Leh – Ladakh Sample Itinerary for 15 Days

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Today I will suggest a Leh – Ladakh itinerary in response to the comment posted by one of the readers of the blog, Karthick. He has about 15 days to explore the Leh – Ladakh region excluding the travel from Bangalore to Delhi and vice-versa. Karthick says:

Hi Deeraj,
We are 4 people from Bangalore planning to do biking to Leh starting from Delhi.Bring own bikes to Delhi thro train.We have planned for 15 days excluding the days spent in Delhi.We wanted to cover the route Delhi – Manali – Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh – Kargil – Srinagar – Jammu – Amritsar -Delhi.Can you please suggest us the important spots to visit on the listed place? How much time can be spent on each place to cover the above ? Would be great if you can customize the itinerary to suite us.

Regards
Karthick

Source:Comments on Manali – Leh Highway Status

Firstly, I advice that its always better you guys transport your bikes directly to Jammu or Srinagar. You can either transport bikes to Jammu and travel to Jammu by train to pickup bikes and then move on towards Srinagar or you guys can transport bikes to Srinagar and then fly to Srinagar directly which will save a day more. Above all, going from Srinagar side will help you gradually increase the altitude and help you better enjoy the Manali – Leh Highway journey and other high altitudes on the tour. Going from Srinagar side helps eradicate the chances of acute mountains sickness which is most likely to occur if you go via Manali – Leh Highway. In addition to this fact you can also adjust Tso Moriri – Tso Kar lakes in the itinerary without going back to Leh, if you are OK with carrying extra fuels with you.

Doing Leh – Ladakh circuit always require that you spare one or two days as buffer days and utilize them for sightseeing if they are not consumed by the time you plan to utilize them or considering the coming days weather conditions.

Leh – Ladakh Itinerary for 15 Days

Assuming that you will transport the bikes to Jammu directly and start your journey from Jammu, I suggest the following itinerary for 15 days.

Day 1 | Jammu – Srinagar
  • Reach Jammu and start the ride to Srinagar.
  • You can save this day and keep it as buffer day if you ship bikes directly to Srinagar and fly out to Srinagar as there is nothing much good about the Jammu – Srinagar ride
  • Overnight stay at Srinagar
Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Drass – Kargil
  • Start from Srinagar early if you want to spend a couple of hours around Sonamarg
  • Srinagar – Sonamarg (80 KMs), Sonamarg – Zoji La – Drass (65 KMS), Drass – Kargil (55 KMS)
  • Overnight stay at Kargil
Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
  • Start early from Srinagar to visit the places on the route from Kargil to Leh
  • Depending upon the time you can visit maitreya at Mulbekh, Lamayuru monastery, Redzong monastery
  • Overnight in Leh
Day 4 | Leh Local Sight Seeing + Arrange Inner Line Permits
  • Cover places around Leh town which includes Leh Palace, Leh Main Market, Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame, Sankar Gompa, Namgyla Tsemo Gompa, Spituk etc depending upon the time on hand.
  • You need to arrange the Inner Line Permits for Nubra Valley, Turtuk, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, Dha, Hanu. Write all these places on the inner line permits form.
  • For more details regarding how download the inner line permits form, how to process the application faster, documents required and other details please check the link: Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh 
  • You can also ask your hotel owner to get the permits for you if you want to save about an hour or so. He will charge about 150-200 per person to get the permits for you. Rest details you can find on the link in previous point.
Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder / Diskit
  • Enjoy a cup of soup at Khardung La top and do not forget to take pictures along the sign board of highest motorable road 🙂
  • Visit Diskit old and new monastery including the tallest Buddha statue in the noon. 
  • In the evening you can go for double humped camel ride at Hunder which is just 7 KMs ahead.
  • Overnight at Diskit or Hunder.
Day 6 | Buffer Day OR Hunder / Diskit – Turtuk – Hunder / Diskit
  • Either keep this day as buffer day or make a day trip to Turtuk.
  • Visit Hunder Monastery as well on this day if you like.
  • Overnight at Diskit or Hunder.
Day 7 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
  • Sumur has a nice monastery named Samstemling Gompa I guess.
  • Panamik has hot water springs.
  • Overnight stay at Leh.
Day 8 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso
  • You can visit Hemis Monastery while going towards Pangong Tso from Leh.
  • Overnight stay at Pangong Tso.
Day 9 | Pangong Tso – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
  • You can visit Thicksey Monastery and Shey Palace while coming towards Leh from Pangong Tso.
  • Overnight stay at Leh
Day 10 | Leh – Sham Valley Sightseeing – Alchi / Uleytokpo / Leh OR Relax in Leh town
  • Visit Sham Valley on this day or relax in the Leh itself if you feel tired.
  • Start early in the day to cover as much as possible in Sham Valley.
  • Sham Valley includes, Alchi and Likir monasteries, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Gurdwara Pather Sahib, Indus and Zanskar Confluence at Nimmu.
  • Depending upon the time spent in the day you can either opt for overnight stay at either Alchi, Uleytokpo in tents or come back to Leh in night.
Day 11 | Buffer Day OR   Alchi / Uleytokpo – Dha and Hanu Villages – Alchi / Uleytokpo / Leh
  • You can keep this day as buffer day or you can visit the remote and beautiful Dha and Hanu Villages.
  • If you plan to cover Dha and Hanu villages make you sure you applied their permits i.e. wrote their names while applying the inner line permits.
  • Depending upon the time spent in the day you can either opt for overnight stay at either Alchi, Uleytokpo in tents or come back to Leh in night.
  • If you plan to cover Dhan and Hanu villages then make sure you stay either at Alchi or Uleytokpo which are near by them else you may wish to return to Leh.
Day 12 | Alchi / Uleytokpo / Leh – Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri
  • Visit Tso Moriri and from there you can start the journey back to Manali and further towards Delhi.
  • Overnight stay at Tso Moriri
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you tank up full at Leh and then at Upshi again. You will need to carry spare fuel to cover more than 550+ KMs as there will be no petrol pump for this much distance. Hence, tank up at both Leh as well as Upshi and carry spare fuel with you keeping in mind the mileage of your bike so that it can cover 600 KMs with tank full plus the spare amount you are carrying with you. Next petrol pump will come at Tandi on Manali – Leh Highway.
  • If you do not want to carry spare fuel then use Day 11 by deleting the Dha and Hanu Villages from the plan. Utilize Day 11 to make Leh – Tso Moriri and on this day return to Leh from Tso Moriri. On Day 13 you can then do Leh – Moore Plains – Sarchu.
Day 13 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
  • Cover Tso Kar lake on your return journey.
  • If you are carrying spare fuel with you then start from Tso Moriri else you will be starting from Leh on this day.
  • Overnight stay in tented accommodations available at Sarchu. Bargain hard with different tented colonies.
Day 14 | Sarchu  – Baralacha La – Darcha – Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
  • You will be covering Baralacha La Pass, Suraj Tal just as you descend from Baralacha La, Deepak Tal as you reach Patseo.
  • Reach Manali by evening for the overnight stay.
Day 15 | Manali – Chandigarh / Ambala / Delhi
  • Start journey from Manali to halt either at Chandigarh / Ambala / Delhi. I guess at either of the place you can transport your bikes back to Bangalore.
Conclusion

I hope the above itinerary is useful for Karthick as well as others who are planning to undertake the similar journey. Feel free to discuss this itinerary for further customizations you like as I would be looking for your comments 🙂

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115 Comments

  1. Saai Kumar on

    Hi

    Planning to go on a bike trip next month please let me know if I need to do any changes.

    Day 1: Delhi to Jalandhar
    Day 2: Jalandhar to Patnitop
    Day 3: Patnitop to Srinagar
    Day 4: Srinagar – Sonmarg- Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
    Day 5: Kargil – Leh
    Day 6: Rest and ILP
    Day 7: Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
    Day 8: Hunder – Sumur- Panamik – Sumur- Khardung La – Leh
    Day 9: Rest Day
    Day 10: Leh – Hemis – Pangong Tso
    Day 11: Spangmil – Hanle
    Day 12: Hanle – Nyoma – Chumathang
    Day 13: Chumathang – Tso Moriri – Chumathang
    Day 14: Chumathang – Tso Kar – Sarchu
    Day 15: Sarchu – Baraclacha La – Keylong
    Day 16: Keylong – Bilaspur
    Day 17: Bilaspur – Delhi

    • You can stay at Tso Moriri instead of staying at Chumathang. FRom Chumathang, go over to Tso Kar for a stay. Chumathang does not offer anything and is only used for stay in winter months. Rest looks fine. IN fact the Day 9 rest day can be used in Nubra Valley for a day trip to Turtuk, a beautiful village.

  2. Charandeep singh on

    Hello dheeraj,
    Last year I did spiti circuit in June. This year I wanna do spiti and ladakh circuit. I have 15 days. What would be the best itinerary. We are starting from hanumangarh (Rajasthan) which is 300 km from Chandigarh.

  3. Hey Dheeraj,

    Just booked tickets for 12 days Ladakh trip in August.
    Apparently after reading the above blogs it seams we planned our itinerary in the reverse order. Would look forward to your suggestions.

    We are group of 4 and starting our journey on August 10th from Mumbai
    Reaching Chandigarh on 10th around 12 noon and then plan to drive to Manali and reach by 10: 00 PM at night.

    Would stay in Manali on 11th and leave for Leh on 12th. Would halt in Sarchu on 12th and start for Leh on 13th morning and intend to reach by late afternoon or evening. 14th we plan to rest for the entire day in Leh to get accustomed to the weather. 15th, 16th and 17th have kept for visiting all tourist destinations in and around Leh and Ladakh.

    18th we plan to start from Leh and reach Kargil. Stay the night over there and reach Srinagar on 19th, spend 20th in Srinagar and fly back to Mumbai on 21st afternoon.

    Need your advise on the planned itinerary and also suggest what all places would be “MUST VISIT” in Leh and Ladakh.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Regards,
    Nilanjana

    • Better halt in Jispa instead of Sarchu as your body will not be acclimatized much to sleep at that altitude. Next day leave early from Jispa to reach Leh by late evening. On 15, 16, 17 you can do a two day trip to Nubra Valley and one day trip to Pangong Tso. Rest looks OK,

  4. Your Comment
    hi dheeraj..we r planing to go to ladakh next year…in my plan I want to visit rejang la how can we reach there…? and also would like to visit siachin base camp after hunder and nubra vally..do we require special permit to go there…have u bin there. ..?? thanks in advance

  5. Hi

    u r suggestions are really very helpful … as i have been to a few major places in leh last year like pangong lake , khardung la ,hemis and thicksey monastery … this time i wanna go to tso moriri and tso kar lake while going to leh from manali side ..is it possible ??? and if not to save my time i will like to go to pangong and tso moriri from diskit side ..will i require special permission to reach pangong lake from diskit side .. need ur help with the itinerary for this to resolve my query .i will be laving for manali on 117th june on Bullet .

    it will be a great help for me.

    thanks
    sunny

    • Sunny, it is always suggested that you from from Leh to Tso Moriri side and do not go to Tso Moriri from Manali side. This is because you are not acclimatized to stay overnight when you are coming from Manali side.

      • Shailendra Chaturvedi on

        Hi Dheeraj Sir,

        I am a amateur Biker, have been following your blog from a long time hoping to go to leh one day and the day has come. I have decided to go to start from Delhi on 27th and will be back by 10th of july. As my friends have already ditched, i will be travelling solo. I tried getting companions but …..no use. I have travelled to Manali solo on my bike which is pulsar 220.
        Need your advices regarding the preparation while travelling solo. i will follow the itinerary you have provided via manali route.

        Thanks for your wonderful blog…helping biker since 2011

      • HI,
        we are (7-8) friends from different places like bangalore, delhi, kolkata are planning to go to ladakh trip together.
        can you suggest a good plan for it considering 8-10 days trip.
        you can suggest us best route, and whether we should hire bike or car and from where?
        i have a small car in bangalore (nissan Micra) can it be useful. we don’t have much bike experience. day wise plan with name of hotels/hostels to stay?

        • Hey Sumit, 7-8 firends in one car? Also, which month are you planning the trip and It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

          Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

  6. Mohamad Izwas on

    Any idea where the nearest port if I want to post my motors. I from Malaysia, plan to bring our motor and ride to Leh-Ladakh.

  7. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning a trip with the following schedule. Please suggest if it is feasible. If you can also chalk out an alternative plan with the dates mentioned, it will be really helpful. We are transporting bikes from Hyderabad to Delhi.

    10th August – Delhi – Amritsar.
    Stay the Night at Amritsar
    11th August – Visit Golden Temple and leave Amritsar – Reach Srinagar.
    Stay the Night at Srinagar.
    Stay 12th August in Srinagar – Rest day.
    13th Aug- Srinagar to Kargil.
    Stay the Night at Kargil.
    14th August – Sightseeing in Kargil and Leave kargil- Reach Leh.
    Stay the night at Leh.
    15th August – Visit Khardung la for flag hoisting. Can visit Nubra valley or take day off. Please Suggest !!
    16th August – Visit Pangong Lake and be back to Leh .
    17th August – Leave Leh – reach Sarchu.
    Stay night at Sarchu
    18th August – Leave Sarchu – Reach Manali.
    Stay Night at Manali
    19th August- Stay in Manali. Sightseeing and also visiting Kulu.
    20th August – Leave Manali – Reach Chandigarh.
    Stay Night at Chandigarh
    21st August – Leave Chandigarh by 8 am – Reach Delhi.

    • Though the plan is OK but lacks couple of things. You MUST add one day for rest and acclimatization in Leh before heading to Khardung La top. Also, better you add few days to at least see places in Ladakh rather just doing the highways or perhaps reach Leh and coming back.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for the reply. We have modified the plan based on your inputs. Just want some more information.

        1) Do we need to make advance booking in Hotels and we can get rooms easily as and when we reach?
        2) Is it feasible to visit Tso Moriri and head towards Manali from there? Or should we return to Leh and then exit?

        Thanks in advance…

        • Hi Fazil,

          1. Really do not required if you are OK with searching a bit here and there and are not too particular about a specific hotel
          2. The route exist, if you have number of days to do it. First day it will be Leh to Tso Moriri, second Tso Moriri – Sarchu and then Sarchu to Manali.

  8. Mukesh Solanki on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning a 10 days trip in mid AUG 14′ from HYDERABAD-LEH-HYDERBAD. Your suggestions or plan would really help in site seeing important places with this limited time.

    -Mukesh Solanki

    • Oops, planning drive from Hyderbad to Leh in 10 days and back?? Well, even from Delhi it is considered to be very hectic and rushing trip. You should add some days into your plan.

        • Mukesh Solanki on

          Thanks for all inputs..it was all re-planed and we took car on rent from Delhi. Due to time constrains (mechanical issue we faced) we had to skip Tso Kar and Tso Moriri.

          Hyd-Del-Sringr-Kargil-Leh-Khardung la-Diskit-hunder-wari la-Sarkti-Karu-Leh(to get tyres done)-Karu-Durbuk-Lukung-Spangmik(Pangong Lake)-back to Karu-Upsi-Rumstey 14000FTASL(Night stay as had no choice)-Sarchu-Keylong-Manali-Delhi-Hyd

          Car: Ford Endeavor
          Navigator: NavFree india (offline map) worked flawlessly even in all passes

  9. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh this september and would require your guidance in planning this.
    – Group of 4
    – Trip starts on sep 26 From Delhi
    – Outbound flight from Delhi on 11th Oct.
    Kindly Advice.
    -Jes

    • Jes, what is your mode of transport and traveling on Manali – Leh Highway that late in the season is not much advisable. Are you open to travel by air from Leh or from Srinagar? May be you can take Manali – Leh Highway while going from Leh as it is late season.

  10. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh this July and would require your guidance in planning this.

    – Group of 7
    – Trip starts on July 14th From Manali(we are reaching Manali on 13th Afternoon).
    – Places to be visited : Manali – Leh, Nubra, Diskit, Panong Tso, Kargil, optionally Tso Mrori.
    – Outbound flight from Leh on 24th July.

    Kindly Advice.

    -Vinay Goddemme

    • Vinay, you can follow the below itinerary:

      Day 1 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
      — It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
      — Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
      — I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
      — Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

      Day 2 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      — Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 3 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

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

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

      Day 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
       
      Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 9 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

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

  11. Avinash Kumar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    In total we are 4 persons, and we are planning a trip to Ladakh in 3rd week of June.

    For that, we need some clarifications:
    1. If we plan to rent a bike from Manali, and do a bike ride all through Ladakh, including the local visits in Ladakh (covering all the major spots, viz. Zanskar valley, Pangong Tso, Nubra valley, etc.), then is it allowed to take bikes from India into Ladakh??
    2. Or the second option, if we take a cab service from Manali to Ladakh, and for covering all the major spots in Ladakh by renting bikes in Ladakh itself, then will it be economical than the 1st option??
    3. We talked to one of the travels from Manali today, and they said that rented bikes from India have got permission to visit in Ladakh. What is the actual scenario can you please specify. Whether rented bikes are allowed for local trips in Ladakh or not??
    4. Can you please suggest the best of these two options, and also can you please specify some cab/bike providers that provide the services at an affordable rate??

    Please provide the informations asap.It’d be very grateful of you.

    Thanks,
    Avinash

    • Hi Avinash,

      Below are my replies:

      1 + 3. Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

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

      2. I think both will be similar since you have a group of 4. The cost of taxi will be equally divided which will bring it down. In fact, taxi might be cheaper than rented bikes.

      4. I will suggest to take taxi and then hire bikes in Ladakh. Since, this is the first time rule is getting implemented no one is sure what will happen or what will not. I personally feel larger groups will be targetted more than smaller groups or individuals.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  12. Hi Dheeraj,

    Can you please suggest an itinerary along with places where we will have to book a hotel/guest house from Leh to Leh for 10 nights? We are 7 people. We will arrive in Leh on 9th Aug and depart on 19th morning from Leh. We want to cover Kargil as well. Please suggest.

      • hi dheeraj
        so much ob your website to plan a good trip…thanks for all the info…i want to know one thing that we are 2 people travelling, me n my husband in june 2014, should we take a separate taxi from srinagar to leh n leh to manali or we should take a taxi from srinagar for the entire trip or further breakups should be good…please suggest…i spoke to a taxi guy from your list n he is asking for 65 k for the entire trip from srinagar to manli 10 day trip. please suggest . thanks

  13. Hello Dheeraj, I’m planning Ladakh trip in self driven XUV 500 AWD with six family members aged between 14 – 53 yrs (including me). With lot of input from your blog I have drafted one itinerary. Would you please advise me about route, overnight stay and timing that I have chosen? I have done unplanned drives through quite a few hill stations in past. But attempted to do a bit planning for this trip. Couple of additional questions –
    1) Is the road from Panggong Tso to Tso Moriri via Nyoma is okay to cover in a day or any other good shortcut available now?
    2) Any idea if GPS Navigation (MapMyIndia) works properly in this circuit?
    7-Jun: Gurgaon to Udhampur via Ambala – Rajpura – Jalandhar – Pathankot – Samba – Need – Ramnagar (646 km)
    8-Jun: Udhampur to Pahalgam via Patnitop – Anantnag – Mattan – Mulsoo – Bot Kote (220 km)
    9-Jun: Pahalgam to Dal Lake (Srinagar) via Anantnag – Bijbehara – Awantipora – Pantha Chowk (94 km)
    10-Jun: Dal Lake (Srinagar) to Sonamarg via Srinagar – Magam – Gulmarg – Tarabal – Kangan – Daraduder (162 km)
    11-Jun: Sonamarg to Mulbekh via Machboi – Zoji La – Drass – Kargil (160 km)
    12-Jun: Mulbekh to Leh via Namika La – Fotu La – Lamayuru – Nimmu (195 km)
    13-Jun: Leh local sight seeing
    14-Jun: Leh to Hunder/Nubra Valley via Khardung La – Diskit (126 km)
    15-Jun: Hunder/Nubra Valley to Leh via Diskit – Khardung (126 km)
    16-Jun: Leh to Spangmik (Pangong Tso) via Karu – Sakti – Chang La – Durbuk – Tanksey – Lukung (171 km)
    17-Jun: Spangmik (Pangong Tso) to Tso Moriri via Man – Merak – Kakstet – Chusul – Tsaga La – Tsaga Village – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Sumdo (235 km)
    18-Jun: Tso Moriri to Sarchu via Horlam La – Debring -Pang – Lachulung La – Naki La – Brandy Nullah (176 km)
    19-Jun: Sarchu to Solang Valley via Baralacha La – Jispa – Khangsar – Keylong – Tandi – Rohtang Pass – Solang (226 km)
    20-Jun: Solang Valley to Gurgaon via Manali – Kullu – Mandi – Bilaspur – Rupnagar – Ambala – Karnal – Panipat – Sonipat (586 km)

    • Abhijit, 1) There are many iff and buts on Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route. It is trecherous indeed and you will feel the fatigue. road is only laid from Tsaga checpost to Loma to Mahe to sumdo, rest all is dirt track only. all depends if you get the permits and after that if you are allowed to passe through chusul or not.

      2) To some extent it works but not 100%. Carry DoW Maps of Ladakh.

      Your itinerary seems fine to me, though at places distances will surely vary from what you have quoted below. Rest looks quite doable except Pangong Tso to tso Moriri as stated above

      • Thanks for your feedback! In that case, we may come back to Leh-Manali highway from Pangong Tso and head to Tso Moriri next day. Is there any place to stay at Debring or Upshi? Otherwise we have to come all the way to Leh.

        • Yes Abhijit. It can be done. You can stay at Upshi or if you have time in hand, Chumthang is about 80 odd KMs from Upshi where as well you can stay. Please keep in mind that there is only one option of stay at chumathang and upshi also has only basic guest houses. Staying at Upshi is not much effective because Leh offers much better accommodation and time taken for Leh to Upshi is just about 1.5 Hrs of smooth drive.

  14. no one seems to have written about visiting zanskar valley. can some one please give me information about the same

  15. dheeraj bhai….i am from kerala.thanks for providing the above itinerary. i will be doing a bike trip from jammu to leh and reach chandigarh via manali.my concern is that….after leh local sight seeing and getting permission to see other places, i would like to cover the major places without coming back to leh(connecting one place to another) till i reach shimla..and i also need places for night stay…is it possible??? if its possible, plz let me know the itinerary.

      • dheeraj bhai,
        i cant carry that much fuel and i will be following the same itinerary except tso morriri which i dont want to visit(tso morriri is nothing compared to pangong tso)..i think so but idont know… and heading to chandigarh from leh . thanks dheeraj bhai.

  16. Anuj Bang on

    Hi Dheeraj, I am spell bounded by the help you have provided. Thanks a lot. With the help of your blog, I have made an itinerary :
    • 8 Jun : Reach Manali in the morning by 7 am from Chandigarh and check in at a hotel at Solang Valley. Water rafting at Kullu(40 km from Manali). Overnight stay in hotel
    • 9 Jun : Solang Valley(Paragliding, zorbing, ATV, maggi, etc.). Overnight stay in Solang. Also hire bikes to get used to them.
    Despite your warning, as we don’t want to pay the one time deposit if we hire bikes from Srinagar and leave at Manali….
    • 10 Jun : Leave at 07:00 by bikes and enjoy the journey. Overnight stay at Jispa(140 km).
    • 11 Jun : Leave by 09:00 for Sarchu(115 km). Lunch at Bharatpur City. Reach Sarchu by late afternoon.
    • 12 Jun : Leave Sarchu at 07:00. Reach Leh(225 km) by evening. Overnight stay in Leh
    • 13 Jun : Get the Inner Line permits by 13:00 and then go for sight seeing.
    • 14 Jun : Leh-Khardung La-Diskit-Hunder(120 km)
    1. Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
    2. On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
    3. Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

    • 15 Jun : Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    1. Sumur has a Samstanling monastery to check out nearby
    2. Panamik has hot water springs and a sacred Yarab Tso lake
    3. Overnight at Leh

    • 16 Jun : Leh-Hemis Monastery-Pangong Tso Lake(3 idiots)(170 km)
    1. Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
    2. Overnight at Pangong Tso(tents or at Spangmik or Lukung)

    • 17 Jun : Pangong Tso Lake-Thicksey Monastery-Shey Palace-Leh
    1. Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
    2. Overnight at Leh

    • 18 Jun : We leave for Tsomoriri lake from Leh(240 km). Overnight stay in a camp.

    • 19 Jun : We leave for Manali from Tsomoriri lake. Tsomoriri to Sarchu (200 km).Overnight stay at Sarchu

    • 20 Jun : Sarchu to Manali (250km). Stay overnight at Manali.
    Next day leave for Chandigarh.
    One day is a buffer day.

    I have some questions :
    1. Is this the right time to visit Leh ? Would we be able to enjoy the scenic beauty as your photos depict or we would find snow ?
    2. Is it advisable to set up our own tents, as we are first timers ?
    3. Also we are 3 people and plan to rent 2 bikes. None of us have an experience of a bike trip. This is our first bike trip. Is it advisable or we need to switch to rented SUV ?
    4. Also would you suggest any change in this itinerary ?

    • Anuj, thank brother good to know that blog is helpful for your Ladakh trip. Here are my replies:

      1. You will find snow but yet beautiful vistas will be there brother. Just be prepared for the cold conditions over Manali – Leh Highway and lakes of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri.
      2. Better avoid, if you have done camping before, go for it.
      3. I will suggest better rent a taxi for Manali – Leh Highway journey in that case. Get a bike on rent in Leh and check to see if you can surpass the difficult terrain there and then decide to carry on with bike journey OR hire a taxi for Ladakh journey. this will help you with better judgement.
      4. Itinerary looks quite good, just ensure to carry enough fuel for 550 KMs from Leh to Tso Moriri to Sarchu to Manali

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  17. kishan pandya on

    Hello dhiraj,
    Been following ur post since long now..finally have planned for ladakh bike trip in 2nd week of june 2014..we r 5 ppl and planning for 20-22 days..want to cover whole leh-ladakh region..will start from chandigarh-shimla-manali-leh-sonmarg-srinagar-jammu. We are travelling from gujarat. Can u help us with the itinerary of the trip??
    Thank you
    Kishan

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

      Let me know if you are OK with it and we can start discussing your itinerary.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • kishan pandya on

        Thank you fr ur reply dheeraj,
        I have read it and understood the reasons ur talking about..it was very helpful..ok now as we want to travel in june 2nd week is good time to travel?? And in the itinerary we want to cover major places like chandigarh,srinagar,jammu,kargil,leh-ladakh whole region,manali,shimla. This is what we r thinking about. If u feel there r any unnecessary places which will not really fit in d journey then feel free to tell us that would be a great help…we r planning for like 20-23 days journey.
        Thank you
        Kishan

        • Hi Kishan,

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

          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

          From Manali, you can travel to Shimla and spend time there accordingly.

          Let me know in case you need more relaxed one for 20 days 🙂

          Regards
          Dheeraj

      • kishan pandya on

        Thank u again dheeraj,
        We r actually good with the itinerary u gave us..but what about the spare 7 days? How do we plan them? It will be very helpful if u guide on that or plan a 20 days itinerary fr us..And is it good time to travel in june 2nd week? And can u.post the link also of what do we need to carry if u have it??
        Thank you again
        Kishan

        • Kishan, if you are looking for 20 days full then Iwill suggest include Zanskar Valley too into it and follow the itinerary suggested below:

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

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

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

          Day 4 | Kargil – Padum (Zanskar Valley)
          — Head straight to Padum

          Day 5 | Padum Local Sightseeing
          — Enjoy Zangla, Stongde, Karsha

          Day 6 | Padum – Zongkhul Monastery – Penzi La Pass – Rangdum
          — Start back and stay at Rangdum

          Day 7 | Rangdum – Panikhar – Sankoo – Kargil
          — Checkout rock carved statue at Khartse Khar

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

          Day 9 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
          — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 10 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Turtuk
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — enjoy the culture in the Turtuk Village
          — do mention Turtuk on the permits

          Day 11 | Turtuk – Hunder
          — Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
          — Overnight at Hunder

          Day 12 | Hunder – Deskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
          — Enjoy drive upto Panamik, visit Yarab Tso Lake and back Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 13 | 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 14 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 15 | 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 16 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          — Cover Karzok Monastery
          — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 17 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
           
          Day 18 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Jispa

          Day 19 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Manali

          Day 20 | Manali – Delhi
          — Return home

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  18. Dear Mr. Dheeraj Sharma,

    Hats off to you for the valuable information that you are posting.

    Please let me know whether it is possible to add Pahalgham, Srinagar and Gulmarg in the Leh – Ladakh Sample Itinerary for 15 Days.

    We are from Chennai and it will be helpful if you could suggest an itinerary. We are a family of 4 and would like to have a cab either from delhi or jammu.

    Regards,
    Sethu

    • Hello Sethu,

      Firstly I will advice that ypu take flight to Srinagar to cutout the boring journey and travel from Delhi to Srinagar. Secondly, can you please suggest how many days you have in hand so that I can suggest an itinerary accordingly.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Hi Deeraj,

        Thanks for your immediate response.

        As I have mentioned, I will be traveling with my wife and two children (16 & 13 respectively) and we would like to enjoy the trip with snow clad mountains, green meadows, skiing, etc.

        Tentatively, we may start by mid-may (16/05/14) and will reach Jammu/Udhampur next day morning. We will then have two weeks and we need to be back to Chennai on 01/06/14 latest.

        Please advice accordingly.

        Regards,
        Sethu

        • Hello Sethu,

          In that case you can follow something like below considering you will reach Srinagar on 18th, you will have 13 days with you.

          Day 1 | Srinagar Local sightseeing
          Day 2 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
          Day 3 | Pahalgam
          — Just relax for the day and spend sometime around
          — May be a visit to Chandanwari
          Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
          — Explore ruins of Awantipura
          — Enjoy vistas en-route
          Day 5 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
          — Enjoy vistas enroute, especially between Tangmarg to Gulmarg
          — May be check out Golf course, if you feel like
          Day 6 | 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 7 | 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 8 | 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 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | 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 12 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 13 | Rest Day in Leh
          Day 14 | Fly back to Delhi and then Chennai

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Thanks for your quick response. Will keep in touch.

          Regards,
          Sethu

  19. Nagesh Shenoy on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I along with my cousins had a wonderful trip to Leh-Ladakh last month. Thanks for all the inputs you provided earlier..

    I want to revisit in the month of Jan to experience the cold and want to see Ladakh during peak winters. I intend to travel to Pangong Lake and stay for two days and also plan to do the trek.

    Please provide the list of hotels ,homestay that operate during winters and any valuable advise to me so that i can plan accordingly.

    Thanks in Advance
    Nagesh Shenoy.

    • Hello Nagesh,

      That is great to know !! There will not be any stay present at Pangong Tso at that time of the year. You will get to stay at Tangste about 34 KMs from Pangong at either Yakmik Changla Guest House OR Dothuling Guest House. In Nubra Valley, only some small home stays will be working as all hotels close down there. In Leh there are many, you can try your luck with Lasermo, Shanti Guest House, Oriental Guest House too. May be even try with Panaroma Hotel just ahead of Shanti Guest House.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  20. Mohit Arora on

    I am planning to go to Ladakh with 3 of my friends – will reach manali by train & then will hire enfields – the whole tour will be for 4-5 days max- kindly advise how we can enjoy more!

  21. Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m planning a trip with a few of my friends to Leh, via Srinagar, from Chandigarh. Below is my planned itinerary (thanks to your most common itinerary ;-)). Can you please check and share your suggestions/opinions? Could we remove something from the list to take a buffer / rest day or do you feel this would work? If so, please suggest accordingly.

    Day 1(Aug 19): Chandigarh–Wagah Border-Amritsar

    Day 2(Aug 20): Amritsar–Jammu

    Day 3(Aug 21): Jammu-Srinagar

    Day 4(Aug 22): Srinagar–Sonamarg–Zoji La–Drass/Kargil

    Day 5(Aug 23): Drass/Kargil–Lamayuru–Leh

    Day 6(Aug 24): Leh Local Sight Seeing (get Inner Line Permits)

    Day 7(Aug 25): Leh–Khardung La–Diskit

    Day 8(Aug 26): Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

    Day 9(Aug 27): Leh–Hemis Monastery–Pangong Tso

    Day 10(Aug 28): Pangong Tso–Thicksey Monastery–Shey Palace–Leh

    Day 11(Aug 29): Leh–Upshi–Chumathang–Tso Ka

    Day 12(Aug 30): Tso Kar–Sarchu

    Day 13(Aug 31): Sarchu–Darcha–Jispa–Keylong–Rohtang Pass–Manali

    Day 14(Sep 1): Manali–Chandigarh

    Thanks again for such a great site 😉

    Cheers!

    ~Arvind

    • Hello Arvind,

      This will work mostly apart from the day wen you are planning to go to Tso Kar from Leh. You have to do it like = Leh – Chumathang – Tso Moriri and then Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu then next day. Rest all is good!! 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • hi again,

        thanks for ur reply 🙂

        If you have noticed, the plan is very compact. from my plan, which is the day we can skip so as to cover the trip within the span of 14 days?

        we are planning to hire bikes from Chandigarh. do you, by any chance, have any contacts for that?

        also, v have a Canadian girl and an American girl in our group. will they have to get any special papers for the trip to this part of the country?

        Cheers !

        Arvind 😉

        • Arvind, plan is compact but doable. The only concern is you do not have any buffer day. Plus if you need any extra day then make a Day trip to Pangong Tso and use extra day as spare day!! The foreigner girls might need to apply for separate PAP permit while in Leh but again it will be a trivial process. I am not 100% sure if you would be able to use same permit form for their application. so, ask at DC office once you are in Leh.

          I hope this helps.

          Regards
          Dheeraj sharma

        • Hey Dheeraj,

          thanks a lot for your generous information and timely reply, buddy.

          i shall chk abt the PAP permits as you suggested.

          really appreciate your patience in answering all the queries of people interested in taking this trip.

          Cheers!

        • All the best Arvind for your trip!! Have a memorable one and do share the pictures on the DOW's FB page 🙂

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Got back from the exciting, exhilarating and enthralling road-trip.

          Thanks a lot for your valuable inputs.

          Do let me know if you need inputs from my experience.

          Thanks a lot, once again, dude. You are quite an inspiration.

          Cheers !
          Arvind 😉

        • Great Arvind, glad to know about that and feels good that info. present on my blog was helpful in making your trip successful. You can share any piece of information you like with all of us. Let me know in case you want to write a Travelogue.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

        • Hey Dheeraj,

          I’m in fact in the proceess of penning down my travelogue. will share it with you once I’m done.

          do let me know if u hv any ideas / suggestions to incorporate into my travelogue and where can I share them…

          Thanks, once again, mate.

          Cheers!
          ~Arvind

        • Hey Arvind,

          Nothing best than your own personal experience of the things around nature, climate, vistas, informational details on food, hotels and what you loved about the entire trip would be best thing to have in Travelogue. You can share the pictures with me over email along with a text in a docx file and I will publish with your name as guest post over the blog. If you have experience with WordPress I can create the account and share with you the credentials and you can upload the article directly on the blog. I will schedule it for the next scheduled article date.

          Thank you so much for penning down the details friend.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  22. rahul gaurav on

    hi dheeraj. i want to go ladakh in august 2012. i am travelling alone . i want to go leh via srinagar and return via manali route. i want to cover ladakh in one go. nubra, zanskar, pangang tso, tso moriri & panamik are in my list. please help me to plan an itinerary. my budget is 30k. i can spend a month if needed. thanks in advance.

    • Hi Rahul,

      What is your mode of travel? Are you riding or driving? It is important because the whole plan depends upon how you will be commuting.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hi Rahul,

          IN such a case, I might suggest first draft as below:

          Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
          — Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop
          Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
          — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
          — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
          — Overnight at Srinagar
          Day 3 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
          — Enjoy the vistas enroute
          — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
          — Overnight at Kargil
          Day 4 | Kargil – Rangdum
          Day 5 | Rangdum – Padum
          Day 6 | Padum and around
          Day 7 | Padum – Rangdum
          Day 8 | Rangdum – Kargil
          Day 9 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 10 | 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 : http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-per
          — Overnight at Leh
          Day 11 | 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 12 | Hunder – Turtuk – Hunder
          Day 13 | 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 14 | Leh – Shey Palace – Thicksey Monastery – Hemis Monastery – Tangste (Carry fuel for about 550 KMs including tankful)
          — Overnight at Tangste
          Day 15 | Tangste – Spangmik
          — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)
          Day 16 | Pangong Tso Lake – Man – Merak – Chusul – Tsaga – Loma – Hanle
          — Overnight at Hanle
          Day 17 | Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Sumdo – Tso Moriri (Korzok) OR Hanle – Kyun Tso – Salsal la – Chumur – Charchaghan La – Tso Moriri (Korzok)
          Day 18 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Tso Moriri
          Day 19 | Tso Moriri – Leh via Chumathang
          Day 20 + 21 | Rest days at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping
          Day 22 | Leh – Sham Valley (Overnight at Alchi)
          — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Zanskar, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          Day 23 | Alchi – Dha and Hanu Villages – Leh
          Day 24 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
          Day 25 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong
          Day 26 | Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Manali
          Day 27 | Manali – Delhi
          — Return
          Day 28 + 29 + 30 | Buffer days to be kept incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more at some place.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • rahul gaurav on

          Thanks a ton Dheeraj !! This itinerary looks awsome n it will cover all the important places around leh .. but i want to know about overnight stay accomodation availability in these places.. n as i am a solo traveller.. would i get shared taxi to all these places or not? please throw some light on mode of transportation in this itinerary.. do u think 30k is enough for this itinerary ? or i should take some more money with me ? sorry for so many questions at a time ..

        • Hi Rahul,

          That’s why I wanted to know how you are commuting, and you told me that you will ride  … I though you will ride bike there… The plan I have suggested can only be possible with a self drive and with local transport it will take about two months to complete  … So, better do it at ease and remove much days from the plan.

          You can get transport for Zanskar at Kargil. Since, you have time on hands, so you will be able to manage at ease. I have given the sketech how it can be done and once you reach at these places you can avail the transport on need basis.

          Once, you reach Leh you will have more options for tourist places beuase lots of people are ready to share taxis to save costs. Of course, they will be doing basic tourist circuits only. You wil not be able to do direct route from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri via Hanle unless you get some shared tourists doing exact route or you find yourself travel partners online.

          Also, I guess since your plan is too long better we talk over phone (emailed you that) if you can.. as I am a bit lazy writing long text 😉

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • rahul gaurav on

          You have mentioned two routes from Hanle to Tso Moriri.Which one will be better in your opinion? Can you give some deatails on Padum and Rangdum ? Thanks for ur time mate !!

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    wonderful guide, really inspiring to take the plunge. I am planning to do a full trip of from 30Jun to 15 July, Srinagar-Leh-Manali with 3 of my friends. I have few questions.

    1. We are reaching around3:30 in Srinagar. Do you suggest us to stay at srinagar or sonmarg overnight so that we can start early next day. It might also help on budget front. In that case booking cab in sonmarg is how much viable after reaching there.

    2. Can we expect the cab driver to show us alchi on the way to leh on 2nd day after night stay at kargil.

    • Hi Chayan,

      If you are going for 15 days then I will suggest you check out the Most Common Itinerary many of the traveler follow for Leh – Ladakh at the link here. It is quite balanced and relaxed plus you can add any relaxing days in between as you like. The itinerary takes care of the acclimatization part as well. Hence, you can go with it any day. As for your queries:

      1. Stay at Srinagar only, it will be much cheaper option to find hotel there. You can start early from Srinagar next day. You will get cab in Srinagar much easily than in Sonamarg.
      2. I doubt that, he will not be able to divert much from the Highway. So, you need to either catch some Ladakhi number taxi from Srinagar or Kargil, if you wanna do it like that.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma
      PS -> I am traveling to Ladakh on today for 10 days, so might not be able to reply instantly.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks a lot for your reply. Hope right now you are enjoying at ladakh to the best. Once you come back, can you please help me a little more.
        As per your opinion, what are the chances of getting a cab from of ladakhi number from srinagar or kargil. I tried to call Regzin, but was not able to reach. I think chances are very less as he is quite busy and I dont have number for any other ladakhi cab driver.

  24. hi deeraj,

    kyaa kahu, really you explore these region/area so well and helped lot of people .

    now i also need your suggestion.

    Actually planning to do biking to Leh starting from Delhi in my thuderbird bike.

    Can you please suggest /guide me as i want to start from delhi for to LEH (delhi to Leh via Manali)in the month of Aril . How much time it will take travel /can be spent on each place to cover the above. Would be great if you can customize the itinerary to suite me (or biker like me) same as you mentioned above from srinagar to leh >mnali> delhi.

    also suggest, where to stay and how much it will cost . is any alternative way to stay in Camping Tents etc….

    also suggest, what precaution need to take for a biker and take stuff with them.

    Any document need to carry or take any permission etc.

    Regards,

    Rakesh Pandey

    • Hi Rakesh,

      I will revert back to you tomorrow as I just came back from a travel to Spiti Valley. I will post reply to your queries tomorrow at earliest as right now I have limited access to NET via phone.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      p.s. -> Sorry for the delayed response as I was traveling.

    • Hi Rakesh,

      Thanks again for such warm words of appreciation. I am glad that you like the info available on my blog. First and foremost, in April it will not be possible even to make a bike trip from Srinagar – Leh Highway forget about Manali – Leh Highway. Srinagar – Leh Highway opens generally in May thrid or fourth week and Manali-Leh Highway opens up only in June first or second week. So, you will be able to do it only post May or June. You will be able to find answers to all queries/doubts about accommodation, things to carry, inner line permits/permissions etc at the following links:

      1) Travel Guide for Manali – Leh Highway
      2) Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh
      3) List of Accommodation Options on Manali – Leh Highway

      You can go through them and let me know for any queries or doubts which still remains. If required, we can discuss the sketch the entire itinerary as per your needs. For that please let me know how many days are you planning and in which month. I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have any further queries. And once again sorry for delayed response.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

      p.s. -> Again, sorry for the delayed response as I was traveling.

  25. Hi Dheeraj,

    We did the trip successfully.It was an amazing experience. We also covered Turtuk and used Wari la to reach Pongong Tso which was tough and scary ride. Then came the mother of all challenges Rohtang, unbelievably tough conditions on slush that too on darkness.Anyways I loved the trip and all the challenges . Thanks again for your valuable inputs.

    • Karthick, I am sure this will go down as one of the life time trip of your life. I am glad you enjoyed the beauty of heaven and adventure it offers thoroughly. Kudos to your spirit and cheers for a great trip 🙂

        • Hi Kamesh,

          It may be possible if weather gods permit you but highly NOT recommended and NOT suggested. For more information on the risks involved, do read the article on 5 reasons to avoid Manali – Leh Highway in late September or October linked here.

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

          Regards,
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Hi Dheeraj

          thanks for the update and I will go for this trip in 2012 season

          thanks,

          Kamesh

        • Hey Kamesh, that will be better and wise choice. I hope you went through the link as I just saw that I missed to link it in the last comment and just now updated the below comment 🙂 … Let me know whenever you need to plan something for Ladakh I will be more than happy to share all I have in my store.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  26. Hi Deeraj,

    Finally the D day is about to come and we are starting for the trip tomorrow.

    As you had suggested , We are going through Amritsar,Srinagar route to Leh only.

    And now we hear the latest news about the rainfall, snow and road block all that stuff happening in Manali – Leh. Whatever it is our plan is ON and we are starting ..Just thought to get some inputs

    1) We would come to Manali- Leh after 8-10 days..will it be cleared by that time ?

    2) How about Amritsar,Srinagar route..raining ? any blockages?

    3) Bro..I think we have to keep in touch with you at some point , can you please send your contact number to my mail id , if you dont mind.

    Thanks once again for your valuable inputs.

    • Hello Karthick,

      Well buddy this year has been really hard on Himchal Pradesh and it is always best to go via Srinagar side and when you will come back you will realize the fact or already would hev feeling good about hearing all about Delhi to Manali and Manali to Leh further. It is good that you are sticking to you plan. Coming back,

      1. I hope the Manali – Leh Highway will be open by that time if weather holds good. Just incase be in touch I will keep you posted.
      2. Srinagar – Leh is manageable now a days. Yes it was raining for last few days but it seems weather clearing up but who knows :). Just keep the fingers crossed.
      3. I will email you my contact.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  27. Hi Deeraj,

    Thanks for your inputs.

    More or less we have come out with a plan which looks feasible but can check out only when we get on the field.

    1) For the above places to be visited , we need to get permits to Khardung la, Nubra valley, Pangong Tso, Wari la,Tso moriri, Tso kar. Let us know if I am missing any places?

    3) We are planning to start from delhi to LEh by 19th Aug through Amritsar,Sringar. Wanted to know the season right now..Is it raining heavily? Just to be prepared.

    2)Can you also suggest any budget hotels to stay at Srinagar, Kargil , Leh(who can also get us permits) ?

    • Hey Karthick,

      Please find my answers below in respective order –
      1. I guess you are fine with the places to mention on the permits.
      2. Currently there are heavy rains lashing in Jammu which trigerred lots of landslides too. So, go prepared.
      3. Can't suggest anything in Srinagar but for Kargil you can count on J&K Tourism Tourist Bungalow, Kargil near Hospital (book in advance), Hotel Caravan and Hotel Siachen. In Leh book Shanit Guest House. They will help you with the permits too. Check the complete review here

      I hope this helps.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  28. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are getting seriously confused for which way we should move towards leh. manali rohtang is in mess as u said and we dont want to be in srinagar nearby 15th august. any update on the current situation of manali leh highway? pls update as we want to leave 2morrow.

    • Hello Abhishek,

      If you really do not want to be in Srinagar around 15 Aug then there is no option left to move from Manali – Leh road only. Things improved a couple of days back due to few dry days but past few days again have been raining so the situation would have gone to similar. It is primarily the Manali – Rohtang Pass which you will trouble you, rest will be fine. Even on Zingzing Bar Nalla BRO has installed a bridge over it so that is not a worry even, as per the last updates. Mind you that bridge can be washed away at any day due to heavy water pressure, so do not count much on it and leave early from Keylong or Jispa on the second day.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  29. Hi Deeraj,

    Few more questions mates..

    1) Amritsar- Srinagar is 450 kms, how long is the terrain & plain section ? can we make it in one day ?

    2) Check out the below plan for areas around LEh alone.

    Day 1 – Local Sightseeing / Arrange permits

    Day 2- Leh – Khardung La (40 km) – Diskit (Nubra Valley) (80 km)– Hunder (7 km) Stay at Diskit

    Day 3 – Diskit – Sumur (32 km)– Aghma – Wari La – Chang La – Tangste(195km) Stay at Tangste

    Day 4- Tangste – Spangmik/Pangong Tso(32 km) – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh (180 km) Stay at Leh

    Day 5 – Rest / Buffer

    Day 6 – Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri (stay here)

    Day 7 – Tso Moriri -Tso kar- Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu

    Is this plan practical ? especially Day 3 & 4?

    3) Is there any route between Pangong Tso & Tso moriri ? Give us route along with Distances..

    Thanks mate.

    • Hey Karthick,

      Please find answers to your queries in respective orders –

      1) Amritsar – Srinagar will not be possible in one day buddy unless you are OK with riding 16 Hrs a day.

      2) Well on Day 4 I will advise if you want to cover Pangong Tso then drop Sumur and Panamik and head straight to Tangste via Wari La from Diskit. Leave early morning so that you reach well in time and you may even decide to reach Spangmik/Lukung at Pangong Tso as well if you reach Tangste by noon. I wonder how you will manage fuel on the route as you may not get fuel at Diskit petrol pump which is no longer operational. So, once you reach Sakti from Wari La track back towards Karu and refill the fuel, it is very important.

      Rest it looks fine to me.

      3) In that case you will be looking at Leh to Nubra to Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri to Manali 😯 . Karthcik, you will need fuel for about more than 800+ KMs in that case. Your above plan is fine and I will advise you to stick to it. Let me know incase you still feel you want to do it.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards

      Dheeraj Sharma

  30. Hi Deeraj,

    I am back again bro,our journey date is nearing and we are getting ready for the dream trip. We are fine tuning our plan and thought to clarify with you. As you had suggested coming to Leh via Srinagar and returning to Delhi via Manali looks good. Again a question on this,for us the main excitement in this trip is the Manali-Leh Travel. So Which is the best route to enjoy this ride ,either through Manali to Leh Onward journey or Leh to Manali Return Journey ? My question may sound silly, but thought to clarify.

    • Hello Karthick,

      If you really want to enjoy Manali – Leh Highway then do it from Leh side. That is Leh to Manali NOT Manali to Leh. This will help you enjoy the Manali – Leh highway without bothering to rush through the place or worry about AMS or driving with nausea etc. Manali to Leh will hold you back from the enjoyment, believe me. But, while coming from Leh towards Manali your body will be acclimatized for the altitudes much more than when you travel in the opposite direction.

      Secondly, it will also help you halt you journey at Sarchu which is at an even distance between Manali and Leh and offers varied amount of accommodation option. Otherwise you will end up doing Manali – Keylong on one day and real push from Keylong to Leh on the second because sleeping at Sarchu is not recommended if you are coming from Manali unless your body has completely acclimatized to Sarchu altitude by staying in Lahaul Valley for about 4-5 days.

      So just to confirm again go to Leh from Srinagar side and return via Manali side as Leh – Sarchu on one day and Sarchu – Manali on the other day. If you want to enjoy more then break it as Sarchu – Jispa and Jispa – Manali to appreciate beauty of Manali – Leh completely. Of course, it depends upon time you have with you.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  31. Great description..

    Dheeraj sir has explained the itenery very clearly and to the point.

    I think Dheeraj has covered these routs and noted them down.

    I am also plannig the same trip but due office schedules could not managed for leaves. But one day definitely i will do it and then i will take guidence from you.

    Thanks Atul

    • Hi Atul,

      Thanks alot for such warm words. Please let me know if I can be of any help in planning a Leh – Ladakh trip for you.
      You are most welcome anytime.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  32. Hello Karthick,
    It is my pleasure bro… Here are the approximate distancec you need –
    Sumur – Tangste = 185 KMs – 195 KMs / 7-8 Hrs drive (Carry fuel because Diskit petrol pump may not be operational. Check before you plan this route.)
    Sarchu – Tso Moriri = 210 KMs – 225 KMs / 8-9 Hrs drive including Tso Kar. Tso Kar – Tso Moriri = 80 KMs
    Tso Moriri – Leh = 215 KMs / 7-8 Hrs drive
    I think if you have the right papers with you then there is no NOC required as you can always tell them that you have come for touring purpose. Even the shipping companies do not require any NOC regarding same as you are going as tourist only.
    I hope this helps. Let me know incase you have any queries.
    Regards,
    Dheeraj Sharma

  33. Hi Deeraj,
    Thanks Bro.Few more queries…
    1) Can you tell us the distance between the places below
    a) Sumur & Tangste
    b) Sarchu & Tso Moriri
    c) Tso Moriri & Leh
    2) We are bringing our bikes from South . On the whole , we would be riding in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh , J& K ,Punjab . We would be bring our Bike papers & Insurance . Do we have to take any NOC's to ride as tourist in these places ? Please advice.

  34. Karthick replied:

    Hi Deeraj,
    Thanks for the effort you had put in to draft the plan. We were able to take several information from the itinerary but we may not be able to execute it exactly for the below reasons.
    1) We don’t have direct trains to Jammu or Srinagar or Chandigarh from Bangalore , so we had no option but to choose Delhi as the starting point.And also we do not want to risk by sending bikes in connecting trains at least for the onward journey.
    2) We are flying to Delhi and have booked tickets, so we can’t start from Jammu.
    3) We are people from south, so wanted to make the most of the trip, we are planning to visit wagah border and Golden temple in Amritsar as well.
    Considering this can you tweak the plan a little bit to start from Delhi and suggest which is the best way to reach Leh and cover all places?
    Thanks in advance
    Source:Comments on Manali – Leh Highway Status

    Hello Karthick,

    In that case, you can follow the below plan. I guess the plan above provides you all the relevant details for the headers so here I will chalk down the route only.

    Day 1 | Delhi – Amritsar
    Day 2 | Amritsar – Golden Temple – Wagah Border – Amritsar
    Day 3 | Amritsar – Srinagar
    — Amritsar to Jammu will take you about 5-6 hours and then Jammu to Srinagar is about 7-8 hours.
    — Start early from Amritsar if you want to save a day and reach Srinagar in time.
    — It is long day but again as you said you are from South so saving a day will mean alot.
    — You can also check Golden Temple and Wagah Border early in the day and start back the ride on Day 2 itself and reach Pathankot or may be Jammu if you can to cut short this day.

    Day 4 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Drass – Kargil
    Day 5 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
    Day 6 | Leh Local Sight Seeing + Arrange Inner Line Permits
    Day 7 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder / Diskit
    Day 9 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    Day 10 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso
    Day 11 | Pangong Tso – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    Day 12 | Leh – Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri (Petrol Point must be noted here)
    Day 13 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
    Day 14 | Sarchu – Manali
    Day 15 | Manali – Delhi

    Now, in this itinerary you do not have buffer days which may be required and Day 3 is dependent upon how you ride on that day which may call to take one day out. So, I suggest below two option in case 1 or 2 days are used in other unplanned calls.

    Option 2: Make Pangong Tso lake as day trip
    Day 10 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh as day trip
    Day 11 | Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri (Petrol Point must be noted here)
    Day 12 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
    Day 13 | Sarchu – Manali
    Day 14 | Manali – Delhi
    Day 15 | Buffer Day. You can even keep this buffer for Manali – Leh Highway journey (Day 13 especially) as there are chances of road blockages or traffic jams at Rohtang Pass which may delay you by a day.

    Option 3:Make Pangong Tso lake as day trip and Leave Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes
    Day 10 | Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh make day trip
    Day 11 | Leh – Upshi – Tanglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
    Day 12 | Sarchu – Manali
    Day 13 | Manali – Delhi
    Day 14 | Buffer Day. You may need it on Day 3 if you are not ready to take up 13-14 ride from Amritsar to Srinagar.
    Day 15 | Buffer Day. You can even keep this buffer for Manali – Leh Highway journey (Day 13 especially) as there are chances of road blockages or traffic jams at Rohtang Pass which may delay you by a day.

    I hope the above options will suit your requirements now.

    Regards,
    Dheeraj Sharma

    • Karthick replied:

      Hi Deeraj,
      Thanks. These options would be really useful to us. Would be great if you can get us the distance and route map of these places in Leh , so we could interlink it as per our need.

      1) Do you have any idea about the Distance(kms) and Travel time of the below places ?
      a) Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder / Diskit
      b) Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      c) Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso
      d) Pangong Tso – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      e) Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri

      2) Also do we have any route to travel directly from Diskit to Pangons Tso ? Just to avoid coming back to Leh.
      Thanks in advance.
      Source: Comments on Manali – Leh Highway Status

      Hello Karthick,

      IMHO, the plan I have suggested best suits the routes, maps and acute mountain sickness factors. At most you can do is to skip places in between. Sightseeing in Leh Ladakh is like star topology where ever tourist destination is linked from Leh. Its always better and recommended that you come back to Leh after every direction as the inter connectivity which is present between the tourist destination such as Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso and Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri are a bit tough on roads, travel time (13-14 Hrs each) and distances (talking comparatively). Its always best to come to Leh for a relaxing evening but anyways if one is ready to do 13-14 Hrs of drive and explore new routes then its even great as it generally saves the day as well when time is short.

      I will try to sketch the approximate distances between the tourist destinations –
      a) Leh – Khardung La (40 KMs) – Diskit (80 KMs)(Nubra Valley) – Hunder (7 KMs) = 125 – 135 KMs / 5-6 Hrs
      b) Diskit – Sumur (32 KMs) – Panamik (22 KMs) – Sumur (22 KMs) – Khardung La (80) – Leh (40) = 195 – 205 KMs / 8-9 Hrs
      c) Leh – Hemis Monastery (40 KMs) – Pangong Tso (140 KMs) = 170-180 KMs / 7-8 Hrs
      d) Pangong Tso – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh = 170 – 190 KMs / 8-9 Hrs
      e) Leh – Upshi (59 KMs) – Chumathang (95 KMs) – Tso Moriri (60 KMs) = 215 – 225 KMs / 8-9 Hrs

      Yes, there is a route directly from Diskit to Pangong Tso which goes via Wari La. The route is like Diskit – Khalsar – Agham – Wari La – Chang La – Tangste – Spangmik / Pangong Tso or Sumur – Aghma – Wari La – Chang La – Tangste – Spangmik / Pangong Tso. You can try to reach Tangste as well from Sumur instead going to Leh and then next day you can reach Spangmik / Pangong Tso early in the morning from Tangste which is just about 32 KMs from Pangong Tso. Please keep in mind in order to do this you need to get permit for Wari La as well. So, don't forget to mention Wari La if you are interested in doing this route.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

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