Srinagar – Leh Highway Status 2012

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As per the earlier years, I will be starting this sticky post for status of the 434 KM long Srinagar – Leh Highway which so many adventure lovers await every year. The opening of the Zozi La Pass and in turn Srinagar – Leh Highway depends upon the snowfall in the coming weeks and the amount of accumulated snow. But, keeping fingers crossed let’s hope that we get to connect Leh – Ladakh may be by mid of May if not first week of May in 2012. Below, you can find all the updates that I will keep getting, over the coming months realted to the progress of the snow clearance operations on Srinagar – Leh Highway. Latest updates will remain at the top followed by other old updates. I hope as per the last year, this year as well this article thread will be useful in planning your journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway.

For more details on Srinagar – Leh Highway, including accommodation, planning, fuel pumps, phone signals, etc. you can refer the Srinagar – Leh Highway Travel Guide at the link here.

Current Srinagar – Leh Highway Status – OPEN

Srinagar – Sonamarg –> Open
Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil –> Open
Kargil – Leh –> Open

Srinagar – Leh Highway Status | Update Date: 06th August, 2012

Traffic resumed on 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway this morning after a day-long closure owing to landslides, triggered by heavy rains in Zojila sector. According to an official in the Traffic Police Control Room (TPCR) here, traffic resumed this morning on the highway, the only road linking the Ladakh region with the rest of the state. Landslides in Zojila sector on August 4 night, forced authorities to close the highway.. Read more at the link here: Srinagar-Leh highway reopens.

Srinagar – Leh Highway Status | Update Date: 05th August, 2012

Torrential rains brought relief to Kashmir valley but wrecked havoc in many parts of Jammu and Ladakh regions with floods leading to building collapses in Jammu and snapping the only surface link to Ladakh at Zoji la. Read more at the link here: Floods in Jammu, Ladakh Region Cut Off.

Srinagar – Leh Highway Status | Update Date: 15th April, 2012

A much delighted news to all the travel and adventure freaks, as BRO expects to open Srinagar – Leh Highway by 25th April 2012. This is indeed an achievement… Kudos for the effort put in by BRO, thanks to them. Read more at the link here: Srinagar – Leh Highway to be Opened by 25 April 2012.

Srinagar – Leh Highway Status | Update Date: 02nd March, 2012

Srinagar, April 2: The Srinagar-Sonmarg road was reopened after snow clearance between Gagangeer and the tourist resort of Sonmarg, about 100 km from here, on the Srinagar-Leh highway today. This is part of the Srinagar-Leh highway which remains closed during winter months due to heavy snow on the Zojila.

The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon declared the road open to traffic at Gaganeer. The road had been closed for vehicular traffic on December 7 last year. The Divisional Commissioner also inspected the progress of snow clearance on Sonamarg-Zojila-Gumri road and appreciated the efforts put in by the Beacon for road clearance. The Chief Engineer, Beacon, said the Zojila road was likely to be reopened by the first week of May.

Others present on the occasion were Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Showkat Ahmad Mir; Director, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah; Chief Engineer, Beacon, Brig TPS Rawat; Chief Executive Officer, Sonamarg Development Authority, Mohammad Yousuf; and SSP, Ganderbal, Shahid Meraj.

On the occasion, a cultural programme was organised by the Tourism Department at Gagangeer. Tourists and locals have appreciated the reopening of the road since Sonamarg is a preferred destination for tourists.

External Source: Srinagar – Sonamarg road reopened

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85 Comments

  1. Kiran Kapadia on

    Travelling from Srinagar To kargil by road.
    Is there any specific time appointed by the authorities to travel on this route? We are travelling from srinagar at 3pm to drass or Kargil.
    Regards,
    Kiran.

    • Kiran, the route generally opens in May start. I will strongly NOT advise you to travel that late in night to Kargil over Zojila Pass. Since, you will start at 3, you will end up reaching Kargil at 11 PM types. You will miss the beauty and in case of any mechanical failure may mean trouble.

  2. Hi Dheeraj,
    Myself and one of of my friend decided to circle trip from chandigar-srinagar-kargil-leh-manali-chandigarh..
    We have 12 days from 9th -20th of august. we want to cover almost all the place in leh eg. nubra valley,panagong lake and TSo moriri. Please suggest the best plan with which we can cover this circle in 12 days.
    Nice blog though 🙂

    Thank,
    Preethish

    • Hello Preethish,

      You can follow the below itinerary:

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

      Day 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

      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

      Day 8 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      — Day trip to Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      DO NOT FORGET to Carry spare fuel for about 550 KMs including your tankful
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

      Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – 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 | 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 – Delhi
      — Return home

      Day 13 + 14 | Buffer days to be kept incase of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.

      Please let me know in case you have any further concerns or doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Thanks Dheeraj for your reply.

        Can i make it panagong directly from nubra via wari la. I saw in one of your post that agham – syonk is in its worst condition so any idea about wari la. I feel panagong is more photographic than leh . do not want to miss early dusk and evening time in panagong
        ..

        • Preethish, Regarding Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso route, in order to take Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok village, you need not have any permits. However, with such a small distance it appears tempting to be done BUT just to analyze the difficulty I will strongly suggest that you read:Trip Report | Nubra – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso Route. The report is from June & in July/August, most likely the route will be washed away. So better confirm first, analyze the high risk involved and then only attempt it or better avoid it unless very much sure. Next possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is also a bit desolated but doable enough.

      • Hi Dheeraj…
        Can i cover leh -panogong-tso moriri -sarchu.. with overnight saty in panagong-tso morir and sarchu.. Only problem which i could sense of is fuel capacity and Inner line permit from panagong to tso moriri… any advice from your side

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Finaly done with my round trip chandigarh-srinar-leh-manali-chandigarh…
        had to skip few itenaries in srinagar because of bundh in jammu and landslide in sonmarg which nearly wasted 16 hours of valuable time…
        Tried nubra -wari la – pangong but could not reach pangong on the same day ended up staying near karu. it was snowing and route was tough enough but still doable.one can easily make it to pangong via nubra-leh in a day ( suggestion )
        Thanks for your blog helped a lot in our planing.. 🙂

  3. I plan to go Leh from Srinagar via Kargil through car…
    I would take a halt in Kargil…

    can anybody suggest me any tour operator contact details for the same…

    I plan to go in June-July

    • Hi Indranath,

      Why do you need any travel agent if you have all the information present on this blog to make a successful trip to Ladakh? Of course, if you have any doubts regarding anything ranging from Taxi to Hotel to Route to Night Stay option etc., you can shoot an email to me or post comment here. Plus you will have more flexibility with planning yourself and no restriction to reach a place in time in order to save the amount given as advance to these travel agents… Above all, planning it yourself, will save you quite good amount of money, as all the information is present here 🙂 …

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 14-15 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

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

      For the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      For the list of good restaurants in Leh – Ladakh or eateries or food joints where food is enjoyed by many travellers including me, you can check the link here: List of Good Restaurants in Leh – Ladakh | Restaurant Reviews

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

      For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  4. daljeet pandoh on

    I want to correct my first line in the message below : I ve booked my ticket for May10,2013 from jammu to Leh (not delhi as mentioned wrong there)

  5. daljeet pandoh on

    Hi Dheeraj. I have booked my ticket from Jammu to Delhi on May 10,2013 and return from Srinagar to delhi on May 17 2013.I was planning to travel by road on 16th May and reach next day afternoon for my delhi flight. Do u think the road will be open by then or I shud cancel the Srinagar tickets and fly back to Delhi from Leh itself. Please suggest I will love to do road travel in that area with my family of 4

    • Hello Daljeet,

      I will say it is optimistic to plan for road journey in May. There are high chances that road will be open by then but still last to last year it opened early but then closed and then opened in June first week. I feel I will take the chance for return journey without booking the tickets but it is up to you. If road is not open then you might have to book Leh to Delhi in that case. Or better keep the Srinagar – Delhi bookings open and cancel them on spot loosing cancellation fees.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  6. uttam sinha on

    very helpfull for tourist.kinndly guide me best time(month)to go srinagar to leh via road i have two kid one is 5yr and 2nd is 1 yr.

    • Hello Uttam,

      If you are interested to see snow then better plan in the month of June before monsoons otherwise if you want to see some beautiful colors of Ladakh then plan it after monsoons in mid-late September.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  7. Hi,

    I’ll be doing raid de himalaya this year in 2 weeks. Rally goes from shimla to leh. After the rally gets over planning to return via leh-Srinagar highway on Oct 15-16. Do I need to get any permits for leh-Srinagar highway?

    • Hi Madhav,

      You do not need any permits for Srinagar – Leh Highway and all the best for your Raid-De-Himalaya trip. I think they are going Zanskar as well this year because one of the hotel guy told me when I was in Zanskar last week.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  8. Hello!
    I am going to Leh, via road from Srinagar on 27th Aug 2012. I will return via road to Srinagar 6 days later. I heard that the Kargil-Srinagar Highway is closed during the day & is only open at night. Is that true? I am a woman and I don’t want to travel at night. And because of that I might have to cancel my entire trip. Please do reply! Appreciate your help! Thanks.

    • Hello ASarkar,

      That is not true and loads of people travel in day via Srinagar – Leh Highway. This information which you got or heard is incorrect. It might be the case with local shared taxis which do ply at night because they cover Srinagar to Leh in one day only, so have to start at night to do 16-17 Hrs journey on a stretch. So, may be confusion from that part.

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

      Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  9. Saurabh Arora on

    Hii dheeraj,
    from where can we get latest updates on the conditions of different highways, closed or open!!! we have plans fr this weekend! bt weather is taking a real toll on us!

    • Hi Saurabh,

      Both Manali – Leh Highway ad Srinagar – Leh Highway have been restored now as updated in the article. There is no means of live updates on the condition but still if you want then try different other sites as India Mike, BCMT, Trip Advisor, Vistet Blog etc. to this information.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  10. Deepak Gupta on

    Hi dheeraj

    Is srinagar-leh highway closed for this season or it just temporary closure for few day because of heavy snowfall at jammu-srinagar highway?

    • Hi Deepak,

      Both Manali – Leh Highway and Srinagar – Leh Highway have been cleared of landslides and are now OPEN. But, please keep in mind this is monsoon time now and these things will happen every now and then, so go prepared. I will email you my contact.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  11. Mithalesh Gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We’ll start our journey on 9th august on Pulsor 180cc. Yes! Me and a pillion(male). We would be carrying most of the things you have mentioned under things to carry, on other page along with a tent and sleeping bags. we’would start from delhi and would go via manali–sarchu–leh–kargil–Srinagar–Patnitop–Delhi. We have allotted 12-13 days for it. I have been to rohtang pass in June this year. At that time I had taken Bullet from Manali and drove to rohtang with my wife as Pillion. As this time it is Pulsor 180 and the distance we have to cover is huge, What else you would suggest us?
    Regards,
    Mithalesh

    • Hello Mithalesh,

      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 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 will also suggest that you go through and read at lest below two articles from the series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:
      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, 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

  12. Arindam Ghosal on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I will be visiting Leh in the first week of September with my 2 years old daughter and 60 years aged mother. The tour plan in nutshell is :-

    Day 1-Srinagar to Kargil

    Day 2-Kargil to Leh

    Day 3-Leh sight seeing

    Day 4-Pangong Lake

    Day 5-Leh to Sarchu

    Day 6-Sarchu to Manali

    My questions are :-

    1. Are there any problem persists for old and extremely young aged people though they don't have any cronic illness ?

    2. Is the trip is evenlly planned as far physical stress are concerned ?

    3. What are must to carry ?

    I would like to add that I would like to hire a leh vehicle like travera, qualis, xylo or innova for this entire trip as I don't driving. Is that OK ?

    Looking forward for your vaulable input.

    Regards,

    Arindam Ghosal

    • Hello Arindam,

      The plan is tight and tiring for kid and your mother. I will suggest you avoid sleeping at Sarchu and fly out of Leh. 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 the current leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2012-13 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip at the link here.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Arindam Ghosal on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the input. I wish to know that which of these vehicles like travera, qualis, xylo or innova suits best for this entire trip ? And Are there any problem persists for old and extremely young aged people though they don’t have any cronic illness ?

        • Hi Arindam,

          If you are talking about AMS issues, then it can happen to anyone, anytime irrespective of the age. Thing with children and adult is to make sure yourself that they are feeling OK or not and do not take any signs of uneasiness/nausea too lightly. The other issue with traveling with kids and old people is that you ought to cover less distance to to frequent number of breaks and to counter their fatigue levels. So, traveling too much should always be avoided to let all enjoy the trip evenly.

          Regarding vehicle, Xylo would be comfortable and apt for the terrain and Scorpio as well.

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

        • Arindam Ghosal on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          That's so nice of you. At this moment the information are enough but would certainly require you expertise in the trip ahead. Will come back to you as and when required and I'm sure that you are there to guide us as usual.

          Thanks,

          Arindam Ghosal

  13. Hello

    We are planning a trip Delhi – Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Manali – Delhi with two kids 6 and 9 in a 4×4 Ford Endeavor automatic. Are the dates viable, and would you suggest changes to the plans to make it easier / safer. We have no limit on time we need for this trip to be completed.

    What would be the challenges?

    • Hello Ashish,

      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

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip at the link here.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dear Dheeraj

        Thank you for the reply. I have already visited your posts and find them very informative. But I need help with the following decisions.

        1. Travel with two boys aged 6 and 9 years ok?

        2. July first week this year good to travel? Especially considering the monsoons.

        3. Is there any changes we can do to improve the travel or make it safer? Considering kids we are willing to make any changes needed.

        • Hello Ashish,

          1. It is fine to take the children because AMS do not matter with respect to age. It can happen to anyone of any age. The only issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place 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 take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a felling 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!!

          2. Yes, July first week is fine. If monsoon strikes, at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains.

          3. If you are following the common itinerary, it shall be fine. Make rest days at the overnight places whenever you feel like. May be while doing Manali – Leh Highway, you can do it in three days as Sarchu to Manali seeing the current traffic jams at Rohtang Pass would be very tiring, if you face any traffic jam at Rohtang Pass. In such a case, you can do like: Sarchu – Jispa, Jispa – Manali

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

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  14. Hi Dheeraj,

    Planning to go to Leh in June-July by my SX4 with my family. I am not an expert driver as far as mountainous terrain is concerned. Do you think that I can make it (rookie driver). Is the car good enough for the road? Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi is what u suggest as most suitable. Number of days for travelling is not an issue as we have enough days at hand. (How many days you suggest will be enough for the whole trip at a comfortable pace?). Should we make the hotel reservations in advance to be on safer side?

    Thanx.

    • Hello Parag,

      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.

      Well, if you are not an experienced driver then you will definitely face lots of challenges on the whole journey and Manali – Leh Highway with water crossings all over would really test the endurance at its best. Your problems will elevate as you are driving a Sedan too. Hence, I will suggest that you either ignore the idea of taking your own SX4 if you are not too much into adventure and thrill and prefer your car much more above them. Otherwise, read ahead:

      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 back 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

      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. Please let me know incase you need any inputs or have any doubts.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  15. Francis Jacob- BLR on

    Hi Deeraj …you are doing a pretty good job mate…keep writing. I have myslef done the Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi route on bike a couple of years back and it was the best thing i did in my 40 years of living! The god news is im doing it again , this time with family. Im flying into Srinagar and driving to Leh. Need a help mate. I want your help in connecting with the Tourist Hotel at Drass or any other resort/hotel enroute. Im not too keen on staying in Kargil . Can you help ??

    Cheers

    • Hello Francis,

      Sorry brother, I do not have contacts for hotels on the route especially for Kargil/Drass/Lamayuru since I have not stayed there. I think it is time now that I request my all friends to send me the list whereever they have stayed on Srinagar – Leh Highway so that it shall be used by other fellow travelers. I will update you in a day or two.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  16. i want to travel to kargil from chandigarh on 24th June, 2012 in my nissan sunny. Itenary will be Chandigarh- Sonmarg on 24th.

    Sonmarg to kargil on 25th.

    I have two questions:

    Is my car good for road conditions between Sonmarg to kargil and Leh.

    2nd how much time does it take to travel non-stop to Kargil and leh from Sonmarg.

    • hi Karan,

      1. Well, it depends how you drive and how much you love your car over adventure. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      The roads may be stabilized now but you will need to face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route which is opened for light vehicles earlier (most likely) and will be stabilized by then. It will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh Ladakh come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back 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

      2. Kargil to Leh is about 9 Hrs drive and Sonamarg to Kargil is about 4-5 Hrs drive depending upon how much time it takes up at Zozi La pass.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • can u advise if the road condition is ok to drive from sonmarg to kargil in nissan sunny. ill be grateful…

        • Hi Karan,

          The problem is with Zozi La pass. With careful driving you can manage though, just follow the tips I suggested in previous comment. There will be some deep potholes at Zozi La and if there is water running there then it would make a bit difficult. so, drive cautiously.

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hello Dr. Ekta,

      I would not suggest that you take your Honda City to Ladakh if you love it as it is difficult to manage it even on a little high speed breakers of city as well. So, forget about the potholes of Zozi La pass 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • sharmishtha on

        hi..we are planning to travel to leh from amritsar in ou own cars…we are seven people, so we will take our own cars, one wagonR and one honda city- ivtec….please sugggest if we can take our own cars? would it be safe to take our own cars for such long distance journey? and what are the road conditions? please reply asap

        • Hi Sharmishtha,

          Firstly Honday City will be a BIG NO from my side at least. Otherwise, it depends how you drive and how much you love your car over adventure. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

          The roads may be stabilized now but you will need to face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route which is opened for light vehicles earlier (most likely) and will be stabilized by then. It will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh Ladakh come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back 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

  17. Vinod Gupta on

    We are family of 7 people planning to visit leh on 25th june via Srinagar. kindly suggest things required & vehicle availabity from shrinagar

    • Hi Vinod,

      How many days you have in hand in total and how are you planning to exit from Leh? via Manali or fly back from Leh? Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip at the link here.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  18. prathmesh malbari on

    Hi, Dheeraj

    We are planning leh-ladakh trip 13-July to 25 july….. And iam from Mumbai. We are planned our journey from amritsar, so can we get a bike on rent from amritsar, or nearby city like chandigarh…. If yes plz send me the contact details of agent…… Plz reply as soon as possible….. Thank you….

  19. Hi Dheeraj

    We are a group of six and would like to go on a bike ride from srinagar to leh and back to srinagar in the last week of aug .. a trip of about 10 days . i would like some info on bike rentals in srinagar . are bikes available on rent in srinagar. thanx

  20. Hanish Sharma on

    Hi .. we are planning a trip to le/ladakh on rented bikes from srinagar to leh in the first week of june.. please advise if that would be a suitable time.. or we should take manali to leh??? highway…

    • Hi Hanish,

      It is always better to take the route from Srinagar – Leh side while going to Ladakh and come back via Manali – Leh Highway. From where are you renting the bikes? June is good time to go.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  21. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for all the information. you are doing great job for all adventure lovers. what i want to ask is that i have just bought a new "renault Pulse" car. is that car is perfect to tarvell from amritsar to leh? actually i am very much concerned about my new car. what are the road condotions? highway to leh is smooth or full of potholes? my rout would me amritsar-leh-manali-amritsar. please guide.

    regards

    • Hi Anshul,

      I will suggest you read about section "Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Ladakh" in the article linked here: How to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway to give you an idea what to expect in self drive in hatch back. For a quick read:

      The roads may not be stabilized by that time and you will need to face few challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route which is opened for light vehicles earlier (most likely) and will be stabilized by then. It will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh Ladakh come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan back then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which yo 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, funnely, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Let me know for any queries regarding planning the trip. You can check the 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.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  22. Hi,we are a family of 4 travelling from srinagar to leh on 8th may hopefully ,weather permitting,can you guide us for car( suv) to book and approx charges,.

    • Hi Rajiv,

      Srinagar – Leh Highway is open now and ahead of Zozila the roads are in great conditions. Due to heavy snowfall it may close for a day or two but I do not see long term closure of it unless weather plays too much spoil sport 🙂 … The approximate charges for Srinagar to Leh with overnight halt at Kargil would be 12-14K depending upon choice of vehicle. You can refer the Leh Ladakh Taxi Union rate list for the year 2012 – 13 at the link here.

      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 reply. I was traveling Ladakh for past two weeks 🙂 …

  23. Hello Dheeraj, You are doing an amazing job for all of us tourists! Thank you so much. How far is the drive from Srinagar to Kargil? Do you recommend any hotels in Kargil? My plan is to visit in mid August, is that a good time to drive?

    • Hello Vince,

      Thanks alot. The drive will take about 8 Hrs drive, depending upon the traffic movement at Zozila and breaks you take in between. August is good time to visit, barring you have to struggle with monsoons upto Kargil and lower hills. Once you reach Ladakh, being rain shadow region you may not face much rain issues except dark clouds and some drizzles.

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  24. Hi dheeraj, I already have planned a trip

    to leh by road Srinagar to leh would it be

    possible on 8 may from Srinagar to leh

    via kargil

    • Hi Alpesh,

      It may or may not. Currently, as per the progress the Srinagar – Leh road is expected to open by mid of May but all depends upon the weather conditions in coming week. There has been inclement weather in past few days and I am sure it must have hampered the progress of BRO in snow clearance operations. Chances are slim in first week of May but no one can predict it with certainty 🙂

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any doubts or inputs.

      Regards,
      Dheeraj Sharma

  25. Hi..we r planning a road trip from leh to kargil..we shall be reaching leg on 15 April..would it be possible for us to reach drass -kargil by road..?

    • Hello Ankit,

      In mid-April not possible. Currently, the road upto Sonamarg has only been opened not beyond it. Better would be to plan it in third week of May types. For more information on planning the journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway, check its complete guide here

      Regards
      Dheeraj

    • Harish Gupta on

      I am planning a visit to Leh from Delhi what time raod from Srinagar to leh will be opened for the year 2012?

      • Hello Harish,

        No can predict the exact dates and it all depends upon the weather conditions in coming weeks. Once Zozi la pass is through, the whole Srinagar Leh Highway will be open highly likely. Still, with gut feeling I feel by middle of May types, Srinagar – Leh might get open.

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

        Regards
        Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Ashwini,

      Thanks, I try to maintain this thread and a similar one on Manali – Leh Highway every year and keep on updating the news as and when I get it about them. Sometimes, useful for planning the trip for the fellow travelers 🙂

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  26. we are starting from srinagar by srinagar leh road to leh on 29 may. whether it is possible for us to go by road then.

    • Thanks Amit, really happy to know that the article is useful for you. I will keep on updating the news on Srinagar – Leh highway as and when I get it. Let me know any queries or doubts you have regarding planning your trip to Leh Ladakh

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

      • we have already done booking for leh on 16 may 2012.

        we will be reaching to srinagar on 15 may 2012 for further journey.

        • Hi dinesh,

          I will keep updating the status here as and when I get. Keep your fingers crossed, I believe it might get opened by 15th May but alot depends upon weather in next few weeks 🙂

          Regards
          Dheeraj Sharma

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for all the information. Its really a useful site. I already have scheduled my trip with my family (wife and son) thru a travel agent and will reach srinagar on 6th july. from there we will go to Sonamarg (1day) Kargil (1day) and then Leh. I am a bit worried when I read that 1st week of July will be rainy season. Will this affect our travel plans? We are coming all the way from UAE.

    • Hello Raghuraj,

      It is good that you have booked the hotels in-around Kashmir because at that time Amarnath Yatra will be at full swing. Hence, taking that route means you should definitely have some booking done. Now, first week of July, I feel shall be OK to Travel as rains generally hit the region around mid-July now a days. However, nothing is certain. Once you reach Kargil from Srinagar, you need not worry much about rains because the that region beyond Kargil falls under rain shadow region including whole Leh Ladakh. Yes, rains does reach Leh now but most general cases you will experience a slight drizzle here and there and overcast skies. But, again nothing is certain when it comes to weather but this is general trend which I have suggested above 🙂

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

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Hi Umesh,

      Thanks alot. I will try my best as last year to keep this thread updated as per the updates I will get from various sources. You can explore the ladakh section of the blog for preferred hotels by many travelers with hotel rate categories.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Thanks a lot AD. I will try my best as last year to keep this thread updated as per the updates I will get from various sources.

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

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