Travel Guide for Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh

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Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

Pangong Tso lake in Changthang region of Ladakh has emerged as one of the most wanted places to visit among domestic tourists in recent times especially after the Bollywood blockbuster "3 idiots". Now, in India one can see a lot more movies and advertisements being shot around this mesmerizing lake. This slat water, beautiful ocean like lake is about 5 KM wide at its broadest point and about 134 KM long with about 60% of the length extending into Tibet. During winters the lake freezes completely, which itself is a great experience to witness if you have seen the other colors of the lake. Being very near to the Line of Actual Control, one need to get Inner Line Permit to visit Pangong Tso. You can get more details on Inner Line Permits here: Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh. Starting May 2014, Indian Tourists does not need Inner Line Permits for Pangong Tso lake. Read more about it here

The beautiful multi shades of blue color offered by this lake along with a picturesque landscape around gives this place an extremely romantic feel as shown in Bollywood film songs. However, sitting behind the TV/LCD it looks so but in actual reality the place is extremely harsh and difficult to survive especially in winters. There is only one cemented accommodation available around the lake and the facilities like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc. are rare to find. The lack of oxygen makes survival difficult if your body is not properly acclimatized to its high altitude and hence, one need to plan his/her journey extremely carefully to make it acute mountain sickness free vacation.

Magical Blues of Pangong Tso
Magical Blues of Pangong Tso
Location

Pangong Tso lake is located about 170 KMs from Leh town of Ladakh district.

Altitude

Pangong Tso lake is one of the high altitudes lakes of India at a staggering altitude of 4350 Meters or 14270 Feet.

Season for Traveling to Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

In January to March, Pangong Tso remains mostly frozen, extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake. In April types, it starts to melt and starts transforming into the beautiful multi shades of blue colors off the shores. Then May, June, July and August is the peak tourist season and they generally flock the shores of the Pangong Tso lake. In this summer period, a large number of birds can also be seen around the lake including the most common  Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks.

Come September and early October, the tourists starts to reside as cold starts to set in and accommodation tents starts to pack up. According to me, this is by far the best time to visit Pangong Tso to see full glory of beautiful shades of blue color. The colors are purely magical at this time of the year and with less number of tourist comparatively, you get better deals and enjoy more. After second week of October up to December, all the accommodation packs up and the only nearest place you can stay is either in some home stay with basic facilities to fight the harsh cold or in some guest house at Tangste with more better facilities to fight the cold. If sun is shining and you do not mind the hard cold winters, then also you can make a day trip to Pangong Tso from Tangste to see magical shades of blue color at this lake.

How to Reach Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh
Route from Leh to Pangong Tso Lake

This is the general route to Pangong Tso that most people take to visit this ever beautiful lake in Ladakh. You can reach in about 5 – 6 Hrs depending upon the number of break you take in between. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Sakti (10 KMs) – Chang La (34 KMs) – Durbuk (32 KMs) – Tangste (9 KMs) – Lukung (34 KMs) – Spangmik (16 KMs) = 171 KMs

You can cover Thicksey, Hemis and Shey monasteries while going through this route. This route provides the best road conditions among all other routes. So, if you are one of those who prefer relaxing vacation and do not want to rush through places then, I will suggest make a two day trip to Pangong Tso lake via this route from Leh. Of course, I assume your body has been acclimatized properly by staying for couple of nights in Leh and spending a night or two in Nubra Valley before attempting to sleep near Pangong Tso. If you are short on time then you should make a day trip to Pangong Tso via this route only, being best in road conditions, so fastest among all.

Route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Lake

Many of the domestic tourists are short on leaves and also do not want to miss the opportunity of sunrise/sunset at Pangong Tso by making a day trip. Hence, when they visit Nubra Valley (always recommended for better acclimatization) first most of them seek some route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso directly without going back to Leh. For all such people, there exist two routes from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso:

Nubra Valley – Wari La – Pangong Tso

This route goes via mighty Wari La pass, one of the most remotest passes of the Ladakh region and takes about 11-12 Hrs again depending upon number of interim breaks you take. The route is long and rough and hence require you to leave very early from Nubra Valley, so that you reach Pangong Tso (Lukung or Spangmik) before sun goes down. If you are planning via Wari La route then keep confirming from the BRO posts that come by to check the road conditions ahead. It is extremely remote region and you will hardly find any tourist or vehicle going past by you. Hence, in case required, help would be long to find. You need to mention Wari La on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Diskit  – Khalsar (19 KMs) – Agham (31 KMs) – Tangyar (11 KMs) – Wari La (28 KMs) – Tathok (25 KMs) – Sakti (4 KMs) – Chang La (34 KMs) – Durbuk (32 KMs) – Tangste (9 KMs) – Lukung (34 KMs) – Spangmik (16 KMs) = 243 KMs

Do not attempt this route in early season because, first it might not be open being low on priority for BRO and second roads are not stabilized in early season. So, being remote again help might be hard to find. You also need to carry spare fuel from Leh to cover about 425 – 475 KMs because many a times the petrol/diesel is not available at Diskit, Nubra Valley petrol pump and you will be covering Leh – Nubra Valley – Wari La – Pangong Tso – Leh without any other petrol pump.

Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso

This route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso goes via Shyok Village and is on the cards to be opened in the year 2012. It is much shorter than the Wari La route, takes about 6-7 hrs from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso and hence will save more time and energy. But, again there are some nasty landslide prone stretches on this route which BRO has found hard to tackle and stabilize a road through it. In the year 2010, few of the people did make it through this route but around flashfloods time the whole route was washed-off again. As per BRO, they might throw open this route via Shyok village in this year that is 2012 and it will be a great relief for the tourists, at least having less time on hands. You need to mention Shyok Village on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Diskit – Khalsar (19 KMs) – Agham (31 KMs) – Shyok Village (48 KMs) – Durbuk (18 KMs) – Tangste (9 KMs) – Lukung (34 KMs) – Spangmik (16 KMs) = 175 KMs

You also need to carry spare fuel from Leh to cover 350 – 400 KMs because many a times the petrol/diesel is not available at Diskit, Nubra Valley petrol pump and you will be covering Leh – Nubra Valley – Wari La – Pangong Tso – Leh without any other petrol pump.

Route from Tso Moriri Lake to Pangong Tso Lake

There exist a route between Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso as well and in most general cases, you will always be doing it from other way around that is from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri because you can exit Ladakh from Tso Moriri towards Manali – Leh Highway after visiting Pangong Tso without coming back to Leh and secondly, Tso Moriri is higher than Pangong Tso so as per acclimatization schedule you must stay near Pangong Tso before spending night at Tso Moriri. However, for the informational purposes you can go to Pangong Tso from Tso Moriri directly via the remote and ever beautiful Changthang region. The drive between Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri is one of the most beautiful drives in whole Ladakh region. You need to mention all the places mentioned in the route below on your permit form in order to under take this route. The route along with distance between the subsequent places is as follows:

Tso Moriri (Korzok) – Sumdo (53 KMs) – Mahe (10 KMs) – Nyoma (25 KMs) – Loma (22 KMs) – Tsaga Village (23 KMs) – Tsaga La (20 KMs) – Chusul (33 KMs) – Kakstet (24 KMs) – Merak (4 KMs) – Man (12 KMs) – Spangmik (9 KMs) = 235 KMs

Though highly unlikely but if at all you are doing in this order then you also need to carry spare fuel from Leh/Upshi/Karu to cover about 600 – 700 KMs because you will be covering Leh -Tso Moriri – Nyoma – Loma – Pangong Tso – Leh without any other petrol pump.

Preferred Vehicles

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones would definitely be helpful especially between Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso as well as Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso route. However, quite a few people do it in hatchbacks and sedans as well which depends upon your skills to drive and road conditions.

Suggested Itinerary for Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

Generally, at least one night stay is preferable to truly witness the mesmerizing beauty of this blue colored salt water lake. Of course, one night stay will help you watch sunrise and sunset over the picturesque landscape and increase the charm of your vacation to great extent. Most people, generally do:

Day 1 | 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 2 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh

  • Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
  • Overnight at Leh

You can also check the most common and very well balanced itinerary for whole Leh – Ladakh region covering all major tourist destination including Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway, at the below link: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh 

Accommodation Options at Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

For a comprehensive list of accommodation options or hotels or camps around Pangong Tso lake, check the link here: Good Hotels or Accommodation options near Pangong Tso – Ladakh

Medical Facilities near Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

The nearest basic medical health center is at Tangste Village about 50 KMs from Spangmik village and 34 KMs from Lukung village. You can get basic first aid including Oxygen doses at some of the tents/camps, I guess.

Food Joints near Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

Being a remote place, you will either be eating in the home stay at Spangmik Village or at the camps/tents you might be staying overnight.

Phone Signals at Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

You will not find any phone or mobile signals at Pangong Tso lake.

Petrol Pumps near Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

Nearest Petrol Pump is at Karu about 135 KMs from Pangong Tso and comes on the way to Pangong Tso from Leh. I will suggest that you top-up the fuel from Leh itself and then drive/ride up to to Pangong Tso.

ATMs near Pangong Tso Lake – Ladakh

You will not find any ATMs near Pangong Tso lake and hence, it is always better to carry cash from Leh (the only place where you find ATM in Ladakh) itself.

Conclusion

It is a great place to visit and I am sure if you visit Ladakh, this one surely is not the place you would like to exclude from your plan. I hope the above information will be useful for your upcoming Leh – Ladakh trip.

Please feel free to post any queries or doubts you might have in planning your trip to Pangong Tso place in the comments section below. If you have been to Pangong Tso lake, kindly share your thoughts and other information you might feel will be worth sharing with other fellow travelers and prove helpful to them.

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234 Comments

  1. Pingback: Live with nature, Don’t show your HUMANITY!!! | Vivek Pandya

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

    • Yes Venkatesh, only if you beat the cold up there, you can surely travel to Pangong Tso and Khardung La all round the year barring few days of Heavy Snowfall :) … However, at Pangong Tso, you will only be able to make a day trip.

  3. STINKING PANGONG: Very disappointed to share that the beautiful tent settlement of Spamik on Pangong Tso now stinks of raw sewage, human waste and trash. What we encountered in late August 2014 was far removed from the pristine environment we recalled from 2009. I would have posted photos but can’t through this contact form. Part of the problem lies with the “villager toilets” (read “crap anywhere”) used by staff, drivers and locals. But a large part of the blame lies with the tourists, who want to be “as close to the lake’s edge as possible”. This has resulted in camp operators ignoring the 200m exclusion zone and pitching tents much closer to the water. If this unplanned, unregulated “development” goes on, this beautiful paradise will soon be reduced to what we have made of Shimla, Mussoorie and our other hill stations – ugly garbage dumps.

    I sincerely believe that the local government should impose a strict environment protection policy (maybe giving Pangong Tso a protected national park status), with steep fines for violations. They should also invest in sanitation and waste disposal. This could be funded by increasing the laughably meager Rs 10 pax “entry fee” collected from tourists to Rs 100 or 200 (If we can afford to pay Rs 8,000-10,000 taxi charges to go there, we can afford another few hundred rupees per head to keep the place clean.) Let’s save Pangong while we still can.

  4. Is it advisable to travel to Tso Pangong on the 2nd day of trip? I am reaching Leh on 13th Sept at 8 in morning, and plan to go to Tso Pangong on 14th. Is it a good decision?

  5. Dear Dheeraj,
    First of all THANK YOU SO MUCH for your prompt response.

    Would request you to please help me with below queries… we are 5+1 (Adult and Child of 9 Years old). What are the recommedations for Child ? as I am reading in various blogs that accmilitization is the key to success.

    Also I am bit worried seeing two question mark in your response “Varun 5 days trip to Ladakh??”.

    Please suggest if we should go by your plan or should we skip some places to avoid any issue.
    I don’t want to cause any trouble to my family for my dreams because I m the one who is planning it all.

    Also what are the basic medicines to carry and how much is taxi fare (Per Km or Per Day)

  6. Hi Dheeraj,
    Its me once again.
    Im going to start my journey to heaven day after tomorrow.
    I will reach to Leh on even of 25th and have flight back to delhi on 31st early morning.
    so thats give me 5 full days in Leh.
    26th – Rest
    27th – 28th – Nubra valley
    29th – Pangong Lake
    now here is a big confusion, should i use 2 days for pangong or just one day ?
    if one day then any suggestion for the last day in leh ?
    places around the leh in one day ?
    Thanks,

    • Manish, I am not sure if we have missed on it earlier or not BUT, I always recommend first 4 days in Leh – Ladakh when flying to Leh as below:

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

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

      • Thanks Dheeraj,
        but im not fly-in to leh, im going to leh by manali-leh highway in 2 days.
        and after doing one day rest in leh, i will be going to Nubra vally.
        I need opinion about Pangong lake trip,
        Should i spend 2 days there or just one 1 day.
        if one day you suggesting then any place near leh you recommend for one day trip.

        • Sorry Manish, pardon my ignorance. In such a case best is 1 day rest in Leh, 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and finally two day trip to Pangong Tso with Hemis, Thicksey and Shey :) :)

  7. Hi dheeraj…
    This is Sajeed from Bangladesh ……
    Do we need any permission to visit pangong from leh ? We plan to start early morning to pangong and return on the same day…and next morning we will start for manali with a night stay in Sarchu …..
    Please advise….

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

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

  8. Hey Dheeraj,

    Thanks so much for all the valuable information.
    I just wanted to know if Nubra valley to Pangong lake via shyok village route is open or we need to take Wari la?

    • Mak, most likely it will be closed last month only and will remain closed for the season as generally happens. So, take Wari La route with care, caution and calculated risk of being into desolation where help is miles away in case required.

  9. Hi Dheeraj
    We are planning to go to Leh from 12 to 21 July. I want to know that the Lubra velly to Pangong way via shyok village is available or not.
    Whether any permit required for this route or not.
    Diskit – Khalsar (19 KMs) – Agham (31 KMs) – Shyok Village (48 KMs) – Durbuk (18 KMs) – Tangste (9 KMs) – Lukung (34 KMs) – Spangmik (16 KMs) = 175 KMs

    • Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok Village will most likely be wahsed away by now with increasing level of Shyok river. Also, keep in mind that even if it is open it is very very desolated route and should be planned with couple of vehicles so in case on gets stuck other is there for rescue or escape from the situation for the day.

  10. bhavesh pandey on

    hello dheeraj, its great to get soo much information from your side regarding ladakh trip.
    We are planning to make a move on 12th of this month, and the trip is for 12 days.
    Please can you mention how the condition of roads from leh to pangong tso and from leh to nubra valley via khardung la pass.
    We have planned to travel by bikes, please revert.
    Thankyou :)

    • Bhavesh, what is your start and end point? Roads within Ladakh except near the high mountain passes are more or less good. Don’t worry much about them :)

  11. Rivu sarkar on

    i want to know the time table of public transport in leh to manali highway with details,and please suggest if you have any article regarding this

  12. Hi Dheeraj,Heartly thank you for providing all information. All reader please read all information givin in this blog by Dheeraj, including some useful comments also before starting your life trip to leh ladakh. My query for DISKIT to Pangong lake directly by taking regular route via leh. We are 14 people and travelling in leh from manali by 6 bikes and 1 bollero car as backup/carrier vehicle. Day-1 Arrive at Manali
    Day-2 Drive to Sarchu from Manali, Overnight stay at Sarchu.
    Day-3 Drive to Leh, Overnight stay at leh
    Day-4 From Leh to Diskit, Overnight stay at Nubra
    Day-5 Drive to Pangong directly from Nubra. Ready to start in early morning say 5:30 am. I know this will be become very hectic.
    Day-6 Pangong Lake to leh return, Overnight stay at leh
    Day-7 Leh to Sarchu, Overnight stay at sarchu
    Day-8 Sarchu to manali, Overnight stay at manali
    Day-9 manali to Delhi

    So, Is it possible for us(we all are adult age:24) to travel directly to Pangong from DISKIT via regular route if we will start early morning 5:30AM.
    IF not possible then suggest some good place to visit around pangong in short distance for two days stay in pangong.

    Once again big thank you for providing all nice and useful information for traveller to leh ladakh.

    • Thank you Rakesh for the kind words. Regarding your query of Nubra to Pangong Tso. Best possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is desolated but doable enough. If your driver agrees to travel on this route then take the Wari La route to Pangong Tso. Remember that any help required on both these routes will be HARD to find in miles of distance. If you have couple of vehicles then only take this route otherwise best is to avoid it unless driver is absolute sure. Else come down to normal route and take it.

  13. Amit Gulia on

    Hi,
    Dheeraj and what about the leh-khardung la-khardong-T sati-rongdu-agham-shyok-darbuk-tangstse and pangong lake. Is there any problem on this route or any chinese incursion.please give an advise

    thanx:….

    • Amit, Shyok route is washed off as per last update. I will not advice you to take that route unless you are one of those very adventurous souls who believe in taking risks as part of travel. This is high risk mind you. Any help will not be present in miles. Better stick to normal route

  14. sidharth sharma on

    Dear dheeraj
    Hi. we are 4 guys travelling by bolero for 10 to 11 days. Our route is Chndgrh-manali-leh-sringar-chd. On reaching leh its geting very confusing to plan our travel to pangong, nubra and tso moriri. can you please advise us the best possible itinerary. Is there any other places apart from these we can travel in our schedule.
    Thanks
    Sid

      • sidharth sharma on

        hi dheeraj
        Due to shortage of time we will be visiting pangong first. after pangong we will be going to nubra. Next day On returning from nubra we want to avoid staying in leh again. we want to continue towards kargil. as it wont be possible to reach kargil on same day (300+ kms), which will be the most suitable place to stay on this route?

        • You can very well do it but it is like playing with AMS and please keep in mind that AMS can be fatal too and can jeopardize the whole Ladakh trip if you are hit with AMS. So, re-think about your priorities.

  15. hello Dheeraj,
    we are 3 people and we are planning a trip to laddakh. As dis is our first time, we are having trouble in planning our trip..Probably its going to be 3-4 days trip in the end of July. Also suggest some tips that doesn’t cost too much penny..

  16. Hi Dheeraj.. Thank you for useful info.. I have planned the whole trip of Leh using your blogs, so many thanks to you. We are travelling Leh from 7- 13 june and have a plan of going from Leh to Nubra and then directly to Pangong Tso via shyok village. We are two couples. Can you please confirm if this route would be open in june and would it be safe if we take bikes on this route.

    • Preeti, I will not suggest or recommend for you guys to travel Shyok Or Wari La route. These are very desolated places and with just one vehicle, any help required will be in distance of miles. Shyok, is already closed as per last report. Wari La might be open, check with your driver if he is willing to take you.

  17. Suresh Jain on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Its really great to see how people are able to get prompt and useful help from you. Could you please advise us: We are planning a trip in this mid June to Ladakh for 6 nights. We are about to book with a hotel in Leh and plan to go to Nubra and Pangong with one night stay at both places. I am wondering if we could get proper vegetarian food at all these places and during travel. We are just three of us planning to travel by car provided by hotel. Is it safe? In case of any emergency enroute is it possible to get medical or any other help. Do the mobile phones work in this stretch. Could you please suggest what all we should carry when travelling to Nubra, Pangong. It is said we have to initially rest at Leh to get acclimatized. Could you please let me know how would I be able to know if I have got proper acclimatization (what are the potential trouble signs).

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Best regards,
    Suresh Jain

    • Suresh, you will be able to get proper veg. food in all over Ladakh. Yes, it is safe to travel as people in Ladakh are quite helpful. Medical Help is available by army at some places but they are not that frequent. Only Post Paid Connections work in Ladakh of outside state. BSNL has best coverage, followed by Airtel. Don’t expect them to work in remote parts like Pangong Tso or on the way to these places.

      To know about AMS and acclimatization including the tips to combat AMS, please DO READ: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

      • Suresh Jain on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your very useful inputs. I would just like to request you to have a look at the below itinerary given by one of the Leh hotels. Do you think this is a good plan keeping in mind among other things the AMS/acclimatization aspects. Does it help acclimatization by spending the first 2 nights at Gulmarg which is at 9000 feet altitude, then 2 nights at Srinagar and then 2 nights as Leh, after that Nubra valley, Pangong and so on. Also is the return journey from Leh to Pangong (280km)on same day very arduous? We are 4 of us and the hotel has provided separate car. My wife normally is not tolerant of road journeys, she starts vomiting even in plains.

        I am told we can buy small O2 canisters at Leh. Does it help?

        ITINERARY:
        14 June- Arrive Srinagar by flight, on arrival transfer to Gulmarg, full day excursion. Stay at Gulmarg for 2 nights.

        16th- Arrive Srinagar by road. Stay at houseboat for 2 nights

        18th- Arrive Leh by flight from Srinagar. Spend 2 nights at Leh, local sight seeing

        20th- Leh to Nubra Valley by road Via Khardongla Pass 18380 feet. Later visit Samstanling Monastery and Panmik. Hot spring. Dinner and Over night at Camp.

        21st- Return to Leh. Visit Desket Monastery and Hunder sans dune. Dinner and Over night stay at Leh

        22nd Of June 2014. Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh (same day return). Via Changla Pass 17509 feet above sea level. Later exploring Pangong lake, drive back to Leh for night

        23rd- Leh Local- Full day excursion to Shay Palace – Thiksey Monastery -Hemis Monastery and Sindhu ghat. Night stay at Leh

        24th- Morning flight to Delhi.

        Shall be grateful and thanks in advance. Warm regards,
        Suresh Jain

        • Dear Suresh,

          Small O2 cans does not help to great deal. Best is acclimatization in any case and keeping your body well hydrated. Better first rest in Srinagar and then make a trip to Gulmarg. I really don’t see it worth spending two nights in Srinagar. Are you looking for Ladakh trip or Kashmir trip? I seee you have enough days to make a better Ladakh trip. So, first make your choice of Ladakh v/s Kashmir and we will work on your itinerary.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Suresh Jain on

          Dear Dheeraj, Thanks for replying. Actually we have already booked the flights to and from Srinagar. You don’t see it is worth spending 2 nights in Srinagar, may be you can suggest some better options there. After 4 nights in Kashmir, we have 6 nights in Ladakh. I have already sent my itinerary in last post. Shall appreciate your advice. Regards, Suresh Jain

        • For 6 nights in Ladakh,

          Day 1 | Arrive in Leh, rest for whole day and acclimatize
          Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing
          Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Nubra
          Day 4 | nubra – Leh
          Day 5 | Leh Hemis – Pangong Tso
          Day 6 | Pangong Tso – Shey – Thicksey – Leh
          Day 7 | Fly back

        • Suresh Jain on

          Thanks for your time and advice. Shall get in touch if there is anything else. Best regards, Suresh Jain

  18. Hi, first of all thanks for your very informative blog. I am planning leh trip (self driven) Delhi – Srinagar – leh – manali – Delhi from 15 June with my family (wife n 2 kids – 8 and 6 years). Could u please advise me if I stay 3 nights in leh and then 1 night in nubra and then directly go to pangong tso for 1 night stay and next day directly to tso moriri for night stay and then to sarchu and manali, I don’t want to come again to leh from nubra and pangong tso. Is it doable, what kind of roads this route have and how much of fuel I should carry extra from leh, is there any fuel station on route?

    Thanks n regards

    Vikas

    • Vikas since you are with family, I will not advice any of the direct routes for Pangong tso and tso Moriri to you. Better stick to traditional routes to avoid any troubles when traveling with family having kids.

      • Dheeraj thanks for advice, you mean (Leh- nubra-leh, leh-pangong-leh, Leh-Tso moriri- leh, leh-sarchu-manali)
        or can i manage to go (leh-nubra-leh, leh-pangong-moriri-sarchu-manali).

        can kids manage stay in camps at pangong, moriri & sarchu.

        • Vikas, yes, I will suggest that you do 2 day trip to Nubra, then 2 day trip to Pangong Tso from Leh and then Leh to Tso Moriri, from Tso Moriri go directly to Sarchu and then Sarchu to Manali. Kids can manage in camps. Just carry woolens with you.

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of around 6 people planning a Leh trip for 6 nights/7 days in mid Aug’14.

    The tentative itinerary is as follows:

    Day 1: Arrive at Leh.
    Visit Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace and Leh Market.

    Day 2: Sightseeing around Leh – Sangam, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib, Spituk Gonpa and Hall of Fame

    Day 3: Drive to Nubra Valley – across Khardong la pass, visit Samstanling Gonpa/Sumoor and Panamik Hotspring. Evening Camel ride (optional) and sand dunes walk at Sumoor

    Day 4: drive to other side of the Shayok river and visit Hundar Village and Deskit Gonpa and drive to Pangong Lake via Warila. Whole afternoon walk along the Pangong lake, visit Spangmik village

    Day 5: drive back to Leh, on the way visit Hemis Gonpa and Thiksay Gonpa

    Day 6: Rafting Trip on Zangskar River – Rafting on Zangskar River.

    Day 7: Leave for Leh airport

    Need your inputs/ suggestions for the same. Also is it advisable to do a Leh- Nubra- Leh and then Leh- Pangong- Leh or directly go to Pangong from Nubra? Please suggest.

    Had read somewhere about Tsomoriri lake. Should we consider this as well in the plan?

    We have been waiting for this trip for years and hence want to make the most of our available time.

    Thanks in advance.
    Saraswati

    • Hi Saraswati,

      Including all 4 places of Nubra Valley and doing Wari La to reach Pangong Tso will be very hectic. I will not suggest that. Also, please keep in mind that route to Wari La is very desolated and any help if required will mean miles of distance. Still you want to take Wari La route, then do hunder and diskit the previous day, next day move to Wari La route and pangong Tso by dropping Sumur + Panamik our of plan. Finally, Tso Moriri needs extra 2 days.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Thanks for the prompt reply Dheeraj. Really appreciate. We will keep in mind all the mentioned points while planning the trip now

        Even I had read somewhere about Wari La route being desolated. How about visiting Nubra Valley, Sumoor- stay overnite- come back to Leh- stay overnite at Leh- Start for Pangong next morning- stay overnite at Pangong- back to Leh.

        Also, ideally do we need 2 full days in Leh to get acclimatized to the climate n altitude? We would be reaching Leh by 10am.

        Thanks again for the help.

        Regards,
        Saraswati

        • Saraswati, that is the most recommended way to do Nubra Valley and PAngong Tso, especially those who are visiting it for first time. It gives you better acclimatization and more chances of enjoying Ladakh in relaxed manner.

        • Thanks for the valuable info Dheeraj. Will bother you again if I need some inputs :)

          Thanks,
          Saraswati

        • Thank u so much. You are doing a great job with all the info on Laddakh…Keep up the good work. It’s a blessing for people like me visiting Leh for the first time :)

  20. Hey Hi friends.. We are group of 8 people planning for leh from sep 26 to oct 6.. From srinagar to leh to manali to delhi.. Wanted to know hows the weather at that time ? Among 8 , 2 want to hire a bike and the rest in carr.. So hows the road during that period? Is it safe to ride bikes during that time ? And in sept end tents are availabe or not at pangong for night stay ?

    • Nights will be cold during that time and passes starts receiving snowfall by end of September. Camps will be up from Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri but there will be few options left for stay and home stays will always be present. Roads are best good during that period in comparison to whole season

  21. Hi

    we are a group of 6 friends. We are travelling to Leh in the first week of June via Manali. Excluding all the travelling, we’ve got complete 4 days in Leh. We have no problem with skipping 1 or 2 locations, but we cant extend any more days. Could you tell us how can we see the best of Ladakh in these 4 days?

    • Abhishek, rest for one day in Leh for acclimatization which is very very important. Then, do a 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and finally one day trip to Pangong Tso Lake.

      • Also, we are planning to hire a cab from delhi. But will that cab be allowed to go to nubra and pangong? Is there any solution to have a common cab x-delhi for the complete trip or will we need to hire cabs in leh to go to places like nubra and pangong?

        • 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.

  22. Surinder Matharu on

    Hello Mr. Deeraj
    Thank you so much for such a wonderful news that now no permit is required for Pangong Tso. Is this is also applicable for the other locations earlier where permit was required. In our schedule we will reach Pangong Tso on 5th Jun’14. This will be our second tour. Is any other document is necessary for these locations
    Regards
    Surinder

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  24. dr rajeev roy on

    hi dheeraj i’m planning one night stay at pangong in june(during my 8 days trip to laddakh) . next day i wanted to visit chushul war memorial via man merak and then return to leh directly via tangtse. is the visit to chushul worth it because i’d require permit,5K extra on taxi and few hours extra obviously. please give your personnel opinion on it.

    • Rajeev, I feel you need at least 5.-5-6 Hrs just for go to Chusul and return back from Chusul to Pangong Tso. Then back to Leh from Pangong Tso. The drive is a pleasure over there brother !! The sight of Pangong Tso turning into Tibet and drive along the shore…

      • dr rajeev roy on

        thanks dheeraj. if i return from chushul directly to tangtse without going back to pangong ..will it save some time and is that route good enough ,because in your map pangong to tangtse is shown as very difficult while one of your experts has written that it is good enough. please clarify.

        • Hello Rajeev,

          Yes, that route is fine enough. I still have to update the maps :( … You can take that route to return to Tangste from Chusul, that is called Erath route.

  25. Dear Dheeraj Sharma
    thanks so much about ur value information, I’m Planning to visit Pangong lake in Oct, But i got some infor that Pangong lake be closed for Sep?! please help me find out this information, thanks bro!!!

    • hi Tung,

      There is no such thing that Pangong Tso will be closed. It remains open all round the year. The point is that most of the camps and accommodation options at Pangong Tso leave by September end as the season close. However, home stays will still be running else you can come back and stay at Tangste village guest houses.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  26. Hi Dheeraj,
    Any update on the Shyok Village route to Pangong. Any updates on April 14 travel? Will help us save a day travelling from Nubra.
    Your thoughts please if you’ve heard anybody doing it this year or late last year season.
    Reg
    Abhishek

    • Abhishek, has heard tat recently Shyok route to Pangong Tso from Nubra Valley was done by some person. Once you reach there you can check out. April is safest to try as the water in the river is less so you can pass through the river. Eve I did that in April only. Last year, AFAIK, no one did but that is past and at present someone has done it. So, once you reach there do check because as the snow melts it becomes difficult for hat route to remain open. Also keep in mind that is one of the most desolated routes, so travel with a calculated risk and full confidence of the driver you will hire.

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        we are planing a leh Ladakh tour from 19th May to 30th may. We plan to spend one night at pan gong lake. Is it advisable to stay there during this time. how is the weather during this time? We are keen to see the sunrise and sunset at the lake and we are a family of 3 me, wife and 14 year old son. Tour operators suggest we should do camping at Tsomoriri instead of pan gong but we are really interested in pan gong camping. Pls suggest. And thanks for the wonderful advice you have been providing.

        • Ninad, in May climate will be cold during night especially at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. It is your call to spend overnight at Pangong Tso and skip Tso Moriri OR have both of them and make Pangong Tso lake day trip.

  27. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are 4 people on 3 bikes planning to visit Ladakh from 20th June to 5th July 2014. After research I have made following plan. Please let me know if it seems good to execute. Also I am planning Nubra to Pangon Tso through Shyok village (or should we go through Wari La?) and Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri through Changthang.
    Day 1: Pune to Delhi
    Day 2: Delhi to Amritsar
    Day 3: Amritsar to jammu
    Day 4: Jammu to katra
    Day 5: Jammu to Srinagar
    Day 6: Srinagar to Kargil
    Day 7: Kargil to Zanskar
    Day 8: Zanskar
    Day 9: Zanskar to Lamayuru to Leh
    Day 10: Leh
    Day 11: Leh to Nubra
    Day 12: Nubra to Pangong
    Day 13: Pangong to Tso Moriri
    Day 14: Tso Moriri to Tso Kar to Sarchu
    Day 15: Sarchu to Manali
    Day 16: Manali to Delhi
    Day 17: Delhi to Pune

    • Day 9 is not possible, will advice you to drip Zanskar and ease out your trip. Make 2 day trip to Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley with those days. Take Leh to Tso Moriri route so that you best enjoy the trip. It will remove the uncertainties.

  28. Sayantani on

    Sorry, travelling from 22nd May, 2014 (not 2nd). And we are only 2 people travelling (in case the number matters while travelling in barren lands :))

    • Hi travellers ! We are a team of five and planned to do Manali- Tso Moriri-Pangong-Leh in the month of June this year. Can the inner line permit be got on this route as well ? I read in many travelogues that ILPs are issued only from DC office in Leh. Please comment.

      • Vinay, you should not do Tso Moriri while going from Manali to Leh because one need permits to visit Tso Moriri and these permits are issued at DC office in Leh. Even if you arrange these permits in advance somehow from Travel Agent in Leh then taxi from Manali will not be allowed to visit Tso Moriri. Even if you manage Leh taxi or going on your own, then you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude so early in the trip and may cause some ugly AMS issues for you. Highly not recommended.

        • Thanks loads for the feedback Dheeraj. Just to share, the plan is this way :
          1. Delhi-Amritsar
          2. Amritsar-Srinagar
          3. Srinagar-KArgil
          4. Kargil-Leh
          5. Leh-Khardung-Pangong
          6. Pangong-Tso Moriri
          7. Moriri-Sarchu
          8. Sarchu-Manali
          9. Manali-Delhi
          May be buffer days at Srinagar and Manali. We all are from Karnataka and travelling to Delhi by flight or train.
          Self driven Safari, XUV or Storme from Delhi.
          Expert advice welcome !! please comment.

  29. Sayantani on

    Hi,

    I am planning my trip from 2nd May this year, and as you correctly pointed out, being domestic tourist running short of time. I read your detailed description and pictoral representation of the Shyok route for Nubra to Pangong and I am a bit concerned. Is this route safe to take at the wake of 2014? We will do it in RE 350.

    • Sayantani, well I will not suggest you to take the Shyok Valley route considering it is too desolated and being just 2, in case anything goes wrong, help willl be very very hard to find. Wari La will be closed by that time I feel and similarly risky affair to try and attempt it. I will suggest take it easy and either add one day OR make day trip to Pangong Tso.

  30. Hey Dheeraj,

    We a group of 7 have planned a trip to ladakh from 12th to 19th april 2014. We are travelling their by air and will arrive on 12th morning. We are planning to dedicate 12th to local sight seeing and rest. Next day possibly near by places and permits. On 14th we intend to travel to Nubra covering diksit, hunder etc and stay in diksit. On the next day(15th) we intend to go directly to Spangmik(pangong) via one of the routes suggested above whichever seems feasible at that time but most probably Wari-La. We intend to stay at Pangong for the night. And next day(16th) off to tso moriri via Chang-La -> Karu -> Chumathang->Moriri as Chushul doesn’t seem possible. Here also we plan on staying at Karzok(near tso moriri). Then next day(17th) off to Leh via Debring(Moore Plains) and Tso Kar.

    Do you think this is a feasible plan if weather permits and mainly will accomodation be available at Tso Pangong and Tso Moriri??

    Best Regards and Thanks,

    Avinash

  31. Hi Dheeraj …planning a trip from srinagar to Leh from 12th MAy to 22 May by road..In srinagar do u think it is better to visit gulmarg or pahalgam.we are planning to leave to Leh by road on 14th…would like to do some river rafting…do u think i do it towards the end of the tour as per your itinery to sham Valley…will it be very cold in Pangong at this time as we are planning to take our 7 1/2 & 13 yrs old children along with us.

    • For Pahalgam, you will need two days at least to enjoy it else it will be very very tiring. Hence, if yo have two days then make it to Pahalgam else do a day trip to Gulmarg. River rafting will be available at Nimmu near Leh or Phey. Yes, night will be cold at Pangong Tso for sure. Carry heavy woolens for sure.

  32. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning a trip to laddakh from 02 may,2014 to 08 may,2014. I may be covering the route like leh-nubra-pangong;most probably on bike. What’s your suggestion?
    What may be the weather conditions? I got the news that still snowfalls are happening.

    • Ranjeet, are you planning to ride the bike there over Manali – Leh or Srinagar – Leh or plan to rent a bike after reaching Leh? Also, if you have not ride a bike in hilly terrain or on snow I will not suggest the same to you as bike will tend to skid on snow which will be present on the way to Nubra Valley as well as Pangong Tso lake at Khardung La and Chang La respectively. The conditions will be tough if you have not experienced bike ride on snow before.

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  34. Hi, I will be arriving in Leh after a trek on 24 August evening. My return flight from Leh to Delhi is on 29 August. Can you suggest the places I can visit and also, if possible, an itinerary? Also, if I am to make the Nubra valley trek alone, what would be the cost like?

  35. hey is it a good idea to go to leh via manali by my santro car .. is it possible to drive on that route a hatchback

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