Sham Valley Ladakh | Sightseeing and Travel Guide

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Continuing on the building up the most comprehensive Travel Guide for Leh – Ladakh, in this very article I will try to explain the places of interest in Sham Valley Ladakh which includes Alchi, Likir, Basgo, Zanskar and Indus Confluence at Nimmu, Magnetic Hills, Gurudwara Pather Sahib… Gosh, a long list but they all are very much close to each other and requires about 160 KMs of drive for the complete tour and back to Leh in a day. So, lets look at all these places one by one in this complete Travel Guide of Sham Valley in Ladakh. You can do the trip in any order like reaching the farthest point/place that is Alchi first and then visiting all while backtracking or start from the first place which comes that is Gurudwara Pather Sahib and keep on visiting one by one to explore all these places.

Sham Valley Ladakh – Travel Guide
Rays of Light, Straight from Heaven… Rays of Light, Straight from Heaven in Sham Valley Ladakh...
Gurudwara Pather Sahib

Gurudwara Pather Sahib about 22 KMs from Leh and at an altitude of 3600 Mtrs, was constructed in memory of Guru Nanak Dev ji. It is right on the Srinagar – Leh Highway and is believed that this sacred stone/boulder refused to move in road construction operations even by huge machines/bulldozers etc. due to holy blessings/touch of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Read here to know the complete story about Gurudwara Pather Sahib. After offering the prayers, taking prasad you can move ahead to Magnetic Hills as next stop on the tour of Sham Valley.

Gurudwara Pather Sahib… Thanks dear friend Sudhir for the click Gurudwara Pather Sahib ji in Sham Valley Ladakh...
Signboard… Gurudwara Pather Sahib… Signboard... Gurudwara Pather Sahib...
A Nice View near Leh…
Lovely Reflections in Leh
Magnetic Hills

Magnetic Hills, is located about 30 KMs from Leh at an altitude of 11000 Feet approximately at Srinagar – Leh Highway. Magnetics Hills, a phenomena that defies gravity. It is believed that the Magnetic Hills have magnetic properties so strong to pull cars towards it. We put the car in the marked box and placed it in neutral gear and voila!! the car started climbing. People say it is nothing but an optical illusion, we could not judge it because the car was actually going upwards in the direction of Magnetic hills. May be a ball will be useful to judge the situation. If the ball also goes towards the hills then certainly there is nothing but an illusion that projects a descending road as ascending road 🙂 …

Well, you can read more at the wiki link here which call it as Gravity Hill and states “The slope of gravity hills is an optical illusion, although sites are often accompanied by claims that magnetic or even supernatural forces are at work. The most important factor contributing to the illusion is a completely or mostly obstructed horizon; without a horizon, judging the slope of a surface is difficult as a reliable reference is missing.”

Magnetic Hill… Phenomena that defies Gravity… Magnetic Hill... Phenomena that defies Gravity...
The Bull… Beautifully Sitting at Magentic Hill…
Magnetic Hill in Ladakh
Confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers + Chilling

As you move ahead from Magnetic Hills, just before Nimmu Village, there comes a famous confluence of two rivers Indus River coming from Tibet (left) and Zanskar River coming from Zanskar Valley (right). Zanskar River is known for its famous Chadar Trek. Chadar Trek is done in peak winters when the Zanskar river freezes and people trek over it to reach Padum Village in Zanskar Valley from Leh because of heavy snowfall. Now, there is a tourist spot that has been created along the shores of the confluence where you can spend some relaxing time along the two rivers.

There is a beautiful road that runs just along Zanskar River which you can ride upto Chilling Village, if you have some time and loves riding lonely and peaceful road. Chilling is about 25 odd KMs from the Confluence and a nice place to visit, plus you will have ample of spots where you can lay aside river shore and feel the raw nature all for yourself. Generally, alot of people do rafting in Zanskar river from Chilling to Nimmu. There is also a road which is under construction that will eventually lead to Padum Village from chilling running along Zanskar river. Once the road will complete it will render full year connectivity of Zanskar Valley to Leh – Ladakh and the Chadar trek might get obsolete in such a case.

When you head towards Basgo, on the way you can also see the longest Mani Wall (about 600 Mtrs) just at the exit of Nimmu Village.

Confluence of Zanskar and Indus River…
Confluence of Zanskar and Indus River
The Men… Relaxing near Chilling…
Leh to Chilling Road
The Machines… Relaxing near Chilling…
Leh to Chilling Road
Aqua Colors of Zanskar River…
Aqua Colors of Zanskar River towards Chilling
Shores of Zanskar River…
Shores of Zanskar River
The Zanskar River…
The Zanskar River
Confluence of Zanskar and Indus River… The Other Side…
Confluence of Zanskar and Indus River... The Other Side...
Basgo Palace

Basgo Palace rather ruins of Basgo Palace, is about 40 KMs from Leh and is approximately 500 years old, built for Namgyal rulers. Basgo Palace now houses a monastery as well and is a nice place to visit. Some shots of movie “Dil Se” was also shot here. As you will go towards Likir diversion from Basgo Palace, there comes a stretch straight as an arrow, which looks beautiful and many advertisements have been shot around this place. We also could not stop us and decided to shoot some pictures and enjoy the place. It was fultoo fun with running around, sitting on road, lying on it and what not ;)… I got some amazing shots of the trip at this place.

The Ruins of Basgo Palace… Ruins of Basgo Palace...
The Ruins of Basgo Palace… The Ruins of Basgo Palace...
The Ruins of Basgo Palace… The Ruins of Basgo Palace...
Colors of Peace in Ladakh… Colors of Peace in Ladakh...
Felt great sitting on the highway to heaven… Felt great sitting on the highway to heaven...
Runway to Heaven…. Runway to Heaven...
Likir Monastery

It is time to head to Likir Monastery As you go Move towards Sasapol, about 10 KMs before you will see a diversion towards right going to Likir monastery. About 52 KMs from Leh, Likir Monastery was built in 11th century and was again re-built in 18th century and houses a 25 feet Lord gold covered Buddha Statue. It is a bit tough to climb the stairs with un-acclimatized body for me :). Views from the terrace are every penny worth the effort. You will be amused to see the models created with butter which do not melt. Locales say those who have created it had powers in their hands that is why these models does not melt. Amazing Art!! Time to leave towards Alchi Monastery.

Likir Monastery… A Distant View… Likir Monastery... A Distant View...
Gold Covered 25 Feet High Lord Buddha Statue… Gold Covered 25 Feet High Lord Buddha Statue...
Colors inside Likir…

Colors inside Likir...

Colors inside Likir…

Colors inside Likir...

Likir Monastery Complex… Likir Monastery Complex...
Ahh…A View from Likir Terrace… Ahh...A View from Likir Terrace...
Lord Buddha…

Lord Buddha...

Alchi Monastery

As you come back to Srinagar – Leh Highway from Likir Monastery, you need to take right and go towards Sasapol about 10-12 KMs ahead. At Sasapol, there comes a bridge named by Alchi bridge from where you take left and goes towards Alchi village. About 65 KMs from west of Leh and about 3100 Mtrs of altitude, Alchi Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries of Leh and have monuments and scriptures dated as old as 10th century. You can buy a bottle of oil and light to be offered in the monastery and headed down to monastery which is so calm and peaceful. The time spent will bring you more close to Buddhism if you are into it and sense of peace it offers to one’s soul, remarkable!! You can walk down to Indus River as well from the back of the monastery and spend sometime along the river. There are camps “Sumtseg Camps” run by Alchi monastery where you can stay as well. A lot of people flying directly to Leh, prefer staying at Alchi to get their body acclimatized and then move to Leh next day while going through the Sham Valley tour.

Magical Colors of Ladakh… Magical Colors of Ladakh...
Alchi Bridge at Sasapol… Alchi Bridge at Sasapol...
Prayer Wheels at Alchi… Prayer Wheels at Alchi...
Srinagar – Leh Highway as NH-1D…
Srinagar - Leh Highway as NH-1D
Conclusion

A day visit to Sham Valley will be mixture of lovely religious experience and natural sightseeing for you and I feel if you are in Leh – Ladakh then probably you do not want to miss a tour to Sham Valley :)… In case you have been to these places and have more information to be shared with fellow travellers, please do share it with all of us in the comments section of the article.

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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 ...

88 Comments

  1. Hi Dheeraj,

    Kudos to you for helping people like us who wish to travel to Leh with such elaborate information.

    I would be flying to Leh on 4th September with a friend of mine. Can you please suggest whether we should go on a bike trip with a pillon rider to the Sham Valley the next day i.e. 5th September. We further planned our trip as follows:
    6th Sep: Leh to Hunder
    7th Sep: Hunder to Leh
    8th Sep: Leh To Pangong Tso
    9th Sep: Pangong Tso to Leh
    10th Sep: Leh to Tso Moriri
    11th Sep: Tso Moriri to leh
    12th Sep: Fly back to Delhi

    Please suggest on the above.
    Thanks!
    Tarang

    • Tarang, if you feeling good you can do a bike trip to Sham Valley on Day 2 else you should take rest. Do NOT exert as it might affect your overall plan which looks fine for rest of the time.

  2. Dear Dhiraj Sharma
    NEED A HELP PLZ. DO REPLY
    Thank you very much for thousands of information regarding place, hotels, pictures of spots, suggestions, discussions, contact numbers of taxi drivers and their grading VERY helpful for any traveler, a GREAT JOB.
    we are a couple leaving for LEH LADAKH for the first time we have been to many place in northern.
    we have booked the AIR TICKETS from Delhi to Leh 9th SEPT. early morning – return 22 Sept Leh to Delhi early morning. 13 Nights YOU are requested to please give me the best itinerary for 12 Days ( the 13th day we shall secure not to skip the flight next morning ) i have studed a lot but most of the plans are for 5 -6 -7-8-9-days i am not capable to alter or add so i m very confused how and where to adjust 3 days.

    sushil.chhabra123@gmail.com
    Thanking you in advance please reply soon.

    SUSHIL CHHABRA.

    • Thank you sir. I will suggest that you please follow the below travel plan:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local 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 | Leh – Sham Valley Tour – Uley Topko
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight stay in tented camps at Uley Topko

      Day 9 | Uley Topko – Lamayaru – Ridzong Gompa – Uley Topko or Rest at Uley Topko
      — Leave for Lamayaru from Uley Topko in the morning after your breakfast at the camps.
      — Visit Ridzong Gompa as well if you like on the return and reach back in the evening.
      — Overnight stay in tented camps at Uley Topko

      Day 10 | Uley Topko – Leh
      — Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      — Overnight at Leh
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries.

      Day 11 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 12 | 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

  3. Dear Dheeraj,

    Is it possible to do Valley tour in one day. I want to rent bike in Leh and i have a pillion rider along with me. Is it recommended to tour shyam valley with a pillion rider. What is the condition of the roads? How long is the ride going to be ?

  4. Hi Dheeraj, we are a group of 4 people planning to travel to Leh from 20th to 26th Aug. We are arriving in Leh on 20th morning. We want to cover Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri. What is the best itinerary?

    I understand that we should stay in Leh for a few days to acclimatize .

  5. Anagha Patwardhan on

    Hi Dheeraj…its very nice to read your blog the guidance is very helpful. truly appreciate your knowledge and passion to help fellow travellers. I have a big concern over the acclimatisation issue as I have a coronary artery disease diagnosed in 2013. its a 100% blockage in the right coronary artery. My cardiologists opinion is it should be ok however, no doctor can say a confirmed yes or no. I am 42 years and enjoy a healthy life style with no challenges faced so far. Year 2007 travelled to Baba Mandir(Gangtok), Year 2009 travelled till Manali Snow point. Comfortable doing car journeys stretching upto 8-9 hours.

    1. Your opinion and suggestion?
    2. Hospital names and numbers available with you in case of emergency
    3. My travel agent says Oxygen cylinder is available on rent approx. rs 500/- per day or per cylinder may be. is this information correct ?
    4. Based on my below itinerary if you suggest this is very adventures , then I am ready to make it relaxed by doing only Leh – Ladakh.

    My itinerary dates 23.5.16 to 30.5.16 ( 7 nights / 8 days)

    Day 1 : Arrival at Leh and full day for rest(Hotel lasermo)
    Day 2 : Leh to Pangong lake through Changla pass . O/N at Pangong sarai deluxe tented accommodation
    Day 3. Pangong lake to leh. O/N at Leh hotel
    Day 4. Leh to Nubra Valley through Khardungla pass and Hundur Sand Dunes. O/N at Nubra Sarai deluxe tented accommodation
    Day 5. Nubra Valley to Leh visiting Diskit monastery . O/N at Leh
    Day 6. Leh to Kargil covering Uleytopko , Lamayuru, Mulbekh , Moon landscape passing through Namkila & Factual Passes, Sham Valley & Alchi , Dharma Wheel Gompa, Buddha statues., Indus & Zanskar river Sangam,Pathar Sahib Gurdwara and Magnetic Hill. overnight at Hotel in Kargil.(Zojila Residency)
    Day 7 : Kargil to Srinagar Via Sonmaarg through Drass.Over Night at the at House boat at Srinagar
    Day 8. Morning enjoy Sikara ride in Dal lake leave from there and drive to Srinagar Airport

    Looking forward to your suggestions.

    Thanks a ton !
    Cheers Anagha Patwardhan ( Mumbai)

    • Hello Anagha,

      1. I am sorry but I will check with Doctor only as I am not an expert in it.
      2. Emergency Contact number in Ladakh: http://devilonwheels.com/india/ladakh-zanskar-travel-guides/important-emergency-contact-numbers-leh-ladakh-t1369.html
      3. Yes oxygen cylinders are available for rent in Leh, I am not 100% sure about the price though.
      4.The above plan is a fatal one, please include two complete rest days after landing in Leh. No exertion at all. Then do Nubra Valley tour first and then Pangong tso as a day trip if you spend 3 days in Nubra. Then start back to Kargil. DO NOT go to Pangong Tso on second day and before Nubra Valley trip.

      • Anagha Patwardhan on

        Thank you so much for the quick response and thoughtful suggestions.

        your suggestion is very valid and I am making the changes as suggested by you.

        The emergency contact list is also a very comprehensive one…will keep a printout for ready reference.

        Thanks a ton once again… very happy to have connected with you.

    • Anagha Patwardhan on

      Hi Dheeraj,

      Very happy to read about the causes DoW has initiated as a give back to society and nature….GYAAN 500 is what I will execute during my trip. Happy to spread smiles to little angels of the Himalayan community !!!

  6. Dear Dhiraj

    Thanks for the itinerary suggested by you for our family trip to Leh in June this year. Some more guidance I need from you.

    1. Which is the best way to get cheaper hotel deals -to book a hotel now itself at Leh or to go there and find out/bargain for the rooms. Because we are 4 adults and they may not let us stay in a single room with sufficient beds and the cost of hotel rooms may hike my budget.

    2. What is the normal sunrise time and sunset time in June 1st and 2nd weeks.

    3. Can we walk /go shopping in the night ? Because, in one review I read street dogs at night create a menace to the people having a night walk.

    4. If we take a hotel room away from the market place which is the centre point for all the taxis and tour package offices, just to have the beautiful land scape view in the mornings and evenings, what are the demerits and problems we may face.

    Please do reply soon.

    Thanks and regards

    Anuradha

    • Hi Anuradha,

      1.There are many hotels which do have 4 bedded rooms, you can opt for them. Of course on the spot bookings will always be cheaper than bookings in advance.
      2. Around 6-6.30AM and by 5-5.30 PM
      3. Yeah, you need to beware of street dogs as they posses the threat to kill as well. Go in groups and carry sticks always.
      4. You will have to have lonmg walks to market OR stay confined to the food served by hotel only

  7. Dear Dheeraj Sir,

    We three friends are planning Ladakh trip in May 16 2nd week(11-16 may) for 6 days..Will take flights up and down. Want to explore maximum things by bike..Is it comfortable and possible to cover Nubra ,pangong , Leh in such span. want to stay overnight at nubra and pangong.. What other places should be included . Please help in framing the itinerary.

    Thanks in advance…

    • Vinnet, this is what you can plan :

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local 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

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

  8. Daily I m spending sometime reading this blog to find tips for our june 2016 trip to Leh. wonderful guidance . Please reply to my queris Dhiraj

      • Thank you Dhiraj for your guidance. We have extended our tour by another 3 days, and return flying from Leh.

        So, on 5th June we will arrive at Srinagar. From there to Kargil and Leh and returning home on 15th flight from Leh.

        So, with the above change, please plan our trip with lowest expenditure on stay and transport, but more nearer to the local culture of Leh and natures beauty. I think surises at 4 or 5 am there. Can we start our trips daily at that time. Will there be breakfast available by that time in the streets.

        Thanks once again

        Anuradha

        • Hi Anuradha, breakfast wont be available that early. Sunrises around 5.30-6 AM only so a start at 7 AM makes more sense mostly.

          5th: Srinagar, rest for the day
          6: Srinagar – Kargil
          7: Kargil – Leh
          8: Leh local sightseeing
          9: Leh – Nubra Valley
          10: Nubra Valley to Leh
          11: Leh – Pangong Tso
          12: Pangong Tso – Leh
          13: Leh – Tso Moriri
          14: Tso – Moriri Leh
          15: Fly out.

          This is what you can follow covering all three major places of Ladakh.

  9. Hi Dheeraj,

    this is Arjun from Bangalore. Myself and few of friends planning for a trip to Leh in the third week of Septemeber. We will be starting from Manali then to move Leh and fly out from Srinagar. Can we visit Zanskar valley in route to Srinagar from Leh. In that case, can suggest an itenery for Leh-Zanskar-Srinager may be three days,

    thanks for your time,

    regards,
    Arjun

    • bhavesh shah on

      hi dheeraj …
      we were 10 adults and 6 children arriving at leh fr . mumbai .
      can we travel towards sham valley that is towords lamayuru immediately after landing on le airport.?
      worried especially regarding AMS .

      • Bhavesh, yes it will be good in case you spend night at Alchi or Likir which are at lower altitude and take rest there for the day. Next day you can come back.

  10. Harshit Mehta on

    Hi Dheeraj, thanks a lot for this detailed information on Leh Ladhakh. DoW is a lifeline for all the people visiting Leh Ladhakh.
    I have planned to visit Leh in the last week of June.
    My itinerary is :
    27th June : Mumbai to Srinagar
    28th June : Srinagar to Kargil
    29th June : Kargil to Leh
    30th June : Leh to Numbra Valley
    1st July : Numbra Valley to Leh
    2nd July : Leh Local sight seeing
    3rd July : Leh to Pangong lake
    4th July : Pangong lake to Leh
    5th July : Leh to Mumbai

    From Srinagar, I have rented a car for this entire trip except for 1 day, 2nd July. I am planning to rent a bike from Leh for local sight seeing.
    Can you provide me pointers for bike rentals in Leh and also can you suggest which nearby can be covered on bike in 1 day?

  11. Hi Dheeraj,

    I hear you can go rafting in the Zanskar or Indus River. Id like to spend a day rafting here on Grande 2 & 3 rapids. Can you provide me with some information regarding the same?

    • Simone, yeah you can do so. There are many providers up there in Leh where you can go up and register for rafting and get it done. Charges vary from 1500-2000 per person depending upon what all is included like pick and drop, food, rafting time.

  12. hi Dheeraj,

    what you recommend ?
    OPTION 1 – Srinagar to Leh 3 days and visit sham valley on the way
    OPTION 2 – Srinagar to Leh 2 days and then visit sham valley 1 day from Leh

  13. Pingback: Leh - Ladakh in Winters | Most Common Itinerary

  14. Hi, Thanks for all the helpful information. My husband and I plan to reach Leh around 7th June. Wanted to know if we could do a bike trip to Sham Valley or to Thiksey Gompa. Would it be okay after a few days of acclimatization?

    • Shikha, yes I think it should be good enough to do a bike trip to Sham Valley if you guys are used to riding in hills or have good experience of bike riding in plains as well.

  15. Satnam Singh on

    Dear Dheeraj ji,
    Pl correct the spelling error in the name of Guru Nanak Dev ji when it is spelled for the second time under the pic of Gurudwara Pathar Sahib.
    Thanks
    Satnam Singh
    Amritsar

  16. ANSHUL WADHWA on

    Conversation started today
    Anshul Wadhwa
    10:42am
    Anshul Wadhwa
    IT IS INDEED AMAZING TO GO THROUGH THE SRINAGAR LEH INFORMATION YOU HAVE PROVIDED..GREAT JOB..PLEASE ACCEPT MY COMPLIMENTS..MYSELF WITH MY WIFE AND 8 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER ARE DOING THE SRINAGAR LEH TRIP ON 20 TH JULE..I NEED YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE ON MY ITERNARY..
    PLEASE HELP..
    WE WANT TO KEEP THE MAX TRVELLING TIME NOT MORE THAN 5 TO 6 HRS ON ANY DAY,TO MEKE IT A COMFORTABLE AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS ADVISED IN YOUR BLOG…WE WOULD NOT LIKE TO WAKE UP VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING TO START THE JOURNEY..OUR TICKETS ARE ALREADY CONFIRMED
    JUNE 20 ARRIVE AT SRINAGAR BY DELHI SRINAGAR MORNING FLIGHT,REACHES 7 AM,TRANSFER TO SONMARG(??3 HOURS),NIGHT STAY AY SONMARG (?HOTEL GLACIER HEIGHTS..ANY OTHER SUGGESTION)
    JUNE 21 SONMARG TO KARGIL BY(??6 HRS) ZOZILLA PASS,EN ROUTE SEE DRASS,OVERNITE AT KARGIL(??HOTEL GREENLAND)
    JUNE 22 KARGIL TO ??LAMAYURU/ALCHI/ANY OTHER PLACE AS SUGGESTED BY YOU..MIDWAY(OVERNITE AT THAT PLACE)
    JUNE 23 TOWARDS LEH.SIGHT SEEING..AS SUGGESTED BY YOU AT LEH..,OVERNITE LEH.(?SPIC AND SPAN RESORT)
    JUNE 24 TO PANGONG,OVERNITE AT PANGONG(??5 HRS)
    JUNE 25 BACK TO LEH,OVERNITE AT LEH(5 HRS)
    JUNE 26 RELAX IN LEH,MORE SIGHT SEEING,OR VISIT KHARDONGLA
    JUNE 27..SIGHT SEEING IN LEH/RESERVE DAY
    JUNE 28 FLY BACK TO DELHI BY LEH DELHI 8 AM FLIGHT

    • Hello Anshul,

      Thank you for your good words 🙂 …

      Well you are making Ladakh trip and having a restirction of 5-6 Hrs of drive time including stops does not make any sense unless you have many many days in hand. You are missing on the Nubra Valley as I se here. From Kargil to directly to Leh to save a day. Next day rest in Leh and get permits. Make 2 day trip to Nubra Valley after that and then 2 day trip to Pangong Tso. This will be quite relaxing and you can do it without much of a fuss. The only day you travel more than 6 Hrs will be Kargil to Leh and that too is an easy drive with good roads. You will reach Leh in about 8 Hrs with stops in between.

      Also please user regular casing instead of CAPS as it is presumed to be shouting or loudly speaking in general terms over e-communications.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  17. Pingback: Heartbreak over Kargil to Leh | Ladakh Mega Meet - DeViL on WheeLs

    • Hi,
      We are visiting leh in last week of april 2014. Will we be able to cover leh to lamayuru,alchi and likir in one day by bike?

      • Anupam, till Lamayuru it is about 125 KMs and return means 280 including Alchi, Likir. Though roads are fine and it is doable for sure BUT do think about if you are OK with such long long drives.

        • Thanks for prompt response Dheeraj. Could you provide me some of ur inputs. we are there for 5 whole days + 1 day (arrival day). We want to cover. Local leh sight seeing, sham valley, nubra valley and pangong lake. Some where in these days we want to include a bike ride as well. we thought of doing nubra valley via bike but I am not sure if snow at khardungla will be way too much on 30 April. The initial plan was like.
          Day1. rest + local sight seeing
          Day2. sham valley and back
          Day3. Nubra valley
          Day4. Nubra valley to leh
          Day5. leh to pangong
          Day6. pangong to leh

        • Anupam, the plan looks OK brother but I will suggest that yo take on Sham Valley ONLY IF you are feeling OK without any AMS or Fatigue/Nausea on second day and was able to sleep alright the Day 1. If any of the things is NO, then please take rest on Day 2 as well. Secondly, AVOID the bike trip to Nubra Valley as there will be tons of snow which will not help you ride and there will be lots of skidding which you may not be able to manage. Thirdly, there will not be much options of stay open in April at Pangong Tso during April and lake will be frozen + bone freezing cold at night 🙂

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    Is it possible to cover all this on way from Leh to Kargil? Or is it necessary to return back to Leh.

    • Pawan, covering all this toward Kargil will be difficult at least with Alchi and Likir along with Lamayuru and Mulbekh. You can skip Alchi and Likir and rest can be covered with fine ease.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your response. Unlike most of the travel itineraries mentioned here, our plan is to start from Leh and then move towards Kargil and Srinagar. So, the plan is a bit like this :

        Day1-Leh local + Acclamation
        D2 : Leh-Nubra (covering Diskit and Hunder)
        D3 : Nubra-Leh (covering Sumur and Panamik)
        D4 : Leh-PangongTso (still in the process of making itenerary of this to and fro journey, any h2lp\link will be appreciated)
        D5 : PangongTso-Leh
        D6 : Leh-Kargil (covering whatever we can on the way)
        D7 : Kargil-Srinagar

        So, on way to Kargil, we start with Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills move on to Confluence of Zanskar and Indus Rivers and then Basgo Palace. We’ll leave Alchi and Likir. How about Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery and Lunar Landscapes? Can they be covered on the way? Please suggest.

        • Pawan, yes you will be able to cover rest of the places including Lamayuru monastery, lunar landscapes and maitrey at mulbekh. Just do not spend time leisurely at these places.

          Also, I highly not recommend to go over Khardung La on the second day itself. Quite risky proposition and can end up being you and your family in a mess. Better do day trip to Pangong Tso and use second day to rest in Leh, maybe do some local sightseeing but less hectic one.

  19. Hey Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Leh-Ladakh and Tsomoriri lake too around 25th august. Is this a good time to visit this place considering rains?

    -Abhishek.

  20. Dear Dhiraj

    Planning Leh /Ladakh on 27th July 2013 from Srinagar and returning back to srinagar on 1st Aug. (6 days)
    We would be a group of 20 people. We can hire a private bus

    I would like to visit Nubra valley as well.

    Please sugeest me an itenary

    • Hello Irani,

      It will take 2 days to reach Leh from Srinagar, 1 day rest in Leh, 2 day to come back to Srinagar from Leh. You have 6 days, so left day is just 1. I will suggest that you reconsider it again 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  21. My God, you are doing a great job by posting these useful info about Ladakh! Can’t thank you enough.
    However, I just wanna ask one thing. By any chance is it possible to conduct this trip from Kargil, instead of Ladakh? How much distance it will cost if we make this trip from Kargil?

    • Thanks alot Arijit. These places above of Sham Valley starts 35 odd KMs from Leh, so almost you need to traverse 200 KMs and it cannot be done in one day and be back to Kargil on the same day is not possible.

      • Thanks for your prompt response, Dheeraj.

        Our Ladakh trip itinerary is as follows. Could you please tell whether this is okay [I know 12th Aug stay at Kargil is kinda waste. But we couldn’t cancel it, because the hotel is already booked! :-(].

        10th August- Pick up From Jammu Railway Station & Go To Srinagar & Overnight stay

        11th August:- Srinagar to Kargil & Overnight stay

        12th August:- Kargil sightseeing and overnight stay

        13th August:- Kargil to Leh & Overnight stay

        14th August:- Leh sightseeing & Overnight stay

        15th August:- Leh to Nubra valley & Overnight stay at camp

        16th August:- Nubra valley to Leh & Overnight stay (Via Pangong Lake)

        17th August- Leh to Kargil & Overnight stay

        18th August- Kargil to Jammu Overnight Stay

        My main concern is regarding the 16th Aug trip. Is this route manageable? Your suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

  22. Dear Dheeraj,

    I really appreciate your information blog & the efforts, you have been taking to guide tourist like us.

    I am planning a 20 day trip on Bike from July end to Mid august to Ladakh. I would be starting from Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Leh-Pangong-Leh-Tsomoriri-Sarachu-Manali.

    Could you please guide me enroute from Kargil to Leh, can I make a overnight stay at Alchi & cover the Sham valley Tour before reacing Leh to avoid coming back to Sham valley from Leh.

    Could you pl. let me know if anyone else known to you is interested in travelling during July end to mid August.

    • Rakesh, DoW has started an initiative 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. May be you meet someone online going over the same dates and there are few already posted their requests too. Try to get in touch with them.

      Yes, you can cover Sham Valley first. From KArgil, go to Alchi covering Lamayuru and Redzong Gompa. Then, whole of Sham Valley as above in article to reach Leh the next day

      If you are interested to talk about your itinerary too, then feel free to open a Itinerary Advice thread in the respective forum of our community, linked above.

    • RAKESH NARVEKAR on

      Dear Dheeraj,
      Thanks for your reply. My Itinerary is broadly based on your Most Popular Itinerary. Could you pl go through the below & confirm if this is OK. I want your views on my detour to ZANSKAR VALLEY form Kargil. Do you this it would be reasonable to reach Padum on my RE bike within a day.
      ITINERARY OF LEH LADAKH ON BIKES.

      Day 1 :- Bandra Terminus to Jammu by Swaraj 2471 Dn. Departure at 08:30 am.
      Day 2 :- Arrival at Jammu at 03:30 pm. Visit Raghunath Temple & stay overnight.
      Day 3 :- Start at 08:00 am from Jammu & reach Srinagar (297 kms).
      Day 4 :- Start early from Srinagar & reach Kargil via Zozila Pass (205 kms).
      Day 5 :- Start off early for Zanskar Valley at 06:00 am for Padum enroute Panikar-Rangdum-PenziLa-Padum (245 kms)
      Day 6 :- Sight Seeing at PADUM.
      Day 7:- Start early from PADUM & reach Kargil via the same route.
      Day 8 :- Start off from KARGIL & reach ALCHI. Enroute visit Lamayuru Monastary & Redzong Gompa.
      Day 9:- Sight Seeing of SHAM VALLEY & reach Leh in the evening.
      Day 10:- Local Sight Seeing & Inline Permits.
      Day 11:- Start off early for Khardungla – Nubra valley 126 kms (Night halt)
      Day 12:- Start off from Nunbra & Return to Leh
      Day 13:- Leh- Pangong Lake (160 kms), Night Halt.
      Day 14:- Pangong Lake – Return to Leh (160 kms)
      Day 15 :- Hemis, Thiksey, Shey Monastary & Shopping
      Day 16 :-. Leh – Changthang – Tso moriri Lake (240 kms)
      Day 17 :- Tsomorari – Tso Kar – Sarchu (210 KMS)
      Day 18 :- Sarchu – Manali (222 kms)
      Day 19 :- Buffer day
      Day 20 :- Manali to Chandigarh (250 kms)
      Day 21:- Chandigarh to Mumbai (By Train)
      Day 22 :- Arrival at Mumbai.

      • hi Rakesh,

        The plan looks good to me, just will suggest minor modifications if that suits you:

        Day 5 :- Start off early for Zanskar Valley at 06:00 am for Padum enroute Panikar-Rangdum-PenziLa-Padum (245 kms)
        Day 6 :- Sight Seeing at PADUM.
        Day 7:- Start easily from PADUM & reach Rangdum/Parakchik/Panikhar enjoying the route easily and comfortably.
        Day 8 :- Start off from KARGIL & reach ALCHI. Enroute visit Lamayuru Monastary & Redzong Gompa.
        Day 9:- Kargil – Lamayuru – a part of sham valley – Leh. Skip Alchi, Likir may be or start early morning to cover at aleast one of them.

        This will give you better chance to enjoy more in Zanskar Valley with some rest too.

        You can cover Hemis, Thicksey, Shey on the way to and back from Pangong Tso. So, keep that as rest day in Leh only.

        Regards
        Dheeraj

        • Dear Dheeraj,

          W.r.t. my above Itinerary, is it advisable to travel pillion. One of the enthusiast has contacted me thru DOW.
          Secondly, instead of cutting off my journey at Kargil on Day 4, I plan to refill fuel my RE & proceed further to Sankoo OR may be Panikar, just to reduce the stress of next day’s travel to Padum. Could you pl.tell me if it is possible?

          what would be advisable SANKOO or PANIKAR from the view point of accomodation & safety?

          I also wish to visit Bheempeeth at Drass enroute. How far is it from the highway. Can a bike be taken there?

        • Sorry Rakesh, for the delay!! I will suggest that since you going with Zanskar, better go without pillion to make it much comfortable. It is all safe out there brother in Ladakh, Suru and Zanskar. Your plan is good and regarding a better view stay, go with Purikutchey from where even Nun – Kun peaks are visible from the windows of rest house 😉 … It is not that far from the highway. There is a cut just few KMs before you will enter drass which will take you to a point where you can park the bike aside the road. From there you need to hike for about 15 minutes to reach the place where Bheempeeth is there.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Thanks for the above info. Could you pl. let me know the following

          1) On Day 4 (above Iti) I am planning to reach Purikutchey directly from Srinagar. What is the approx dist between Kargil & Purikutchey. Do you think I will be able to make it on my RE,if I start early from Srinagar.
          2) Upto what distance is the road good from Karigil to Purikutchey. How may hours would it take from Kargil.
          3) What about accomodation at Purikutchey? Is it booked from Kargil or would be available on the spot.
          4) Since I am traveling alone on my RE, can I get your / your team’s contact Number, in case I need any information enroute. Be assured, I would not bother you unless its extreme.

          You have been a saviour for people travelling to Ladakh. God bless you.

        • Hi Rakesh,

          I think I missed on it 🙁

          1. Purikutchey is 65 to 75 KMs from Kargil. If you start early, you will be able to reach it.
          2. Road is about upto Sankoo and then the dirt track starts, that is 40 KMs.
          3. Yes, book PWD Hut from Kargil. Will hardly take 15 minutes
          4. You will get an email once I reply to this comment, please feel free to reply and I will send the contact number by email.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  23. Hey,
    Good Stuff!
    I think a day from Leh to Shamk Valley etc and back is a must and I am going to include it in my plan.
    Just wanted to know, If mustard fields in Saspul are also worth visiting or you missed that!

    • Himanshu, I think I missed on them, though I did see some long fields at the time I visited with apricot trees around but not sure if they were mustard fields or not.

  24. Subhankar Choudhury on

    Is there place to stay one night at sham valley, how much it could cost per head

  25. AVNISH SETHI on

    Nice dheeraj Sir
    You are really doing a nice job here. And it is really helpful for a guy like me who is also a avid traveler 😛

  26. Karim meghan on

    Just wondered if any rafting or other adventurous activity which we can do nearby ladakh ?

  27. desi Traveler on

    Beautiful pictures and write up, very comprehensive for anybody planning trip to these remote areas..

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