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Travel Guide for Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh

 

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

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.

Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh
Photo credit: Kaushik Dada at IndiaMike

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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156 Comments

  1. Abhishek says:

    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.

      • Ninad says:

        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.

  2. Abhijeet says:

    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.

  3. Sayantani says:

    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 :))

    • Vinay says:

      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.

        • Vinay says:

          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.

        • Vinay, this plan is not suitable or suggested. You have to tweak it alot. You do not have enough days to complete the journey. Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community as you have 9 days in hand.

  4. Sayantani says:

    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.

  5. Avinash says:

    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

  6. shobha says:

    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.

  7. Ranjeet says:

    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.

  8. […] was the coldest night of the trip so far at Pangong Tso and I did not have a comfortable sleep both because of lack of space with three people sleeping on […]

  9. Rajarshi says:

    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?

  10. shari says:

    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

  11. rumi mukherjee says:

    Hello I intend to visit Ladakh and nearby places along with my husband and 9 yrs old daughter from 19th March to 25th March. can I visit pangong lake and Tso Morri lake. I don’t want to reschedule my trip to another period b’cos something may come up and we cannot visit.Wiil the route be open. What other places can I visit?Please also suggest some budget hotels /guest houses in Leh and nearby places and bookings that can be done in advance?

    • Rumi, March is bone freezing cold in Ladakh with most hotels and restaurants being closed. There will be no place to stay at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri too. Both lakes will be frozen and with family I will suggest to better plan it sometime later or plan somewhere else, may be Kinnaur Valley

  12. Neeta says:

    Hello Dheeraj ji,
    First of all thank you very much for the wonderful & useful information you are providing for the people to visit leh & ladakh.
    I am planning to visit leh between 23rd march 2014 to 1st April 2014 with my husband and two teenager sons. We will go by air from Delhi. My main attraction to visit Leh is Pongong lake. I would like to know whether lake is fully or partially frozen this time. Also Please give me some idea of charges of local taxis to visit Pongong lake and other attractions there like Moriri lake, Nubra valley etc. Please provide some information regarding budget hotels in Leh.
    In the last and most important information I would like to know that whether the trip to Leh is safe for the High Blood Pressure patient as my husband is regularly taking medicine for high BP.
    Anxiously waiting for your reply… please revert soon.
    Thanks.

    • Neeta, well it is not an ideal time to visit Ladakh with family I will say. You will have to face some difficulties as it will be extremely cold up there with most of the hotels and eating joint being closed. There will be no options of stay at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri too. Lakes will be fully frozen as they start to melt only after mid of April

      If you are OK, let me know I Can suggest the itinerary.

      • Neeta says:

        Hello Dheeraj ji,
        Thanks for the reply and I would definitely go as per your advise. I will plan my visit for Leh in the month of September but still I am concerned about my husband high blood pressure. Please give me some information on that as I am keen to go to Leh & Ladakh.
        Please advise is it ok to make a trip for Shrinagar, Sonmarg & Gulmarg instead of Leh on the same dates. Please provide some tour information also for the same. Waiting for your early reply as I have to final my tour and do the all bookings.
        Thanks.

        • Neeta, I am really sorry but for that you need to consult a Doctor and specifically ask him about problems that might be faced at High altitude regions ranging from 3700 Mtrs to 5500 Mtrs.

          Regarding Srinagar, Sonamarg and Gulmarg you can easily make a plan in April

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  13. p ramesh says:

    thanku mr dheeraj for your earlier reply. Can we go directly from nubra to pangong lake thro’ shyok village?is it safe to travel with family( myself my wife and two teenaged daughters)pls advise us. thanx in advance. regards ramesh

    • No, Shyok village route is not at all safe to travel and especially with the Family, I will not even recommend you to take Wari La route. Please stick to normal routes in Ladakh with family as other routes are too much desolated and any issues, you will be on your own and there will no one be around for any help. Hence, with family such routes are big no !!

  14. kalpana shekhawat says:

    hi dheeraj thanks for the info. well i m planning to come pangong(my dream destination) in september end. i want ask about how much it will cost to come pangong from jaipur including each n every thing.3 days stay for 2 people.

    • Kalpana, it does not work like this. First you need to reach Leh, then rest there at couple of days. Then go towards Nubra Valley and come back for acclimatization and finally you go for Pangong Tso after your body is acclimatized to scarce oxygen and high altitude :)

  15. Swain says:

    Hello Dheeraj.

    I am planning a trip from Delhi to Leh via Srinagar from April 9, 2014 to April 15, 2014. Delhi to Srinagar by air. Srinagar to Leh by road. Leh to Delhi by air.

    You think this is not the right time for the trip at all? Or do you think the road trip can be cancelled and I should fly from Delhi to Leh directly. If I do that, can I see places in Leh or you think Leh is completely a bad choice during April second week?

    Please advise. Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Swain,

      By that time, I really doubt if Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open at all or not. So, you need to fly there to LEh. Secondly, April will be cold and very cold at night in Ladakh. Both lakes will be frozen by that time and only few options of hotels and eating places will be available.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sandhya Reddy says:

        Namasthy Mr.Dheeraj,
        Hope do’g well..

        Such a helpful information you are giv’g via your page n blogs are awesome.
        1st of all thank you for the gr8 effort..
        I want to ask you some Q’s regard’g Leh!!

        • Sandhya, feel free to ask any questions related to your travel to Leh – Ladakh :)

        • Sandhya Reddy says:

          Thank you Mr.Dheeraj ji.. :) Good evening..
          We are go’g to Leh in June 2nd week, all set to go. one thing, many of our friends warn’g dat dn’t saty @ camps near Pangong lake,even Makemytrip people also say’g the same thing. is it true? but we are much intrestd to see the heavny sunset n sunrise @ pangong lake..pls clarify our Doubt !!

        • Sandhya, there is no ISSUE at all while staying in Camps. Thousands of people stay in them every year !! So, don;t take the word for it and go ahead with planning the trip there. You can check Camp Watermark at Pangong Tso, which is a good option and in case you are interested in pre-bookings, get in touch with info@offbeatescapes.com who can offer you discounted price for DoW Community members. Most readers had very good feedback about them till date.

  16. Aman Deep says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Actually i had seen on leh tourism website that on monday khardungla is usually close due to maintanence reason. Is it? if its open then i would prefer to go Nubra valley instead of pangong (for 2days – on 3rd & 4th day)? because i analysed & discovrd with frnds conversation tat nubra valley is awesome. so i wana skip pangong in tat case. will it be worthful?

    • Aman, it is the first time I have heard such a thing :D :D … Nubra Valley has its own beauty but saying it is much worth than Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, is something :) … Well, even for Khardung La pass, it will be snowed out and same risk will be applicable there as well.

  17. shuchita says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    I am planning to visit leh during August.It give me esteem privilege to say that your site and your experiences and your guidance helped me lot for planning this trip.
    I have certain queries for which I will ask you later
    Thanks for such a nice effort.
    Shuchita

    • Thank you Suchita. Please feel free to post any queries or doubts you have for planning the trip to Ladakh.

      • shuchita says:

        Hi,
        actually i want to ask that if we plan for a trip at the end of April, then is it feasible for us to plan,the trip Or everything will be frozen there.
        Since the air fares will shoot up after this so i just want to confirm this.

        • Hi Shuchita,

          Well, you can check my Travel Tale of Ladakh from April at the last link: A Snow Whiteout in Leh – Trapped Again | Ladakh – 2012

          You will be able to see how beautiful it is in April and yet also be able to see that everything in Ladakh when I visited was open as far as sightseeing and exploring is concerned. However, you need to bear in mind the cold conditions up there at that time of the year and lack of variety of food + accommodation options. As it is off season, so things are pretty much closed at most place with respect to food options and stay options. But, you will be able to find basic stays and basic food. Also, Lakes will be partially frozen and you will need to have some buffer days too at that time of the year.

          Going through the Travel Tale will help you decide to GO or NOT GO :) :)

          You need to fly to Leh in April.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  18. Aman Deep says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planing to visit Leh in 25-29 April, 2014. Is it possible to cover both destination as Nubra Valley & Pangong Lake in this time frame means in 4days??& whats the state(freezed / semi freezed) of pangong lake in the end of april?

    • Amandeep, by April end the Pangong Tso will be semi-frozen types and at some corners frozen too, especially around Lukung. 4 days is too less a time to visit Ladakh by flight and well, it will take at least 2 days to get settled and acclimatize to the high altitude. Then you can visit Khardung La and then finally a day trip to Pangong Tso. But, keep in mind that Chang La will be snowed out so as Khardung La but while coming back from Pangong tso lake if the pass close then you may end up loosing/missing the flight back home.

  19. Abhilash says:

    hi…am planning to go to leh ladakh and pangong lake, but are we able to travel by bike…if we need to travel in bike, in which month we need to travel…tell me the procedures

    • Abhilash, you can travel to Ladakh on bike from Srinagar and can come from Manali side after visiting entire Ladakh. Do you have your own bike or are you planning to hire one?

  20. […] small glacial lake which one can witness right after descending the mighty Chang La Pass towards Pangong Tso side. The lake is about 8 KMs only from Chang La top and mostly in enthusiasm of witnessing Pangong […]

  21. Sobhan Mohanty says:

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning a trip to Leh in mid Feb this year. I’ve heard a lot about the beauty of Pangong Tso in winter and having seen the summer avatar of it, I’m more than eager to check it out when its all frozen up. But the thing is I’m contradictory answers from people when I ask them about the accessibility to the lake during Feb. Many are suggesting roads remain closed while others say roads leading up from Leh remain open all the year round. Can you please clear my doubt regarding this? And it would be great if you can suggest anything other place I should be visiting during my stay there.

    Regards
    Sobhan

    • Hello Sobhan,

      All routes in Ladakh are kept open all around the year including routes to Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley over Chang La and Khardung La respectively. However, if it snows during the period of time you are traveling then passes can get closed for a day or two or may be three too. This is the risk you will need to undertake to see the frozen Pangong Tso :) :)

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  22. Sudarshan k says:

    How good are the roads from leh-pangong-tso moriri-manali highway for cycling.
    Planning to do in July 2014.planning to do this in 5 days with stay in durbuk,pangong,tso moriri.
    please help with a detailed itenary for stay and time

    • Hello Sudarshan,,

      All these roads are just dirt tracks between Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri. However, the road from Leh to Pangong Tso and Leh to Tso Moriri are mostly in good condition barring last 3 Hrs on Tso Moriri. 5 days of cycling I feel is a lot less of a time for all these places. I am not into biking but can you please tell me how much can you cycle in a day at normal altitude in hills? This might help predict.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  23. Nikhil Gupta says:

    Hi, I’m planning to visit Leh in December. Probably after 21st of December It’s a 5-6 day trip. As most of the areas would be cut off. Please suggest me places I can visit?

    • Hi Nikhil,

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

      you can try something like below itinerary:

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  24. Sakina says:

    Seriously great blog btw…

    Do you know any good hotels that you can suggest for our stay near Pangong lake…is there a way to make an online booking? If not, please provide contact information if you have it handy – TIA.

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

  25. rangga says:

    Hello Deeraj,
    We plan to visit Leh at the end of this september, we’d like to visit Pangong Tso Lake and Nubra Valley. Since it is just a short visit, we only have a limited time to explore the region. Would you please advise for our itinerary below, for your information our hometown is already at high altitude, around 3500 to 4200 meters (don’t you think we will still have problems with AMS?)
    30 Sept, our flight arrive in Leh around 7 am from Delhi, inner line permits and explore around Leh
    1 Oct, early morning depart from Leh to Pangong Tso, along the way visit Sey, Thiksey, and Hemish, overnight in Spangmik
    2 Oct, explore Pangong Tso, continue our trip to Nubra Valley by midday, overnight at Hunder
    3 Oct, camel trip at Shyok Valley, by midday start depart to Leh, overnight at Leh
    4 Oct, early morning start the trip to Srinagar with a night halt at Kargil
    5 Oct, continue the trip to Srinagar

    And also about the transport, we plan to rent motorbikes, how will be the wheather during early october, will it be possible for us to ride the motorbikes for the trip

    Looking forward for your reply
    Many thank’s

    Regards,
    Rangga

    • Hello Rangga,

      It depends where are you living as of now and how much altitude your are gaining suddenly as it can happen due to sudden ascend but yes I feel you must have some edge and take things accordingly. I am not a subject matter expert on this subject but you can see after landing there.

      You should ascend only if you are feeling alright after Day 1 of rest. If you are completely fine then tae a chance and move to Nubra Valley first and DO NOT stay much at Khardung La, just rush through it or any other high altitude place. Rest in Nubra Valley for next day and then come back to stay in Leh. Make a day trip to Pangong Tso on Day 4 and then continue to Srinagar – Kargil on Day 5,6. Since, there will be no camps by that time at Pangong Tso, so better make a day trip only.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • rangga says:

        Thanks a lot Deeraj,
        I still have questions regarding our visit to Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso.
        Will it be possible for us to take direct route from Nubra to Pangong via Shyok Village or Wari La on early october (how’s the road condition?)

        If it is possible to travel directly to pangong, can we arrange a hired a taxi/jeep to take us from Leh overnight in Nubra and then directly to Pangong?

        • Rangga, highly not recommended to take Shyok or Wari La that late in the season since there will no chance of any help in case you get stuck there. Regarding Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso route, in order to take Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok village, you need not have any permits. However, with such a small distance it appears tempting to be done BUT just to analyze the difficulty I will strongly suggest that you read:Trip Report | Nubra – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso Route. The report is from June & in July/August, most likely the route will be washed away. So better confirm first, analyze the high risk involved and then only attempt it or better avoid it unless very much sure. Next possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is also a bit desolated but doable enough.

  26. Nabilah Nordin says:

    Hi,I have traveled New Delhi up to Amritsar back in 2010. I intend to continue travel India up to border which I heard is much more beautiful. Appreciate your advise on followings:
    1) how to go about it if we enter India from New Delhi?
    2) How many days required to maximize the trip?
    3) Do we need winter clothes?
    4) What activity can we do except sightseeing?
    5) Best way, best time to travel?

    Looking forward to you reply.

    • Hello Nabilah,

      Are you interested in Amrtisar Border? Not sure what do you mean here by border? Are you looking forward to Travel Ladakh? How many days you have?

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  27. [...] monasteries, mountain passes, lakes etc. in entire Ladakh covering Nubra Valley, Sham Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Hanle and other parts of Changthang Valley. Map also has couple of legends that [...]

  28. suraj says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning for a 3 day trip from Leh-Nubra-Pangong-Leh.
    The plan is like this.
    5th July: Leh local site seeing and permit.
    6th : Leh to Nubra, stay at diskit.
    7th – Nubra to Pangong Tso
    8th Pangong tso to Leh.

    will it be possible to travel on the route via Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso during july? or we have to travel via wari la?
    Also how safe it is to travel via wari la?

    • Suraj, Shyok route highly likely will be closed. However, Wari La might be open but please keep in mind that it is one desolated route one can go over and in case something breaks, you are at your own. Do talk to drivers if they are ready to go over that route.

  29. Om says:

    Is it still possible to take this route? Heard it has closed due to chinese incursions

    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) – Khaltse (24 KMs) – Merak (4 KMs) – Man (12 KMs) – Spangmik (9 KMs) = 235 KMs

  30. surbhi says:

    Hi Dhiraj

    I posted a question earlier also, but somehow i donot find it now. anyways, we are not too much intersted in visiting Panamik. Is it possible to start from Nubra valley early morning and reach Pangong Tso via Leh route.

    Please suggest.

    • You can do so and will be able to reach it. BUT, then better go via Wari La route if you want, will be shorter but a bit desolated.

      • surbhi says:

        Thanx a lot Dheeraj.

        I was not sure if wari la route is safe enough. But if you think it is ok, we will attempt that.

        Also, is it possible to do Leh -> Srinagar in 1 day ?

        • Surbhi, Srinagar – Leh in one day wll be very tough and hectic. Almost, 15-16 Hrs.

        • surbhi says:

          alrite then. Here is my itenerary. can u suggest, if 1 day can be squeezed out of it somehow ??

          we plan to travel in chevrolet enjoy with my parents and 7.5 year old son. Hope it will not be difficult for them.

          14/06/2013 Overnite journey to Manali. 13 – 14 hrs journey In Car
          15/06/2013 Reach Solang Valley. Local Sight Seeing Overnite stay in Solang Valley
          16/06/2013 Leave for Jispa early morning Overnite stay in Jispa
          17/06/2013 Leave Jispa early morning at 4/5 AM, to reach Leh by evening Overnite stay in Leh
          18/06/2013 In Leh. Local Sight Seeing Overnite stay in Leh
          19/06/2013 Leave for Nubra Valley (around 5 hours from Leh) Overnite stay in Diskit
          20/06/2013 Diskit -> Pangong Tso Overnite stay in Pangong
          21/06/2013 Pangong to Leh Overnight stay at Pangong (Spangmik)
          22/06/2013 Pangong to Leh to Kargil Overnite at Kargil
          23/06/2013 Kargil to Srinagar Overnite at Srinagar
          24/06/2013 Srinagar to Jammu (bypass) via Pathankot Overnite at PatniTop
          25/06/2013 Jammu to Delhi

        • Taking out one day in this packed itinerary is difficult and I think you mean

          21/06/2013 Pangong to Leh Overnight stay at Leh
          22/06/2013 Leh to Kargil Overnite at Kargil

          instead of

          21/06/2013 Pangong to Leh Overnight stay at Pangong (Spangmik)
          22/06/2013 Pangong to Leh to Kargil Overnite at Kargil

          Regards
          Dheeraj

    • I am sure you will like to be at below link for your itinerary advice in more structured way :) DoW – Himalayan Travel Community | Ladakh Itinerary Advice

  31. Hitesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Is one full day at Pangong a good idea? basically we leave in the morning, reach by afternoon or so, stat der one night, next full day and that night, and leave 3rd day from pangong…
    what do u suggest

  32. Omprakash Sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for the best of Information in your Blog…
    We are Couple flying to Leh (July 18th in Leh) and then will be flying back from Srinagar (July 28th).
    In this Schedule motive is to Cover Maximum of Leh,Pongyong Lake & Tso Morri, Kargil and Many More. In Srinagar only Gulmarg (1 day) then fly Back.
    I request you If possible Please suggest the Best Travel route and Itinerary with Stay Information.

    Thanks a lot, !! OP !!

    • Hello OP,

      You can follow the below plan since you have 10 days with you:

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 10 | Srinagar – Gulmarg – Srinagar.
      – Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 11 | Fly back

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Omprakash Sharma says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj for all your efforts in planning the Itinery… Some more Help pls …
        Doubts:-
        1. I wanted to Drive Bike in this Itinery (Is it Possible in July)? Is Biking Track Safe ?? Is there any Biking trips starting from Leh ???
        2. Do we get Bikes from Leh to Srinagar ?
        3. Pls suggest some Camping Destinations and Also some hotels having Leh-Ladakhi feel type accomdation ?

        Thanks a ton … !! OP !!

        • Hello OP,

          1. Yes, you can rent bikes in Leh and Fort Road in Leh is full of such shops that rent bikes. Depending upon the condition, model, make and tourist rush you can get bikes starting from Rs 800 to Rs 1300. Rather than booking over phone, it is much better to visit the Fort road, check 4-5 shops over there and get a good deal after checking the bike conditions. Regarding safety, it is adventure so there are risks surely. Also, roads are not that good in these terrains especially towards passes. If you are good at nbiking then onl go for it.

          2. No, you will not get bikes from Leh to Srinagar. Even if you get them, there will be good amount of cover charge for it.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  33. Hitesh says:

    Hi Dheeraj
    Can u tell me if one can get der own tents for the stay at Pangong Lake..?

    • You can pitch your own tents anywhere where it is allowed or rather not restricted but I will suggest you pitch them at a place where there are some dhabha tents put up by locals or where other camping guy pitch theirs or somewhere near some house in village. All you will need is to gently ask them (villagers/dhabha guys/camping guys) for permissions. Most likely they will allow, other wise negotiate for small little tip or move on to some other such place nearby.

      You cannot pitch the tents besides banks of Pangong Tso OR Tso Moriri, AFAIK but at a safe distance away from them

  34. rohit says:

    hi dheeraj am reaching with my wife to srinagar via delhi flight on 25th may 13 and return on 05jun 13 to delhi from srinagar wanna see max place including leh pls suggest

    • Hello 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 make a two day trip to Pangong Tso in above itinerary and keep other days as rest days in Leh.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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

  35. Shriram says:

    Dheeraj,
    1- Please provide info on opening of route “Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso” in 2013.
    2- Whether it was open for tourist in 2012? If yes then during which month days it was open?
    3- I am planning for it around 14th August on my RE motorcycle.
    4- Do we need any other permit other than Shyok villahe for this road?
    5- Please provide any additional valuable suggestion/information that need to be taken care of for this route.

    • Hello Shriram,

      Please find my answers to your queries below:

      1. It should be open till the time it starts raining, but no idea. Only the GREF post near Shyok village can better give exact status or people at Tangste
      2. Yes, I did that last year only. But, it got closed in June due to landslide and heavy water crossings.
      3. Highly likely, it will close down by then.
      4. There is no checkpost that checks the permits on that route. I do not think there are any special permits required for them. We just had permits for Nubra Valley and it was fine. Also, if you going by Wari La then you surely need permit for it.
      5. It is too much of isolated route, not suggested to anyone not going iun group. If something happens, you are most likely be on your own without any help. We were all alone throughout the route and we even passed an active landslide too.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Shriram says:

        Thanks Dheeraj,
        I read your article on travel by Shyok village route and found very interesting and of valuable info. Indeed it is most adventurous route and having a danger to cross active landslide.
        Since it is most likely Shyok route will be closed in August then should I opt for Wari La route or go back to Leh and then on next day Visit Pangong.
        I have one day short to fit TSO Moriri in my plan. If I opt for Wari La route then I would try to fit TSO Moriri in my plan. Suggestions welcome on Wari la route.

        • Sriram, well Wari La route again is a bit isolated and any help required in any case, you are on your own. Plus you get to go over a very long ride too as it takes about 10+ Hrs to go via that route. I am not sure how you will save the day while going from these route because any how you will have to utilize 3 days. One to Nubra Valley other to Pangong Tso via these routes and other to come back. Now, you can also opt to go with 2 day Nubra Valley and single day Pangong Tso.
          Still, if you guys are OK with taking a chance on isolated route, then try with Wari La route.

  36. [...] 6 (26-09-2013) | Leh – Chang La Pass – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh / Rumtse / [...]

    • Huzefa says:

      Hi dheeraj,simly awesome article for travellin to leh ladakh..will reach srinagar on sunday 11th aug and thinkin about leaving for leh on monday morning wid a stopover in kargil at nite..return flight is on 18th sunday at 7am..can u plz suggest what to cover in the remaining days..wanted to go rafting as well

      • Hi Huzefa,

        You have about 6 days in hand to reach Leh and explore other places in Ladakh and fly back on 7th day. I will suggest you following plan:

        Day 1 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
        – Enjoy the vistas enroute
        – Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
        – Overnight at Kargil

        Day 2 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
        – Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
        – On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
        – Overnight at Leh

        Day 3 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
        – To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
        – For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
        – Overnight at Leh

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

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

        Day 6 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
        – Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso
        – Overnight at Leh

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

  37. Saloni says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Firstly thank you so much for providing such useful information. It’s just the perfect place to find answers for your queries.
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Leh later this year. But going through your website I’m now thinking we should go either in Aug end or Sept beginning. We would be traveling for 9 days. Currently, I’m planning to fly to Srinagar (each at 1pm) and then immediately take a cab and drive towards Leh stopping for a night in between. Hopefully, we will reach Leh on the second day and will not need any acclimatization after that.

    Could you please suggest an itinerary as I would like to visit Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso as well as Nubra Valley. We plan to stay over at Pangong Tso lake too. Are the tents still available in Sept beginning?

    We plan to fly back from Leh to save time.

    Could you please suggest.

    Thanks,
    Saloni

    • Saloni says:

      PS: As of now we are open for all ideas. We can even drive down for Leh via Manali route or drive up via Manali route if that is better. We plan to hire a SUV for the same.

    • Hi Saloni,

      You can follow the below itinerary for your Leh trip.

      Day 1 | Rest at Srinagar only as you will not be able to move ahead on that very day.
      Day 2 | Srinagar – Kargil
      Day 3 | Kargil – Leh
      Day 4 | Leh Local + Permits
      Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      Day 6 | back to Leh
      Day 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso
      Day 8 | Pangong Tso – Leh
      Day 9 | Leh Rest Day OR Fly back

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Saloni says:

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj.

        • Saloni says:

          Hey Dheeraj,

          Few more queries:
          1) Is it better if we fly directly to Leh (and save 2 days there) and go to TsoMoriri for those 2 days or is the Srinagar-Leh route more scenic?

          2) Also, I think I read elsewhere on your website that we can do Hunder-Pangong Tso directly and save a day there. Is it so?

          3) Is it possible to do Tso Moriri in a day?

          4) Is it better to travel in Sept beginning or in Aug/July?

          Your answers are much appreciated.

          Thanks,
          Saloni

        • Hi Saloni,

          1) By flying directly to Leh, you will only save on Traveling because for two days you have to be in Leh doing nothing but just acclimatize.

          2) Yes, you can do so but it is long, tiring and isolated journey over Wari La pass which is take rarely by tourists.

          3) Nopes, you cannot do Tso Moriri in a single day.

          4) Best time is mid September but July just before monsoon will be equally fine. September early is good if we see less rains this year

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

  38. Nikhil says:

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Can we get good guides whom we can take with us once we reach LEH to Pangong and Diskit etc?
    thanks

  39. Nikhil says:

    Hi,

    Fantastic compilation of information. People like you inspire and help others to become road junkies.

  40. Nikhil says:

    Dheeraj,

    We are group of 4 friends travelling to Leh from Mumbai in XUV 500. We are leaving Manali on 27th June and have following itinerary
    27th – Manali to Jispa
    28th – Jispa to Leh
    29th – Leh local sightseeing & acclimatization
    30th – Leh – Pangong – Leh
    01st – Leh – Khardungla – Nubra Valley – Overnight at Diskit
    02nd – Diskit to Leh and back
    03rd – Leh to Tso Moriri
    04th – Tso Moriri to Leh and rest
    05th – Leh to Kargil
    06th – Kargil to Srinagar
    Wish to know whether the road from Nubra to Pangong and Pangong to Tso Moriri are open and we can save on a day or two.
    9223575311

    • Nikhil, I will just suggest one change in the itinerayr as:

      30 – Leh – Khardungla – Nubra Valley – Overnight at Diskit
      01 – Diskit to Leh and back
      02 – Leh – Pangong – Leh

      Now, the above plan is much more inline with acclimatization requirements, though not to great extent since you are not staying overnight but at least a bit helpful. Secondly, Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso is connected by two routes, one by Wari La Pass (very isolated and very long) and other by Shyok village (shorter one but dangerous and more isolated than Wari La). Only in worst case try these routes else go via normal route from Leh – Changla Pass. Pangong tso Tso Moriri permits are not being issued now a days.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  41. Anirban says:

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Your comments and suggestions are much appreciated. I am planning to go for my honeymoon to Leh and need a suggestion on the itinerary. I do not have much time as I am planning to fly in to Leh on October 13 early morning and fly out on October 18 to Delhi. Could you suggest an itinerary suitable for a honeymoon ?

    • Anirban, are you really sure that you want to go to Ladakh for honeymoon?

      • Anirban says:

        Yeah Dheeraj why not .. I visited Leh in 2009 and I was mesmerized .. so want some suggestions ..

        • Anirban, with 5 days in hand you will be fighting mostly with AMS and cold in October will also account for trouble. Most of the guest houses will be closed and you will be left with just homestays. I will not suggest it for honeymoon brother. Better go to some exotic place and plan another trip with some good amount of days in hand.

  42. Omprakash Sharma says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks a lot for such a Informative Site and your dedication to clarify doubts is appreciable…

    We couple have planned a Trip to Leh on 25th March 2013 (Delhi to Leh fly) till 02nd April 2013 (Leh to Delhi fly)…Around 8 days…
    I wanted to visit almost all Leh best location… As u have good knowledge of Leh can help in planning this Trip and Suggesting best Day wise travel plan considering the Travel dates are March End and Road condition…
    It would be great help and Support …

    • Hello Omprakash,

      You can follow the below itinerary for 8 days stay in Laeh – Ladakh:

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

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

      Day 6 | Leh – Upshi – Chumathang
      – Overnight at Chumathang
       
      Day 7 | Chumathang – Tso Moriri – Chumathang – Upshi – Leh
      – Cover Karzok Monastery
      – Overnight at Leh

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

      I hope this helps. Let me know in case you need any further info. or have any doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Omprakash Sharma says:

        HI Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for such detail plan …
        Doubts:-
        1. As i am going on March End will i get all this Roads Open (or Clear roads)…
        2. I wanted to add some Camp stay so pls suggest good camps with there Location…
        3. To Add Adventure and Biking experience Is there any route which i can travel through Bike…Pls Mention

        Thanks in advance for all the efforts to help me …

        • Hello Omprakash,

          1. Yes, roads inside ladakh are kept open all round the year except few days of heavy snowfall. If it happens when you are there, then you might get them closed.
          2. No camps will be present at that time of the year near both Pangong Tso OR Tso Moriri.
          3. If you are good at niking then only go for it because due to presence of snow, conditions will be very slippery. Try local leh biking trip only or monastery tour on bike.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  43. Ardiayudha says:

    Hi Deeraj,

    Greeting from Singapore.

    First, I’d like to congratulate for this amazing website. I found every information in this website is very useful. It surely help the foreigner traveller like me to get much information about Leh – Ladakh.

    I’d also like to seek your advice on my travel plan to Pangong Tso lake. So, I’m planning to visit India between 22-31 Mar 2013. And one of my itinerary is to visit Pangong Tso lake. I plan to take plane straight to Leh from Delhi. Please advise on following:
    - I read from you suggestion that March actually is not the best time to visit Pangong Tso, can you advise how the road condition to the lake at this time? and how is the wheather / condition at the lake itself at this time?
    - Since I only plan to visit Pangong Tso only (I have no plan to visit other places around Ladakh), can I make a return 1-day trip Leh – Pangong Tso? Depart early in the morning, spend 2-3 hrs in the lake, go back directly to Leh in the evening
    - How many days do I need to spend in Leh before I depart to Pangong Tso?

    Would be happy to get any other advices from you.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thank you,

    Regards,
    Ardiayudha

    • Hello Ardiayudha,

      Greetings from India!! :)

      Thank You so much for your warm words of appreciation.

      1. Well, the road conditions would be fine upto Pangong Tso apart from heavy snow presence on Chang La pass on the way, but the road is kept open all round the year. It might get closed for a day or two in case there is some heavy snowfall. Climate would be extremely cold and there will be no accommodation options present at the lake. You will have to stay about 34 KMs away from lake at a place called Tangste where you can have guest houses for you. Pangong Tso lake will be frozen at that time of the year.

      2. Well, it can be done but would depend upon the road conditions of snow at Chang La pass. A lot of people do that of course. But, do not take it for granted and be prepared for possible delay in case weather turns up bad.

      3. I will suggest you at least spend 2/3 days in Leh and if possible also make a two day trip to Nubra Valley before you plan to go to Pangong Tso lake.

      Let me know in case you need more info. or have any other queries.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Ardiayudha says:

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for your prompt reply.
        I also like to ask you further about hiring a car + driver to drive me to Pangong Tso.
        1. Which one is better if go there in March, use taxi or rent a car plus the driver?
        2. Do you have any contact for any car rental in Leh which also provides the driver?
        3. Can you share approximately how much it costs for each option?
        Appreciate your feedback.
        Thanks a lot beforehand.

        Regards,
        Ardiayudha

        • Hello Ardiayudha,

          1. Though I am not sure about the query but I think it is better to go with a rented car/taxi with the driver.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  44. Nikunj Shah says:

    Hi

    We are planning to travel to Leh in mid of May 2013 via Srinagar – Leh route. I would be accompanied by my wife and 5 year old son. Request your response to the following queries:
    1. Will the Srinagar – Leh route be open for travel from 10th May onwards.
    2. Do you think it would be challenging for us (specially my kid) to acclimatize in Leh. We would be staying for a night each in Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Kargil and Uley before reaching Leh.
    3. We intend to stay overnight at Pangong Lake but our tour organizer is insisting that it would be risky due to harsh climate and AMS. Please suggest.
    4. Please suggest if you are aware of any medicines/disposable oxygen cylinders which we may carry to counter AMS while in Leh.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Hello Nikunj

      Please find below the replies in the respective order:

      1. Most likely yes, but you can never be sure. Also, keep in mind that roads would have just opened so they will not be that stabilized.

      2. Acclimatization do not depend upon the age, can hit anyone of any age. You will have to be vigilant enough to see if your son is feeling any kind of trouble or not. Of course, going via Srinagar will certainly help with these many nights at places first. Please keep the body hydrated always and avoid exertion for the first few days.

      3. Yes, try and avoid that in the month of May. He is rightly advising you.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  45. [...] 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 colours of the lake. First look and you are blown by the beauty of it. 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. A dip into its cold water will surely make you remember that moment for the whole life… [...]

  46. [...] our journey over Tso Moriri, Hanle, Pangong Tso, Shyok Village, Sumur over next few days we reached Panamik on Day 6. We already had adventure of [...]

  47. [...] 7 and 8: Leh – Pangong Tso – [...]

  48. Pradeep says:

    Dear Dheeraj
    I am planning a trip from Delhi to LEH for 8 days starting 3rd October. Can you please advise the trip plan. Also if some other couple is visiting Leh around that time we would like to share the taxi with them. Please advise
    Regards
    Pradeep

  49. [...] morning with lots of excitement inside, imagining the adventures of the route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok Village which we planned to cover today. Got myself ready, asked other to woke up and by [...]

  50. Alejandro Jaime says:

    Hi,

    This page is amazing and I would like to have some tips, we are now in Dharamsala and we plan to go to Leh the next week, we wanna spend one week but first, our budge now is low and we are hoping to find some cheap places to stay and we also wanna try some lakes like Pangong Tso but we cant afford a taxi, is there any bus going there? or something not that expensive, and what could be our possible plan, if there is one, I reall wanna see high peaks and beautiful sceneries, any good advice on that??

    thanks a lot

    • Hello Jaime,

      Thanks alot. Yes, 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 :) ..

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  51. Sunil says:

    Dear Mr Dheeraj,

    First of all let me thank & congratulate you for the wonderful work that you have done in putting across so much of useful information.

    Now my questions :)..
    I will be travelling with my wife to Leh n around from Delhi around 11th of Aug. and will have around 7-9 days AFTER I reach Manali.
    1. Shall we go by car (I have Ford Figo) or hire a bike from Manali/ Leh from where ever it is better.
    2. Places we shall visit (natural beauty/ landscapes is the only req.) like Tso moriri lake, Pang gong lake, Zanskar valley, Nubra Valley etc.
    Someone told me that going to Leh is not at all neccessary if you are interested in landscapes only and u can escape it to save some time.
    So could you kindly guide me with an tentative itinerary which covers these places (or some other better places) in a sort of circle trip like Manali – Tso Moriri – Pangong – Zanskar etc.

    3. Clothes we need to carry (light sweat shirts and wind cheaters will be enough or heavy woolens are required)

    And also any idea what is the current road conditions and weather around these areas.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sunil

    • Hello Sunil,

      Thanks alot, feels glad that you liked the info. present on the blog.

      1. If you have some experience of driving in the rough conditions and for long hours, then only hire a bike in Manali else car would anyways be more comfortable. Even driving a car won’t be that easy and you will face alot o challenges, especially as monsoons are up. Read more below.

      2. You have to go to Leh to get the permits first and yes, you can enjoy all these places without coming back to Leh BUT Shyok route is closed, Wari La route is in mess where vehicles are getting stuck each day (one of the guys had to sleep in car overnight and then got help next morning) and no permits are been issued for Chusul route. So, it will be much wiser to stick to traditional routes and follow the simple itinerary of 2 day trip to each of these places from Leh.

      3. Yes, light woolens will be required may be with one heavy jacket.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sunil says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for reverting back. Seeing the weather conditions around Manali I have given up the idea of driving through Manali, instead I have come up with a new plan as below:

        Day 1: Arrive in Leh by flight at 6.30 AM and hire a bike from there to go to Pangong.
        Day 2: Stay at Pangong.
        Day 3: Leave for Tso Moriri and stay there overnight.
        Day 4: Stay at Tso Moriri.
        Day 5: Tso Moriri-Zanskar
        Day 6: Back to Leh, deposit bike.
        Day 7: Leh- kargil by bus or tempo traveller(stay at Kargil overnight)
        Day 8: Kargil-Sonmarg (stay at Sonmarg overnight)
        Day 9: Reach Srinagar and catch flight for Delhi at around 3 pm

        I want to do this like Delhi – Leh – Srinagar – Delhi only and not the other way round

        Kindly advice.

        Best Regards,
        Sunil

        • Hello Sunil,

          It is a killer plan. Please do not execute it if you love your family. You will not be able to put 4-5 kicks in the bike forget about riding after that. I mean of course, you will be able to put it but what follows within next 2-3 hours would be very ugly. As I see, you have about 6 days in Ladakh and then you continue by road to Srinagar. Hence, I will suggest you take the following plan:

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

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

          Day 6 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR You can do tour to Sham Valley
          – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries.
          – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          – Overnight at Leh

          Day 7 – Continue as you planned for Kargil and then on Day 8 to Srinagar.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sunil says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for taking the pain to give such an elaborate plan.

        But I have some doubts, didn’t exactly get you when you said it’s a killer plan..I mean will it be too tough to do it on bike or is it because of the AMS that you are giving this caution (I actually got a chance to talk to a friend, she as a pillion did Manali – Leh – Srinagar on bike just a couple of months back and was pretty much ok, so I don’t think riding a bike shall be that big a challenge) and for overcoming AMS I have now taken first day stay at Leh itself.

        Also as per this suggested plan I will not be able to cover Tso Moriri which if possible I will prefer over Nubra Valley + I want to do Leh and around in 5-6 days so that I get 3-4 days in Kashmir also :)

        And is it not advisable to stay at Pangong/Tso Moriri overnight as I wanted to enjoy the sunrise and sunset there.

        Kindly suggest on this new plan, I have ommitted Zanskar from itinerary to make it a little less hectic and adjusted that day for staying at Leh :

        Day 1: Arrive in Leh by flight at 6.30 AM: Get inline passes, magnetic hill+other local sight seeing, stay overnight and get acclimatize, bike hire details for next day.

        Day 2: Go to Pangong on bike ,Stay at Pangong overnight.

        Day 3: From Pangong leave for Tso Moriri and stay there overnight.

        Day 4: Stay at Tso Moriri. (it is a buffer day on which we can spend an extra day either at Pangong, Tso Moriri or some other place you suggest)

        Day 5: Tso Moriri to Leh, deposit bike and catch bus in the evening for Sonmarg.

        Day 6: Early morning reach Sonmarg, day sightseeing, overnight stay at Sonmarg.

        Day 7: Leave for Srinagar, local sight seeing.

        Day 8: Go to Gulmarg and either stay there overnight or come back to Srinagar in evening

        Day 9: Srinagar local sight seeing and then catch flight at 4.40 pm

        Leh- kargil by bus or tempo traveller(stay at Kargil overnight)

        Also do you have any idea how much time it takes for the body to tell/react to the high altitudes, means is there some thumb rule that if the body has bot reacted within certain time then we can assume that our body is somewhat comfortable at heights

        Kindly advice.

        Best Regards,
        Sunil

        • Hi Sunil,

          Again, I will stick to it – this is a killer plan buddy, please do not attempt it. Generally, for people flyin in to Leh it is recommended to have 2 nights stay in Leh itself with least physical activity and first day of complete rest and nothing else. If body reacts good for first two days then only head somewhere else on third day. Preferably Nubra Valley, stay one night and come back next day to stay night at Leh. If at all, then only I advice someone to go and sleep at a staggering height of 4500 Mtrs and still I have seen people having trouble sleeping. DO NOT under estimate AMS, it may hit anyone with any age and with any type of severity.

          Just read this article: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

      • Sunil says:

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for the extremely worthy advice, will definitely take care for the AMS thing and spend 2 days at Leh only and based on that experience only would proceed ahead.

        Again thanks a ton mate for all the help, will come n share my exp as well :)

        Cheers!!
        Sunil

  52. [...] Before going into the story, as mentioned in the Travel Guide blog post, a little background of Pangong Tso: [...]

  53. alok says:

    hi Dheeraj

    First of all, this site has been one of the best pieces of detailed advise on the net to anyone enroute to Leh-Ladakh, thanks. I am about to explore the same somewhere in August (Delhi- Leh/Ladakh – Delhi), hence a few questions I need your expert advise upon:

    1. Is mid-August good time to start from Delhi? (I can postpone it to Sep as well if u suggest)
    2. I am travelling with my wife, and have no vehicle. Our only option is bus/cab. I understand cab will be expensive, but will I loose the major sightseeing points if i take the bus?
    3. Pangong lake is a must visit in my travel; is bus an option there?
    3. Lastly, what’s a good 12 day itenary for this visit? (is it possible?!!)

    I will anxiously wait for your reply… please revert soon.

    • Hello Alok,

      Please find my answers below:

      1. If you can postpone to September once the monsoons are gone, then it will be much better.

      2 + 3. Opt for HPTDC Manali Bus service over Manali Leh Highway and some shared taxi over Srinagar Leh Highway. Within Ladakh, since you are just two in number 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 :)

      4. For a 12 day itinerary:

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

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

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

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

      Day 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

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

      Day 9 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR you can do tour to Sham Valley
      – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      – Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      – Overnight at Leh

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

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

      Day 12 | Manali – Delhi
      Day 13 + 14 | Buffer days to be kept incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  54. Aditya says:

    Dheeraj,
    Any updates on the shyok village route. Is it open now?
    I am planning to travel on 24th and was wondering if I could save a day by using the Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso route.
    Please advise.

    • Hi Aditya,

      As per two weeks back reports, it was open but again dangerous as landslides are still active in this region. Shyok river water level has also increased and now can be found on the road at few more places than in April when I was there.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  55. Laukik87 says:

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We intend to reach Leh from Manali by Cab.Can we get bikes in Leh to hire for local sight seeing and to visit places like Diskit ,Pangong Tso Lake,Tso Moriri lake?

    • Hi Laukik,

      Yes, you can get bikes easily on Fort Road Leh. There are plenty of shops which provide bikes on rent.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  56. [...] this time I would be exploring the remote Changthang region of Ladakh including the ever beautiful Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri lakes. There are lots of to-dos in terms of collecting various kind of information [...]

  57. Sharmeen Khan says:

    Hi Dheeraj, Just got to know from someone we know in Leh that the road to Nubra from Leh and back is closed on certain days by Border Roads Organisation for maintenance. Do you any information on that and how to confirm on what days the road is closed.

    • Hello Sharmeen,

      I guess yes there is sometimes, majorly followed in Winters. I guess I took a picture of the information board and will share it with over email.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  58. [...] off the shores. Then May, June, July and August is the peak tourist season but as compared to Pangong Tso it gets less number of [...]

  59. Sharmeen Khan says:

    Hi, I intend to travel to Kashmir in June with my husband and son. We are flying to Srinagar from Delhi on 12th June and plan to cover Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar first and then drive to Leh on 18th June with a night halt at Kargil. I have a few queries and will be thankful if you can answer them. 1)Should we visit Sonmarg on our way to Kargil or should we make it a separate day trip from Srinagar? We would like to see the glaciers so if we are stopping on our way to Kargil will we have enough time? 2)Is it difficult to find vegetarian food in Laddakh or will we be able to get Delhi type food, I mean food that will suit our taste? 3)While our Srinagar sector plan is chalked out, we are still confused about the Leh sector. We are arriving in Leh on 19th June and flying back to Delhi on 25th June. So we have 5 days in hand but we will like to take it easy and not make it a hectic trip because I suffer from both high blood pressure and diabetes. 4)Do we pass through the magnetic hill and KhardungLa on our way to Leh or will we have to visit these places separately? 5)Should we stay overnight at Nubra valley or return to Leh in the evening? 6) Same about Pangong Lake, should we stay overnight or not? 7)And finally, how to engage a taxi in Leh to visit all these places? Is it better to take a taxi from the hotel we will be staying in or is it better to take one from the taxi stand? Thank you in advance.

    • Hello Sharmeen,

      Please find below my answers to your queries in respective order –

      1. You can leave early from Srinagar and check the Sonamarg on the way to Kargil. I feel that shall be enough, or perhaps after visiting Pahalgam instead of staying at Srinagar you can reach Sonamarg for night stay and then by 11 AM next day, when the traffic gets green signal from Srinagar side towards Zozila, leave for Kargil. Glaciers, not sure apart from Zozila, but you will be able to explore whatever comes on the way to Kargil.

      2. In Ladakh at most places you will be able to get suitable veg. food apart from remote regions where only deluxe camping site offers variety of food. Thupka, Maggie, Rice and Dal you will be able to find every where in Ladakh.

      3. For five days, you can take it easy and follow a plan like below:

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

      Day 2 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

      Day 3 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      – Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      – Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      – Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

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

      4. You can visit Magnetic hills on the way to Leh from Kargil. You will be able to visit Khardung La on the second day of your stay in Leh when going towards Nubra Valley.

      5 and 6. I guess, yes, you should stay at Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso overnight as mentioned above. Will be relaxing a bit. If you are not feeling OK at Pangong Tso then come back to either Leh or stay back at Tangste.

      7. You will be able to get taxi at Leh taxi stand. Reach in Leh and on the first day arrange the taxi at Leh taxi stand. Talking directly to drivers there will save you about 10-15% of the overall price.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know incase you need more details

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • alok says:

        thanks a ton, Dheeraj.. you have helped much to make a long awaited dream travel come true :)

        just a related ques on the travel itinerary for 12 days: can i chop something enroute to make 12th day a buffer for me? i have to join office on day 13 and don’t want to take any chances with such back-to-back travel, just in case.

        lastly, i am presuming that shared cabs are a safe option when you’re traveling with your wife.. just to be sure i am asking..

        thanks a lot.

        • Hello Alok,

          Yes, shared taxis would be safe as you would most likely be traveling with other fellow travelers only. You will also find people asking for couples on those dashboard to share taxi costs with other couples. So, may be you can tag along with them or may be a with a mixed group. Ladakh is one of the safest places in this whole world especially the Ladakhis are wonderful people…

          And you can always Chop off Day 9 or make a Day trip to Pangong Tso and keep the spared day as buffer day.

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

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

 
 

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