A friend of mine has booked a Ladakh tour with a popular operator (ex-Delhi). I am also invited but I would like to drive to Leh and back. I was planing on taking direct join option. However, I would prefer to do the whole tour on my own (just in parallel to them, following them). My question is (driving effort apart), would there be any issues regarding permits, parking, etc. I am told, taxi is completely managed including permits etc hence its not advisable to drive by myself, but I dont mind getting permits as long as I can get them there. I dont want to be stuck behind and out of sync from their group because they had a permit and I didnt. Does private vehicle need a permit at all? And hope private vehicles are not harassed by taxi unions (my vehicle will be my my own 4×4, not a rental).
Its a 7 nights, 8 days itinerary – Leh, Leh, Nubra, Leh, Pangong, Leh, Leh. I have checked and can easily make my own accommodation arrangements easily and even drive the required miles. All I am concerned about is the nuisance/block from taxi unions and hindrances due to permits.
Deepak, I could not understand fully about your concerns but if the plan is 7 night, I am not sure how you are doing ex. Delhi. If this is not ex. Delhi well, it will be really tough and I will suggest you to ditch the travel agent who so ever is planning to cover all these places ex. Delhi in just 8 days.
Regarding permit, Inner Line Permit within Ladakh is for person not for car, so there will be no issues at all and everyone gets that permit. If you are going from Manali side, then well, permit for Rohtang Pass is sometimes tricky but permit beyond Rohtang Pass is also able to get it unless you are extremely unlucky. So, permit wise I do not see any issue.
Sorry for not being clear. My friend will be taking the flight from Delhi to Leh (Day 1) and then will be returning via flight from Leh to Delhi (Day 8), however I will start from Delhi 3 days before Day 1 and meet them in Leh and after they have left Leh on Day 8, I might stay on to explore more or return at my pace. I am also thinking to add Spiti valley while going to Ladakh or while coming back (will leave accordingly). Overall my trip would be around 15 days, theirs would be 8 days because they will be taking flight to/from Delhi and I will be driving. This is planned for mid July.
Regarding permits, please clarify the following –
a) whether I go directly from Shimla Manali route or Whether I go from – Right from Shimla – Spiti valley – Manali , both of these are Manali route as far as Leh is concerned, right?
b) The permit process is to be done at Leh only? No other options like Manali etc?
c) Basically if I am taking out the time to explore Laddak, with my friends and later on my own, I can easily get the permit by following the required process for the whole region (or for wherever the permits are required) without much fuss?
d) Is any permit required for Spiti Valley?
Now it makes senses 🙂 … Replies below:
1. Yes both are Manali – Leh route. However, Shimla – Spiti Valley route will take about 4 days to reach Keylong while from Manali side you can reach Keylong in 2 days with less fatigue. They both meet Manali – Leh Highway at Gramphu and then follow for about 400KMs to Leh. The Spiti Valley route is treacherous while Manali – Keylong is not that much but need Beyond Rohtang Pass permit
2. IF you go from Manali side, you will need to take permit to go beyond Rohtang Pass for your car. Once you reach Leh, you need to apply for inner line permit of Ladakh. Both of them can be taken once you reach Manali and Leh respectively. Rohtang Pass permit is more chaotic while Ladakh Inner Line permit is a very trivial and simple process.
4. For Indians, no permit is required for Spiti valley.
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