. Deepak Sambyal says:

    Hi,

    hoping for a reply.

  16. Joy Dutta says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks a lot for your valuable inputs on this website.
    I seek your help on planning my trip to ladakh.
    Below is my fixed travel dates:
    Reaching Srinagar on 27th Sept 7 am.
    Leaving Leh on 4th October 10 am.
    27th morning itself, I am planning to start the Srinagar – Leh road trip with a night halt at Kargil. 28th evening reaching Leh (after viewing Lamayur etc.).
    So from 29th sept to 4th oct how can I plan the itinerary?
    The places which I want to visit are Tso Moriri, Pangong and Nubra (with possible night halt at all three places if I can).
    I heard that I can go to Tso Moriri to Pangong without touching Leh. So is the case with Pangong to Nubra.
    Kindly guide me in getting a good plan for the above mentioned time period.
    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Joy

    • Hi Joy,

      You have 5 days with you and I will suggest that you take it relaxing and enjoy the trip rather rushing through it. Below is what I will suggest you:

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

      Day 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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  17. Deepak Sambyal says:

    hi dheeraj,

    I am planning for a road trip to leh by srinagar on bike pulsar150 this month,we are 2 guys on the same bike;whether it will be ok;and i am planning for a 5-6 days tour ;keen to have your suggestions.

    • Deepak, in 5-6 days what all you will be covering. It takes 4 days to reach Leh from Delhi so in 5-6 days you cannot cover road trip to Ladakh.

      • Deepak Sambyal says:

        Hi dheeraj,

        sorry i have not mentioned my location, i am in srinagar already, and planning to go leh by bike(pulsar 150),i am little worried that we are 2 guys on the same bike; i have 6 days maximum and i want to go the khardung la and pangong lake;

        • Deepak, you have 6 days, take 4 days traveling from Srinagar to Leh with overnight stop at Kargil and same way coming back. Hence, only 2 days remain now out of which 1 day is mandatory for acclimatization in Leh. So, in just 1 remaining day you can either make a day trip to Pangong Tso or Khardung La / Nubra Valley. Also, going on 1 bike is fine but you have to travel light AND will be to an extent uncomfortable for sure.

  18. Ankit says:

    Hi Dheeraj ,

    Firstly ,a big thanks for such a detailed info.Now , we have planned a trip to Leh via Srinagar i.e., Return Tickets from Srinagar. Arrival date is 16th Aug @ 1 pm Srinagar and the return flight from Srinagar is on 24th Aug @ 2 pm. Could you kindly layout a feasible plan for us. We are 6 guys. What do you suggest ? Is it OK to ride to Kargil the same day of the arrival ? Also, regarding the booking of hotels for stay every where , do we need to book it in advance or we’ll find accommodations easily at this time of the year?!
    Looking forward for your take on this! Thanks in advance :)

    • Ankit, effectively you have just 7 days in hand. Out of these, you need 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar and 2 days to reach back Srinagar. 1 Day of acclimatization and rest is a must in Leh. Hence, just two days remain to you where you can make a day trip to first Khardung La or Nubra Valley and then one day trip to Pangong Tso lake before starting the return back to Srinagar with overnight halt at Kargil.

      • Ankit says:

        Thanks ! Dheeraj but while returning can’t we do a journey from Leh to Srinagar on a single day..since we would have already seen all the sights while travelling from Srinagar to Leh, we need not stop by or halt and as you mentioned , that cabs start at midnight ( 22nd Night)and reach Srinagar by evening the next day(23rd evening). We could then stay overnight at Srinagar and catch a flight next day in afternoon(24th Aug).

        • Ankit, is is not about sightseeing. It takes 16+ Hrs for Leh to Srinagar, if OK you can attempt it. Or Perhaps, you can save a day in a way that you make a day trip from Leh to Sonamarg and since next day your flight is in noon, you start early from Sonamarg to reach Srinagar.

          This way you will have one more extra day. Now, you have 3 days in Ladakh. So, make a 2 day trip to either Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley and one day trip to the leftover among Pangong Tso or Nubra.

  19. Hema Sharma says:

    Hey Dheeraj,

    It is really an informative article. I am going to Leh tomorrow via Srinagar-Leh highway and your article helped me a lot to decide many things. Specially, having dinner at Drass for vegeterian is really helpful (me being strict vegeterian). Thankx for this wonderful article.

    -Hema

    • Best wishes for the trip Hema. BTW, if you reach Kargil by time, then you will get veg food there too. But, reach by evening so that you have more options to explore else have a late meal at Drass.

  20. Sameer says:

    Hey Dheeraj,

    I booked my tickets way back in February and hence the sectors i selected were Mumbai-Leh, Srinagar-Mumbai. It was only today that a colleague mentioned your site to me and now i’m a bit worried about my choice. Since making any changes to the tickets is very difficult & costly (i’m flying to Leh on the 19th), can you please help me with to-do’s on the 19th in Leh to get acclimatized with the climate out there?

    Thanks,

    Sameer

    • Sameer, do not worry much brother. Do some initial days as mentioned below and you should be fine:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      – Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      – Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      – Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      – After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      – If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      – Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      – Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Acclimatization
      – Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      – Bargain with taxi driver and you can refer the thread for a comprehensive list of drivers: List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali
      – Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      – Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      – Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      – If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      – Overnight at Leh
       
      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

      Move to Nubra Valley on Day 3 if you are feeling good about your health and can sleep well on Day 2. Rest follow with normal Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri after Day 4/5 and carry on to Srinagar

    • Jinal says:

      Hi Dheeraj ,

      We are travelling from srinagar to leh and back for 6 days from 20 to 25 july,2014 on bike. can you suggest how are the roads ? kacha and pakka roads how much percent ? also on bike how much time it take to reach nubra valley from leh and back to leh ..can it b done in single day ?

      • Roads are mostly fine except few KMs around Zojila Pass. Also, you have ust 6 days which are too less for such a trip as 4 days will be used in Srinagar – Leh – Srinagar and 1 day in rest + acclimatization in Leh. Rest 1 day you can use for day trip to Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley which will be a bit hectic.

      • Jinal says:

        Hey Dheeraj ,

        Thanks for the information . Are there any chances for altitude sickness in khardung la ? and how are the roads from leh to khardung la and how much time it takes to reach nubra valley from leh by bike.?

        • Jinal, yes there are very much chances of feeling AMS at Khardung La. In case you are stuck due to traffic, the AMS symptoms increase. Roads about 12-15 KMs on either side of Khardung La will be bad in shape. Leh to Nubra Valley takes about 5-6 Hrs.

        • Jinal says:

          Hey Dheeraj ,

          How much time it takes to reach srinagar from jammu by car since we are coming by train from mumbai . train will reach at 3 pm afternoon ..so is it advisable to hire car when we reach jammu tawi or we should hire car the next day ?

        • Jinal, best is to rest in Jammu on that day and take the taxi next day. It will take about 8-9 Hrs from Jammu to Srinagar.

  21. Yogesh Kandoi says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I went through this article. It was very good and informative. You are helping all the tourist who are visiting Leh by giving all the possible information and responding to their queries.

    I also have two doubts with regards to the Srinagar – Leh trip. I have planned for a trip from 5th Oct to 13th Oct. The tickets are already booked. But while going through your replies to earlier queries, i found you telling the by end of September all the lakes are closed and it would be too cold. I am also accompanied by my wife and two daughters (6 and 8 years old). Since i am going in Oct, i wish to check from you whether we can still go to Leh or not.

    If yes, then my 2nd request is to please plan our itinery for 8 days (6th to 13th Oct) where we can enjoy both Srinagar and Leh.

    Thanks very much,
    Regards,
    Yogesh Kandoi

    • Hi Yogesh,

      With family and all, you need to be extra careful. Most of the hotels and restaurants in Leh – Ldakh gets closed. Even the lakes do not have camps running rather few home stays and wooden cottages that will be running. Of course the cold conditions will be quite a much too.

      First make up your mind, if you want to visit the place with family or not and we can see how your itinerary can be worked out. You have to fly out of Leh in such short number of days.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Yogesh Kandoi says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        Thanks for your reply. Since i have already booked the tickets for my family, would like to take them. Hence request you to please plan for a itinery for a short trip to Leh and balance in Srinagar. I would be reaching Srinagar on 5th Oct evening and need to fly out from Srinagar on 13th Oct afternoon.
        Thanks and Regars,
        Yogesh Kandoi

        • Yogesh, effectively you have just 7 days in hand. Out of these, you need 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar and 2 days to reach back Srinagar. 1 Day of acclimatization and rest is a must in Leh. Hence, just two days remain to you where you can make a day trip to first Khardung La or Nubra Valley and then one day trip to Pangong Tso lake before starting the return back to Srinagar with overnight halt at Kargil.

        • Yogesh Kandoi says:

          Hi Dheeraj,
          Thanks for all the information. One last query is on the accomodation at Leh. Do we need to book in advance or search once we reach Leh as we would be visiting in Oct. Please give us some details/contact for Budget accomodation in Leh.

          Thanks & Regards,
          Yogesh Kandoi

        • 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

  22. Jay says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    Thanks for this loads of info.. this will definitely help any one travelling leh. I have a clarification, let me first put down my plan trip srinagar-leh-srinagar itinerary will be:
    day1-arrive at Srinagar (1PM) and travel to kargil stay overnight
    day2: Kargil to leh with sightseeing
    day3: lah to Nubra valley stay overnight
    day4: nubra to leh and stay
    day5: leh to Pangong lake and stay
    day6: Pangong to leh and stay
    day7: leh sightseeing travel to kargil any stay
    day8: Kargil to Sonmarg or Gulmarg sightseeing and stay
    day9: Travel to Srinagar sightseeing and day at boat house
    day10: depart from Srinagar by 4PM
    My queries are:
    1. Is the plan full proff
    2. We are doing package booking for accomodation but very much confused about travel if we book for taxi we cant do sight seeing on the way to leh because of yellow board and not leh registered vehicle.
    3. Is it OK!! not do hire vehicle and to hire leh registered taxi some in Srinagar/Kargil can depend on this, will the taxi guys exploit us and ask too much money
    4. Do you suggest any chage in the itinerary !!

    Thanks you.
    Jay

    • Jay, below are my replies:

      1. Srinagar to Kargil is 8-9 Hrs of journey, so better not do it the same day. Instead go over and stay at Sonamarg and then next day do Sonamarg to Leh which will be hectic but you have no choice in given days.
      2. Book a Ladakh based taxi from the list of drivers available on DoW site. Fix a deal with them as they can come over and pick you up.
      3. No, Leh taxi rates and drivers are fixed rates. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

      4. You need to have a rest day in Leh after you reach there for acclimatization and cannot go to Nubra directly on the next day. This will mean you have to leave for Kargil from Leh on Day 8

  23. Rajmeet says:

    Hi, Dheeraj
    I’ll be arriving in srinagar on the 4th of july and will be leaving on the 14th. The places i would like to visit are pahalgam, and leh ladakh, I would like advice on how I should plan my journey and how many days you think i should stay in leh.

    • Rajmeet says:

      besides this which attractions do you recommend we go to see?

    • Rajmeet, how are you getting out of Leh? Are you flying out from Leh?

      • Karneet says:

        Hello dhiraj we need to know from you the route ans speciality coz we r landing in srinagar on 4th july and den will move to pehalgam and other places for 4-5 days and den to leh ladak so we want to know where should we go n which are the nice places to see … We have 10 days from 4july to 13 july and den on 14th we have return flight from sri nagar to delhi … So plz recommend us nice place widin this time … Thanku bosss…

  24. kishor says:

    HI Dheeraj,
    Thanks for all the info on Leh-Ladkah. Amazing work done by you..I am planning to visit Leh-Ladkah in October 2014. Me and my friends (Total 10 people) are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh in Oct Month from (3rd Oct 14 to 12th Oct 14). We will be hiring 1 Xylo and couple of Bullets.
    Plz find below itinerary
     Day 1: 3rd Oct: Mumbai to Srinagar (by Flight)
     Day 2: 4th Oct: Srinagar to Kargil
     Day 3: 5th Oct: Kargil to Leh
     Day 4: 6th Oct: Leh to Pangong Lake
     Day 5: 7th Oct: Pangong Lake to Leh
     Day 6: 8th Oct: Leh to Nubra Valley
     Day 7: 9th Oct: Nubra Valley to Leh
     Day 8: 10th Oct: Leh to Kargil
     Day 9: 11th Oct: Kargil to Srinagar
     Day 10: 12th Oct: Srinagar to Mumbai (by Flight)
    My Questions: Need your help on below queries.
    1. Is this itinerary fine? How safe is it to travel in October ?
    2. How would be the weather for entire journey (Daytime and Night)? What all extra precautions we have to take?
    3. Shall we first visit Pangong lake or Nubra Valley considering Acclimitization factor?
    4. How can i fit in Tso Moriri lake in the above itinerary? Will it make journey hectic? Is it worth visiting Tso Moriri in October
    5. If I can cover Pangong lake in one day (No overnight stay in Pangong, will I be able to cover Tso Moriri lake?
    Regards,
    Kishor

    • Hi Kishore,

      Below are my replies:

      1. October is cold to quite cold at night in Ladakh, especially at the lakes. You need to bear that. Secondly, the itinerary is fine except that you should do Nubra Valley 2 day trip first and then single day Pangong Tso. 1 day that remains should be used for Leh rest day and acclimatization as soon as you reach there from Kargil.
      2. Day will be cool with sun out, chilly winds at passes and quite cold at night especially at the lakes.
      3. Leh Rest, 2 day Nubra Trip and then 1 day Pangong Tso given the days you have in hand.
      4 + 5. No chance of fitting Tso Moriri, it needs 2 more days.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  25. KETAN SINGHAL says:

    Hello Dheeraj,
    I just went through your site and finds me much comfortable to ask certain things.
    Actually Me with my wife and 2 best friends are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh-Srinagar from 25th October to 3rd of November.
    We will reach Srinagar by flight and then hire a taxi for entire journey to Leh.Could you please suggest me how trip will planned from Srinangar to Leh..

    • Ketan, Ladakh in October / November is quite quite cold and most of the hotels/restaurants in Leh and even camps at the lakes are closed by end of September. Are you sure you want to carry out this trip?

  26. Mohammed Raheem says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Leh and Srinagar on the August 10 2014. I have planned trip as below please provide your valuable suggestions so we can correct it if we are going wrong;;

    Aug 10 – Flight to Srinagar

    Aug 11 – Taxi/Bus to Leh reaching Leh on Aug 12th

    Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil -Overnight at Kargil

    Aug 12 – 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

    Aug 13 – Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
    Overnight at Leh

    Aug 14 – Start to Pangong TSO same day early morning to Pangong Tso///Night stay at Pangong Tso

    Aug 14 – Start to Leh early morning///Start to Tso Moriri via Chumathang early in the morning//Night stay at Tso Moriri

    Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Upshi (13 KMs) – Kumdok (19 KMs) – Kere (53 KMs) – Chumathang (34 KMs) – Mahe (22 KMs) – Sumdo (10 KMs) – Korzok or Tso Moriri(53 KMs) = 240 KMs
    Cover Korzok Monastery

    Aug 15 – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Rumste – Upshi – Karu – Leh

    Cover Tso Kar Lake and Taglang La (some part of Manali – Leh Highway)
    Overnight at Leh

    Aug 16 – Start to Srinagar

    Aug 17 – Reaching Srinagar//Site Seeing Gulmarg//Siteseeing Patnitop

    Aug 20 – Start to Hyderabad at 4.30PM

    • You are missing out on Nubra Valley and you will not much acclimtized to sleep at Pangong Tso, frankly. Better make a day trip to Nubra Valley on 14 and day trip to Pangong Tso on 15, start back to Srinagar on 16.

      • SAURABH says:

        Hi, dheeraj,
        We are planning to go Leh on 26the oct from Delhi and return by 4th nov.We have 2 plans in mind, one to hire a taxi from delhi to leh and back to delhi, other is, fly from delhi to srinagar, then travel by road to leh and then a flight from Leh to delhi.Coul you suggest the most suitable one along with the itenary.

        • Ladakh in October / November is quite quite cold and most of the hotels/restaurants in Leh and even camps at the lakes are closed by end of September. Are you sure you want to carry out this trip?

  27. vinod shet says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We plan to travel from Srinagar to leh using rented motorcycles(19th-27th July).
    a)Can u please provide contacts of bike rentals in Srinagar
    b)also, elaborate on the weather conditions & related care to be taken

  28. Ayaz says:

    Hellow Dheeraj,
    I’m from Bangladesh and our group is planning to visit Leh during mid-July. Our planned route is Calcutta-Sri Nagar-Leh.

    As I learnt here, we’ll need to have protected area permit for moving around Leh. And for Bangladeshi citizens its issued from Delhi. So which areas are available there in Leh that can be explored without PAP, or is there any?

    But can we really get past Kargil without having that permit? Please let us know if we need this permission to travel along Srinagar-Leh highway.
    Thanks.

    • Ayaz, you can do Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway. From rest of all the places you need PAP which for Bangladesh citizen are issued from MHA in Delhi.

  29. Manish Vashishtha says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am mighty impressed post all the last mile details provided by you & thus, see you as the best person to resolve my query:
    We are a group of 6 people planning to travel from Delhi to Leh between Sep 27th to Oct 4th.
    My first query is regarding reaching Leh, do you think it will be better to fly directly from Delhi to Leh on 27th or go via Srinagar. Budget is also a consideration and looking at the current status, I am just checking that both of them will cost almost similar if I book my tickets now.
    Thus, reaching Srinagar on 27th & taking a Leh’s registered taxi will ensure more value out of the same money or should we plan our travel back to Delhi via Srinagar?

  30. Wali says:

    Hello Dheeraj!Hope you are fine.
    I am from Bangladesh and Planning for a trip from Dhaka-Kolkata-Jammu-Srinagar then spend a couple of days in Srinagar (Gulmarg/Pahalgam) and then go to Leh (Srinagar-Leh). Again spending 3 days in Leh back from the leh-manali highway to Manali. From Manali, I am planning to back delhi and then kolkata again. I have alocated a total of 16 days for the whole (Sep 28-Oct 11). My wife will with me, so please suggest whether the Sep-Oct months and then routs I have mentioned are realistic or not? Or should I take anything very very important to consider? Any suggestion will be really appreciated.

  31. Meg says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Excellent article very helpful. Just few queries we are 7 travelling to Leh from 19th-26th Jul.Taking morning flight from delhi and will reach Shrinagar by afternoon and Srinagar to Delhi flight on 26th noon. Can you pls help how can we best plan this trip? Also what all places are doable in the time we have in Leh(khardungla pass, Pananong lake, Nubhra valley, monastries)someone told me it takes two days to Nubhra so we should skip this. Would like to know your views.
    Thanks a lot
    Megha

    • You have just 8 days with you and it takes 2 days from Srinagar to reach Leh and 2 days to come back. If you reaching Srinagar in noon and leaving Srinagar in noon that means you loose 2 more days to be in Srinagar?? So, ideally, max you can do is:

      19: Reach Srinagar and proceed to Sonamarg
      20: Sonamarg to Leh via Kargil which will be very long jouurney
      21: Leh Local + Rest for acclimatization
      22: Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
      23: Nubra Valley – Leh
      24: Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      25: Leh – Sonamarg, again long drive till there.
      26: Catch the flight in afternoon from Srinagar.

      Somehow you have less number of days. Also, Amarnath Yatra will start and this year Pahalgam route is not expected to open. This means a lot of tourist rush in Sonamarg and the hotels will be running full there and will be quite costly too.

  32. julay2all says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am Indian Citizen with Indian Passport currently living in US with and hold a US Driver’s License. Planning to do Srinagar-Leh-Manali in Aug 2014 with a friend who is Indian citizen, residing in India. Can I drive his car with US driver’s License ? If not, then what can I do/need to drive his car as a backup driver. I will be in India just for a month so I don’t think I can apply for and get a Driver’s License so fast. Thanks.

  33. Mayank says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Congratulations on wonderful work!!!
    We are 6-8 people and planning to take a direct flight to Leh from delhi and the travel to Srinagar by Road .
    Is it a good idea and will we get private taxis from leh .

    Regards

    • Mayank, why not fly to Srinagar first, travel by road to Leh and then fly out of Leh. It will help you with more acclimatization, better usage of time as it saves two days of rest in Leh for acclimatization only. And yes, you can get private taxis in Leh. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

  34. Virkumar Karavate says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Do you know any good hotel in Kargil, Drass or Sonmarg and sringar.(any contact no..?)

  35. Amit says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Great blog here. Full of valuable information.

    My wife & I are planning to drive to Leh from Delhi and we had originally planned to go via Srinagar with the suggested halts in your blogs. But since last fortnight it seems there seems to be some sort of unrest situation nearby Srinagar and we are having a change of heart in that we may decide to go via Manali. We plan to leave on Sunday and would love to hear from you on what you think of our change in decision? Also, what do you suggest in terms of current route conditions, weather conditions, pass transits, etc., for both routes?

    • Amit, it should be fine to travel as many people who are traveling have not reported much. Also, I will say that in case your heart says then turn over to Manali and return from Manali. You can follow the itinerary as is but for Manali – Leh Highway do it like below while going:

      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 + 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

      Then you can follow the same common itinerary.

      • Amit says:

        Thanks for the prompt reply.

        Just have another quick question.

        Someone has advised that I park my car at Leh and hire a cab for return trips (as in drive to destination in the morning and back to Leh by evening) to Nubra, Pangong, etc. What do you suggest on that?

        • Amit, not sure why it was advised. Do you have any concern? When you can travel on Manali – Leh Highway, I don’t think there should be any reason not to travel in Ladakh in your own car??

  36. Norbert says:

    Hello Dheeraj,
    my travelling Srinagar – Leh – Manali has been in August 2013 and I still have wonderful memories. Your website was really a great help for me, preparing my trip. For all interesseted cyclists, who want to do this highway I can put my day passages here for orientation. I´m a not very trained average cycler, who travelled with a loaded bycicle up to 50 kg! All the best Norbert

    09.08. Srinagar(1.626)-Sonmarg (2.742) km 79 asc 1.275 desc 210 time 05:49
    10.08. Sonmarg-Drass (3.057)km 67 asc 1.045 desc 605 time 05:44 via Zoji La (3.541)
    11.08. Drass-Mulbekh (3.307) km 99 asc 1.235 desc 985 time 06:51 via Kargil (2.720)
    12.08. Mulbekh-Lamayuru (3.529)km 69 asc 1.440 desc 1.175 time 05:42 via Namika La (3.827) & Fotu La (4.105)
    13.08. Lamayuru-Alchi (3.150) km 58 asc 495 desc 825 time 03:27
    14.08. Alchi-Leh (3.563)
    km 71 asc 1.270 desc 945 time 05:48 via Basgo Pass (3.542), Magnetic Hill & Alluvial Fan (3.570)
    16.08. Leh-Khardung (4.065) km 75 asc 1.850 desc 1.350 time 09:40 via Khardung La (5.363)
    17.08. Khardung-Leh (3.563) km 78 asc 1.350 desc 1.850 time 06:25 via Khardung La (5.363)20.08. Leh-Lato (4.021) km 94 asc 1.395 desc 935 time 06:32
    via Thikse &Hemis (Leh-Hemis: 50/605/510; Hemis-Lato: 44/790/425)
    21.08. Lato-Tso Kar (4.530) km 75asc 1.420 des 880 time 07:20 via Taglang La (5.360)
    22.08. Tso Kar-Whisky Nalah (4.785)km 76 asc 990 desc 650 time 07:05 via Lachulung La (5.077)
    23.08. Whisky Nala-Bharatpur (4.750) km 77 asc 955 desc 980 time 07:25 via Nakeela La (4.937)
    24.08. Bharatpur-Keylong(3.145)km 83 asc 605 desc 2.255 time 05:14 via Baralacha La (4.918)
    25.08. Keylong-Khoksar(3.152)km 47 asc 690 desc 650 time 04:18
    26.08. Khoksar-Vashist, Manali(2000) km 73 asc 1.005 desc 1.920 time 05:43 via Rohtang La (3.988)

    Top of Tour 5.363 (Khardung La)km1.121 asc 17.020 desc 16.215 time on bycicle 93 h 03 min

    • hank you so much Norbert. This is wonderful. I have copied it to the community Tales Section and made it Sticky here. I am sure this will be very beneficial for the people interested in Bicycling over Manali – Leh an Ladakh. Thank you again for sharing it with all of us.

  37. archit says:

    hii dheeraj….
    we just returned from 16 days ladakh trip yesterday
    thanks a lot for giving us such a useful information.. Its only ur blogs who guide us for making our journey so memorable.. from making itinerary to deciding hotels and car, we only use details given here and it was so reliable… though there are last minute changes like changing our route as manali highway was closed, we didnt find any problem as our ustad himself arranged tempo traveler from srinagar to leh on 1 day notice.
    Thanks a lot

    • That is so really good to know and glad that DoW was helpful in making your Ladakh trip successful. If possible, try and share your Himalayan experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as Photo Tale or Travel Tale Or your reviews of the hotels/guest houses where you stayed or dhabhas/restaurants you ate food on your trip… All this might help others planning the similar trip too :) :)

      • archit says:

        yes sure.. i will share my experince and reviews.. infact its my duty to do so..
        Thank You

        • Thank you so much Archit :)

        • Rajat says:

          Hi Archit,
          May i have your contact no pls??
          i am planning Srinagar-Leh trip in Aug. Hope you won’t mind to share you exp to clarify some of concern regarding my planning.
          Thanks in Advance!!

  38. Gaurav Srivastava says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks. After tons of research on internet on Ladakh trip, I landed on your website and thank God, I did. I am almost convinced now taking the Srinagar->Leh->Manali route. It would be great if you could help me with some concerns:

    1. I have around 15 days and I want to do a bike trip. I don’t have a bike of my own and I want to rent a Royal Enfield 350cc.

    2. Should I rent it from Delhi and follow Delhi —>Srinagar—>Leh—>Manali—->Delhi route. ( I know we would need to rent the bike again at Leh as non Ladakh vehicles are not allowed). Is the Delhi->Srinagar route worth doing a bike trip?

    2. Rent it in Srinagar and drop it in Manali. This would be perfect for me but is that option possible? If yes, what agencies provide that option and what are the costs involved?

    3. Rent it just in Leh, do sightseeing and do rest on public transport. This would miss out the Srinagar->Leh->Manali route (which I don’t want to).

    The motive is to spend maximum time in mountains on bike and travel without any hurries.
    In any case, could you provide me good contacts for renting the bike in Delhi/Srinagar/Leh/Manali depending upon the option you suggest.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Gaurav,

      Below are my replies:

      1. 15 days are good enough and there should not be problem. You can rent bikes in Leh after reaching there from Srinagae.

      2. I will suggest take public transport till Leh from Srinagar and then rent bike in Leh, do sightseeing and then take bus to Manali from Leh. If you are too keen on whole journey as bike trip, then you should hire it in Delhi.

      One way rental will be very costly and also I am not yet aware of any rentals in Srinagar.

      3. Hmm, your choice but I prefer it with rental bikes because this is the safest and cheapest bet.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Gaurav Srivastava says:

        Thanks Dheeraj. One more query:
        If we rent the bike just in Leh and cover the Delhi->Srinagar and Manali->Delhi route via air/train/bus, will it be possible to cover Zanskar within this time frame without making it hectic?

        Also, what are your suggested agencies for renting bikes in Delhi/Leh?

  39. Abhay Jain says:

    Hi Mr. Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 7 landing at 3pm at Srinagar on 12th August, 2014. We want to reach Leh by 13th August, 2014 even if we reach in the night it is ok.

    For that I had planned to leave srinagar by 4.30pm and reach sonmarg by 8pm and halt at sonmarg. The next morning i planned to leave by 7am to reach Leh directly. But to this plan, all the taxi companies are saying no.

    They are also telling me that the Zojila Pass is open only till 3pm to go towards Leh, is that true?

    Can you please guide me through this matter as i have to do hotel bookings ASAP. We have less time to spend there that’s y extending the trip is not a possibility.

    Please do reply soon sir.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Abhay Jain.

    • Abhay, by 12th August, most likely the restrictions of timing for one way traffic will be taken out, so in that case you will be able to start early morning. Also, I will suggest you start 5 AM instead of 7 which is late. Of course you will be missing on sightseeing place and will be doing a rushed run to Leh from Sonamarg.

  40. Kunal says:

    Hey! Can you please suggest one or two good accommodation places in Lamayuru? (Budget-1200)

  41. Sidharth says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    It seems I will have to share all my queries here. No probs.

    I’m planning a roadtrip to Leh / Ladakh in early August or August end. We would be 4-5 people and therefore, I would be going to opt for a SUV (Fortuner) on rent. I have never been to Leh / Ladakh before and therefore I need your expert advice regarding route, places to see etc. We would be having 1 foreign national and as you have stated in your blog about the PAP, kindly brief me up more on this PAP thing.

    Also, is it necessary for all the members to carry passport or any valid photo id will do – PAN Card, Voter Card, Aadhar card etc.

    I have 12 day plan & I hope it would be sufficient enough to execute the travel.

    looking forward for your early response.

    Thanks
    Sid

    • Hi Sid,

      Yes, it is better to get a reply at least. Emails are still on queue of 137 un-replied :) Comments on blog or threaded topics in community always gets more priority as they help others as well with similar queries.

      All foreign nationals, NRIs having PIOs or OCIs need PAP (Protected Area Permit) to visit Inner Line areas of Ladakh which has been now waived of for Indian Nationals starting May 2014 only. He/she must be in a group fo 2 or more and PAP must be applied at DC Office with required fees through a registered Travel Agent in Leh. Also, go through the thread in DoW Community: Inner Line Permit and application letter for foreigners

      Permit for citizens of Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Burma are issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and permits for those people who are on diplomatic or official VISA are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Delhi. 

      Yes, it is necessary for all the members to carry PhotoID Nationality Proof.

      12 days are OK enough, though if you are few more, you can check: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Sidharth says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Much Thanks for quick reply.

        I agree that this platform proves to be much easier for communication as compared to emails, especially when you look at 137 unread emails :-)

        I have a query. As stated by you – “All foreign nationals, NRIs having PIOs or OCIs need PAP (Protected Area Permit) to visit Inner Line areas of Ladakh which has been now waived of for Indian Nationals starting May 2014 only. He/she must be in a group fo 2 or more and PAP must be applied at DC Office with required fees through a registered Travel Agent in Leh” – what do you mean by “in agroup of 2 or more” for a foreign national. Being with us, will he/she be counted in a group or you mean that he/she has to be in a group of 2 or more foreign nationals only?

        Please advise.

        Also,what more documentation would be required in terms of hired self driven taxi? Talking about ILPs – can we apply for the ILps in Delhi or it can only be done upon reaching the Leh region? Would we able to wander deep inside Leh / Ladakh with our vehicle or will have to hire another local taxi for sight seeing?

        Sorry, for too many questions.

        Regards
        Sid

        • Hello Sid,

          No, being with you he/she as foreigner cannot form a group. It has to be group of two foreigners. When you go to travel agent, they will have groups and add the name to the list to get the permits. No worries there. He will hand over the permits copy to you and there is no need to travel along with the entire group anyways. Hence, he/she can travel with you after getting that permit.

          Hire self driven?? If it is yellow plate then it will not be allowed to do sightseeing in Ladakh. If black plate, it will be allowed but may be confronted at times by taxi union guys and you will have to convince them in that case that it is self driven with all the papers they will provide. For white plate, no worries at all. Just carry the regular registration papers/certificate, PUC Certificate, Innurance Papers and your valid Driving License.

          In all three cases if you doing it from Srinagar side, no issues. If doing from Manali side, you need to get permit to travel across Rohtang Pass which is issued from Manali SDM Office or Green Tax Barrier. But, if you going from Leh to Manali no permit is required.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • As I said, ILP is not required starting this May 2014 for Indian Nationals.

        • Sidharth says:

          Thanks for all the valuable info shared.

          Let me know, if we can meet someday in or around CP in near future.

          Regards
          Sid

        • Sid, luckily I will be in CP in the evening or around it only. See if you make it :D

  42. krishna kant rathi says:

    hi dheeraj
    amazing job by sharing all these info with aspiring travelers. Am certain it’s proving helpful to loads of people…
    i have never been to leh ladhak thought i m planning to visit in july 1st week i will be travelling from Delhi, can u plz suggest itinerary so that i make bestof it,i will stay for 7-8 days!!!any help would be apricieated…thank you

    • 7-8 days for a road trip to Ladakh is not possible. It takes 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side and 3 days from Manali side. 1 day rest is needed. At least 12-13 days are required for a comfortable trip to Ladakh and about 10-11 for rushed out trip.

  43. Sagarika Kamath says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh via Srinagar from 09-17 Aug, 2014. We are 6 people travelling and have 7 to 8 nights to spare. Do you think this plan will work for us?

    Can you suggest based on the below itinerary where we can include half a day of some adventure sport?

    Day 1: Arrive after noon at Srinagar. Visit Sonmarg, Spend night at hotel in Sonmarg.

    Day 2: Travel from Sonmarg to Kargil. Visit Drass Village, Famous Peaks (Tiger, Tololing), reach Kargil by evening. Overnight Hotel.

    Day 3: Kargil to Leh after breakfast. Enroute visit Mulbek, Giant Living Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain, Lamayuru, Moon Landscape, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara and Hall of Fame. Reach Leh by Evening. Overnight Hotel.

    Day 4: Leh to Nubra Valley. After Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla. Arrive at Deskit by Afternoon. Explore the Hunder village and camel Safari in Sand Dunes Overnight Hotel at Deskit/Hunder.

    Day 5: Nubra Valley to Leh. After Breakfast visit Deskit Monastery and drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardungla Pass. Overnight at Leh

    Day 06: Leh to Pangong Lake. After Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake through Changla Pass. Overnight at a Camp on the lake.

    Day 07: Pangong Lake to Leh. After Breakfast drive back to Leh, enroute visit Hemis, Thikse Monastery and Shey Palace. Overnight at Hotel in Leh.

    Day 08: Trek to Saboo village and back to Leh by car. Overnight at Leh hotel.

    Day 9: Leave early morning from Leh to get back to Delhi-Bangalore.

    Regards,
    Sagarika

    • Hi Sagarika,

      I see here that most of the itinerary is fine BUT you are not resting in Leh for acclimatization before moving to Nubra Valley. This can hit you back with AMS, so please take care of this. I will suggest that you dro the trek of Saboo Village, it should be nothing but just a hike which you will be doing all days in Ladakh when you walk. Hence, no point going for it. Move that day before going to Nubra Valley. This will make your trip much much better. Then, for doing adventure sports, you can actually do rafting while coming from Nubra Valley and going straight for rafting there.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Sagarika Kamath says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the prompt reply! So you suggest we rest in Leh on Day 4 and spend the day at leisure to acclimatize?

        Instead we proceed to Nubrah valley on Day 5, right?

        Also, rafting on our return jouney from Nubrah Valley to Leh should be feasible, right? Do you have any idea about how much these activities cost?

        Look forward to your views.Its been so helpful!

        Cheers,
        Sagarika

        • Sagarika, charges for Rafting ranges from Rs 1000-1800 per person depending upon which rafting you taking up and what all is being provided in the package like taxi, food, etc.. Regarding other questions “Yes”, rest in Leh for a day. Do rafting on the day when you return from Nubra.

  44. Vinod says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    This is our plan …please suggest

    12 July: Arrival in Srinagar and stay in Srinagar
    13 July: Srinagar – Gulmarg – Sonmarg. Overnight at Sonmarg
    14 July: Srinagar – Amarnath – Sonmarg. Overnight at Sonmarg
    15 July: Sonmarg – Leh.Overnight at leh
    16 July:Leh sight seeing. Overnight at Leh
    17 July: Leh sightseeing. Overnight at Leh
    18 July: Leh – Kargil. Overnight at Kargil
    19 July: Kargil – Srinagar. Overnight at Srinagar
    20 July: Departure

    Please help me in few things :
    One day return to Amarnath from Sonmarg by walk ,is this possible ??
    One day journey from Sonmarg to Leh ?? is this possible

    or is there a better plan you can suggest .Thanks in Advance :-)

    • I do not think this is possible at all in one day from Sonamarg to Amarnath and back :( … Sonamarg to Leh is possible but will take about 13-14 Hrs. Please dedicate the trip to Kashmir and Amarnath yatra only.

  45. Vinay Ravish says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    awesome info. I have few question. we are planning to go on 20th June from delhi to Leh via Srinagar-Leh in Chevrolet Captiva(personal car). my questions are:
    1. Do we need any car permit/passing for the route. If yes, then from where. Consider the case of common route say Srinagar – kargil – mulbekh – Lamayuru – Leh.
    2. We want to carry portable small LPG gas cylender to cooking :). can this cause any kind of problem overall or in case checking etc. We want to cook our own food at the roadside :). Actually we want to enjoy journey. Plz suggest if anything else that we can do.

    Thanks in advance…
    P.S. aweseome info. GOD bless

  46. Rahul says:

    Hi Dheeraj…..
    We froup of 6 peoples all are male starting our journey on 30th July 2014 from Srinagar to Leh n then Leh to Manali……. I just wanna to ask u that as we r goin to hire Innova/Scorpio/Tavera…… do we hire a A/C or Non A/C vehicale????? or is the A/C vehicle must during the end of July period ???

  47. Abhisek says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    I am planning to visit Ladakh with my family 0n 12th August.I am planning to fly from Jammu to Leh and want to stay there for 2 nights then come back to Srinagar by Road on 14th August.
    Is it a good plane ?
    I also want to know that as I am starting on 14th August from Leh
    I have to stay in Kargill on 14th night .Is it ok ??

    • Abhishek, these 2 days will be used for acclimatization only. You will not see anything in Leh – Ladakh as you need to rest after flying to Leh for atleast 36 Hrs to acclimatize your body. I will suggest you make some other place trip.

  48. Raunak says:

    Hey Dheeraj,

    I would like to thank you first for helping with plan for people visiting Kashmir for first time. I have couple of questions for myself:

    We are 4 people who thinking of travelling to Leh/ Ladakh towards the end of July this year. At a high level our plan looks something like:

    Day 1 Reach Leh via flight in morning, rest and acclimatize. What all should we visit in Leh?
    Day 2: Nubra valley via Khardung La – Do we need some permit for stay around Nubra valley?
    Day 3 – Return to Leh from Nubra valley. Rest in Leh
    Day 4 – Leave for Pangong. Stay at Pangong
    Day 5 – Reach back Leh
    Day 6 – Flight back from Leh

    Someone told us its better to consult tour operator for such a trip as they can give a better deal? Is that correct?

    Also, for Nubra Valley and Pangong we want to hire a local taxi, I hope there are taxis easily available at Leh for these trips?

    Do you suggest to alter this plan little ? or recommend to cover something else as well around that area?

    Looking forward to your response.

    • Raunak says:

      Btw, can we include rafting around leh in this current iterinery or would we need an additional day? We dont have prior rafting experience so which rafting around leh would you suggest?

      • In case after my suggestions above you want to do Rafting, I will suggest to do it after coming from Nubra on Day 4. Don’t exert in early days as AMS might hit you because of non-acclimatized body.

    • Raunak, in this itinerary, you MUST rest completely on Day 1, then rest half day 2, do little sightseeing on Day 2 in Leh. Then make 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and 1 day trip after that to Pangong Tso. This should be ideal itinerary for you.

      You should get local taxis up there in Ladakh without any issues. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

  49. Kunal says:

    Hi Dheeraj ji. You have done an incredible job here-putting all this information in such a comprehensible way. I didn’t have to refer to any other source after coming to your blog. Thank you very much.
    I would like to ask the following questions-
    1. What is the frequency of buses from Srinagar to Kargil?
    2. Can we get a taxi from Kargil to Leh? Will this Kargil taxi have permission to do sightseeing in entire Ladakh (Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, Sham Valley, etc.)?
    3. Do taxi drivers agree to charge on per km basis for local Leh travel? If so, what is the rate?
    I have also read about your DoW causes. We are 6 people coming to Ladakh this July and we have decided that each one of us will take up atleast 1 cause.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Kunal says:

      Also,
      4. Can we book private taxi booking from Lamayuru for the entire onward journey?
      5. What time do generally monasteries remain open, so we can plan accordingly?

      • 4. Better take Kargil based taxi or Leh based taxi from Kargil.
        5. Don’t remember the exact time. But they have lunch between 1-2 PM and then they might get closed by 4-5 PM

    • Harsha says:

      Hi kunal,

      We are a couple. Planned to leave srinagar on 14th july. We are still not sure if we will take a bke or a taxi…taxis are too expensive. Let me knw if you would like to share the taxi. Am happy to know if you have a different plan

      • DoW started an initiative last year 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.

    • Hi Kunal,

      Thank you. Please find my answers below:

      1. Sorry no idea of frequency but most of them would leave in the morning only I feel.
      2. No Kargil based taxi will only drop you to Leh. Then hire a different taxi for sightseeing in Ladakh. However, you will get taxi from Kargil which is Ladakh based as Leh taxi come and pick people from Kargil OR can hire Kargil based taxi just for a drop to Leh.
      3. Rate is fixed per destination according to Taxi Union Rates.

      Thank you for coming forward and participating in DoW Causes.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  50. Dileep says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are starting from bangalore and reaching Srinagar on 14th Aug 1:30PM (Flight).I want to reach Leh by 16th Aug by BUS service. Please let me know BUS service timings from Srinagar to Leh.

    FYI from 16th Aug ‘m attending 9Days Biking Expedition from YHAI.

  51. Virkumar Karavate says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    We are planing trip to sringar-leh.
    We will start from bangalore on 26th July morning and will reach srinagar till 11 am.
    we have return flight on 2nd August from srinagar.
    So can you please guide us to plan trip to srinagar-leh and sringar sight seeing..?

    • Virkumar, you have just 7 days in hand and have return flight from Srinagar :( … It takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar and 2 days to come back. 1 day you need to rest in Leh for acclimatization. You can visit Khardung La as day trip and one day trip to Pangong Tso in remaining days.

      • Virkumar Karavate says:

        Thanks Dheeraj.
        Or can we spend all 7 days in Srinagar and around..? and will plan next year for Leh for more days..!
        if we can spend all 7 days in srinagar and around what should be our plan..?

        • Yes, you can refer something like below:

          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
          - very ancient Mamleshwar temple
          Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
          – Explore ruins of Awantipura
          – Enjoy vistas en-route
          Day 5 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
          – 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 | Sonamarg
          Day 7 | Sonamarg – Srinagar
          Day 8 | Back Home

        • Virkumar Karavate says:

          Thanks a lot Dheeraj…!
          You are really doing great job by guiding people who are visiting Kashmir vally first time.
          once again thanks alot..

        • Best wishes for the trip and if by chance you happen to be happy to spread smiles, please support the initiatives of DoW Causes in order to help the local community up there in remote Himalayas. You can check more details about them at: DoW – Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel and can execute them on your own.

        • Virkumar Karavate says:

          Dear Dheeraj,
          As we want to explore little bit srinagr-leh highway,we decided to go toll Kargil. So according to that we plan below shedule.need your comments on ths..:)
          Day 1 | Srinagar (26th july)
          – Take rest for the day. May be enjoy Shikara ride or stay in house boat itself.

          Day 2 | Srinagar – Gulmarg (27th july) (1h 8mi. 50km)
          full day at gulmarg.
          stay at Gulmarg

          Day 3 | start from Gulmarg to Sonamarg (28th july)(3h ,120km)
          full day at Sonamarg
          stay at Sonamarg

          Day 4 | start at morning – Sonamarg to kargil (29th july) (2h 40min , 124 km)
          while going enjoy sight seeing
          stay at kargil

          Day 5 | Kargil Sight Seeing (30th july)
          stay at kargil

          Day 6 | start at morning kargil-Srinagar (31st july) (5h, 207km)
          enjoy sight seeing the highway
          stay at srinagr

          Day 7 |Srinagar-pahalgam 1 day trip (2h 86km)
          stay at srinagr (1st August)

          Day 8 | Back Home (2nd August)

        • Plan is OK but travel time that you have written is almost 50% less :) :) … Kargil does not have much to offer unless you have plans to travel to Day trip to Suru Valley upto Drang Drung Glacier.

  52. Sanjay says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Your info is a big help, Thank You so much, we are three pax planning a self drive trip from srinagar to leh and back to srinagar with 10 nights in hand, can u suggest. Thank You.

    Regards
    Sanjay Jain

    • Sanjay, do you have these 10 days ex. Srinagar? Also, are you living in Srinagar? If not, why going back to Srinagar instead come from Manali – Leh Highway.

  53. York says:

    Hello Dheeraj

    First of all, thank you for the comprehensive information on Ladakh you provide here. We read through many of the posts and it already made us reconsider our plans :) following your advise we will do the journey from Srinagar instead of Manali.
    Reading the above post we were wondering if a 5day trip from Srinagar to Leh could be done on public transport. Is it possible to hop on/off buses on the way, e.g. at Mulbekh, Lamayuru and Alchi? Or are there any other means, like trucks, we could rely on? Are the sights within walking distance from those place or would we need additional transport? We have a lot of time but a tight budget :)
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions
    our very best regards
    York and Andre from Germany

    • Hello York,

      Yes, it is wise to do Ladakh journey from Srinagar side and then return from Manali side. Yes, it is very much possible to do this kind of journey over Srinagar – Leh Highway as there is civilization after about 70-80 odd KMs. Also, the route keeps up life with running traffic and you can certainly get buses, lifts, hitch hike to trucks, tourist cars, bikes, etc.. You much be open for it :) … Most of these sights are walking distance. But, go with time in hand. For example, for visiting Alchi, you need to get down at Alchi bridge and then wait for the vehicle going into alchi village to come. Once the vehicle comes, you can take lift or hop on to it and they can drop you to Alchi. Once in Alchi, its walkable to visit monastery.

      Lot of time and tight budget can go hand in hand because transport is the major chunk of expenditure in any Ladakh journey which can only be brought down by time on hands :)

      Cheers !!

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • York says:

        Hello Dheeraj,
        Thank you so much for the information and encouragement :-) … we will do it this way and report back to you later how it went…
        Cheers
        York and Andre

        • Awesome, best wishes for a great trip to both of you. Will look forwards to your updates here or in DoW community Travel tale section :)

  54. Ajay Patel says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    First of all I would like to appreciate your efforts in helping people for trip planning. You are doing a great piece of work.

    Dheeraj, we are 2 couples planning a Leh trip in August. We will be reaching Srinagar on 15th Aug afternoon.
    We haven’t booked our return ticket as of now but we are planning to take a return flight from Delhi to Mumbai on 31st August.
    I have read many of your post which are really helpful in planning the places that we can cover. However, I am struggling to find how I will roam around to these places. From where I will get taxi, will it drop me on the next place and I will get taxi further or every time I will have to come to Leh and then go to next place on next day.
    it would be great if you can suggest an itinerary which indicates from where I can get taxi and where I can leave it.

    Regards,
    -Ajay

    • Dear Ajay,

      Thank you so much for the appreciation.

      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 follow the above itinerary as is with starting point as Srinagar. You can visit Turtuk in Nubra Valley and add a day for it. This will be enough. Add rest days according to the days in hand.

      Regarding the taxi, I will suggest that you take one taxi for a drop till Leh from Srinagar which will be Srinagar based taxi. For rest of Ladakh and drop to Manali, take one Leh based taxi.

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

      Sorry I was on trip to Chansal Pass – Pabbar Valley to celebrate DoW Community’s first B’day and hence could not reply earlier ;)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  55. Tanmoy says:

    We 6 fnd go to leh via jammu-srinagar on july 2nd week and return Delhi via manali. kindly suggest our route trip and plan our budget [including hotel, taxi, etc.]

    • Tanmoy, how many days do you have in hand?

      • Tanmoy says:

        We r reach in Srinagar on 15/07/2014 evening and leave from Manali on 27/07/2014 evening

        • You have 13 days till Manali and you can follow the below itinerary:

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

          Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
          – Enjoy the vistas enroute
          – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
          – Overnight at Kargil

          Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          – Overnight at Leh

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

          Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – 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 6 | Turtuk – Hunder
          – Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
          – Overnight at Hunder

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

          Day 8 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
          – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
          – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
           
          Day 9 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 10 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR You can do tour to Sham Valley
          – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 11 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 12 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
          – Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          – Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
           
          Day 13 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          – Overnight at Manali

  56. Kaushik says:

    Is the Rs 9000-12,000 rate for one-way trip from Srinagar to Leh with one night halt for Innova/Scorpio or smaller cars? Are there any other charges we should consider?

  57. anubhaw says:

    Sir,
    I come to hear that now from this year rented bikes are not allowed in LEH?? Is this true as we are planning to hire a bike from Delhi only and go via Srinagar and than come via Manali.
    Please update as about the bike rend new rules.???

    • 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.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2014 – 15 & Reliable Shops

      • anubhaw says:

        Thanks a lot of the reply.

        I got one more information that now ARMY are not allowing BIKES to Rohtangpass,And only SUV are allwoing. Is this true … please reply…
        we are planning to lEH from 27 June to 8th July.

        Thanks
        Anubhaw

        • Not really sure. Never heard of it. Wonder why something stupid like this without any reason could be in place. Do you know the reason why it is not allowed?

  58. Amrish Patel says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you very much for writing such a detailed blog and giving answers to every question. We 4 people are planning tour of Manali-Leh-Srinagar (By Road) and Srinagar-Delhi (By flight). Are there cabs which can offer us travelling in one direction (i.e. Manali to Leh) ? Is this a normal practise?

    • Amrish, yes it is quite a normal practice there for drop to one location. in fact taxi from Manali can only drop you to Leh from where you need to hire Leh based taxi which will do Ladakh sightseeing and drop you to Srinagar.

      Sorry I was on trip to Chansal Pass – Pabbar Valley to celebrate DoW Community’s first B’day and hence could not reply earlier ;)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  59. Arihant says:

    we are 4 people planning to visit leh ladakh by 13- 20 July, our plan is :
    13th – Srinagar arrival by 3.PM
    14th – Srinagar to kargil
    15th – kargil to leh
    16th 17th & 18 th – near around leh & ladakh
    19th – leh to kargil
    20th – kargil to srinagar
    pls suggest any improvement in plan??

  60. archit says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    i talked with u earlier for queries about manali highway route. we are leaving from mumbai tomorrow but as manali highway status is not good, We are going by srinagar highway.
    i want to ask you that Is it something like we need to leave very early like we do in manali road..4 A.M. type
    is it advisable to stay at Mulbekh

  61. rian says:

    can i have the number of driver from srinagar to leh……..

  62. ravi dabas says:

    hieee…dheeraj you a doing a great job…sir I want to know one thing…is srinagar to leh road is good for maruti ritz…we are planning to teavel in next week…

  63. sahil arora says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning a round trip from Jammu-Srinagar-Leh-Manali from 4th june by our car.We have planned that we will check out for our all places at 5 A.M (Is it possible/practical????)We have prepared the following itineray starting 4th june..
    Day 1- Jammu – Srinagar
    Day 2- Srinagar – Gulmarg(Gandola)
    Day 3- Srinagar – Kargil
    Day 4- kargil – Leh
    Day 5- Leh – Hunder – Nubra(night stay)
    Day 6- Nubra- Pangog lake
    Day 7- Pangong – Chumathang – Tso morir/Tso kar(What You say for night stay?)
    Day 8 – Tso kar/Tso morir – Pang – Sarchu – Manali (Is it possible to raech manali in a day or we have to take a halt?
    Some doubts in our mind kindly advice us.
    1. No day kept for Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization?
    2. Where to stay for night halt nubra/hunder?
    3. Is it possible to travel from nubra to pangong via shyok river road in a day?
    4. Where to stay for night halt Tso Moriri/ Tso kar
    5. Is it possible to raech manali from tso moriri/ tso kar in a day or we have to take a halt?
    Very Thankful to you in advance for your advice.

    • Hi Sahil,

      – Going by Wari La route to Pangong Tso is a risk as route is not traveled by many people and I doubt if it will be open in early June. Check before leaving from Nubra with your driver.
      – Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri via Chumathang is very very very long.
      – Tso Moriri to Manali not possible in a day.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  64. Dushyant Singh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, I would like to say a hearty thanks to you for providing such a wonderful in-depth information about the Srinagar-Leh route. It’s really fabulous!

    Dheeraj, We are 3 people planning to visit Kashmir and Leh-ladakh for the 1st time from delhi. The date of journey will start from 3 jun 2014 and will end on 14 jun 2014. We will be covering the entire journey with our personal car(Tata Vista Quadrajet).
    Here i would like you to help us in making our itinerary in such a way that we can see the major of Kashmir and Leh-Ladakh thoroughly. Secondly, I want you to advice me for the suitable car for this entire journey out of Hyundai Fluidic Verna or Tata Vista Quadrajet?

    Kindly Help me out for the above mentioned requests, I would be very thankful to you.

    Regards,
    Dushyant Singh

    • Hi Dushyant,

      Thanks a lot.Regarding cars, I will surely say to go with Vista but don’t feel that it is a good car for this circuit especially if you have plans to come from Manali – Leh Highway… For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

      You have 12 days in hand and can follow an itinerary 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 Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      – Overnight at Leh

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

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

      Day 8 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

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

      Day 10 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      – Stay overnight at Sarchu

      Day 11 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      – Overnight at Manali

      Day 12 | Manali – Delhi

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  65. Shashidhar Reddy says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Info is amazing. We a batch of 10 members are planning a trip Ladak from July 31st to August 4th. We are planning to start from Srinagar on July 31st and return to Srinagar by August 4th. This is the first we are coming. Any details you provide will be helpful. Thanks.

  66. Dear Dhiraj Ji
    I have a plan to self drive from delhi to leh via srinagar on 30th may 2014. My muv’s wind sheild (front glass) has a little crack on its top left corner, Please tell me that should I replace it before I go and other usefull tips.

    • Yes, for sure I will say that you replace that glass. If anything happens up there, I am sure it is not the easiest of terrain to first get it replaced and then drive it without glass.

  67. Sameer says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    You really wrote a bible on Leh-Ladakh. Truely full fledge guide on how-to-travel.
    I am completely clueless about how to plan an itinerary for Leh Ladakh.
    My plan is Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar starting June 21 and back by June 29.
    Can you suggest a detailed plan so that the trip covers major spots including time for acclimatization.

    Thanks, Sameer.

    • Hi Sameer,

      Here you go:

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

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      – Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      – Overnight at Leh

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

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

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

      Day 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

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

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

      If you can take the permits for Batalik route then while comine to Kargil, instead of going from Lamayuru you can come from Dah – Hanu – Batalik route to KArgil.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • mainak says:

        hi guys, 4 of my friends and i are planning to visit ladakh in august . last time we visited ladakh in 2012 but delhi to leh by air both time. this time we intend to go srinagar to leh by road and for return leh to manali by road. we have few queries-
        1]we will be reaching srinagar by air on 8th august around 11.40 a.m. will it be possible to start for leh by car on the same day?
        2]i am doctor and my freinds are all techies,so dont have a long leave, have to return to kolkata by 19th.last time we spent a whole week in ladakh.so this time 5 days will be enough, night stay at pangong at tsomoriri only, no local sight seeing this time.
        so which will be more time saving- srinagar to leh then return via manali or the reverse? cant afford night stay at srinagr or manali.pls help.

        • Hi Mainak,

          1] It takes about 8-9 Hrs to reach Kargil. So, you will reach late in the night.
          2] You have to acclimatize for a day for sure. So, that leaves you 4 days where you can make 2 day trips each to Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. From tso Moriri you can directly go to Manali – Leh Highway and stay at Sarchu. So, of course doing it from Srinagar side and exiting from Manali makes more sense

      • Sameer says:

        Thanks Dheeraj, for the detailed plan. This certainly is a handbook for my trip.

  68. Anubhab says:

    Hi,

    Me & my friend have planned for Srinagar Leh visit for a week time from August 3rd to August 10th. August 3rd we will be landing in Srinagar and we will be returning on 10th August from Sri Nagar. We would seek your help to help us plan our journey for these 7 days. We want to enjoy most of it. Any kind of help is welcome.

    Thanks and Regards
    Anubhab

    • It will takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar and two days to come back to Srinagar from Leh. When are your flight timings and are these 7 days inclusive of flight days to Srinagar and from it.

  69. Nitin Sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks first of all for the work you have done.The blog is full of information and full of excitement. Well as of now what i have planned my trip is like
    30th june leaving from delhi to Jammu
    1st July leaving from Jammu to Srinagar a over night stay
    2nd July srinagar to Kargil
    staying in Kargil for 2days 3nights ie 2nd night 3rd day and 3rd night 4th day and 4th night
    5th july would be leaving for Hemis Monestry
    would be staying there for almost 5 days.
    and then moving ahead dun know where i am confused there are so many places to see any ways.
    I would really appreciate if you could tell me that what is the scene of the local transport there i mean if i plan to travel by bus. what are the options and what is the frequency like.
    secondly tell me that will i be able to get cheap but good places to stay back in leh if posb can you give me a rough idea as i need to check my pocket as well.
    I would really appreciate if you could tell me should i go online and book the hotels now or should i go there first and then hunt for the place please suggest.
    Thanks
    nitin

    • Nitin, local transport is quite bad, like last I knew there were weekly buses only for Pangong and Tso MOriri. I will suggest to better go back to Leh and tag along with other travel partners. How much time do you have on hand?

  70. Siddhesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning a round trip from Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi from 9th June. We will be reaching Delhi at 12pm on 9th june. So we will be able to start from Delhi at around 3pm. We have prepared the following itineray starting 9th June :

    Day 1(9th June) – Delhi to Chandigarh 291Km
    Day 2 – Chandigarh to Jammu 345
    Day 3 – Jammu to Srinagar/Sonamarg 295
    Day 4 – Srinagar to kargil 204 km
    Day 5 – Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh 210km
    Day 6 – Leh to Nubra – Hunder 112
    Day 7 – Nubra to leh 112
    Day 8 – Leh to pangong 148
    Day 9 – Pangong to leh 148
    Day 10 – leh – chumathang – Tso Moriri 152
    Day 11 – Tso Moriri –Tso Kar – Pang – Sarchu 200
    Day 12 – Sarchu to Manali 223
    Day 13 – Manali to delhi 550
    Day 14 – Train at 3pm for mumbai

    Please suggest any changes so that we can finalize our itinerary.

  71. Shail says:

    Leaving on 5th July from Delhi….2 Couples…..more can join….Leaving on 7th from Manali to Leh….Couples are welcomed….;-)

    • DoW started an initiative last year 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.

  72. vijay says:

    hi dhiraj
    realy vry much thankful for sharing a good experience,in fact we are planning to by road and it helps a lot.

  73. Pramesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    A big Thank you for maintaining such an extensive blog for travel to Laddakh. You have been thanked innumerable times(from what I can see on your blog comments) and trust me, you deserve each and every one of them.
    It is only after reading your blog that we decided to start our Laddakh trip from the Jammu/Srinagar side rather than the other way round. The information here has been most helpful in planning our trip and we hope to be able to Thank you properly after returning from our trip :)

    We are 5 friends, planning to drive up to Laddakh in our XUV500 on the 15th of June. We are all first timers to this route. I have personally driven up to Rohtang before and have travelled to a few places in Himachal but nothing on this scale.
    With a lot of help from your blog, we’ve finally come up with this itinerary, but have a few questions that am hoping you’d be able to answer.

    Trip itinerary -
    -Start on 15th June Midnight – Drive to Delhi (7:00 – 8:00AM) – Reach Delhi on 16th Morning – Breakfast – Freshen Up – Move on another 4 – 5 hours to either Ambala(3.5 hrs from Delhi) – Ludhiana(6 hrs from Delhi) – Overnight at either.
    -17th – Drive on to Patnitop (12 hrs from Ambala, 9 hrs from Ludhiana) – Overnight Stay
    -18th – Patnitop – Srinagar – Sonmarg (9 hrs approx) – Overnight at Sonmarg (Patnitop के बाद से आराम से ही चलना बढ़िया रहेगा :))
    -19th – After Sonmarg we have a choice to either make our next stop at Drass (65 kms- 2.5 hrs) or move on to Mulbeck via Kargil(160 kms – 6 hrs approx) – Overnight at either Drass or Mulbeck ( I’d personally prefer to reach Mulbeck, but I’ve also been told that the Dras sector is extremely beautiful. Well worth spending a day.)
    -20th – Drass – Kargil- Mulbeck – Lamayuru (165 kms – 6-7 hrs) or
    Mulbeck – Lamayuru – Leh (195 kms – 7 hrs approx) – depending on where we stay on the 19th, we can reach Leh today or tomorrow. (If we don’t hit any delays up to Drass and are able to make good time….) – Overnight at either Lamayuru or Leh.
    -21st – Either which way – 21st is for relaxing in Leh. Light walks only. Coffee shops, baazar, cafes, food, information for the rest of the routes.
    -22nd – Leh – Nubra Valley (160 kms – 6 hrs approx) – Overnight at Nubra. The most beautiful part of the trip. Looking forward to it the most.)
    -23rd – Nubra to Leh – Overnight at Leh.
    -24th – Leh to Pangong Lake (160 kms – 5 – 6 hrs) – Overnight in tents by the lake
    -25th – Pangong to Leh – Overnight at Leh
    -26th – Leh – Tso Moriri Lake via Chumathang (8 – 9 hrs approx) – Overnight at Tso Moriri (Karzok Village)
    -27th – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu – Overnight at Sarchu (210 kms – 10 – 12 hrs approx – Need to start early from Tso Moriri) We want to reach Sarchu as it has better options to stay than Pang and the road is bad as well. Overnight at Sarchu/Pang.
    -28th – Sarchu – Baralach La – Suraj Tal – Deepak Tal – Jispa – Keylong – Tandi ( This is again where we have a choice to either stay at Jispa ( 86 kms from Sarchu – 3 – 5 hrs) or Move on to Tandi (Another 35 kms – 1.5 hrs ahead) Tandi is where the Chandra and Bhaga rivers meet to form Chenab. I definitely wanna visit this. Overnight at Jispa/Tandi
    -29th – Jispa/ Tandi to Manali or Kasol or thereabouts. (6 – 9 hrs approx) – Overnight at Manali
    -30th – Manali to Delhi – Overnight at Delhi
    -1st July – Back to Lucknow.

    Questions –
    1. Our XUV has a 75 ltr diesel tank, and with a bare minimum average of 10 kms , that should give us a range of 750 kms. Do you think we would need to carry extra fuel for any of the stretches mentioned above?
    2. After Pangong, we could go straight to Tso- Moriri via Merak-Chushul-Nyoma. This could save us a day and I’ve been told that the drive is more beautiful as well. Do we still need permits for this route after the new order applicable from May this year? How much fuel do you think we’ll need if we were to do Pangong and Tso moriri in one go instead of going back to Leh for refuelling?
    3. Do you think the time/distance calculations on these stretches are adequate? Any other suggestions for the itinerary?

    We’ve tried to keep the schedule flexible, but we do understand that 15 days is a bit tight for a trip like this. But sadly we don’t have more time on our hands. We’ve also been inspired by the DOW causes and will be taking some gifts along with us to give away at village schools/dispensaries. Please let me know of any places in particular that you think would benefit most by these gifts.
    Thank you once again for maintaining this awesome resource for all of us newbies. :)

    • Hi Pramesh,

      Thank you so much brother for another warm Thanks :) I am sure you will have a rocking trip since you have researched quite a bit over here… Will look forward to your experience back in community.

      My comments on Trip itinerary -
      -19th – From Sonamarg go over and stay at Kargil with ample of stops in between to enjoy the beauty till Kargil
      -20th – It should be Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Leh
      -24th – Cover Thicksey, Shey on the way to Pangong Tso
      -25th – Cover Hemis while coming back from Pangong Tso on this day
      -27th – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu – Overnight at Sarchu (210 kms – 10 – 12 hrs approx – Need to start early from Tso Moriri) We want to reach Sarchu as it has better options to stay than Pang and the road is bad as well. Overnight at Sarchu/Pang.
      -28th – Make over night at Jispa as it is much closer to nature. Tandi is good too but I prefer Jispa more

      Questions –
      1. I don;t think so but no harm in carrying extra 10 Ltrs while doing Leh – Tso Moriri – Pang – Sarchu – Tandi
      2. I will suggest against it and will prefer that you keep the enjoyment to traditional routes which are good too and save you from permits hassles and conditions if you are allowed by army last minute after reaching there. Second trip, you should attempt it.
      3. I have provided inputs on the itinerary. No issues on that brother.

      Thank you so much for participating in DoW Causes and coming forward for it by taking a step ahead. I will suggest you can do so either at Hunder, Tangste, Korzok, around Shey, village near Tso Kar lake, etc.. something remote.

      Sorry for late reply as I was traveling to Tirthan Valley

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Pramesh says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,

        Besides creating this awesome travel resource, you also take out the time to reply to individual queries! You are either totally crazy or a total travel junkie! Hats off dude!
        Thank you for your response.
        - We wanted to avoid staying at Kargil as we have 3 vegetarians amongst us and your blog mentioned that it might be difficult to get vegetarian meals there :) But I understand why you want us to ON at Kargil. Will try to get around the dinner problem with some packaged stuff.
        - Your blog does not mention anything about fuelling stops on the Srinagar- Leh highway. Should we be carrying extra fuel on this route? Where all can we expect to tank up between Srinagar and Leh?

        And btw, I’ve been to Tirthan Valley before (Himalayan Trout House) and trust me if I had been there I wouldn’t have cared to answer back either ;) Thank you once again. Keep travelling, keep rocking!

        • Pramesh says:

          My apologies. Just saw the various petrol pumps listed on the Srinagar- Leh highway. Please ignore the question. :)

        • Thank you Pramesh. Just trying to follow the passion and love for Himalayas :) :)

          - Well, your hotel will be able to serve you that at least Dal Rice if you are able to reach in time before dinner. The problem arise when hotel closes their kitchens on late arrivals and then market on limited options are present.
          - I hope you got the reply. But, don’t worry much about fuel on Srinagar – Leh Highway. There are plenty of civilization points where you can get fuel

  74. Bicky says:

    Hi Friends,

    We 6 people are planning to have a 5days vacation in Ladakh. Is it possible to cover Ladakh-Srinagar in 5days. Please let me know your advises. Will be reaching Delhi by 31st May evening. And need to reach back in Delhi on 5th June. Planning for Motorbike trip.

  75. anja says:

    hi all. first thank you for Information. it is very helpful!
    i am a solo traveler and wanna cover srinagar leh maali. start would be in Delhi erly june. which would be the best to start with and is it safe for a femal solo traveler. maybe there is someone with same travel Destination i can join?

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

      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.

      There are few posts by families as well as females. Even on FB Page of DoW I saw a post. Please post yours, and you might find one.

  76. Puneeth says:

    Thanks Dheeraj! I’m planningmy Ladakh trip this May-June. So, i want to end the trip at Srinagar(From Leh). I’m thinking if i could cover Zanskar circuit(Phugtal, Padum, etc) and then to Kargil and Srinagar. Please give some tips. This Leh – Zanskar – Kargil would be in 1st week of June.

  77. Parminder says:

    Sir, Thanks for lots of information about leh tour,

    I am planning for leh tour by self drive of own Alto with my wife, Is this is safe for journey in that area alone.

  78. SUMAN JAIN says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    you have done wonderful research and doing philanthropic job.
    We are four. It includes me, my son 16 yrs. of age, my friend and his son of same age. We intend to start from chandigarh from 28th May. want to spend 12 to 15 days. No fix itinerary. Having Innova.Please advise.

    Regards

  79. parag says:

    Hi Dheeraj after mata vaishnodevi darshan we could start our journy on 1 june 2014 from katra by road which route is suitable for us via shrinagar or via manali we have to reach dehli on 11 june lease advise route plan

    • Parag, yes you should follow the Srinagar – Leh Highway and reach Leh. On return you can take Manali – Leh Highway. 11 days with 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and 1 day trip to Pangong Tso will be OK.

  80. parag says:

    hi dhiraj
    we start our tour 1 st jun 14 after devi darshan from jammu n we want go by road so please make for us a leh ladakh trip for 8 to 10 days

  81. parag says:

    hi diraj
    we are planning leh from jamu on 1 jun 14 after vaishnav devi darshan we are 6 friends n we dont know how we go by road or by air so please make a trip for us for 8-10 days thanks

  82. parag says:

    HI DHIRAJ
    WE ARE 6 PPL N PLANING TO GO LEH 1 JUNE TO 10 JUN 14 PLEASE TEL US HOW
    MAKE A TRIP

  83. Swapnil says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank You for wonderful and valuable information on Leh – Ladakh Tour.
    I am planning to travel to Leh Ladakh with 3 friends ( Total 4 People) betwen 2 Aug – 16 Aug.
    We are starting from Manali – Leh Highway as our Air tickets are already booked.
    We are planning to break the Leh – Srinagar Journery in 3 days.

    Day 1 – 13th August – Leh – Sham Valley Sightseeing – Alchi / Uleytokpo – Overnight stay at Alchi or Uleytokpo in tents

    Day 2 – 14th August – Alchi / Uleytokpo – Dha and Hanu Villages – Overnight Stay on any better place on Leh-Srinagar Highway (example Lamayuru)

    Day 3 – 15th August – Lamayuru – Kargil – Overnight stay at Kargil

    Day 4 – 16th August – Kargil – Drass – Sonamarg – Srinagar – Overnight stay at Srinagar

    Does this itenary looks good ?
    Can you suggest us the right place to stay on Leh-Srinagar Highway, and the Hotel/Camps Contacts for Alchi / Uleytokpo, Kargil and Places in Leh-Srinagar Highway.

    Do we need to pre-book OR can we take the risk of going there are booking.

    Many Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Swapnil Khairnar

    • Swapnil it does sound good and completely manageable. I will suggest that you first make stay at Uley, then stay at Dah Hanu villages, then at Kargil and finally at Srinagar. No need to pre-book as you will end up paying more for these locations, better try home stays up there.

  84. Satish Nair says:

    Hats off to you Dheeraj! After such a detailed description of every smallest thing a person can think of…you are responding to queries, commenting, suggesting…WOW! I have just started planning my trip to Leh, and I am sure I will eventually resort to asking my queries to the GURU :)

  85. Lokesh Sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Recently came across blog…thanks for all the info, it’s indeed a great blog. Can you please tell me if the routes are do-able in a hatchback (example, hyundai i10) ?
    I would like to drive in June-2nd half or if you could suggested a better month (when roads are better & stable).
    1. Leh to Nubra
    2. Nubra to Pangong (direct)
    3. Pangong to Chushul to Tso Moriri
    4. Tso Moriri to Tso kar to Sarchu/Jispa
    Thanks & Regards,
    Lokesh Sharma

    • Lokesh, roads are best in September end only.

      Leh to Nubra is fine. Nubra to Pangong Tso via Wari La will be 50:50 in a hatchback. Be ready for some scratches underbelly, Pangong Tso to Chusul to Tso Moriri is a BIG NO for hatchbacks. High GC Required. Tso Moriri to Tso Kar to Sarchu – jispa can be done in hatch back with little challeneges and somewhere or other some scrapes underbelly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Lokesh Sharma says:

        Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for your quick response. I don’t want leaking chamber, have experience this earlier (that got me stuck for 2 days)… Can we do Leh to Pangong to Sarchu in hatchback ? I will leave Tso Moriri in this case and use the extra day for Nubra to Leh drive.
        Regards,
        Lokesh

        • Using the traditional routes, you can do entire Ladakh circuit including Manali – Leh, Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso. The only thing is with the water crossings.

          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

  86. Samuel Tilakraj says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks a lot for this great article! Together with the copious comments, this is an encyclopedia for Leh visitors.

    I am planning our own trip with my family (of 4) in June (14th-26th) and will need your help later while putting this together. In the meanwhile though, I had a quick question to start off….would you have suggestions for a good/reliable rental car service in Delhi where we can book the car (preferably a 4WD). I plan to pick it up at the airport and start the drive from there. Also, any pointers on what they might cost per day would be great help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sam

    • Thank you Sam !! sorry no idea about the availability of Self Drive cars in Delhi for Ladakh. It will cost a huge dent in the pocket. My advice is always to get a taxi with experienced driver and ask him or tip him to let you drive where you feel comfortable. Else take your own car. In rented car, you carry a lot of liability especially for adventure like Ladakh and many of the car rentals don’t provide it.

  87. Vivek says:

    Wow… I mean amazing efforts Dheeraj. Not only in writing such detailed Article but also for Meticulously replying to all the queries. Request A small favor for me too, though you have already mentioned about safety on Leh-Srinagar Highway, just wanted your advice as me and my wife are planning to travel from Leh to Srinagar alone on a bike in july end. Is the road safe enough to travel alone with wife and in case of vehicle break down can I expect some help on the way. It’s a 10 days trip from Manali to leh and from leh to Srinagar. I have reliable company from manali to Leh and for sightseeing in Leh but while returning we have different plans hence we are planning to travel to Srinagar alone.

  88. cdr.b.udaya sankar says:

    sir
    you touched upon every possible aspect.i appreciate amount of hard work you put in to help us.
    can you touch upon the activities to visit deskit,hundervillage from LEH,such as transportation accomadation. Thanks

  89. Bella Rajput says:

    Hello Dheeraj: I need a tip on luggage. What kind of luggage one should use for Ladakh trip. I am going in end of May for 15 days. Do you think a 70 litre sack alone will do for 15 days?

    Thank you.

    Bella

  90. Shrisheel says:

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    thanks again for this usefull information but ca you help us with the accommodation facilities available at the alternate route i.e
    Kargil – Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh.
    Thanks in advance.

  91. Ashish says:

    Hi,
    we are 5 friends and we are planning to Leh via Srinagar we have booked flight Delhi to Srinagar on 16th July to 22 July return to delhi. We want to travel by bike from Srinagar to Leh. So please suggest from where we will get the bikes. and 16 to 22 july is ghood time to travel and its enough days to explore that place.

  92. rohit dwivedi says:

    HI,
    We are group of three friends reaching srinagar on 26th july and will have return from srinagar to pune on 3rd august, so we have 8 days in hand.
    Please suggest how should we plan the traip to cover most of NH1( kargil/drass) and leh ( with near by places).

    • Rohit, it will take 2 days each to reach Leh and return from Leh to Srinagar. One day of rest in Leh to get permits and acclimatization. Hence, remaining three days can be used for 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and then 1 day trip to Pangong Tso lake.

    • senthil says:

      Hey .. we are planning our trip during the same period .. are you planning a bike trip from Srinagar ? If so, can you suggest us a place where we can hire bikes ?

  93. mandira says:

    planned a vist. need your suggestions and comments

    DAY- 1 ARRIVAL TO SRINAGAR AIRPORT, LOCAL MARKET- MUGHAL GARDENS, CHASHMI-E SHAHI, NISHAT, SHALIMAR BAGH, SHIKARA / HOUSEBOAT RIDE ON DAL/ NAGIN LAKE.
    DAY- 2 SRINAGAR TO GULMARG SRINAGAR GANDOLA RIDE, SNOW SKIING
    DAY- 3 GULMARG TO PAHALGAM, AVANTIPUR RUINS & CRICKET BAT FACTORY
    DAY- 4 SRINAGAR TO KARGIL VIA GANDERBAL, SONAMARG & BALTAL (AMARNATH), ZOJILA PASS, DRASS
    DAY- 5 KARGIL TO LEH – MULBEKH, LAMARYU VILLAGE, SANGAM
    DAY- 6 & 7 NUBRA VALLEY
    DAY- 8 PANGONG LAKE, ROYAL MUSEUM, THIKSEY, STAGNA HEMIS MONASTERY
    DAY- 8 ALCHI, MAGNETIC POINT, LIKIR, SANGAM, FAME, BACK TO LEH
    DAY- 9 TO (KUSHOK BAKULA TERMINAL) LEH AIRPORT

    tentative dates 12-22 may
    suggest changes if neccessary
    parents are accompanying aged 55–56

    • Hi Mandira,

      You itinerary seems OK to me with just one thing. After reaching Leh, you will have to rest for one day to acclimatize there before going to Nubra Valley. So, Shift you day of Alchi, Magnetic point there as you will anyways do that while coming from Kargil. Rest on Day 6 then follow your itinerary. Also, keep day visit to Pangong Tso just for Pangong Tso only and remove all the other monasteries. It will become very hectic in that case.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  94. Aman says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Planning a trip from Aritsar with friends (self drive) to leh Via srinagar and return via Manali from 8th August to 18th August. Will it be advisable to go Via srinagar on 8th Aug as Independemce day will be close by and also amarnath yatra will be going on.

    • Aman, it is something that cannot be predicted. I will suggest to keep a watch of the situation and generally it should be fine if you follow the highways and do not take any inroads. Else keep the plan B with you.

  95. mahesh says:

    Hello, i am planning to visit leh and all near by places. I am from ranchi can you please help me on planing the routes from ranchi to leh

  96. Manish says:

    Hi, I am planning a road trip with family (wife and a 3 yr old) from Delhi to Leh via Srinagar in self ride mode. Wanted to check, how safe and easy(amidst all talks on terrorism, military and police interference, permits, if any) to drive down to Srinagar, in and around Srinagar, and from Srinagar to Leh – Any specific things to know before going, any do’s and dont’s

    • Manish, tt depends on person to person 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 2+ year child, I think she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

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

      Regarding other safety dimensions, well Kashmir is dynamic in nature so no one can really predict anything. Generally, the highways and tourist sectors are safe to travel. Just follow the highways and avoid interior roads and above all keep a check on conditions prevailing in the valley.

    • Vikas Sharma says:

      Hi Manish,

      you need to be a real expert driver to drive in those terrains, however advisable would be to go upto Srinagar by air/train and hire a taxi for the entire trip.

      Taking children along would not be a good idea and that is to a 3 year old. please understand the region (especially after drass & kargil has low oxygen levels hence it may cause nausea, severe headache, bleeding from nose, womitting. If you are confident enough to take care of the little one really well, you can still take your kid along provided you need to cover his head all the time, lot of water or fluids to be fed. carry an oxygen cylinder just in case you or any of your family members feel breathlessness.

      I myself went to ladakh from Delhi by raod via Srinagar to Leh and returned via Manali with my parents, wife and kids. the journey was amazing with some uneasy experiences. however, once you are back, you would definitely go back again, as I am planning alone this time.

      Precautions to be taken to enjoy it at the full. most of the details are mentioned on the blog / website and helps almost everyone to plan their trips.

      my best wishes and have nice/safe trip with family.

  97. joehan says:

    Hi Dheeraj and all readers,

    I read somewhere that tourits heading to Ladakh via road have to register themselves at Tourist Registration Centre at Drass. Can anyone here re-confirm this?

    • Hi Joehan,

      I have not heard it but taxis does register themselves after crossing Zojila Pass at Minamarg. I will try to check with my sources regarding same and will update.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  98. Vidya says:

    Hi Dheeraj, I have to reach Leh 16th May Morning. I am volunteering a project for a month in Leh. I will be travelling solo from Ahmedabad to shrinagar by train. Can you please guide me after reaching shrinagar railway station, where can i get a taxi or bus from? how safe it is for me as a solo female traveler. any contact no of taxi driver from shrinagar to leh drop, so that i can pre book him before i reach shrinagar. This will be a great help from your side. Regards and thanks. Vidya.

    • Vidya, train does not reach till Srinagar, it is better that you reach till Jammu and then take a shared taxi or bus to Srinagar from there. You are alone and private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are :)

      Even for Srinagar to Leh, it is better that you travel with shared taxi or bus as private taxi will be very costly for you.

  99. Prateek says:

    Hi. Dheeraj.

    You have done a fantastic work. Hats off..

    We are 3 friends planning to take a road trip to Leh from Delhi starting on 1st May and plan to return by 9th May in an 4WD SUV. We are all looking for a good adventurous trip. Kindly advice about the routes and weather.

    Thank you

    • Prateek, seeing the weather conditions I doubt that roads to Ladakh (Manali – Leh) OR Srinagar – Leh will be open by that time of the year. Srinagar – Leh has better chance but no surety. Hence, I will suggest to postpone it by a month or so. Also, you have just 9 days in which it is only good that you allow yourself to go via Manali – Leh Highway because going via Srinagar will take about 4 days from Delhi and 4 days to come back. 1 Day is required for rest and acclimatization and permits in Leh.

      • Prateek says:

        Thank you very much for the information.

        We are planning to go via Srinagar-Leh route and return to Delhi by Manali-Leh route.

        As per your comment, I believe we need atleast 10-12 days for this.

        We will still try to go on May 1 if highways are open by that time, if not then we have to reschedule it to around May 22.

        Anyways which is the best time according to you for roadtrip to Leh?

        • Prateek, I feel if you need to see snow then better go in June to mid of July else go in September after monsoon resides the Northern region.

  100. Annie says:

    Hi,
    you have a great blog here. Just loved it.
    I am traveling to Leh via Srinagar and departing via Srinagar. My plan is:

    12th Jul — Reaching Srinagar at 1.00pm

    13th Jul — Leave for Kargil on Stay at Kargil

    14th Jul — Leave for Leh early morning, overnight at Leh

    15th Jul — Leh Sight seeing & getting permit

    16th Jul — Head for Nubrah valley & overnight halt

    17th Jul — Back from Nubrah to Leh. Overnight at Leh

    18th Jul — Leave for Pangong Lake. Overnight at Lake

    19th Jul — Leave from Lake . Overnight at Uley.

    20th Jul — Leave from Uley Baxk to Srinagar. Night at Srinagar.

    21st Jul — Dept in afternoon.

    Now Can you please let me know the sightseeing places in details that I can cover in each day of my trip, so that we do not miss anything. Will a Visit to Zanksar possible in this?

    Please provide the s/s places, names and details.

    Also can you please let me know where can I get leh number taxi in Srinagar. How much it will be if I hire one taxi for the entire trip. Any idea?

    Thanks,

    Annie

    • Annie, given the number of days in hand, it looks decent to me. You will run a bit more on 19th and 20th for sure. For details of sightseeing places, you can refer Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh for the days falling for you. Zanskar Valley is not possible at all, you need about 3-4 days at least on a run basis for it.

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

      • Annie says:

        Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for your feedback. Now only 2 of us are planning to visit Leh. Now can you please suggest cheaper options of travel in the above mentioned dates?

        As Srinagar-Leh, vice versa is very costly. So I am thinking of taking direct taxi to leh. and go to Lamayuru, Alchi etc later. Can you please suggest?

        Thanks,
        Annie

        • Hello Annie,

          In that case I will suggest that you better take shared taxis to travel between Srinagar and Leh or you can find travel partners online too in DoW Community or other places to share taxi cost. Once you reach Leh, 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

        • Annie says:

          Thanks a lot Dheeraj. All year i was planning for this trip and really don’t want to cancel it. So now Say if i don’t get any one to share taxi and take those srinagar-leh non stop taxis then how many days I need in Leh to acclimize?

          So.. is it possible if 12midnight/13 morning i take these 16-18hrs taxi I will reach leh at evening of 13th take rest.
          14th sight seeing around Leh.

          15th Sight seeing around Alchin

          16th Nubrah

          17th Nubrah to leh

          18th Pangong

          19th pangong to leh

          20th Leh – Srinagr

          Please advice.
          Thanks,
          Annie

        • Annie, the above itinerary is fine. No issues in it. You can actually descend on 14th to Alchi / Likir and stay there and next day come back to Leh on 15th for sightseeing in Leh local, book your taxi to Nubra and Pangong Tso. This will be the best and economic way to conduct it. Don’t worry much you will do good. Just don’t exert too much on 14th and 15th. Take rest and plenty of fluid intakes in the form of Juices, ORS, Electoral, etc..

        • Annie says:

          Thanks a lot Dheeraj. I have read your blog more than 10 times all of it. Thank you really meant it.

        • Awesome, Best wishes for the trip and if by chance you happen to be happy to spread smiles, please support the initiatives of DoW Causes in order to help the local community up there in remote Himalayas. You can check more details about them at: DoW – Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel and can execute them on your own.

  101. Mayank Dhawan says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for your valuable suggestions, have few more questions around the same.
    1. Can we go Via srinagar by May10th.
    2. Yes we do have contacts in Army so they can arrange the camps for us.
    3. What is suggestion, should we go ahead or postpone.
    Our team is very excited to go and don’t want to postpone it and the only reason behind it is that we might not be able to go for the same trip for the entire year if not May.

    • Hi Mayank,

      1. Seems much likely that you will be able to go via Srinagar – Leh Highway by second week of May
      3. I will suggest to keep the plan and hope for the best.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  102. Mayank Dhawan says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    This is in regards to the trip that me and my friends are planning from May 10th to May 17th. Have few questions around it, will appreciate if you can guide us accordingly.

    1. We are leaving from Delhi on the night of 09th May which is friday and expecting to reach manali by morning of 10th, coz our group wants to have fun by going on bikes to rohtang pass and then back to manali to drop the bikes and pick our cars back.

    2. Next day we are planning to go from Manali – Leh, Do we need to stop anywhere in between or we can complete the journey in one day, your suggestion needed looking at the time we have.

    3. If we plan this trip via srinigar how much extra it will be in Km’s or do we need any permission to take our private vehicles to leh and ladakh.

    4. Do we need any sort of medicine to cope up with with the oxygen problem we usually while climbing up, as we have around 5 gals so do not need any problem in between.

    5. We have one I10, Punto and Etios as we are thirteen people in total to travel.

    6. What all permissions we require to stay in army camps in Leh or ladakh and for travelling too.

    Would appreciate your suggestions.

    Many Thanks
    Mayank Dhawan

    2.

    • Hi Mayank,

      1. Fine, no issues.

      2. Manali – Leh Highway might not be open during that time, very high chances seeing so much snow in March too. Already deadline is pushed to quite an extent from 30th April, perhaps couple of weeks.

      3. From Srinagar side, it takes a day more (4 Days) as compared to Manali – Leh (3 Days)

      4. No one can predict how many of you will fall victims of AMS or not as it does not depend on age, sex, fitness, strength, etc.. of any human. It can impact anyone at any stage. Best is to take precautions, read and know about it. Check the article for tips: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

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

      6. You cannot stay in army camps bro. unless you have connections in army or know someone who can arrange it for you on your behalf.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  103. J Manickam says:

    Hi Dheeraj, Can you please let me know if it is safe to go to srinagar in the month of Sep? We are family and planning for a trip to Leh and go via Srinagar and stay at Srinagar for a couple of days. Is it safe? Thanks.

    • September is perfectly fine. I generally make my travel plans to trans Himalayas in September only as I love the colors during that time :)

      • J Manickam says:

        Thanks Dheeraj..

        Also we are planning to take our aunt who is close to 70 years old but still active and mobile.. As I have seen your other replies, I believe age shouldnt be a factor as well. Right?

  104. Tania says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Me and my husband are planning for a visit to Ladak on July this year. We will reach Srinagar and then we are planning to go by road. We are not planning to drive on our own, so what all options are left for us. After reading your blog i found that personal cab hiring is just tooo expensive.
    We have a weeks time in hand. Can you please suggest the places we can visit on our way to Ladak and also in Leh (apart from the sight seen) which all places to visit.
    Thanks in advance.

  105. Prasant says:

    We booked ticked Delhi to Sri Nagar on 27th April.
    We are 7 family members (Parents & In-law’s age-60 +. Rest of us 30 +)
    27th April:- Sri Nagar local Sight Seen.
    28th April:- Planning to visit Gulmarg and come back in Sri Nagar.
    29th April :- Pahelgaon or somewhere else.
    30th April:- Sri Nagar to Kargil (over night stay at Kargil)
    1 st May:- Kargil to Leh
    2nd to 4th:- Leh.
    5th May:- 7 a.m flight Leh to Delhi.

    Please suggest where to stay in Sri Nagar. We want to stay at Dal Lake house boat, Car should be 7 seater Innova.

    Total Budget is approximately all inclusive of all 70-80 K entire family including all meals apart from Air Fare.
    I would like to request you please suggest and help how to plan our tour. Please suggest every thing.

    Regards,
    Prasant

  106. atul bhalerao says:

    hi dheeraj we r planning leh trip in may end want to know if we hire a transport car like tavera from jammu then how many people r allowed in it? and is it allowed to take tavera all the way to leh and then to manali? and in leh we cant use that car then how much they will cost as we will not use that car for 3/4 days while we r in leh

    • atul, the taxi hired in Jammu is only allowed to drop you in Leh. Only Ladakh taxis are allowed for sightseeing inside Leh, so you need to hire it again. For Tavera you can tightly accommodate 6-7 BUT I suggest no more than 6 as these are long routes so more than 6 will become very tight as 6 itself is tight. Best is to reach Srinagar and get in touch with the drivers of ladakh listed in the link below. They will come and pick you up from Srinagar and then you be with them till the end of the trip in Manali.

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

  107. ANITA says:

    Hi,congratulatiion for your efforts in providing valuable inputs in regards to places which make it attractive to visit .Planned to visit Leh ,Ladakh n Srinagar in may (6th may-25th)with family of four .how to plan itinerary as want to take route of Srinagar to leh highway & want to cover Srinagar as well.

    • ANITA says:

      kindly let me know how to arrange the vehicle from kargil to leh ,can i do those booking online as you suggested in your blogs that it is advisable to arrange vehicle having ladakh registration no.

  108. Nikhar says:

    Hello,

    We intend to leave Srinagar at noon. Can we reach Drass / Kargil by night for a halt?

  109. Arati says:

    Hi We are planning to Visit kashmir in the month of May 14. we 4 will be travelling 2 kids 4 and 7 and my husband. Not planing to visit Leh but wish to visit kargil. What will you suggest

    • Arati, it depends how many days do you have in hand. If you don’t want to visit Leh then better off sticking to Kashmir only, no point in taking the painful journey over zojila with family just to see Kargil. Better use that time to explore Kashmir with ease.

  110. Akhil Sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Recently came across your website and find the info immensely helpful.
    I am planning a road trip with my 3 friends from Srinagar to Leh from 23 June-27 June. I am requesting your advice in planning our journey and what places should be on our higher priority while journey.

    Regards
    Akhil

    • Thank you Akhil. Can you please suggest how are you exiting Leh? Are you planning to come back the highway to Srinagar again? If yes, it takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar and 2 days to come back.

      • Akhil Sharma says:

        Sir,
        We are planning to exit via leh to manali highway from 28-29 June.I want to know about the places we must visit in Leh while our 3 Days stay in Leh and how should we plan our journey.

        • So, three days you will be in Leh and then start the journey on Manali – Leh Highway on 28th June. OK, so first day you should rest in Leh and acclimatize + arrange for permits. Second day you should visit a day trip to Khardung La OR you can go ahead into Nubra further if you OK leaving early in the day. Third Day you can either make day visit to Pangong Tso OR you can stay overnight at Pangong Tso and then next day leave early again from Pangong Tso and do Pangong Tso to Sarchu in one day. You need to leave Pangong Tso by 6 AM.

  111. Talkien says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Excellent write up !!! Hats off …

    My important questions :
    Srinagar-Leh highway opens on 2 May ? Trip has been planned for first 2 weeks of May. ( wasn’t possible any other time).Don’t care if road condition is bad.

    Any forum to find people traveling on similar dates ?

    My trip is Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Mumbai (10 nights).
    Is the alternate route to Kargil advisable?

    • Talkien, Thank you brother. Yeah, you can take the route from Kargil to Leh via Batalik if you want. But, if its first trip then go via Lamayuru. DoW had 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.

  112. Sujit Sirdeshmukh says:

    Dheeraj,

    Along with 3 friends I am plnning trip from 26th Jul 14(arrival at Srinagar by 1pm) till 8th Aug 14.

    Bellow is the plan (kept 1 day in hand if reqired).

    Suggest if any alterration required.

    We have already booked tickets from Mumbai to Srinagar and Delhi to Pune on 9th Aug 14.

    When do you think we shall book taxis & hotels for this travel (the numbers provide by you on this site)?

    Day 1 | Mumbai-Srinagar
    Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil (Stay at Kargil)
    Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh (Stay at Leh)
    Day 4 | Leh Sightseeing + Internal Permits (Stay at Leh)
    Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder (Stay at Hunder)
    Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh (Stay at Leh)
    Day 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake (Stay at Pangong)
    Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh (Stay at Leh)
    Day 9 | Rest day at Leh or sham Valley (Stay at Leh)
    Day 10| Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang (Stay at Tso Moriri)
    Day 11| Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu (Stay at Pang/Sarchu)
    Day 12| Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali (Stay at Manali)
    Day 13| Manali – Delhi (Delhi)
    Day 14| Delhi-Pune

    • Sujit, itinerary is very well done, guess based on most common itinerary of Ladakh on DoW mostly. You cannot go wrong with it. Just that keep rest day 9 as buffer for monsoon hassles if there are any :)

      • Sujit Sirdeshmukh says:

        Yes Dheeraj, I did refer DoW for this. Thanx to you for that :). I have been refering to DoW from long time, and every time my interest increase. Hats off to your great work. I have already started refering DoW to others for Leh trip. Can you please let me know, when is the right time to book taxi and hotels? Shall I do it now or wait for month or so for it?

        Thanx again for your reply in such busy schedule. I think you are from Delhi and hope to meet you on my way back from Leh.

        • Sujit, thank you so much brother !! Just trying to manage best I can. Well, I feel you should not book hotels brother because you are traveling in Monsoons. This will eventually add up pressure of reaching a particular place. Better strike a deal with any of the drivers listed on Ladakh drivers thread and keep him informed that you are coming, every now and then until you start for the trip. This way he will keep the window for you and you will just need to pay a very small amount for booking his service for taxi, if at all required. This will help you save some good bucks and they will also help you find the accommodation too.

      • Sujit Sirdeshmukh says:

        Dheeraj,

        I did contaced couple of Taxi Drivers, and they are asking me 60K for entire tour. Pickup from Srinagar till Drop to Manali, as per my schedule mentioned earlier. Do you think this is a OK amount? or shall I reach Srinagar and then look for taxi?

        • Sujit, considering you are doing a normal itinerary with traditional routes, 60K seems to be on higher side to me. Check with few others. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2014 – 15 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.

  113. Ankit says:

    Hi Dheeraj, I am planning a trip from 30th may to 9th june approx.9-10days from mumbai. I want to cover both srinagar & leh in one trip. 3nights in srinagar/gulmarg +1 in kargil + 4 in leh/pangong in which road trip will be involved. Is it possible? regards, ankit

    • Sarita says:

      Hi Dheeraj, Appreciate your patience and time in answering the queries of the needy…and surely I am one of them.

      I am planning for Leh trip with my husband from 15 Aug – 24 Aug. We are planning to board a flight from Chennai to Srinagar on 15 Aug and then back to chennai on 24 Aug.
      Could you please suggest a suitable Itinerary for us to explore the places on the travel and in Leh.
      Regards,
      Sarita

      • Sarita, I can suggest you the itinerary but 15th Aug does seems like a good idea to be around Srinagar due to its volatile nature. Usually at such time, there are always little trouble and is best avoided so as to have a trouble free trip. Instead, fly directly to Leh and then come down to Srinagar if return ticket is costing too much or even you can come down to Chandigarh via Manali – Leh Highway, which is actually the soul of Ladakh trip.

        • Sarita says:

          Thank you Dheeraj.

          Sorry for the late reply. We are re-visitng our plan on the trip.

          Btw, your website has been very helpful in drawing up our decision. Will reach you once are plan is up.

          Thanks once again :)

        • Sure, feel free to post your queries any time you need help :)

    • Ankit, it is too much to cover in just one trip and that too of just 9 days. Are you planning to fly out of Leh or traveling back to Srinagar from there and then flying to Mumbai? It is slightly possible if you can fly out of Leh but will still be hectic one.

    • Ankit, 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.

  114. Ankita says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning for a trip to Leh in august (9th-17th Aug) and booked Mumbai-Srinagar return tickets for the same just yestdersay.

    Happened to read your post today.. you have mentioned that it is best to avoid these dates due to independence day bands/strikes.
    What are the chances of these affecting our trip??

    • Ankita, such things cannot be predicted and since you have booked the tickets on 9th, you might be OK since 15 remains still distant. You will leave for Kargil any way by 10th of Aug or better can be done the same day to stay at Sonamarg. Are you planning to come back the same route too?

      • Ankita says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,
        Yes.. planning to take the same route while returning too.
        Another thing.. we are 4 people so planning to hire a 4-wheeler (with driver) from Srinagar and BACK. Do you suggest any good car hire agencies?

        • Traveling both ways by road does not seem too logical to me considering already less number of days. Still, if you want to go for it, you can follow something like below:

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

          Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
          – Enjoy the vistas enroute
          – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
          – Overnight at Kargil

          Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + 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 – Leh (long day so leave early)
          – Make day trip to Nubra Valley since you are short on days.
          – 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 – Leh
          – Day trip to Pangong Tso
          – 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

          You can take route from Batalik while return from Leh to Kargil to see/explore a different route. So, get the permits done for Batalik as well. I will still advice to take flight out of Leh to easy out few things for you in those couple of days because you do not have any buffer considering rains/monsoons mess at Zojila Pass or around Kashmir upto Kargil

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  115. Indranil says:

    Hey Dheeraj,
    i am planning a road trip from Srinagar in 2nd week of April, is it feasible?
    last year the roads were open early April.

    • Indranil, no feasible as Srinagar – Leh Highway gets open with feasible or stable limits by end of April or early may only. Roads were opened last year BUT had frequent closures and got stable only in second week of May. So, even if the road is open that early, they remain unstable for couple of weeks.

    • Indranil says:

      thank you for the prompt reply! :)

  116. Nirav says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am from mumbai and planning to visit Leh-Ladakh around 25th may to 5 june. Flight tickets are too costly (around 80,000) for two person from delhi. Can you please provide alternate modes to reach leh during this time. I dun mind travel in train as I hav few extra days of leaves from office.

    • Nirav, I will suggest that you take a flight to Srinagar from Mumbai and then from there travel by Srinagar – Leh Highway to reach Ladakh. Spend time in Ladakh and then take Manali – Leh Highway and from Manali take Volvo to reach Delhi. Finally, take flight back home from Delhi.

      • Nirav says:

        Thank you very much Dheeraj.

        • Ankit says:

          Hi Nirav, I am also planning to visit Leh & Srinagar during same period from Mumbai with my wife. let me know if interested to plan together.

  117. madhu says:

    Hii Dheeraj

    I am planning a 9 days/ 7 nights trip to Srinagar and Leh

    Day 1: reach srinagar at 3Pm
    Day 2 & 3: Sight seeing in and around srinagar
    Day 4: reach kargil and halt there
    Day 5: reach Leh, halt there
    Day 6 & 7: sightseeing in and around Leh
    Day 8: return to srinagar
    Day 9: morning flight and leave back home

    Please tell me if this plan is okay and also let me know what all places can i see in Leh Ladhak

    • Madhu, I will suggest two things before suggesting anything else.

      1. Please choose one option, explore Ladakh or explore Kashmir so that to make something worthy out of this trip.
      2. Take flight out of Leh to save more days and enjoy other places in Ladakh instead of wasting 2 days running over the same route.

      Also, which month are you planning this trip?

      Regards
      dheeraj

  118. Ketan says:

    hi Dheeraj, Loved your blog ! Planning to visit Kashmir with my wife and kiddo (11yrs). Planning to visit Leh, srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarga. Our travel dates are 12 April for about 7/8 days… Will it be nice time to visit ? We can take flight from Srinagar for Leh ? Or do you suggest carry on from Pahalgam to drass instead of Leh ? Please do recommend as this is my daughter’s first trip to Kashmir and she is all excited.

    • Hi Ketan,

      Firstly, Srinagar – Leh Highway will not be open at that time of the year. Secondly, I will strongly suggest considering the number of days in hand, please choose one of the places either Ladakh OR Kashmir.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  119. Ankit says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, many thanks for such a wonderful and un-selfish efforts put by you in this blog. May God bless you. It really amazing.
    I am planning a 8 night trip to Srinagar and Leh.
    My tentative itinery is:
    Srinagar (2 nights) 1st & 2nd June
    Gulmarg (1 night)
    Pahalgam (1 night)
    Pahalgam to Kargil & Kargil (1 night)
    Leh (3 nights)
    Including day trip to Nubra Valley and Panagong Lake.

    Would it be feasible. Any suggestions from your side.
    Thanks in advance.
    Ankit

    • Thank you Ankit for your praises. I will suggest that given the number of days in hand, PLEASE opt for one of the place either Kashmir or Ladakh to make best out of the trip and have it worthy enough.

  120. Shreeman says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Excellent follow-up of your journey.
    Now my parents won’t let me take the car as I am just 20 now. Nevertheless, am i correct in guessing that the 2-day bus journey should suffice as far as watching good landscape is concerned?
    2nd, staying in Kargil. The JKSRTC bus that I take, does it take us to a lodge or hotel in Kargil, or do we just pass the night in the bus, or more excitingly, sleep on the ground?!
    If lodge, is that included in the ticket cost already?
    3rd, bus stops every now and them to let army convoy pass. Does your estimate include this waiting time or do we add some more time to the already long journey of 2 days?

    Exciting a prompt reply, and yeah, thanks in advance!

    • Hi Shreeman,

      Yes, as far as watching the landscape is concerned it will be decent enough but they won’t stop at your need. The buses will not take you to lodge, they will halt at bus stand from where you need to hop on yourself… The estimate is generally according to pit stops on normal travel with all photography stops in general. Of course, these stops matters relatively from person to person. Hence, you will only have limited stops when traveling with bus, so I will say it will take similar time.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  121. Surojit Das says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for sharing the information..really excellent job
    We are 8 ppl live in hyderabad and we are planning to visit Leh around mid August.
    We have planned to go to Jammu by flight, also have planned to visit Vaishno Devi Shrine. After visiting, below is what we have planned so far (by road):

    9th Aug – Jammu – Srinagar
    10th Aug – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Kargil
    11th Aug – Kargil – Leh(local sightseeing and permit)
    12th Aug – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
    13th Aug – Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh
    14th Aug – Leh – Tsomoriri Lake – leh or leh – Korzok Village – leh
    15th Aug – Leh – kargil
    16th Aug – Kargil – Srinagar
    17th Aug – Srinagar – Hyderabad(by flight)

    Below are few queries regarding our journey
    1. What are the permits needed when we reach Leh?
    2. Can we cover Tsomoriri Lake in one day?
    3. Will it be fine to travel from Leh to Kargil on 15th Aug?
    4. Please suggest if any modification needed in our itinerary.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Surojit,

      Well, you will not be able to follow the itinerary like that. Given the number of days you have in hand, max you can do is:

      12th Aug – Leh Rest Day + Acclimatization which is very important and then permits.
      13th Aug – Leh – Khardung La – diskit – Leh (Long Day)
      14th Aug – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh (another long day)
      15th Aug – Leh – Kargil via Batalik
      16th Aug – Kargil – Srinagar
      17th Aug – Srinagar – Hyderabad(by flight)

      Honest suggestion will be either fly out of Leh OR increase at least 2 days to make it worthy enough to enjoy.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  122. Monika Nigam says:

    Hello Dheeraj
    your blog is really very interesting… Great job..Just wanted to we are going to srinagar on 28th april for a wedding.We were planning for leh from there by road via kargil.We are planning to start by 1st of may for Leh. What you suggest.Is it safe to take that route in first week of May.?? Or should reach leh by air..??

    • Hello Monika,

      Well, there are 50:50 chances that Srinagar – Leh Highway will open by that time. Even if it does, the road conditions will not be that favourable/stable unless you are ready for the adventure. I will suggest that you keep an eye on updates on road opening as well as stability of road and then take a call accordingly. You can book the air tickets and depending upon the situation can cancel the ticket for Srinagar – Leh but eventually fly out of Leh after exploring places in Ladakh. Keep in mind early May, it will be quite cold up there in Ladakh.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Monika Nigam says:

        Dear Dheeraj
        thanks for your reply.. but please clarify.. adventure in the sense road conditions wont be good or is it risky to travel at that time.??

        • Yes, it is risky to travel at that time because Adventure always has risk associated to it. Since, the road does not stabilize there are may iffs and buts for passing it through. You may end up coming back from the middle or you may also end up being stuck for couple of days in nearest town until the road gets cleared.

  123. Bela Rajput says:

    You did a fantastic job here. Thank you very much. I am planning to go Leh from Srinagar in end of May. I am travelling myself, as a female do you advise to hire a taxi and go to Leh alone? Is it safe? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Hello Bela,

      Traveling to Ladakh is in general very safe as far as human crimes are concerned and thousands of people visit solo to Ladakh. Once you are in Ladakh you can gel with other tourists to visit different places within Ladakh and share taxi costs with them easily. Please stick to public transport or taxis and you shall be good to go. Or else, better travel with some travel partners. 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.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Bela Rajput says:

        Thank you very much for a quick reply. I will definitely follow your tips. I read almost all your blog topics and already feeling confident to start my journey! I am sure your blog is an ultimate tool to so many.

        Thanks again.
        Regards,
        Bela

  124. Praveen Kumar says:

    Hey Dheeral thank you for such a detailed write up for the trip to leh from srinagar.
    I am planning to visit in May with my 4/5 friends.
    My plan is as follows:
    1. Delhi to srinagar by flight
    2. Srinagar to Leh by road.
    3. 5/6 days halt at Leh and nearby places.
    4. Come back to Delhi by Flight.
    I like to know whether we can hire a taxi from Srinagar for Leh and then return back by flight directly to Delhi.

  125. Dhruv says:

    Hey dhiraj we are planning to go lhe in june-2014..so can you tell me which is the best bike for this journey and also how much money we should carry for medium budget trip ?

  126. Ramesh says:

    Dear Mr.Dheeraj , thank you very much . your inputs are quite comprehensive for planning this Srinagar- Leh trip . Our original plan is to go by mid April but after reading your notes, I think we need to defer to May . Thanks a lot . regards

    Ramesh

  127. Shashwat says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Wanted your opinion on the following:
    a) Start from Srinagar via taxi and take a 1N stay at Sonmarg
    b) Then take 1N stay at Kargil
    c) Then take 1N stay at Alchi
    d) Reach Leh
    Basically we want to spend more time at places which are most scenic on Kashmir-Leh route. Please suggest if we should change the towns.
    Regards

    • Shashwat, I believe you have placed them in nice way :) … May be Uleytokpo would be more scenic than Alchi I believe but if we talk in terms of balancing the distances, Alchi will be my preferred choice.

  128. Anil says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Really nice blog created by you which is very use full for any traveler who love to Ladakh trip. We are group of 2-3 family including 6 adults & 3 kids (10 yrs, 8 yrs,4 yrs) planning our trip to leh some time in Mid June 2014. We will be to travel by self driven hired suv/muv from Jammu/Srinagar & we will plan to complete whole trip in 7 days (Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar. We need your help/suggestion in following points before finalized the things.
    1)Is this trip safe for kids of age group as mentioned?
    2)We have 2 adults of age group 60 as well so suggest for them as well?
    3)How to we plan our trip? we love to see Srinagar as well.
    4) From where we get self driven SUV/MUV vehical/vehicals for our trip.
    Once again awesome blog which is motivate us to travel and explore.

    Lot of thanks & your advice in advance.

    Anil

    • Hello Anil,

      Thank you very much. Please find my answers to your queries below:

      1 and 2. It is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 4+ year children, 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!!

      3. 7 days is too less a period for a road trip to Ladakh including Kashmir. Are you ready to fly in to Srinagar and fly out of Leh?

      4. Depending on your reply of 3. I will suggest best posisble.

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  129. Professor Saeed says:

    Hello Mr Dhiraj, Thanks for the reply earlier concerning taking my Honda City car to the Barot Chindi areas of Himachal. But here in the case of Laddakh travel you have not provided the photographs. Csn you provide some photographs through mail.
    Thanks and Regards,
    Sincerely,
    SAEED

    • Hello Professor Saeed,

      You can find tons of photos from Ladakh in the Ladakh section of the blog at the link: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/category/ladakh/

      Check for many ladakh Travel Tales in this section and you will have loads of pics. If you are looking for some pictures of specific places, please let me know. Are you planning to take Honda City up there?

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  130. ritu says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Its really a great job,
    I m Planning Srinagar – Leh tour in 1st week of June 14, our flight tickets are booked from delhi to srnagar on 8th of june & returming srinagar to delhi on 14th june for 7 days. is it safe by road journey w/ my 6years old child & is 7days are enough for up & down, if yes pls suggest itenary for 7days & also suggest any good travel aggent who can help us to give comeplete tour package of srinagar to leh.
    Thanks,
    Ritu

    • Hello Ritu,

      Thanks alot. It takes two days to reach Leh from Srinagar and 2 days to come back which will leave you just 3 days for Ladakh tour. Are you sure you want to take it? My advice will be to take direct flight back to Delhi from Leh? Is it feasible for you now?

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • ritu says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        Thanks for reply.
        Now its feasible to take delhi to leh our flights are booked & its non refundable.
        Anyways we will plan some other time for leh.
        But pls suggest any place near srinagar where we can find snow in month of june.

        • Hello Ritu,

          That is good enough to drop Leh out of it as in these many days it won’t be a wise choice to keep running over roads. Regarding Kashmir, you have 7 days with you and can check the following itinerary for yourself:

          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
          - very ancient Mamleshwar temple
          Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
          – Explore ruins of Awantipura
          – Enjoy vistas en-route
          Day 5 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
          – 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 | Sonamarg
          Day 7 | Sonamarg – Srinagar
          Day 8 | Back Home

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • ritu says:

        Thank you so much.

        • Best wishes for your trip. If possible, try and share your Himalayan experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as Photo Tale or Travel Tale Or your reviews of the hotels/guest houses where you stayed or dhabhas/restaurants you ate food on your trip… All this might help others planning the similar trip too :) :)

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  131. Gurudutt says:

    Hi Dhiraj,

    You are doing an amazing job with your blog. Really commendable!

    We are a group of four guys from Bangalore, planning a trip to Leh and Manali in Mid – May to June, 2014. We want to cover both Srinagar – Leh and Leh – MAnali Highways. We have 12 days. Could you help us out in planning our trip?

    PS: We would love to drive/ride on at least one, if not on both the routes.

    • Hello Gurudutt,

      Thanks alot :)

      Well, I will suggest to be on safest side of opening of roads better delay the trip by at least a week if not two weeks. Secondly, before I suggest the itinerary, please let me know how are you planning to communte? Privately Hired Taxi? Can you fly directly to Srinagar and then on the way back can you fly out of Delhi or Chandigarh?

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  132. Bhagya says:

    Hi there,

    Wonderful piece of information.We are planning to go for our honeymoon to Leh in the month of June. We are planning to travel till Srinagar via train from Trivandrum.
    Could you please help us with the travel from Srinagar till Leh?

    Thank you in advance!!

    • Hello Bhagya,

      Can you please suggest how many days you have in hand? 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

  133. Sid says:

    We are a couple planning to go to Leh in December. We fly from Delhi. Was wondering, if you can drive anywhere from Leh in that season. Leh to Nubra. Or even Leh to Kargil? Would you have an idea?

    • Sir, roads within Ladakh remain open all round the year. So, you can go to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Kargil, Tso Moriri etc.. all round the year barring few intermittent days of heavy snowfall. Pleas go prepared with heaviest of woolens :)

  134. Supreed says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I am reaching Srinagar around 12 O clock Noon by flight. I am planning to go to Sonmarg directly and stay over night there so that I can start early to Kargil the next day. Is there taxis(Preferably Leh registered) available at Sonmarg to travel to Kargil- leh. Or is it that I need to retain the vehicle which I am travelling from Srinagar to Sonmarg ?

    regards
    Supreed

  135. Sandeep Kelkar says:

    Dheeraj first I must thank you for the efforts you are putting. This is possible only if you have passion of traveling. This exists in many people but by sharing such a helpful travel tips is something really great. Thanks. Great website to share.

    • Sandeep !! THANK YOU so very much for the warm words of appreciation … Glad you liked the information present at DoW.

    • Manish Sabharwal says:

      Thanks a Ton Dheeraj for this amazing & detailed post on Srinagar Leh Highway. After Considering your suggestions of not choosing October for Manali-Leh Route would you recommend us Srinagar Leh Route around Mid october. Thanks :)

  136. Liena Yusop says:

    Hi,

    I’m travelling to India this coming Sept/Oct. I’ll reach shimla on 27th Sept 2013 and plan to continue the journey to Manali, Leh, Ladakh and Srinagar. I have to return to Delhi on 7th Oct 2013. Is it possible to do this routes? Kindly me on this matter. Your kind assistance is much appreciated.

  137. ashish arya says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 6 guys traveling from Mumbai by flight reaching Srinagar on 14 sep and returning back from Srinagar on 22 sep at 5 pm .
    I liked your itenary but i want to make some changes as i dont have much time .
    So please suggest that the changes made by me is a feasible option .

    Day -6 Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Pangong Tso Lake(instead of going to leh again)
    and can I cover one of the monastries Thickey on day -4 with local sight seeing ?

    and i want to travel back to srinagar on 21 morning so that i can reach by 2 pm on 22nd to srinagar .
    Day 1 | Reach Srinagar
    – Fly to Srinagar if you are not self driving because it will almost cost the same and help you save one day plus fatigue of traveling unnecessary in plains or boring hills for 2 days
    – Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
    – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
    – Overnight at Srinagar
    Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
    – Enjoy the vistas enroute
    – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
    – Overnight at Kargil
    Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
    – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
    – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
    – Overnight at Leh
    Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + 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 – 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 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil-Srinagar
    – 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
    Please comment on my changes is possible to cover all these places in 14-22 sep .

    Thanks and Regards,

    Ashish Arya

    • Aashish, Day 9 seems very hectic. If you want you can take the Wari La route to Pangong Tso from Hunder, Nubra which is a bit isolated but doable and then come back to Leh next day while doing Hemis and thicksey. This will save you a day and you can go back to Srinagar in 2 days which will make it less hectic. And also on the return to Srinagar you can visit Batalik – Dha Hanu route to reach Kargil and explore the new route too. But, you need permits for this route and hence, please mention batalik – dha – hanu on the permit form along with Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso.

    • Abhinav says:

      Hi
      We are group of 3 traveling to Leh. We will reach Leh by flight from Delhi on 8 September 2013. I had few queries:
      1. Can we get bikes for hire in Leh for going nearby areas as well as nubra and pangong lake. If yes what are daily charges approx. Would be good if you can provide some contact details regarding same.
      2. Our return flight is from Srinagar on 15 September. What would be cheap n comfortable way to reach Srinagar from Leh, I guess taxi would be costly for 3 people. Do some deluxe buses run on that route?
      3. Any idea about current situation in Srinagar due to indo-pak issues at loc. Is it safe to go there? Can we face problem in reaching Srinagar airport?

      Waiting for your reply.
      Thank you :)

      • Hello Abhinav,

        1. Yes, you will get the bikes in Leh for sightseeing. Here is the link for more details: Ladakh Bike Rental Rates for 2013 – 14. Better is to hire on the spot and fort road is full of it.

        2. Taxi will cost about 12K and you can get semi deluxe buses that run between Leh and Srinagar and cost about 800-900 per person.

        3. As of now nothing is reported bad and people are doing it :)

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

      • Ram says:

        Hello abhinav you can get bike’s for rent in leh without much diffuculty. They charge around 800rs per bike. Don’t forget to fill ur bike as soon as u receive it, There will be just enough fuel to reach the petrol bunk. It’s ok to hire bike’s for local sight seeing in Leh, as far as going to pangong and nubra on bike’s u hav to think twice. The route is really treacherous and weather can change abruptly in matter of minutes. The altitude will also hav its ill effects. Due to low oxygen level you might feel dizzy and reflexes may not be as fast. So think twice before renting bikes for pangong and nubra. I hav been der in june a true heaven, U wil njoy it. All the best……..

  138. Kiran says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We 5 people from Kerala are planning to visit leh via sreenagar and back to sreenagar from 30th aug to 8th sept. Wheher this is a sufficient time frame. Also we plan to have a motor biking from sreinagar. ia there any bike renting houses in srinagar and if you have some contacts please share. What might be the iternary.

    • imran says:

      hhey hi ,,,im also planning to go to leh…but is it neccessary to go there on enfield ,cant we go on RX 135 BIKE
      PLEASE TELLLL ANY 1

    • Hello Kiran,

      There are no renting bikes available in Srinagar. There are about 10 days that you have which is a good time frame. You can follow the itinerary as below:

      Day 1 | Reach Srinagar
      – Fly to Srinagar if you are not self driving because it will almost cost the same and help you save one day plus fatigue of traveling unnecessary in plains or boring hills for 2 days
      – Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      – If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      – Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + 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 – 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 | 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 10 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Kiran says:

        Thanks a lot for the reply and t is very helpful. One thing now I want to confirm is that is it a good time to go to the route in the light of militancy.

        • Kiran, people are doing it without any such trouble at all. As of now such things are far away from these main routes, so no trouble reported.

    • imran says:

      i found a new place in kashmir which is known as GUREZ …IM GOING THERE TOMRRW ON MY RX 100 BIKE WITH MY OTHER FRIEND …ONCE I RETURN I WILL SHARE THE EXPERIENCES WITH U GUYS

  139. Siten says:

    HEllo Dheeraj,

    Do you have the contcat number of Stanzin Chhopsel who is the owner of Camp Watermark and Mountain trails? We need to contact him regarding the booking of camps , as u had mentioned in one of your flags…Thank you

  140. Rachit says:

    Dear All,

    Appreciate valuable Inputs and Advices.

    Leh Ladakh Trip
    Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi)

    10th August 2013 Delhi (08:30 am) to Srinagar (10:30 am)
    Srinagar to Leh Journey will start from Tourist Reception Center. We have to take local taxi from Airport to TRC.

    Day1 Srinagar to Kargil
    Day2 Kargil to Leh
    Day3 Local Sightseeing Leh
    Day4 Leh to Nubra-Hunder
    Day5 Nubra to Leh
    Day6 Leh to Pangong to Leh
    Day7 Leh to Korzok
    Day8 Korzok to Leh
    Day9 Leh to Srinagar Non-Stop with Small-Small Breaks.

    Srinagar (12:00 pm) to Delhi (02:00 pm) 18th August 2013

    Important Concern: 15th August is Independence Day. Which place is best recommended on 15th Aug?

    Please Recommend few Budget Hotels or Guest House (Rs 800-1000)

    Waiting for the reply.

    Thanks
    Rachit

    • Rachit, itinerary seems OK to me apart from last run to Srinagar. Will be hectic, just keep in mind. Regarding independence day, if you will be at Leh, will be much better to enjoy the ceremony at Polo Ground. 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

      • Rachit says:

        Thanks a ton Dheeraj.
        Ya, shortage of 1 day so we have to rush for Srinagar. Hope it is ok to drive back non-stop ….

        • Rachit says:

          Will this work ?

          10th Aug – Srinagar to Kargil
          11th Aug – Kargil to Leh
          12th Aug – Leh to Nubra-Hunder
          13th Aug – Nubra to Leh
          14th Aug – Leh to Pangong to Leh
          15th Aug – Leh to Korzok
          16th Aug – Korzok to Leh
          17th Aug – Local Sightseeing Leh (Will leave early evening to Kargil-Srinagar)
          18th Aug – Leh to Srinagar Non-Stop

          Thanks
          Rachit

        • Rachit, go with the first itinerary with rest day in Leh before heading out to Nubra. It will be much more apt.

  141. Mangesh says:

    Hey Dheeraj, Last night I heard about cloudburst in Kargil causing Srinagar-Leh national highway closed due to landslide.. Do you know what is the latest status on this? IS it still closed or opened?

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/jammu-and-kashmir/srinagar-leh-national-highway-closed-due-to-landslide_866230.html

    • Mangesh, please stay tuned at the community thread which I try to keep updated: Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2013

    • Rachit says:

      Dear All,

      Appreciate valuable Inputs and Advices.

      Leh Ladakh Trip
      (Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi)

      10th August 2013 Delhi (08:30 am) to Srinagar (10:30 am)
      Srinagar to Leh Journey will start from Tourist Reception Center. We have to take local taxi from Airport to TRC.

      Day1 Srinagar to Kargil
      Day2 Kargil to Leh
      Day3 Local Sightseeing Leh
      Day4 Leh to Nubra-Hunder
      Day5 Nubra to Leh
      Day6 Leh to Pangong to Leh
      Day7 Leh to Korzok
      Day8 Korzok to Leh
      Day9 Leh to Srinagar Non-Stop with Small-Small Breaks.

      (12:00 pm) to Delhi (02:00 pm) 18th August 2013

      Important Concern: 15th August is Independence Day. Which place is best recommended on 15th Aug?

      Please Recommend few Budget Hotels or Guest House (Rs 800-1000)

      Waiting for the reply.

      Thanks
      Rachit

  142. VARUN AGARWAL says:

    sir i m living in srinagar from last 2 years and now i m planning to go to LEH in sep with my wife and one and half year old daughter,sir is it advisible aur not.

    • Varun, 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 1.5+ year child, I think she will not be able to convey the uneasiness. I will suggest give some more time, may be an year or so and when she is ready to express her feeling vocally, prbably then make a trip.

  143. Aditya says:

    Hi can we get hold of taxis easily from Leh to Srinigar

  144. Norbert says:

    Hello Dheerja, please can you tell me, if I can get standard gas cartridges for camping stoves in Srinagar or Leh?
    > Thanx Norbert

    • Hi Nobert,

      Sorry for the delayed reply but I feel in Srinagar it will be very hard to find BUT in Leh you might find them. Again not 100% sure, so keep it handy from wherever you are traveling.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  145. Nikhil says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Can I get a few more contact details of travel agencies or drivers to reach Leh from Srinagar.

    We are 5 ppl and would like to book a Xylo or Innova or Scorpio.

    Went through an earlier post on this forum. Where they mentioned about the cost. Rakesh had mentioned it around 15K including stay in Kargil.

    Can you throw some more light on it.

    Regards
    Nikhil

    • Nikhil, I will suggest you reach at Srinagar and then book a cab for yourself. 15K is what Taxi Union says, may be Rakesh got it for a bit more. I feel it should be manageable with 13K types if you talk directly to drivers and after reaching there chances of getting discounted pricing is very much higher.

      • Nikhil says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,

        The cost mentioned by you included stay in Kargil or is it only travel expenses??

        If only travel then what could be the cost of staying in Kargil?

        Regards
        Nikhil

    • Ankur says:

      Anyone interested in joining me for a bike trip starting July 29 – August 7
      Manali – leh – srinagar

      Kindly connect with me at ankursweb@gmail.com or 00971555085424

      The journey has been charted out and the total cost is approx 30,000 inr for bike rental ( royal Enfield ) , stay at camps and hotels, meals and petrol

      I am alone in this trip and any other riders would be a great company on this memorable trip.

      Thank you and looking forward

      Ankur

    • Nikhil, may be get in touch with Firoz: 09469190694 or Kazim: 09419801538. Firoz is Kazim’s son and not sure if they remember me or not, but you can give my reference to firoz.

    • imran says:

      hi call 9419021868 …he will charge only 12000 for drop to leh from srinagar

      • Imran, what is the name of the driver and can you rate him on the skills too? We can have him listed in our forum as well as articles of list of drivers here too so that more people can get benefits out of it. Also, are these charges including the night stop at Kargil

        • imran abaas shirazi says:

          name of the driver is rameez .u can can call him….on 9419021868
          i paid him only 12000 rupees for leh drop and first we started at airport at 2pm and rushed towards kargil stayed there for 1 night .and in morning we started towards leh/..u can negotiated with him he can brind rates down to 11000 also

        • imran abaas shirazi says:

          call him on 9419021868
          he has xylo and scorpio .but car would stop only at kargil for night and morning u would go towards leh ….he may charge u only 11000 rupees …..car type would be xylo or scorpio

        • imran abaas shirazi says:

          12000 includes everything …driver name is rameez so he would charge u only 12000 .it depends upto u he can bring down rates to 11500 also …but 12000 is a gud rate …and it includes night halt also u need to pay nothing only 12000 .and u will be in leh next day evening .and driver is a very very nice person…he is a smiling person////he will guide u everywhere .

        • Thanks for the info!!

    • Sadhana says:

      Driver Hussein from Srinagar to leh via Kargil 09469736891 and driver Mutup uncle in leh 09419269925 are the best u can trust

  146. Rakesh Kumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    My friends and I got back from Ladakh a couple of weeks back. On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank you for this informative note and for responding to all our queries. We had a great stay in Ladakh and are going to cherish the memories for a long time.
    For the benefit of future Ladakh travelers, I am posting our itinerary and experience below.
    Trip duration: 11 days (June 28 2013 – July 8 2013)
    Days 1 – 2: Bangalore -> Srinagar (overnight) -> Sonmarg -> ZoziLa -> Drass -> Kargil (overnight)
    Srinagar place of stay: JH Bazaz
    Rating: Excellent (Stay and food)
    JH Bazaz is a homestay on the Boulevard Road in Srinagar and definitely a recommended place. The hosts (Mr. Bazaz and his son) are among the most hospitable hosts one could find. Everything – from the stay to sightseeing to food was perfect here. Do not forget to drink Kahwa here. We spent the night here and headed for Kargil early next morning. Mr.Bazaz had arranged a taxi for us at the best available rate (INR 15,000 from Srinagar to Leh including night stopover at Kargil). The slight drizzle along with lush greenery through the drive was breathtaking! We saw the colorful Amarnath camps on the way to Kargil. The drive to Zozi La was steep and our driver followed all safety instructions.
    Driver details: Gulzar Hussain (Native of Kargil)
    Contact number: 09419887805
    Car: Xylo
    Driving skills: Excellent (Being a witness of Kargil War, he shared many interesting facts with us)
    Time: 8 hours
    We had no pre-booking in Kargil and Gulzar helped us find a good hotel in the main market area. One cannot miss the Kargil War Memorial on the way.
    Days 3-4: Kargil -> Lamayuru -> Namika La -> Fotu La -> Leh
    The landscapes after Drass change from green to arid, and weather gets warmer.
    Driving time: 7 hours (we stopped multiple times in between for photography)
    Stay in Leh: Oriental Guest House (recommended by a friend who stayed here)
    Rating: Excellent (Stay); Food (prepared from garden-fresh veggies)
    Recommended restaurant in Leh: Wonderland on Changspa Road. We ate all our meals here. We tried all cuisines (Italian, Tibetan, Indian, Continental) and none (yes none) was short of perfect.
    We spent the rest of the day and next day (day 4) acclimatizing to the high altitude.

    Day 5 – 6: Leh -> Khardungla -> Nubra Valley
    Gulzar (our Srinagar-Leh driver) had introduced us to his uncle, Zakir Hussain (Ph: 09419341998, 09906991397), who operates cab services from Leh. We booked a Xylo (we particularly wanted a Xylo after our initial experience).
    Driver name: Ali (Native of Leh)
    Contact number: 09469726152
    Driving skills: Excellent
    Stay in Nubra: Himalayan Guest House in Hunder
    Rating: Highly recommended. The guest house is a homestay and run by a very friendly family. The rooms are spacious and very clean. The chef is superb. Vegetables used for the meals were plucked from the garden.
    Plus point: The family arranged a bon fire for us in the night. Next to the guest house is a stream of fresh water. One can enjoy the view and meet Ladakhi children here.
    We left back for Leh next morning after breakfast.
    Days 7-8: Leh -> Chang La -> Pangong
    We booked the same cab and driver for this trip. The drive to Pangong lake was the best part.
    Chang La leg was the toughest part of Leh trip. The climb was steep and roads were narrow.
    Stay: Pangong Luxury Camping Resort
    Plus points: Situated right next to Pangong lake, Large tents with attached washrooms. Decent food.
    Negative: The water in washrooms was dirty (muddy and gravel).
    Night photography is a must here. Also, watching the first ray of light fall on the snow-capped mountains right behind the camp is a blissful experience. We woke up at about 4:30 AM to watch the sunrise.
    Days 9-10: Leh local sight-seeing
    Covered Thiksey Monastery, Druk Padma school (this is the 3-Idiots school), Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa (this one is right next to Oriental Guest House)
    Day 11: Took the early morning flight from Leh -> Delhi & Delhi -> Bangalore.
    Our Ladakh trip is easily the most memorable one for us. We do plan to visit Ladakh again for its landscapes and untouched beauty, but most importantly the hospitable people!

    • Rakesh, thank you so very much for all this detailed info. This will be helpful for many readers in time to come. If possible for you try and share this Himalayan experience in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community where it will remain persistent in organized manner. Like reviews, experience as travel tale, restaurant reviews etc. in different forums. You can just copy paste the information you posted here for the sake of simplicity and of course we will love to see some pictures there too….

      Comments in here are more or less useful only for handful people who read them but community being more organized will be apt plac to have all this info.

    • Mangesh says:

      Hey Rakesh, that is very good info about this tour… can you tell me roughly your expenses for taxi, staying at hotels etc as we are also planning to visit Leh in next month or give me your number so that I can get info directly from you over the phone..

      • Rakesh Kumar says:

        Hi Mangesh, are you asking the taxi details for the trip from Srinagar to Leh or within Leh? The taxi from Srinagar to Leh cost us 15k. You can speak to the driver (Gulzar: 09419887805)and negotiate a better rate.

        • Mangesh says:

          Actually I was asking both to and fro fare from Srinagar and Leh. And about hotel rents as well, I will speak with the taxi driver by calling him. Thanks man for your info..

      • Rakesh Kumar says:

        Hi Mangesh, following are the expense details.

        Srinagar to Leh taxi: 15k

        Stay in Srinagar: 1.5k per double room in JH Bazaz

        Stay in Kargil: 3k for a 4-person room

        Taxi in Leh (return journey to Nubra and Pangong): 16k+. There is an official rate card in Leh with every travel agent has and adheres to.

        Stay in Leh: Room rents in Oriental guest house vary from 800 – 1800.

        We took a flight back from Leh to Delhi.

        • For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2013-14 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link [url=http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/leh-ladakh-taxi-rates-2013-14/]Leh Ladakh Taxi Rates 2013 – 14[/url]. 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.

    • Nikhil says:

      Hi Rakesh,

      Thanks a ton for sharing all the details. As mentioned was it really 15K for reaching Leh from Srinagar including stay in Kargil. We are 5 ppl. So can you tell us how much will it cost.

      Also can you let us know the cost of staying in Srinagar?
      We would be staying in Srinagar for only one night. So we are looking out for some budget hotels or youth hostels..

      • Rakesh Kumar says:

        Hi Nikhil, the road trip from Srinagar to Leh cost us 15K. We were four people and we had hired a Xylo. You can probably negotiate a better deal by speaking to the driver directly (Gulzar: 09419887805). The cost is exclusive of stay in Kargil (add another 3k for Kargil stay in a room that accommodates four). We did not haggle much considering this is their only earning season. They do not earn during the winter months when travel to Leh is restricted.

        We stayed at JH Bazaz for one night in Srinagar. The cost was 3k for a double bed room. You will love the place and the people. We had a very comfortable stay here.

        Let me know if you need any further info.

      • Rakesh Kumar says:

        Hi Nikhil

        I stand corrected, the cost of staying per night in Srinagar was 1500 for a double bed room which might change with season and timing of booking.

    • Nikhil says:

      Hi Dheeraj,

      You had helped us with this itinerary.

      Day 1, 14th August | 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 ( http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-permits-for-leh-ladakh/ )
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 2 15th August | 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 16th August | 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 17th August | 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 18th August | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 19th August | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 7 20th August | 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

      We are also planning for River Rafting. Don’t want to miss Khardungla on the way to Nubra and also stay at Pangong Tso.

      Rafting take one day. Kinldy let us know which we can skip to include Rafting and also suggest if we can cover any other place which .can be covered in one day

      • Don’t skip anything rather do it on Day 3 by starting early from Nubra Valley and being in Leh in the first half. In the second half you can do the rafting. Same is true on Day 5 as well.

    • Aneesmaddas says:

      Hi
      Rakesh
      I am also from bangalore ,me and my Friends (5 Members) Planning to Visit ladakh during last week of Sept, Travelling from Bangalore to Srinagar by air, then by Road from Srinagar to leh , v will reaching Srinagar by 2 pm, plan for 7days can be Extended to 9 to 10 days , can u Suggest How v plan the trip, what would be the budget including(taxi fare, accomodation,food, everything excluding air fare) thanks in advance

  147. Riyaz says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Amazingly informative and comprehensive article and kudos to the efforts you put in to answer comments. I am planning to go from Srinagar-Leh-Manali with only a friend. We plan not to rush and spend enough time for sightseeing,but the travel options and costs are at odds here. For Srinagar to Leh, do the state-owned buses stop at some points in between(other than Kargil)? The same question for Leh-Manali route too. If they don’t stop, the only alternative is to hire taxis for ourselves which shoots up the costs. Is there some chance that we can find another couple of people to share the taxis in these routes? Thank you for replying.

    • Hello Riyaz,

      Public buses do not stop much at such points other than lunch/tea breaks or occasional loo breaks. You are a couple of friends 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 :)

      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. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  148. Mangesh says:

    Hey Deeraj, Its me again… Do you know the latest fare and timing for JK SRTC buses to and fro from Srinagar-Leh with halt timings in Kargil? And how crowded will they be in next month?

  149. Hemesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I Can you please suggest me small iternary for LEH visit.
    I am going for stock kangri trek, which i’ll complete by 12th August. I am planning to explore LEH or Kargil nearby places but confuse about itinerary. If possible please suggest me planning for (2days)12th august to 14th august(My flight is on 16th at Srinagar)as I am considering 2days I’ll spend on coming back to srinagar from LEH

    • Harish says:

      Hey dheeraj,
      How do you plan to go to srinagar from leh? We are also travelling in august and want to know how much it would cost if we wanted to rent a taxi

      • Harish, 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.

        • Harish says:

          Hey Dheeraj!

          Thanks a lot for your reply. Congrats on keeping up with the website because its extremely helpful.
          A couple of friends and I are plannig a trip from Aug 4 – Aug 14 in the following places.
          Delhi -> Manali –> Leh –> Srinagar .

          I have a few questions to ask you:

          1)Would you advise going to manali at this time of the year, especially after the recent floods and monsoons in himachal pradesh?

          2) We would like to travel by a taxi from manali to leh. How long would this journey be?

          3) We are not travelling by a vehicle. So, what is the best way to sightsee in Leh? are taxis in leh expensive?

          4) Our destination after the trip is Mumbai. So, we were contemplating to take a flight from either Srinagar or leh. Which would you advise? I was telling my friends about flying from srinagar since its a lot cheaper.

          But, I realised that getting to srinagar from leh is gonna be a hassle. How long of a journey is it from leh to Srinagar if we hire a taxi? can we get hold of taxis easily at leh?

          5) final question: One of my friends is from the USA, so will he need some special documents to travel?

          I really appreciate the time you dedicate towards your passion.

          A Big Thank You,

          Harish

        • Harish, thanks alot. Your query is posted in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community & Forums as well and has been replied here

  150. somnath says:

    a very useful & well structured article for the tourists…..excellent

  151. Chitra says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    How are you? Sorry about the delay. I created the account, not able to post photographs, says file size big. Can you mail me your contact no. Pl guide how to upload the snaps for each post. I believe the limit is about 10 snaps per post.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Chitra

    • Hi Chitra,

      I am really good and thanks a ton for taking out time and writing the log and pictures for us. Yes, the max. file size allowed is 256 KB otherwise, it will be very difficult for the pages to load in our country where bandwidth at homes is still not that capable to make the surfing experience a breeze. Yes, per post attachments are limited to 10 only, I have just increased it to 15.

      Otherwise, you can link as many images as possible by using IMG tag [img]URL_OF_IMAGE[/img] in one post … But, for this option to work, you need to host your images at some location like Flicker, Facebook, 500px, Picasa, Dropbox etc. Just provide the URL of the uploaded images in the IMG tag in between there and it will work like charm :)

      I have mailed you the contact number. Feel free to ask any queries for the same.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  152. Mangesh says:

    Hey Dheeraj, We are planning Leh tour in between 9th and 18th August to and fro from Srinagar. I was reading your article and found this incident – “One should always avoid Srinagar – Leh Highway during days alongside Independence Day in India i.e. 15th August which is when the bandhs and strikes gets more active.” As per our plan we will be in Leh that day. So how bad this could get cause you never know what would happen and will it just affect highway traffics only or city stays as well?

    • Mangesh, it is majorly related to situation around Srinagar. If you are in Leh, then you shall not worry about it much. The situation around Srinagar is always unpredictable and volatile and by above statement I only mean to stay it becomes more volatile at that time.

      • Mangesh says:

        Thanks Dheeraj… Actually I also wanted to inquiry about renting bikes. Do we get bikes on rent in Srinagar for 8-10 days? If yes, what are the rates for renting per day and requirements? Any contact information will be very helpful..

        • You will not get bikes on rent in Srinagar. But, Yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 800 to Rs 1300. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions.

        • Mangesh says:

          Thanks again Dheeraj.. one more question though out of excitement – how will be the weather during our tour there? Will we be lucky to see snowy mountain on our route? and how are the road conditions from Srinagar to Leh?

        • Mangesh, sorry for the delay, wa bogged into some official work. Weather will be pleasant may be sometimes with dark skies. Snow will be gone by that time of the year and road conditions will be bad upto Kargil at least. After that generally it is rain shadow, so will be bearable.

    • Baldev says:

      Hi Dheeraj, great job on the website and remarkable effort responding to the numerous queries on it. Would you recommend the Srinagar- leh highway over flying into leh? Can the sights on the route I.e. lamayuru, alchi be done in a day trip to leh? I hope you don’t mind me hijacking the query by mangesh: hi mangesh, I too am looking to leave Srinagar on 8 or 9 Aug and am keen to share the costs of transport that way. If you are keen, please drop me an email at baldevbhinder@hotmail.com. Many thanks. Keep up the good work. Baldev

      • Hi Baldev,

        Any day, Srinagar Leh Highway will be better than flying to Leh as it will be easy on your body with respect to AMS. In a day trip to Leh it will be difficult. You need to do usual, Srinagar to Kargil and then Kargil to Leh. Then you can cover Lamayuru & Mulbek on the way. to include alchi and Likir start very early from Kargil.

        • Baldev says:

          Hi Dheeraj: Thanks for the quick reply. Apart from the AMS issue, i was wondering whether to do to Srinagar highway or fly into Leh and take a day trip from Leh to explore Lamayuru. Just weighing up whether the travel time on the Srinagar highway would be better spent in Leh and its surroundings. In any event would you recommend taking the JSKRTC bus – won’t it mean I miss stopping at all the sights along the way (e.g. Lamayuru or Alchi). What transport options from Srinagar would you recommend for solo travellers? Thanks again :)

        • Baldev, if you fly directly to Leh then it will not be of that use when compared to Srinagar Leh highway because you need to spend at least 2 days resting in Leh with one day almost at hotel only. You might miss on the sights but you will feel better on reaching Leh and there will be less chances of getting hit with AMS. For solo travelers, in case you get one online to share the taxi costs, it is fine else go with JKSRTC.

  153. ayan ganguly says:

    Hello dheeraj,
    we are planing to leh in oct 10th.We are in srinagar airport by 1pm. if we start 2pm from airport, what time we reach drass? can you suggest accommodation in drass?

    • Ayan, if you are reaching at 1 PM then it is better you stay at Srinagar or at max Sonamarg and then make a journey to Kargil from there next morning.

      • Hemesh says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        I saw your reply which you gave to mr. Ayan, but still want to clarify that is there any transport availble after 2 Pm from Srinagar to Kargil?
        as I will be reaching Srinagar Airport on 2nd Aug by 1-2 Pm…and need to go to LEH..
        I was thinking to go to Kargil same day then night stay at Kargil and next day kargil to LEH…
        is it possible? or I have to take A CANNON BALL RUN as I need to reach LEH by 4Th Aug?

  154. nikhil says:

    hi dheeraj. we are planning to ride to leh via srinagar on 9th jully from bangalore.is it safe after the terrorist attacks in srinagar on monday this week? and how is the weather there? will monsoon hit and make our trip miserable during jully. need advice

    • Nikhil, it just happened and it is over. It is a volatile region and no one can predict what can happen at what time. I will you should be fine with the trip. Keep an eye on weather updates and if at all, you will face rains only upto Kargil and beyond which you come under the rain shadow region. Once in Ladakh, it does not rain there or very occasionally now a day.

  155. Norbert says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I just heard about storms and big mudslides in Himachal Pradesh. There should have been also deads becaus of the storm. Do you know, if on Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Highway are troubles as well! Thank you Norbert

    • Norbert, there has not been any storms. There was a flash flood that happened in Kinnaur District of Himachal which is quite far from Manali – Leh Highway. As of now, Manai – Leh Highway is fine and completely motorable.

  156. Ajay Kumar Singh says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Do you have any feedback about the Hotel Pangong at Leh. Please provide some information on this. I am looking for mid range decent accommodation.

    Thanks in advance

    aks

    • No idea, Ajay. 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

  157. Hemesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning for trek in LEH(10days). I want to know cheapest and comfortable way to travel from Srinagar to LEH. I would be coming by flight from Mumbai to Srinagar. It would be very helpful if you provide me apx cost for the same.

    • Hemesh, JKSRTC buses will be the cheapest means of travel. It costs about Rs 650 I think.

      • Hemesh says:

        Hi Dheeraj, Thank you very much for the response, can you provide me timings for the same if possible.

        • Hemesh, I think the bus leaves about 5 AM for Kargil, though I am not 100% sure about it. Then again similar time from Kargil to Leh.

        • Hemesh says:

          Hi Dheeraj,
          Thanks again. It was really helpful to build confidence for trip. I have finalised my outward journey.
          One more thing pop-up in my mind that, I’ll finish my trek on 13 or 14 th August and I’ll be in LEH.FYI(I am going to attempt Stock Kangri)

          I just wanted to know in Kargil or LEH is there any location nearby where I can attend Flag Hoisting event on 15th August..

        • Hemesh, I am sure Flag Hoisting shall happen in Leh as well as Kargil. In Leh, Polo Ground is the place I think where it will happen.

  158. aashish says:

    hi dheeraj
    i am planning a roadtrip to leh-ladakh via srinagar and then return via manali in may 2014 in my ford figo.I need your suggestions over road conditions considering ground clearance of figo…

    • Hi Aashish,

      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 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

  159. Mona Raina says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    First of all – awesome work on this page! I really appreciate the effort you have put into it and the continuous effort that you put into responding to queries.
    I am planning a Srinagar-Leh Roadtrip from 1-10th October. I really like the itinerary you have suggested above and I think we will follow that.
    Do you believe that this will be too late a time this year given that the monsoons are early and we might have an early winter?
    Thanks!
    Mona

  160. Suvankar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    At first thanx fr ur valuable suggestions. I need to know one more thing..as i told earlier we planning to visit leh-ladakh on bike on sep start..we will plan to rent a car with 4 bikes for our 10-12people group..we planned fr one way route i.e srinagar route which will end at manali dt also suggested..but we get stuck at the bike rental option..is it true that there is no such rented bike available from srinagar?can u hlp us in this point? isnt it bttr to rent from srinagar and back them at manali? please suggest..

  161. anish says:

    thnx dheeraj sir…

    me n my family we are planning to move by 20 june, 2013 pls give me the detail of all regions on the way on my email.
    we don’t want to miss any of the sight we can see.

  162. Archana says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning Leh Trip from 9th Aug to 18th Aug from Delhi.
    Please suggest the route via srinagar and via manali, Which one would be more better in Aug from road condition perspective and also from enjoying the route. We need to be back in delhi on 18th EOD. so that we can resume our work on 19th.

    Thanks
    Archi.

    • Hi Archana,

      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 …

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Archana says:

        Thanks Deeraj for the Reply…
        But i hope Monsoon wont spoil our Trip :(
        Also can u suggest the main places to visit as now we would be reaching srinagar on 10th Mrng. Booked the Flight ticket from mumbai to Srinagar.

        Thanks,
        Archi

        • Hi Archana,

          You can follow the plan like below:

          Day 1 | Delhi – 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 Nimmu
          – 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 – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
          – Make a day trip to Pangong Tso and 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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • Ashok says:

      Dear Dheeraj,

      The info you have provided is awesome. Need some suggestions.

      We are planning for a trip reaching srinagar on 9th Aug afternoon and going back on 19th aug. Need a suotable plan to cover kashmir as well as ladakh-leh.

      We are 8ppl and 4 of them are senior citizens.

      Regards,
      Ashok

      • Ashok, are you going back from Srinagar OR flying out of Leh? You have 10 days and I think you should stick to either Ladakh or Kashmir.

        • Ashok says:

          Thanks Dheeraj – I am flying out of srinagar – looks like i cannot do both.

          Will leh be very taxing for senior citizens around 70 yrs old folks ?

        • Ashok, it depends how much they are used to travel in single day. I feel Leh shall be fine but the amount of travel they will be doing might make i hectic for them since you are doing both by roads.

    • Ronik says:

      Hey Acrchana,
      We have done our ladakh trip from 8th Aug to 19th Aug. We also carried out a review regarding preferable route from various sources and that answer that we got in srinagar-leh highway. But ya, we will end our journey while travelling manali-leh to take advantage of watching the picturesque of that region.

      We have booked tickets for flight and train. Now we are looking for some agents to organize our customized trip.
      What you all are going to do? I mean are you going to organize your trip by urself or will go for packaged tour????

      • urvanki says:

        hi ronik,
        me and my husband are also planned in a way of booked a flight for srinagar and return from chandigarh.for the same dates 8th to 21st. it would be great if your group or archana’s group we can get together to form a group. we are planing on our own no packaged tour. mail me if you feel its nice idea.

  163. vijai says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Seems like u have put hell lot of work behind this awsome site..!!

    we a group of Bikers want to get LEH’D by next year’s season.. We dont know which month is most preferred for Bikers..
    June, July August..
    we would like to see some snow,but not in bitter cold that takes the fun out of biking.. Also during when it rains less..
    We want to prepare for synchornizing the leaves (as NRI’s also involved in the trip).
    Please help..

  164. Priya says:

    Hey Dheeraj,
    you are doing a gr8 job hats of to u..
    i am planning my leh trip from 25aug(delhi-srinagar) to 4sep(leh-delhi)is this the apt time to visit leh or is there any problem of moonsoon…

    • Within Ladakh there shall not be much issue because it is a rain shadow region. However, while going to Ladakh you might face some hassles on Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh highway. Having said all that now a days even ladakh does get some rains but not that much.

      • Priya says:

        so what is the solution…i mean what shall we do to avoid anysuch problem…any precautions you can suggets

        • Priya, either you mihgt need to change the dates of Travel OR you shall keep some buffer days while traveling in case there are any roadblocks in between temporarily.

    • Narinder says:

      Dear Dheeraj,

      We plan to reach Leh by flight from Delhi. After covering Leh area, we plan road travel from Leh to Srinagar. Then visiting Srinagar is on agenda. Please advice how many days we shall require. Another query is whether we need to book hotels in Leh in advance or we can manage to get good accomodation on reaching. Our travel is planned starting June 21, 2013.

      • Hi Narinder,

        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.

        From Leh instead of flying back, you can go to Kargil on first day and then next day go to Srinagar from Kargil.

        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

  165. Abhinav Acharya says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We group of 5 are planning a visit to Leh from Mumbai.The trip has been planned from 8th August(fly from Mumbai) to 18th August(Reach back to Mumbai on 18th).We plan to fly to Srinagar and take the Srinagar Leh route both ways.Can you suggest and itinerary.

    Many thanks!!

    • Abhinav, you have about 10 days and can follow the below itinerary:

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

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      – Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + 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 – 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 | 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 10 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      – Enjoy the vistas enroute
      – Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 11 | Fly back

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Abhinav says:

        Many Many thanks for a detailed itenerary!
        Appreciate it!!

        • Abhinav says:

          Hello Dheeraj,
          I would like to know,if we would need to book hotels in advance at Kargil?
          If yes,which are the possible options?
          If no,is it easy to get on spot acco options?

          Thanks a lot!

        • Abhinav, there are good number of options at Kargil. You can find a decent one easily on the spot for yourself.

  166. suraj says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planing for a trip to laddakh . i have few questions.
    1. Can we get private/public bus from Sonamarg to Leh ? Can you provide contact number of agents?
    2. What are the room cost at leh?
    3. can you give some update for stay at nubra vally and pangong tso lake?

    Thanks and regards
    Suraj

    • Hi Suraj,

      1. You will be able to get some taxi form Sonamarg or may be bus too coming from Srinagar if you get to know the time it arrives there. Locals will assist you.
      2 + 3. It ranges between 250 to 7000 too :) .. 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

      • suraj says:

        Thanks Dherrj,
        Your reply is very helpful. regarding travel form sonmarg to leh, i talked to few agents and they asked somewhere between 16-18K for taxi. actually we are only four peoples and the cost is too high for us. Can suggest some link for bus timing and can we book it in advance?

        • Suraj, 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.

        • suraj says:

          Hi Dheeraj,
          FOr the hotels at Nubra/Pangong Tso, do we need to book in advance? Also many peoples told that we have to hire a mechanic with us as we are planning to cover Nubra/Pangong Tso on bike? can we get mechanic at leh?

        • Suraj, I feel if you are not confident enough then better hire a mechanic. But as I say, mechanic is just an advantage though not a necessity. 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

        • suraj says:

          Thanks Dheeraj,
          We are ok with searching the place and as you mentioned it will give us flexibility in dates also. Also for mechanic we will reach there and then decide. Once again thanks a lot for the suggestions and this site which you maintain with all the information needed.

        • Suraj, best wishes for the trip. If possible, once back from the trip, try and share your Himalayan Travel Tale or experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community

  167. Chitra says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    How are you?
    We are back from Ladakh. For once I don’t regret my very limited skills at writing a great travelogue. Ladakh left me both spellbound and speechless!! Its beauty can only be experienced, neither can it be described nor can it be captured in a photograph.
    We owe a lot to ‘DOW’ and to you of course for the loads of information and tips on planning a perfect trip. Thank You So Much!!
    We landed in Srinagar and stayed overnight at Boulevard Road. Dal Lake was an okay experience. We could not cover any of the Mughal gardens. We stayed at Hotel New Park. Except for the location, nothing much to write about New Park.
    Next day – Sonamarg. Walked up to Tajiwas Glacier – stayed overnight at Hotel Sonamarg Glacier – Great Stay and Veg Food – real value for money, would highly recommend this place. Rs. 2500 for a night.
    The drive from Sonamarg, zozila to Drass, Kargil, mulbek, Namik La Fotu La to Lamayuru……………..this stretch is unbelievable !!! Personally, I think the experience of Ladakh is incomplete without covering this stretch by road. While initially, after perusing ‘DOW,’ we made this part of our itinerary purely from an acclimatization perspective, after the trip I realized this is so very integral to experiencing Ladakh.
    None of us had any AMS issues throughout our trip. In fact we had originally planned three break days in Leh after every leg of our trip –first on reaching Leh from Srinagar, after Nubra trip and after Pangong. But we were doing fine, and did not take a single break day in Leh and thus managed to cover 2-3 additional places.
    At Leh we stayed at Ashoka Guest House. Rs. 800 a night. Again a great stay and location – no food though, you don’t miss either. We really loved the food at Hotel Lamayuru and Gesmo Bakery.
    We covered Hunder, Diskit, Turtuk and Sumur in a 3 day trip. The Diskit Valleys and the route to Turtuk felt like a dream. A mild sandstorm was blowing all over the deep Diskit valleys adding to its intrigue. We stayed at Habib Guest House at Hundar. Very Clean room with attached bath. Excellent Food and great hosts. Cost us about Rs. 600 per night w/o food. Contact –Mr. Rahman nos. 09469736543 / 01980 221039.
    We covered Pangong in a 2 day trip. I must mention we had an excellent company in both Rigzin and Chamba. Rigzin due to some personal emergency could not do the complete trip with us. After Nubra valley we took on board Chamba. Chamba was an excellent – skilled driver – great balance of speed and caution and ever obliging. He sportingly drove us all the way from Lukung along the coast of Pangong Lake right upto Man and Merak. In sections there were no roads. He had to just figure out a route through the rocky terrain. What a blissful experience!! Not sure but this may have been a 20-30 km stretch – from pangong to Merak – what a picturesque drive along the lake. We came back to Spangmik and stayed at Pangong Camp Resort. Negotiated a decent price- Rs 2500 including food without any prior booking. Excellent and warm stay and they were high on hospitality too. Real value for money. Chamba’s contact no. is 9906999808 (note this is his new no. you may want to update the info on your website)
    After Pangong we immediately pushed off for Tsomoriri. Again a 2 day trip. We went via Mahe and returned via Tanglangla Pass. Just before Tso moriri we came across a small partly frozen lake called Tso chung. It was about ½ a km away from the road. We walked upto it and witnessed heaps of snow on the periphery and almost half the lake covered with fragmented ice. It was an amazing sight!! It was a full moon night at Tsomoriri and watching the moon rising behind the hills over the lake was a heavenly sight. We stayed overnight at Tso Moriri Camp and Resorts. Decent Stay (dint opt for the tents). The room was cold initially but subsequently gets a little more bearable in the night. About 2800 / for a nights stay including food.
    On our return the next day we covered Tso Kar and connected to Leh via the Tanglangla Pass. This whole leg was an unplanned Bonus. Its inappropriate to compare, but can’t help mentioning that I found Tanglangla Pass the most beautiful over Khardungla or Changla Pass. Enroute we loved Rumtse – a sweet quaint village before upshi. Both Pangong and Tso moriri are completely different experience. We are fortunate to have covered both. Pangong is more like a destination drive, while Tso moriri both a dream route and destination.
    Last day we drove from Leh towards Dah, Hanu intending to cover upto batalik and hoping to see the Aryan Tribes. Drove past Skurbuchan but 20 kms or so before Dah we were forced to return due to slush caused by rains the previous night.
    Hope to return to Ladakh sometime in the near future and already looking forward to Zanskar, Hanle and the Leh Manali route.

    Thanks again Dheeraj.

    • Chitra, this is awesome update. If possible will request you to update it in recently launched forums at Himalayan Travel Tale section at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community

      This would be a perfect start to it!! Nothing better than having first account of the season, first in the community.

    • Chitra, it is so good to read about your account. Wanted you to share but after reading the useful information and experience posted above, I could not resist myself to share it in the Community on your behalf. If possible do give us a treat of eyes by posting some pictures along the account. Here is the link where this lovel trip report has been posted in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community: Ladakh Trip Report | Nubra – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri

      • Chitra says:

        Thank you so much for posting it Dheeraj. I was travelling over the weekend and saw your reply to my travelouge only yesterday night. Intended to post the travel report sometime tomorrow but equally glad to see it already posted by you. Thank you so much.

        I also spent some time yesterday checking out your Ladakh Photographs and wondering how I could share mine.

        How do I now add snaps to my travel account. Can you guide me. Can I add a few detail to the narrative too.

        I missed couple of useful information – like for instance we dint take Diamox. Instead we met a homeopathic doctor and he gave us some homeopathic pills for AMS. We dint have any AMS issues as i previously mentioned. Many travellers we met in Ladakh were suffering from AMS and not completely happy with Diamox. I think homeopathy may be a good alternate. We dint even bother taking ORS / electral though we were carrying it with us. I can add this info and a couple more to the post – if you can guide me how to do it?

        Regards,
        Chitra

        • Chitra, thank you so very much!! It would be really great if you can share your whole experience with your ID. Posting it with my id still does not have thta charm. I just did not want to loose on the valuable info. you provided here.

          I have compiled the steps at the link: How to Write or Post a Travel Tales or Topic It also describes how to add pictures.

          You just need to create an account first, you will get the activation mail. Activate the account and follow the steps given in the above article on How to write the travel tale. You will be able to do it easily along with adding the pictures. You can start the whole new thread and post the above information in that too. Once you do that I will remove or merge the one I created. At any time you can post one part and then Click on Post Reply button below that thread to post the second part. You can add 10 pictures in one post at max. So, you need to add more replies to post more pictures.

          Do let me know in case you are facing issues anywhere.

          Thank you again for taking the step forward to write for the community.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  168. Mubarak says:

    Hi,

    I would be doing a trek in Ladakh from 29 June-6 July. My question is I intend to fly out from Srinagar not Leh due to budget issues. In your opinion is it possible to reach Srinagar airport on 8th July if I start out from Leh on 7 morning without doing the two night stopover at Kargil thing? I need this info urgently to book my flights currently.

    Secondly timings wise, what time do buses normally leave leh for Srinagar daily?

    Would it be a better option to take a shared taxi instead of a public bus if I’m really rushing? And would the shared taxi stop at Kargil like the buses do.

    I hope you could clarify my queries. And thanks for the mind blowing info man.

    Cheers,
    Mubarak

    • Mubarak, there will be taxis running on 7th night that is very early morning who will drop you on 7th night or late evening at Srinagar. Guess, buses start at 5 AM. Yes, get the shared taxi rather bus. Shared taxis are available of both types. One that stops at Kargil overnight and one who does cannon ball run of 16-17 Hrs to Srinagar from Leh.

  169. vikrant says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip from 28th June to 7 th July starting from Srinagar. I need to rent a self drive private vehicle from Srinagar. Could you help?
    Thanks,

    Vikrant

  170. Abhisek Tak says:

    hi its abhisek this side my only concern here is that we travelling \via bikes from Srinagar to Leh from the 5th August, my only question is the land slides and the rainfall
    Could you elaborate more on that????
    n how safe it is during this time?

    reply awaited on

    Thanks for the information that would really help plan our trip

    • Abhishek, 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 …

  171. Piyush says:

    Dheeraj bhai
    I am looking forward to hiring a tempo traveller from srinagar. This is for 9 of us for the ladakh 20 day trip coming down via manali. I need contact no. to arrange this. Plz help.

  172. Vaibhav Lashkare says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, thank you very much for such informative blog. I am your fan now.

    Planning for kashmir/ladakh from 27th July to 5th August, plan is,

    27th July- fly to srinagar on 10:50 am
    land at srinagar on 14:00 pm explore srinagar nearby places like, dal lake, tulip garden, nagin lake, shankaracharya etc.

    at night drive to Gulmarg (assuming that there is public transport)hault at Gulmarg

    28th July- Enjoy at Gulmarg till 2 PM then drive to sonamarg, (assuming public transport)hault at sonamarg

    29th July- Enjoy at Sonamarg at morning them drive to Kargil, hault at kargil

    30th July- Move towards leh, visit at mulbekh, lamayuru, alchi Leh(if possible)hault at alchi/likir or leh

    31st July to 4th August- Explore leh-ladakh on rented bikes, so so hotels (rent around Rs 600-1000, we’ll have our food outside) (please advise some more on this halt)

    5th August- at 7:45 am fly to Jammu, have a walk in jammu from 9 am to 1 pm, catch flight to mumbai on 2 pm, land to mumbai on 6:30 PM

    We are three friends and this is our firm plan, kindly add your comments to make this plan executable. If you have any contact no in Gulmarg, kargil, sonamarg then please share.

    Regards,
    Vaibhav

    • Hi Vaibhav,

      Thanks alot. Your itinerary is fine. You need inputs on 31st to 4th July Plan?

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Vaibhav Lashkare says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I wants inputs from you for 27th July to 5th August Plan.

        Mainly, places where we can make overnight stay comfortably, any hotel, transporter contact no.

        Secondly, in ladakh we have to travel alot, please suggest optimal journey plan, so that we can explore maximum places in ladakh.

        Regards,

        • Vaibhav Lashkare says:

          Dheeraj,

          Can we enjoy some adventurous sports like Paragliding, river rafting,snow boarding at any place like gulmarg, sonamarg, leh, zansakar valley, nubra valley? what will be the cost per person?

          Regards,
          Vaibhav

        • You can do river rafting in Leh and cost is about 1500-1800 per person AFAIK

        • Will you be staying from 27th to 5th in Ladakh that is you have 9 das in Ladakh or does it include journey time as well? From where are you starting it? Flying directly or by road? Same question for exiting Leh?

  173. subhankar choudhury says:

    dear dheeraj

    can u please provide some hotel details of kargil and drass with contact number and room rates

    with regards
    subhankar

  174. kavithamariyappan says:

    thanks for your prompt reply.

  175. Parul Anand says:

    Hi dheeraj,

    firstly, kudos man for the great job that you are doing here. so many ppl would have missed out on having a great experience if it wasnt for you helping them plan to the t.

    like all the others, i would love to have ur assistance too :)

    we are a group of 4 planning to do a road trip starting from mumbai to leh.this is going to be done in sx4. we have about 15 days at hand. the date we have fixed is 19th July.

    would be great if you could guide in terms of route to take and places must visit to make this a memorable experience.

    eagerly looking to hearing from you,

    cheers
    Parul

  176. Kavitha Mariyappan says:

    Sorry
    I am returning to mumbai from srinagar on 17th june.
    Pl advise
    Regards
    Kavitha

  177. Kavitha Mariyappan says:

    Hi deeraj
    My husband me my children aged 10 n 6 alongwith my mother aged 66 are arriving at srinagar frm mumbai on 9th june at 3 pm by flight.
    Will b leaving srinagar by flight to mumbai by 2pm.
    Pl advice me n suggest a good itenary
    I want ti visit leh n see srinagar also

    • Kavitha, you have just 7 days only and you are with family plus you want to travel Srinagar – Leh both ways. It is difficult to do. You need 2 days to travel to Leh from Srinagar with overnight halt at Kargil and then 2 days to come back in same way. You are left with 3 days in which one day gets over by acclimatization and permits in Leh. Hence, effectively you have just 2 days in hand. In these two days, one day at max. you can visit Khardung La and be back to rest second half and the other day you can do a 10-11 Hrs journey as Day trip to Pangong Tso and be back to Leh by evening.

  178. Ankur Sharma (@AnkurrS) says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Can you please also share how much time do the Leh Bus Service/JK SRTC/other bus services take to reach from Leh to Srinagar?

    TIA!

  179. Indranil Acharya says:

    terrific job, Dheeraj..
    me and my friends will be flying to Leh late nxt month, how costly is staying in Leh? i mean anyhting under 1200-1500/ngt, should that be ok?
    nd can we get a cannon-ball ride from leh to srinagar? we don’t want a shared cab, we’ll hire a pvt. taxi.. and can u also provide an insight fr some places we are planning to visit too, once in srinagar?
    Cheers!

    • Indranil Acharya says:

      nd while descending down can we ask the driver to take this route? though we don’t want to have a ngt halt anywhere, Leh- Skurbuchan- Dah– Batalik- Kargil!
      cheers!

      • If you have the permits for the Batalik and Dha Hanu route, yes you can ask them. But, not sure what you will be seeing around it as you will be covering much of the journey in dark too.

    • Indranil, yes you should be able to get guest houses in that budget though no hotels. Yes, you will get the Leh to Srinagar cannon ball drive easily in case you plan to hire a taxi.

    • At Srinagar, you can check Dal lake,Shikara ride, floating market, Shalimar Garden, Shankaracharya temple

      • Indranil Acharya says:

        thanks a load!
        1)dark? ok! the thing is i have heard a lot abt that route, i believe it is quite B.E.A.utiful(the route)
        P.S.- where can i get the permits for the Batalik and Dha Hanu route? in Leh itself?

        2) nd, guest houses, they will be in the main city? fr the last time i went, we ended up staying in Choglamsar that is 8kms, from the main mkt.

        3) been there done that, i ws wondering if u can help me out with the places nearby Srinagar, i.e. Gurez Valley(Bandipore District)

        4)how costly is renting bikes in LEH? can we take them to Nubra nd Pangong?

        cheers!

        • Hi Indranil,

          1. Yes, the route is beautiful but since you will be doing it in a single day , some part you will surely be doing in dark. You can get the permits for Batalik, Dha, Hanu from Leh DC office only. For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

          2. 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

          3. How many days do you have?

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          since we are taking the early morning flight to leh on 2nd july, we’ll be having 3days with us fr LEH, a day each fr a) local sight seeing nd
          b) visiting nubra & pangong,
          suggest something more, if i am missing out on something! :)

          nd, 2days in gurez and a day in the valley shoul be enough rgt?

        • How are you planning just 3 days in Ladakh and doing Pangong & Nubra both. Since, you are flying you will need to acclimatize two days at least in Leh, Then Nubra Valley will take 2 days and 1 day to Pangong Tso?

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          nd also, it will be of mighty help, if u can suggest hw to plan our 3-4day stay in Ladakh!
          cheers!

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          i have been to LEH last year too, though by road, nd a ngt over at kargil, nd acclamatizing dint seem to be a problem, may be it ws a road trip, but we only have 6days with us, my friends’ wont be getting more leaves, what should i do?
          should i go srinagar first, then leh nd while coming back to delhi should i take the flight?
          in that case, wil 1day stay at pangong nd nubra each sounds feasible?
          HELP! :(

        • Yes, going over by road is still fine but flying in, you will not be able to cope up. Also, AMS can hit anytime anyone. Even after visiting so many times these high altitude region, I suffered twice in succession in two trips with AMS ;) … One wrong move and you are in for a game :D … I will suggest that within 6 days better enjoy the beauty over Ladakh, may be again and leave out other parts. 2 Days over Srinagar – Leh, 2 day for Nubra Valley (may be visit Turtuk if you did not last time), two days for Pangong Tso.

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          :(
          ok!
          are pangong tso nd nubra in the same way, or diametrically opposite?
          nd yes turtuk, i have heard a lot abt this place, friendly people, awesome place, there are staying options there, rgt?
          nd, can ti cover nubra in one day, i.e. overngt stay at nubra, nd leave nxt morning fr pangong/turtuk?
          nd, i’ll take the cannon-ball ride from Srinagar-leh, hope 15hrs of ascending, will acclimatize us! :)

        • Indranil, they are opposite. You will have to come back to Leh to visit Pangong Tso as the other two direct routes are not recommended at all. For turtuk, you need to sacrifice on one or the other thing. If you really want to squeeze then better reach Turtuk skipping Hunder and Diskit in Nubra Valley. On the way back to Leh next day do Hunder and Diskit and skip Panamik and Sumur.

          Nopes, acclimatization shall be supported with overnight sleep at gradual ascending points.

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          nd, will 5-6days stay in ladakh, cover all fr me, i.e. turtuk, nubra, panggong, leh city?

        • Yes, it shall be enough to explore but to get Turtuk in, you might have to sacrifice other places in Nubra Valley.

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          thanks a lot mate, u have been of tremendous help, let me finalize my dates, i shall bug u again then! :) :)

          P.S.- early July, road trip, sounds feasible?

        • Yes, July is a good time to make it feasible ;)

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          gee, thanks mate!
          i shall get back to u fr ur advise on the itinerary, once dates are finalized!
          cheers! :)

        • INdranil, sure and I am sure you will love to be at below link for your itinerary advice in more structured way :) DoW – Himalayan Travel Community | Ladakh Itinerary Advice

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          the link was of mighty help, thanks, though i would love to add Hanle Village, nd Rafting at Sangam to it..
          i am willing to add a day or 2 to my stay in Ladakh, nd goin by your advise, i think taking a road trip to leh, sounds rather appropriate, taking acclimatizing into consideration, though my thanks to my time constraint i guess, i have to take a cannon-ball ride from Srinagar..

          P.S.- any advise on hw to fit in Hanle in our itinerary?

        • You will need some thing Like below plan for Hanle:

          Day 1 | Leh – Chumathang – Mahe Bridge – Nyoma – Loma – Hanle
          Day 2 | Hanle to Tso Moriri either via Salsal La route OR via Loma – Nyoma – Mahe Bridge route
          Day 3 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – MTaglan La – Leh

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          thanx for these valuable input, u have been of tremendous help!
          though i shall bug you again once dates are finalized! :P

    • Indranil Acharya says:

      hi Dheeraj,
      well it’s confirmed now, i ‘ll be rching Srinagar early 29th Morning, nd plan a cannon-ball ride to Leh, i have to reach Delhi by 9th/10th, nd i plan to follow this itinerary once i reach Leh:-
      Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      Day 1 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      Day 2 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      Day 3 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake

      Day 4 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      i also wanna squeeze in Hanle or turtuk in it, or if possible both, is it possible?
      P.S.- i will be reaching Leh on 1st of july, will monsoons be a matter of concern?

      P.S. (2)- since we’ll be a set of 3-4friends, can we have an Indica, or any other small car, so that we can head without sharing, nd not end up spending too much too?

      • Indranil, Hanle cannot be squeezed here without at least 2 days in hand or with 1 day and doing Pangong Tso as day trip. For Turtuk you need to skip Sumur Panamik and can be done as:

        Day 1 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk
        Day 2 | Turtuk – Hunder – Diskit – Khardung La – Leh (Checkout Hunder. Diskit on the way back and enjoy more time at Turtuk)

        In Ladakh monsoon rarely affects. Small cars are not available (just Ecco, Van availale) and do not have major difference in pricing. Try hiring a Scorpio which is mid priced.

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          i don’t wanna miss out on Hanle, have heard & read(your blog) a lot abt that place, can u provide with that itinerary fr Hanle too?

      • Indranil Acharya says:

        never mind with the itinerary, i jus went through your replies, u have done that earlier! :)
        bt, is there any other route i mean other than,
        Day 1 | Leh – Chumathang – Mahe Bridge – Nyoma – Loma – Hanle

        Day 2 | Hanle to Tso Moriri either via Salsal La route OR via Loma – Nyoma – Mahe Bridge route

        Day 3 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – MTaglan La – Leh??????

        • The above route is the best one to do Hanle and Tso Moriri in three days brother.

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          thanx! :)

          nd the renting part, do we need to deposit some cash with them, or is it straight 1500/day/bike?

        • Indranil Acharya says:

          i went through your itinerary blog, nd i am desperate fr squeezing in hanle too, so i came up with this itinerary keeping in mind that ‘ll be flying straight to leh:-
          Day 1- do nothing bt rest, may be go fr an evening stroll

          day 2- leh- khardung la- diskit- hunder

          day 3- hunder/diskit- turtuk- khardung la- leh

          day 4- leh- chang la- pangong tso- chang la

          day 5- chang la- leh- hemis- shey- chumathang

          day 6- chumathang- maha bridge- nyoma- loma- hanle

          day 7- hanle- tso moriri-MTaglan La – Leh

          day 8- leave fr srinagar

          feasible?
          if not, can u edit it for me!
          thanks in advance! :)

  180. Amit says:

    We are group of 7 peoples. We are planning to visit leh-Ladakh after the Amarnath Yatra from Baltal. Please suggest best & possible itinerary for 7 days (included exit travelling till Jammu Station).

    • Amit, how and where are you planning to come back? Will you fly back from Leh OR will you go over to Manali to Delhi or will you come back to Srinagar and fly from there?

  181. Amit says:

    First of all, I would like to appreciate your efforts. We (group of 7 peoples) are planning for Leh & Ladakh Tour starting from 16th July from Baltal point after Amarnath Yatra for 7 days.

    Please suggest, best possible & relevant itinerary with the expectation to cover maximum places in both location.
    Thanks in advance for your speedy response.

    • Amit, how are you planning to exit from Leh? Are you planning to fly back or back to Srinagar or towards Manali and then Delhi. Are these 7 days will include this exit travel as well?

  182. priyankar says:

    hi dheeraj,

    I am planing to visit leh on August. I intend to go from srinagar to leh and that too without any night halt at kargil or any other place. can you please provide some information about, how can I go in 1 day, are there bus or car available? where from will I get them ?

  183. Sudevan says:

    Hi we are planning a visit Manali-Leh-Kasmir starting May 24th for 15 days, Kindly advice about what not to miss and precautions !

    • 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

  184. shashank says:

    does BSNL prepaid works in all the region

    • BSNL Postpaid works only and BSNL has the largest coverage among all operators.

      • Ann says:

        Do any prepaid phone/internet plans work in Leh? What other options do foreign tourists have?

      • anadi says:

        this article seems to have been written in 2011.
        What is the situation now regarding mobile connectivity in Leh and adjoining areas. I went to Kashmir in 2012 and vodafone postpaid was perfectly working. What about vodafone postpaid connectivity now in 2013 in leh and adjoining areas? please let me know asap. i am leaving for leh in last week of may with a postpaid vodafone.

        • Most of the connectivity is same as described in the article, it is just Vodafone that works now with Aircel network in Ladakh. However, the connectivity is barely limited to Leh and few adjoining areas. It is always best to carry POSTPAID BSNL to Ladakh.

        • anadi says:

          Thanks a lot. I have a bank postpaid as well, bit my main phone is the Vodafone postpaid. Its good to know that Vodafone does have atleast some connectivity in leh.

        • Best wishes for the trip brother, please try an update the phone connectivity part in case you find time after the trip here as well.

        • anadi says:

          Thanks for the wishes.
          I will definitely post an update about the present situation of connectivity in Leh.

        • anadi says:

          I have just returned from a trip to Ladhak. It was a fabulous trip.

          Vodafone postpaid still does not work after anywhere after Srinagar on Srinagar-Leh Highway and towns falling on the said highway.(It works in Gulmarg and Pahalgam). It did not work in Sonemarg, Drass, Kargil, Mulbek, Khaltse, Nimmu and Leh. Bsnl was omnipresent. In Leh, Bsnl, Airtel and Aircel were working. Vodafone, Reliance and Idea were not working.

        • Anadi, thank you so very much for the update. Not sure, but it worked last time I was with my friend in 2012 :) … May be some contract issue with Aircel or something!! Anayways glad that your trip was great and you enjoyed alot. Updated the article too with your comment.

          If possible, try and share your Himalayan Travel Tale or experience with us at DoW – Himalayan Travel Community

  185. Smitha says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning to visit Srinagar, Leh and Ladakh in the month of September this year.
    Hope this is a suitable season!!!!

    So request you to advise a suitable itinerary for a 10day trip wherein we can cover all the nice places…. We also want to see Gulmarg .. I guess this will have the ice skiing. Hope there is snow in september…

    We are from Bangalore so may be we will have to go to Delhi and then hire a taxi from Delhi to Kashmir or you can also suggest what is suitable…

    Also it would be of great help if you can advise what precautions to be taken and things that we need to carry most important for the trip.

    Regards
    Smitha

    • Hello Smitha,

      10 days are tad less if you want to travel by road to Ladakh and Kashmir. Can you fly or increase the number of days?

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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

      • Smitha says:

        Hi Dheeraj

        Thanks for your feedback
        But cannot. Max we can go upto 11days…
        Hnece can you please advise a schedule for 11days covering places as much as possible in Kashmir,leh and ladakh. We really want to see Gulmarg, sonmarg n kargil. But you can advsie the schedule accordingly.

        Regards
        Smitha

        • Hi Smitha,

          Are you ready to fly in to Srinagar and fly out of Leh?

          Regards
          dheeraj

        • Smitha says:

          Hi Dheeraj

          We plan to fly from Delhi to Leh and then go by road from Leh to Srinagar.
          Or do you suggest that we fly from Delhi to Srinagar and then go by road to Leh…
          So accordingly please advise a suitable itinerary for 10-11 days

          Regards
          Smitha

        • Hi Smitha,

          Better fly directly to Srinagar and then take a journey to Leh by road. It will help you get acclimatized properly and help in enjoying more. Here is the itinerary you can follow:

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

          Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
          – Enjoy the vistas enroute
          – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
          – Overnight at Kargil

          Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + 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 – 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 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          – Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 11 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
          – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
          – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          – Overnight at Leh

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Smitha says:

          Hi Dheeraj

          Thanks for the itinery
          We also wanted to see Gulmarg and pahalgam… Heard that both are very nice places. Is there ice skiing in Gulmarg, may be we can chk that out..
          Is it possible that we skip some of the monastries in leh-ladakh which is not very important as i see that there are many monastries in your itinery.. and go to Gulmarg and pahalgam… Is it possible to make some changes in the itinery so that we can see Gulmarg n pahalgam.. of course not missing much in leh:)-

          Regards
          Smitha

        • Smitha, yes what you can do is spare yourself the last day as well as make a single day trip to Pangong Tso. This will spare you 2 days and then you can do one day trip to Pahalgam and other day trip to Gulmarg from Pahalgam.

    • Smitha says:

      Hi Dheeraj

      Also wanted to know what is inner line permits????
      Is it a kind of permission that has to be taken to enter leh..

      Regards
      Smitha

  186. Arnab Majumder says:

    I’m planning for leh from kolkata ..But i have a question is there any chance to open leh -manali highway by May 3rd week?

    • Arnab, I do not feel so that Manali – Leh highway will open in third week of May.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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

  187. pragna says:

    hello Dheeraj
    First of all thanx for such a luvly sharing site

    i & my spouse are planning for a trip to srinagar – leh in last week of May for around 10 -15 days

    our rough plans –
    mumbai – jammu – srinagar – sonamarg – gulmarg – pahalgam -leh – delhi – mumbai

    ur guidance on the same (route, travelling+ accomodation cost, best places to visit)would be highly appreciated.

    this would be our first long trip.

    thanx

    • Hello Pragna,

      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.

      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.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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

  188. Chitra says:

    Thanks again Dheeraj. I made some minor alterations to my plan. Keen to run it through you.
    and have your validation.

    May 16-Srinagar Arrival
    May 17- Srinagar-Sonmarg ( 2hours on Road)
    May 18 Sonmarg -Kargil (8 hours on road)
    May 19. Kargil -Leh ( 8 hours on Road)
    May 20 Leh
    May 21- Leh- Hunder (7 hours on road)
    May 22-Hunder -Turtuk- Hunder ( 8 hours on road)
    May 23. Hunder – Leh (7 Hours on road)
    May 24 Leh
    May 25 and 26- Pangong and back to Leh (each day 5-6 hrs on road)
    May 27: Leh
    May 28 Bangalore

    Is this hectic? Very keen on Turtuk. Is the date fine for the journey.

    I presume Leh is all about being on the road. So each day 7-8 hour on road with breaks I prsume is doable with family. 2 extra days for any weather contingencies.

    Please comment.

    Regards,
    Chitra

    • Hi Chitra,

      It looks good to me and yes dates are also OK for the journey, do not see any issues. Yes, you correct presume, Leh – Ladakh is a place where destination is the road itself :) … All the best for your journey, do share your experience with us too.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  189. Amit says:

    iam planning to travel leh by Cruze , How is the road

    • 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

  190. Prateek says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, I would like to congratulate and thank you for creating this informational website.
    I am planning to visit Leh in early June this year. Would you be kind enough to send me your mob# at my mail id ? I have a few queries for the trip, and would like to know more about the same from you.

    Thanks

    • Charlie Singh says:

      Hello Everyone,
      Thanks Mr.Dheeraj for creating this informational website.
      I am planning to visit Leh Solo in June 10 or June 11this year and returning back to Delhi on June 20,I am looking for travelling buddy and advise
      Thanks

      • Charlie, glad that you liked the information present on the blog. How many days you have in hand? 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

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

    • Prateek, as I reply you comment, you will be getting an email from my mailID or you can use Email Us button which is having some issues but will be able to show you the mail address.

  191. Tanvi Mehta says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Firstly, you are a superb job, helping a whole lot of us.
    We are planning a road trip to Leh, starting around 20th May. It’ll be 4 of us, in a Scorpio and another SUV. Here’s what we have in mind: Mumbai – Ahmedabad – Ajmer – Karnal – Pathankot; Srinagar – Leh – Manali being the main part of the trip. We have around 1.5 months in hand to complete the circuit trip. We’d like to thoroughly explore Kashmir and Ladakh both; Kashmir – Pahalgam / Srinagar / Gulmarg, Ladakh – Kargil / Leh. Would like to know all the practical possibilities, and also an itinerary from Pathankot to Manali. Kindly suggest ALL the places we can see in Kashmir, Kargil and Leh. We’d like to cover them as per their location, in a way that we don’t have to do too much of back and forth. (Eg. covering Alchi / Likir etc. before reaching Leh, and covering Tsomoriri at the end). 3 reasons why we’d like see EVERYTHING – we have a lot of time, our own cars, and 2 photographers with us.
    Your suggestions will really be appreciated, as we are going be on our own. Thank you.
    Tanvi Mehta

    • Tanvi, are you guys interested in exploring all the places like Kashmir (gulmarg, pahalgam etc.), Zanskar Valley, Ladakh. How about Spiti and Lahaul on the way to Delhi? that’s 45 days you have?

      • Tanvi Mehta says:

        Hi Dheeraj,
        We’d love to explore all the places in Kashmir, Ladakh, and further on, Lahaul & Spiti as well. We’d like to go by what you suggest us. The duration of 1.5 months is flexible, depending on the number of places we cover. Also, do suggest us a few home-stay and camping options on the way; we’d want to avoid going through travel agents. Thank you.
        Tanvi Mehta

        • Hello Tanvi,

          If I were you, I will try to follow the below plan for 45 days. You can increase/decrease the night stays at these places accordingly to your choice. However, I feel the flow of the journey shall be in according to these night halts or in between.

          Day 1 | Delhi – Patnitop
          Day 2 | Patnitop – Srinagar
          Day 3 | Srinagar
          Day 4 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
          Day 5 | Pahalgam
          Day 6 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
          Day 7 | Gulmarg
          Day 8 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
          Day 9 | Sonamarg – Kargil
          Day 10 | Kargil – Purikutchey/Panikhar
          Day 11 | Purikutchey/Panikhar – Penzi La – Drang Drung Glacier – Padum
          Day 12 | Padum
          Day 13 | Padum
          Day 14 | Padum – Kargil
          Day 15 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Alchi
          Day 16 | Alchi – Likir – Basgo – Leh
          Day 17 | Leh Local + Permits
          Day 18 | Leh Local Sighseeing
          Day 19 | Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley (Deskit/Hunder)
          Day 20 | Explore Deskit and Hunder
          Day 21 | Deskit/Hunder – Turtuk
          Day 22 | Turtuk
          Day 23 | Turtuk – Hunder – Deskit – Sumur/Panamik
          Day 24 | Sumur/Panamik – Khardung La – Leh
          Day 25 | Leh – Hemis – Pangong Tso
          Day 26 | Pangong Tso (Visit Man – Merak Villages)
          Day 26 | Pangong Tso – Thicksey – Shey – Leh (or if OK with basic stay go and stay at Rumste/Upshi)
          Day 27 | Leh/Rumste/Upshi – Tso Moriri
          Day 28 | Tso Moriri
          Day 29 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Pang – Sarchu
          Day 30 | Sarchu – Jispa
          Day 31 | Jispa
          Day 32 | Jispa – Udaipur – Jispa
          Day 33 | Jispa – Chandratal
          Day 34 | Chandratal – Kaza
          Day 35 | Kaza (Ki, Kibber, Gette)
          Day 36 | Kaza/Langza Homestay (Hikkim, Koumik, Langza)
          Day 37 | Kaza – Dhankar – Pin Valley
          Day 38 | Pin Valley – Tabo
          Day 39 | Tabo – Geyu Mummy – Nako
          Day 40 | Nako – Kalpa
          Day 41 | Kalpa – Sangla/Chitkul
          Day 42 | Sangla/Chitkul
          Day 43 | Sangla/Chitkul – Sarahan
          Day 44 | Sarahan – Narkanda – Chail
          Day 45 | Chail – Delhi

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  192. Chitra says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for the response, your feedback was reassuring. I will drop Panamic and Tsomoriri. HOpe hotel accomodations are open in Pangong Post May 20th.

    Best Regards,
    Chitra

    • Camps will be up and running by 5th May, so no worries :) …. 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

      • Chitra says:

        Thank you Dheeraj for the ready link. Slightly apprehensive of the recent chinese incursions, anyway we have booked our tickets so no looking back now.

        I contacted an Innova driver by name Chamba – 9906999808. would you recommend innova for those terrains. Which vehicle would be optimal. Also any input or experience with Chamba – safe / skilled / catious driver?

        One last query – we are planning to stay one night in Sonamarg on our way to Leh. Is the altitude of sonamarg fine for a overnight stay as I believe it is higher than Kargil. From Shrinagar to Sonamarg would the transition in altitude be too early / quick for my daughter to spend a night there.

        Really appericate your patience and enthusiasm to reply to all posts here and of course the info on the website is invaluable!!

        Regards,
        Chitra

        • Chitra, do not worry about that. AFAIK, things are fine regarding tourist circuit and shall remain so :) … Innova is OK but I prefer Scorpio or Xylo over Innova any day in that terrain. Have a word with others too. Try to read the comments in the article or search for Chamba. Someone must have recommended him.

          Yes, Sonamarg is perfectly fine. Overnight stay shall be fine.

          Thanks for warm words of appreciation, sometimes really does wonder to keep the fuel running for this passion ;)

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  193. vivek says:

    Hello Dheeraj Sir,

    I have following plans for ladakh:

    day 1: jammu day
    day 2: Srinagar
    day 3: kargil
    day 4: padum
    day 5: kargil
    day 6: leh
    day 7: hunder
    day 8: karu – spangmik
    day 9: pangong tso
    day 10: manali

    I checked your forum and got lot of helpful information and I am really thankful for that.

    I have made a plan that I am going to share with you and I need few helps also regarding the tour.

    I will start my journey with many things which i have noted after reading your forum but important will be my OWN TENT …..

    I have following concerns:

    1. Where I can put tent and stay for a night without any permission or will I have to take permission to install tent and stay?
    2. From which places I can purchase wood logs to burn near self tent?
    3. To visit Padum, do I need permit?
    4. If I go kargil – sankoo – ragdum –padum, then is there any direct connected route from Padum to lamayuru or I will have to come back to kargil then move to lamayuru-leh?
    5. I will carry one tent for myself. Which places I can stay in own tent and at which places I should/must stay in hotel?

    • Hi Vivek,

      The above plan is not feasible brother as it involves hell lot of traveling. I will suggest you go with below plan to be on practical terms:

      day 1: jammu
      day 2: Jammu – Srinagar
      day 3: Sirnagar – Kargil
      day 4: Kargil – Leh
      day 5: Leh Local + Permits
      day 6: Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
      day 7: Nubra Valley – Leh
      day 8: Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      day 9: Leh – Sarchu
      day 10: Sarchu – Manali

      Regarding your queries:
      1. 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. 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.

      2. Ask villagers

      3. No you do not need permits for Padum, but in 10 days it is unlikely you will make it.

      4. No, you have to come back to Kargil from Padum. I will strongly suggest you leave out Padum and take it easy.

      5. You can stay at hotel/guest houses/home stay almost all the places in above tour plan, so essentially there is not any need to carry tent. You have home stays which will provide you budgeted stay.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  194. Ajay Kumar Singh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Could you please provide me some information regarding photography permission in Leh and surrounding area. Some of the area surrounding Leh probably requires permit to visit. In such area please let me know whether photography is allowed or not? If possible please provide me area where photography is not allowed particulary Leh and surrouding area.

    Thank you,
    Regards
    Ajay

    • Wherever the photography is not allowed, it will be mentioned over there. Specially take care of taking pictures of various bridges as most of the bridges, photography is not allowed. IN the monasteries, do take prior permissions before taking pictures and flash is banned almost everywhere inside monasteries. There is not special permit required for photography. Take care while taking pictures around army areas and if required again ask for permissions if you can. This is what I follow and might not be rules for everyone except monasteries.

  195. Rakesh Kumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    We are planning a trip to Leh in June last week. As suggested, we are doing the onward journey by road (Srinagar-Leh highway). We will hire a private taxi from Srinagar.

    We are reaching Srinagar at 2 PM. Can you please suggest if we should start our onward journey to Leh on the same day. If yes, then should we stay overnight in Sonamarg or Kargil, given that we will reach Kargil only after midnight. Thanks.

  196. Indradeep says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for an insightful article. Myself and 7 friends are planning to visit Ladakh on 1st week of june. Here is our tour plan:-

    Fri (31st May) :Meet up in Delhi and have lunch @ Karim’s (possibly); Leave Delhi for Jammu @ 3:50 PM Shalimar Exp
    Sat D: Reach Jammu at ~ 6 am; Leave for Srinagar after breakfast
    Sat N: Reach Srinagar; enjoy late evening watching guns and gals; night-stay
    Sun D: Enjoy dawn at Dal Lake; Leave Srinagar after breakfast
    Sun N: Night-stay in Kargil somewhere bullets won’t fly
    Mon D: Chat with soldiers over morning tea & leave for Leh
    Mon N: Reach Leh & look for a hotel (NOT near the bus-stand but in the outskirts)
    Tue D: Get “passes” for Khardungla/Pangong from DC office]; Go to Khardung; stay away from Chinese intruders
    Tue N: Back to Leh; gossip and sleep tight
    Wed D: [Early morning MUST]; Leave for Pangong Lake
    Wed N: Stay at Pangong in tents; shiver all night
    Thu D: Depart from Pangong @ 9 AM, visit a monastery on the way
    Thu N: Back to Leh at around 6 PM. Leave Leh late night
    Fri D : Keep traveling
    Fri N : Keep traveling
    Sat M: Reach Manali; Travel to Kalka
    Sat N: Reach Kalka
    Sun M (June 9): Reach Delhi;

    Can you please go through it once and share your opinion about it? Thanks again for your article.

    • Indradeep, the plan looks fine to me with only that you will be able to reach Manali in the evening and then traveling to Kalka, not sure about that. Will be a tad long.

  197. Chitra says:

    Hello Dheeraj, Recently came across your website and find the info immensely helpful. Thank you. Am planning a trip From May 16 to May 28 with my husband and 8 yr old daughter. 2 days in Srinagar and rest covering Leh/Ladakh (std itinerary suggested by you). Would the weather be very harsh during those dates. We do not have much flexibility on the dates. Would you recommend we go ahead with the trip or drop it if the weather is not going to be conducive for my daughter.
    Regards,
    Chitra

    • Hello Chitra,

      Definitely, the weather will be cold especially at the places like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri but should be manageable if you are comfortable with North Indian winters. Just go prepared with heavy woolens. You have about 13 days for making the trip but before I suggest the tour plan can you please let me know how are you planning to come back? Are you planning to fly out of Leh or planning to come back via same route to Srinagar and then flying back?

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Chitra says:

        Hi
        Thank you so much for your response.

        Originally my plan was
        May 16: Bangalore – Srinagar by flight
        May 17: Srinagar
        May 18: Srinagar – kargil by road
        May 19: Kargil-Leh by road
        May 20: Leh local sight seeing
        May 21:Leh -Khardungla-Hunder Diskit
        May 22: Diskit-Panamik-Leh
        May 23: Leh – Pangong
        May 24: Pangong – Leh
        May 28: Leh-Bangalore by flight.

        Between 24th and 28th I was contemplating Tsomoriri. But I called up some Leh hotels yesterday their response is not encouraging – in fact asking me to consider a June trip. Also couple of guys were not in favour of me taking the Srinagar -Leh by road with my daughter. Is the road very winding with potential for motion sickness. I can do this trip in 3-4 days instead of 2 if it will suit her better that way.

        My daughter is exposed to hectic travel – like 7 hrs on the road types.

        Can I cover Tso Moriri, am also keen on Turtuk. Should I drop Panamik.

        What are the likely temperatures during day and night during those dates.

        Once again, thanks a ton for your time and advise.

        Regards,
        Chitra.