How to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

Season to Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

Modes of Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shared Taxi | A Cannon ball run

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

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

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

Other travel modes

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

Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

Two Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alternate Route to Leh from Kargil via Batalik and Dah

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

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

Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

Acclimatization and its importance on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

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

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

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

Fuel or Petrol Pumps on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

ATMs on Srinagar – Leh Highway

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

Places on Srinagar – Leh Highway with their Distances and Altitudes

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

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

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Facility

Places

Accommodations / Stay Options

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

Conclusion

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

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1,485 Comments

  1. Hi, This was very informative article, Thanks!
    I am panning a trip Srinagar -Leh -Manali in second week of June 2015.

    Can you give me a detail on how do i book taxi online or on call.
    Thanks!

    • For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2015 – 16 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

  2. Nidhi Sharma on

    Thank you for this valuable information..
    I am planning to go to leh in the first or second week of may….will the Srinagar-Leh highway be open at that time?

  3. Indranil Basu on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all I would like to congratulate and thank you for all the efforts you are putting into place. Unlike many forums that contain information on Ladakh DOW just rocks!! Because of its simplicity, crisp and brief info…Hats OFF!! :)
    I am planning for Sringar – Leh – Ladakh trip in the month of June (2nd or 3rd week). As I read in your forums Srinagar – Leh seems to be more comfortable to experience this amazing part of India, may be later on I would opt for more adventurous route via Manali as I would be taking air route on return. Can you please help me with my following queries:

    1. Looking for a suitable itinerary starting from Srinagar to Leh for 2 days travel, assuming one day halt in Kargil, highly looking forward for places worth seeing on its way.
    2. I would like to visit places around Leh, Nubra valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Kar & Tso Moriri and return by flight from Leh. If you can provide me suitable time frame for each of the points and the halt?
    3. Where are the better chances of spotting black necked crane as I do wildlife photography so definitely would like to spot one, of course time and destiny matters. As far as I know Tso Kar is one place and Changthang region is quite known for Black Necked Crane.
    4. I would be accompanied with my parents and close friends total 8 people, I guess I would need 2 vehicles. Can you please let me know if its fine to take my parents along as my father is 60+ , he just love Himalayas , no critical illness but have little BP issue. Curious to assess the risk first as Leh, Khardungla, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri etc are at high altitude.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

  4. SANJIB BASAK on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Its me once again, you helped me a lot in My Kinnaur-Lahaul-Spiti Trip on Sept.2014. First of all thanks for your very informative blog.You are doing a fantastic work. I would just like to request you to have a look at the below itinerary for my upcoming Leh-Ladakh-Zanskar Trip starting from June 7,2015:

    Day 1 | Srinagar – Kargil
    Day 2 | Kargil – Padum
    Day 3 | Padum ( covering Stongde, Zang La & Karsha) – Rangdum / Parakchik
    Day 4 | Parakchik / Rangdum – Lamayuru
    Day 5 | Lamayuru (covering Sham Valley) – Leh
    Day 6 | Leh – Turtuk
    Day 7 |Turtuk (covering Panamik & Sumur)– Diskit / Hunder
    Day 8 |Hunder – Diskit – Wari La – PangongTso Lake
    Day 9 | PangongTso Lake (+/- Marisimik La) – Chumathang
    Day 10 | Chumathang – Hanle
    Day 11 | Hanle – TsoMoriri
    Day 12 | TsoMoriri – Leh
    Day 13 | Leh – Delhi

    Now my queries are:
    1.Whether Penzi La Pass is accessible on June 8,what about the chances of its opening to allow us to take to Padum,
    2.Probablity of taking Wari La Route from Hunder to Pangong Tso,( I’ve talked to both the drivers Rigzin & Hassan,recommended by you.They both told that usually Penzi La will open after May 15 and we will be able to take the Wari La route.What about yours expert opinion regarding this?)
    3.Whether ILP is needed for Wari La & Hanle route,
    4.Do you think this is a good plan keeping in mind among other things the AMS/acclimatization aspects.
    With Rregards – SANJIB.

    • Hi Sanjib,

      Day 3 is too much I believe and if I see Day2, 3 and 4 together they are too hectic back to back with chances of hitting AMS high. Again no rest in Leh I see. Rest looks decent to me but you will have to add few days more to make it less hectic.

      Regarding queries,

      1. Penzi La most likely be open during that time.
      2. I agree with them, most likely Wari La will open but that is no mans land and road would hav just opened though not stabilizied. In case any help that will not be available for many KMs
      3. For Hanle you need the ILP, Wari La can be written too as anyways you will be applying for the permits.
      4. Comments above

      Regards
      Dheeraj
      PS: Sorry for the delayed reply.

  5. Hi – Thank you for all your fantastic work. I have reald almost every post based on which i am planning my itenary for which i need your expert advise. We are a group of 4 boys who want to be absolutely adventerous so no luxury at all. Plan to arrive in Srinagar from Mumbai on 12th June and spend a day in Srinagar.
    Our proposed plan – 14 days starting from 13th June to 26th June
    Hire a taxi from Srinagar – Kargil on June 13th
    Change taxi for a leh / Ladakh taxi to allow sight seeing and take the permit route to Leh
    Return after Leh / Ladak via Manali on 26th June.
    Please come up with the most memorable itenary for us that i can just print and execture to the “T”

    • Hello Jay,

      A happy new year to you and your family !!

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

      You should look from Srinagar onward.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma
      PS: Sorry for the late reply, I was on a trip to Kumaon, Uttarakhand for the last 8-9 days.

  6. Abhinav Acharya on

    Dear Dheeraj
    main april last week se may first week ke beech me Ladakh jane plan kar raha hu via Srinagar highway please suggest me ki kya ye time theek rahega wahan jane ke liye. mera dream hai ladakh jana badi muskil se office se leave approve hui hai or main ye mauka khona nahi chahta, please suggest

  7. Utkarsh Nagur on

    In other words,Sir-If I can spare Four days-Two for Leh-Nubra-Leh,Two for Leh-Pangong Tso/Spangmik-Leh,and one day for Leh-Monastery Tour….Considering that we have kids and don’t want to exert ourselves-which one is better to avoid ?

    • Utkarsh, if you have 4 days then make 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and 2 day trip to Pangong Tso. You can cover Hemis Monastery on the way to PAngong Tso and while coming back from Pangong tso you can do both Shey Palace and Thicksey monasteries too.

  8. Utkarsh Nagur on

    Sir,Which of the below two options,are better-from Scenic and adventure point of view.

    1)Leh-Monastery Tour-Leh-After Breakfast, start your journey towards Lamayuru monastry, covering Likir, Basgo& Alchi later during the day. While
    returning, don’t forget to give a stop at Magnetic Hill & Gurudwara Sri Pathar Sahib. Overnight at Leh. Opt this tour if you
    are really interested to get real insight into Buddhism & its shrines, else club Rafting &
    Alchi, to make it more of fun.

    2)AfterBreakfast,atNubra,following overnight stay there, check out from the camps & visit Deskit Monastery, Hot Water Springs,
    Panamik via confluence of Shyok & Nubra River across Sumoor. Return to Leh by Evening. Overnight at Leh.

  9. Utkarsh Nagur on

    Thank You for yur Feedback,Sir.We have actually a revised plan-Planning to go from Manali.KINDLY GIVE YOUR VALUABLE OPINION…
    Day1
    Delhi-Manali(by VOLVO)-
    Jispa/Sarchu (Day 1 of 2)
    On previous evening, you will board VOLVO from Delhi, for onward journey to Manali.
    Arrival at Manali (Day 1) by 7am. After Breakfast, start your journey to Leh, with first
    move towards Jispa enroute Rohtang La & Keylong.
    Overnight at Jispa.Jispa Journey Camps, Jispa, Breakfast & Dinner

    Day2
    Jispa/Sarchu-Leh (Day 2 of2)
    Start early Morning after Breakfast, for your journey to Leh.Enroute you will come across
    beautiful landscapes of Baralancha-la, Chandratal Lake, Tanglangla, Moore Planes &
    Upshi, the route most loved by Shutterbug community.
    Overnight at Leh.Ladakh Residency /Ladakh Sarai , Leh, Breakfast & Dinner

    Day3
    Leh LocalSightseeing +
    Acclimitization
    We categoricaly recommend all our travelers to keep a day for Acclimitization to avoid
    Altitude Sickness, therefore you are kept at Leh , only to gear up for visits to higher Altitudes
    during following days.Today, you will start your tour after Breakfast, & cover Shey &
    Thiksey Monastery with Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa & Hall of fame. Dont exert your body, if
    you are feeling tired at anytime during the day.
    Overnight at Leh Ladakh Residency / Ladakh Sarai,Leh, Breakfast& Dinner

    Day4
    Leh-Nubra-Leh(2-Day Trip,Day 1 of 2)
    After Breakfast, move towards Highest Motorable Road of The World, KhardungLa
    Pass. Have a cup of Tea there, get yourself clicked with the Khardungla Signboard by BRO
    & proceed towards Nubra valley covering Deskit Monastery enroute. Check-in at
    Hotel/Camp, freshen up & later you can have a Double Hump Bactarian Camel ride. Dont
    forget to click this unique mammal, found in cold Desert. It was once used to carry the trade
    material on silk route.
    Overnight at Hunder/Nubra Camps/Hotel.Heaven Adventure Camps / Cold Desert Camp,Hunder –
    Breakfast &Dinner
    © A l l R i g h t s R e s e r v e d w w w . a l i f e t i m e t r i p . c o m
    Page 4
    Day5
    Leh-Nubra-Leh, Return from
    Nubra covering Sumoor, (2-Day Trip, Day 2 of 2)
    AfterBreakfast, check out from the camps & visit Deskit Monastery, Hot Water Springs,
    Panamik via confluence of Shyok & Nubra River across Sumoor. Return to Leh by
    Evening. Overnight at Leh.
    LadakhResidency/Ladakh Sarai,
    Leh, Breakfast& Dinner

    Day6
    Leh-Pangong/Spangmik-Leh(2-Day Trip, Day1 of 2)
    After Breakfast, check out from Leh & proceedfor one of the most scenic, Pangong
    Tso/Spangmik via Changla Pass (17350 ft).Overnight at Camps.
    WatermarkCamps,Pangong,
    Breakfast &Dinner

    Day7
    Leh-Pangong/Spangmik-Leh(2-Day Trip, Day2of 2)
    After Breakfast, check out from Camps for return journey to Leh. Enroute visit Hemis
    Monastery. Overnight at Leh
    LadakhResidency/Ladakh Sarai,
    Leh, Breakfast& Dinner

    Day8 Drop at Leh Airport
    After early morning Breakfast, say adios to the
    beauty of Leh & proceed for Airport for return.

  10. Utkarsh Nagur on

    We are 6 persons and planned for lifetime trip to Leh Laddakh starting from 8th June to 16th June 2015. Kindly suggest / guide for itinerary and whatever comes to your mind,
    We will be reaching Srinagar on 8th afternoon 1:30pm by Air and leaving on 16th morning directly from leh 8.00 AM by Air.
    Arrival in Srinagar –8th June
    Overnight stay at GULMARG
    Day 1 – 9th June
    Early Morning after breakfast leave for Kargil, by visiting Sonamarg (Known As Meadow of Gold), cross famous Zodjila pass, Drass Village (2nd Coldest Inhabitated place in the World), Enroute have a magnificent view of Kargil war Famous Peaks (Tiger, Tololing) from Vijay war memorial hall site, reach Kargil by evening. Overnight stay at Kargil.
    Day 02 – 10th June
    Morning after Breakfast leave for Ule, enroute visit Mulbek, Giant Living Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain, Lamayuru, one of the oldest Monastery of Ladakh and enjoy the view of Moon Landscape. Arrive Ule by afternoon. Overnight stay at Ule.
    Day 04 – 11th june
    After Breakfast leave for Leh enroute visit Alchi, Likir Monastery, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara and Hall of Fame museum. Reach Leh by afternoon. Overnight stay at Leh.
    Day 05 – 12th june
    After Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake 14,500 ft, through Changla Pass 17,350 ft. (third Highest Motorable road in the world) Arrival at Camp, Hot Lunch will be served aat Camp, Later free time at Leisure and enjoy the color changing lake and the sun set on the banks of lake. Overnight stay on the banks of Pangong Lake.
    Day 06 – 13th june
    Early morning enjoy the pictuereque view of Sun rise on lake. After Breakfast drive back to Leh, enroute visit Hemis, Thikse Monastery and Shey Palace. Overnight stay at Leh.
    Day 07 – 14th june
    After Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla (Highest Motorable road in the World, 18,380 ft) Arrive at Hundur by afternoon. Lunch at Camp, rest of the day one is free to explore Deskit, Hunder Villages and camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. Overnight stay at Nubra Valley.
    Day 08 – 15th june
    After Breakfast visit Deskit Monastery, where you can have a magnificient view of Nubra Valley and drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardungla Pass. Overnight stay at Leh .
    Day 09-16th June-flight at 8 AM from leh to hyderabad

    • Are you going through any travel agent?? If yes and above is his itinerary where he is sending you to Pangong Tso without any acclimatization, please drop that travel agent immediately :)

  11. Pingback: Leh - Ladakh in Winters | Most Common Itinerary

  12. Batsayan Das on

    Dheeraj,

    I plan to take my Maruti Alto from Kolkata to Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi-Kolkata in first week of October, 2015. This trip is around 7000KM, and I will spend approx three weeks (21 days) for this

    My questions are

    1. As I understand correctly, I do not need to book hotel in advance, as October is a lean season, pls confirm
    2. Is Alto good enough for this trip? My concern is do I need to cross deep streams in October?
    3. I will be carrying the following documents ( Car registration book, tax payment token, valid pollution certificate, insurance paper) along with driving licence / passport/ adhar of all the members. I have read http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/most-common-itinerary-for-leh-ladakh/ and just want to know if any permission needed to visit any of the places mention here. My concern is after reaching some place X, I do not want that I need a permission from place Y to visit place X. This will altogether spoil the fun. Can you guide, what are the possible permission I need to obtain and from where?
    4. Somewhere I read that Manali to Leh needs some permit. Leh to Manali ( to be done in 3 days, along with sight seeing, ) dose this require any permit?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your advice.

  13. Hi,

    I am planning to do Blr-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Blr by selfdrive car and planning to buy ford ecosports diesel for it. Please let me know if this car is good enough for such terrain.

    • Sejal, I hope you are not planning to buy this car only for this trip ;) … It is is the case then buy a thar :D … Else, Ecosport will be OK to drive on this terrain as it has good ground clearance. But it does not mean that you cannot laze out on driving skills. You need to be good at driving to drive over such remote regions of Trans Himalayas.

    • deepak sharma on

      hi sejal,well your question was from dheeraj about eco sports,i found this interesing so i have a suggestion for you,if you are buying ford ecosports only for this trip so u better buy duster or thar(specially for this trip) because suspension of eco sports will not help you to soak bumps and rough terrain comparatively duster or thar,i also have eco sports and duster but when i drive both car on rough terrain duster is pleasent to drive if i compare it to eco sports,but in city drive i feel opposite.

  14. Hi Dheeraj, i would be travelling via the srinagar- leh highway starting this september 27th and this is my itinerary. Request your inputs on the same.

    27th- Land in srinagar and leave for leh- stop at sonmarg
    28th- Reach Leh
    29th- Local Sightseeing
    30th- Leh- Pangong-Leh(Will this be feasible given that chang la pass receives snow this time of the year)
    1st- Leh- Diskit/ Hunder Via khardungla
    2nd- Diskit/ Hunder to Leh
    3rd- leh to Sonmarg
    4th- Sonmarg to Airport

  15. We are 4 adults, 3 children (6 yr, 11 yr and 14 yr) planning to go to Leh on 14th June 2015 and will return back on 25 June 2015 (early morning flight) via delhi-sri nagar (by air )-srinagar-leh by road and leh-delhi – by air.
    We will reach srinagar on 14 evening.We want to go to gulmarg also.
    Please sugest the route and explain that is there any harm of change of wheather to children or not as smmaller one is very weak.

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

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

  16. Hey Deeraj,
    I am sorry but I am not able to find the update on srinagar present situation in the community. We are travelling on 21st September to 30 September. Can you pls help us with the info.

    • Sorry Praveen, I was out for last 10 days to Spiti Valley with no connectivity. You must be on your trip now. DoW Community has a thread of Srinagar – Leh Highway status.

  17. Rishabh Jain on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are 3 friends planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh from Gurgaon on our car(Dezire).We are planning to start on 5th sep evening and come back by 15th sept.We are planning go via Srinagar.Can you suggest us the itinerary for this trip.

    regards
    Rishabh

    • Hello Rishabh,

      I see that you have about 10 days in hand which for a road trip to Ladakh are somehow short in number. All I can suggest you is the following plan:

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

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

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

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

      Day 5 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – 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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Rishabh jain on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your valuable inputs.
        Is there a option of hiring only driver since we ll be having our own car?
        Actually we are not sure whether we will be able to drive through Leh and other places on our own, though we have good experience of driving but not enough in hilly areas.
        What do you suggest.

        Thanks,
        Rishabh

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        I have planned my visit Srinagar to Leh on 19 – Sep-14. I heard that there is flood in jammu nad kashmir as well in leh ladakh, is it safe visiting Srinagar – Leh by road now? or should i postpone my trip. Pls let me know i am confused.

  18. Hi Dheeraj
    we are 6 people travelling from Srinagar to leh. The plan goes as follows:
    Sep 21: 1pm will reach Srinagar from Bangalore. Sight Seeing in Srinagar(iwant your suggestions here)
    Sep 22: Srinagar to Kargil
    Sep 23: Kargil to Leh
    Sep 24,25 & 26: Sightseeing in leh like kardung la pangang tso etc
    Sep 27: Leh to Sarchu
    Sep 28: Sarchu to manali
    Sep 29: Manali to Srinagar

    My questions are
    1. Are there bike rentals available in sri nagar. If yes, what may be the approx. price for a bullet and is it easily available in sri nagar city
    2. I heard there is paragliding n skiing in leh. Is it true?
    3 Can we also cover dharmashala while returning back
    4. Is there a route from manali to sri nagar. bcoz we wanna cover both Srinagar-Leh & Leh- Manali but our flight is from Srinagar on 30th September at 4pm and also we have to return the rented bikes. So is this plan possible? Need suggestions.
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Regards
    Praveen

  19. Chandrakant R. Shenoy on

    HI Dheeraj
    Myself[Chandrakant] and my friend are planning a short trip to Leh Ladakh,sometime in September 1st or 2nd week.
    We will fly till Srinagar,from there would hire a vehicle for road journey to Leh with one night
    hault at Kargil,some sight seeing if possible.Acclimatize in Leh,sight seeing in Leh and around,
    back to Srinagar by road and to Mumbai further.We are estimating a 10 to 12 day trip,are these
    good amount of days,i am sure we can’t see every thing but some selective good place,since we are
    planning to do a bike trip some time in next year,but thats very uncertain.
    We will try to convince couple of more friends which can also be a good sharing and fun.
    Please help us with this planning also if you can give a rough estimate with the expenditure.I am getting good deals with airfare for Srinagar for which i am preferring it.

    Regards
    Chandrakant

    • Hi Chandrakant,

      12 days are good enough for making a decent trip to Ladakh from Srinagar. 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 + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

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

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

      Day 7 | Leh – 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 – Dah Hanu Villages
      Day 10 | Dah – Hanu Villages to Kargil via Batalik route. Take permits from DC Office in Leh for using Batalik route.
      Day 11 | Kargil to Srinagar
      Day 12 | Fly back from Srinagar.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Chandrakant on

        Hi Dheeraj
        Thanks for your valuable feedback,i will keep you posted with the final dates of our trip,incase I plan to go alone can I still. Follow the same itinerary? We might not do sightseeing at srinagar and also have to manage the budget.Can I do a bike trip when I am at Leh for some short distant? Finally is September right time to go,cause people are scaring me that it will be untaularable?

        • You can do bike in Leh as there are rentals available. You should be able to follow the same with little efforts of finding the shared cabs and taxis :)

    • Hi Mr.Chandrakant, This is Pradeep from Bangalore. We are 2 person reaching Srinagar on 17th and going to Ladakh on 19th or 20th. If you are interested we can share the Taxi. You can reach me on 9901996735

  20. Rakesh Goel on

    Hello Dheeraj. You are doing a commendable job.
    I am 63 years .Have been planning a trip to Leh for quite some time but could find no companion. Now I have decided to do it on my own.
    Will reach Srinagar by flight from Lucknow on 3rd Sept. Have no contrainst of time. From Srinagar I wish to go up to Leh in a leasurely pace. A night at each of the places where accomadation is available. After reaching Leh I would want to do all the local sight seeing (would three days be enough). From Leh I will take a flight back.
    Taxi would be beyomd my budget.
    Is it possibe to do it by bus which appears to be the only way.
    Also please let me know the average cost of staying in hotels in each place. Say four places.Please also suggest suitable good but budget hotel in Srinagar and Leh. Regards and thanks.

    • Hello Rakesh ji,

      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 :)

      Secondly, if you do not have any time constraints then why not do it leisure trip. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      You can follow this itinerary after Srinagar and From Tso Moriri, you can return to Leh instead of going over to Manali – Leh Highway.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  21. Bharat Verma on

    Ho DOW:D, Need ur help to figure out my problem.
    We are group of 8 flying to Srinagar from Mumbai on 26th Sep. We want to go to leh from Sri-Kargil-Leh on 27th Sep.
    So we are confuesd that we should book our cab/winger online or should we check it after arrival. Please suggest what to do.. and if you guys have any good details about the fares for vehil from Sri to leh please let me know.
    Please Reply.
    regards,
    Bharat Verma(luckyverma4u@gmaial.com)

    • Bharat, better book it on the spot. There will be plenty of options available there. Taxis cost about 14-15K for a drop to Leh from Srinagar with night halt at Kargil. Tempo Travelers charge in general 35% more than taxis.

  22. Thanks for all the info.
    I just want to confirm my flight from delhi will land srinagar at 1 PM is it possible to travel to drass by cab same day leaving around 2 and reach there by 7.

    Currently we only have 1(acclimatisation)+2 days in leh . So if above mentioned is possible we will get an extra day in leh to roam around

    our current itinerary
    23 Aug del – srinagar (1 PM)flight
    24-25 sri nagar to leh by cab
    26 acclimatisation
    27 Khardungla pass
    28 pangnong lake
    29-30 Leh to srinagar
    31 – srinagar to delhi flight at 4pm

    Thanks
    Priyesh

    • Hi Priyesh,

      What you can do in that case is better save the day on return. Start on 30th from Leh and reach Sonamarg by evening. Then next morning leave from Sonamarg and take the flight easily from Srinagar on 31. This will save you a day and you can actually do 2 day trip to Nubra Valley covering Khardung La, Deskit, Hunder, Sumur, Panamik. Leaving at 1 PM from Srinagar will be too late for Kargil or Drass I feel.

      REgards
      Dheeraj

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly I’d like to thank you to help out first timers like me on this encyclopedia of Leh travel related information you’ve shared here. Like many, I’ve been bitten by Leh bug & finally after 10 years of returning from just visiting Spiti Valley & Kaza, this year I’ll be able to visit this true heaven on Earth.
    Me and my friends will travel from Chandigarh to Leh & back in our own car(Duster). Itinerary is as follows, starting from 4th September:
    4th : Chandigarh starting at 3pm, to Pathankot/Jammu.
    5th : Pathankot/Jammu > Srinagar
    6th : Srinagar > Kargil
    7th : Kargil > Leh
    8th, 9th, 10th : Leh & nearby places. Option: Khardung La, Pangdong lake & Tso Moriri Lake
    11th : Leh > Sarchu
    12th : Sarch > Manali
    13th : Manali > Chandigarh

    Many of my queries have been solved through your articles, but some are still left. I’d be thankful on your input in this:
    1) Is it safe to travel through Srinagar, even though we’ll use that place as a night halt?
    2) My car is HP registered. Based on that is there any permit we’ll have to get? I guess Inner line permit is not required by Indians, so permit free travel I hope!
    3) We’re confused with what to do during our stay in Leh to choose form many options that are available like Nubra, Khardungla, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, etc.. What’s the best to choose?
    4) Is it okay to have a night halt in Sarchu while coming back, to be safe from AMS?
    Also, are whether conditions reliable in September?

    And any other tips, advice?

    Thanks.. :)

    • Did some more research for Leh. Planning to do the following:
      8th: Leh > Khardhung La > Leh (Is Nubra valley possible the same day?)
      9th: Leh > Pangong Tso
      10th: Pangong Tso > Tso Moriri
      11th: Tso Moriri > Sarchu
      Is it possible to do Tso Moriri to Manali same day while coming back, and Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri in a day?

      Thanks again

      • Akshut, can you tell me your complete plan. I mean are you saying on Day 1 you will reach Leh from flight and head to Khardung La?? :shock: :shock:

        Regarding Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route or Pangong Tso to Hanle, the permits to Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga or remote Changthang routes are being given by DC office in Leh at ON and OFF basis, so keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best if they start issuing the permits by the time you visit or issue you on your lucky day. Also, even if the permits are given then as well there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to cross Chusul Post or not because last year several such incidents happened and people with permits also had to return via same route. All this will mean that you will have to risk it for at least a day getting wasted if you are not allowed because there will be no guarantee until you cross Chusul and Tsaga post. Otherwise, you have to take the traditional routes only via Leh.

        How do you plan to do this trip? Commute?

    • Hi Akshut,

      Please find the replies below:

      1) So, far so good. No issues reported by anyone and tourist areas remain mostly unaffected.
      2) Yes, no need to get any permits as long as you stick to normal routes in Ladakh.
      3) 1 Day you need to rest and acclimatize, second day make a day trip to Khardung La and third day make day trip to Pangong Tso.
      4) Should be fine enough. Instead of going back to Leh, you can start early from Pangong Tso as well and reach Sarchu from there.

      Septemeber is in general a good time to travel

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Just a couple of questions more:
        1) We’re taking Srinagar > Leh > Manali route & travelling in a Duster Diesel 85 PS. Is it good enough of a car to cope up with the terrain? I’m talking about major passes & highways only. Not planning to go deep offloading, but I guess offloading will be compulsory in places where there are no roads, eg. Tso Moriri route, etc. What’s your view?
        2) After staying a night in Hanle we are planning to go directly to Pangong Tso, by not crossing Leh. Is it a good route to take in Spetember? Again, will a diesel Duster be able to cope up with this route? Thanks again.

        • Oops I replied based on Hanle. Well, even in that case if you feel you can go over the desolated route of Wari La, then only go else please do not try as that route is rarely taken by anyone and any help will be hard to seek if required. Otherwise, if you OK traveling on desolated route, you can do it in duster.

        • 1) Yes, it is very much possible to take Duster there. It will do good and people have even taken nanos, it just needs right attitude. Also, with Duster you need not have to worry about GC too. Take some caution and drive safe.

          2) No, better stick to original route as you can be sent back by Army from Chusul or Tsaga even after having permits which will spoil the day for you.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  24. Hi Dheeraj,
    i am planning of srinagar-leh-srinagar from 9th Sep to 15th, where can i rent a bike in srinagar, do the rental agancy give bikes for a one way trip ?
    And, what will the best itinerary considering the number of days.
    Thanks in advance :)

  25. Hi Dheeraj,
    Congratulations on doing a wonderful Job in supporting and Helping Travelers in guiding them to Plan their trips effectively. We really appreciate what you do.
    My friends & I Have booked to reach Srinagar on the 15th Of August And return on the 30th from Chandigarh. We have a Car for ourselves for the trip. Could you hep me with a sample iternary where we ‘d like to see – Magnetic Hill, Indus & Zanskar confluence, Nubra valley, Pangong Tso & Tso Morriri as a a primary visit spots. Do recommend if any of these should be avoided to save time and see more places. Looking forward to your response

  26. Hello Sir / Experts,

    I am planning to visit Kasmir in mid of Oct-2014 with 6N-7D plan. I want my tour plan should be optimum between travel & relaxing . Kindly suggest if order / time for each places is correct or not?

    My Plan –

    Day-1 Kol -Del-Srinagar -Flight (morning flight) -> Houseboat (1N)

    Day-2 Srinagar -> Pahelgam (2N)

    Day-4 PahalGam ->Gulmarg (1N)

    Day-5 Gulmarg -> Sonmarg (1N)

    Day-6 Sonmarg ->Srinagar (1N)

    Day-7 Srinagar-Del-Kol flight back (late afternoon/ evening flight)

  27. Its been 1 year since we made our first Leh trip. We had a wonderful journey from srinagar to ladakh in a scorpio. All the credit goes to the driver his name is Taqi bhai. If anybody planning to rent a vehicle from Srinagar to Ladakh and back he is the best option. 09906977826- Taqi. Just tell him you are fiend of Shinu who visited Ladakh last year. He is a very genuine guy

  28. Hey Dheeraj,
    Very nice work on the blog and like many others, I’m totally appreciative of the work you’ve done to get the info and maintain this site :)
    Three of us are planning a trip to Leh from Srinagar Sept 1- 15 and the info on the site has been really useful.
    Just time-related questions – how long is the journey on average from Srinagar to Kargil and Kargil to Leh? What time would be advisable to start off each morning to reach our destination safely?
    Thanks,
    Candida

  29. CyekMyster on

    Alright guys.. I am planning a Ladakh trip this saturday,Aug 9.. We are a group of 3 guys and 2 gals.. And we are looking for more people to join in. I know its at a short notice but in case you guys are traveling that way and want to join in, please contact me on watsapp 9632576000.. We are already in Srinagar right now…

    Enjoy the ride
    Cheers

  30. Talhah Ahmed on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Your blog seems to fulfill all my questions, though i might still need your help
    3 of my friends are planning to fly from dubai to srinagar on the 23rd of August.
    We have planned a 6 day trip starting Saturday and ending on Thursday.
    I may list down my concerns would and it would be really helpful if you could provide me with some insights
    1. Are you aware of any bike rental companies in Srinagar?
    2. Would we have any Altitude sickness as we are planning to ride from srinagar to kargil and from kargil to Leh (2 days)
    3. I shall be leaving Srinagar on the 23rd, so how would the climate be on our Journey.
    4. My only concern for the trip is Bikes, as i am looking for something really reliable, i haven’t come across any bike rental companies in Srinagar.
    I would really appreciate if you could help me out.

    Regards

    Talha Ahmed

  31. hi, Dheeraj
    we will plan road trip with my wife child and my friend and his wife by car from bhopal-katra-srinagar-kargil-leh-manali-bhopal as on 16 Aug
    can u help as.. we plan
    16 Aug Bhopal to Sonepat 800KM
    17 Aug Sonepat to katra
    18 Aug stay at katra
    19 Aug katra to Srinagar
    20 Aug Srinagar to kargil (Can we need any permit)
    21 Aug Kargil to Leh
    22 Aug- 24 Aug We Stay At Leh (Can ur help to plan tour over there where we Go?? can we come bake Nubra Valley/ Pangong Lake same day)
    25 Aug Leh to jispa
    26 Aug jispa to manali
    27 Aug Stay at manali
    28 Aug manali to Delhi
    29 Delhi to Bhopal
    please i request u to help me with my query… If anyone visitng leh from 19th aug to 24rd aug please get in touch with me vikrant.maha@gmail.com..

    • Vikrant, as you can see you are just traveling the distance over Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway and not enjoying anything in Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri. And then there is no buffer days in monsoon months too. Hence, if that is the intent, it is fine else you should ad more days.

      • that way i ask u? what u recommend..
        stay 4 days
        1. leh local side
        2. Nubra Valley
        3. Pangong Tso
        4. Tso Moriri…………..

        • Aah, I missed that date range. Okie, in that case

          Day 1 | Rest in Leh
          Day 2 | Leh – Khardung La – Nubra
          Day 3 | Nubra – Leh
          Day 4 | Day trip to Pangong Tso.

  32. Vikram Sharma on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    Just want to ask that can we use Tent Anywhere in Leh-Ladakh.
    Also what will be more appropriate whether to use Tent or to stay in hotel.??
    Thanks
    Vikram

  33. Abhay Jain on

    Hey Dhiraj,

    Thanks for your reply on my previous query that i submitted last month.

    I have another query now. Just tell me how practical and possible is it to reach Kargil on the same day from Srinagar if we leave Kargil at 4-4.30 pm on 12th August, 2014.

    My sisters had gone there 7 years ago and they say that night travelling is highly risky as the roads are unsafe, and some have said that we wont reach before 4 in the morning.

    Just let me know the practicality of doing this or suggest and alternative, because we have to reach leh by 13th August in the evening as we have our hotels booked there and we don’t want to miss out on a day.

    Your quick response will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Abhay Jain

    • Abhay, it takes 8-9 Hrs to reach Kargil from Srinagar. Either ways, not at all recommended to start that late in the day and cover up Zojila Pass in dark hours. I will stick to your sister’s words.

      Somethings you cannot tweak so easily Abhay. It is about 16+ hours journey from Srinagar to Leh. there are shared taxis available from Srinagar which starts about 3 AM at night and reaches Leh next day in evening. You can take that if required and open for such mad cannon ball run.

      Even after you achieve such a crazy drive, there is high chance that you may fall sick with AMS because of fatigue and sudden ascend of altitude.

  34. Shruti Sood on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all great work with the blog. Without you the trip to leh n ladakh is a nightmare…
    Abt my itinery..
    we are three friends 2 gals n 1 guy and we are reaching srinagar by flight on 14th august.
    We plan to start for leh early morning on 15th august 2014 and take the bus option with 2 days to reach leh with halting in kargil.. after reaching leh, we plan to check in and roam arnd that day and accimilize to the height….
    after that we want to vist the following places : nubra valley, spiti, tso moriri, pangong lake, khardungla, also we want to rafting… could u please chalk out a route for me.. I m flying out of leh on 24th august so i have like 7 full days to visit these abobe mentioned places…as i reach leh on 17th august and have time till 23 rd august…. travelling excluded…please i request u to help me with my query… If anyone visitng leh from 15th aug to 23rd aug please get in touch with me niki.sood@gmail.com.. we can maybe share taxiz n cut costs..
    thanks
    Shruti

    • Hi Shruti,

      Spiti Valley is in Himachal, so keep that out. Regarding rest of the places, you have 6 days in hand. You can make two day trip to all three places viz. Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri – Tso Kar lakes. After coming from Pangong Tso, you can do river rafting which will just take half a day.

      Regards
      dheeraj

  35. Hello Dheeraj!

    First of all thanks a lot for your this blog or suggestions for the trip! its really helpful
    We are planning to go Leh leaving on 8 august from Gurgaon via srinagar-kargil-leh-sarchu-manali-delhi.We are taking taxi registered innova with us. would there be any problem for taxi number of Gurgaon on the way?
    or any other suggestions you wanna share?
    Thanks

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

  36. Aashritha Sreepathi on

    Hello Dheeraj!
    Your article has been extremely helpful!
    Me and a friend are planning to head to Leh in the last week of September. We will be reaching Srinagar on Sept 23rd and will have a week to explore. We will have to come back to Srinagar by Sept 30. Is this a good period to visit Leh? Our plan was to rent a self driven car and visit places in between Srinagar and Leh. Do you think it is safe to do so?
    It would be great to hear your suggestions!
    Thanks,
    Aashritha

    • Cnsidering 4 days are required to reach Leh from Srinagar with overnight halt at Kargil and then 1 day for acclimatization in Leh. You are just left with 2 days where you can make a day trip to Khardung La and on other day a day trip to Pangong Tso lake. I do not think you will get a self drive car in Srinagar. Best you can do is hire a taxi and tip the driver to let you drive in case he agrees.

  37. hi dheeraj,
    rigzin promised to send someone from leh to pick us up from Srinagar for ladakh tour. but for last 3 days both his cell phones are switched off. am trying to contact him to get name of driver, car number and contact number of driver and also to inform him about our hotel details. any idea why rigzin’s phones are off. I did not talk to any other driver since rigzin said he will send someone, but that was a week ago.

    • It happens there and he must be on some trip to the interior part of Ladakh and hence might not be reachable. Try a couple of times more and he should be connected.

  38. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks for the blog. Going through your blog its like a virtual tour  I appreciate your patient dedication/time to replaying all the post which posted here.

    We are planning a 9 days bike ride to Leh on August last week. We will start our ride from Chandigarh and back to Chandigarh via Manali. Here is my plan, is it ok? Expecting your valuable suggestions.

    23-Aug-2014- Chandigarh -> Srinagar
    24-aug-2014 Srinagar -> Kargil
    25-aug-2014 kargil -> Leh
    26-aug-2014 Leh -> Khardung la – local sight seeing
    27-aug-2014 Leh -> Pangong TSO
    28-aug-2014 Pangong -> Tso moriri
    29-aug-2014 Tso moriri -> Sarchu
    30-aug-2014 Sarchu -> Manali
    31-aug-2014 Manali -> Chandigarh

    • Thanks alot Suchi. Below is my comments and suggested plan for the days you have in hand.

      23-Aug-2014- Chandigarh -> Srinagar (long day)
      24-aug-2014 Srinagar -> Kargil
      25-aug-2014 kargil -> Leh
      26-aug-2014 Leh -> Khardung la – local sight seeing (Not at all suggested, complete rest is what is needed when you reach Leh so that you get acclimatiation and does not hit with AMS. So, make it Leh Rest Day and some ride in the evening to Shanti Stup)
      27-aug-2014 (Day trip to Khardung La)
      28-aug-2014 (Day Trip to Pangong Tso)
      29-aug-2014 Tso moriri -> Sarchu (Pangong Tso to Pang or Leh to Sarchu if you go back to Leh from Pangong Tso)
      30-aug-2014 Sarchu / Pang -> Manali
      31-aug-2014 Manali -> Chandigarh

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        “27-aug-2014 (Day trip to Khardung La)”

        I saw it in google Its around 1 hour journey from Leh. Can we explore more place on this day?

        Thanks.

        • Suchi, ha ha, no Google works on Distance. But road conditions matters most in Ladakh… It will not be a piece of cake, it is 18000 feet. However, you can extend this day to Nubra Valley or Diskit, if you feel comfortable.

  39. Hi Dheeraj, your details are quite helpful for planning a tour in that region. I shall be going to Leh from Delhi by flight on 30.09.14, for 5 days. I am a lady of 54 years, and shall be travelling alone. I wish to take a bus from Leh to Srinagar (2 days), and explore the Kashmir Valley for a few more days. I would like to know is it safe for me to plan for the tour alone? What kind of trouble may I face if I travel alone there?
    Best wishes.

    • Sansuri ji, you are going in the off season and there will be cold conditions at that time. Are you planning to visit Kashmir or Ladakh? There will be very less tourist to share the taxi cost which are quite high too. Are you sure you want to go? Also, 5 days is too less a period to visit Ladakh.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Me and my wife are planning to go to Leh from Delhi by early morning flight on 09.09.2014 for a week. Then we will go to Srinagar and will leave for Delhi on 18.09.2014. My flight time from srinagar is 3:45 PM. I have some queries…
        1. I have heard a lot about Nubra valley, Tso Moriri, Pangong lakes, White water rafting….and I would like to cover all these places….can I cover all these places in a week..??? If yes, plz provide an itinerary.
        2. I am planning to hire a bike. So please tell me which places I shall cover on Bike with my wife.
        3. I would like to know about shared taxis for trip to NUbra valley, lakes and srinagar….will shared taxis be good for these trips..??
        4. Though I have some experience of rafting my wife has not experienced the same…..which rafting stretch would be good for her???

        Regards

        Rohit

        • Rohit, 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.

          You can modify according your needs and of course you will not be able to accommodate Tso Moriri in to it since you need two days to travel to Srinagar from Leh with night stop at Kargil.

          Only if you are good at biking, then only cover places on bike else avoid.

          In September, there will be less tourists so less shared taxis, do not rely completely on them.

  40. Hi Dheeraj,

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

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

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

    Arrival in Srinagar – 9th Aug
    Overnight stay at Srinagar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Ravie

    • Hi Ravie,

      Thanks and that’s quite a long post you have ;) … Here are my replies:

      1. Firstly, how will you reach Srinagar from Leh overnight on 16th? It is 16+ Hrs drive from Leh to Srinagar. So, this needs to be worked out. Also, Nubra Valley MUST be visited before Pangong Tso for better acclimatization

      2. Prefer a Xylo. 6 persons will anyways be tight in any car except Temp Traveler.

      3. Possible. You can pitch your own tents anywhere but I will suggest you pitch them at a place where there are some dhabha tents put up by locals or where other camping guy pitch theirs or somewhere near some house in village or in their garden/lawn. All you will need is to gently ask them (villagers/dhabha guys/camping guys) for permissions. Most likely they will allow, other wise negotiate for small little tip or move on to some other such place nearby. This will give you sense of security too.
      But, keep in mind that camping at the lakes both Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is not allowed as they are under Ramsar site. Hence, you need to pitch these camps away from the lakes where either other camps are there or at near by village.

      4. Seems a bit tight to me but can be managed too if you stay at some economic places with tripple sharing or in tents.

      5. Yes, carry a simple zipper, wind proof and better to be water proof too. Couple of heavy jackets for emergency for whole group should be good too.

      7. Yes, normal shoes should be fine at this time of the year.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Hahaha thanx for your patience and time spent in replying to probably one of the longest post ever… :D

        1. As suggested we are working on reaching Srinagar on last day 17th Aug either by –
        a) will Start on 16th early morning and reach Srinagar in one stretch by taxi / bus etc overnight stay at Srinagar (not preferred option :( )
        b) or by splitting return journey In 2 steps 16th noon (apprx 12pm) start from Leh to Kargil/Dras & remaining journey on 17th (early morning 5am) to Srinagar. Flight departure at 16:00 hrs. Which option is physible according to you?

        2. Are there any taxi (Xylo) from Leh Registered available in Sri nagar which we can rent for whole tour of 8-9 days? Or it would be econimcal to book separate cab at Leh and Laddakh for local sight seeing?

        3. Temp traveler would be expensive for 6 persons I believe!

        4. For stay in personal tents would it be fine to have just a matt or sleeping bag is must? Any precaution to be taken while selecting place for tents.

        5. Being an enthusiastic photographer I have a SLR Nikon D7000 with kit lens 18-105mm; as ur experience is countless suggest must must visit places where lifetime photographic memories can be captured!

        6. Also as u suggested to visit Nubra Valley first and then nest day to Pangong Tso! Shall we alter our schedule for day 4 to Nubra Valley first and then next day to Pangong Tso?

        Thanks again for addressing back to back posts and queries thereafter… :)

        Regards,
        Ravie

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          One more thing As u have mentioned in your main blog tht traveling in Aug especially Independence Day at Leh & Laddakh region should be avoided (if possible).

          Since we are traveling in same time will there be any challenges in terms of mobility or strikes that we will be facing? Or places wherein restrictions gets over active by defence body?

          Thanks again! _/\_ :D

          Regards,
          Ravie

        • Ravie, I have not mentioned that traveling in Leh Ladakh is avoided. Please let me know where you read that, may be I overlooked. For sure there must be warning for Srinagar belt as there are disturbances though tourists in general are not affected by such strikes unless you plan to travel in the middle of the day. So, best is to avoid stay in Srinagar or leave early in the morning.

        • Hi Ravie,

          It wasn’t that long brother, I am used to much much longer ones too :)

          1. Second one is better in terms of less fatigue but has alot of risk involved in case you do not reach. I will advice that instead of making the journey all the way to Srinagar on 16, better halt at Sonamarg. Then next morning Sonamarg to Srinagar. This will be much easy and has less risk

          2. Refer: http://devilonwheels.com/india/ladakh-zanskar-travel-guides/listof-taxi-drivers-for-ladakh-srinagar-leh-manali-t353.html

          3. Yes, it will be 35% more the cost of taxi.

          4. Sleeping bag is a must bhai, it will not be that warm, especially at the lakes. So, do carry sleeping bags.

          5. I believe photography is a perspective which is owned by oneself, so, there can be places which looks beautiful to my else but not to others. Hence, better lookout the beauty yourself and believe me, in Ladakh same place would appear differently beautiful with lights play all 365 days a year :)

          6. Nubra Valley should be visited first because it helps you acclimatize much better to the altitude of being at Pangong Tso lake.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

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

    • 1. Sonamarg to Leh is possible but keep in mind that it is a long journey over high altitude and does not help you with acclimatization.
      2. Again very hectic via Wari La which is a desolated route and in case of emergency there is no help around. Plus you will reach Pangong Tso late in the evening mostly by the time, colors will be gone.

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