Most Common Itinerary for Leh Ladakh

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On request of some many avid readers of the blog and so many like minded travellers seeking guidance for their tour to Leh – Ldakh, I would like to sketch below one of the most common itinerary followed by many of Leh – Ladakh lovers including me which covers all three major tourist destinations of Ladakh including Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake and Tso Moriri Lake. The itinerary also covers Srinagar – Leh Highway as well as Manali – Leh Highway, so it is apt for those looking forward to cover the entire circuit.

I have started from Srinagar side because it gives at least two benefits, if not more. First, the body gets better acclimatized due to gradual ascent by the time you reach Leh and when you return via Manali – Leh Highway, hence less chances of getting stuck with Acute Mountain Sickness (more info on AMS here) and more enjoyment of views on Manali – Leh Highway. If you start via Manali – Leh Highway then most of the terrain runs over 4000 Mtrs of altitude and by the time you reach such altitude your body is not properly acclimatized. Hence, many people fall sick on Manali – Leh Highway despite covering in 25:75 ratio (Manali – Keylong, Keylong – Leh) in terms of distance. Secondly, you save one day as Tso Moriri and Tso Kar Lakes can be adjusted once you start towards Manali from Leh. This way you are not required to return to Leh from Tso Moriri to go towards Kargil or Srinagar. For now, these two reasons are good enough to start your journey from Srinagar side 🙂 …

14 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh
Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
  • Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop
  • About 12-13 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
  • Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
  • Overnight at Srinagar
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
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
  • About 8 Hrs drive, depend upon the traffic movement at Zozila and breaks you take in between
Day 4 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
  • Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
  • On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, , depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 5 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
  • To know the about the places to visit in/around Leh, 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 Inner Line Permits are not required for these places for Indian Nationals, starting May 2014.
  • Overnight at Leh
Day 6 | 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
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and at Khardung La
Day 7 | 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
  • About 7-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 8 | 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)
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 9 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
  • Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
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
Day 11 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
  • Cover Karzok Monastery
  • Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 7-8 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 12 | 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
  • About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 13 | Pang / 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
  • About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and of course the mess at Rohtang Pass
Day 14 | Manali – Delhi
  • Return Home
  • About 13-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 15 + 16

| Buffer days to be kept incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.

Additional Points
  • Instead of coming back to Leh from Nubra Valley, you can head towards Pangong Tso via Wari La route. This will give you an additional day which can be spent in Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso or Leh. If you are riding then you need to carry sufficient fuel for it.
  • In Srinagar you can also visit Floating market > Shalimar Garden.
  • For cheap and moderate budget accommodation or hotels in Leh – Ladakh you can refer the links here and here respectively.
  • Any doubts related to budget of the trip?? Don’t worry, check: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
Request everyone that instead of putting up the queries on travel plan below, please start an itinerary advice thread in the forums so that it can be replied in more structured manner as well as more people can get benefit from the replies by reading existing threads.

Here is the link: DoW – Himalayan Travel Community | Ladakh Itinerary Advice

Conclusion

I hope this plan of itinerary for Leh – Ladakh will be useful for travelers planning their journey at least for the first time. I will look forward for any queries or doubts or valuable suggestions and inputs you have and would love to discuss about your custom plan as well in comments section.

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2,407 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj,

    Great info on your blog!

    I am landing in Leh from Delhi on 17th morning and below is my plan ….. Able to fit 6 days here … A leaf taken out of your common itinerary… However I have time and can spend upto 9 or 10 days in Ladakh over all …..

    Now couple of questions ….

    1. Am I plan to travel solo on a rented bike … So should that be any problem to go around to Pangong or Nubra ?
    2. Want to see tso moriri so where do I fit it in as I will be taking a public transport bus while going from Leh to Manali.
    3. Wanted to go to Kargil from Leh as my original plan was to come they Srinagar which can’t be possible now… What your opinion and where do I for it and how do I travel ?
    4. Will it be a complete day to visit Shyam valley ? If yes then can it be on a bike or should we on a bus or taxi?

    Day 1: Rest & Partial Local Sighseeing

    Day 2: Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
    Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at hunder / diskit

    Day 3: Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – 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

    Day 6: 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

    • You should move your Day 6 to Day 2 or use one of the days you have in hand. Two days are absolutely required in Leh for acclimatization.

      1. Not really, shared taxis are available. But in case you do not have experience of riding motorcycles in Himalayas,better avoid rented bike.
      2. You need two days from Leh for Tso moriri and should be visited after Pangong Tso. Try to hunt down some shared taxis in Changspa road or main market Leh for Tso moriri shared taxi tours.
      3. You need two days for Kargil from Leh. again buses run between Leh – Kargil, but will prefer to skip it for some other time as not enough time is there on hand with you.
      4. For sham valley, it will be like 6-7 Hrs in total exploring and resting. You can do bike trip there as the roads are fine in whole of Sham Valley.

  2. Hi Dheeraj.
    Ronak here again.

    So I am confused between two itinerary I have made for the month of September 2016.

    Itinerary 1 :
    14 – Arrive Delhi and leave for Manali immediately (Bus)
    15 – In Manali
    16 – Manali – Jispa
    17 – Jispa – Leh
    18 – Leh – Alchi – Leh
    19 – Leh – Turtuk
    20 – Turtuk – Diskit
    21 – Diskit – Panamik
    22 – Panamik – Pangong Tso
    23 – Pangong Tso – Leh
    24 – Leh – Sarchu
    25 – Sarchu – Manali – Delhi

    Itinerary 2 :
    14 – Arrive Delhi and leave for Manali immediately (Bus)
    15 – In Manali
    16 – Manali – Jispa
    17 – Jispa – Leh
    18 – Leh – Alchi – Leh
    19 – Leh – Diskit
    20 – Diskit – Panamik
    21 – Panamik – Pangong Tso
    22 – Pangong Tso – Leh
    23 – Leh – Tso Moriri
    24 – Tso Moriri – Sarchu
    25 – Sarchu – Manali – Delhi (Bus)

    A quick suggestion would be great 🙂

    • Ronak Chandak on

      Also, out if the three – Turtuk, Panami, To Motor – which can be avoided? Because given the time constraints we have, we can only do two out of the three.

      And, we are planning to ride to Pangog directly from hunder without touching Leh. Is it advisable? I read your post on that route. I was convinced enough. But still asking for an opinion after looking our itinerary.

      • I will say to drop Panamik. The direct routes are isolated and hence will suggest caution while going for it. DO NOT go alone on that route, wait for few vehicles and then join the convoy to move together on those routes.

    • You should drop Panamik and add Tso Moriri in it. Also, these routes will not be possible in bus or shared transport. So, make sure you have private vehicle with you.

  3. Juzar Kachwala on

    Hi there Dheeraj,

    I am planning a LEH trip and am planning to go via the Manali LEH highway on account of the conditions in the Srinagar and Kashmir regions being tough, I have a few questions if they could be answered would be of great help:

    1. I am going to go along with my wife and would like to know how best to take halts on the Manali LEH highway, would the itinerary for the same like this be fine:
    Manali-Keylong; Keylong – Sarchu; Sarchu – LEH.

    2. Also since I am just going on my own and without any tour operators what are the chances of me getting on spot accommodations in the evening as I would not be driving at night at any costs.

    3. About the line permits I have heard multiple views from people some who say that its required for everyone and some say that inline permits are not needed for indian nationals. I will be travelling on my avenger 220 so would the permits be required for me and my wife to visit LEH and the other nearby destinations, Also if you could throw some light on what all documents are needed to apply for the permits if they are needed.

    4. How best you would advice to visit the nearby destinations like turtuk, pangong, tso moriri, nubra. If I am leaving out any would you be kind enough to suggest.

    5. Also during the above mentioned destination plans, would the fuel be sufficient to reach the destination and then refuel at that destination and back to LEH. Like for example LEH-Pangong refuel and Pangong -LEH.

    Me and my wife are going on this ride to experience this thrilling journey and find ourselves, so whatever best inputs we could get from yourend, we would be really thankful.

    Best regards,
    Juzar Kachwala & Ummehani Kachwala.

    • Hello Juzar,

      1. Since, you guys will not be acclimatized to sleep at Sarchu, I will suggest that you do Manali – Jispa, Jispa – Leh.

      2. You will be getting the accommodation at ease, no issues on that front. It is just that you will be searching a few places here and there.

      3. Indians do not need any permits to visit tourist places in Ladakh, they just need a self declaration form to be submitted at various checkposts. If you travel the interiors of Ladakh where then you need inner line permits.

      4. All these places are worth the visit, depends upon the time in hand. Turtuk is part of Nubra Valley but requires an extra day to do justice to it. The ideal way f doing it is one day rest in Leh, 3 day trip to Nubra Valley including Turtuk, 2 day trip to Pangong Tso and then 3 day trip to Leh – Tso Moriri – Sarchu – Manali.

      5. You may need fuel for Nubra Valley in case you want to cover Turtuk as it will be around 450 KMs. Also, for Leh – Tso Moriri – Manali, you need fuel to cover about 550 KMs

      Best regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  4. Sadanand Apte on

    Hi Dheerajji,

    We are group of 18 adult pax travelling to Leh Ladakh and our rough itinerary is as follows :

    13.9.16
    Arrive Leh by Go Air Flight early morning 6.40 hrs and head for guest house (booking done)
    Rest till 3 pm and go for local sight seeing like local market, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, etc.

    14.9.16
    After breakfast drive to Sidhu Darshanand about 7 kms from Leh on the bank of the Historical Indus River. Later proceed to visit Thiksay Monastery located on top of a hill; the Monastery is an excellent example of Ladakhi architecture. This contains several Stupas, Statues, Thangkas, Wall Paintings and a large pillar depicting Buddha’s teachings. Later continue to drive to visit Hemis Monastery, which was built in 1630 and It houses some beautiful Wall Paintings, Thangka and several other historic objects. Back to Leh.

    15.9.16
    After early breakfast drive to Pangong Lake. Pangong Lake is the biggest high altitude lake in Asia 165km from Leh. Enjoy the turquoise color panoramic lake and the magnificent mountains. Drive back to Leh by the same route. Stay overnight in Leh.

    16.9.16
    After Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardung La (Highest Motorable road in the World, 18,380 ft) continue drive till Turtuk. After lunch enjoys the beauty of sand dunes one can also enjoy Camel Safari. Stay overnight in Nubra Valley/Hundar. (Booking done at Hundar for one night).

    17.9.16
    After breakfast, visit to Deskit Monastery and have a wonderful view of Nubra Valley. Later drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardung La Pass. Stay overnight in Leh.

    18.9.16
    After breakfast drive to Uleytokpo enroute visit Likir Monastery, Magnetic Hill, Hall of Fame and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. After Lunch proceed to visit Lamayuru Monastery and witness a beautiful mesmerizing moon landscapes. Visit Vijay Smriti Sthal at Drass. Stay overnight in Uleytokpo / Alchi / Lamayuru / Faryok/Kargil. Booking done at Kargil for one night.

    19.9.16
    After Breakfast drive back to Leh enroute visit Basgo and Alchi Monastery. Stay overnight in Leh.

    20.9.16
    Rest day and enjoy Ladakh Festival which is starting on 20th September.

    21.9.16
    Take early morning flight to Mumbai. (Booking already done).

    Please suggest if it is ok or do you suggest any change and whether we can include any other places where we are visiting.

    We find from the various reviews that Clearcar rental has many negative reviews. Which agency you suggest who will give us quote for the above itinerary ? Please give contact number, email id. The name of the drivers suggested by you – can they give us quote for above itinerary ?

    We are citizen of India. Are we supposed to get any tourist permit for visiting the above places ? We, of course, will carry our photo identification with us.

    Kindly reply at the earliest. Also suggest some important tips, if any.

    Thanks,

    Sadanand Apte
    Mobile : 9867192311

    • Sadanand, you should do it like below:

      Day 1 | Leh rest day and acclimatize
      Day 2 | Leh local sightseeing
      Day 3 | Leh – Nubra Valley
      Day 4 | Nubra Valley – Leh
      Day 5 | Leh Pangong Tso –
      Day 6 | Pangong Tso – Leh
      Day 7 | Around leh.

      You do not need any permits. If you are looking for Ladakh tour and packages, you can connect with info@offbeatescapes.com as most of the readers in the past couple of years have had very good feedback about them and especially their transparent policies along with being there with you all the time in need. So, we trust them the most. You can refer my name or DoW to Gaurav, the guy who runs it. He knows us very well and should be able to offer some special rates being a DoW Member. You can just refer him the DoW Community Member Username in such a case or screenshot of this reply here.

  5. Lovelesh Joshi on

    I have thought of a rough itinerary

    Sept 1 – Bombay – Delhi – Srinagar

    Reach Srinagar airport at 12 noon and overnight stay at Srinagar

    If situation permits try local sightseeing.

    Sept 2- Srinagar – Sonmarg – ZojiLa – Drass – Kargil

    Enjoy vistas enroute and overnight stay at kargil

    Sept 3- Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

    Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes

    (Please suggest places to cover on the way if possible)

    Overnight at Leh

    Sept 4- Do local sightseeing (suggest good sunrise, sunset and view points) Hire Bike

    Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence of Zanskar & Indus River at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Hall of fame museum

    Kargil war memorial, Spituk monastery, Sankar Monastery, Shanti stupa, Tsemo fort, Leh Potala palace.

    Sept 5- Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder (suggest a good place to stay overnight)

    Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit

    Enjoy a cup of soup at Khardung La World’s highest motorable road at 18380 feet

    Diskit monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder sand dunes and bactrian camel safari

    Sept 6 – Hunder/Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Turtuk

    Sumur Monastery and Panamik hot water springs

    overnight at Turtuk

    (transport options?)

    Sept 7- Turtuk – Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake

    Cover Hemis Monastery on the go towards Pangong Tso highest salt water Lake in the World through Changla Pass 17,350 ft, it is the third highest motorable road in the world

    Overnight at Pangong Tso at Spangmik or Lukung (please suggest a place to stay overnight)

    Sept 8 – Pangong Tso Lake – Thiksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh

    Cover Thiksey Monastery and Shey Palace on the way towards Leh

    Overnight at Leh

    Sept 9 – Leh – Hanle

    Suggest transport options and accommodation at Hanle

    Sept 10 – Hanle – Korzok – Tso Moriri

    Tso moriri at 14000 ft by passing Chumathang (Hot Spring) along the Indus river.Cover Korzok Monastery

    Overnight at Korzok or Tso Moriri (please suggest)

    Sept 11 – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu

    Start early in the day to reach Sarchu where i assume accommodation options are better than Pang

    Can i cover Puga (Sulphur Mine), Tsokar Lake, Taklang La Pass?

    Overnight at Sarchu or Pang (please suggest good overnight stay option on the way to Manali)

    Can i get a share transport from here to Manali?

    Sept 12 – Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali

    On the way cover Suraj Taal and Deepak Taal which are on the way

    Will try to take overnight sleeper bus to Chandigarh from Manali

    Sept 13 – Manali – Chandigarh

    Sept 13 – Return flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai at 7 PM

    Please help me optimise the itinerary.

    Instead of coming back to Leh from Nubra Valley, can i head towards Pangong Tso via Wari La route?

    Can i go to Hanle directly from Pangong? What are other possible options (direct routes) instead of going back to Leh?

    know i have too much on my plate but i don’t mind slight bingeing.

    Can you help me optimise the itinerary to minimise the redundancy (alike places) and maximize the experience?

    I would want to avoid typical touristy commercialised spots and would love to cover serene, rustic, ancient and historic places.

    PS: I have already booked my tickets from Mumbai to Srinagar and from Chandigarh to Mumbai

    • Well, your plan looks good to me except Srinagar – Kashmir is under curfew and Turtuk to Pangong Tso directly. Wish you can spare a day from somwhere which can be done in case you reach Sonamarg directly from Srinagar airport and then do Sonamarg to Leh next day. That day you can use for Turtuk to Hunder and next day go over to Pangong Tso from Hunder.

  6. ANIRBAN BISWAS on

    Hi Dheeraj.
    We are group of 7 people planning a road trip to leg in a single Scorpio/Innova at last week of Augest 2017 . My question are given blow-
    please reply with answer kindly.
    1.Can you please tell me 7 people are allowed in a single Innova?
    2. For Tso Moriri Inner Line Permit is required or not?
    3.what will best way to book car from Srinagar(Spot booking/Travel Agent Booking)?
    4.August last week Temp/ Weather ( 23 Agu-6 Sep,2017) will be fine for ladak?
    Thanks,
    Anirban

    • 1. Allowed but very uncomfortable for such a long trip.
      2. If all are Indians, no permit reqiuired
      3. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
      4. Weather will be fine in Leh

      • ANIRBAN BISWAS on

        Hi Dheeraj.
        Thanks a lot for your valuable input.
        Please kindly provide information regarding below query.
        I will be grateful for that.
        Is there any specific day in a week at which the below route are remain closed-
        1. Srinagar-Kargil highway
        2. Leh- Nubra highway
        3. Nubra- Sayok-Pangong Tso Lake highway
        4. Pangong Tso Lake-Leh highway
        5. Leh – Sarachu highway
        6. Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali highway
        Thanks,
        Anirban

        • Anirban, in season time (June to mid October) these routes remain open all days a week all hours. Zojila has timings in initial days, upto late June when road is narrow. Nubra – Shyok – Pangong Tso route shall only be done by leaving early and in convoy of at least 3-4 vehicles. If you do later in the day, chances of crossing nallah is less. Rest all routes are OK any time of the day.

        • ANIRBAN BISWAS on

          Thanks a lot. Please keep it. I never forget your help regarding my tour plan.

  7. Jyoti Prakash on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    its really appreciated what you did on the post. great job, Kudos.

    1 question, do you have any recommendation on budget stays during this itinerary? also, i have to choose between Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso. can i visit both places in day?

    • No, it is not possible to visit both the places in day. You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  8. SUBHADIP ROY on

    Hi Dheeraj Ji
    We are planning to go Siachen Glacier on May 2017. We will be there at Delhi after 15 of may. From Kolkata to Kolkata we can manage maximum 15 days leave. Please Suggest a plan accordingly. As per your idea we may start from Manali side or by Jammu side. We also want to visit the Pangon lake and Tso Miriri Lake. Is it possible?

    I would like to say that following your planning this year in may I visited Spiti Valley alone. It was a excellent experience.

    Regards
    Subhadip Roy

    • SUBHADIP, civilians are not allowed to go to Siachen glacier. Special army permissions are required even to visit Siachen base camp. Also, in May the Manali – Leh Highway is not open.

  9. Sreenath V on

    Hi Dheeraj!
    Can you please guide me about what should be done in case our bike breaks down en route?
    Any reliable mechanic’s contact number?

    • Sree, in that case nothing much can be done bro. Only handlful of places have a mechanic, mostly restricted to the main towns. So, in case it happens, towing is the only option. In case there is an army camp near by, you can seek help from them.

  10. Hi Dheeraj,
    Just had one query in my mind. Is there any route from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri. And is it advisable to take this route instead of coming back from Pangong Tso to leh.
    Thanks.

  11. Hi Dheeraj,

    Am planning my leh trip in Sept 2016. My initial plan was to travel from Blr – Srinagar – Leh- Manali – Blr but with current scenarios in Kashmir it looks like we will not be able to do that route. Hence changed my plan to Blr – Manali – Leh – Manali – Blr. Only thing with this route is that I want to also include Amritsar and below is the day wise breakup. I am not seeing any reviews on google from Amritsar to Manali while google map shows around 9hrs. Would like you to shed light on it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Day Route
    1 Bangalore-Mumbai
    1000kms (14hrs)
    2 Mumbai – Udaipur
    737Kms(12hrs)
    3 Udaipur-Ajmer-Hanumangarh
    265 Kms (4Hrs) – 436Kms (7Hrs)
    4 Hanumangarh – Amritsar
    316 Kms (6hrs)
    5 Amritsar – Manali
    399Kms (10hrs)
    6 Manali – Keylong
    115 Kms (5hrs)
    7 Keylong – Sarchu
    107Kms (4hrs)
    8 Sarchu-Leh
    251Kms (7Hrs)
    9 Leh – Khardung La-Leh
    10 Leh-Pangong Tso
    11 Pangong Tso-Leh
    12 Leh-Sarchu
    260Kms
    13 Sarchu-Manali
    230Kms
    14 Manali-Chandigarh-Delhi
    310 (7.5) 245Kms(4Hrs)
    15 Delhi-Agra-Jhansi
    210Kms(3.5hrs)- 234Kms(4.5)
    16 Jhansi-Nagpur
    595Kms(9Hrs)
    17 Nagpur-Hyderabad
    501kms(8Hrs)
    18 Hyderabad-Bangalore
    569Kms (8Hrs)

  12. dr suman kaveti on

    hi mr dheeraj
    thanks for the much useful info..i had just one query regarding bike rental
    if we are to use manali -leh route,can you tell about availability of enfield or any bike rental
    from manali or do we take it from delhi
    pls tell if this will cause trouble with the locals as you have mentioned banning of certain vehicles
    so, is the alternative having our own bikes better??
    thanking you in advance

    DR suman kaveti

  13. Sreenath V on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks a ton for your effort to help us!
    Just wanted to clarify a few things.
    Planning to venture into the much awaited journey in the first half of September on two wheelers.

    1. Congestion charges / Permits wont bother us at all, if we are coming to Manali from Leh?
    2. Can the timings (seasonal as well as daily) of the Manali- Rohtang pass road be a problem, if we are coming back from Leh to manali?
    3. If we were to follow the exact same itinerary as you suggested in this page, but we had just 12 days ( To and fro Delhi), which are the spots that can be spared?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • 1. Yes, no permits or fees required in such a case for Rohtang Pass
      2. No, there are no timings that late in the season
      3. I will drop rest day and then may be I will do one day trip to Pangong Tso or will travel directly from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso to save those two days

  14. Hi dheeraj,

    We are 8 friends traveling to leh. We will reach early morning 6am of 30th July to leh by flight . Our return flight is on 6th Aug afternoon from srinagar. Can you plz suggest best itinerary including river rafting n trekking?

  15. Kevin George on

    My friend and I have planned a bike trip similar to one you have mentioned in the blog.
    July 28th |Day1 |Delhi to Jalandhar
    Day2 |Jalandhar to Patnitop
    Day3 |Patnitop to Srinagar
    Day4 |Sightseeing to Gulmarg
    Day5 |Sightseeing to Pahalgam
    Day6 |Srinagar to Kargil
    Day7 |Kargil to Leh
    Day8 |Rest day at Leh
    Day9 |Leh to Diskit
    Day10 |Extra day at Diskit
    Day11 |Diskit to Pangong
    Day12 |Pangong to Leh
    Day13 |Leh to Sarchu
    Day14 |Sarchu to Manali
    Day15 |Manali to Chandigarh
    Day16 |Buffer

    Our concern now, due to the unrest and violence in Srinagar. Should we avoid Srinagar? If so,
    How could we tweak the plan so that we cover most of the intended places and avoid AMS.

    • Yes, you should avoid going via Srinagar side and take Manali side. You should go to Manali sleep over at Solang Valley, then next day go over to Jispa and then next day from Jispa start early morning to reach Leh by eevening. This will help you avoid AMS.

      • Kevin George on

        Thanks Dheeraj for your reply. i have made changes to the plan as below.
        Please suggest if i can make it better considering the present situation at Srinagar :(.

        July 29th |Day1 |Delhi to Shimla
        Day2 |Shimla SightSeeing
        Day3 |Shimla to Manali
        Day4 |Sightseeing Manali
        Day5 |Manali to Jispa/Sarchu(to avoid AMS, shoud i stay at Jispa or Sarchu)
        Day6 |Jispa/Sarchu to Leh
        Day7 |Rest day at Leh
        Day8 |Leh to Diskit
        Day9 |Extra day at Diskit
        Day10 |Diskit to Pangong
        Day11 |Pangong to Leh
        Day12 |Leh to Sarchu
        Day13 |Sarchu to Manali
        Day14 |Manali to Chandigarh
        Day15 |Chandigarh to Jalandhar
        Day16 |Chandigarh to Jalandhar
        Day17 |Amritsar and Wagah Border (13th AUg)
        Day18 |Jalandhar to Chandigarh
        Day19 |Buffer day
        Day 20|Return flight to Bangalore (Aug 16th)

        • 1. You should stay at Jispa.
          2. Extra day at Deskit should be used for Turtuk trip
          3. You should use one of the day either from Manali or from Shimla to visit Tso Moriri as well while coming back from Leh. With so many days in hand missing Tso Moriri over other lower hill regions especially concrete jungles like Shimla, somehow feel unjustified to me 🙂

  16. AYUSHMAN AHLUWALIA on

    Hey
    Hope you are doing good.

    Your comments, updates &help is always an Appreciable one.

    10Days in our Hand
    will start from Delhi on Rented Bikes
    Temporary Plan is like:

    Delhi-Manali-Leh-Nubra-Pangong

    Need information on Permits/Permissions for non Himachal or J&K state vehicle/Bike

    • 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

      You will need permit to cross Rohtang Pass which is issued from SDM office in Manali.

  17. Hi Dheeraj

    I am a solo female traveller looking to go to Leh this September 2016.

    I have heard there is a festival on 18th september?

    I have around four days and I want to fly to leh, visit pangong lake, hemis monostery, khardung La, Diskit nubra valley and experience local tibet culture.

    Can i book exxcursions once I get to leh or is it best to book before? tours are very strict and dont cover my speciic route so are there one day excusions easy to book in Leh?

    what route is best?

    Kind regards
    Kiran

    • Hi Kiran,

      You can very well do it once you reach the Leh. Better will be that only and also will suit you as solo traveller. 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 🙂

  18. Dear Dheeraj,

    A couple of friends and I are planning a trip to the known circuit Delhi-Srinigar-Leh-Manali in August(13th – 27th).
    I was wondering if it is necessary to make reservations in Leh, since we will be spending around 5-6days there(Leh, Pangong, etc)
    Can we do this trip without making prior HOTEL reservations?

  19. nilesh shaw on

    i am planning for leh in the last week of Au 2016, as Srinagar is tense these days…..and leh via manali is not mostly recommended…pl. guide me for my tour…….should i go leh directly by fligh ?

    or is it possible to land at srinagar and leave for leh in this situation

    • Nilesh August is a bit far, you should keep a tab on the situations and then decide. Otherwise, you can make a trip from Manali side by doing Manali – Jispa on Day 1 and then leave Jispa at 5 AM to reach Leh by evening. This will minimize the chances of AMS.

  20. Hi,
    Relay very helpful.

    BTW , As all of my friends backspaced , now I have decided to ride alone , but I am a bit worried because of Independence day ,Recent Jammu violence .

    Hopefully I will stat my journey from 12-AUG-2016 via Pathankot- Srinagar- Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kragil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh – manali .

    As I am riding alone ,I would request you to help me regarding same and prepare Days Itinerary , accommodation, best place to spend night etc.
    FYI: I will use byk FZ Fi V 2.0

    My Phn No: 9560167870

    • August is a month ahead fro now, hopefully things will settle and you should be able to make a smooth trip. You can follow the itinerary mentioned in the article above as there is o reason to come back the same route rather come from Manali side. There are 1000s of people who make trip every year to Ladakh solo, so dont worry on that front you should get company on the go as well.

      • Do you think traveler will face any problem because of Independence day like road block etc .
        and what you think abut using FZ V 2.0 ??

  21. Hi There,

    Thank you for the details and plan.

    I want to know if Srinagar to Leh highway still operational and not closed due to Curfew?

    Do you have any info? Can we start driving immediately towards Kargil from Srinagar Airport?

    regards,

    • Well, I will suggest to have a word with some hotel guy in Srinagar and then take a call to go from Manali side. These things are dependent from person to person judgement call and what a person feels is OK to him or her given the circumstances. So, best is to talk to a local hotel guy in Srinagar and confirm about the ground situation in tourist places and Srinagar – Leh route. Having being stuck in riots/curfews myself at times, my personal suggestion will be to avoid unless unrest is over and take the Manali route.

  22. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are four adults and a toddler (3yrs old) wanting to do the adventure this october.We are looking at dates from oct 11-24 range. Based on your suggestions i have prepared a itinerary here. could you please comment if its feasible, i am mainly worried on day 2 part , covering gulmarg and reaching kargil on the same day. could you suggest how can we go about it ?
    here is our tentative itinerary
    Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar
    Pick up from airport
    Overnight at Srinagar in a houseboat
    Day 2 | Gulmarg – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
    Drive to Gulmarg early morning, enjoy gondola ride
    After lunch start driving to Kargil
    Enjoy the vistas enroute
    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
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
    Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
    On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
    Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
    Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
    Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
    Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
    Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
    Cover Karzok Monastery
    Overnight at Tso Moriri
    Day 10 | 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 11 | Pang / 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 – Local sightseeing
    Day 13 | Manali – Chandigarh
    Drop at chandigarh to catch our flight back.

    • Hi Dheeraj,
      seems like october is too late, thinking to move our dates starting sep 20, is that good ? with the same itinerary

      • Also i reworked on day 2 and day 3
        Day 2 | Gulmarg – Srinagar – Sonamarg
        Overnight stay at Sonamarg after gulmarg gondola ride
        Day3| Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil

        Does this look better ?

        Do you have any idea what is the driving distance / time between manali and Chandigarh ?
        What is the driving distance/time between manali and Amritsar ?
        Which one would be better for night drive? Though we arenot optingfor self drive

        • Yes, looks fine to my as Day 2 and Day 3. Manali – chandigarh is around 8-9 Hrs and 9-10 hrs for Amritsar. Both are fine and connected with highways.

      • Yes September is always better to plan such a trip. Again with small kid doing Manali – Leh Highway that late would something I consider as a risk personally, but then there are people who says me that I am less risk taking person and conservative 🙂

  23. Hello Dheeraj Sir,
    I did my Srinagar- Leh- Manali Solo Trip as suggested by you. To be honest, the joy I had in these 15 days is really ineffable. It was a never before experience.
    And I owe it all to you!

  24. Hello Dheeraj,

    Thanks a ton for the information you and your team is providing. Man!!! your information has really served me to plan my trip.
    We are 2 bikers from Delhi and planning to hit the road on 15th July. Following is my itinerary:
    • Day 1 (15th July 2016) – Delhi – Jammu
    • Day 2 (16th July 2016) – Jammu – Srinagar
    • Day 3 (17th July 2016) – Srinagar Stay
    • Day 4 (18th July 2016) – Srinagar – Kargil
    • Day 5 (19th July 2016) – Kargil – Leh
    • Day 6 (20th July 2016) – Leh Stay (Taking up the ILP and local site seeing)
    • Day 7 (21st July 2016) – Leh – Nubra Valley (Stop over to visit Diskit)
    • Day 8 (22nd July 2016) – Nubra Valley Stay
    • Day 9 (23rd July 2016) – Nubra – Pangong Tso (via Agham, Shyok)
    • Day 10 (24th July 2016) – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri ( via chusul, Kaksangla, Namshang La)
    • Day 11 (25th July 2016) – Tso Moriri – Pang
    • Day 12 (26th July 2016) – Pang – Keylong
    • Day 13 (27th July 2016) – Keylong – Chandrataal
    • Day 14 (28th July 2016) – Chandrataal – Manali
    • Day 15 (29th July 2016) – Manali – Delhi

    we are carrying tents, sleeping bags and couple of required stuffs for stay at a couple of locations.

    my few queries:
    1. Whats the current status of the J&K curfew?
    2. Will one day be good for applying and collection of the ILP?? would time is sufficient for local sight seeing??
    3. Would it be safe to ride through Shyok during July???
    4. Any possible suggestion where to stay in leh/nubra/Srinagar/Jammu.

    Your suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    Dr. Madhusudan

  25. shrikantnikhil on

    Hi Dheeraj sir,

    Great blog !!! Your response to queries is really great, fast and helpful.

    We are a group of 6 guys going to leh Ladakh for 12 days from Delhi on 3-4 bikes. We are thinking of starting from Delhi- Srinagar- leh-manali route. we were hoping of camping for overnights as we have 3 tents, to cut the cost and add to the experience. which places do you recommend we camp. Is it possible to camp at kargil, leh?

    And also is there any way we can skip leh and cover hunder- pangong tso- Hanle- tso moriri.

    Also being students we are a bit hard on cash so is it possible to do the journey with 13k-15k per head. we have our own bikes.

    Could you suggest us detailed plan for 12 days for us to follow.

    Waiting for your reply. Thank you in advance.

    • I already replied to your other comment,

      You should read: Top 10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh & Spiti Valley. There is no way to skip Leh, you will need permits in case you want to visit Hanle. It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 12 days. You can make two day trip to Nubra Valley, 2 day trip to Pangong Tso or 1 day trip to Pangong Tso. 1 remanining day can be used to visit Tso Moriri while coming back from Leh

      15K is a good budget if you plan to stay in your own tents always.

      • shrikantnikhil on

        sorry I framed the question wrong. by skipping Leh I meant after spending a day in Leh for acclimatization ,Is it possible to cover the rest of journey without coming back to Leh.
        Thank you.

  26. msingh0091 on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Really appreciable the blog you are doing,it has helped a lot fellow travellers like us to plan our trip in a better way.
    I have done trip to spiti valley also this year in May was a very good experience, had a real good time exploring some remote areas of spiti valley and enjoying the beauty of the wonderful spiti valley.
    So, this time around me and my friend are planning trip to leh from delhi via srinagar-leh-manali on ertiga, we will be self driving.
    Will ertiga be a good option? we are planning from 12 August to 21 auagust.

    We are planning as follows:
    12 August: Delhi to patnitop(Stay at patnitop)
    13 Aug: Patnitop to Kargil(stay at Kargil)
    14 Aug: Kargil to leh(with sight seeing on the way to leh).
    15 Aug: Rest, acclimitize and local sight seeing.
    16 Aug: Leh to nubra valley (stay at nubra valley).
    17 Aug: Nubra valley to pangong Tso(Stay at Pangong Tso).
    18 Aug: Pangong Tso to Tso moriri(Stay at Tso moriri).
    19 Aug: Tso moriri to kharu to fuel up and want to visit Tanglang la and back same day and stay at jispa/sarchu.
    20 Aug: Sarchu/jispa to mandi/manali(Stay at mandi/manali),covering Chandertal en route.
    21 Aug: En route to Delhi.

    Is the itinerary good.Any change would be appreciated.
    Whats the condition of road from nubra valley to pangong Tso and Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri. Is it doable.
    Is any permit required for visiting Tso moririr from Pangong.

  27. Sahil Bhattad on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    I’ve been reading on 5 days itinerary in Ladakh and have come across some confusing, if not contradictory, suggestions. I was hoping you’d be able to iron some details out.

    A friend and I are planning to fly from Delhi to Leh on 25th of July and return to Mumbai on the 30th. We’d ideally like to see Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley, both, but completely understand that it might not be physically possible to do so. Since this is our first time in this region, we’d like to follow your advice and stick to the main roads. Do you think we’ll be able to do both these places with enough time to acclimatize to the altitude? What would the itinerary look like?

    If we can’t do both the places, which would you suggest we visit?

    • Sahil, you can follow the below plan and do both:

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

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

      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

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Could you suggest a 10 day itinerary from Jalandhar- Srinagar – Leh – Manali – Jalandhar ?

        We plan to start on 13th July 2016.

        Thank you,
        Regards

      • Sahil Bhattad on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a ton for such a prompt and thorough response. I really appreciate it. 🙂

        Over the past few days, I booked my flight tickets. Due to the student budget I am on, I had to cut the trip from July 25 – 29, instead of July 30. I now arrive at Leh airport on 25th at 10am and leave on July 29 by a 7:10am flight.

        Your 5 day itinerary seemed just perfect for Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley. Now with one day less, do you think it is still manageable? Again, this is our first trip and we’d rather see fewer things than exhaust ourselves and not enjoy. If in case we have to chose one of the two, what would you suggest? How do you suggest we go about with these flight reservations?

        Thanks in advance.

  28. Hi Dheeraj Sir,

    Last week i had completed my solo riding to Leh on my Bullet Electra 350cc and followed your itinerary.
    Started from Delhi-Jummu-Patnitop-sonmarg-zozila-Kargil-Leh-Kurdangla-Turtuk-Panamik (took shyok river route and started at 4AM for Pangong, it was very adventurous, have to say i enjoyed a lot)-Pangong-Leh-Tso Moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi.

    Turtuk and Shyok river route to Pangong both were great experience.

    Loved each and every part of Leh.
    Thanks for all your information shared by you.
    Your each information was very helpful to complete the trip.

    Regards,
    Abhishek Sharma

  29. Abhishek Verma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    My 3rd question on your blog :D,
    We (3 men, age 25-30) will be in Leh-Ladakh for 4-6 days (excluding the days to reach Leh from Manali).
    What should we visit, we are not much interested in museum/monastery type of places unless they are in ‘must to visit places’. As of now we are planning to visit these:
    1. Pangong lake
    2. Nubra Valley
    3. Khardung La pass
    4. Magentic hill
    5. Tso moriri lake

    Please let us know if we can add anything, and how much time each place would need or if any of these two places can be covered in day.

      • Abhishek Verma on

        We will be on bike from Manali to Leh (1-2 July), then we’ll be in Leh-Ladakh for 4-6 days and will return to Manali on the bike (2 more days).

        • You can do it like below:

          Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — Overnight at Leh

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

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

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

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

  30. Hey Dheeraj,

    This article popped up in Google at the right time. I am going on a solo trip to Leh in October. Now I have two questions for you:

    1. Is it fine to travel to Leh in October?
    2. As a solo traveler how much is the estimated cost excluding the travel expense (New Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Leh)?

      • Rachit Sharma on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I am planning a road trip (by bus). The trip starts on a train from new delhi to jammu and then to srinagar by bus.

        I was trying to calculate the estimate but if I travel by bus in my entire trip I am sure to miss out on a lot of places which you have mentioned here (correct me if I am wrong). And no I am not flying out to Leh

        • Yeah Rachit, in buses you can almost do point to point but places mentioned in between the day will not be visited as public buses do not stop over at these places.

  31. Hey Dheeraj,
    This Monday (30-6-16) i am gonna visit leh with my family. We are taking two cars Safari and Swift. We are doing Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar. So is it okay to cross zojila in swift because we are with family .
    Regards

  32. Ted Spirakis - North Carolina, USA on

    Just got back from our trip to Ladakh, and Leh from a few weeks ago and I have to say, what a great experience! We saw so much, learned so much, and met so many great people along the way, as well as made friends for life that we will stay in touch with, and visit when we travel back there in two years. I will probably do the next trip and include a motorcycle trip while my wife rides in the chase car (if she can), or just enjoy her stay in Leh with friends.

    Now…… I thought I did see a large group of motorcycle riders on the side of the road stopped for refreshments wearing yellow jerseys that I believe read something about DOW motorcycle tour trip or something like that: We drove by very fast on our way back to Leh outside Thiksey on the Leh Manali Hwy from having spent the night with a Nomadic family at their camp and learning about Cashmere (Pashmina) and how they harvest it along with their lifestyle, and even living with Yaks that they also owned and worked with! Was that your group, or affiliated with “DOW”???

    Anyways, we also spent 4 days just outside of Pangong Tso with other group of semi Nomadic woman at a Woman’s Cashmere Center, and worked with them regarding learning new ways to work with their beautiful cashmere fiber and how to market their wares internationally.

    A great two week trip!!!!! Traveled the roads north, south, east and almost west in Ledakh!

    Just a quick note of thanks to you and this site for all of the information you write and discuss, as it came in handy, and will in the future as we plan our next rip to that beautiful part of the world. Keep up the great site and work!

    Julley (from here in the US)!!!

    • Hello Ted,

      Really great to read about your experience !! It is great to know that you had so much fun and experienced the Nomadic living to an extent. It is always great to know that site has helped travellers in need with their travel plans. We do not organize any tours and only share info. to travellers, we only conduct a mega meet once in a year where every member travel for a cause and this year it will be in Bhutan. They must be those copy cats, who are shamelessly using a similar name to mint money for their own commercial purpose by using our brand name image, unfortunately.

      BTW, I also returned from a long weekend trip from Outer Banks in NC and enjoyed the stay at Nags Head a lot 🙂 🙂 … Beautiful time spent up there. I am here for couple of years for a official project and living in PA as of now 🙂 🙂

      Thank you for the wishes.

      • Ted Spirakis - North Carolina, USA on

        Glad to read that you had a good time on The Outer Banks: I grew up fishing and sailing on the ocean, yet now I live across the state in the Blue Ridge Mountains: Go figure… Life’s irony of sorts, although my “first love” is the ocean….

        Hope your project assignment goes well in PA, and keep up the great website and the work that you do.

        Ted
        Burnsville, NC, USA

  33. Hi Dheeraj,

    I plan to travel with my family (4 adults) to Ladakh. Following is my plan. Pls let me know if this is good plan. If not pls suggest the changes I need to make. Also, do I need to carry heavy woolens or light woolen is good enough.

    Jul 2 – Srinagar to Lamayaru ( Stay at Lamayaru)
    Jul 3 – Lamayaru to Leh ( see Alchi, Panther Saheb, Nimoo, Magnetic Hills,….). Stay at Leh
    Jul 4 – Stay at Leh for acclimatization
    Jul 5 – Leh to Nubra Valley ( Diksit, Hunder, …) Stay at Diksit
    Jul 6 – Nubra to Leh (Panamik,…..) Stay at Leh
    Jul 7 – Leh to Pangong (Stay at Pangong)
    Jul 8 – Pangong to Hanle (Stay at Hanle)
    Jul 9 – Hanle to Tsomoriri (Stay at Tsomoriri)
    Jul 10 – Tsomoriri to Sarchu (Stay at Sarchu)
    Jul 11 – Sarchu to Manali

    Thanks for your time and help in advance

    • Carry at least one pair of heavy woolens, rest light will do. Regarding plan:

      1. Try to stop at Kargil as it is lower in altitude than Lamayuru. For Hanle, you need permits from DC office in Leh, so be sure you have it properly mentioned all places on the route. Still, there is a chance even after permit, army can send you back from chusul post. Not sure if you are self driving, in case yes, make arrangements of fuel from Leh to Manali via Pangong Tso, Hanle, Tso Moriri

      • Thank you for sharing such minute details. I know you have answered these types of questions multiple times, thank you for your patience. I am travelling from Bangalore on Aug-6 to Srinagar with my 2.5 and 5 year old Kids, so need you to kindly check my schedule.

        August 6 – Landing at Srinagar from Bangalore– Sight Seeing for 1.5 days
        August 8 – Start for Srinagar to Leh road trip (bus)– Stop over at Kargil , (but not sure about the Bus plan/stop. planning for JK transport bus)
        August 9 – Arriving at Leh
        August 10 – Day for acclimatization & site seeing
        August 11 – Visit to Khardung La, Nubra valley – Diskit – Hunder
        August 12 – Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur
        August 13 – Pangong Tso (planning to take 3-day taxi from LEH which cover all the above. is this fine?)
        August 14 – local site seeing or River rafting?
        August 15 – Start for Manali (LEH – Manali HPTC bus)
        August 16 – Arrival at Manali – travel to Chandigarh at night
        August 17 – fly Back to Bangalore

        Also during Aug first week , do i need to book Hotels in advance , also do i need to book the taxis in advance?

        • Your plan looks OK to me. Do 2 day trip from Leh to Nubra and 2 day trip to Pangong Tso.It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 4 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

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

        • Hi thank you very much I have gone thru your suggested links . it gave more details than i expected. One question, is it okay to travel from NUBRA Valley to Pangong Tso directly (via Shayok) on August second week? Does the Road to Shayok is made better this year (i have read the 2015 travel warnings) . Please reply

        • Well, the road is better this time BUT by August the water crossings flood and river at Shyok gets swollen. Hence, will not suggest to take it unless traveling in a group.

      • Dheeraj – We are thinking of exactly same itinerary. Need your suggestion for below:

        1. Can we get Srinagar to Manali drop cabs ? What would be the budget ? We are 5 adults. So, it would be either innova or xylo.

        2. We would love to take self drive if that is possible.

        Would be waiting to see your reply.

  34. Jeevan Gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for doing this great blog. It really helps fellow travellers like us.

    We are planning to complete Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi circuit in the july (15th-26th). Can you please provide us your inputs about the following itinerary which Me & my friends are planning to do? Is it feasible (good to go) ? Please provide us any suggestion also, if you want to add.

    Itinerary :

    Day 0 (Friday – 15th July) – Evening flight from Bangalore to reach Delhi.

    Day 0 (Friday – 15th July) – Take 10:15 pm Duranto Express from Delhi to reach Jammu in the morning (8:00 am)

    Day 1 (Saturday – 16th July) – Hire a taxi/cab from Jammu to reach Srinagar in the evening. Overnight at Srinagar.

    Day 2(Sunday – 17th July) – Srinagar-Sonamarg-Zozi la pass-Drass-Kargil. Overnight at Kargil

    Day 3(Monday – 18th July)- Kargil-Leh(en route Mulbekh-Lamayuru-Alchi-Likir-Nimmu-Magnetic Hills-Gurudwara Pathar Sahib-Hall of fame-Shanti Stupa). Overnight at Leh

    Day 4(Tuesday – 19th July)- Leh-Khardung la-Diskit-Hunder. Overnight at Hunder/Diskit

    Day 5(Wednesday – 20th July)- Hunder-Diskit-Sumur-Panamik-Sumur-Khardung la-Leh. Overnight at Leh

    Day 6(Thursday – 21st July)- Leh-Hemis-3 idiots school-Thicksey-Shey-Pangong Tso. Overnight at Pangong.

    Day 7(Friday – 22nd July)- Pangong Tso-Hanle Village via Chumathang. Overnight at Hanle.

    Day 8(Saturday – 23rd July)- Hanle-Tso Moriri. Overnight at Tso Moriri

    Day 9(Sunday – 24th July)- Tso moriri-Tso kar-Debring(Manali-Leh highway starts)-Moore plains-Pang-Sarchu. Overnight at Sarchu.

    Day 10(Monday – 25th July)- Sarchu-Baralacha la-Keylong-Rohtang Pass-Manali. After reaching Manali, take a overnight bus to reach Delhi in the morning.

    Day 11(Tuesday – 26th July)- Reach Morning at Delhi. Take morning flight to reach Bangalore

    Apart from this itinerary, we have some doubts/questions also :

    1. What is the ideal/safe time to reach Srinagar in the evening? Will we be able to find accomodations, if we get late?
    2. Could rain play a spoilsport during the time of the trip(July15-26) (between Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jojilla Pass-Kargil, Rohtang pass or some other place)?

    Hoping to get a answer from you soon. Thanks 🙂

      • Jeevan Gupta on

        Dheeraj, Thanks for the clarification 🙂

        Could you please also give your inputs for last two doubts I am having for this trip.

        1. What is the ideal/safe time to reach Srinagar in the evening (If we hire a taxi/cab from Jammu) ? Will we be able to find accomodations, if we get late?

        2. Could rain play a spoilsport during the time of the trip (July15-26) (between Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jojilla Pass-Kargil, Rohtang pass or some other place)?

        • Hello Jeevan,

          1. Do reach before 6-7 PM to give you more chance to bargain, the late you reach the less opportunity of bargain
          2. July is mostly OK but now a day you never pcan predict how weather will behave

    • Priya Kapoor on

      Hi Jeevan,

      I am planning to go around the same time, July 15 – 20th. Would love to connect with you

    • Piyush Nagpal on

      Are you leaving on 15th july or 22nd july. Me and one of my frnd is planning for a road trip with similar itinerary as of yours. I will leave on Friday morning. I will drive my own car. We can catchup and explore the stay options together if you want. You can contact me on 9953646006

  35. Hemal Raichura,Mumbai on

    Dear Dhiraj,Reading your sharing,I am feeling half the Leh I already seen.Thank you so much for detail guidence,I can dream now to go for this adventure.
    my question is, I am not getting any partner for this adventure.how can i find any like minded person? is it ok if Start alone from Mumbai? I am planing,as per your guidence,I will transport my bike by train to Jammu & then start travelling by road. also need your guidence,If I end my tour at Manali,How i transport my bike back to Mumbai>
    I have only one source of guidence for this adventure,that is you dear Dhiraj.
    Loving you so much.Wishing you Most & More

    • DoW started an initiative couple of years back under DoW – Himalayan Travel Community for finding Travel Partners or Companions, leave your message in Travel Partners section at the link: Ladakh & Zanskar – Travel Partners Section. There is also a DoW Travel Partners Calendar linked here which can be used to easily and quickly spot a travel partner with similar dates of all the people looking for Travel Partners for their trips. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates.

      DoW started an initiative couple of years back under DoW – Himalayan Travel Community for finding Travel Partners or Companions, leave your message in Travel Partners section at the link: Ladakh & Zanskar – Travel Partners Section. There is also a DoW Travel Partners Calendar linked here which can be used to easily and quickly spot a travel partner with similar dates of all the people looking for Travel Partners for their trips. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates.

      Srinagar – Kargil – Plenty of shared taxis and daily buses of JKSRTC running
      Kargil – Leh – Plenty of shared taxis and daily buses of JKSRTC running
      Leh Rest or local, you need to get tourist shared taxis as mentioned in above paras
      Leh – Nubra Valley tour, you need to get tourist shared taxis as mentioned in above paras
      Leh – Pangong Tso tour, you need to get tourist shared taxis as mentioned in above paras
      Leh – Keylong – Manali, daily HRTC buses available to travel to Keylong on first day and then second day to Manali. Also, there is an HPTDC tourist bus that is available for tourists halts at Keylong and then go to Manali. Lots of shared taxis are also available both local as well as tourist shared taxis.

  36. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly i would like to thank you and all DOW community members for providing such a fabulous blog and website.
    We are a group of 4 and had a plan for bike trip to ladakh from gurgaon following your itinerary on 17th June onwards.
    I was wandering is it safe to travel through Jammu and srinagar nowdays as there is some communal tension going on?
    What precaution and prevention we should take in such case?

    • Mostly tourist spots are spared out and bandhs are declared in advance. You can leave early by 6.30 AM or at max by 7 AM if the situation arise. Also, you can be on the main highways only and avoid entering any inner roads. Confirm from couple of hotels too in that area about the current situation on ground.

  37. Hi Dheeraj

    Thanks for providing people so useful information. We are leaving from Delhi to Leh Ladakh on 6th July by our own car. We will be taking the Srinagar to Leh route. Can you please suggest an itinerary best for us from 6th July-14th July (9 days).

    Thanks
    Sugandha

    • 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.

      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.

  38. Hi Dheeraj,

    Words fail me in appreciation for your posts.

    I have taken a permit to Visit Amarnath on 14th August with family. I intend to come down the Baltal route from where my family will go back home from Srinagar, and my friend will join me from Srinagar. Please , let me know whether the plan is logically correct ?

    I am thinking that we will be able to reach Baltal on the 4th day. Keeping one day extra, I can book the return flight tickets for 19th August afternoon from Srinagar for my family. And then, I can ask my friend to come down to Baltal on 19th August and join me in Baltal. 20th August, I can Start for Kargil from Baltal. So, my plan is to stay in Baltal for 3 nights (17th, 18th and 19th).

    Second question is, where will I stay in Baltal ?

    Day 1 | Baltal – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil Overnight at Kargil
    Day 2 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh Overnight at Leh
    Day 3 | Leh Local Sighseeing Overnight at Leh
    Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder Overnight at Hunder / Diskit
    Day 5 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh Overnight at Leh
    Day 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake Overnight at Pangong Tso
    Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh Overnight at Leh
    Day 8 | Tour to Sham Valley Overnight at Leh
    Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
    Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Moore Plains Sarchu Overnight at Sarchu
    Day 11 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali Overnight at Manali
    Day 12 | Manali – Shimla Overnight at Shimla
    Day 13 | Shimla – Kalka by train and then to Delhi by night train Overnight in Train
    Day 14 | Delhi to Home (That will be 2nd September)

    Incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps if we want to enjoy more, then no Shimla detour.

    As it is only two of us in backpacking mode, we want to do the above without booking exclusive vehicles. My third question is whether it is possible to do the above by share vehicles or public transport and how to find them ?

    Thanks for helping

    • One more thing, Can we rent bikes in Leh for going around ? Will it be only for Leh or for all the places before we start from Manali ?

    • Anshuman, there are camp sites at Baltal where you can stay and then you plan looks good to me. But, is there any specific reason you want to do Manali to Shimla?

      You can do it easily on backpacking mode. You will get the shared vehocles. You are alone/couple and private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are 🙂

      • Thanks a million.

        Can you please tell us whether a single bike for two of us will be
        cheaper than the Share Taxis ?

        I took an Alto K10 and have gone through the country from Jammu to Kanyakumari and from Moreh to Narayan Sarovar for 181 days between June 2014 to December 2015. The places I have missed are Jammu to Manali via leh, Train from Kalka to Shimla, Andamans, Sundarbans…, I think that’s it.

        So, I am trying to cover these untouched places one by one.

  39. Hi Dheeraj

    We are Group of 4 ppl planning a full circuit in from srinagar – leh – manali .we are tentatively planning our trip from 13th july.
    We are planning to fly to srinagar and from there to leh we are thinking on taking a taxi to get dropped n leh and drive around leh ,pangnong
    tso,nubravalley by renting a bike.and take a taxi from leh to decent to manali.

    we need some clarification on a few things:

    1.what ll be the approximate charges for taxi too get dropped in leh and from leh to manali. i am looking for a cut taxi charges not a whole trip .

    2.is it worth spending a day in gulmarg or we can start out trip to leh on the Day.

    3.Request you to give us ur opinion on the itinerary and let us know if anything needs to be changed.

    4 . also can we fit in tso moriri into our schedule.we are free to extend the trip by a day.

    5.Do we need passes or permit for any of these trips.

    Day 1 – bglr to gulmarg(we reach srinagar airport by 2pm from there drive to gulamrg)
    Day 2 – gulmarg to srinagar
    day 3 – srinagar – kargil
    Day 4 – Kargil – leh
    day 5 – rest day in leh (local sightseeing)
    Day 6 – leh -kardhung la – nubra valley
    Day 7 – nubra valley – leh
    Day 8 – leh -Hemis Monastry- pangnong tso
    Dat 9 – Pangong Tso To leh
    Day 10 – Leh – sarchu
    Day 11 – sarchu – manali

    Thank you in advance

    • 1. Srinagar – Leh around 15K, Manali – Leh around 18K

      2. Since, you have less days, will say start for Leh and do Tso Moriri

      3. Looks OK to me, if you drop Gulmarg you can do Tso Moriri from Leh and then Tso Moriri to Sarchu below

      4 . Suggested aobve

      5. No permit needed for below

      Day 1 – bglr to gulmarg(we reach srinagar airport by 2pm from there drive to gulamrg)
      Day 2 – gulmarg to srinagar
      day 3 – srinagar – kargil
      Day 4 – Kargil – leh
      day 5 – rest day in leh (local sightseeing)
      Day 6 – leh -kardhung la – nubra valley
      Day 7 – nubra valley – leh
      Day 8 – leh -Hemis Monastry- pangnong tso
      Dat 9 – Pangong Tso To leh
      Day 10 – Leh – sarchu
      Day 11 – sarchu – manali

      Thank you in advance

  40. roop sidhu on

    hi dheeraj how r u .first of all ur information is so good for all different places .this is my second trip to leh .we r going on june 18 via srinagar .we have one innova and second we have eco sport car to travelling .let me know that is eco sport is good for leh tour or not .plz tell me as soon .thanks so much .

  41. SREEJITH P A on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    We are planning a trip via Delhi-Srinar-Leh-Manali-Delhi route starting from 2nd Septemeber to 20th 19th Septmeber 16. I have planned it with the help of your post “Most common itinerary for leh-ladakh”. Could you help me to clarify few points below?

    1. we will be renting bikes from Delhi. Do I have to take permits on the above said route? If yes, could you specify what all?
    2. How about the whether condition in September?
    3. Where all I call fill petrol on the route? Should I have to carry can from Delhi?
    4. Should I have to book hotels in advance?

    Thanks and Regards In Advance

      • SREEJITH P A on

        Dheeraj thanks a lot for the guidance. Also,

        1. Did you mean, If I stay for a day in Leh, Nubra valley or Pangong Tso Lake I cannot use my outside rented bike to roam around in local?

        2. Is there any problem in just following the above-said route in your blog, with outside rented bikes?

        • 1. Yes, you cannot.
          2. If confronted at the barriers, either they will send you back or may enter into quarrel or just politely not let you pass through. All depends on your luck on that day

  42. Pramod Kumar Dixit on

    Hello Dheeraj,
    Greetings for this season. 2014 – we did a splendid tour of leh / ladakh – (delhi – leh (air), – khardung la – Dishkit – hunder – Turtuk – diskit – Vari la – pangong – leh – manali – Shimla – Delhi.

    This year, we thought of doing Spiti valley from shimla – kaza – manali but, looking at the photographs and comparing it with ladakh, spiti circuit is not very encouraging. We have come across our own tailor made itinerary as below and a few questions about it. Please help us make our trip better by replying them. Thank you for your time.

    Day 0 – Delhi – Jammu by train. (our bikes, rented from delhi will arrive here by the time we reach jammu)
    Day 1 – Jammu to srinagar (by bike) – reach srinagar – boat house stay.
    Day 2 – Srinagar – Gulmarg – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Drass (over night stay in drass)
    Day 3 – Drass – kargil – lamayuru – leh (stay overnight). If ILP not required, take other route to leh from kargil.
    Day 4 – Leh – Tso moriri
    Day 5 – Tso moriri – Sarchu
    Day 6 – Sarchu – Batal
    Day 7 – Batal – Chandratal – kaza – batal
    Day 8 – Batal – solong valley – kullu velley – Bhunter / Kullu
    Day 9 – Bhunter / kullu – chandigarh – Delhi

    Our buffer day – whenever we need a buffer day – Dropping a the next day program.
    My questions are..
    1. Can we do a srinagar – leh on a delhi registration bike?
    2. Is there any scope of squeezing / alternate better routes? or any place to be taken out?
    3. Is this circuit better than spiti valley circuit?
    4. we are doing 8 people on 4 bikes with ladies in it. DO we need prior accomodation booking?
    5. It would be of great help if we get to know good / ethical bike rentals from delhi who can give us bikes in jammu?
    6. Is overnight stay in Sarchu a good option considering high altitude or do we need to streach and find another place?

    • Hello Pramod,

      You do not have enough time to execute above plan. You should just focus on either Spiti Valley or even in 9 days Ladakh is no easy thing.

  43. Hello Mr.Dheeraj Sharma

    We a group of four people are planning a trip to Leh via Delhi-srinagar-leh tentatively we are planning to start the trip on the (11th july2016 and complete the trip on the 25th july). we are planing to rent a self driven car from delhi.we are planing to rent ford figo.is that a conducive car for the trip? else suggest an option,
    Will there be a problem if we drive a rented self driven car to leh?
    we are a bunch of photographers travelling to Photograph some exotic locations.if possible pease let us know of an itinerary that will make our trip memorable.
    Also about the permit details if any required and a suggestion if we can do a full stretch or we return back via srinagar.

    thank you in advance

    • Firstly, 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

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

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

      Self drive rented cars and taxis outside Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh. You can use them for getting to Leh and getting out from Leh but not sightseeing. So, the self drive cars you are taking must have private number plate, mostly should be under your name, your wife name or your father name otherwise you will have to again hire a taxi within Ladakh and pay for your local taxi without using it. You can read: Rented Self Drive Cars in Leh – Ladakh Banned “FORCIBLY”

  44. Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all God Bless you for doing such a incredible work of guiding us.

    We are a couple planning to visit Leh Laddakh. We will reach Leh on 8 July 16 early morning by flight.

    We need to reach 20 Jul Morning to Srinagar for further journey to Srinagar, Jammu, Amarnath, Vaishno Devi, Katra.

    Dates are as under:

    8 Jul to 19 Jul – Need to cover Leh Laddakh Padum Drass Kargil – complete area

    20 Jul to 21 Jul – Srinagar & Nearby places

    22 Jul – Reach Pahalgam & Stay Overnight

    23 Jul- Morning Start Amarnath Yatra

    25 Jul – Return from Yatra & Stay Overnight in Baltal

    26 Jul – baltal to Srinagar via Sonmarg visit

    27, 28 – Srinagar & Nearby places

    29 – daytime move to Katra by bus o/n at katra

    30 -31 – Vaishno Devi, Katra , Patni top & Nearby area

    1, 2, 3 Aug till 12 noon – Jammu & Nearby places.

    3 Aug afternoon – Return by Flight Jammu Airport.

    Kindly guide us by suggesting the best schedule with covering most places (especially in Laddakh). Also kindly let me know the budget range that I need to plan. We need the cheapest option to stay, eat & travel. We can go by State Transport bus, Shared taxi & stay in Home Stays.

    As you can see that the schedule is very long so we need to minimize the cost while covering the majority of area. Kindly suggest cost effective accommodation, travel & restaurants (veg food needed)

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards.

    Kumar

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

      For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      Regarding the plan, you can follow as below:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain with taxi driver and you can refer the thread for a comprehensive list of drivers: http://devilonwheels.com/india/ladakh-zanskar-travel-guides/listof-taxi-drivers-for-ladakh-srinagar-leh-manali-t353.html
      — 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: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/travel-guide-local-sightseeing-leh-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 – 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 4 | Turtuk – Hunder
      — Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
      — Overnight at Hunder

      Day 5 | 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 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
       
      Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day in Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 11 | 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

      Rest you can follow as above.

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your kind reply.

        I would appreciate if you can give your valuable inputs for the below queries:

        1. Is it safe to stay & easy to Acclimatize if we stay near lake side or a nearby lake area (High altitude and open areas) . Do we need to carry blanket also or it will be provided there for sleeping.

        2. As you know we are there for a long time, is it possible to cover and travel to some of the places by the JKSRTC buses. Are they kind of place to place type bus or are they like sightseeing buses (which covers the places in between). Do you have any schedule or contact details for JKSRTC Bus Stand. Can you also suggest some links where I can find people to share taxi for travelling in Leh Laddakh.

        3. Do we need both inner line and outer line permits to visit these places & from where to get this permits. What are the docs, cost, processing time etc for this permits. Do we need passport also to see Outer Line Areas.

        4. Also, kindly let me know if we can cover the other places in region such as Zanskar Valley, Padum, Drung Drak Glacier, Penzi La, Drass war Memorial, Shyam Valley etc within these 12 days. I will be going there as a couple so no snow climbing etc.

        5. Which are local places where we can go by easy walk to see them.

        6. Is going to a place (start early morning) and coming back in night to leh or staying in that place & coming back next day is better ???? In terms of cold, acclamation, fatigue, travel & accommodation cost

        7. In case we take private or shared taxi how about the taxi driver, do we need to arrange some accommodation for him also or we can take other taxi driver while returning to Leh. Will he with us till we cover all the area and return to leh OR he will drop us and go & then we look for other taxi driver.

        8. For going to Leh to Srinagar can we get a state bus by which we can stay one night in Kargil and see the places in between leh & srinagar. Does the state bus stop in between to show the things.

        9. If we go to remote places / lakes can we get some vegetrain food or we need to carry something to eat.

        Thanks in Advance

        Best regards.

        Kumar

        • Hi Kumar,

          Below are the answers

          1. The homestays/camps does provide you everything

          2. Yes, you can refer: Rates & Time table of Bus Services in Leh – Ladakh

          3. If you are following the normal routes you do not need any permits.

          4. This requires 4 days at least for a comfortable trip to these places from Kargil. Do you have them?

          5. Only handful in Leh town and that too depends upon your hotel location

          6. Always best to stay overnight to enjoy the route and place

          7. Taxi drivers take care of it themselves but as a part of courtesy you should always ask him if he has a place to stay or you should be concerned about it. In case of shared taxis, it is not applicable at all.

          8. Yes. JKRSTC buses run from Leh to Kargil and Kargil to Srinagar

          9. You will get veg. food everywhere in Ladakh

        • Dear Dheeraj,

          Thanks for your reply.

          1. Please give me opinion about the Padum, Zanskar Valley itenary (if we want to include that our programme) We will add more 4-5 days in our programme. Please tell about places to see, accommodation, transportation etc,

          2. Kindly let me know which day of week Leh to Padum OR Kargil to Padum Buses are available (to & fro).

          3. Is AMS very serious issue while flying or we shall take bus from srinagar to Leh to avoid AMS. I am allergic to Daimox.

          4. Does these JKSRTC buses from Srinagar to Leh OR From Leh to Near by areas like Diskit, Pangong etc stops at various in route points ( so that we can see them) or it is just picks ups and drops us to Leh / Nearby Areas.

          Best regards.

          Kumar

        • Hello Kumar,

          1. This is hat I suggest for Zanskar

          Day 1 | Kargil – Padum (Zanskar Valley)
          — Head straight to Padum

          Day 2 | Padum Local Sightseeing
          — Enjoy Zangla, Stongde, Karsha

          Day 3 | Padum – Zongkhul Monastery – Penzi La Pass – Rangdum
          — Start back and stay at Rangdum

          Day 4 | Rangdum – Panikhar – Sankoo – Kargil
          — Checkout rock carved statue at Khartse Khar

          2. Leh to Kargil is available daily, almost in season time you will get one bus or shared taxis for Kargil – Padum too.
          3. Best is to go via Srinagar route only.
          4. No, the general buses do not stop.

  45. sachinyadav on

    Hey Dhiraj
    I am planning for Leh via Srinagar and I also wants to cover Spiti. I have 20-22 days with me. And I want to cover every place of Ladakh.
    Please provide itenary for the trip. I will be very thankful to you.

  46. Manjunath on

    hi Dheeraj,
    we are starting on Aug 14 from Chandigarh on bikes, and planning to reach jammu for an overnight. On 15th as per the plan we want to go to Srinagar – but given the fact that it is independence day, many are advising that Srinagar may not be a good choice. Would there be any problems entering Srinagar on that day
    ? else we may have to keep a buffer and plan something around it to avoid Srinagar on 15th Aug – please suggest

    • Regarding security issues, in general the tourist areas remain safe there but bandhs can affect the traffic movement. It is advised always that you leave the city in the early morning hours in such cases. Usually these bandhs are pre-declared and hence you can leave the city in early morning hours judging the situation around before the bandh gets active. As long as you can stick to main highway and tourist areas, there is in general no issues.
      If you are really concerned about it more then probably you can skip the stay at Srinagar and move to Sonamarg the same day you reach Srinagar.

  47. Hello Dheeraj
    planning for leh trip on july 27 from delhi (srinagar-leh route). We have to reach back Delhi on 8th August. Could u pls help with the itinerary. Thanx in advance

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

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

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

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

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

      Day 6 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Leh (if two days you have, do this in 2 days then)
      — Head for Nubra Valley very early in the day and come back by late evening after visiting Deskit. If you have time go little further and see Hunder sand dunes too
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

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

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

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

      Day 10 | Manali – Delhi

  48. Hey Dheeraj,

    we are planning for the Ladhak marathon this year and we want to do some site seeing too… 🙂 here is what we have though about, can you help us review this and fill in the TBD’s?

    We are flying to Srinagar and starting from there toward Leh and flying back from Leh

    10 and 11 we need to be in Leh as the run in on 11 sep. Appreciate your help.

    1-Sep Thu Blr – Srinagar – Phalagam
    2-Sep Fri Phalagam – Gulmarg – Srinagar (Can skipp this if this is not the season and nothing to do in Gulmarg in Sep)
    3-Sep Sat Srinagar site seeing
    4-Sep Sun Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
    5-Sep Mon Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
    6-Sep Tue Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder (Nubra valley)
    7-Sep Wed Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    8-Sep Thu Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
    9-Sep Fri Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    10-Sep Sat Rest + Shopping + Explore Leh
    11-Sep Sun The day for the run + Explore Leh
    12-Sep Mon TBD: Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang ??
    13-Sep Tue TBD: Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring and return to Leh??
    14-Sep Wed TBD:

    • You MUST add one day of rest after reaching Leh.

      5-Sep Mon Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      6-Sep Tue Leh – Rest dayand acclimatize
      7-Sep Tue Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder (Nubra valley)
      8-Sep Wed Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      9-Sep Wed Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      10-Sep Thu Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      11-Sep Sun The day for the run + Explore Leh
      12-Sep Mon Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      13-Sep Tue Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring and return to Leh
      14-Sep Wed Rest day in Leh

  49. Abhimanyu on

    Hi dheeraj. We are group of 6 people planning a road trip to leg in Scorpio from 13 June . we have 15 days with us. Can spiti be also covered in our trip. If possible please provide itenary for the trip. We’ll be very thankful to you.

    • hello abhimanyu!! we are also planning for the same trip from delhi on same date!! do text or call me on my no if you want to come along!! 8826908369

    • You can plan something like below:

      Day 1 | Chandigarh/Ambala – Manali / Solang Valley
      Day 2 | Manali / Solang Valley – Kunzum Pass – Kaza
      Day 3 | Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Tabo
      Day 4 | Tabo – Lhalung – Kaza and then do — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
      Day 5 | Kaza – Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit – Kaza and then go over to Chandratal for overnight stay
      Day 6 | Chandratal – Jispa / Keylong
      Day 7 | 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 8 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — 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 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 14 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Pang – Sarchu
      — Go over to Sarchu via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway
      — Overnight at Sarchu

      Day 15 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Manali
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 16 | Manali – Back home

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