How to plan a journey on Srinagar Leh Highway with Road Map

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The 434 KM long Srinagar – Leh Highway is like a lifeline in the form of road connectivity between Leh – Ladakh and the rest of India via Kashmir Valley. Srinagar – Leh Highway, also known as National Highway – 1D (NH – 1D), is the most reliable and one of the only two roads to reach Ladakh by road, the other one being Manali – Leh Highway

In this article today, I will share this detailed Srinagar Leh road trip guide in with all of you.

Srinagar Leh Highway Travel Guide – Detailed & Complete
Srinagar Leh Highway Travel Guide – Detailed & Complete

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Srinagar to Leh route travel infographic. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

Srinagar Leh Travel Guide

Generally, travelers or adventure lovers from all over the world loves or dreams of undertaking this road trip of their lifetime. They want to cover both routes connecting Leh Ladakh to the rest of India, i.e., a lifetime experience road trip traversing Srinagar – Leh – Manali Highways.

Apart from being famous for its enchanting views, the road from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil holds strategic importance for India. Being close to the LOC, you can also see a heavy army presence when you travel through Srinagar – Leh Highway.

The highway runs alongside the Indus River and through some extremely harsh and barren terrain including the three high mountain passes named Zozi La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs) and Fotu La (4108 Mtrs). In any case, Srinagar – Leh highway offers some breathtaking landscapes ornamented by various historical and cultural constructions which are just like a dream treat for any traveler driving/riding through Srinagar – Leh Highway.

Better Acclimatization

Generally, people traveling or flying directly to Leh – Ladakh suffers from acute mountain sickness as Leh (3500 Mtrs) due to a sudden disturbance of altitude with which the body is adapted. However, Srinagar – Leh highway provides a gradual ascent to travelers. Hence, it helps them fight any chances of acute mountain sickness (AMS) caused due to high altitudes and let them enjoy the beautiful vistas in a relaxed manner.

There are other advantages of traveling to Ladakh from Srinagar side than from Manali side.

Planning a journey on Srinagar - Leh Highway
Planning a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Season to Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

The 434 KM long Srinagar Highway generally remains closed for about six months in a year starting from November to May due to heavy snowfall on the mountain passes mainly Zozi La pass. Zojila pass starts receiving snowfall in November. Then any day of November (generally 15th November) the highway officially ceases to close as it becomes challenging for BRO to clear the snow.

Then, again, as the winter months resides, the BRO guys begin the snow clearance process in the spring season that is in March and repairs the damaged roads, bridges, and other parts of the highway. Finally, after completing this rigorous job of snow clearance and fixing the roads, bridges, etc. BRO announces the opening of Srinagar Leh Highway generally around early May to mid-May.

Pro Tip: You can keep a track of the updated status of Srinagar – Leh Highway using the article Srinagar Leh Highway Status 2020

So, what is the best time to travel from Srinagar to Leh by road?

Hence, the best time to travel from Srinagar to Ladakh via Kargil is from June to October. In late April or early May, if the highway gets open, then generally, the roads are in terrible shape and only improves as the season progress with constant repair work conducted by BRO.

By the end of May, as the road condition stabilizes, June remains mostly stable, and the monsoon comes to the party in July, creates havoc in lower hills connecting Srinagar to Jammu and further to other parts of India.

Is it safe to travel from Srinagar to Leh in monsoons?

The landslides are almost inevitable in monsoon season, which causes road blockages ever now and then. The Amarnath Yatra is in full flow in July – August, do expect heavy traffic and rush from Jammu – Srinagar – Kargil parts of the highway. Even the dominance of armed forces also increase in July – August owing to the security of pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra.

It is almost a nightmare to drive through Zoji La Pass in July – August especially when its raining or has rained previous days but at any day better than Rohtang Pass on Manali – Leh Highway which becomes more than hell during monsoon season.

One may opt to avoid Srinagar – Leh Highway during days alongside Independence Day in India, i.e., 15th August which is when the bandhs and strikes get more active. In the last couple of years (as of 2018), things were mostly stable. I advise you that you keep a check on the latest news on the Kashmir valley for any disruptions and plan to travel from Srinagar to Leh accordingly during this time of the year.

What about September?

As the end of August approaches, the Amarnath Yatra is over, and monsoon starts to reside from Northern India, the conditions improve much more to travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway and in September it could be called as the best time to travel. Still, you will not find any snow, of course. Even in August and late July, snow will be hard to touch except few patches on Zozi La pass.

Since the other side of Zozila Pass mainly Kargil onwards comes under rain shadow area where only the dry winds of monsoon reach. So, in July – August you need to tackle the monsoon rains and their havoc in lower hills only including Jammu, Srinagar, Zoji La pass, i.e., till you reach Kargil where there is very little rain during these months.

Throughout the season, you need to let pass large convoys of army trucks as army also stock up required materials in Leh – Ladakh through Srinagar – Leh road majorly. Traveling behind them may cause a delay of a few hours now and then in your entire journey on Srinagar Leh highway.

Is Srinagar Leh open in Winters?

Due to heavy snowfall at Zojila Pass, the road from Srinagar to Leh remains closed in the winter months from November to April. The actual Srinagar Leh Highway closing time mainly depends on snow in the season, but it is not safe to travel in November due to black ice and cold conditions.

A project has been approved to make Srinagar Leh Highway tunnel at Zojila pass to provide year-round connectivity from Srinagar to Kargil. However, it just got approved, so probably it will take a decade to be realized into reality.

The barren beauty of Srinagar Leh Highway
The barren beauty of Srinagar Leh Highway

Modes of Travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway

In this section let us look at some of the common modes of commute to make a Srinagar to Leh road trip.

Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Ladakh

Most people prefer to self-drive or self-ride to Ladakh by their car or own bike, and some also prefer to self-drive or self-ride to Ladakh by hiring a bike or car. In any case, a hired car/bike or personal car/bike, the idea is to live the passion of driving or riding through one of the toughest and adventurous terrains accessible in India.

You can take your own or rented, car or bike to Ladakh, but one must be careful while driving or riding through slushy roads, snow and water crossing or nallas. Also, it is always handy to learn little maintenance tasks of your vehicle before the start of this comparatively less arduous journey than Manali – Leh Highway.

Pro Tip: You must check the article on self drive tips for Leh – Ladakh trip.

Can I take a small car to Srinagar Leh Highway?

For cars, although an SUV/MUV is good to have and a 4WD SUV will help, I have seen hatchbacks (including Altos and Nano) and sedans doing good enough job on Srinagar – Leh Highway then on Manali – Leh Highway. If you want to try your sedan or hatchback drive to Ladakh, then Srinagar – Leh Highway is a better bet when compared to taking a sedan or hatch from Manali – Leh Highway.

However like on Manali – Leh Highway, with sedans/hatchbacks one must drive with extra care and caution even at Srinagar – Leh Highway and especially around Zozila pass (ascend and descend both).

You get less number of challenges on Srinagar – Leh Highway as compared to Manali – Leh Highway with only major hurdle being Zozila Pass. However, even then, whenever you are in doubt, always step out of your car, walk down the path, inspect with your foot and plan the path of exit before crossing a dangerous landslide or water crossing on your vehicle.

You can also park aside and see how others are crossing the risky section to plan your route of escape. In deep water-crossings, try to maintain the momentum without any half clutch measures and complete the entire stretch in one go only.

Similarly, in slush stretches, do not force the issue rather keep the smooth momentum with the required speed to pass you through, without half clutch measures. Do keep an eye on the direction of the vehicle too.

If you get stuck in the mud, then try to back and forth your vehicles to get out of the stuck position. It is always handy to ask your fellow co-travelers to get out of the car and push the vehicle from behind in case the car is struggling to pass through the mud or water crossing stretch.

Things to Carry on Self Drive Trip

Basic toolkit, screwdriver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three “2 ltr” empty bottles of Pepsi / Coke / Limca, etc. to carry extra petrol or diesel (jerry cans will leak, cold drink bottles do not leak), funnel, towing rope, spare tube (must for bikes), Elfy or Fevi-quick (2-3 sachets), jump-start cables/wires, M-seal to prevent leakage, etc. were among the few things which I carried along on my trip to Ladakh. Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the Ladakh journey.

This will ensure that you have proper time in advance to test your serviced vehicle and get fixed any hitches that may have been introduced in that service

Pro Tip: If you are doing a self drive trip to Leh – Ladakh, then make sure to read my article on 40 Must Have Things to Carry on a Self Drive Trip to the Himalayas

On the way to Kargil from Srinagar
On the way to Kargil from Srinagar

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

All taxis (except Ladakh registration number) having taxi numbers or tourist permits number plates are only allowed for a drop in Leh Ladakh. As per the taxi union rules, only taxis with Leh number are only allowed to roam in the Ladakh region for sightseeing purposes. No Kashmir based taxis will be allowed for sightseeing.

If you want to travel within Leh Ladakh in your private taxi hired from a place other than Ladakh, then, in that case, you need to hire a taxi with a private number plate only. However, in the latter case, be ready for some queries by the local taxi drivers in Ladakh or police constables on your route. You need to ensure everyone interrogating with you guys have not rented that the vehicle.

If you can get hold of some taxi driver in Ladakh then hire that taxi only else go to Kargil first and change taxi from there. From Kargil, the Ladakh taxi driver can pick you, and you will have the advantage to cover the sightseeing places en-route Leh on Srinagar – Leh Highway like Alchi, Basgo, Likir, etc. before you reach Leh.

If that is not your plan then hire a direct taxi from Srinagar to Leh, but with a taxi hired with Srinagar number plate, you will not be able to do sightseeing en-route especially Sham Valley, as far as I know.

Where to get a taxi from Srinagar to Leh?

To hire a taxi, go directly to Srinagar taxi stand and bargain hard with the local drivers only, for a drop to Leh. Do not involve any tour operator or hotel staff at any stage. The local taxi drivers will charge about Rs 1500-1800 extra for a planned night halt on the way to Leh.

Srinagar to Leh taxi fare is close to Rs 16000 to Rs 17000 for a drop to Leh from Srinagar with a one-night halt, depending on your bargaining power, tourist rush and the time of the year you are visiting. You can refer to the latest taxi rates from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil in the article Leh Ladakh Taxi Rates 2020 – 21.

Srinagar – Leh Bus Service, JK SRTC and Others | Economical mode of travel

JKSRTC ply buses on Srinagar – Leh Highway, which is available at Srinagar Bus Stand near TRC Dal Lake and near Polo Ground in Leh. JKSRTC has both, standard as well as semi-deluxe buses which run on Srinagar – Leh Highway.

The super deluxe bus fare from Srinagar to Leh is around Rs 1320 per person, and semi-deluxe bus fare is Rs 925 per person from Srinagar to Leh. If you prefer to travel by a standard bus from Srinagar to Leh, the bus fare is Rs 470.

There are also private bus operators who run semi-deluxe buses in the form of tempo travelers between Srinagar – Leh. The charges of these buses from Srinagar to Leh is about Rs 1000 – Rs 1500 per seat.

Read the full detailed article on Srinagar to Leh bus services, which talks about their timing from Srinagar and Leh along with bus fare.

Srinagar to Leh buses generally stops overnight at Kargil and Sonamarg for tea and snacks. The bus from Leh does not stop overnight. The JKSRTC standard buses may not be as comfortable, though, but comfort comes with the price.

The bus from Srinagar to Leh starts at 8 AM at present and the bus from Leh to Srinagar starts at 2 PM, runs non-stop at night and arrives at 7.30 AM in Srinagar.

Pro Tip: If you are on a budget Ladakh trip then you can always refer my guide on making a trip to Ladakh by public transport

The fall colors of Srinagar Leh Highway
The fall colors of Srinagar Leh Highway

Shared Taxi | A Cannonball run

You can also buy yourself a seat in a shared taxi that runs every mid-night from Srinagar and reaches Leh on the next evening without any night halt. In the same way, shared taxis are run from Leh to Srinagar as well.

You need to pay about Rs 1800 to Rs 2200 per person for a drop to Leh from Srinagar or a drop to Srinagar from Leh. Of course, since it is shared with 7-8 other people plus the driver and completes the back-breaking cannonball run of Srinagar – Leh in 15-16 hours, you can imagine the level of comfort yourself. This one is the second cheapest mode of travel on Srinagar – Leh Highway but mind you, it could be the toughest on the body too 🙂

Also, not staying at Kargil will mean less acclimatization which may make you feel a bit sick in the first few days when you reach Leh.

Other travel modes

You can also get in touch with some travel agent or taxi union in Srinagar who also runs their private buses or Tempo Travelers on Srinagar – Leh Highway.

You can also travel from Srinagar to Leh flight as well if you want to see some really amazing aerial views of the Himalayas.

Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Based on my experience, you can opt to plan a journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway in one of the following ways –

Two Day Trip on Srinagar – Leh Highway

The options of stay or accommodation are minimal on Manali – Leh Highway due to the limited civilization. But on the Srinagar – Leh Highway, you get the respite as there are plenty of civilized places en-route, and you get to find accommodation either one or the other place.

You will find accommodation options every 70-80 odd KMs on an average. But still, a two-day journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway is the most common among all travelers as you tend to see the beauty in a relaxing manner as well as you help your body to acclimatize to the altitude of Leh.

Private Taxis and buses run by JKSRTC also cover the Srinagar – Leh Highway in two days with a night halt at Kargil. Mostly, people break up the journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway in the following ways over two days –

Srinagar – Kargil / Drass (Day 1) and Kargil / Drass – Leh (Day 2)

This option is mostly preferred by people as it evenly distributes the travel time of the entire journey in two days. However, on the second day, you need to leave early in the morning if you are interested in stopping at every other point to take pictures and still reach Leh in time :).

Personally, out of Kargil or Drass, you shall prefer to stay at Kargil due to varied options of accommodation available. But, sometimes, finding vegetarian food becomes difficult in Kargil in the late evening, and hence, you can opt to stay at Drass, which does offer a few accommodation options. However, if you have booked a hotel, you will surely get the veggie food in Kargil too.

The distance between Drass – Kargil is about 60 KMs only which means about 2 hours or more travel time the next day. Hence, prefer to stay at Kargil only.

If you are a vegetarian then most likely, what you can do is that if you are reaching Drass by about early evening, then it is good to take your dinner there and reach Kargil by the late evening or early night time. Maybe tea or coffee with some biscuits will make you feel good for the rest of the night.

It will surely help rather than sleeping without vegetarian food due to its unavailability in Kargil. Many new hotels have mushroomed by 2018, so this is not so common nowadays but something worth keeping in mind and checking with your hotel.

The moonland of Lamayuru
The Moonland of Lamayuru

One Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Srinagar – Leh (Day 1)

This option of completing the journey of Srinagar – Leh in a single day is most common among local people or people who are in a high rush and is least I recommend if you want to enjoy your travel.

Shared taxis are the preferred way to avail of this option. Although it could be the cheapest or time saving for you, this back-breaking, cannonball run of 15-16 Hrs with least stoppages does put a heavy toll on the body as well as the mind of an average traveler.

This long journey is extremely tiring and by traversing through the varied amount of altitudes in a single day, you are definitely running a risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) or some severe headaches and for initial days spent in Leh.

Of course, this is true in case you have not stayed overnight in Gulmarg or Pahalgam or Sonamarg on previous nights of your tour. Undertaking this journey in a single day may certainly kill the joy of the journey.

Three Day Journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Srinagar – Kargil/Drass (Day 1) and Kargil/Drass – Lamayuru/Alchi (Day 2) and Lamayuru/Alchi – Leh (Day 3)

Well, by extending the journey of Srinagar – Leh Highway in three days, you give yourself a chance to explore the sightseeing places en-route thoroughly. There are many tourist destinations in the Ladakh region, which are situated on Srinagar – Leh Highway and require time if you wish to explore them.

Hence, by extending the journey with one day you give yourself ample time to explore these tourist places before you reach Leh. For more details on sightseeing refer to the section: Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway, below in the article.

Very few people follow this option due to a lack of time and to save money. If these two things have no place for consideration at your grounds, then I will say go with it, and you will make your journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway much more than a memorable experience :). The comparison of night halts (Drass/Kargil) is made in the first option, so opt as per your taste.

This option will mostly be available if you are traveling by your own vehicle. To be very frank, this option is not even available if you are hiring a private Srinagar registered taxi as well because Srinagar registered taxis are not allowed for local sightseeing in Ladakh region especially Sham Valley where all these tourist places are present.

In such a case you need to book a taxi to Kargil first from Srinagar and then hire yourself a taxi from Kargil to Leh, or you need to hire a Ladakh registered number taxi. Confirm in advance from the driver if he will do sightseeing for Sham Valley before booking it. Then, in the next two days after covering all tourist destinations including Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Redzong, Alchi, Likir, Sham Valley, etc. on the route you can reach Leh.

Staying one night at Alchi, which is lower in altitude than Leh, also make sure that your body is much more acclimatized to the altitude of Leh and you enjoy a lot better conditions once you reach Leh after a stay at Kargil and Alchi on previous nights.

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

Smiling at Namika La at Srinagar - Leh Highway
Smiling at Namika La at Srinagar – Leh Highway

Alternate Route to Leh from Kargil via Batalik and Dah

There exists an alternate route to reach Leh once you reach Kargil, which is a bit more scenic than the usual route. The usual route goes like Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Leh and the alternate, the less used route goes like Kargil – Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh.

Please make a note that the route via Batalik requires you to get the Inner Line Permits from either DC Office Kargil or DC Office Leh. So, I will advise that you go to Leh from Kargil via Lamayuru following the usual route and then you can come back to Kargil via Batalik after getting the permits from Leh DC office at the time you apply permits for Ladakh sightseeing places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, etc.

If you are returning via Manali – Leh Highway then you need to take permits from Kargil DC Office to go via the Batalik route and thereby miss the usual route to Leh which goes via Lamayuru.

Video – What to see on Srinagar to Leh Journey

Sightseeing on Srinagar to Leh Trip

Sightseeing on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Well while traversing this beautiful road of Srinagar – Leh Highway you also give yourself a chance to visit the following places either on the route or with little diversions from the route:

Maitreya at Mulbek, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscape, Redzong / Rizong Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Likir Monastery, Basgo Palace, Confluence at Nimmu, Magnetic Hills, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Phyang Monastery, Spituk Monastery.

You need to give yourself time to explore these places, especially Lamayuru, Alchi and Likir monasteries. Hence, if you plan to cover these sightseeing places either while going towards Leh from Srinagar or towards Srinagar from Leh, then give yourself at least three days to cover the entire Srinagar – Leh route.

The barren views of Srinagar Leh Highway
The barren views of Srinagar Leh Highway

List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Srinagar – Leh Highway is much better than Manali – Leh Highway in terms of accommodation options it offers and one can find a decent place to stay within 125 odd KMs at max.

At some places like Mulbekh, Sonamarg, Drass, etc. the accommodation options could be very limited and basic guest house/homestay types while places like Kargil, Lamayuru does offer a varied number of accommodation options for different budget types.

So, it always better to break the journey at Kargil or Lamayuru but, of course, there are not many worries for places of stay on Srinagar – Leh Highway than on Manali – Leh Highway. You can also take a diversion to the towns of Alchi / Likir for a stay there as well. Of course, you will find basic homestay types of accommodation at both Alchi / Likir, but it would be a worthwhile experience in any case.

Here is the break up of accommodation options available on Srinagar – Leh Highway with distances –

  • Srinagar – Sonamarg (80 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Sonamarg
  • Sonamarg – Drass (65 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Drass
  • Drass – Kargil (55 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Kargil
  • Kargil – Mulbekh (40 KMs) | Few basic / homestay accommodation options available at Mulbekh
  • Mulbekh – Lamayuru (70 KMs) | Decent number of accommodation options available at Lamayuru
  • Lamayuru – Alchi / Likir (55 – 65 KMs / 65 – 75 KMs) | Few basic / homestay accommodation options available at Alchi / Likir
  • Lamayuru – Leh (125 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Leh
  • Alchi / Likir – Leh ( 65 KM / 55 KMs) | Many accommodation options available at Leh

Please keep in mind that Alchi and Likir are not exactly on Srinagar – Leh Highway and you need to take diversions near Sasapol bridge for Alchi. The distance between Alchi – Likir is about 21 KMs only.

Kargil War Memorial
Kargil War Memorial

Acclimatization and its importance on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Unlike Manali – Leh Highway, the journey on Srinagar – Leh Highway goes through a gradual increase in altitude, thereby helping our body to get acclimatized properly for the altitude of Leh. That is why I always prefer going through Srinagar – Leh Highway for a road trip to Ladakh than going via Manali – Leh Highway.

By going to Leh – Ladakh from Srinagar Leh Highway, one gives himself a chance to properly acclimatize to the high altitudes, thereby decreasing the chances of being hit by AMS. In the return leg, you can go via Leh – Manali Highway so that your body is properly acclimatized by the time you undertake the varied high altitudes on that route. This route helps you enjoy the Manali – Leh highway in a better way as well.

Having said that even on Srinagar – Leh Highway, it is always good that you take little precautions to minimize the effects of high altitude sickness further. Here are some tips which will help to acclimatize the body faster

  • Try to cover the Srinagar – Leh journey in two days with a night halt at Kargil most preferably.
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.
  • Avoid sleeping at high altitudes.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Avoid tobacco and smoking and alcohol and other depressant drugs.
  • Keep your body warm and eat lots of carbohydrates.
  • Avoid sleep during the day.
  • Sleep in an upright position, if possible.
  • Carry preventive medicines for AMS.
  • Immediately descend, if symptoms increase.

Fuel or Petrol Pumps on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Again, unlike Manali – Leh Highway, it is easy to find fuel or petrol on Srinagar – Leh Highway. One can get fuel or petrol on Srinagar Leh Highway at the places like Srinagar, Kangan, Sonamarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha, Khaltsi, Leh

ATMs on Srinagar – Leh Highway

As per my knowledge, there are ATMs available at Ganderbal, Drass, Kargil apart from Leh and Srinagar ATMs. But still, I feel you should carry enough cash with you in Ladakh because ATMs at these limited places can run out of money or become un-operational at any day or time. It has happened to me many times 🙂

Srinagar to Leh Road Conditions

  • Srinagar To Sonamarg – Good, Very Good
  • Sonamarg To Zojila Pass – Average, Bad, Slushy/Dusty
  • Zojila Pass To Gumri – Average, Good
  • Gumri To Drass – Good
  • Drass To Kargil – Good
  • Kargil To Mulbekh – Average, Good
  • Mulbekh To Lamayuru – Good, Very Good
  • Lamayuru To Saspul – Good, Very Good
  • Saspul To Leh – Good, Very Good

Places on Srinagar – Leh Highway with their Distances and Altitudes

Generally, the places of on Srinagar – Leh Highway majorly goes like Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbekh – Namika La – Fotu La – Lamayuru – Khaltsi – Sasapol – Nimmu – Leh and the approximate distances between these places is shown below briefly –

  • Srinagar – Sonamarg (80 KMs)
  • Sonamarg – Drass (65 KMs)
  • Drass – Kargil (55 KMs)
  • Kargil – Mulbekh (40 KMs)
  • Mulbekh – Lamayuru (70 KMs)
  • Lamayuru – Leh (125 KMs)

Map of Srinagar to Leh with Distances

Here is the map of Srinagar Leh Highway which you can download by right-clicking & then select the option: “Save Image As…”

Srinagar to Leh Route Map
Srinagar to Leh Route Map

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Srinagar to Leh Route Map. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

Pro Tip: In order to get more idea about the routes and distances, please refer the Road Map of Srinagar to Leh Highway.

FAQs – Srinagar to Leh Road Trip

Let us look at some of the commonly asked questions about the Srinagar Leh road trip in this section.

Is Srinagar Leh safe for Tourists?

In general, it is fine to travel on Srinagar Leh Highway during Independence Day. The tourist areas remain safe mostly, but bandhs can affect the traffic movement. It is always advised that you leave the Srinagar city in the early morning hours in such cases. It is recommended to follow the news about Kashmir during your travel days and take the decision appropriately.

The hairpin bends of Zojila Pass from Srinagar to Kargil
The hairpin bends of Zojila Pass

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Facility Places
Accommodations / Stay Options Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil (Many options), Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Alchi
Food / Beverages
Ganderbal, Kangan, Gund, Zojila Pass, Gumri, Khaltsi, Nimmu
Diesel / Petrol PumpsKangan, Sonamarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha, Khaltsi
Mobile ConnectivityUp to Sonamarg both BSNL and Airtel postpaid connections works, then in Drass only BSNL, once you reach Kargil you will get the Airtel signal, but then in Mulbekh and Lamayuru only BSNL works, in Nimmu Airtel is restored along with BSNL and once you reach Leh both Airtel and BSNL work. You should refer 10 Tips on Mobile Phone Connectivity in Leh – Ladakh. Packet data works but only with BSNL that too with EDGE only. Prepaid connections from outside Jammu and Kashmir do not work in Leh – Ladakh. Carry only post-paid.
Fixed PhonesGanderbal, Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Alchi, Nimmu and in between these places as well
ElectricityAlmost all the towns en-route have electricity and I wonder if there is any town which lacks it.
Medical FacilitiesSonamarg, Drass (limited), Kargil, Lamayuru (limited)
ATMsGanderbal, Drass, Kargil
Mechanic / Puncture ShopsGanderbal, Sonamarg, Kargil, Lamayuru (Puncture), Mulbekh (Puncture), Nimmu (Puncture)
Liquor ShopsSonamarg, Drass, Kargil

You can also check this less than 3-minute video on DevilOnWheels YouTube Channel to understand why you should choose Srinagar Leh Highway over Manali Leh Highway. If you like my video, please do not forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.

Srinagar – Leh or Manali – Leh. Which one is better?

LAST UPDATED: December 2019
This article has been updated with the latest information about Srinagar – Leh Highway and is kept up to date every season to reflect the current status. Feel free to suggest any further updates you deem fit.

Conclusion

I hope this Srinagar Leh guide helps you with all the unanswered questions for making a successful trip from Srinagar to Ladakh. In case, if you still have any questions about your trip to Srinagar Leh Highway, feel free to post them in the comments section of this article.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comments on my YouTube videos. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

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2,688 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow my YouTube Channel or follow me on Instagram to ask your travel questions. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Suketu Shah on

    we are two family planning to go leh by road on 27th may to 5 th june. please give suggestion.
    27-Day 1 | Udhampur – Srinagar (8 hrs) stay at Srinagar
    28-Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil (9 hrs) stay at Kargil
    29-Day 3| Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh (10 hrs) stay at Leh
    Mulbekh Maitrey Buddha statue, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes, moonland hills,sham valley, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence of Zanskar and Indus River at Nimmu (chadar treak), Alchi Monastery, Basgo Palace
    30-Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder stay at Nubra valley (7 hrs)
     White Sand Dunes at Hunder , bacterian camel safari
    31-Day 5| Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh stay at Leh (8 hrs)
     Panamik hot water springs, Diskit monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue, Sumur famous monastery ,01-Day 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake stay at Leh (12 hrs)
     changla pass, Hemis, Thicksey Monastry,
    02-Day 7| Leh Local Sighseeing stay at Leh
     Leh palace, shanty stupa 3 idiots schhol, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Palace, Hall of Fame, Spituk Monastery,
    03-Day 8 | Leh- Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu-Jispa stay at Jispa (12 hrs)
     Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal ,Baralacha La, Lachuchulung La, Nakee La, Taglang La passes
    04-Day 9 |Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Solang valley- Manali stay at Manali (8 hrs)
    05-Day 10| – Manali-Chandigarh-Delhi

  3. Hi Dheeraj Bhai,
    I am planning Srinagar to Leh and then Manali bike trip sometime in July. I have to take my Bike from Bangalore. I will transport in train till Chandigarh. From Chandigarh to Srinagar, we will get any type of bike transport options? I dont want to drive bike from Chandigarh to Srinagar.
    –Shiva

  4. Amardeep Bardhan on

    Hi Dheeraj…
    I am planning to fly from Delhi to Srinagar on 4th May and return from Leh to Delhi by flight on 9th May. In between i wish to visit sonmarg, gulmarg and reach Leh by road. Please suggest me an itinerary and also tell me if roads will be open in first week of may.

    • Hello Amardeep,

      Srinagar – Leh road will highly likely not be open during that time of the year. Also, with just 6 days in hand I will highly recommend to focus just on Kashmir

      Day 1 | Srinagar
      – Take rest for the day. May be enjoy Shikara ride or stay in house boat itself.
      Day 2 | Srinagar – Pahalgam
      Day 3 | Pahalgam
      – Just relax for the day and spend sometime around
      – May be a visit to Chandanwari
      – very ancient Mamleshwar temple
      Day 4 | Pahalgam – Gulmarg
      – Explore ruins of Awantipura
      – Enjoy vistas en-route
      Day 5 | Gulmarg – Sonamarg
      – Enjoy vistas enroute, especially between Tangmarg to Gulmarg
      – Enjoy in snow at ski slopes snow points and may be check out Golf course, if you feel like
      Day 6 | Sonamarg – Srinagar and back

  5. Chetan Verma on

    Is there any Bike rent who offer to take bike on rent from srinagar and left the bike at Manali.

  6. Hi,
    I planned to ride to Leh via Srinagar on July 15. Ride start from Chandigrah, I now heared its mosoon by that time. want to avoid rain.when monsoon finishes? Which month gets temparature maximum high in Ledakh region?I am from kerala. Pls help.

    Thanks.

      • Thanks for your replay.

        One more question
        When hot weather comes to Leh so that we can avoid freezing cold. Thinking of taking wife and kid

        Thanks

  7. Hi Dheeraj,

    Need few clarifications
    1. As per your suggestions, I see that any vehicles hired from Srinagar(Bike/Car) can not be used inside Leh. In that case where shall I keep my bike when I reach Leh, So I can use the same when i need to return back to Srinagar?
    2. Please do suggest some car and Bike online rentals from srinagar
    3. We are planning to reach Srinagar by 27th of May 2017 . Will the roads be open by that time ?
    4. And with respect to Hotels, Do i need to prebook online or Should it is easier to book each night randomly

    • Hi Chandra,

      1. Yes, many Leh rental bikes will offer you the parking as well or you can park it hotel/guest house
      2. Sorry on that front, don’t aware about any such online rental
      3. Yes, Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open by that time.
      4. If you are OK to search few places here and there and do not have anything specific place to stay in mind, you shall be OK with hunting few hotels.

      • In reply to comment 4, what would be the approximate rate per night at hotels( we do not have any hotels specific in mind ). We just a need a descent stay
        Do we need to pay extra money to park the bike rented from srinagar at Leh ?

        • No Chandra, extra charges for parking bike is not required. Bike rentals in Leh offer it for no charge. Also, sometimes the outside bike rental offer 50% rates for the number of days bike is parked in Leh, so you should bargain that offer from Srinagar rentals.

          Regarding hotel/stay budgets, consider about 700-900 per night on an average through out Ladakh incase you are not too much into luxury.

  8. Hello..
    I wants to Travel by bike from Manali to Srinagar via Leh in the month of June (May be second week)
    where I can find the rented bikes / Bullets. Please suggest a suitable itinerary also

  9. SOMNATH KALGAL on

    Hi Dheeraj Bhai, I am planning to go Leh Ladakh from starting BANGALORE by motorcycle (100cc) can you advice me that I can ride my bike on Srinagar and Leh roads?
    I have done around 1900kms on 100cc bike,( https://youtu.be/l0VDZ-Rl9cg ) I am confident about riding . But I want to you advice me.
    Kindly tell me the best time to visit and budget to estimate
    It will be helpful to me.

  10. Hi Dheeraj. Thanks for the info. We are 10 ppl planning a trip to Ladakh from 27th August to 9th Sep. Our plan is to hire a Ladkah based taxi from Srinagar – Leh – and then fly back from Leh on 9th Sep. Had a few questions

    1. Would this be a good time to visit weatherwise ?
    2. Can we land at Srinagar at 8.15 AM and continue directly to Kargil via Sonamarg or do we need to spend the night at sonamarg? Is there a time restriction for highway crossings from Sonamarg ?
    3. We wish to do a moderate 5-6 day trek in Ladakh. Which trek would you recommend and any contact of a reliable guy ? Awaiting your response

    • Yes Maukik, it is a good time to travel to Ladakh. Yes, if you will be prebooking your taxi and he can pick you up from the airport outside area, you should be good to travel to Kargil on that day. Well, 5-6 day trek, I will say you try out Stok Kangri to the extent you can, it offers amazing views.

  11. Hi Dheeraj,

    we are 10 people (including 4 kids) from Bangalore planning trip from srinagar-leh-ladakh-manali-chandigarh from May 28, 2017.

    As already flights ticket rates are touching the sky, I want to book the tickets now itself.

    Is the route will be open by that time?? can I go ahead and book the ticket from Bangalore to Srinagar??

    I request your help by responding quickly.

      • Thank you so much for your immediate assistance….

        I am planning to adopt 11 days itinerary you had given in one of your response….

        I will just prepare the detailed itinerary and disturb you again…

        this is my dream and long pending trip……I have been planning since 4-5 years and regularly checking your updates….

        I request your help to finish this trip more memorable…..

        • one more small clarification…we are planning to return via Manali and fly-out from Chandigarh….

          tentatively we will returning to manalin on 3rd June….is the manali route will be open by that time ??

        • It will be touch and go, usually Manali – Leh Highway gets open in first week of June and conditions sometimes be very challenging as the high opens.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          In case I book the tickets now from Chandigarh in the first week of June and road does not open by that time, what is the alternate route to reach Chandigarh ???

        • Srinagar – Leh will be open by that time, so you have to track back from Srinagar – Leh. However, in last 5 years or so, I have not known Manali – Leh Highway not open in first week of June. However, since conditions may not be good in early days, sometimes it close for a day or two as well where buffer days come into picture.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          our troop size has been increased from 10 to 14 (including 5 kids between 10 to 13 years)… flight tickets already booked from Bangalore & ‘ll reach Srinagar on 24th May @ 4.30 p.m……we are planning to stay that night in Srinagar & start early morning next day towards kargil…….
          Planning to hire 2 SUV (7 members in each SUV) from Srinagar to reach Ladakh…. can you please suggest any good and reliable driver name(s), so that I can talk to him fix the rate, if possible…..

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          our troop size has been increased from 10 to 14 (including 5 kids between 10 to 13 years)… flight tickets already booked from Bangalore & ‘ll reach Srinagar on 24th May @ 4.30 p.m……we are planning to stay that night in Srinagar & start early morning next day towards kargil…….
          Planning to hire 2 SUV (7 members in each SUV) from Srinagar to reach Ladakh…. can you please suggest any good and reliable driver name(s), so that I can talk to him fix the rate, if possible…..

        • Hi Dheeraj bhai,

          following is my tentative itinerary:

          Day 1 May 24 Reach Srinagar. Overnight stay
          Day 2 May 25 Srinagar- Sonmarg – Kargil (Stay at Kargil)
          Day 3 May 26 Kargil-Mulbek-Lamayuru-Alchi-Magnetic Hill-Leh
          Day 4 May 27 Leh ( Local Sight Seeing)
          Day 5 May 28 Leh- Khardungla Pass – Nubra Valley (Overnight stay at Nubra/Diskit)
          Day 6 May 29 Nubra Valley – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          Day 7 May 30 Leh – Pangong Tso ( Overnight stay at Pangong)
          Day 8 May 31 Pangong- Chusul – Tsaga La – Tso Moriri (stay at Karzok)
          Day 9 June 1 Tso Moriri – Jispa/Pang (please suggest Jispa or Pang)
          Day 10 June 2 Jispa/pang – Manali
          Day 11 June 3 Manali
          Day 12 June 4 Manali to Chandigarh

          Kindly advise whether this schedule is doable…..

        • The above plan for Ladakh is doable provide MAnali – Leh Highway opens by the time you planning to hit the road. Either it would have just got open and bad in road conditions or will not have open. Postponing it by a week or two will be much better.

        • Thank you for your immediate response….

          but as already told you, I have already booked ticket from Bangalore to Srinagar…. can you please suggest any other route to reach Manali….

  12. Jignesh Shethia on

    Hi Dheeraj ji,

    This is Jignesh. I am due to travel in May end and my flight lands at 12 noon at Srinagar. Is it possible to go to Kargil directly on the same day or shall i take a pit stop at night at Sonmarg and leave for Kargil another day. How much time does it take to reach Kargil in a Mahindra Xylo.

    Regards,

    Jignesh.

    • Jignesh, it takes about 8 hrs to reach Kargil from Srinagar and provided you are going early season there will be timings of Zojila Pass one way traffic. Hence, best choice will be to make a trip either up to Sonamarg or start on a new day to Kargil.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        we are 10 people (including 4 kids) from Bangalore planning trip from srinagar-leh-ladakh-manali-chandigarh from May 28, 2017.

        As already flights ticket rates are touching the sky, I want to book the tickets now itself.

        Is the route will be open by this time??

        I request your help by responding quickly.

  13. AZHAR HOSSAIN on

    please reply…………..
    in april …how to go srinagar to leh

    • IF you mean self drive rental car, then well, it is not available in Srinagar. In case you mean private taxi, then yes, you will be able to find plenty of Srinagar – Leh taxis which you can hire.

  14. Hi!

    First of all, thank you very much for this web, it’s very very useful.

    I have a question… we would like to go from Srinagar to Kargil by bus, spend one night there, and then to Alchi (by bus too). Anybody has any idea about the timetable of the buses, or whether this option is possible?

    Thanks a lot!

  15. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning my trip to Leh in may end this year. I have booked my flight to srinagar and I will be visiting Pahalgam, gulmarg and Sonmarg before starting on srinagar-leh highway. After visiting Sonmarg, I will have 11 days left in my trip and I want to cover Srinagar-Leh Highway sightscenes, Leh-Ladakh and Rohtang By Pass journey to Manali. Could you please help me to plan my trip. I can leave Pahalgam and Gulmarg if required to cover other places. It will give me 2 more days in my trip.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • Hello Gunjal,

      With 11 days in hand from Sonamarg, you can follow the below plan up to Manali. I hope it helps you. In case you have 11 days up to Delhi, you can skip the rest day on Day 8

      Day 1 | Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil/Lamayuru
      — 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/Lamayuru

      Day 2 | 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
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, , Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 3 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

      Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping
      — Overnight at Leh

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

      Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 11 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 12 | Manali – Delhi
      — Return

      • Hello Dheeraj,

        Thanks for the quite an explanatory itinerary. One question in it, what places we miss if we head to Tso Moriri directly from Pongong Tso. May be my query seem you silly but I really don’t know the routes. 😀

        Thanks.

  16. moon moon on

    hello deeraj..

    I am planning a trip to leh in mid May,2017.. I have two options.. please suggest the better way.
    (I)take flight from Delhi to leh and come back to delhi via Jammu,..
    (ii) Reach leh via jammu from delhi and take flight from leh to delhi
    but I am bit confused / no idea about what would be the better option of travel.. please help

    • I will suggest you take flight to Srinagar and then travel from Srinagar to Leh by road and then either take flight out of Leh or come from Manali side to have more snow filled adventure.

        • Naved Akhtar on

          Dheeraj bhai.. I am planing my Leh trip on 7th May2017 for 10 to 11 day.from Nagpur, Maharashtra. By flight. Nagpur to Srinagar. My budget is around 30-40k.. I am curious about Srinagar Leh road open r not…. Kindly suggest to me. I m interest go with rent bike frm Srinagar.. Please help me to plan my trip

        • Hi Naved,

          It will be touch and go and Srinagar – Leh Highway will be just open so conditions will be very tricky for riding.

          Day 1 | Nagpur – Srinagar
          — Fly to Srinagar if you are not self driving because it will almost cost the same and help you save one day plus fatigue of traveling unnecessary in plains or boring hills for 2 days
          — 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 2 | 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 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          — Overnight at Leh

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

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

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

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

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

          Day 9 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          — Overnight at Kargil

          Day 10 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
          — Enjoy the vistas enroute
          — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
          — Overnight at Srinagar

  17. Thank you Dheeraj for the post, Will it be possible to make in 10 Days if I start from Srinigar and back into Srinigar and cover all possible places. If Yes would you be able to suggest an Itenary and if possible Self Drive vehicle options from Srinigar

    • Siva, for Srinagar to Srinagar in 10 days, you can follow the below plan. You can make a day trip to Pangong Tso or three day trip to Nubra Valley and PAngong Tso by taking direct route from Hunder to Pangong Tso. This way you can drop the rest day and make two day trip to Tso Moriri as well in case you want in 10 days. This will make it hectic but possible rest below itinerary is very relaxed one to help you soak in the beauty of places in Ladakh.

      Day 1 | 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 2 | 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 3 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
       
      Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR You can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 10 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      — Overnight at Srinagar

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a road Trip to Leh from Delhi and want to do it Via Srinigar and comeback to Delhi from Manali side, the travel dates that I am planning are from 12th May to 21st May 2017, Can you pls suggest an Itenary. We are 4 Adults and 3 Kids (5, 9 and 13).

    • Siva, Manali – Leh will not be open by that time of the year. Are you sure you want to take a chance? Also, 10 days are not so sufficient for making a road trip to Ladakh especially with family. It will be hectic for them. It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

  19. Enak Ghosh on

    Hello Mr. Dheeraj,
    We are planning a trip from Srinagar to Leh and Leh to Delhi via manali from 18 may 2017 to 29 May 2017. Could you please tell whether both the roads from Srinagar to leh and Leh to manali will remain open at that time and whether the situation is normal to travel from Srinagar to Leh as we will be travelling with kids.

    Thanks & Regards
    Enak

    • Enak, there are high chances that Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open but less chances of Manali – Leh Highway being open and stable for safe travel during last week of May. June first week is still good bet to travel from Leh to Manali.

  20. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for your information, it’s really assist me to plan my itinerary to Srinagar – Leh on early of May 2017 for 13 days. But, do you think the highway still close early of May as your mentioned? I really want to see Sonamarg and Kargill before reach Leh. Please advise.

      • Dheeraj, thanks for a wonderful information about visiting Leh-Ladakh. We are planning a family visit of 4 people (2+2) from Mumbai. First visit Srinagar (visiting for the first time) and after spending there for 3 days will proceed to Leh by road. Kindly suggest, whether travelling in private taxi is better or JKRTC would also be comfortable because there is huge cost difference in it. Kindly share your expertise. Thx,

        • Guru, well, it depends upon the comfort level you are seeking and how much you plan to spend. In case, you do not have issue with the money then I will suggest you plan to use private taxi because you can stop anywhere you like and enjoy the views. In public transport it wil not be possible. However, in case budget is a concern then only bus or shared taxi is your option. You can also do one thing that you can do Srinagar to Kargil by bus and Kargil to Leh by private taxi to save cost.

  21. Hi DHEERAJ SHARMA,

    We are planning for a trip from Srinagar ( 4 days) to Ladakh (5 days) 25 february -6 march
    1 – is there any travel agent or taxi union in Srinaga going to Ladakh during this period time (25 february -6 march) ?
    2 – is the highway from srinagar to ladakh still closing during (25 february -6 march) ?
    3 – Will the journey safe from srinagar to Ladakh during this season?

  22. Hi Dheeraj

    Wonderfully informative and admire your patience in answering all queries. Thanks.
    Two of us from Mumbai (women in our 50s), are planning a trip to Dharamshala and Leh in May 2017. We would like to drive into Leh rather than fly. But from your site, have realized roads may not be open. What would you suggest should be our itinerary?
    Best
    Gowri

    • Hello Gowri ji,

      Well, towards end of May, the Srinagar – Leh Highway opens, so I dont see much issues with driving down into Leh. However, the Manali – Leh Highway will not be open so you may have to come back the same route via Srinagar else in case Manali – Leh Highway opens you can drive through it.

      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.

      • Thanks. . Actually we were thinking of leaving Mumbai around 6th May. Looks like roads may not be open then. Will keep checking.
        Thanks again

        • Srinagar – Leh Highway in general opens by first week of May. Manali – Leh for surely will be closed. You can may be fly into Leh on safer side and then do Srinagar – Leh by road and fly out of Srinagar.

  23. Hai Dheeraj,
    Good Day
    we are planing for a trip to Ladakh trip , we will be coming from Kerala to Srinagar by flight . Planing to rent bikes from Srinagar . The locations which we are planing to go are Srinagar, pangong lake, Nubra valley ,Leh. Our plan is to go to this place and return back to Srinagar by bike . so we would like to know is it possible to rent out bikes form Srinagar and is it cheap and also help us in scheduling the trip .

  24. Hi we are planning a trip to Ladakh from 7th OCT to 12th OCT starting from Delhi by car.
    Can you please update the current situation
    Our Travel Rout – Delhi–Srinagar–LEH–Manali–Delhi
    will it be safe to travel?

    • Amit, it takes 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side and 3 days to come back from Manali side. Are you sure you want to make this trip?

      • Yes Dheeraj, if it is safe enough.
        Can you please share your douts & advice?

        • Well, Manali – Leh Highway will not be safe during that time of the year. The place is desolated and traveling without any backup support is not suggested. If you consider Srinagar – Leh Highway, things have come back to normalcy to an extent and passage for tourists may be safe but you never know. Also, Srinagar – Leh will mean 8 days just of travel without seeing anything in Ladakh.

  25. Hi Deeraj ji ,

    I have traveled ladak last yeasr from chennai with the help from you and inputs (11 day from srinagar to leh).

    This year i am planning to travel Leh in November 4th .

    Plan is to travel from Chennai to delhi (flight) and delhi –> leh (flight) and visist , Naubra valley , Pangong lake and tsomori lake and return Leh -delhi (flgith) .

    Please guide us , whether it was good idea to travel in november month ,
    do we get cab to visit Naubra valley , pangon lake etc durin month,

    THank you in advance ,

  26. Rohit Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I read all your blogs regularly and also made my itinerary with help of one mentioned in your blog Srinagar-Leh- Manali starting from Delhi, now i got the answer from the above thread about the situation in Srinagar.
    But there is still some time to start my trip, i am planning to start from 25th of Sept, Is there any way to get the current and live status of Srinagar.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Sorry Rohit, do not know a way to find live status apart from talking to hotel owners in Srinagar. Last week it was very bad with tourist vehicles also beeing pelted with stones and army had to stop the movement. This created hassles for many tourists and hence I feel situation is not so good to travel from Srinagar this remaining season at all.

      • Rohit Sharma on

        Thank you i got the contact number of one of the house boat owner in Srinagar(DAL LAKE), He told me the same that the situation is still Bad, Though he told me to call him back 2 days before leaving from Delhi.
        So right now i just hope everything will be fine soon.
        One more question if you can help, Is there any way or route via Shimla-sangla-reckong pio- kaza- spiti valley to reach LEH ?
        or Manali- Leh highway is the last option ?
        I have max 12-14 days for this trip and i will be riding my Royal enfield from Delhi itself.
        Please suggest me a good circuit.

        • Rohit, the route from Kinnaur – Spiti Valley is very long and meets Manali – Leh Highway only at Gramphu. It requires a dedicated trip IMHO.

  27. vikram ghadwal on

    hi dheeraj,

    first of all congrats and thank you for the website. me and my friend are planning to travel leh via srinagar-leh highway between 1st october to 11th october from delhi
    we plan to do delhi jammu via train to and fro
    we plan to jammu -srinagar via cab to and fro.
    from srinagar we want to rent a bullet and proceed further
    it will be a ride with pillion.
    But while going we are planning to take a halt at kargil for night stay and then continue on next day covering the scenic beauties of monasteries and colorful nature,
    however while returning we are planning to cover leh to srinagar in a single day.. is it possible.
    any good rental shops you can suggest in srinagar, couldnt find much options online
    since now curfew being lifted in some parts of the valley, will it be safe ?

    • Vikram, I dont think after curfew rental shops will be available in Srinagar or operational. But, you can check. Also, Leh – Srinagar is a 16 Hrs journey, not recommended on bike in a single day.

  28. Mr. Dheeraj,how are u.this is wonderful site.sir I want to know can I plan leh tour from Srinagar dated 10 Oct and returning back from leh about 20 th Oct through leh manali highway.

    • satyanarayana on

      i had done Jammu-srinagar in my car in May 2016. Roads are horrible and it took about 12 hrs ride. On the way, one does not find any eating joints literally nothing, at all. thbuucks are there in large numbers. there is nothing much to see between jammu and srinagar. instead one should fly to srinagar and take road to leh from there. but with the present political scene at srinagar. i dont when it will become better for tourist.

      • I agree, if one dont have enthu of drive, best is to land in srinagar and then continue. However, this year due to unrest it is not recommended to travel from srinagar side.

  29. Hi,
    i’m going to srinagar & leh next month from 14 sept till 30 sept. i plan to take a bus from srinagar to kargil to leh. how’s the situation there now? is it safe to do road trip to leh from srinagar? this is my dream and i really wanna do that.

    i plan to stay in kargil 1 night, any recommendation for hostel in kargil? when i bought the ticket from srinagar to leh, the bus will stop and stay in kargil 1 night or i need to buy separate ticket from kargil to leh?

    In srinagar, i think i will stay only 1 night and the rest of the night i will move to pahalgram, gulmarg, sonarmag. i plan to spend 7 day in kashmir area and 7 days in leh before take bus from leh to manali and manali to delhi.

    thanks in advance

    • Well, the curfew is still in there in Kashmir and midst it, I wil not recommend going over that route. You should avoid it and take Manali – Leh highway route.

  30. hi,
    Good day.

    im planning to go for a trip from srinagar-leh-manali.i wil reach srinagar by sept 4th morning.we are two peoples.and need to reach manali by sept 9 or 10.our mode of transportion is bus .suggest places to visit,where to stay.reply asap.

    • how you gonna go to leh from srinagar? by bus?
      if by bus i think u need to stop at kargil and stay there for 1 night.

      i’m going on 14 sept

  31. How long does it take to exit Srinagar city from Srinagar International Airport? Does the raod pass from within the city or is their any bypass? N how’s situation in SONAMARG?

  32. Hi Dheeraj,

    Do you know anyone or have heard of any foreign tourist who arrived with a e-tourist visa (e-TV) and proceed to Leh?

    In the eTV webpage, it was stated that eTV is not valid for visiting restricted area:

    “e-Tourist Visa (eTV) once issued on arrival is Only single entry , non-extendable , non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.”

    I understand that foreigners need to apply for permit to visit certain areas in Leh but can I apply the permit with an eTV?

    I checked some forums and some said they have done it before and have no problem applying for a inner line permit with the eTV but the visa authority replied saying it is not possible.

    Can you please help to clarify?

    Thanks.

    • I am extremely sorry Noel, I do not have any idea about it. You can basically go over to Leh as you do not need any permits to visit Leh. Once, there you can go over to DC office and apply for permits and clarify it. If permits are not issued, you can continue your journey to Zanskar Valley which does not require any permit.

  33. sonali bansal on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    How are you doing? I am planning to go to leh from Srinagar to Leh highway from 5th October and staying a night at Kargil. Do you think taking a shared cab or hiring a taxi for this is a good idea? And also when we come back, we want to come back from Manali-Leh highway. Do you think around 13th October we could take that route?

    • I am doing good Sonali, thank you. Yeah, that shall be fine. Since, you will be alone private taxi will be very costly.

      That late in the season I DO NOT recommend traveling on Manali – Leh Highway.

  34. Dear Dheeraj,
    I have booked tickets for Srinagar in 2 nd week of Sept, 2016. Since the situation in the valley still remains tense, I would like to go to Leh instead. Would I be able to sneak out of Srinagar without much problems?

    • Dhanya, I will not advice you to travel from Srinagar side considering the present situation. The situation may improve but if you are at the verge of making decision based on current situation, my advice will be to either fly in to Leh or go from Manali side.

  35. SIDHANT PATTANAIK on

    HI DHEERAJ,
    we have planned to go to srinagar via leh from delhi but we are bit confused whether we go to srinagar or not we only planned for gulmarg and dal lake is it possible to go srinagar from leh.our plan is like this delhi to leh by flight stay in leh for 5 days then from leh to srinagar by road via kargil then srinagar to delhi by flight.please tell me is it possible or not otherwise we have a alternate plan if srinagar dont work out we will go to manali from leh and from manali to delhi by bus kindly suggest soon.our trip starts from aug 28 & ends on i mean back to delhi is 6th september.

  36. Hi Dheeraj,

    What if I plan from jammu to leh? Reach srinagar the same evening make an overnight stay and leave for kargil the early morning the next day? Is it advisable for 19th sep 2016??

  37. I think the main worry issue is the journey from Patnitop to Sonamarg. Once one past Sonamarg…….will it b fine or more worries ahead?

  38. Hi Every one,

    We are planning to start our trip in the 1st week of October from Srinagar to Leh. And we are planning to rent bikes in tat region. Can we get bikes for rental in Srinagar? If we can what will be the approx rate at which bikes are provided for rent?

  39. Does anyone have recently done srinagar to leh?
    We have a flight to Srinagar on 28th Aug. And hearing a lot about curfew & militant activities.
    Will that route be open & safe by 28th Aug.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ajay, it is not recommended to travel from Srinagar side. Better go from Manali side to be safe than sorry of being stuck in curfew.

  40. Hi Dheeraj!
    I am planning a 12 Night trip to Ladakh next week , starting and ending at Leh. Here is my itinerary; would be grateful if you could give your inputs …is it too packed (specially the day 2-3 etc. We are a couple in late thirties. Cant tell you how much it would mean to us. Would be grateful for a quick revert.
    Day1: On arrival at airport move to Alchi [email protected]
    Day2: Khaltse-dhomkhar-dha-batalik-Kargil [email protected]
    Day3: Kargil – Drass – Kargil – Lamayure – Leh [email protected]
    Day4: Leh [email protected]
    Day5: Leh- Nubra [email protected]
    Day6: Nubra – Turtuk – Nubra [email protected]
    Day 7: Nubra – Leh [email protected]
    Day 8: Leh – Pangong [email protected]
    Day 9: Pangong – Hanle [email protected]
    Day 10: Hanle -Tsomoriri [email protected]
    Day 11: Tsomoriri – Tsokar [email protected]
    Day 12: Tsokar – Taglan La – Leh [email protected]
    Day 13: Leave for Del

  41. Harsh Pandya on

    Hi Dheeraj, pretty useful info you have here,

    so, i will be in Leh in the first week of September, and by end of second week i will be heading to Srinagar via Kargil.
    I read your previous feedback to avoid that region and your posts regarding bus timings, although i am looking to spend a day in Kargil.

    so how can i make this possible.?
    leh to kargil- a days stay in kargil- and leave for srinagar on the day after

    any info on the above would be really helpful
    Cheers
    Harsh

  42. OMG. Even outside Taxis r not allowed their. So it means one have to pay them rent for 3-4 days in free.

  43. Outside bikes r not allowed in Leh for local sightseeing. R they allowed to visit towards Nubra Valley n Khaardungla Pass. N wht outside taxis?

  44. Hello dheeraj!
    Very well planned itinerary.. I followed the same for my trip in last week of july. The situation in srinagar was very tense, we did encounter the hostile elements on our way to gulmarg (we didn’t stay at srinagar due to curfew), but thanks to our armed forces that we escaped unhurt. We also had planned for amarnath yatra on our way to leh, and successfully completed it! At leh, we did meet rigzin and rented out his vehicle for rest of the trip which was a pleasant experience. Many thanks for the elaborate planning which was our only guide in situation with no mobile networks or internet..

    • Thank you so much Rohit for writing back. Glad to know about that you had a safe and rest of the wonderful trip. I am sure with Rigzin, it had been a much better experience. He is a really nice chap 🙂

      • Many thanks for reply!
        I would like to add to the itinerary. Going by the shok river from nubra valley to Pangong lake via agham saves a day’s travel..
        Also, I would advise all planning the trip to avoid srinagar completely..

        • Ronak Chandak on

          We have booked our flights Srinagar-Delhi on 25 Sept. And are now planning to fly Delhi-Srinagar too on 15 September.
          Is the situation really bad? Cannot even transit in/out of Srinagar the same day?

  45. RAJEEV JAYAWANT on

    HI DHEERAJ
    YOUR BLOG IS VERY MUCH USEFUL. I AM FROM MUMBAI
    I HAVE PLANNED FAMILY TOUR OF 3 FOR 10 DAYS FROM 1st SEPT TO 11th SEPT FROM SRINAGAR TO LEH.
    IS IT NECESSARY TO TAKE HALT AT ULE AFTER KARGIL HALT. OR WE CAN GO DIRECTLY TO LEH FROM KARGIL HALT. MY PLAN IS AS BELOW.
    DAY 1- SRINAGAR SHANKARACHARYA IF POSSIBLE. AS WE WILL REACH HOTEL AT ABOUT 4.30 TO 5 PM.
    DAY 2 – GULMARG & RETURN ( ONE GARDEN IF POSSIBLE ON RETURN WAY)
    DAY 3 – PAHELGAM & RETURN (SIGHT SEEING SRINAGAR ON RETURN WAY)
    DAY 4 – TO KARGIL & ON WAY SONMARG JOZILA STAY KARGIL
    DAY 5 – TO LEH FROM KARGIL

    RAJIV

  46. Girish Mulani on

    Hi again Dheeraj,

    Could you please guide me further on the bus timings from Srinagar for LEH. I will be arriving in Srinagar at 1100 hrs (by air) on the 19th and would prefer to depart out of SXR the same date, what would the best option?

    Given the current situation in SXR, would you suggest us to find an alternative route instead?

    Thank you once again for your kind assistance.

    Regards,

    Girish

  47. Kindly suggest me the tour plan from Manali side n return back from Manali too. I want to travel upto Sonmarg n then return back. We have 12 days in hand. Leaving Chandigarh on 4th Sept. n back to Chandigarh on 15th Sept. I want to visit every possible place when leaving from Manali itself bcoz if situation improved……I’ll exit from Srinagar side……n if doesn’t then return back from Manali side.

  48. Kumar L Pillai on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to start on 16th August 2016 from Ahmedabad to Leh via Srinagar.
    We are four people and will drive a XUV500.
    Probably will stay after Jammu and cross Srinagar the next day and stay at Sonmarg.
    Is it advisable as we are not going to stay at Srinagar and if any bypass available we will take it.
    From Leh we will take Manali route to return.

    Kindly suggest

    Thanking You

  49. HI , DHEERAJ

    WE ARE PLANING FOR THE LADAKH TRIP FROM 12TH AUGUST FROM SRINAGAR BY CAR
    CAN U PLZ UPDATE THE CURRENT SITUATION AROUND SRINAGAR , WILL IT BE SAFE TO TRAVEL
    ROUTE :
    SRINAGAR – KARGIL – LEH –


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