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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1,101 Comments

  1. 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 :)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ?

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Nikhar says:

    Hello,

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. 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! :)

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. 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 ?

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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

  50. 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 :)

  51. 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

  52. 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 :)

  53. 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.

  54. 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……..

  55. 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

  56. 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

  57. 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.

  58. 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

  59. 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.

  60. Aditya says:

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

  61. 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

  62. 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

  63. 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

  64. 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

  65. 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?

  66. 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

  67. somnath says:

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

  68. 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

  69. 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.

  70. 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?

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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

  76. 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

  77. 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..

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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..

  81. 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

  82. 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.

  83. 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

  84. 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

  85. 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.

  86. 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

  87. 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 …

  88. 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.

  89. 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?

  90. 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

  91. kavithamariyappan says:

    thanks for your prompt reply.

  92. 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

  93. Kavitha Mariyappan says:

    Sorry
    I am returning to mumbai from srinagar on 17th june.
    Pl advise
    Regards
    Kavitha

  94. 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.

  95. 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!

  96. 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! :)

  97. 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?

  98. 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?

  99. 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 ?

  100. 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

  101. 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

  102. 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

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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

  109. 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

  110. 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

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

        • Chitra, your plan seems fine to me. Do not include anything in it and to make it less hectic drop Panamik circuit and explore Deskit and Hunder at ease. I do not think there shall be any issues but still precautions shall be taken. Temperatures will likely to be in range of 5 Degree Celsius to 15 Degree Celsius.

  115. Ann says:

    Dear Mr. Dheeraj,

    I would like in early June to follow your itinerary for a Three Day Journey on the Srinagar-Leh Highway (as noted above in your post).

    Would you kindly tell me how much my husband and I should expect to pay to hire a private 4WD to take us (but no other passengers) on this route? Let’s assume that I hire a Srinagar-based driver for the first leg. How much should I pay him to take us to Kargil? And how much should I pay the Ladakhi-based driver (that we assume we’ll find and hire once we arrive in Kargil) to complete the second and third days of the journey? Please advise.

    • Hello Ann,

      There aren’t any 4WD drive taxis available on Srinagar – Leh highway. You will get SUVs/MUVs but only 2WD. The expected cost for a dedicated taxi could be around 15-16K considering you will be staying extra night at Alchi. Srinagar to Kargil drop will be about 5-6K. From there they will charge about 9-10K with overnight halt at Alchi/Lamayuru.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Ann says:

        Thank you, DOW.
        If it’s not too much bother, would you also kindly suggest an 18-day Leh itinerary for me and my husband? We plan to spend 18 nights in and around Leh (not including the days it takes to drive from Srinagar to Leh). We’d rather not trek. Is there enough to keep us busy for 18 days? We will fly out of Leh, not travel by car.

        • Hi Ann,

          Ladakh has so many place that it can keep you busy enough for years ;) … Still, I assume that you have so many days so would want to feel the local culture, get to know about it and be at a very easy pace. Hence, keeping this in mind, please check the below itinerary and we can discuss around it if required.

          Day 1 | Leh Rest Day
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing with Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit
          Day 4 | Diskit – Hunder – Diskit
          Day 5 | Diskit – Turtuk
          Day 6 | Turtuk
          Day 7 | Turtuk – Hunder – Diskit – Sumur
          Day 8 | Sumur – Panamik – Khardung La – Leh
          Day 9 | Leh Rest Day
          Day 10,11 | Sham Valley Tour including Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Magnetic hills, Pather Sahib, Confluence at Nimmu
          Day 12 | Leh – Pangong Tso
          Day 13 | Pangong Tso – Leh
          Day 14 | Monastery Tour – Shey, Thicksey, Hemis, Stakna
          Day 15 | Leh – Tso Moriri
          Day 16 | Tso Moriri – Leh
          Day 17 | Leh Rest Day + Shopping or explore Zorawar Fort, Stok Palace
          Day 18 | Fly back

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Ann says:

          Thank you, Sir!

  116. sudhir says:

    have read your articles many a times. I am actually spending 10 nights with 6 in Leh, i each in Nubra, Pangong, Tsomoriri and Achi.
    I was advised to skip Panamik while in Nubra. Aslo I am advised to drive directly to Leh from Tsomorii and skip Tsokar. I know there are birds at Tsokar and I would like to see them, but I wonder if the journey would be too tedious? your advice please

    • Sudhir, definitely it will be a bit longer and rough as compared to the normal route via Mahe bridge. However, you would be passing through Taglang Las pass well from where the views from the vantage point are worth capturing and worth the pain.

  117. Divyesh says:

    HI,
    We are reaching to udhampur on 8th JUly at 5.30 p.m. We want to come back to pahelgam before 18th morning since we got heli ticket of 18th from pahelgam. i want to cover sonmarg, leh and if possible gulmarg. Please give the best route to cover all and if I spare two days after Amarnathji whether it is possible to cover gulmarg and srinagar.

    • Divyesh, please cover just Kashmir that is Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Amarnath Yatra in the required number of days you have. You need 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar, at least 4 days with in Ladakh for covering Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso and then 2 days again back to Srinagar from Leh. So, in all 8 days Srinagar – Leh – Srinagar are required for a trip to Ladakh which is worth enough.

  118. Arvind says:

    hello Dheeraj,

    am plaing to go next month (may) after 20th… leh via srinagar… it is ok with that date… plz guide me…

    • Arvind says:

      Thank u Dheeraj…. cn u tel 1 think if i go Pangong Tso any night stay option is der… and cn i carry petrol…(i hv pulasr 220 with 15 ltr)

      • 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

        Though you do not need to carry petrol for a visit to Pangong Tso and back to Leh but anyways you can carry so!!

        • Tripti says:

          Hi !

          I am planning to visit leh in the month of august. I will start for leh by road from Srinagar on 1st august.My return flight is on 12th august from srinagar.Request you to suggest suitable itinerary.

        • Tripti, in such a case you can follow something like below:

          Day 1 | Srinagar – Kargil
          Day 2 | Kargil – Leh
          Day 3 | Leh Local + Permits
          Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          Day 5 | back to Leh
          Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso
          Day 7 | Pangong Tso – Leh
          Day 8 | Leh Rest Day
          Day 9 | Leh – Sham Valley – Alchi
          Day 10 | Alchi – Kargil
          Day 11 | Kargil – Srinagar

          If interested in Tso Moriri then make a two day trip to it on Day 8 and 9.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

    • Arvind, Srinagar – Leh Highway has been last week and it should be open to take the route from there.

      • Tripti says:

        Thanks for your valuable input.Now i want to know how to fit in Nubra Valley & Tso Moriri without missing Sham Valley & Alchi.

        • Tripti, try it like below:

          Day 1 | Srinagar – Kargil
          Day 2 | Kargil – Leh (try leaving kargil early to cover Sham Valley enroute and get a taxi of Ladakh number)
          Day 3 | Leh Local + Permits
          Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          Day 5 | back to Leh
          Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso
          Day 7 | Pangong Tso – Leh
          Day 8 | Leh – Tso Moriri
          Day 9 | Tso MOriri – Leh
          Day 10 | Leh – Kargil
          Day 11 | Kargil – Srinagar

          OR do day trip to Pangong tso and cover Sham Valley in the other day.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  119. Ajay Kumar Singh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for all the great information that you have given. In the mid/end of Aug what type of clothing is required in Srinagar-Leh route. Please suggest

    Thank you,

    Regards

    Ajay

  120. prem says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I am planning to reach srinagar on 14th April and then 17th April proceed to Leh via Srinagar-Leh highway its feasible at that time
    from Delhi. I have heard that srinagar-leh highway is reopened on 7 april 2013 20 days earlier than last year.
    Please respond.

    Prem

  121. Moiz says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you for all the valuable advice you have been posting. I have tried to read as many as I can. I am a solo traveler planning a trip to Ladakh in mid August 2013. Below is my plan on how to reach Leh:

    Day 1: Mumbai to Delhi by Train
    Day 1: Delhi to Manali by Public Bus
    Day 2: Reach Manali in the morning. Rest and sightseeing
    Day 3: Manali (visit Sohlang Valley)
    Day 4: Manali to Keylong overnight
    Day 5: Keylong to Leh

    In Leh, I would like to trek in the Markha Valley and thereafter include excursion to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri Lakes and all the popular places of interest. How many days should I then stay in Ladakh?

    On return trip my itinerary is as follows –

    Day 1: Leh to Kargil
    Day 2: Kargil to Srinagar
    Day 2: Srinagar to Gulmarg
    Day 3: Gulmarg to Srinagar to Jammu
    Day 4: Jammu to Amritsar
    Day 5: Amritsar
    Day 6: Amtitsar to Delhi

    I would appreciate all your expert help

    Thank you,

    Moiz

    • Moiz, thanks alot. Well the plan is well though off and for rest of the plan with in Ladakh you will need about 9-11 days for Markha Valley trek and about 6-7 days for nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri lake may be perhaps 2 days each to these places with overnight halt at them.

      • Ajay Kumar Singh says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for all the great information that you have given. In the mid/end of Aug what type of clothing is required in Srinagar-Leh route.

        Thank you,

        Regards

        Ajay

  122. Sameer Ahmed says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    I am planning to reach srinagar on 2nd November and then next day proceed to Leh via Srinagar-Leh highway its feasible at that time

    from Delhi

    • Sameer, I will not suggest you to go to Ladakh during that time as it is most likely the time for closure of passes and Srinagar – Leh Highway. You might be able to pass through if the highway is open but generally it all depends upon the snowfall in winters.

  123. Saurabh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    It’s interesting how you’ve responded to literally every question here with eagerness and an attitude to help, really impressive!

    Just had a small query. On the second day of the Srinagar-Leh journey, is it possible to do a Kargil-Lamayuru-Zanskar Confluence-Leh trip if we started around 7am? We won’t spend any more than an hour each at Lamayuru and Zanskar. If both aren’t possible, which one is? Finally, is the magnetic hill on the way too?

    Thanks!
    Saurabh

    • Hello Saurabh,

      Thanks alot buddy for warms words of appreciation!!

      Well, easily doable. All these places viz. Basgo Palace, Zanskar Indus Confluence, Magnetic Hills, Gurudwara Pather sahib fall on the way itself i.e. on Srinagar Leh Highway itself and you will be able to visit and see these places on the way to Leh from Kargil

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  124. Kumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, you are doing an excellent job by sharing all useful info.

    We are total 4 people planning trip to Leh – Ladhak. We have planned to take a flight from Mumbai to Srinagar on 26th July 2013. It will reach Srinagar at about 2 pm. Since we all have already been in Srinagar before, we would like to start our journey for Leh directly(without staying a night in Srinagar). Now my question is, since we will reach Srinagar at 2 pm, what should be the mode of transport for us to travel Leh? As suggested by you in most of the comments to stay overnight in Kargil, can we get a sharing taxi(which does not cost much) to Kargil at around say 3 pm on 26th? Then next day at early morning, again is it possible to get a sharing taxi from Kargil to Leh? I have heard about JKSRTC buses from Srinagar to Leh(with a stay in Kargil), I will be thankful if you can share its timings with me, is there any such buses available from Srinagar in Afternoon?

    We all have planned to wrap up the trip by 4th August i.e from 26th(Mumbai to Srinagar flight) to 4th August(Srinagar to Mumbai flight). I have gone through few sites about places to visit in Leh-Ladhak and below are some places we would like to visit(total days may not be enough though :) that is why I would like to take your suggestion):
    - Tso Moriri Lake
    - Pangong Lake
    - Nubra Valley
    - Zanskar valley
    - Shanti Stupa
    - Magnetic Hill
    - The Hall of Fame
    - Thiksey Monastery

    Please give your valuable feedback with a travel plan if possible.

    Thanks again for your help in advance.

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Hello Kumar,

      Better stay in Srinagar because it will be too late to leave for Kargil. Next day take the JKSRTC bus to Leh. They have not published the timings but you can contact them using the contact info on their website at the link here: JKSRTC Contact Info

      Number of day in hand seems to be less but you might be able to manage it with little efforts. I will suggest that following itinerary for you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
      – Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

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

      Day 10 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      – Overnight at Leh
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  125. nipa vora says:

    Hi. We are a family of five, travelling to Kashmir and Leh Ladakh, in the month of June from 10th to 28th.
    We have planned 6 – 7 days in Kashmir and then travel to Leh by road via Srinagar.
    As mentioned earlier, we are a family of five, ie my husband and me and my 3 kids, where they are of 15 yrs, 13 years and 5 years of age,
    How well will my youngest child of 5 years adapt enroute Srinagar – Leh journey. What precautions are best taken. Also what would be the weather conditions at that point in June 17th and will we be able to get to see the snow on the way.
    We are taking the route to Leh,ie Srinagar-Kargil- Lamarayu- Leh.

    Thanking you.

    • Hello Nipa,

      Nothing much to worry about youngest child specifically because terrain and AMS both does not relate to AMS in any aspect :) … It can hit anyone of any age. Having said that, since you are traveling to Leh via Srinagar and after doing other places as well in Kashmir, your bodies will be acclimatized well enough to take on the high altitude. Just relax only in Leh for the first day, do not exert much and keep your bodies adequately hydrated.

      You will be able to see some snow in month of June :)

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  126. Rachit says:

    Hey , Is it advisable to go to Leh April 15th onwards ? I want to visit the place as a tourist and want to indulge in any adventure activities that the place has to offer . But I heard in April the roads are inaccessible , and in case of snow fall , what can I do in Leh ? Is it worth going to Leh and not visiting Manali and taking the risk of snow fall.

    • Hi Rachit,

      I think you need to understand there are quite a lot of things here. One is Srinagar – Leh Highway which has a slight chance that it might open by the time you travel to Leh but nothing certain. There is another route names Manali – Leh Highway which will not be opened in any circumstance at that time of the year, usually opens up in June. Now, if both roads are not open then you will have to fly into Leh and out Leh as well. Regarding roads inside Ladakh, they remain open all round the year barring few days of heavy snowfall in between. So, if no snowfall happens at the time you are in Ladakh then you will find the in-roads as open only.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Rachit says:

        No I’ll be flying into Leh from Delhi . Am I missing on anything ? Like is the road trip from Leh to Manali which is worth the trip ? And how abt the overnight camping in Pangong Lake ?

        • Rachit, camps at Pangong Tso will not be open by that time of the year and both Pangong Tso and Tso Mriri lakes will be frozen by and large. I will suggest that you postpone the trip by a atleast 3-4 weeks to really enjoy the beauty or colors of Ladakh :)

  127. Girijesh says:

    Hello.
    We are two families planning to visit Srinagar and Leh starting from 2nd Jun 13 to 10th Jun 13. We plan to spend two days at Srinagar and then proceed to Leh by road stopping at Sonamarg, Kargil and Alchi. Therefater, we will visit Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley. We plan to return to Delhi by flight from Leh. Please inform if the Srinagar-Leh highway will be safe to use as per our travel plans.

    • Yes, I think it should be fine to Travel to Leh by road from Srinagar on those dates as Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open by that time of the year. Also, once you reach Ladakh/Leh then first visit Nubra Valley and then visit Pangong Tso lake.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • abbas says:

        hi,dheeraj
        thanks a ton for yr advise regarding trithan valley, i m a nature lover n trithan is such an amazing offbeat destination.we have been there in feb,it was a wonderful experience.now me n my friend are planning a trip to laddakh n we badly need yr suggestion coz its our dream destination n v r planning to explore it via srinagar-leh route on our hatchback.v will start our journey on 9 may after 1 pm from delhi n will have to return back on 18 may morning so v have just 7-8 days,i m a big nature lover n want to explore all the offbeat places on our route,i would b grateful if u can provide us an itinerary( close to mountain n lakes).i have following queries regarding d trip.
        1)will d roads be open by 10 may?
        2)is it safe keeping recent chineese infiltration in laddakh in mind?
        3)will it b possible to start our journey by train from delhi to jammu(overnight),with our ford figo loaded on train(i have read an article in which guys has done this),coz this will save us one day

        • Abbas, roads are open but it cannot happen in 7-8 days in May. If you are OK with being on the road most of the time in a day, then as well you will need at least 10 days.

        • urvanki says:

          Hi Abbas & Dhiraj,

          I would like to know options of making my car ford figo travel from mumbai to jammu. what do you feel ford figo with its lower height can sustain the terrains espescially the routes between srinagar to leh and back to manali..

        • Urvanki, well mostly things depend on the person and his skills behind the wheels, but still for hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

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

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

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

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

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

  128. rutvik says:

    i m from gujarat. we 7 friends are planing to come for leh ladakh trip. We will start our journey at 16 may 2013 from srinagar to leh.We want to return delhi by manali-leh hghway. Is it fine??
    please tell me if road will be open at that time.
    How can i get proper details of road opening status.

  129. Manish Kumar says:

    Hi Mr Dheeraj
    This is Manish Kumar from Delhi.

    Thankful to you for loads of information above.

    We are two couple planning this tour Delhi to Srinagar to Leh and Return thru this route only.

    Need few suggestions;
    1. Shall we plan in May/June
    2. Can we get hired taxi from Srinagar to leh and return; could you pl suggest any reliable taxi providers.
    3. If we choose to hire taxi directly but would wish to enjoy other places which Srinagar taxi is not allowed; what is the other way out.
    4.Which are hotels at both Kargil/Drass and at Leh to lodge. We are vegetarians, pl suggest.
    lastly how much would be the apx total cost of this tour from Srinagar and return.

    Looking fwd for a your reply.
    Regards
    Manish Kr.

    • Hello Manish,

      Better make the journey in June after 15th June type and you wil be able to enjoy both Srinagar – Leh highway as well as Manali – Leh highway which is something not to be missed and will take one day less as well :)

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

      Call some of the drivers who can come to pick you at Srinagar only and your problem of local sightseeing will be solved. Else they would be happy to pick you from Kargil and then you can take on the journey with them upto Manali. Finally, take volvo back to Delhi from Manali

      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

  130. Anurag says:

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj,

    Thanx for your detailed information about the leh-ladakh trip. It was really helpful but i have few queries. I will list them one by one,
    1. We are a group of 5 people living in bhopal, could u please give us suggestions . We have srinagar-leh route in mind for for going to leh and leh-manali route for return journey.
    2. We are planning a bike trip so could u suggest options for renting bikes in srinagar for the following route mentioned above. Actually i have found one renting firm from manali but couldn’t find it from srinagar.
    3. I am thinking of an 8 days trip. Will that be enough for the following trip.

    • Hello Anurag,

      You cannot rent bikes in Srinagar, best option to reach Leh and then hire bikes in there and finally either drop them to Leh itself or drop them at Manali. At least 12 days will be required to do the entire circuit. You can also do it in 8 days but only Manali – Leh and Srinagar – Leh Highways. You will not be able to do other sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

      • Sajal Ghosh says:

        Hey Dheeraj,

        Can I plan bike trip with my CBZ? With this I have already covered a trip of 1100 kms for Kedarnath – Badrinath. But there it was an altitude of 3000 or 3500 mts but Leh is in much more, is it preferable with my CBZ? I dont want car ride..Pls suggest.

        • Sajal, yes you can do the trip to Ladakh as well on your CBZ. I know people with this bike who have done it normally and gruesomely as well :) … Should not be of any concern. Go ahead and plan your trip to Ladakh :)

    • Dinesh Dalal says:

      Dear Dhirajji,
      While going thro the midium class guest house lists,the rates for a double bed-room ranges between Rs250-Rs400
      per day.May I hope to get a g.h in Fort Road area in Leh during first week of July-2013 ? We are
      only two persons(a Couple) for the trip,how to get a shared taxi to visit various places ?
      Dinesh Dalal.

      • Hello Dinesh,

        You are going as a couple 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

  131. Sahil says:

    Hey i m an engineering student just to finish..so we r 5 of us planing to visit ladakh..we want to do the trip in cheapest possible..Is there need of early bookings or it can be done the moment we reach….n gimme some tips to reduce cost..
    Thanku in Advance.

    • Hi Sahil,

      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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  132. Anagha says:

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj,
    As you said there are some options to stay in Drass also. Can you suggest some hotels with their contact nos in Drass?

  133. Souvik says:

    Check out our below plan for us 7 male friends by CAR from aug 9-19 this year. Please let me know if this plan attracts any AMS possibilities & whether it is feasible.

    9th Aug- Chennai/Kolkata-Srinagar
    10th Aug- Srinagar. Places to visit(if any) from Srinagar can be decided later on.

    11th Aug- Srinagar – Kargil
    12th Aug- Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

    13th Aug- Leh Local Sightseeing(Around the city) + Inner Line Permits
    14th Aug- Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder – Diskit

    15th Aug- Nubra valley return along with few sightseeing spots like Magnetic Hill & if possible remaining LEH travel Spots etc. Also, CAMEL RIDES for sure.

    16th Aug- Leh to Tso-Moriri ( 7 hours max), stay at Tso-moriri, explore.
    17th Aug- Tso-moriri – Pangong Lake. Stay at pangong.

    18th Aug- Pangong Tso – Thicksey – Shey Palace – Leh.
    19th Aug- Leh-Jammu-Kolkata/Chennai/Bangalore.

    • Hello Souvik,

      I will suggest that you make a day trip to Pangong Tso lake on 16th and then make 2 day trip to Tso Moriri. It will help you ease out the trip + permits for Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri will not be feasible for you.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Souvik says:

        Thanks Dheeraj for the reply.
        Just 1 query,we planned to go from Tso-Moriri to Pangong, is that journey difficult permit wise and all…??

        • Souvik, you need special permits for the direct route of Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri and now permits are not being issued for this circuit.

  134. J.Ahmed says:

    Hello Mr.Dheeraj Sharma,
    Hope you are keeping in good health.
    We are likely to plan or take up a trip to Ladakh this May 2013 in our own personal car from Mumbai.We will have two or more vehicles as it will be 5 nuclear families together.The vehicle most likely be INNOVA diesel & possible to have one SWIFT diesel car.As our trip is only possible in the month of May & also having little info about Manali-Leh-Manali not being open in this month,our plan is to travel to Leh from Srinagar.I have few things to ask you and im very much convinced by reading your comments that i will surely get the best possible helpful feedback from you.I will put my queries in numbers below:

    1.How many days do we require to enjoy Ladakh trip when we travel by car from Srinagar including the famous lake(name not known) shown in the movie 3 Idiots. As we are also going to be in Kashmir for few days(including Pahalgam,Gulmarg,Srinagar),our trip to Ladakh may not have many days in hand.As i also mentioned earlier,we will have to come back to Srinagar as Manali-Rohtang pass will not be open during this month.
    2.Other than me and my immediate family,all other cousins are travelling for the first time to Jammu & Kashmir so keeping this in mind i want your suggestions.I have travelled to J & K in year 2010 by my Innova solo driving(just as an info)
    3.Travelling by Innova or a Swift is ok or would you like to suggest some alternative.This query is only related to our journey from Srinagar to Leh and back.
    4.Again only to save your time i would like to tell you that i am well worsed with the route upto Kashmir (Srinagar-Sonamarg) hence my focus is only on Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar route.
    5.While reading your write-up above,i came across an alternate route you have mentioned via Batalik.I would also request you to give me a detailed information if possible about taking up this route and when is it more appropriate or suitable to go via this point.Though you have specified one should do this route while returning from Leh to Srinagar,i would still like to hear your views.
    6.Lastly,as we are travelling in families the eldest person would be of 50yrs and the youngest would be 3-3.5 yrs old.Keeping the age of fellow travellers in mind,what guidelines you would like to give us.
    7.Would the GPS be functional on our route to Leh.

    Thanking you in advance & all the very best for what you are doing as very few people go out of the way to help others like yourself.

    Thanks,

    J.Ahmed

    • Hello J.Ahmed,

      First of all it will be better if you make it in Second week of June so that routes towards Manali would also be operational as you already know.

      1. Ex. Delhi, keep about 12-13 days to enjoy all three places in Ladakh i.e. Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri Lakes. Add more days for Kashmir sightseeing. Check the Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh which will help you get an idea how to go about it.

      2. Nothing much since you are going via Srinagar Leh Highway. Do keep heavy woolens with you though. You might face difficult roads respecially towards Zozi La pass because the roads might just have opened.

      3. Innova shall be OK but Swift could be concern and 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

      5. Well, for Batalik route you will need permits from Leh or Kargil. I will suggest that you go via Lamayuru route and come back via Batalik route to Kargil while coming from Leh.

      6. again, since you are traveling via Kashmir with stays at Pahalgam, Gulmarg I do not think there is any major issue with the age of the people related to AMS too.

      7. GPS would work fine.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for your praises too :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • J. Ahmed says:

        Hello Mr.Dheeraj,
        Thanks for your feedback in detail.My main question is still not answered to get the clear picture in planning the trip.As mentioned earlier in my comment that we can take up this trip in the month of MAY only due to school of most of the kids traveling with us.To further elaborate,we have to return to Mumbai on or before 30 MAY 2013 so please advise the route accordingly.As i am very much sure about Leh-Manali route not being functional during this month,i am compelled to return via Leh-Sriniagar highway only.Keeping in mind all the information given by me,kindly advise how many days are sufficient or required starting from SRINAGAR and coming back to SRINAGAR only.Sorry to say so but i want to save your time in planning things for me as i am fully aware of how many days i need in Pahalgam,Srinagar and Gulmarg including the sight seeing in Srinagar.

        Finally if we travel only by INNOVA,would there be any difficulty faced by us all through our journey between Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar route.
        If possible,can you also give me a rough idea of how much it will cost us per person (approximate figure) including meal & stay but surely excluding the transport part of our desired jouryney as it will be done in our personal vehicle.

        Thanks again for your valuable time and comments.

        Awaiting desperately for your feecback.

        J.Ahmed

        • Hello J Ahmed,

          1. Yes, you can take this trip in Month of May.
          2. Srinagar to Leh and Leh to Srinagar will consume your 4 days. Rest for Leh – Ladakh, you will need at least 7 days to visit all three popular tourist places viz. Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri.
          3. Innova should be OK to do the trip but not swift which you earlier mentioned.
          4. For doubts related to budget for Leh – Ladakh trip, I am sure the link below will help you alot for getting an idea of overall budget:
          How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
          Still, in case you have any doubt, kindly let me know.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • Sree says:

      Hi Dheeraj,
      We are planning a 10 day trip from delhi to srinagar and srinagar-leh highway to ladakh from june 20th to june 30th.I want to see the srinagar area stay in the boat house and ladakh and the lakes in ladakh.Can you suggest the iternary please? Thanks!

      • Hello Sree,

        For 10 days from Srinagar, you can follow the below itinerary:

        Day 1 | 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 – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
        – Day trip to Pangong Tso
        – Overnight at Leh

        Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu
        – Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
        – Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

        Day 9 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
        – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
        – Overnight at Manali

        Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

        Note: No buffer days for Ladakh trip mostly many a times means trouble, so do plan a day or two as buffer apart from these 10 days.

        Regards
        Dheeraj sharma

  135. Mrs.Kanchan Khaladkar says:

    Dheeraj,
    Is it safe to travel by road from Srinagar to Leh for a gp. of 14-16 people (all are bet. age group of 50-60 yrs. need your suggetion.

    • Hello Mrs. Kanchan,

      It is completely safe to Travel. Just be on highway itself and do not plan to take any inner route or off routes from the Srinagar – Leh highway.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  136. Evelyn Moriarty says:

    Really helpful and detailed information. Thanks so much.

  137. shiuli says:

    i plan for a holiday in the third week of June’13 for 7 days and wish to cover shrinagar and leh….kindly advice how should i plan my itinerary and how many days should i stay at each location so at to enjoy the stay.

  138. Gayatri says:

    We will be travelling from Srinagar to Leh on 11th May by road. Would roads be open during this period.
    Thanks

    • Vedant Joshi says:

      Gayatri I m fearing that might be Srinagar-Leh Highway is not properly open in mid of May.
      Actually I with my family am planning to visit Leh in end of May.

    • Gayatri, there are likely chances that Srinagar – Leh road will be open by that but do not take it certain. Usually the Srinagar – Leh route opens by first week of May, so by 11th it should be open but nothing 100% sure.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  139. Chetan Rane says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I m Planning Srinagar – Leh – Manali tour in 2nd week of June 13 for 16 days. Flying from Mumbai to Chandigarh and back. My plan is to stay 1 day in Jammu, 3 days in Srinagar, 9-10 days i have kept for my Journey from Srinagar -leh – Manali & 2 days stay in Manali. Can u pls give me iternary for my stay in Leh? Also want to know, will it be safe to do this journey with my 3.5 year old son. we have been to Rohtang Pass last year with my son (who was 2 year 10 month old that time) he did not had any problem that time. Pls suggest.

    Thanks
    Chetan

    • Hello Chetan,

      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. Accordingly, you can add remove days from it but keep them to night stays as mentioned here. May be remove or move rest days here and there.

      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 3.5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Regards
      dheeraj Sharma

  140. Dinesh Dalal says:

    Thanks a lot for your valuable guidance for Srinagar-Leh-Manali visit.I have decided to complete my tour between 27/06/2013 to 26/07/2013, by visiting all places.But I fear that during this period,Amarnath Yatra will also be there,would there be any kind of hinderence for Srinagar- Leh route or getting guest house in Leh Ladakh ?

    Dinesh Dalal
    09825132712
    dineshdalal6@gmail.com

    • Dinesh, getting guest house in Leh – Ladakh will not be affected but yes on the way to Sonamarg you will do find a lot of rush as well as in Srinagar as well. but not something of a big concern as long as you stay on the highway. Be ready for some delays but not big ones.

      • RUSHABH says:

        HI
        WE ARE 3COUPLE AN PLANNING FOR LEH LADAK.WE ARE FLYING FROM MUMBAI TO SRINAGAR ON 8 AUGUST AN BACK ON 16TH AUGUST FROM LEH TO MUMBAI.WE WILL BE REACHING SHRINAGAR AIRPORT BY 2.00 IN AFTENOON.WE WILL GO BY ROAD FRM SRINAGAR TO LEH.SO WHAT TIME WE WILL REACH KARGIL FOR NIGHT HALT.AN FROM WEAR I CAN GET BEST PACKAGE WILL ALL MEALS WITH SIGHT SEEN.CAN U SUGGEST SOME GOOD HOTEL IN LEH ALSO.
        WATING FOR YOUR REPLY
        THANK YOU
        RUSHABH

        • Hello Rushabh,

          Firstly, please avoid ALL CAPS, appeals one is shouting. now, regarding your queries, you will not be able to reach Kargil the same day as it require about 7-8 Hrs drive from Srinagar and late night or evening is something I will not recommend. Better enjoy the day at Srinagar itself. Now, you have about 7 days in hand for overall trip excluding the first and the last day. Hence, you can follow an itinerary like below:

          Day 1 | 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 | Fly out of Leh

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • toral says:

        Hi m doin ladakh in may end.was gonna skip d road trip but after reading url post I’m not gonna miss doin it.the so much for d valuable tips

        • Yes, Toral. Do not miss the Srinagar – Leh Highway. Not only it will help you get acclimatized better but also help you see the greener beauty of Himalayas :)

        • toral says:

          Hi dheeraj.dis yr winters late n snowball till now.is it advisable to do d trip in mid may.dates d only date i hv:-|

        • You never told you gonna do it in May. Many a times the Srinagar – Leh Highways gets open by May first week and I am hopeful that it will open this year as well but yes the picture will get much clear as we come closer to the dates.

    • Dinesh Dalal says:

      Dear Sri Dhiraj ji,
      Thanks a lot for your valuable guidance and according to that I have booked our rly tickets from surat to jammu for 17/06/2013 and we will move for srinagar on 18th.After a stay of 4days we will visit Leh & Ladakh with a period of 15 days as we are a senior citizen and wish to see other places of Ladakh leasurely.Pl suggest me a better place than Leh to stay for 3-4 days.I can even extend my stay beyond 15 days as per your suggestion.

      Sincerely yours,
      Dinesh Dalal

      • Dinesh ji, you can stay in Nubra Valley for 3 – 4 days and even visit Turtuk during that day for couple of days if you like to see more culture and some lovely landscape of Karakoram range. Then, if you can manage the permits for Hanle, it is also a lovely place to be in for couple of days. If you want to skip Leh then better spend couple of days in Alchi, walks around Sham Valley.

  141. Laksh says:

    Dheeraj,

    Wonderful information about Leh Ladakh. We are a family of 4. (48+40+17+15). Planning to do a 2 weeks trip Leh/Ladakh starting 24th June. Prefer Self Drive from Srinagar-Leh-Manali. I am also into nature photgraphy. Appreciate if you could guide me with a 14 day plan. Also Hotel details if possible. When Do I have to book the Hotels for my stay?.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hello Laksh,

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  142. hrushi says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Excellent information. very well structured.
    I want to do a self drive 4 wheeler trip from manali to srinagar via leh. But I dont have a vehicle. Is it possible to get a gypsy, SUV on rent at manali, but not with a driver. Just rent the vehicle and drive self. Either Return it at srinagar, or back to manali. If you have such contacts, please let me know. I know bikes can be rented, but dont know about 4 wheeler.

    • Hrushi, I do not think anybody in Manali does rent self driven cars for ladakh trip. Even other private companies in Delhi NCR have also stopped providing self driven cars to Ladakh. Best bet could be to get one taxi with driver and request that driver let you drive, may be by paying a bit more :)

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj sharma

  143. Pradeep says:

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj,
    It’s me Pradeep from bangkok.
    Sorry to bother you again ,I forget to ask for your advice on some questions.

    I just know that Ladakh taxis are not allowed to roam in Kashmir for sight seeing ,also Kashmiri taxis are not allowed in Ladakh region as well, only drop off is allowed.
    Thus, please give your advice how to arrange the private road trip(sight seeing purpose) from Leh to Srinagar ,overnight at Lamayaru, Sonamarg.

    After reading your previous comments, it seems to me that it is much better to talk(bargain) face to face with the taxi driver. That means I have to deal with 2 taxis for the sight-seeing road trip from Leh to Srinagar. This will be a really difficulty for me ,please help.

    If you have any recommended drivers / taxis both in Ladakh and Kashmir , please advice.

    To your opinin, should I better start this trip from Srinagar or Leh.

    Best Regards,

    Pradeep

    • Well Pradeep, when you will be coming from Leh towards Srinagar then you will have Ladakh taxi which will be free to roam to all the places before Zojila Pass and there is nothing specific off the road from Sonamarg so that will also be handled. Once you reach Srinagar, the Leh taxi will drop you and then you can use Srinagar taxi for further sightseeing in Kashmir viz. Gulmarg, Pahalgam.

      If you are doing the other way round then do all local sight seeing in Kashmir using Srinagar taxi and get drop off at Kargil. Ask the Leh taxi guy to pick you from Kargil and there on you are fine with any sightseeing on the route. Better start the trip from Srinagar side as suggested in the itinerary and enjoy the trip without any worry of acclimatization. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to ask for any other queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Pradeep says:

        Hello Dheeraj,
        Million thanks for your support.
        I want to know how long does it take for private taxi to drive from Lamayuru to Kargil and Lamayuru to Sonamarg (in early October) .
        If I start from Lamayuru at 08.30am. , at what time shall I reach Sonamarg.
        Pradeep

        • Hi Mr. Pradeep,

          It shall take you about 8 – 9 Hrs from Lamayuru to Sonamarg with good stops in between. 8.30 AM seems fine to me.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  144. Rahul Mantri says:

    Hi! Dheeraj,

    Your Blogs are just wonderful and are of great help in planning a trip to Leh. I had just on question.

    Can we get a shared taxi from Srinagar to Kargil and another shared taxi from kargil o leh?

    Also do we get shared taxis from Leh to places like Nubra and Pangong Tso?

    • Thanks alot Rahul. Yes, you can get such taxis from Srinagar to Kargil and another shared taxi from kargil o leh. Yes, you can get lot of shared taxis through travel agents or else there are lots of flyers by the people interested to visit such places at cafes, dine-ins, hotels etc. who look for other people to share taxi cost. It will be easily manageable.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  145. Pradeep says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    I am a senior citizen who live in Bangkok, Thailand.
    My wife and I are planning for the trip to Kashmir & Ladakh and we want to travel privately by car for 18-20 days (from September 21 to October 9,2013)

    I read your blog and found it very helpful. below is my initial plan (not finalized yet),please let me know if this looks good .If it’s not quite Ok ,please kindly give your advice :

    D1:Del- Leh – Shanti stupa- Tsemo Gonpa

    D2:Leh – Thiksey – Pangong Lake

    D3:Pangong lake – Hemis – leh

    D4:Leh – Shey Palace – Tsomoriri

    D5:Tsomoriri – Tsokar – Leh

    D6:Nubra valley
    Leh-Diskit-Hunder

    D7:Hunder- Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Leh

    D8:Leh , Gonpas tour(Phyang, Spituk, Stakna ,Mathao, Stok,etc.)

    D9: Leh – Alchi – Likir – Lamayuru

    D10: Lamayuru – Mulbekh – kargil – Drass -Sonamarg

    D11: Sonamarg – Srinagar (check in houseboat)

    D12: Srinagar – Gulamarg

    D13: Gulmarg – Pahalgam

    D14: Pahalgam

    D15: Pahalgam – Srinagar

    D16: Srinagar-Yuzmarg-Srinagar

    D17: Srinagar , city tour

    D18: Srinagar – Delhi
    Delhi – Bangkok
    D19: reach Bangkok (01.00 am.)
    …………………………

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

    Do you think this plan is too long or too exhausting?

    Should I add one more day at Ladakh by lessening one day from Kahmir?

    On Day 10 ; Is it possible to go
    from Lamayuru – mulbekh – Kargil to Sonamarg? If we leave Lamayuru from 7.00am., when will we arrive at Sonamarg?

    How much will it take to hire private taxi from Leh to Srinagar with 2 overnight stay (Lamayuru, Sonamarg)? Can this taxi take me for sight seeing at Sonamarg?

    What do you think of Yuzmarg? Is it worth spending a day to visit?

    Is there a high possibility to have rain in Kashmir during 21-29 September?

    Should I have to contact the tour agency (esp.in Kashmir)
    in advance ? Can you please recommend a nice one?

    Could you please recommend the accomodations (clean with good view and not too expensive) at Gulmarg, Pahalgam ,Sonamarg and Houseboat at Srinagar? , Do I need to make an advance reservation for accomodations?

    In case I have to split my tour plan into 2 programs , please kindly design the 12 day trip in Ladakh and the 9 day trip in Kashmir for me.

    Please also adviceme about thingsto do & places to see at
    Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Yuzmarg , cause I have no idea.

    While in Ladakh, Can this trip possible : Leh – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Likir – Alchi – Leh with one overnight at Lamayuru?

    Sorry for disturbing with so many questions.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    Pradeep

    • Hello Mr. Pradeep,

      Guess, there will be too much to be covered in one reply. I will try to do it step by step. Please feel free to ask the questions in multiple replies even if they are same. First let’s discuss about the itinerary. This does not look fine owing to many things ams, fatigue etc. I will suggest first that you should go via Srinagar side first and then fly back to Delhi from Leh. This way you will be much much better acclimatized for the Ladakh altitude. Here is the what you can follow for 18 days:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar
      – Take rest for the day. May be enjoy Shikara ride or stay in house boat itself.

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Pahalgam

      Day 3 | Pahalgam
      – Just relax for the day and spend sometime around
      – May be a visit to Chandanwari

      Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
      – Explore ruins of Awantipura
      – Enjoy vistas en-route

      Day 5 | Gulmarg – Srinagar/Sonamarg
      – Enjoy vistas enroute, especially between Tangmarg to Gulmarg
      – May be check out Golf course, if you feel like

      Day 6 | Srinagar – Sonamarg
      – Rest at Sonamarg

      Day 7 | 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 8 | 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 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | 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 12 | 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 13 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      – Overnight at Leh

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

      Day 15 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 16 | 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 17 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 18 | Fly Back to Delhi from Leh

      Please ask other questions from here on to complete your queries and plan :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Pradeep says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        As I do not want to waste time staying at Kargil, Is it possible to drive directly from Sonamarg – Lamayuru(changing taxi at Kargil + visit Mulbekh Maitrey) overnight at Lamayuru. To do this ,I can have one more day to spend for more places like Turtuk,etc.

        Regarding the driver,I would very much prefer to contact Mr.Rigzin, but as you mentioned that “Rigzin may be pre-occupied most of the time , thus “Can you please recommend few other drivers as well along with their contact numbers and send to my email?

        Best Regards,
        Pradeep

        • Hello Mr Pradeep,

          I will suggest that you take it easy and travel in the traditional manner of night halt at Kargil. It will help distribute the journey evenly and also altitude wise it wil help you very much acclimatize to the other higher altitudes. You can remove any of the rest day I suggested in the itinerary to visit Turtuk.

          It is start of the season, talk to him early enough, may be in June or may itself. Keep reminding him and he will make a note that you are coming and will be available for you in that case. Regarding the contacts of other taxi drivers, well, refer the link below and you will see the list of all drivers in the preferred sequence with their contacts. Contact any of them as they all are good reliable drivers with decent feedback. I think you made a comment too on that article, may be did not go through the list.

          Leh Ladakh Taxi Rates 2012 – 13 with contacs of drivers

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Pradeep says:

          Dear Dheeraj,
          Thank you very much ,your advices are very helpful.

          I ‘ll call Rigzin as soon as I finish with my plan.

          As per your itinerary on Day 11,what do you think if I adapt it as Hunder -Turtuk-Sumur-Leh.

          Is there much to see at Dha/Hanu? If it worth visiting? I can reduce a day at Kashmir for visiting Dha/Hanu.

          Best Regards,
          Pradeep

        • It will be too much for Day 11, add extra day to Nubra Valley for Turtuk skipping any of the rest day in Leh. That will be much nice. I feel better stick to Kashmir unless you are really interested to see some Aryans and remaining culture at Dha Hanu.

  146. Rajesh says:

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj Sharma,

    Kudos for the detailed info and the wonderful advice you are giving. We are the group of 4 adults (38 to 45) + 2 adults (62 & 67), 4 childern (10,13, 15 & 18) planning a trip of Srinagar – Leh and Ladakh. We are starting from Delhi by Road on 24/04/2013. You have stated that road between Srinagar and Leh may not be open until May fist week. Is it almost confirmed? No possibility at all?

    Can you pls. suggest 7 to 8 days tour program with Leh/Ladakh or in case the road will be closed alternative tour porgram with Srinagar and other places. Thanks in advance.

    • Rajesh, last year the road opened in April last week, almost on April 29th when I was in Leh, AFAI remember. Previous year it opened in May. I feel you might need to have your plan flexible enough to either travel in last week or first or second week of May when the roads might get open. This time snow stock is huge owing to very good snowfall.

      Can you fly in and out of Leh? Or otherwise, you will have to explore Kashmir only.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Rajesh says:

        Thank you for your prompt response. I think what your are doing is as good as social service helping travelers to plan their journeys with relevant and reliable information. May your tribe prosper.

        Rajesh

  147. Nikhil says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Really wonderful information. The cost that you mentioned from Srinagar to Leh (Rs 12 K). Can you break it up like travel cost, staying at Kargil and food and snacks on the way. And also is it per head cost. We are a group pf 6 guys aged around 25 yrs.

    Also one important question: Is Alcohol a total no foe the entire trip or only when we are traveling. Like can we have a peg or two and sleep in night??

    Looking forward to hear you.

    Regards
    Nikhil

    • Nikhil, guess most of the queries I have replied on the other comment but yes for the new one for alcohol better stay away from it at least 5-6 days into Travel and then take them easy if you are feeling well over the trip. But, at least for the first 5-7 days it is a big NO.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  148. Nijhum says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I was planning a trip to Leh by road during the end of april this year & I wanted to know a few things-
    1. Can I b 100% sure that Srinagar-Leh hIghway will b open from 24 April? What are the chances this year? Is there any other way to reach Ladakh by road except Srinagar-Leh hIghway & Manali-Leh highway?
    2. How much would a TATA SUMO/Qualis/Travera cost for a drop off to Srinagar from Udhampur?
    3. How many hours does it take from Udhampur to Srinagar?

    • Nijhum says:

      If the roads are not officially open, can I still take the Srinagar-Leh route at that time?

    • Hi Nijhum,

      1. Nopes, unlikely that roads will be open even Srinagar – Leh Highway, forget about Manali – Leh Highway. Last year the Highway got open in May first week only. There is no other way to reach Ladakh by road than Manali – Leh and Srinagar – Leh Highways

      2. You will have to change the taxis in Ladakh because taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed in for roaming in Ladakh

      3. Most likely 6-8 Hrs for Udhampur to Srinagar depending upon the traffic conditions.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  149. rajeev says:

    dear mr.dheeraj kudos to you for all the info on this site.iam planning a road trip to leh from down south in fact iam from kannur district from kerala. plan to start by 1st june and reach srinagar on the 6th.planning to spend 10 days from srinagar to manali. retrn back to kerala startin on 16th.( total of 3weeks holiday. please give me a travel intinery.

    • hi Rajeev,

      So you have about 10 days from Srinagar to Manali. I will suggest the following itinerary in such a case:

      Day 1 | 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 2 | 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 3 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      – Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

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

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

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      – Stay overnight at Sarchu

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sumit Jha says:

        Hello Dheeraj,

        We are four guys planning to visit leh-ladakh in mid july 2013. Can you please suggest how much will be expected fare for taxi from Srinagar to Leh one way with overnight stay at kargil this year in July. Also kindly suggest some economical accommodation in Srinagar and Kargil.Thanks in advance :)

        • Sumit, it will be around 12K from Srinagar to Kargil to Leh with one night halt at Kargil. For Kargil, try to book JKTDC Guest House as other I did find a bit costly. I stayed at Greenland with Rs 800 per night.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Sumit Jha says:

          Thanks a lot Dheeraj,
          Soon I will bother you once again with my detail itinerary.

          Thanks & Regards
          Sumit Jha

        • Most welcome anytime :)

  150. Sumit Arora says:

    HI Dheeraj,

    we a group of 4 friends planning to a Leh-Amarnath-Srinagar in 2nd Week of Jul.2013. Our ticket for Leh from Delhi are booked for 10th July and return tickets from Srinagar on 18th July. Could you please suggest me itenary.

    • Atul says:

      Hi Dhiraj, Happy New Year.
      we 3 families wanted to travel from Shrinagar to Leh in 1st week of June with kids, yongest 4 years. Is it advisable trip with kids?

      • Hi Atul,

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

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  151. Alok says:

    Hi,
    Wheather 10 days are sufficent to get most of Srinagar-Leh-Manali.

    • Hi Alok,

      For 10 days you can follow the below itinerary and can execute your trip successfully:

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Leh
      – Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

      Day 8 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu
      – Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      – Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 9 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      – Overnight at Manali

      Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  152. CHANDAN BOSE says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    We a family of 3 are planning to drive down from Pune to Leh in May 2013. Where are the petrol pumps along the srinagar – leh road? I plan to travel in the third week of May from srinagr to leh. Are the roads open at that time?

    • Chandan, please go through the article above, it mention some of the places where petrol pumps are available. There are good chances that in thrid week of May, Srinagar to Leh is open.

      Regards
      dheeraj Sharma

  153. Sirisha Deepthi says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all thank you for such a superb site, which had almost all the information needed for the trip.

    We are family of 5, and planning Srinagar – Leh – Manali trip in the first two weeks of June’13. Our itenary as follows. Could you please suggest me any changes required.

    01/06: Chennai – Srinagar/Half day in Srinagar
    02/06: Srinagar – Gulmarg – Srinagar
    03/06: Srinagar – Pahelgam – Srinagar
    04/06: Full day in Srinagar
    05/06: Srinagar – Sonamarg – Kargil (Night in Kargil)
    06/06: Kargil – Leh
    07/06: Leh Sightseeing and permits
    08/06: Leh – Nubra Valley (Night at Nubra Valley)
    09/06: Nubra Valley – Pangong So (Night at Pangong So)
    10/06: Pangong So – Tso Moriri Lake (Night at Tso Moriri)
    11/06: Tso Moriri – Keylong (Night at Keylong)
    12/06: Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali (Night at Manali)
    13/06: Manali sight seeing (Night to Delhi by bus)
    14/06: Delhi – Chennai

    I haven’t checked for the routes of Leh – Nubra valley – Pangong So – Tso Moriri and also haven’t decided places to cover.

    Could you please pour in your suggestions about the itenary and also the routes.. Thank You.

    • Sorry for not replying it. I was traveling at that time and some how missed the it. Well, there is lot you want to cover in these many days. I will suggest to skip the Kashmir part and do it Ladakh on ease. Direct routes from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso and then from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri and then towards Keylong would be back to back very very long days and nothing enjoyable in it. Better do it as generally, 2 days in Nubra Valley, day trip to Pangong Tso or may be two day trip to make it easy and then 3 day trip for Leh to Tso Moriri, Tso Moriri to Keylong and then Keylong to Manali. This will be much better and enjoyable.

      Let me know in case you need any info. or plan revised.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  154. gourav bagaria says:

    Mr. dheeraj,
    i wanted to knw if v can travel frm shrinagar to leh ladakh by road on bike? which bike wil b suitable ? which month of the year wil b good? risk factor and ur advice please..
    thank you

  155. Norbert says:

    Dear Dheeraj, congratulations to your excellent site. There is really good information on it. I plan to cycle from srinagar via leh to manali in august 2013. One question is, what can you say about the actual security situation because of the military conflicts. There are so many different infomations. Official governmental sites do warn you, to go this way by your own, private travellers motly tell, that it isn´t a problem. Another question is, if you have to carry a tent on the way from Leh to Manali. I think you wrote, it isn´t necessary. But in most travel descriptions I read, that there is really few possibility for accomodation for byciclists, because of the far distances. thank you for your answer! Norbert

  156. Ashwini Kumar Singh says:

    Sir
    Those information you have shered it is very useul who plan for visit to Kasmir Valley and Leh also.

  157. Dinesh Dalal says:

    Dear Dhirajji, 30/11/2012
    We a senior citizen veg couple,want to visit Leh-Ladakh in May-June 2013 for 12 days via Srinagar by sleeper coach(if available)and stay at upper class guest house or c class hotel.After that we will come to Manali & Simla.Pl tell me whether this programme is feasible.

    Dinesh dalal
    Surat-Gujarat

    • Hello Dinesh ji,

      Well, in 12 days it might become a bit tight including Shimla and considering road journey. Also, I will advise you to make your program in the second or third week of June so that roads both Manali – Leh as well as Srinagar – Leh are open by then and to an extent stabilized as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • chaitanya says:

        Hello Dheeraj,

        We are group of 6 travelling to srinagar and ladakh. we have booked flight tickets. just discovered your site.
        May 3rd-9th–srinagar
        may 10th-17th– ladakh.

        will the srinagar-leh road be opened by 9th may 2013?
        Please advice.

        • Hi Darshan,

          You would be staying 3rd to 9th in Kashmir and 10th to 17th in Ladakh? Hope I am assuming right with 10th reaching Leh and then 17th flying back.

          So, you have about 6 days in Ladakh:

          Day 1 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
          – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here:
          – Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
          – Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
          – Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
          – Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
          – If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
          – Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
          – Overnight at Leh

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

          Day 5 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          – Cover Karzok Monastery
          – Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

          Day 6 | 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

          There are about 50:50 chances that Srinagar – Leh might be open and might be not. I will not completely rely on it though.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dinesh Dalal says:

        17/12/12012
        Dear Sri Dhirajji,
        Thanks very very muuuuch for ur valuable guidance.I will repeat my pro as follows:-

        srinagar leh manali shimla
        4 days 13days 4days 3days

        I can change my stay as per ur advice.First of all,I want
        details as regards how to book accodomodation in hotels
        /guest houses in such places @Rs.400/-to Rs.500/- per day ? After that only I want
        to book my rly tickets.Will u
        pl throw light on this ?

        Thanks,

        Dinesh Dalal

        • Hello Dinesh ji,

          Well that is quite a good amount of time.

          1. I am not sure about Kashmir and usually prefer on the spot bookings

          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. More details on Manali including sightseeing places, accommodation options, food joints, etc you can go through the Manali travel guide available at the link here.

          4. Shimla as well not sure since I generally avoid it for stay.

          Regards
          dheeraj Sharma

  158. sanjeev chopra says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    i am planning to visit srinagar 2 jun 2013 i would also like to do srinagar to leh road journey by taxi.please advise is pangong lake better than tso moriri.what should i not miss as my time is limited.is there a reputable tour operator ou can reccomend.some of your correspondents talk about home stay.who can i contact.

    thank you in advance

    Regards

    Sanjeev

    • Hello Sanjeev,

      I do not have any correspondents brother, please let me know if you came to know some who is using my or blog’s name for the same?

      Now, if you have never been to Ladakh then go for Pangong Tso but it does not mean that Pangong Tso is more beautiful than Tso Moriri lake. Both have their own set of attributes for being beauties :)

      Why do you need any travel agent if you have all the information present on this blog to make a successful trip to Ladakh? Of course, if you have any doubts regarding anything ranging from Taxi to Hotel to Route to Night Stay option etc., you can shoot an email to me or post comment here. Plus you will have more flexibility with planning yourself and no restriction to reach a place in time in order to save the amount given as advance to these travel agents… Above all, planning it yourself, will save you quite good amount of money, as all the information is present here :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Ashish says:

        Hi Dheeraj, i am really impressed with your suggestions and mindblowing plans for a perfect trip to ladakh. Me and my friends are planning to start our journey from srinagar and i would like to know the place /shop in srinagar so that we can get rented bikes and if possible to return the same in Manali.

        • Ashish, such a thing is not possible in Srinagar and in fact you will not get any rented bikes in Srinagar. Better hire them in Leh and then if you get such a deal then return them in Manali.

  159. PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I want to visit Ladakh by third week of August, 2013 along with my son. As advised by you, we would enter Ladakh by Sri Nagar-Leh Highway and exit through Leh-Manali Highway. We would like to cover every beautiful place in Ladakh. Time is no constraint for us. Would you please chart a route for us with good hotels for night stays and indicate number of days for stay?

    • Hello Partha,

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  160. M.Suresh babu says:

    Hello Dheeraj
    Thanks for your reply.U really rock by giving useful tips. It’s really nice to get tips from you b4 planning. Gr8 job & my best wishes.
    I have planned the trip from bangalore to leh for 20 days from Nov 25th. What will be the temperature during that period. Is it worth to dare & go coz we are very desperate 2 hav a go. If i am planning the trip from Nov 10 onwards is it better. If all these options doesnt work when is the best time to travel next year. Pls advice..

    • Hi Suresh,

      Thanks alot. Well, you can only have a go at it IFF you like to take such extreme challenges because the chill would be too much and of course not at all the road journey. You should fly in to Leh and fly out of Leh during that period.

      If you love to see Snow then plan it between mid June to mid July, if you want to see great colors of Ladakh then plan it in late September types when monsoon resides. All in between is the time of monsoons where in you have to have quite a few buffer days as plan keeps on getting surprises mostly.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  161. M.Suresh babu says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    Sorry!! I hav plans to drive in fortuner from bangalore on Nov’25 to leh via manali. are the roads open or should i skip the plan

    • Hello Suresh,

      Better plan it next year because even if road is somehow open, it will be very difficult in such extreme cold conditions plus BRO generally stops rescue and clearance operations over Manali – Leh Highway end of October.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  162. Chandra Shekhar Vijay says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Back from a wonderful trip on 20/09/2012. Got busy in office, as I came from a long vacations :) .

    Thank you for such a wonderful website & those informative contents. This whole Ladakh tour was planned as per the itinerary suggested by you only. Although we couldn’t maintain the itinerary as planned and we had to skip the Tso Moriri due to our Scorpio breakdown (some clutch pump problem) after Zozila and we forced to stay in Kargil, as the part was not available in Kargil & supposed to get from Sri Nagar, for 2 days, one of our friend had some breathing issues at K-Top because we stucked there for 5+ hrs. due to the land slide. Most of our stays were in military guest houses, except Kargil, and staying in those guest houses is a wonderful experience itself. But as a whole we enjoyed the trip a lot.

    Waiting for your crispy pics & write-up on your recent Suru & Zanskar trip.

    Thanks a lot for your great help.

    Regards,
    Chandra Shekhar Vijay (Shikhar)

    • Hey Chandra,

      That is extremely nice to know that you had such a wonderful trip!! Glad you info. on this blog was helpful for you as well and yeah, I have also stayed in those military guest houses which is quite an experience as well. This is the most scary part of Khardung La climb that if you get stuck in traffic or landslide or snow storm then it gets really bad at time. I could imagine from my experience earlier this Spring.

      As you are watching, started uploading the Zanskar pictures. Travelogue will be started soon as well and the massive info. content as Travel Guides for Zanskar Valley needs to be written too ;)

      How about sharing your experience with T-Log here as well :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  163. Chandra Shekhar Vijay says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Back from a wonderful trip on 20/09/2012. Got busy in office, as I came from a long vacations :).

    Thank you for such a wonderful website & those informative contents. This whole Ladakh tour was planned as per the itinerary suggested by you only. Although we couldn’t maintain the itinerary as planned and we had to skip the Tso Moriri due to our Scorpio breakdown (some clutch pump problem) after Zozila and we forced to stay in Kargil, as the part was not available in Kargil & supposed to get from Sri Nagar, for 2 days, one of our friend had some breathing issues at K-Top because we stucked there for 5+ hrs. due to the land slide. Most of our stays were in military guest houses, except Kargil, and staying in those guest houses is a wonderful experience itself. But as a whole we enjoyed the trip a lot.

    Waiting for your crispy pics & write-up on your recent Suru & Zanskar trip.

    Thanks a lot for your great help.

    Regards,
    Chandra Shekhar Vijay (Shikhar)

  164. c shree kumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    Tons of thankx 2 your site as it helps 2 finalise not only tour plan but also encourages to visit difficult places like ladakh. with the inputs from your site i along with my friends sucessfully completed the leh tour.Day1-Delhi 2 udhampur via chandigarh &hoshiarpur.
    Day2-Udhampur 2 Srinagar and stay in houseboat.
    Day3-Srinagar sightseeing and stayed in Sonmarg.
    Day4-Sonmarg 2 leh ,no problems faced at zozila
    Day5-leh local here would like 2 mention that if u complete the forms which i downloaded from your site it is hardly 15-20 min job at DC office and if u get it done thru travel agent or hotel staff then u have 2 pay 1000/person which is very high(actual 300)
    Day6-leh to jispa
    Day7-jispa to chandigarh
    Dheeraj i would like 2 mention that roads conditions r improving drastically u can maintain time as well as photography and i salute to the brave people who r doing the best to construct and maintain roads at such places and request all the people who r going 2 visit srinagar 2 leh 2 manali whenever pl take sweets, choclates and old sweaters and jackets to give to the workers who r working in such ainhospitable terrain just to ensure that all tourist reach their placs safely.
    last but not the least dheeraj u r doing a job which inspires people to visit places like ladakh and in turn when v finish our tour v thank whole heartedly that was possible just bcause of people like u my salute to u and your family who supports u 2 continue such a wonderful service 2 all the travellers, definitely by gods grace would like 2 meet personally and have a cup of tea wiyh u.

    • Hello C Shree,

      Thank you so very much for such lovely wishes and praises. I am so glad that info. present on my blog proved so useful for you guys and you had a wonderful trip. I had just returned from Zanskar Valley trip a day ago, so was not able to get into the network area to get over the comments. These words mean a really good start yet again as I am back in civilized jungle :)

      Would surely, love to share a cup of tea with you buddy. Ring me up whenever you are in Delhi/NCR. It is time to put together all the hell loads of information about Spiti Valley and Suru + Zanskar Valley with other travelers as well.

      Cheers!!

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  165. biswajeet says:

    Dear Dheeraj, it is nice to know about the Srinagar-Leh route from you. It has been highly informative. Im planning to go from 08 Oct to 13 Oct 12, from srinagar to Leh and back is it ok.

    • Hi Biswajeet,

      Though the high mountain passes start getting snowfall at this time of the year but generally Zozi La pass remain open upto end of the October month. I feel you should be able to make through the trip. Just in case of some heavy snowfall, you might need a buffer day or two.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  166. Aastha Mehra says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I love your site and I really appreciate the information given by you.I am very much curious to visit over there.
    Thanks and regards………

  167. Varun says:

    Hi Mr. Dheeraj,

    Pls tell if drive from Srinagar-Leh is Easy with Sedan.

    And Similarly how will it be if we come back from Leh-Manali in Self driven Sedan.

    Thanks

    • Hello Varun,

      Driving via Srinagar – Leh Highway is much OK as compared to driving over Manali – Leh Highway and lots of people have done it in their sedans/hatches recently. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  168. Mayank says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I was reading your blog for the past hour or so and I must commend the kind of help and advice you give to the off roadsters like me……Just a quick question to ask….is it advisable to drive a CNG vehicle at such high altitudes?? if yes….where can I find the last CNG filling point?? I basically want to keep this trip a bit economical in terms of fuel expenses but I also know that the majority of the driving to be done on either petrol or diesel….please advice.

    • Hello Mayank,

      Thanks a lot. You can drive but you will have to use Petrol I believe as you start ascend. Moreover, I think you will not find CNG stations once you enter hills, at least I am not aware of any.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  169. Disha says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I have been doing a lot of reading on the net for planning our (my husband and myself) trip to Leh via Srinagar. We live in Gurgaon and love to travel around…Leh was on my wishlist for a long time and finally I have booked my flights: Sept 29th Early morning – Delhi to Srinagar and Oct 6th morning – Leh to Delhi. So all in all we have 7 nights and 8 days for our Leh expedition! And ofcourse, we need all the possible help to plan this trip well so that we make the most of the trip while ensuring that we cope well with the harshness of the destination.

    Below are the two itineraries that I have prepared….please advice on which one will be more do-able and enjoyable…Thanks!!!!

    OPTION 1:
    Day 1 (Sept 29th): Arrive Srinagar at 9:30am. Drive to Sonmarg. Overnight in Sonmarg.
    Day 2 (Sept 30th): Sonmarg – Zozi la Pass – Drass – Kargil. Overnight in Kargil
    Day 3 (Oct 1st): Kargil to Uleytokpo via Namik-La, Fotu-La Pass, Mulbek, Lamayuru. Overnight in Uleytopko
    Day 4 (Oct 2nd): Uleytopko to Leh. En route – Alchi, Likir monastery, Zanskar Valley. Overnight in Leh (I am guessing that we should be able to reach Leh by early afternoon, like 12ish… and then relax at hotel/resort)
    Day 5 (Oct 3rd): Leh to Nubra Valley. Overnight at Nubra Valley (should I plan overnight stay at some other place than the valley? What are options for a night-stay?)
    Day 6 (Oct 4th): Nubra Valley to Leh. Explore Diskit monastery
    Day 7 (Oct 5th): Day trip to Pangong Lake (Please advice on by what time (latest) should we depart for Leh to be able to return to Leh the same day)
    Day 8 (Oct 6th): Morning Flight from Leh to Delhi

    OPTION 2:
    Day 1 (Sept 29th): Same as above
    Day 2 (Sept 30th): Same as above
    Day 3 (Oct 1st): Kargil to Leh. (so I avoid the overnight stay in Uleytopko/Alchi and save on one night for a night-stay at the Pangong Lake)
    Day 4 (Oct 2nd): Leh to Nubra Valley.
    Day 5 (Oct 3rd): Nubra Valley to Leh.
    Day 6 (Oct 4th): Leh to Pangong Lake
    Day 7 (Oct 5th): Pangong Lake to Leh
    Day 8 (Oct 6th): Morning Flight from Leh to Delhi

    So basically, should I plan for a night-stay at Uleytopko for better acclimatization and for enjoying the views en route thoroughly or should I rather save one night and invest it in planning a two-day trip to the Lake. Also, I was not sure if it’s easy to stay overnight at the Lake…keeping in mind the chill as we’ll be there on Oct 4th and the altitude sickness)

    Please Please advice and help by sharing your expert opinion and personal experiences.

    Many Thanks
    Disha

    • Hello Disha,

      BTW, both the options are good but it is always better to have a spare day before you take the flight back as you will be coming across Chang La pass, so we should always spare a day in Leh just to overcome any delay due to closed road. Also, to do itinerary 1, you have to find a Leh numbered taxi because the taxi from Srinagar will not allow you to stop at these places on Day 3. So, do Kargil – Leh as per the second itinerary and then instead of two day trip to Pangong Tso, do either monastery tour near Leh or Sham Valley tour that is Alchi/Likir/Basgo etc. (back tracking a bit)

      In Nubra Valley you can either stay at Deskit (Hotel Sten Del/Olthang) or Hunder (Snow Leopard/Goba Guest House)

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  170. Praveen Kumar says:

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Thanks for sharing such a useful informations. Buddy me and 4 other friends are planning to go to Leh. We are moving on 29th after noon @ 12 pm and we have to come back on 7th oct by night. Can u schedule a tour guide for me if we are going by road on our own jeep via jammu srinager leh highway and coming back via leh manali highway. and also tell where we will require permit to go ahead.

    Thanks in advance
    Praveen
    9910788227

    • Hi Praveen,

      Best you can do is like below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 7 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu
      – Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      – Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 8 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      – On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      – Overnight at Manali

      Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

      Note: No buffer days for Ladakh trip mostly many a times means trouble, so do plan a day or two as buffer apart from these 10 days.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Praveen Kumar says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,

        its a nice tour plan. based on ur input we will get ready our innerline permit doc from here so that we can waste minimum time in getting permission.
        thanks once again

      • Praveen Kumar says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Please guide will the roads are open in 1st week of oct 2012, Manali leh highway and srinagar leh highway. Do u have any info about when the himalaya car relly is goint to conduct this yr in manali. some of my friend is saying that roads are going to close in oct. Please guide.

        Thanks
        Praveen

        • Hello Praveen,

          Roads does remain open but Manali – Leh Highway might close down in case of snowfall. Also, the cold will start to set in especially at Manali – Leh Highway. I guess the Raid – De – Himalaya is in second or third week of October this time. That is why I am saying that you should go for it only if you have buffer days in hand because roads does close for a day or two in case of snowfall. Mostly, the road completely closes when BRO stops supporting clearance and rescue operations.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  171. Victor says:

    Hello!
    Could you please tell me where is central taxi stand in Srinagar (to find taxi to Leh)?
    Thanks,
    Victor

    • Hello Victor,

      I guess this link here to Google Maps might help you locate. Otherwise, you can ask about tourist taxi stand at Srinagar, guess near Lal Chowk.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  172. Mukesh Lashkari says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    I have read all the comments .
    Please suggest.We have only 4days from Shrinagar to Leh and back. Its my wish to cover Zanskar valley in my tour.
    How many more days it will take to cover the Zanskar Vallley and what is site seeing there to see .We have 2 adults and 2 children -15&10years . Can they resist against the low temp.What woolens should we keep.we also want to go Vaishno Devi and Patni Top and see the Srinagar Could u pleae make a plan.

    Thanks in advance…

    • Hello Mukesh,

      Not sure if I got it correctly but if you have 4 days only for Srinagar – Leh and Back then you will be using these 4 days in going to Leh and coming back to Srinagar only. No scope of anything else even a local sightseeing of Leh. It takes 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar with night halt at Kargil. So, try to increase the number of days.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  173. mahnoor says:

    dheeraj would you have a list of cheap but clean home stays or hotels to stay in at Lamayuru, alchi and likrit.
    we plan to take a shared sumo srinagar – leh and get off at lamayuru where we will stay for 2 days and then go on to alchi and likrit (another 2 days) – is this enough or should we schedule more time here before we go to leh.
    Thanks for the help
    mahnoor

    • Hi Mahnoor,

      It is good enough time but I am sorry I do not have much references for Homestays around Alchi/Likir/Lamayuru. Perhaps may be my homework for the next trip to Ladakh :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  174. Harsh says:

    Hi dheeraj, we had a wounderful trip. Thanks for ur guidance. All your inputs were helpful.
    Did not have issue with AMC, just felt breatlessness on long walks d first day. We started off the first day with leh palace and local siteseeing.
    Food was good at most off hoyels hotel lamayur at leh is good for indian. Gasmo bakery is good for breakfast pizza and wester food. Best was tibetian kitchen, we had food 3 times they serve best food in leh, but book your reservations for dinner prior at Tibetian kitchen. Food at pangong lake is just ok types. Just to carry something to eat. Warm drinking water with ginger is very effective for Mountain sickness. Let me know if one needs any info. Atisha guesthouse was decent and low budget. Rincing of atisha travel is a very helpfull guy. Very fair in dealing and planning our tour. U can use my reference-Harsh raj singh.

    • Thank you so much Harsh for the lovely and informative feedback. Glad to know that you had great time over the trip!! Yes, Tibetan Kitchen is also awesome though I had food there just once and that too in a hurry :D

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  175. farhan says:

    hi dheeraj very helpful site this is,how to get a bike on rent n from whom 2 get from srinagar nd d best rate of rent nd wat bout garage nd puncture stations on d way pls mail me earloiest cos m plannin 4 next week

  176. Chandra Shekhar Vijay says:

    Urgent:
    Dear Dheeraj,
    Hi,

    What to write on permit for the following?

    Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
    Route: Leh – Phyang – Khardung La – Khardung – Khalsar – Diskit – Hunder – Diskit – Sumur – Panamik

    Leh – Pangong Tso
    Route: Leh – Shey – Karu – Shakti – Chang La – Durbuk – Tanksey – Lukung – Spangmik (Pangong Tso)

    Leh – Tso Moriri
    Route: Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Mahe Bridge – Tso Moriri – Korzok – Mahe Bridge – Tso Kar

    Kindly suggest stay options in Srinagar.

    • Hi Chandra,

      Just write Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and you are done. For Srinagar, I am also looking for some options of stay, will post them in a day or two :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  177. ASarkar says:

    Hello Sir!
    My husband and I will be travelling to Leh via road from Srinagar this weekend. We will be returning as well from Leh to Srinagar a few days later. Someone told us that the Highway allows traffic only in one direction each day. So one can travel only in one direction today & only in the opposite direction the next day. Also, the same person said that there are timing restrictions on the Highway, e.g. Kargil -Srinagar stretch can only be used at night. How true are these scenarios with regard to day & time? Please do let me know. This is urgent as I only have 3 more days before I reach Srinagar. Thank you so much! Great blog btw! :)

    • Hi ASarkar,

      As I said in previous reply, both the above statements are false. Yes,there is traffic regulations but only for Zozi La pass ahead of Sonamarg. When you cross over it there is no restriction of one way traffic or any other regulation on rest of the highway. I am not very sure about the timings of Zozi La pass now a days, but generally the traffic from Srinagar side is stopped at 6 AM upto 11 AM AFAIK, may be there would be some updated timings. But, definitely not like only day and only night :)

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

      Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • mahnoor says:

        dheeraj, kudos to your sight is great.
        Is it possible to get from Turtuk to Batalik or Urdas or Dah and then onto Kargil without going back to Leh?
        The present plan is to use local transport as much as possible. My present route is Kargil – Lamayuru (night stop) onto Alchi (night stop or maybe two nights) Leh a couple of days stop and then onto turtuk for two days. Please let me know by e-mail if there are local buses or share taxis that i can take and their timing. We are three Indian women who will be doing taking this journey. thanks alot mahnoor

        • Hello Mahnoor,

          There is no direct route from Turtuk to Dha-Hanu or Batalik. You have to come back to Leh to go over there. Yes, there are lots of shared taxis that run but not sure if you can get one for Turtuk. Upto Hunder you will surely get one and then may be at Deskit you need to enquire about local transport used by local people to Travel there. For Dha-Hanu, you will again get alot of shared taxis. Just roam around and you will see lots of flyers, white boards asking for people to share taxi cost. You may enquire from local travel agents in Leh for seat booking in such cabs and they also arrange for the same charging a bit more.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • ASarkar says:

        Hello!
        I just returned from Kashmir a few hours back. It was magical!! I didn’t get a chance to reply to your mail before as I was travelling and didnt have access to the net. However, I wanted to thank you for your help. We didnt face any issues on NH1. And infact our journey was breathtaking! :) I would advice all those going to Leh, to travel atleast one way by road. It not only helps you acclamatize, but u also get to see the gorgeous greens of the land and ofcourse the Kargil War Memorial, Alchi Monastery, Moon Rock etc.
        Thanks again! Will def visit Kashmir again. :)

        Regards.

        • Thanks alot for the update here, A Sarkar. Glad to know that your journey was great and blog did help you have a memorable experience.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  178. samaya says:

    what are the sanitation facilities on this route? we are a group that has few ladies.. and with long hour delays…nature’s call has to be answered. any tips?

    • Harsh says:

      Hi, sanitation is just ok. Need to compromise. Sonmarg hotels, drass army memorial, kargil, lamayuru monentry restaurent are fine. Every 2 hrs u will find. Regards Harsh

    • Well, on Srinagar – Leh Highway, you have to use some Dhabha/Hotel/Restaurants in the villages which will keep coming every couple of hours. So, do not miss any opportunity for the same when you stop over to dhabha/hotel enroute for food/tea break.

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

      Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • ASarkar says:

      Hi! I just returned from Kashmir a few hours back. I’m a female myself and honestly speaking public sanitation is def a problem on the highway as well in Ladakh.
      Unless you are in a hotel, u will most likely not find a clean loo to go to. Infact in Ladakh, in most places u will find just a hole in the ground with walls around it! But don’t let me scare you! :) My sis in law and I thought using boulders as covers instead of these so called toilets was a much better and cleaner option!
      Don’t worry too much about it though. You’ll do fine….just like we did! :)

      Enjoy the trip. It will probably be the best one you will ever make!! :)

      Regards.

  179. sureshbalabhadra says:

    Hai, i found this information very usefull. I am planning a trip to leh with my parents (parents age: 60. Is this journey will have any troubles for my parents? I prefer 2 days journey in JKRTC buses. If i travel in november, will there be any snow on the way? Please clarify.

    • Hi Suresh,

      You are doing the right thing of taking them via Srinagar – Leh Highway where the altitude will grow gradually and minimizing the chances of AMS. Just keep the body optimally hydrated and do not over exert anywhere in the initial days of your trip. November would be very very cold, keep in mind. You may get to see snow if lucky at Zozi La pass else no where else.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  180. kunal says:

    hello dheeraj bhai…i had put up my story here regarding the inner line permit issue with the adc …that seems to have been deleted by the mods…can i know why please?

  181. johar says:

    i intend to drive to srinagar leh by a Ford Figo. its a hatcback. will I be able to do so with this car. I belong to himachal and thus have some experience of driving in thehills, but I haven’t done any passes earlier.

    • Hi Johar,

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  182. panna says:

    I will be travelling from srinagar to leh on 20th september. Anybody interested in sharing taxi may please reply

  183. panna says:

    I want to know,whether all the in line permits obtainable at DC office,Leh are also obtainable from DC office Kargil. And the taxi hire charges (range) from kargil to leh.

    • Hi Panna,

      Places for Ladakh like Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley must be taken from Leh DC office only AFAIK though not 100% sure.

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • panna says:

        So while going from kargil to leh, is there any specific (place that worth seeing en route and needs permit) permits that is to be taken from kargil DC, as I will be taking two days and will stay at alchi or nearby.

        • Hi Panna,

          There is a different route that goes via Batalik and Dha Hanu Villages which definitely need permits but you will not be taking that route, so no worries. You can cover Lamayuru Moonland and Monastery, Mulbek Maitrey and other places in Sham Valley like Likir, Basgo, Alchi, Confluence at Nimmu, Magnetic Hill, Gurudwara Pather Sahib on the way to Leh from Kargil.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • panna says:

          HI dheeraj, thanks. But if next day I plan to visit batalik route and come back to leh, then what should be my itinery (route) and what are the permits I have to take and are they available at leh.

        • Not sure what you are referring too because if you take route via Batalik from Kargil you need not go back anywhere Or are you saying you want to make a day trip to Dha Hanu Villages and come back to Kargil and then traverse the route from Kargil to Leh via Lamayuru? If yes, then this should be the itinerary only Day 1 visit to Dha Hanu Village and come back either to Kargil and then go ahead towards Lamayuru and Leh/Alchi next day. Permits need to be taken from Kargil in this case.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • panna says:

          Hi dheeraj, see there are two routes to leh from kargil. one via Batalik and other via lamayuru. If I take the lamayuru route and reach leh and next day wand to visit the batalik route from leh and back to leh, then what should be my route (itinary) and required permits.
          Panna

        • Hi Panna,

          That is my concern is that why do you want to go all the way upto Leh and then come back to explore the other route? IS time/number of days not an issue? If you have limited time then better drop one of these routes and save a day. Otherwise, once you reach Leh or Alchi from any of the route, you make a day trip to any of them next day. Or perhaps, do Kargil – Batalik – Lamayuru (you need to return back towards Lamayuru on Srinagar – Leh Highway) and then Lamayuru – Leh next day. But, that much traveling might not be worth if you have limited time. For permits, you should write Batalik, Dha, Hanu.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • panna says:

          Hi dheeraj,
          Yes, i have got one day spare in between. And I would go to the batalik route if it can be visited from leh in one day and if it worth that much travelling. My plan is to Cover Srinagar – leh route in two days. then nubra valley route in Two days (Please guide what to do if I want to add turtuk). Then reach keylong in two days via tso moriri and tso kar. Also please guide me on the two routes to Tso Moriri which one is better and the permits. Can hanley be visited via pangongTso and reach to Korzok on the same day,
          if I start early. I am going in mid sept. Is there anything to fear. Me and my wife is going. I dont know, as the date is approaching \i am developing a cold feet.Also U can guide me if u have any better place to add or touch enroute.U have already helped me a lot in the kaza – shimla route, which I will be going after wards.
          panna.

        • Hi Panna,

          I will suggest better use that extra day and visit Turtuk and relax more in Nubra Valley to get a much closer feel to nature. Which two routes are you talking about Tso Moriri? There is one: Leh – Chumathang – Tso Moriri and then you continue as Tso Moriri – Sumdo – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali -Leh Highway) – Pang – Sarchu – Keylong – Manali in further two days. No, you cannot do Hanle and then reach Tso Moriri in one day from Pangong Tso as it is even a challenge to reach Tso Moriri from Pangong Tso in a day. Moreover, permits are not being issued for this route by DC office.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • panna says:

          Hi dheeraj,
          I can adjust +/- 3 days. So if there is anything worth visiting, and should be added, please tell.
          panna

        • Hi Panna,

          I would still say that you skip that part and better follow traditional route via Kargil and Lamayuru. If you feel you have time then from Leh make a two day trip to Dha Hanu Villages at later stage but would definitely say if at all you have time then better spend that time in other parts of Ladakh or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley while you are coming back.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • panna says:

          Hi dheeraj,
          In your comments u always refer to two routes to Tso moriri via Pangong Tso, one is traditional route and other one through which foreigners are not allowed. I am a bit confused. What is the one via Chusul – Tsaga– Mahe– Sumdo. and any other route. I also read the blog written by kunal in the inner line permit section. Kindly guide me in the Pangong tso – Tso Miriri – Tso Kar – Keylong route.Is two days enough. What are the places to write on permit.
          Panna

        • Hello Panna,

          Yes, one route is Spangmik to Tso Moriri that goes via Chusul – Tsaga – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe, other one is traditional route that takes you all the way back to Karu from Pangong Tso and then you take left towards Chumathang to reach Mahe – Tso Moriri which is called traditional route.

          Third one is that goes like Spangmik – Chusul – Mitpal Tso – Yaye Tso – Mahe which is under construction and only 4×4 is recommended if you get permit for it.

          You need 3 days for the Pangong Tso – Tso MOriri – Keylong and it will be very very long last 2 days.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  184. Santosh says:

    Hi, My wife & I are travelling from Srinagar-Leh and we are looking at sharing taxi with 2 others. Plan is as below (wanna cover the places enroute):

    19th Aug: Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil

    20th Aug: Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
    Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
    On the way see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu

    Contact me if interested.
    Regards,
    Santosh
    09686844662

  185. Pankaj Kumar says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Can u provide me contacts of any person in Leh who can arrange vehicle (which will roam in Leh and near by places) and hotels at leh or nearby.

    Thanks

    • Hi Pankaj,

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  186. imran says:

    we are group of 5 people arriving 1 pm at srinagar..is it advisable to hire taxi directly from airport to leh..or what will be the best time to start srinagar leh highway journey…i am aslo planning to stay night at kargil…

    • If you reach by 1 PM then at max. you can reach is Sonamarg and then continue your journey ahead next day to Kargil and then to Leh. So, it is upto you to either stay at Sonamarg overnight or stay at Srinagar only.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  187. chris says:

    Hello Dheeraj,
    we, a group of 6 are planning to visit Leh from Sep 29th to Oct 6.
    Sat – Sep 29, arrive in Srinagar
    Sun – Sep 30, Srinagar – Kargil
    Mon – Oct 1, Kargil – Leh
    Tue – Oct 2, Leh sightseeing, and arrange all permits
    Wed – Oct 3, Leh – Nubra valley (camp at Diskit)
    Thu – Oct 4, Travel in the region and head back to Leh / Sakti
    Fri – Oct 5, Leh – Spangmik or Sakti – Spangmik depending on where we
    camp the previous night
    Sat – Oct 6, Spangmik – Khaltse – Spangmik – Leh
    Sun – Oct 7, Leh – Delhi morning flight

    need to know whether we can reach Kargil if we start from Srinagar in the afternoon on 30th Sep. would prefer to do some sightseeing in Srinagar if possible.

    • Hi Chris,

      The plan looks fine but yes, I will suggest you do any sightseeing you want early in the day on 30th because it takes about 8-9 Hrs to reach Kargil from Srinagar. So, plan the day accordingly as traveling late night shall definitely be avoided there. At max. leave by 10 AM from Srinagar to reach Kargil with day light left in the day.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  188. santhosh says:

    Any one travelling from leh to srinagar by taxi on 30th or 31st of august.we are a 3 member team, we would like to share the taxi…

  189. Harsh says:

    Anyone travelling leh to srinagar on19th august’ can pool in a taxi. We are 3people. Rgds Harsh ph 07382629790

  190. santhosh says:

    Hi dheeraj,
    i’m santhosh along with 2 of my friends, have planned a trip to leh from Aug25th to sep 1st. we reach leh from delhi by flight on 25th, and return flight from delhi to chennai is on 2nd september. we have planned to return to jammu via road (srinagar – leh highways). so when will be the right time to start from leh so that we reach jammu on saturday evening to catch a train around 9.pm to delhi and how to plan our road trip. you suggestion will be of great help.

    • Hi Santosh,

      If I get you right you need three days for your travel from Leh to Srinagar to Jammu like Leh to Kargil (30th Aug), Kargil to Srinagar (31st Aug), Srinagar to Jammu (1st Sept). So, now you are left with 5 days and you can follow below plan for the same:

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

      Day 5 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh (29th Aug)
      – Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Leh

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  191. luca says:

    rhanks a lot for your help. Could you reccomend some hostels – budget accomodation in Leh? About the accomodarion in kargil, does it come w.the bus ticket in terms of reservations?otherwise how should i book one?
    thanks again!

    • Hi Luca,

      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

      Once you reach Kargil, you can find some decent economic budget options there too.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  192. Papia says:

    Hey,

    Thanks for the info, I did not catch the time of the buses or cabs plying from Leh to Srinagar? Is it possible to catch something during the day or early evening from Leh and reach relatively early in Srinagar the next day? I am convincing myself to be able to complete the travel in a day…cheers!

    • hi Papia,

      I think most of these cabs which does the journey from Leh to Srinagar in a day starts about 2-4 AM at night and continue upto evening as it takes about 15 Hrs to complete the journey. I am not sure if they do it during the day. Buses does halt at Kargil, AFAIK.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  193. c shree kumar says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    At what time permission is granted 2 cross zozila pass in morning hours from sonmarg side and how much time it takes 2 cross.

  194. Tariq says:

    You are “The Man”. Real neat write-up.We (3 guys) are planning the Srinagar-Leh-Manali trip from Aug 31st. Had contacted a travel agent for a package, he quoted around 1.25 Lakhs(Total) for the travel,hotels and food(breakfast and dinner). I will explain the itinerary: Pick up from Srinagar – Kargil ( 1 Night ) – Leh ( 1 Night ) – Pangong ( 1 Night ) – Leh ( 1 Night ) – Nubra valley ( 1 Night ) – Leh ( 1 Night ) – Sarchu ( 1 Night ) – Manali ( 1 Night ) Departure Manali. The issue is we are travelling from Kerala and this guy needs the money upfront. So if we do the tour without their help, like you had said , take taxi from srinagar to leh, and then another one for going around Leh and then again for Leh to manali..will it be cheaper? Would like to hear your inputs on this one. And thanks again for this amazing site.

    • Hello Tariq,

      Why do you need any travel agent if you have all the information present on this blog to make a successful trip to Ladakh? Of course, if you have any doubts regarding anything ranging from Taxi to Hotel to Route to Night Stay option etc., you can shoot an email to me or post comment here. Plus you will have more flexibility with planning yourself and no restriction to reach a place in time in order to save the amount given as advance to these travel agents… Above all, planning it yourself, will save you quite good amount of money, as all the information is present here :)

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Tariq says:

        Hey Dheeraj,
        Took your advice, did not take the package tour, instead planned everything from the info on your site. And it went truly well, did the Srinagar-Leh-Manali trip from August 30th to September 8th. And we saved a lot of money too.And would like to thank you again for maintaining this fantastic site on Kashmir Travel.