My Never Ending Journey | Ladakh 2012

78

Ever since I had visited this magical place of the world, Ladakh in 2010 (trip report here), only I know how much I desperately wanted to visit this place again in search of the part of my lost soul. Since, then I have written so many articles over Ladakh just to re-live those beautiful moments spent in this region. And now again after visit in April 2012, I feel the same “There is no other place in this world like Ladakh!!!”… For me, it has become like an annual pilgrimage that I had to undertake once a year for the rest of my life 🙂 …

After a long long wait, Ladakh trip finally happened again in April 2012. The mantra of he trip was to explore the remotest part in Ladakh known as Changthang and the initial plan was jotted here: Itinerary for My Ladakh Trip in April – 2012. The trip was JUST AWESOME … I had some most amazing adventure of my life. The trip had everything I could ever imagine even after traveling so much … The snow run to Khardung La and getting stuck every odd few KMs at 18K was some serious fun…. Tangste to Nubra via Shyok isolated route was major highlight of the trip. At couple of places we had to almost cross a part of Shyok river and crossing landslides on that route was a super adventure, even army men were shocked to see us on the other side. The Shyok route was really beautiful. Photography wise trip was disappointing due to overcast conditions and dark clouds. Also, riding a Bullet Classic for the first time up to Chilling and Basgo was fun in itself too and finally getting stuck again due to cancellation of flight but witnessing the snow white Leh town was treat to the eyes… Aahhh so much, in so little time!! Well, that is Ladakh for you 🙂 and My Journey to Ladakh Begins Again!!

A Teaser… An Ocean of Snow… Khardung La… An Ocean of Snow... Khardung La...

Day 1 | Delhi – Leh By Flight

After a long day in office, seeing off my little kiddo and lovely wife, packing all the luggage and finally replying to all the comments/emails on the blog, I finally went to sleep at 3.30 AM. The flight was scheduled for 8.30 AM which meant not much time to sleep. Well, the excitement was such that I hardly slept though ;)… 6.00 AM sleep broke with the three alarms and with no friction I was ready by 6.40 AM. Taking blessings of the family, off I went to Airport where I had to meet my friend Himanshu and a boy Tejas coming from Mumbai, who joined two of us at the last moment through my blog online. He was waiting at the Airport only and after all the formalities we were ready to board the flight.

The views from the flight were a bit disappointing because of overcast conditions and cloud cover. Flight took about 1.5 Hrs and we finally landed in the heaven, Leh – Ladakh. I cannot express my feelings through words and for a moment I was lost in myself. My soul belongs somewhere here, it is lost somewhere here in the heaven only!! Well, a bit of setback to me as GoAir attendant came running to me handing over the broken piece of my Tripod which meant no night long exposures, no panoramas  😥 … I was so desperately wanted to take them this time. But, never mind it did not kill the excitement of being in heaven. Rigzin (taxi guy) was waiting for us at the Airport and with one look I knew who was the charming and bubbly personality :)… There was one group of ten members who got in tough with me at the blog was also there and shaking hands with Deepak, who contacted me off we were towards our Hotel/Guest House.

Views from Delhi – Leh Flight… Views from Delhi - Leh Flight...
Himalayas from Delhi – Leh Flight…
Himalayas from Delhi - Leh Flight...
Himalayas from Delhi – Leh Flight…
Himalayas from Delhi - Leh Flight...
Approaching Leh – Ladakh… An Aerial View…
Approaching Leh - Ladakh... An Aerial View...
Approaching Leh – Ladakh… An Aerial View…
Approaching Leh - Ladakh... An Aerial View...
Approaching Leh – Ladakh… An Aerial View…
Approaching Leh - Ladakh... An Aerial View...
Finally at Leh Airport…
Finally at Leh Airport...
Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport at Leh…
Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport at Leh...
Our Machine for Ladakh 2012 Trip…
Our Machine for Ladakh 2012 Trip...

Once my nerves got settled finally I realized that it was cold, extremely cold. There was one friend who was already in Ladakh for last  7 days and had booked a room at Glacier View Guest House, Upper Tukcha Road which was in front of his Guest House (Dorje Guest House). Rs 500 buck for a nice, cozy room with extra bed was a deal to steal ;)… Rigzin dropped us at the hotel and told us to meet at DC office to get the permits arranged. After checkin and taking tea with our friend at his place, we went to DC office. Today was very important day to take rest and get our body acclimatized but guess the excitement was such that I could not held myself back in hotel and decided to start walking to DC office for getting the permits. It was long walk to the DC office from hotel and slowly, steadily we walked all exhausted very quickly. This was not a good sign and I suddenly realized my mistake, so just sat down at the stairs of polo ground to watch the Cricket match being played between Kashmir Club and Leh Club. Not sure, but Leh Cricket club was getting some battering from the Kashmiri boys with almost 15-16 runs every over :D…

Leh Main Market… As Lively As Ever…
Leh Main Market... As Lively As Ever...
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World…
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World...
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World…
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World...
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World…
Playing Cricket at Highest Playground of the World...

Sitting there for some time let our breath come back and we decided to head to DC office upstairs where the lunch was over. Rigzin in the meantime had gone off to market for some work so we decided to do it ourselves. As I handed over the ant written places permits to the clerk, he appeared disgusted and told us to remove some of the places. I knew he is an idiot and do not know how people are sent back from places if you do not write all the villages which have checkpost. So, we removed few places where we knew checkpost was not present and again handed over the permit to other guy. This meant one walk down all the way to photostat shop and back again, taking more energy out of body. I cannot tell you how much the Inner Line Permit article on my blog had proved helpful in stressing down the fatigue caused in running up-down the photostat shop from DC office. Finally, the guy accepted the permit and signed and asked us to get it signed from ADC on duty. Sadly, ADC went into meeting few minutes before and would not be back for next 1.5 Hr 😥 …

I realized that since morning none of us had eaten anything so we checked in the canteen of DC office where lunch was over but Maggie was present. So, we ordered one Maggie and tea. Ladies present there served us the Tea + Maggie and asked why aren’t we taking rest on the first day. Sadly, I had no answer because of excitement I forgot it as I could have asked Rigzin to get these permits for us while we had taken complete rest.  The problem was weather which was turning bad with little snow flakes falling down and lowering to temperatures further. It was getting colder and colder and some kind of uneasiness had started to set in. So, I handed over the permit form and fees to Rigzin who was there to take other groups permits and requested him to arrange the taxi to drop us back to hotel since walking down could have produced some ugly nightmares of AMS at night :)… He asked his cousin to drop us back to our guest house where we drank some good amount of water and rested for the day. In the evening, we woke up and was feeling much better. The weather still was overcast and it was very cold outside. Soon we realized that we had to go out for dinner because guest houses in Leh had not started to serve dinner or food due to lack of cooks who comes only after roads get open.

Stok Kangri… View from Glacier View Guest House…
A View of Stok Kangri from Glacier View Guest House...

I was aware of few good restaurant names Lamayuru and Gesmo who serve really delicious food in Leh but since it was almost dark a shop in the market said they would be closed by now. Then, we found a restaurant named Little Italy and walked up to it. Cold was getting colder but thanks to the people who served hot water as well 🙂 … Again many of the restaurants lacked cooks so had not started serving chapatis, only rice was available. It had to be the first meal of the day at least for me and Tejas, so we ordered three plates of Rice, Dal and Kashmiri Dum Aloo. Among he three, Kashmiri Dum Aloo tasted so great and overall the food was very nice. On the way back we bought biscuits, snacks, some chocolates in case we might need at night.

My Handicapped Tripod…
My Handicapped Tripod...

The road to guest house had gone dark and we forgot to take the torchlight with us but thanks to today’s smart phones, which had an Flash light android app installed. We already had heard the story of a man eaten by stray dogs in Leh while he was out for a morning walk. So, we were already scared of them at first place but our smart phone came to rescue 😉 … Sometimes small things seems very helpful!! We managed to reach back our hotel and realized that from next day we had to take torchlight as well as a stick with us wen we go out for dinner or take the dinner within day light. Finally, I took a portion of ORS and went to sleep praying none of us get hit by AMS at night.

The Journey ahead-

If you found above article useful, then PLEASE stay connected with us on Facebook or Twitter or Email Subscription for any himalayan travel queries or travel updates / tips / news / guides on Traveling to Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir and other parts of Himalayas. Travel, off the road with us...


Share.

About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

78 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj, I am planning to take Leh Tour in last week of May 2016. I have planned the itenary as below. Pl. suggest whether this is OK. or any better plan can be made
    Couple of things.
    1. Is it sae to stay at High altitude overnight like in Korzok,Spangmik . I am travelling with Kids (7yrs, 11yrs). 2. Also one of my Kid is diiabetic Type I.
    3. Can we get the taxi from leh for all 10 days. Approx. what will it cost .

    Day 1 – Delhi to at Leh –acclimatize
    Day 2 – Sham Valley Tour around Leh including Magnetic Hills, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Confluence at Nimmu
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 3 – Numbra valley via Khardung la pass to hunder – camel safari, Smastanling Monastery
    Overnight at Hunder
    Day 4 –Panamik ,sumur – hot Sping
    Overnight at Leh..
    Day 5 Pangong –Via Chang la pass
    Overnight at Spangmik
    Day 6 – sherry palace/monastry, Thiksey monastery
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 7 – Tsomorriri thru via tangla pass(5360m)…polokang la pass(4115m)
    Overnight at Korzok
    Day 8 [Tso-Kar (4268m) –high altitude lake, Hemis-3518m-monstray, Gya (4100m) 72km – historical place, Rumtsey(4325m) monstary]
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 9 – lamayuru
    Overnight at Leh
    Day 10- Flight back to Delhi

    • Hi Atul,

      In your plan, all is fine till Day 6. From Day 7 you need to give two days for Tso Moriri only. You need to go to Tso Moriri and stay on Day 7 via Chumathang and on Day 8 you can return from Plokongla Pass – Tso Kar – Taglang La route. On Day 9, you will only be left with rest day in Leh. In case you want to visit Lamayuru then it is better that you make Day 2 and Day 3 as two day trip to Lamayuru covering Sham Valley while coming back from Lamayuru on Day 3.

  2. Srinivasan on

    Hi, Love your travelog. I plan to go to Leh on August 24. Do you feel there will be any snow at all? Thanks

  3. shubhangi gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I am unable to find out any calendar event between 1st-6th may. If i want to submit my event, it is routing me to login page but i couldn’t find where i can sign up to submit my event as there is no option to sign up(only sign in option is visible ). Can you please provide your help

    • You need to sign up in DoW Community at the link: http://devilonwheels.com/india/

      There you will find Register Button which will send you confirmation. Once you confirm and login to community, the click on the logo on the top or come to Blog site or Calendar Page. It will ask you to Integrate the account as soon as you access the calendar page, press integrate the account then for community and for blog, same account can be used and you will be able to post in community as well as submit the entry in Calendar too. Let me know in case you face any trouble.

  4. shubhangi gupta on

    Hi friends

    it is a very good forum where we can share our experience about himalayas. Being an adventurous human , i am planning a trip to leh ladakh from 1st-6th may 2015 . As we don’t have a group, we are just two people , if any of you are planning for leh ladakh during this duration, kindly contact me at my email address :gupta.shubhangi15485@gmail.com

    • Shubhangi, you can get connected with many like minded people planning their trip to remote parts of Himalayas using the effective Travel Partner Calendar from the menu. You can search over the calendar based on your preferences and see who all have posted such requests and get connected with them. You can submit your travel partner calendar entry too.

  5. Hello Dhiraj! 🙂
    It is so nice of you to post such articles. Thank you so much.
    So I have been planning my leh ladakh trip since 3 months as my entrance exams will end On 7th may 😛
    I Planned the whole trip from 11th June to 24th June(return flight tickets done).( Srinagar-Amritsar-Mumbai.)
    I will be coming back by Sringagar-Leh highway .
    But then comes a problem, My result and admissions are starting from 6th OfJune, so I will have to be in mumbai till 30th of june :(.
    I am bascically visiting ladakh for PHOTOGRAPHY, Timelapses and Of coarse to Capture the Milky way. <3
    So know i have time from 7th may to 30th May. And Then After 30th June.
    I heard this time in may It will be too snowy then last year.
    I have planned to Visit-
    Nubra Valley.
    Pangnong Lake.
    Tsomoriri Lake.
    Hanle.
    Khardung la Pass
    Chang la pass
    Monestries…
    "and the places that you suggest" 😛
    I request you to plan the trip of about 12-14days accordingly in leh ladakh. Also clear my confusion of going to ladakh either in mid may or in july.
    Two of us will be vising ladakh, so which is the best mode of transport there?

    Thank You So Much,
    Chirag.

    • Chirag, best of the two windows to visit will be July so that you can make a road journey to Ladakh. 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.

  6. Amaresh Lenka on

    Hello Dheeraj. First of all my whole hearted thanks to you for such beautiful blog and amazing pictures of Ladakh. I am planning to Ladakh with my 3 friends from 2nd – 10 May this year. Our planned itinerary is like this.

    May 2: Flight from Delhi at 8:45 AM and reaching Leh at 10:10 AM. Check in at hotel and complete rest after lunch, going to ladakhbikerental for bike arrangement and miscellaneous things regarding next day trips

    May 3: Take bikes from ladakhbikerental and ride to Sham Valley (Almost all places mentioned by you on your 2nd day trip) by bikes

    May 4: Ride towards Khardung La by bikes till Nubra. Check in at hotel in Nubra and rest. Nubra Valley visit

    May 5: Ride towards Diskit, Hunder till Turtuk (Reach by 11 AM, night stay at Turtuk

    May 6: Return from Turtuk and rest at Diskit, return to Leh by evening (A long ride day)

    May 7: Ride towards Lamayuru and return by evening and returning the bikes

    May 8: Going to Pangong Tso by Innova and overnight stay at Spangmik

    May 9: Return to Leh by visiting Hemi’s Monastry and other places mentioned by you on the way and take rest

    May10: Fly back to Delhi

    We are anticipating snowy roads on Khardung La and Chang La this time as your journey is very much near to our time. While we shall cross Chang La by Innova, we are going to cross Khardung La by bikes. Please advise us while riding on such roads and what special precautions we shall have to take to defend the odds.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Amaresh Lenka,

    Ahmedabad

    • Amaresh, the bikes will surely skid. Please do not use brakes much up there especially when descending as the bikes will skid. I am not sure how much experience you have in riding bikes in Himalayas and that too over snow, but it will be to an extent risk to ride in snow in case you have never done it.

  7. hi dheeraj..m planning to ladakh from bombay from 5june to 20june m goin via kargil and return back via manali in my skoda superb v6 …..can this car make that trip……i was travelled all over india except jammu kashmir ,manali ,n ladakh in ma superb …..so reply me is leh manali highway will be open n other information ….

    • If you have done Ladakh earlier you are very much aware of what kind roads to expect. So, is there anything specific you are worried about for taking the same car this time? Also, Manali – Leh Highway is expected to open by next week.

  8. Ayush Jain on

    Hello dheeraj,
    Thanx for your replies..

    Bro we thought that 1 lac was enough…
    We wont be taking flights to leh
    We will go by road from jammu..
    and from Jaipur to jammu we will go by train.. (well its cheap 450 bucks per head)
    And then we can hire a taxi from jammu  to leh  and for complete trip

    If you think its not enough..
    Please suggest some estimate
    And we can Cut short the trip also to 6 days.. 
    waiting for some good suggestion
    (you can reply on my gmail also)
    Thanx
    Regards
    Ayush Jain and THE NEPSTARS (my group)

  9. Ayush Jain on

    hello sir,
    its great to read about the trip of yours..
    i am also Planning of visiting ladakh in coming august
    around 1 or 2 of aug.
    so is it a good time to visit???
    and will i be able to see snow there 😛

    thanx..

    • Ayush, till Srinagar/Kargil there will be rains during this period and then after Sarchu from Manali side. You will not be able to see snow, may be in far distance. Apart from that no snow will be present in August.

      • Ayush Jain on

        hello dheeraj

        thanx for reply buddy
        so you want to say that ita not the good time to go there???

        so according to you what would be the good time..

        i have my ipcc exams from 27 may
        then from 9-10 i might have some Training like ITT ND OT for aprox 1.5 months

        and almost till 16 aug my results will come
        so i have the time after Training till result..

        so should i make plans.. or
        please suggest some other place to visit during this period..
        i have a group of 8 people
        and a Budget of 1 lacs
        and 7-8 days

        thanx

        regards
        Ayush Jain

        • Unfortunately Ayush, there is just the time to visit Ladakh that is between mid May to September types. No good, no bad. You have to live up with pros-cons of every month. Whole of North gets rains during that period. Ladakh is safest bet and with 8 people, 1 lac seems too low for a Ladakh trip.

  10. Hi Dheeraj,
    60k for srinagar to manali drop .Covering entire journey of your most common itinerary except sham valley .
    Is it the right price ?

  11. Hi Dheeraj,
    I discovered this site today and Ladakh in May 2012.
    I am yet to browse your site in detail. But very much liked the overall content. Bravo Man! I love your ”Travel” spirit.
    Like you, I was mesmarised by Himalayan experience in Ladakh.
    Wish I could explore Ladakh in much more detail over my next visits.

  12. Hi dheeraj.
    I m planning a trip to ladakh in last week of may/first week of june.we are a family of 4people. My itinerary is:
    Day1- Reach srinagar.
    Day2- srinagar local sightseeing.
    Day3- srinagar to kargil. Visit kargil war memorial.
    Day4- kargil to leh. Visit lamayaru monastery.
    Day5- take ilp. Local sightseeing after lunch(shey,thicksey,hemis,stakna, hall of fame.)[is it possible to cover these places in day5???]
    Day6-Gurudwara patthar sahib,magnetic hills,confluence of zanskar and indus,basgo palace,likir monastry,alchi monastery.
    Day7-Leh to deskit.check in to hotel. Visit deskit monastery. Take camel ride in hunder.
    Day8- deskit to pangong tso via shyok village. visit yarab tso,sumur monastery, panamik hot springs.
    Day9- pangong tso to hanle.
    Day10- hanle to tso moriri(korzok)
    Day11- tso moriri to leh via chumatang.
    Day12- rest day.
    Day13-leh to keylong
    Day14-keylong to manali.
    If there is any problem in itinerary please give suggestions.
    1- we are coming during may/june. So, can we get good hotels in hanle and korzok???
    2- as we are a family so we didnt want to stay in tents. So, where we should get nice and cheap hotel near pangong tso??(spangmik or lukung or tangste)
    3-can we cover tso moriri to keylong in one day as i dont want to stay in sarchu or pang.
    4- what can i do on Day12.
    5-please give me the names of places which i will mention in the permits for this trip.
    6- i want to know the cost of taxi for this route-
    leh-nubra valley-shyok village-pangong tso-hanle-tso moriri-leh.
    I saw your article on taxi prices but i want to know the cost for complete trip.

    • Hello Pushpam,

      1. Looks fine except Day 8, else start very early on Day 8 to complete it or drop Sumur Panamik from your plan. There is no hotel at Hanle only observatory guest house whose stay permissions you can get from their office at Bangalore else home stays are your best bet. Korzok you will be able to find guest houses and even tent I think by that time of the year.

      2. No accommodation of rooms at Pangong tso except Pangong camp resort which is quite costly and home stays at Spangmik village. Otherwise, stay at Tangste.

      3. You can but very very long day.

      4. Keep it for rest day or split the long journey between Sarchu and Jispa. Jispa is much preferred by me over Keylong which is more like a town.

      5. Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Man, Merak, Chusul, Tsaga, Loma, Hanle, Nyoma, Shyok, Wari La (in case Shyok route is not open)

      6. Will cost you about 28-30 K roughly.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know incase you need more details or have some queries or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi, Do you know any groups or agents who are operating any motorcycle tour during end of August 2013. I have seen some websites which are charging very high like usd1500 – usd 4000 for 15 days tour, which i believe is way too high.

      Pls advice if you have any suggestions.

      Regards
      Madhu

  13. Pingback: A Snow Whiteout in Leh - Trapped Again | Ladakh – 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  14. dear dheeraj,
    Is Maruti Swift dzire car suitable for travel to leh ladakh via manali and srinagar-leh route. please advise.

    • Hello Upkar,

      Though it depends on what time of the year you are planning to make that trip but generally For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  15. kishore nair on

    Ooops. That Cooks part makes our trip difficult. I guess we will have to postpone the trip to the ‘season’ time when cooks join the lodges and cater to the tourists’ appetite.

    And, I cannot eat rice all the time – one course of chapati is a must for us.

    Regards

    Kishore

  16. Pingback: My Maiden Bike Ride - Sham Valley | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  17. Pingback: Khardung La Pass – Where Snow Galore | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  18. Pingback: Exploring Hunder and Deskit - Nubra Valley | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  19. Pingback: Sacred Yarab Tso Lake at Panamik – Nubra Valley | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  20. Pingback: Adventures of Shyok Village Route | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  21. Pingback: Blue Hues of Pangong Tso | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  22. Pingback: Remoteness of Changthang | Ladakh 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  23. Pranay Gohel on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    first of all thanks to share such a valuable information for all of us who wants to visit Leh. We are 2 couple incl. 6 yr kid planning to visit leh in this July only. we are planning by road in Sedan car from Gujarat. can you pls advise.

    Thanks

    Pranay

    • Hi Pranay,

      Can you please let me know, how many days you are planning. Meanwhile:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      PS: Sorry, for the delayed response, was offline for last few days.

  24. Hi,

    I am planning for a ladakh trip with my wife from 21st July 2012 to 28th July 2012. Is it good time to visit during these days? What will be the chance of rain during these? and will it spoil the fun? Could you please help me in finalising my itinery? I would be travelling by air.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards

    Nitin Kalra

    • Hello Nitin,

      Ladakh is a rain shadow region but now a days rains does reach Ladakh as well. But, very minimum and unpredictable. We had a worst 2010 followed by minimum rains in 2011 but just the over cast conditions. So, nothing much to worry if traveling by flight but there will always be little uncertainty 🙂 … For 8 days you might like to follow the plan liek 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 Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here: http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/inner-line-per
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
       
      Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh
       
      Day 5 | Leh – 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 6 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 7 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR or you can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Fly Back
      — Reach back home

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  25. Pingback: Hanle – The Cold Desert in Changthang | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  26. Hello dheeraj sir,

    One more fantastic travelogue 🙂

    After reading this I decided to take tripod with me on ladakh tour in July. Hope it will not be burden as I wish to click stars in night.

    • Hi Swapnil,

      Ha Ha Ha, thanks buddy… but you take care of the tripod while traveling as the idiots of airlines broke mine which is why I could not get any long exposure shots 🙁

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  27. Hi Dheeraj, is it true that govt stop giving permit to visit this place Chushul-Tsaga la-Tasaga-Loma-Hanle.This is informed by one of the travel agents.

    • Hello Himadri,

      As of now, I guess yes they had stopped giving the permits because some idiots crossed the permitted areas, so to avoid any fuss they were not issuing permits for in last few weeks AFAI got the news. I have no updated information if DC office has resumed the permits or not.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  28. Chandra Shekhar Vija on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Following is my tour plan for Ladakh, kindly take look and suggest the modification if any, everything is flexible, no of days, route, night stays.

    If you do not have any issue sharing your contact no. please give me your contact no. and comfortable timings to contact you if needed.

    Thanks.

    è Fri, 24-Aug-2012 | Day 01 |

    a) Kota – Delhi – Ludhiana | 850-900 KM

    b) Kota – Delhi – Pathankot | 950-1050 KM

    è Sat, 25-Aug-2012 | Day 02 |

    a) Ludhiana – Srinagar | 550-600 KM

    b) Pathankot – Srinagar | 350-400 KM

    è Sun, 26-Aug-2012 Day 03 |

    Srinagar – Sonamarg | 75-85 KM

    Sonmarg – Drass | 65-75 KM

    Drass – Kargil | 55-60 KM

    è Mon, 27-Aug-2012 | Day 04 |

    Kargil – Mulbekh | 40 – 50 KM

    Mulbekh – Lamayuru | 65 – 75 KM

    Lamayuru – Leh | 125 – 140 KM

    Tue, 28-Aug-2012

    Day 05 | Leh Local Sight Seeing + Arrange Inner Line Permits

    è Wed, 29-Aug-2012 | Day 06 |

    Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder / Diskit

    Distance to Cover:

    è Thu, 30-Aug-2012 | Day 07 |

    Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

    Distance to Cover:

    è Fri, 31-Aug-2012 | Day 08 |

    Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso

    Distance to Cover:

    è Sat, 01-Sep-2012 | Day 09 |

    Pangong Tso (Agham, Shyok Village, Wari La) – Thicksey Monastery (Extra Diesel Req.)

    Distance to Cover:

    è Sun, 02- Sep -2012 | Day 10 |

    Leh – Leh – Upshi – Chumathang – Tso Moriri (Extra Diesel Req.)

    Distance to Cover:

    è Mon, 03- Sep -2012 | Day 11 |

    Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu

    Distance to Cover:

    è Tue, 04- Sep -2012 | Day 12 |

    Sarchu – Manali

    Distance to Cover:

    è Wed, 05- Sep -2012 | Day 13 |

    Manali – Delhi – Kota

    Distance to Cover:

    • Hey Chandra,

      Very nice plan, at first place. Only very few inputs since you have flexibility of number of days you can always extend that as and when you feel like but best thing is you know the night halts well, so can take call on the move. My 2 cents

      1. On Day 9, you will not need any extra diesel since you will be back tracking the Chang La route only. You do not need to go through Shyok/Wari La routes as they connect Pangong Tso to Nubra Valley but here you will be coming back to Leh.

      2. Try to have a rest day in Leh, before starting the long journey of Leh – Tso Moriri – Manali – Delhi – Kota.

      3. You might want to do Manali – Leh in 3 days also to enjoy more, if you have time on hands. Tso Moriri – Sarchu, Sarchu – Jispa/Keylong, Jispa/Keylong – Manali 🙂

      I will email you my number.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  29. Hi Dheeraj, thank u. This is my tour plan, will u please give me an idea about total transport cost( approx) for this…

    Day 1: Arrive at Leh : from 6th sept to 17th sept.

    Day 2 : Leh local sightseeing:

    visit Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Sankar Gompa, Leh Palace, Hemis Monastery, Stok Palace Museum & the markets.

    Day 3 : Leh –Nubra Valley.

    sightseeing of Sumoor area and Samstaling Gompa,

    Day 4 : Nubra Valley

    Deskit , Hundar, Turtuk.

    Day 5 : Nubra Valley – Leh

    Sumoor,Panamik,

    Day 6 : Leh-Pangong Lake

    Day 7 : Pangong-Man-Merak-Chushul-Tsaga la-Tasaga-Loma-Hanle

    Day 8 Hanle-Chamthang-Tso Moriri

    Day9 Tsomoriri-Tsokar-Taglangla-Leh

    Day 10 : Leh – Lamayuru-Uleytoko.

    Lunar landscapes, Lamayuru monastery , Basgo castle , Rezdong monastery

    Day 11 : Uleytoko-Leh.

    visit Alchi monastery , Likir monastry, Sangam (confluence of Indus & Zanskar Rivers), Magnetic Point, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Kali Mata (Temple of Guardians in Spituk monastery) & Hall of Fame.

    Day 12 : Departure Leh

  30. Pingback: Magical Colours of Tso Moriri | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  31. Pingback: Stakna, Hemis and Chumathang Hot Springs | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  32. Excellent images and I am so tempted to go there. You know what? I've subscribed to comments on your blog and keep reading how many queries you get everyday. 🙂

    I think I don't have to go anywhere else when I do this trip.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Nisha,

      Thanks alot, you are most welcome and I would be more than happy to share whatever possible little things you would like to know about whole Leh – Ladakh. This year my idea is to complete all the articles of Ladakh to make a complete package and then start sharing my knowledge on Spiti Valley as well 🙂 … and about the queries, o yeah 🙂 … I have to wake 4.30 AM in morning to answer all of them, about 55-60 in all considering comments, emails FB messages, posts etc. and I love eevry bit of answering them as it let me live those moments of my travel again and again 🙂

      I wish you make this journey soon too, stay tuned for whole story!!

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  33. Pingback: Sham Valley – Nature, Monasteries and More | Ladakh - 2012 - DeViL on WheeLs...

  34. Hi Dheeraj,

    It's great to read your posts. Not just this one.

    I am planning to drive to leh and this is what I have planned:

    09-Aug-12 Delhi Srinagar

    11-Aug-12 Srinagar Kargil

    12-Aug-12 Kargil Leh

    13-Aug-12 Arrange Passes + within Leh

    14-Aug-12 Leh Deskit

    15-Aug-12 Deskit Turtok

    16-Aug-12 Turtok Deskit

    17-Aug-12 Deskit Spangmik

    18-Aug-12 Spangmik Hanle

    19-Aug-12 Hanle Tso Moriri

    20-Aug-12 Tso Moriri Leh

    21-Aug-12 Leh and around 22-Aug-12 Leh Sarchu

    23-Aug-12 Sarchu Keylong

    24-Aug-12 Keylong Manali

    25-Aug-12 Manali Delhi

    Let me know your views….

    • Hi Nitin,

      The itinerary is great but I will suggest instead of doing all the off-beat route, try to take a break and return to Leh from Turtuk, so that next day you can do Leh – Pangong Tso via traditional and easy route.

      Rest is great!!

      Regards

      Dheeraj sharma

      • hello dheeraj can u give me a itinerary plan for 15 days with self driving new delhi to shimla to leh to kargil to new delhi is it possible in 15 days we are going to 24th august 2012 please send me the best plan

        • Hello Vikas,

          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 for 15 days followed by many travelers including me at the link here: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

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

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  35. pooja kopargaonkar on

    loved your post, laddakh is heaven and i could see that in the pics you clicked 🙂

    • Hello Pooja,

      Seriously true 🙂 … Like I always say, there is no other place like Ladakh 🙂 Please stay tuned, as there are many more pics to come.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  36. Hey nice write up & crispy pics Dheeraj. Waiting for more. I am also planning for Leh Trip this year in Sep / Oct.

    • Thanks alot Shikhar!! I am into writing phase of Day 2, would share it very soon 🙂 … Great to know that you are planning in September, when you see most beautiful colors of entire year in Ladakh and best of the roads. Do not delay much into October as cold gets too much and roads start blocking due to snowfall at high mountain passes. So, keep it upto max. initial week of October else late September should be great.

      Let me know if I can help with anything.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  37. Samaresh Biswal on

    nice description luck u going to leh every year checked ur fb album awesome set of pictures

    • thanks alot Samaresh, sure there is more to come. It is my love for Ladakh and just that god has been kind enough to provide me opportunities to visit this heavenly places every now and then. Everytime I visit Ladakh, the excitement is way more than earlier visits 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hey Kedar, yes brother you should plan a trip to Ladakh now 🙂 … And thanks for liking the article, I will try my best to keep the tempo up and running 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

Leave A Reply

Love Traveling to Himalayas?

YES?? Then, Let's Stay Connected !!

Get FREE monthly travel updates, news, guides, tips, itineraries, stories, hotel & restaurant reviews, etc.. focused totally on travelling to Himalayas right in to your email inbox.

Don't worry, we will neither SPAM nor SELL your email :)

Love Traveling to Himalayas?

YES?? Then, Let's Stay Connected !!

Get FREE monthly travel updates, news, guides, tips, itineraries, stories, hotel & restaurant reviews, etc.. focused totally on travelling to Himalayas right in to your email inbox.

Don't worry, we will neither SPAM nor SELL your email :)

Send this to a friend